Theres a reason that Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) is the only major presidential candidate to advocate a single-payer healthcare system (Get rid of the for-profits, Sept. 3, p. 40). The truth remains that while reform is necessary, government-run healthcare simply is not a realistic solution for our country. It may provide some type of healthcare access for all, but at the unacceptable cost of choice and quality. Virtually all countries with a government-run healthcare system model have been plagued by perilous problems including substandard care, long waiting lists, loss of physicians, forced outsourcing and healthcare rationing. These problems are more than irritatingthey can be deadly. For example, every year in Britain more than 25,000 people die because they are unable to obtain cancer treatments that the government has deemed too costly. The bottom line is that, under these systems, government bureaucrats are charged with saving money for the governmentnot patients lives. It is critical that Americans understand the realities of Kucinichs proposal before they consider supporting him and his single-payer proposal. We should look to other leaders developing healthcare models that will breed quality and innovationnot one that would do more harm than good.
Janet TrautweinChief executive officer and executive vice president National Association of Health Underwriters Arlington, Va.