The Oct. 7 news article “Sanders, Warren scramble over impact of Medicare-for-all” lost sight of the bigger picture while trying to parse competing claims.

Though the mechanisms to pay for Medicare-for-all are crucial in determining how the costs will change for families, that is something completely within our control. By taxing wealthier people more than working-class families, Medicare-for-all could ensure that the 1 percent finally pay their fair share, with savings passed to middle-class families.

The reality is that the United States spends far more than comparable countries on health care while having much worse outcomes. The United States spends about 17.8 percent of its gross domestic product on health care, while the average spending level among all high-income countries is about 11.5 percent of GDP. In fact, on a per capita basis, U.S. public spending on health care — Medicare, Medicaid, etc. — is higher than what nearly every other wealthy country pays for its entire universal health-care system.

Medicare-for-all would lower costs for middle-class families while improving coverage for everyone in America.

Eagan Kemp, Washington

The writer is health-care policy advocate for Public Citizen.

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