In U.S. Rep. Debbie Lesko’s June 5th, 2019, article, she stated “Medicare for All strips away health care freedom.” However, just the opposite is true. People will have freedom to choose their doctor with no networks to worry about, fear of bills they cannot pay, or going into bankruptcy. Everyone benefits, seniors on Medicare, those with employer-based insurance, those with pre-existing conditions, young, old, and those in-between. Everyone!
Under a well-researched and fiscally-sound universal healthcare bill introduced by Rep. Pramila Jayapal and 112 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, both home-based and institutionally 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.
Sound too good to be true? It isn’t and here is the ‘rest of the story’.
Rep. Lesko is concerned about illegal immigrants receiving health care at the expense of taxpayers. She said that she asked this question of the House Rules Committee hearing in April and they said ‘yes’ the immigrants would receive health care, but it was a partial ‘yes’ and what she didn’t tell you is that it would not be all immigrants and it would not be at the expense of the taxpayers. Quite the opposite. According to the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy, undocumented immigrants actually contribute significantly to state and local taxes collectively paying an estimated $11.74 billion a year. $213,574,000 in Arizona alone. If they were granted full legal status, state and local taxes in Arizona would gain $39,384,000. In 2015, according to the IRS, undocumented Americans paid $23.6 billion in Federal income tax along with Medicare and social security that they can’t even use.
Rep. Lesko was also concerned about cost and that the health care plans that many have now would be eliminated. Yes, they will be eliminated. But, in their place, everyone will have an even more comprehensive plan that includes everything you have now and more. She also states that there’s no plan to pay for it, yet there are very detailed and exhaustive plans proposed on how to pay for it so that everyone is still enjoying the coverage they are used to under Medicare and employer-based plans, but with even more benefits, while actually saving money. Yes, taxes may go up, but not as much as your premiums, co-pays, deductibles, co-insurance and out-of-pocket expenses will go down. It will also be paid for by redirecting funds that are already allocated for health care and reducing unnecessary and wasteful spending in the current system, eliminating non-patient costs that do not improve health: Insurance company administrative overhead and marketing, exorbitant executive salaries, shareholder’s dividends, billions lobbying congress and campaign contributions.
She was also concerned about employee’s losing their plans. Many studies now show that employees are unhappy with their rising deductibles, out-of-pocket costs, and wage stagnation. Eliminating the expensive role insurance companies now play in the lives of employers and employees will result in employers being able to shift paying such high insurance premiums into product development, being able to compete internationally, higher pay for their employees, employees being able to take jobs better suited to them without fear of losing their insurance, thus positively affecting the lives of employees, their families and our economy!
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 of their profits at stake, they are spending millions of dollars to spread misinformation to protect their interests and defeat significant change and health care freedom for the American people. Do not fall for their scare tactics, and false arguments.
Ask yourself at least one of these questions, “Who is behind what is being said? Are they using fear-based language trying to scare you? What do they have to gain? Which studies are they using and who paid for them? We reference The World Health Organization, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and many more to cross check the facts you see here.
Healthy people, healthy economy, healthy country!
Linda Napier is a business owner from Sun City West and Carol Mattoon is a health care Advocate from Sun City