To the editor:

Maynard Thomson’s Nov. 27 Conway Daily Sun column was heavy on personal attacks and weak on facts, adding little to civil discourse. I would strongly encourage those who would like to hear more details about our health-care system and health-care reform to attend the Healthcare Reform Forum which I will be presenting on Monday, Dec. 2, upstairs at Hobbs Tavern at 6:30 p.m.

His criticism of my diligence in preparing my columns is unfounded. I take pride in my research, relying on primary sources whenever possible, spending about 10 hours on complicated columns.

I was particularly offended with his statement that I did not do an analysis of the Blahous study of Medicare for All. I read that study in detail and I would invite Mr. Thomson to look at Table 2 on page 7 which demonstrates that it did find $2 trillion less total national health expenditures over a 10-year period. Blahous subsequently preferred to dwell on other parts of his paper in which he re-did the analysis using modifications of the Medicare for All bill, finding increased spending. Modified versions will need to be analyzed, but it is disingenuous for Blahous to claim his analyses of modified versions to be an analysis of Medicare for All. I also read Kessler’s “analysis” which relied upon quotes from Blahous to analyze Blahous’ claims.

I agree that the U.S. health insurance market is not a totally free market; it is a moderately regulated market. But it is the most free of government regulation of all of the developed countries.

Thomson’s use of Switzerland as an example of a successful free market makes no sense, as it is a much more heavily regulated market than the U.S., with compulsory basic insurance, provided by non-profit companies, premiums capped at 8 percent of income providing uniform benefits without discrimination on the basis of age or pre-existing condition. Deductibles are small at $184-$1,534 with 10 percent coinsurance up to only $429 per year. The Swiss system does not contain costs well; it has the highest per-capita health-care spending amongst all the developed countries, except the U.S.

My forum covers the particulars of the Swiss system and much more. All are welcome.

N.H. Rep. Jerry Knirk


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