I was inspired to see James Babbitt's advocacy of a single-payer health insurance system (July 30). An interest in Bernie's platform led to some hack research on my part.

I think the problem is no one wants to give up what they have or trade in their employer-paid policy to switch to government-subsidized level care. So, of course some of us would wonder if there's a compromise.

A few ideas that may or may not be worth printing:

--The healthcare cost category which consumes the most expense is administration (especially billing) of the multi-payer system. Another bloated expense is losing the advantage of "bulk-buying" of pharma/equipment. Unfortunately you just can't have the single-payer system if most consumers keep other policies.

My proposal: Expand Medicaid to allow "the rest of us" (those who do not qualify for a government policy and are not covered by an employer) to BUY a policy with levels of coverage similar to the platinum,gold, etc. plans that O-care had different providers vying for consumers. So now Medicaid would still cover those who currently qualify but also become a single-payer for the rest--anyone who pays for a level of coverage. And employers could also be free to purchase group policies when it meets their needs.

And what I assume then is that at least that many people could form a substantial single-payer entity and maybe allow for partial administrative savings by eliminating many separate payers as well as "bulk" savings for providers in Medicaid network.

MARCI MULLEN

Flagstaff

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