Healthcare: It’s Time For Medicare For All

By Jason Taylor

This is a winning formula for Democrats and everyone who is not part of the top 5%. The GOP is moving towards the center and the Democrats are starting from an extreme position as the GOP has done for the last 15 years. The result is that the eventual policy will be much closer to the Democratic position than to the GOP one from a business point of view. The trend is moving back towards the liberal positions thanks to the gerrymandering and out-of-touch hard right positions of the GOP that it has fostered.

The States do not have the uniform financial resources necessary to fund and to manage health-care in their States. A State-run system would also produce inconsistencies among the States. Might I be in trouble if I’m hit by an errant bicyclist in Chattanooga, Tennessee, half-a-mile from the Georgia line?

The Federal government should finally realize — as Canada, England, and even Cuba did long ago — that access to health care is an inalienable human right: the right to Life. Anyone whose foot is on American soil and who needs medical care should be entitled to receive it, uniformly throughout the entire country.

The “for profit” people have had more than thirty years to show us how good it was going to be. They even had the son of a corporate executive in the US Senate. The Affordable Care Act was everything their lobbyists asked for, and now the US Congress was ready to just hand them $11 billion dollars in cash. As for me, I don’t have to look at EPIC FAIL any longer to understand that it is EPIC FAIL. They failed investors, providers, and patients alike. You cannot provide health care “for profit,” and you can’t make money paying for it, either. If you could have, then you would have done so long before now, and England, Canada, and Cuba by now would have copied you. It’s time to move on and to get REAL health care in this country.

My break with Republicans is very simple. They cannot recognize or distinguish what real “need” looks like. Every solution is weighed by some bizarre “market” solution which simply does not exist. Add to that the notion that healthcare can be divided up the way one charge for an airline cabin. It is just plain stupid. Being indigent, which most of the disabled can be categorized is not a character flaw. They can not be allowed to be treated as second class citizens. If that seems morally permissible, the road to fascism is a slippery slope. We need a single payer system.

Then we can argue about the most effective and evenly distributed way to control the costs and spending. To be clear, if you have been fortunate enough to have become wealthy in our great nation of opportunity, you will pay more in taxes to ensure that we continue to have a civilization worthy of such opportunity.

Canadian Medicare for all (100% of the cost is covered)
-no bills
-no co-pays
-no deductibles
-no annual or lifetime caps
-no bankruptcies
-no insurance middlemen to override a doctor
-free to choose any doctor or hospital (unlike the US)
-much lower drug prices (Canada negotiates prices)
-everyone is covered at a fraction of the cost compared to the US while the US has tens of millions who are uninsured and underinsured
-better health outcomes than the US
-the Canadians love their system

Now we shall see what America is really like. Is is caring, compassionate country or is it just a “business” and banana republic. Many modern western countries have “Medicare for all.” They vary in their quality and efficiency. The United States with its advanced technology and digital systems should be able to perfect this kind of health care system and make it the best in the world. We can do it. It will take massive education and change. We will now see what America can do. Is it an advanced country that is run for people and to “promote the general Welfare?” Or is it just a bland, vulgar “for profit” system? We should know by the end of the year.

Healthcare for All is needed. Medicare actually does not cover a lot of necessities. Still, it is a good start. Every other industrial nation has something like this. Supporting access to well-trained primary care physicians is also key. The policy wonks, including those supporting progressive healthcare reform, know so little about the details of primary care providers and how important it is to help create a healthy population. Without adequate payment structures, physicians will not go into primary care regardless of legislative fiat. There are rural towns throughout the nation which do not have adequate primary care access because of the current reimbursement structures that are set by a Medicare committee that is stacked with specialists who set reimbursement rates that benefit themselves by prioritizing procedure based care.

Also, many older physicians are retiring rather than deal with the current primary care reimbursement situation. Mid-level nurse practitioners and physician assistants are just that- mid level and are not adequate to the task of complex medical decision making. Filling the primary care gap with them will cause poor health outcomes and higher ultimate costs than adequate reimbursement for primary care physicians and incentives to new physicians to enter primary care and older physicians who are retiring to stay in it.

We must come together as a society to provide health care for all. This can only be achieved through a single-payer federal system. The alternative is to continue with our fragmented system whose overriding purpose is to serve those with financial interests such as insurance and pharma companies, healthcare facilities and professional societies. We have to reject the naysayers by simply recognizing that every other industrialized country has succeeded in providing universal health care at less than 50% of our cost. We need the commitment and the effort to devise a plan that works in the US. Yes, there will be some economic losers in a viable single payer system, but the benefits to the health and moral integrity of our society will be enormous. I also believe that a viable single payer system will be a boost to business. European nations have demonstrated that a single-payer health care system is far superior to our fragmented system in controlling health care costs. Businesses will be more competitive when they are not facing 25% annual insurance rate increases for their employees.

You’ve got to love these Republicans who claim “government controlled” healthcare cannot work. Have they never heard of Canada, Great Britain, Germany, France, etc. etc.? The U.S. is the unfortunate exception, not the rest of the civilized world.

As for state-controlled health care, among the many problems is the further balkanization of the nation at a time when Americans are geographically immobile to an unprecedented degree and regions are increasingly hostile to one another (as seen in the refusal of Texas to support hurricane relief for the Northeast). Americans need incentives to move and mix it up – not more reason to stay put because your healthcare is dependent on the state where you live and moving will send it into disarray.

The Republicans messed up their opportunity to “fix” healthcare earlier this year. Some of their leaders openly wished for a return to pre-ACA insurance laws when insurance companies could deny coverage to many people. Nobody addressed rising costs of drugs, surgery, hospitalization, office visits, you name it. The industry has squeezed every bit of profit they can out of American businesses and consumers. I hope there is a way to at least offer basic coverage to all Americans, and let those who can or wish to purchase more coverage on their own. We need to find a way to control prices throughout the system.

If we truly believe we are an exceptional nation, then Universal/Single Payer/Medicare for all is the only answer for America. We cannot and should never put a price tag on the cost of human misery, who gets medicines and care, and who can live or die. This is long overdue. We are supposed to lead the world, not be the last one on line. Take the insurance industry and profit out of health care. It has no place in a civilized society.

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