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May 18, 1994

The United States Needs a Health System Like Other Countries

Author Affiliations

St Louis, Mo

JAMA. 1994;271(19):1481. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510430032019

To the Editor.  —Dr Glaser1 tells us in his article that he has grown weary of the debate about health care reform. It's time for action now. "The task is to organize the entire country," and Glaser is more than willing to be the organizer.Glaser informs us that America needs "a comprehensive health system." He describes Social Security in glowing terms and his solution for financing his system is a payroll tax modeled after the Social Security tax. Of course, this is how Medicare Part A is financed. He rightly observes that the Medicare program is embroiled in "complexities and endless political disputes," yet he implies that his new national health system will somehow avoid the same problems. I don't believe it.I am afraid that the Social Security model for health care acclaimed by Glaser is not so reassuring. Workers I know who are younger than 40

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