Bob Mason: Letter to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette

System in Waiting

March 2, 2014
In “Bigger Hospitals, Higher Prices” (Feb. 23 Forum) Shannon Brownlee and Vikas Saini present a strong indictment of the rapid consolidation of health care systems, essentially creating monopolies and concentrating power, as we’ve experienced in Pittsburgh. This has resulted in unsustainable cost increases without an accompanying improvement in care. Many researchers have noted that the United States’ health care system ranks poorly in lifespan, infant mortality and social inequality compared with most other developed nations.
Ms. Brownlee and Dr. Saini write that hospitals that dominate a market could be turned into “common carriers, regulated like utilities with transparent pricing and community oversight.” They add: “The most efficient way to achieve this goal would be through a single-payer system.”
Pennsylvania and the United States have single-payer systems in waiting, ready to transform our health care so that it is affordable, improves quality and is available to all. The state legislation is SB 400 and the federal is HR 676. More information about the solutions can be found at
The writer is president of Health Care 4 All PA.