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Single-Payer Health Reform

October 07, 1994

The health insurance companies keep telling us we shouldn't vote for Proposition 186 because it would give Californians a health system like Canada's. We should have it so bad!

Contrary to insurance company propaganda, Canadian patients and doctors love the single-payer system they've been using for over 30 years; 95% of the Canadian population prefer their system to the privately-insured system we have in the U.S. Only 1% of Canada's doctors describe their system as poor, while 83% perceive it as very good or excellent; 85% of Canadian doctors agree with the statement that their system is preferable to U.S. health care.

Who are you going to believe: People who've lived with a single-payer system every day for decades, or U.S. health insurers' ad writers? The fact is, a Proposition 186-style health insurance system is the best available--if patient and doctor satisfaction is the measuring stick.

EILEEN HENRY

Encinitas

* Re Proposition 186: If the $1 cigarette tax is intended as an inducement to stop smoking, why are liquor, beer and wine taxes omitted? A reduction in consumption of these items would be helpful in reducing the number of auto accidents caused by drivers under the influence, thereby lowering health care costs. I support a no vote.

ROBERT HOYT

Long Beach

* Just as California is emerging from the depths of its worst recession in decades, along comes a plan that will cause a major backslide and put hundreds of thousands out of work. It may sound unbelievable, but that's exactly what Proposition 186 could do if it is approved in November.

It seeks to replace private health insurance with a state-run, government-controlled health care system. This $40-billion bureaucracy would be funded through increased payroll and income taxes. Supporters want to slap businesses with payroll tax increases of 4.4% to 8.9%, depending on the number of employees. And individuals would pay a 2.5% to 5% income tax surcharge, depending on their income.

If Proposition 186 passes, it would force business owners and operators to lay off more employees, move out of state or go out of business. And what new business would want to create jobs in a state that requires an enormous payroll tax?

RAYMOND W. BEHRENS

Manhattan Beach

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