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Lawmaker was wrong – everyone benefits with Medicare for All

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In Republican Rep. Bob Thorpe’s May 20, 2019, article, he stated “Medicare for all is actually quality health care for none.” However, just the opposite is true. Everyone benefits, seniors on Medicare, those with employer-based insurance, those with pre-existing conditions, young, old, and those in-between.  

Under a well-researched and fiscally-sound universal health care bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and 110 co-sponsors, HR1384, “The Medicare for All Act of 2019,” our present Medicare system would be expanded and improved and cover ALL Americans. It includes primary and emergency care, dental, prescription drugs, vision, hearing, mental health, addiction treatment, long-term care, and more. It eliminates premiums, co-pays, deductibles and the need for supplemental insurance. And it will be implemented within a two-year time span with no one losing any benefits during that period, only gaining.

Carol Mattoon

Carol Mattoon

Rep. Thorpe was concerned about the cost. We suggest he and all Americans read the May 21, 2019, letter sent by 209 professional economists to Congress endorsing single-payer, Medicare for All. They explain how it will provide comprehensive health care services to ALL U.S. citizens more efficiently and less expensively than our current “for-profit” system.

In the letter, the economists underline the savings of the single-payer insurance system while providing quality care for ALL Americans. It states, “Evidence from around the world demonstrates that publicly financed health care systems result in improved health outcomes, lower costs, and greater equity.”

Presently, the U.S. has the most expensive health care in the world. In 2018, the U.S. spent $3.65 trillion on health care, yet 11 percent of Americans had no health insurance coverage, and another 45 percent of adults were underinsured. By contrast, 18 top industrialized countries spend about half per capita what we do, everyone is covered, and statistics show that health outcomes in these countries are superior to those in the U.S.

Public financing for health is not a matter of raising new money for health care, but of redirecting already allocated health care funds and reducing unnecessary and wasteful spending in the current system. Eliminate non-patient costs that do not improve health: administrative overhead, exorbitant executive salaries, marketing, shareholder’s dividends, billions lobbying Congress, campaign contributions.  

The economists state, “If combined with public control of drug prices and a simplified global budgeting system, a Medicare financing system would reduce health care costs while guaranteeing access to comprehensive care and financial security to all.”

When we reduce total health care costs and guarantee access to doctors of choice, it eliminates the stress of worrying whether you can afford to see a doctor and receive care, or whether you may lose your employer-covered insurance due to job loss, change in health care plans, or an employer going out of business. You no longer need to worry about going bankrupt because you or your loved ones have become seriously sick. Access to health care when a problem arises lowers costs, keeps people healthy and working, out of the expensive emergency room, and saves lives.

Linda Napier

Linda Napier

Eliminating the expensive role insurance companies now play in the lives of employers and employees will result in higher pay and jobs better suited to individuals, positively affecting our economy! The opportunity for re-training health-insurance personnel for other needed jobs is included in HR 1384.

Rep. Thorpe was concerned about adopting a “European style health care system style with prohibitive costs, prolonged delays for basic services, care rationing and denial of services.” That is the present-day health care system for many Americans. In the U.S. if you don’t have insurance or ability to pay, there is no waiting list, you just don’t get care! The U.S. currently has the most rationed system in the developed world based on ability to pay. In European-style single-payer systems, some elective procedures have waiting lists, but rarely, if ever, are there waiting lists for medically necessary or emergency procedures.

Today people are suffering and dying unnecessarily of untreated conditions and preventable diseases as we continue to debate the issue rather than moving forward with concrete, cost-effective solutions. We are the U.S. We don’t have to follow any other country’s system. We can learn from them and create our own. We have the blueprint to build on, the success of Medicare. We can utilize its infrastructure, but make it even better, covering all health needs, costing less, and covering everyone – not just the elderly!

A single payer, improved Medicare for All system is the only one that saves money while covering everyone because it eliminates the present complex, expensive, inefficient, “for-profit” system.

Why does this plan face opposition? The health insurance and drug companies and for-profit hospitals are framing the discussion on TV, social media, and with legislators. With hundreds of billions in profits at stake, they are spending millions of dollars to spread misinformation to protect their interests and defeat significant change. Do not fall for their “fake facts,” scare tactics, and false arguments.

Carol Mattoon and Linda Napier are residents of Sun City and Sun City West respectively.

7 comments

  1. Thank you for this well written article. I couldn’t agree more with the authors. We are already spending the money and still people are not covered and dying and going bankrupt. I was part of the protest against the AMA in Chicago this past weekend led by the medical students. We need this, find a local organization working on this and get involved.

  2. I appreciate that you would take the time to research and write this fine article. The more factual information available for people to read, the better. There’s big money being spent to spread misinformation in order to defeat the very thorough and thoughtfully written bill introduced by US Rep Pramila Jayapal. Our country needs this, it just makes sense.

  3. “The economists state, “If combined with public control of drug prices and a simplified global budgeting system, a Medicare financing system would reduce health care costs while guaranteeing access to comprehensive care and financial security to all.”

    What economist would state this? Economics at the most basic level is about supply and demand. There is a limited supply of medical care that is currently allocated through a market based system. Socialized medicine, or Medicare For All, simply changes the allocation method with government bureaucrats deciding who will receive this limited resource. It is impossible for any entity, especially inefficient government, to “guarantee access to comprehensive care and financial security for all.” Government cannot create such utopia.

  4. Lynne, lets see:
    Public control of drug prices – well we certainly see what the free market has handed us here. The most expensive drugs in the world, people dying from rationing their insulin. The VA successfully controls drug prices and has for some time.
    Simplified global budgeting – well all that means is that if you are a facility or doctor taking care of the sickest patients you are not penalized. In the town of Rockford one worker had a rare disease and caused the self insured city of Rockford to almost go broke. Also, have you heard about the ridiculous way it’s being taken care of now. Hospitals refuse to admit you and instead park you in observation so they do not get dinged by a readmission. The patient gets saddled with a huge bill the insurance won’t pay when they should have been admitted.
    Socialized medicine – What we are proposing is not socialized medicine. All facilities, doctors remain as they are today. No one is dictating to them what they should do or not do. Oh and by the way, I had to have four total rotator cuff surgeries in 13 months. Why, because the first two failed when the insurance company dictated how they should be repaired. The doctor was not allowed to do the surgery the way he wanted to do until they failed. Insurance companies are the death panels everyone was so worried about a few years ago.
    No one in government is going to be sitting around taking over for the insurance companies. It isn’t the experience in other countries and it won’t be here.

  5. He who controls the money controls the outcome. I cannot think of a worse nightmare than having government politicians and bureaucrats making my healthcare decisions. The real problem with our healthcare system is government protection of corporate profits.

    Compare general medical care, most of which is heavily regulated and has quadrupled in cost over the last several decades with procedures such as LASIK, which is largely subject to market forces and has dropped in price 10 fold in the same period. Government protects medical pricing and, in some cases, corporate monopolies at our expense. How can we trust the same people that created this mess to fix it?

    Even more fundamentally, the federal government has no Constitutional authority to regulate or provide healthcare in the first place. Not only is HR1384 a horrible idea, it’s illegal.

  6. Please read the book animal farm
    I had been involved in medical care for 40 years and Medicare for all is not good for the America’s people
    Let’s look at private pay options for medical care under $500.00. Lets use insurance the way other forms of insurance are used ,to protect against catastrophic loss and or moderate loss Lets have catastrophic health insurance coverage. What about 24 hour clinics for minor illnesses in the metropolitan areas. This could be run as a cooperative venture between city, local and private authorities .
    Please read the website for American Academy of Physicians and Surgeons for thoughtful solutions.
    These recommendations certainly would not solve all the problems we have a present. It would be a good start though.
    The abuses of the system that now exist are truly down believable and need to be changed. There is no such thing as free healthcare. Oh by the way I spent quite a bit of time in the veterans hospital as well as the county and the Indian hospital in Phoenix area. I have seen the care and abuses

  7. While “Medicare for All” has great intentions, the administration of such a program remains to be revealed to the public. Currently, all ACA under 65 programs are using insurance companies to administer benefits for a premium cost. The patients that Medicare for All would have to incorporate into the Medicare Program 11-14 million or more.

    Then there is the current Medicare population whose health insurance is primarily administered and provided by insurance companies for a fee and premium. In 2017 that count was 17 million that would have to now be administered by Medicare for All plus the rest of the Medicare population who do not have a supplemental plan. Many diverse companies now maintain health insurance and benefits for
    Americans. I know I’m leaving out significantly more people maybe 10 of millions who now use the current system. How can the government who farms out most of the national healthcare do an about face and bring everything inside and not miss a step.?

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