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December 3, 2003

Proposals for US National Health Insurance

JAMA. 2003;290(21):2797. doi:10.1001/jama.290.21.2798-a

To The Editor: In response to the Physicians' Working Group for Single-Payer National Health Insurance,1 I believe that the elimination of private health care would be objectionable in principle. In a free society, the government should not interfere with private transactions for lawful goods and services. If patients want to pay me twice the going rate for a visit or a procedure because they think I am worth it, they should be allowed to do so. Physicians who are better trained or who work harder than their peers should be rewarded with more money if they wish. It is disingenuous to pretend that medicine, alone among all human endeavors, will be free of economic incentives.