There is a growing chorus of Republicans, joined by some Democrats, who have expressed alarm at proposals to transition the U.S. from employer-paid health insurance to “Medicare for All.”

Single-payer healthcare systems in Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Taiwan and virtually all the world’s developed nations, have been adopted because they provide quality care at a lower cost.

Central to critics’ concerns is the cost of Medicare for All. Ironically our for-profit insurance system costs trillions of dollars more over 10 years than a Medicare-for-All plan.

Opponents of Medicare-for-All have suggested it’s overly optimistic in calculating potential savings, but countries that have adopted single-payer systems have significantly lower costs and better outcomes.

Private health insurance is based on a business model that generates profits for stockholders and millions for CEOs by limiting or denying coverage. If you lose your job or your employer changes providers, you can lose coverage while the rising cost of private health insurance has meant less money to increase stagnant wages.

The cost of administration for private health insurance ranges from 12 to 18 percent. Medicare is under 2%. These are costs that don’t pay for doctors, hospitals, medicine or tests if you get sick.

Let’s face it, premiums for private health insurance are a tax. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is right to focus on the cost of healthcare and universal single-payer healthcare is the only proven way to reduce costs.

Why would anyone want to continue to pay twice as much for healthcare as the rest of the developed world for a system that doesn’t cover everyone, limits the choice of doctors and produces poorer healthcare outcomes?

We should be asking how are we going to pay for the private for-profit healthcare insurance system we have, which is projected to cost trillions of dollars more than Medicare for All?

Charles Uphoff

City of Fitchburg