Doctors, medical students and others in Louisville say America needs a system of single-payer health care

A group of physicians, medical students and others in Louisville said May 10 that the U.S. needs a national single-payer system of health coverage because “health care in America costs too much and too many people go without it,” Deborah Yetter reports for The Courier-Journal.

“The Affordable Care Act has helped,” said Dr. Barbara Casper, a University of Louisville professor of medicine and chief of internal medicine. “But we still have a significant number of people falling through the cracks.”

The event, held at U of L by Kentuckians for Single Payer Healthcare, “follows the recent call in the American Journal of Public Health for a single, national health care system similar to that of most industrialized countries. It was signed by more than 2,200 doctors nationwide,” Yetter reports.

Physicians and medical students at the event said they see too many patients “who lack coverage or can’t afford the costs of their health plans, such as high deductibles and copays,” Yetter writes. “Brandi Jones, a U of L medical student and past president of the group, said she supports universal coverage because as a future physician dedicated to healing people and saving lives, she can’t ‘condone a system that allows people to die’.”

Dr. Syed Quadri of Elizabethtown said his free clinic “sees many working people who make too much for Medicaid – the government plan for the poor – but can’t afford private plans that often come with high costs.”

The speakers “acknowledged it will be a tough political battle to sell a national health plan, possibly by expanding the current Medicare system to all Americans,” Yetter reports. “Dr. Morris Weiss, a cardiologist who said America spends far more of its gross domestic product on health care than European nations such as France, Germany and Italy – with far less to show for it.

When it comes to health outcomes, ‘We’re one of the bottom countries of all the industrialized nations,’ he said.”

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