Whether healthcare is a “right” is a meaningless abstraction. It is an urgent necessity, for lack of which many Americans suffer needlessly. Public health insurance must be expanded and made available to all Americans, regardless of age, income or health.
The debate over “Obamacare” has been misrepresented on both sides. Supporters claim it makes coverage universal, failing to mention its failures to contain costs or expand public programs. Critics call it “rationed care,” failing to justify rationing by private insurers or offer an alternative.
Obamacare is essentially a continued bailout of the private insurance industry, which like the rest of Wall Street was destroyed by derivatives. While offering some ostensibly positive features like coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, it fails to control costs or defend against ongoing attacks on Medicare, Medicaid or other public insurance programs.
- 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