Under the Republican health care bill now being considered in the U.s. Senate, the number of uninsured would jump from 28 million to 49 million (Annals of Internal Medicine, June 27, 2017). About 28 million Americans now do not have health insurance.

More and more health policy leaders are advocating for a single payer national health insurance program that would cover every American. There are now studies (reported in the above mentioned Annals article) that show that lack of heath insurance correlates with poor health and increases mortality. Health care should be the right of all Americans, not just a privilege for those who can afford it.

As economic inequality has increased, so has inequality in our health. According to The Lance (A most-respected British medical journal, April 6, 2017) the life expectancy gap between rich Americans and poor Americans has been widening since the 1970s. The difference between the richest and poorest 1 percent is now 10.1 and poorest 1 percent is now 10.1 years for women and 14.6 years for men. This injustice needs to be remedied.

Here in New York state support for the New York Health Act is growing. This act would establish a single payer health plan for all New Yorkers, similar to Medicare. It has passed the Assembly a number of times, but has stalled in the Senate. Don't wait for a "Medicare for all" bill at the federal level! Contact your state senator. Ask him, if he isn't already, to be a sponsor of the New York Health Act.

Dr. Richard Weiskopf