Myths and lies about single-payer health care:

1. Single-payer is government-run health care. Wrong! Under single-payer, you get a health care card and you can go to any doctor or hospital in the U.S. Doctors are not employees of the government. Hospitals remain in private hands.

2. Single-payer will lead to rationing, like in Canada. Wrong! Currently in the U.S., the private health insurance companies ration care. If you don't have insurance, you don't get health care. There are some problems in Canada, but the "long lines" you hear about is mostly health insurance industry propaganda.

3. Costs will skyrocket. Wrong! Single-payer is the only health care that will save enough money to insure everyone. By eliminating the health care industry, we save $500 billion a year in administrative costs and profits. We use that money to insure those who lack insurance or are under-insured.

4. Drugs will be more difficult to get. Wrong! The drug industry would have you believe there will be less research and development with single-payer, but much research is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health. Drugs will be cheaper under single-payer. When all patients are under one system, the payer wields a lot of clout. The Veterans Administration gets a 40 percent discount because of its buying power. Single-payer buying power is the main reason other countries' drug prices are lower.

5. Single-payer will cover less. Wrong! For most Americans, single-payer will be a vast improvement. All care would be funded through the single-payer, including doctor visits, hospital care, prescriptions, mental health, nursing home, rehab, home care, eye and dental care. No more bills, deductibles, or co-pays.

6. Single-payer will cost me more. Wrong! Instead of paying premiums to a health insurance company, most will pay about the same or less in taxes.

Steven Epperly, Mason City

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