Whether healthcare is a “right” is a meaningless abstraction. It is an urgent necessity, for lack of which many Americans suffer and die needlessly. Public health insurance must be expanded and made available to all Americans, regardless of age, income or health.
The debate over “Obamacare” (The Affordable Care Act) has been misrepresented on both sides. Supporters claim it makes coverage universal, failing to mention its failures to contain costs or protect Medicare. Critics call it “rationed care,” failing to justify the more egregious rationing by private insurers.
Obamacare does contain several components which are highly valuable to the American people – including the mandate to insure without prejudice those with pre-existing conditions, and the new insurance exchanges. Wall Street and the GOP are eager to destroy the act on this basis alone. Anything that is good for the American people is bad for Wall Street.
However, Obamacare represents a continued bailout of the private insurance industry. Rather than expanding public programs, it offers public subsidy for private insurance, forces uninsured individuals to buy private insurance, and fails to control costs or defend Medicare, America's only truly public insurance program.
What we demand is not mere “universal coverage,” but a system that is affordable and available to all, without regard for the profit motive of the private insurance industry. The only system that fits the bill is to expand and improve Medicare for all Americans.
- Administrative costs – including underwriting, advertising and executive/shareholder compensation – consume 31% of US health spending.
- Simply eliminating these costs (over $350 billion annually) would create enough revenue to cover all uninsured Americans.
- “Single-payer” systems like that in Canada operate at far lower costs per capita, and provide better access to health care and better health outcomes than in the US.
- Taxes already pay for over 60% of US health spending, with business paying less than 20%.
- Medicare for All. Pass H.R. 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act.
- Universal, comprehensive coverage
- A single national insurance plan with regional administration
- Free choice of providers
- No out-of-pocket payments
- Funding will come from a modest, progressive payroll tax, supplemented by revenue from a 1% Wall Street Sales Tax
Medicare for All. Pass H.R. 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act.