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It’s time to move forward on universal health care. Our profit-centered American health care system is a mockery of capitalism in action. Competition is basic to true capitalism. You can’t have competition without choices. And when you’re in cardiac arrest or bleeding on the street your choices are pretty limited.

You also need transparency for competition. Neither the care providers nor the insurance industry are noteworthy for that. Try checking on your surgeon or hospital for mortality statistics on a given procedure. Sadly there are some insurance companies out there who prey upon the naive who fail to read the very fine print of their policy. I once purchased a "cheap" policy, and then sliced my thumb and had to go to a surgeon to repair the tendon. The insurance covered 20 percent of his bill. I made payments for six months. And as soon as I could afford it signed up with a "real" insurance company. Since the GOP “overhaul" of the ACA we once again see ads for "cheap" insurance everywhere.

The GOP loves efficiency and privatization but what we have in our current system is a tangled nightmare of complexity. You actually can hire advocates now who help you navigate and negotiate. And just when you think you’re done paying a year (or more!) after the hospital visit you get ANOTHER bill!

Our fragmented crazy system is daunting to deal with even if you’re healthy and perhaps most maddening, it’s unfair. If the only thing universal single payer care would eliminate was the for-profit insurance biz involvement that alone would make it worthwhile. Let the insurance companies make money off our cars and boats and houses. Not our health.

Sorry, GOP, this is one place the profit motive does not make for "efficiency." Sickness should not be a profit center and a nation of sick people is not competitive with the rest of the world. Eliminate the middle man of insurance and use the money to help all the people with more preventative care and good nutrition programs. They will then be far more productive and profitable workers!

We are just a couple votes away from passing single payer in New York. We need our state senators, including Pam Helming, to support this for the good of our economy and our people.

Susan P. Gateley

Fair Haven