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Dear Editor:

I am a physician who has been in practice over 40 years, and will be retiring the end of this year. I like to think of myself as using scientific principles to evaluate occurrences with my patients and solutions to the problems with the delivery of medical care in this country.

With the current political divisions, medical care is being used as a tool to advance a political agenda. The most recent example is a television ad against a single-payer system, specifically the system in Great Britain, which plays to the fear we all have that we will be harmed by a single-payer system.

The problem is no one has given us verifiable data to support such claims of harm. I'm sure there are problems with the British system, but I see no verifiable facts to support the allegation that their medical care causes needless deaths.

Medical decisions in this country are in large part controlled by insurance companies, instead of the government as in Britain, but I have not seen any evidence that the decisions insurance companies make are any less harmful than those made by a government.

In the U.S. the government already acts as insurer of health care with Medicare and Medicaid. I know of no data that even suggests that the policies of those programs have caused needless deaths or infringed on the decisions of providers of medical care more than the decisions of insurance companies make.

The problems with health care in this country will not be solved by politicians using fear and unsupported facts. We need people who have expertise in medical care and economics, with no political agenda, to evaluate available data and recommend ways to solve the problems of medical care in the United States.

George P. Branscum Jr.


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