Single-payer coverage

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A lot of energy and debate has been focused on whether or not decent health care benefits should be taxed, federal money allowed to support a woman’s right to choose, and if health insurance should be mandated.

I believe that these single topic debates allow most politicians to forget the real issue — having a health system managed by private insurance companies leads to vast discrimination and putting profits before health.

The current system favors employed, married people at the exclusion of the self-employed, unemployed and non-married people in the community. There has been no talk during the current debate about changing an outdated discriminatory policy that forces non-married people with partners and children to choose between covering their partner and covering their children. In either case the “benefits” would be taxed, unlike with married couples.

There has also been no focus on the need to stop tying health insurance to employment, even in a time when unemployment rates have skyrocketed.

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It is clear that trying to fix this broken system piece by piece is not working, that many discriminatory practices are being left as is. The system needs real reform! In order to have a system that puts health first, single-payer coverage is needed. Everyone in the community deserves to have access to health care, without bias or discrimination.

Ari Rosenberg, Lewiston

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