Private for-profit health insurers spend more than 15 percent of collected premiums on administrative costs, whereas Medicare’s are only about 2 percent. And a universal Medicare system would not need to spend money on advertising or marketing.

For-profit insurers are fighting the idea of Medicare-for-all, privately seeing it as having these unfair advantages, and publicly attacking it as socialism. But Bernie Sanders’ recent presidential campaign demonstrated that the term does not have the negative impact it used to have a decade ago. Sanders, a self described Democratic Socialist, attracted millions of mostly young followers while campaigning for president.

For-profit insurers fearfully recognize the advantage of providing an expanded Medicare program as an economic benefit to businesses by removing the cost of health coverage from the shoulders of employers.

Expanded Medicare could compete with private for-profit insurance, giving the American public a choice. We will never stop the rising cost of health care until we get over this irrational fear of socialism and inaugurate a truly cost effective and beneficial Medicare-for-all. Most Americans are not aware of the fact that Martin Luther King Jr., like Bernie Sanders, was a Democratic Socialist.

Eliot J. Chandler

Augusta