There is a way out of the health-care quagmire into which Congress is leading the country, and that is by adopting a single-payer plan. "Single payer" means that a single agency in each state will pay the doctors, hospitals and other caregivers for services. No insurance companies. The plan includes the following provisions:

All citizens will be covered throughout their lives. Full coverage is provided wherever one goes. A patient will present a health-care card at the doctor's office, clinic, etc. Relevant data will be entered in the computer, and that's it. Everyone will have free choice of doctors and other caregivers.Caregivers will not be "managed" by corporation or government bureaucrats. Doctors will preserve their autonomy, the best incentive for quality care. All legitimate medical needs, including long-term care, will be covered. An office in each state will administer the health-care monies collected by the states and federal government. State committees of laymen, caregivers and officials will review costs annually to determine cost control measures. The role of the federal government will be limited to collecting health-care funds and distributing them to the states through an equalizing formula.

By excluding the approximately 1,500 insurance companies now profiting from people's illnesses, administrative and billing costs would be greatly reduced, saving about $100 billion a year.

All people who can, will pay into health-care funds on the basis of a fair progressive tax. Corporate taxes will be required. Employer mandates, so unfair to small business, will be eliminated. For the first time in our history, people will be freed from the fear of being impoverished by medical costs. This plan will preserve our rights and freedoms. Let us work for it.

Harold Bauman

Utah Coalition for National Health Care Reform

Salt Lake City