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Letter to the editor: Reforms should build on current health system

As a retired electrician, I understand how essential access to exceptional — and affordable — health coverage is for vital members of Ohio’s working men and women and their families.

Especially at this difficult time, when hardworking middle-class families are already struggling due to the pandemic, our leaders and policymakers in Columbus and Washington should be focused on building and improving upon our current health care system instead of turning to one-size-fits-all, new government-controlled systems like Medicare for All and the public option, which would increase costs and compromise our access to high-quality care.

Experts have warned that systems like Medicare for All and the public option will result in lower quality care and increased wait times for patients to see their doctors.

Government-controlled health insurance would also force workers off their current employer-provided health insurance plans as private insurers are pushed out of the marketplace. In our rural communities, especially, research finds that local hospitals and doctors will struggle to remain open under a system run by Washington politicians.

These one-size-fits-all health insurance systems will also cost hardworking Ohioans and all taxpaying Americans. Economists have found Medicare for All and the public option would both cost trillions of dollars to implement, meaning unaffordable tax hikes that would fall hardest on our state’s working families.

When considering reforms to health care, our leaders should focus on small changes to make coverage and care more affordable, so more workers and families can get covered — not on risky government-controlled systems that would lead to higher costs and longer wait times, or worse.

By building on our current system to improve what works and fix what does not, lawmakers can ensure that all Ohioans have access to the care they deserve.

Steve Sydow
Ironton