MEDICARE FOR ALL
As Trump and the GOP race to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act that will leave 20+ million people uninsured, we must rally together to use this time to organize and fight back for healthcare and affordable prescription drugs as a human right. We are the only major country in the world to not provide healthcare as a right. 60% of Americans across Party Lines support a Single Payer system. The U.S. also spends around $9,000 per person on healthcare. That’s an average of 2.5 times more than other major industrialized nations who provide universal healthcare for ALL, while we do not. Most uninsured people are low-income and disproportionally people of color.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) made history by expanding health insurance to 30 million Americans by requiring people to buy private health insurance policies and expanding Medicaid. However, it left insurance companies in charge of our healthcare system.
It is wrong to privatize what should be basic human rights. This isn't a partisan issue, it is a moral issue that we are more than capable of taking care of, especially as the wealthiest nation on the planet.
SINGLE PAYER SYSTEM
We will be fighting for a Medicare for All "Single Payer" System to provide universal healthcare and affordable prescription drugs as a human right. It's time to cut out the for-profit private health insurance companies and stop the pharmaceutical companies from overcharging prescription drugs.
What Is Single Payer Healthcare?
The United States is the only country in the developed world that does not guarantee access to basic health care for residents. Countries that guarantee health care as a human right do so through a “single-payer” system, which replaces the thousands of for-profit health insurance companies with a public, universal plan.
Does that sound impossible to win in the United States? It already exists – for seniors! Medicare is a public, universal plan that provides basic health coverage to those age 65 and older. Medicare costs less than private health insurance, provides better financial security, and is preferred by patients (Davis, 2012). Single-payer health care is often referred to as “Expanded & Improved Medicare for All.”
A single-payer system would save as much as $570 billion now wasted on administrative overhead and monopoly profits.
Providing Medicare for ALL via Single Payer is what we should be aiming for and it is not a radical idea at all, especially since many countries around the world are already doing it. How do those other countries pay for it? Well... they make the top 1% pay their fair share and don't have the bureaucracy of the Health Insurance industry.
We could pay for Medicare for ALL by increasing personal income taxes on top 5% income earners, an additional 2% tax on those who make more than $250,000 (only 2% of the population) in taxable income and a 6% premium on large billionaire corporations. The rest of the funding needed would be through authorization of funds through the Federal Reserve. As stated, Single Payer would save $570 billion a year in reduced overhead, monopoly profits, and administrative costs from the bureaucracy we call the Health Insurance Industry. In addition, many Americans and small/medium sized businesses will be relieved in the long-run of the financial burden of providing and receiving healthcare coverage.
We would support and co-sponsor H.R. 676 - "Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act" which would provide comprehensive healthcare coverage including at least the following:
(1) Primary care and prevention.
(2) Approved dietary and nutritional therapies.
(3) Inpatient care.
(4) Outpatient care.
(5) Emergency care.
(6) Prescription drugs.
(7) Durable medical equipment.
(8) Long-term care.
(9) Palliative care.
(10) Mental health services.
(11) The full scope of dental services, services, including periodontics, oral surgery, and endodontics, but not including cosmetic dentistry.
(12) Substance abuse treatment services.
(13) Chiropractic services, not including electrical stimulation.
(14) Basic vision care and vision correction (other than laser vision correction for cosmetic purposes).
(15) Hearing services, including coverage of hearing aids.
(16) Podiatry care.
CONTROL PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICING
We need to control the monopolizing of profits by the big pharmaceutical companies by regulating the prices they charge for prescription drugs. We need to pass a bill that will allow us to purchase prescription drugs from other countries that are providing the same drugs by the same reputable companies from countries like Canada. 13 Democratic Senators just recently voted NO on lowering prescription drugs and importing them from Canada.
We need to pass legislation like Prescription Drug Affordability Act of 2015 that would allow the importation by individuals of prescription drugs from Canada and, potentially, other countries. Establish restrictions on certain anticompetitive patent settlements known as "pay-for-delay" agreements, which effectively block generic drug competition. Allow the Federal Trade Commission to initiate proceedings to enforce these restrictions against any parties to such a settlement. Require drug manufacturers to provide drug rebates for drugs dispensed to low-income individuals.