In his July 7 op-ed criticizing the Democratic candidates’ take on health-care reform, “Democratic candidates are being too silly,” George F. Will repeated the widely touted sentiment that most Americans lucky enough to have private health insurance “like it” and want to “keep it.” This supposed truism presents a frequent roadblock to a national health-care system. But I challenge Mr. Will and others on that supposed truth. Do most Americans with private health insurance actually like their insurance? Or do they really like their health care? Are we asking Americans the question in a way that gets at what they’d truly like?

I have good private health insurance, but I don’t like it. Last year, my out-of-pocket deductible increased by $1,000; recently the insurance company slapped an extra 30 percent on top of that with no warning. I spend hours every year filling out forms and bringing reimbursement checks to the bank. Stories about the nightmare that can be private insurance are legion — the pre-approvals not appropriately sought, the 10-minute emergency room visits that cost $1,000 because the doctor on call was out of network, the cancer patients who have to spend their final hours wrangling with insurance companies. Somehow I can’t believe that most people “like” this setup — as long as their health care remains good, I think they might be happy with a different one.

Before we let this supposed “fact” derail another attempt at fixing the system, I would challenge Mr. Will and others to dig deeper and find out what Americans actually do “like” and want.

Elizabeth Phelps, Washington