Many people complain that “government” doesn’t work. The statement is used to rationalize smaller government, fewer regulations and lower taxes.

The argument follows that “private” businesses do it better. Some do. Others, however, are the reason for the “overages” or poor quality we pay for when our government contracts out services or takes kickbacks. Think $600 toilets, Humvees that did not protect our troops, rifles that jammed, failed nuclear plants, or some of the S.C. legislators facing ethics violations.

I recently reviewed my Medicare options. The government health insurance program was easy to sign up for, is easy to use and pays 80 percent of most of my medical costs. It standardizes coverage throughout the country.

In contrast, my Medicare Supplement Plan, the private side of Medicare used to cover the remaining 20 percent of costs, was difficult to review and to make a selection. It takes so much time and effort to determine ratings of the companies, the costs of the plans and which doctors or medical facilities I can use, that consultants, paid by the “health companies,” help us decide. Of course, there is no quality control measure to help select an honest consultant.

To add insult to injury, my cost for the additional 20 percent is almost as much as my cost for the first 80 percent.

In this case, government is way better than private.

Maybe we should expand Medicare to include the thousands of South Carolinians and military veterans without medical benefits or insurance.

Thomas Balliet, Ph.D.

Serenity Point Drive