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Letter: The Issue Is Access, Not Quality

To the Editor:

In his March 6 letter arguing against single-payer (“What Do Politicians Know?”) Gerald Mittica said, “Single-payer won’t produce good health care or inexpensive health care. The fact is that you stand a better chance of surviving one of the 16 most prevalent cancers if you’re diagnosed and treated in the United States than in almost any other country in the world.”

If this were true (difficult to prove), it would be an argument for, not against, single payer. The problem with our present system is not the quality of the providers; it is their unavailability to many. Those millions who can not afford a doctor will be neither diagnosed nor treated in the United States.

Quentin B. Deming, M.D.

Hanover