How do you know a proposal that the health care and insurance industries publically mock but privately are scared witless about?
When they assemble an army of lobbyists to kill Medicare For All (M4A) before the Democrats even finish drafting the associated bills.
M4A is currently a slogan but it’s moving toward a legislative agenda item as the Democratic party moves to the left on health care because a) M4A (or a variation) is popular among Americans; and, b) they rightly view their historic win of the House in the 2018 midterms as a successful referendum on health care.
Acknowledging The Affordable Care Act’s Popularity
The lobbyists’ message is ironic; according to them, the Affordable Care Act is popular, working well, and should be improved not scrapped.
According to the New York Times,
“We have a structure that frankly works for most Americans,” said Charles N. Kahn III, the president of the Federation of American Hospitals, which represents investor-owned hospitals. “Let’s make it work for all Americans. We reject the notion that we need to turn the whole apple cart over and start all over again.”
Say what?! I can’t imagine this message working even a year ago, but it’s an acknowledgement of how popular and entrenched the Affordable Care Act has become.
Running Scared Of Losing Profits
Depending on how a single-payer system is structured, health care providers, drug companies, and insurers stand to be compensated very, very differently.
And their bloated profits are threatened.
Never mind that we’re the only developed nation that doesn’t have universal health care; and that we have far worse health outcomes and pay far more than other industrialized countries.
For example, even as we pay more for health care, our maternal mortality rate is skyrocketing and is the worst in the developed world.
How is this remotely acceptable?
Tired Old Arguments
I hear the howls against government-run health care; and, as someone who lived for 25 years and raised three children in a government-run system, I can say confidently that most of the arguments make no sense. Which doesn’t seem to matter, because they’re based on emotion not fact or reason.
No, there won’t be “death panels”.
No, government doesn’t screw up everything it touches. (Though I always find this argument interesting from people who are, you know, part of government.)
Medicare For All is highly effective, as is the universal health system for active duty military and is the VA system.
Playing With People’s Lives
People’s lives are at stake.
It’s shameful that 42% of cancer patients exhaust their life savings within two years.
And that medical bills are a leading cause of personal bankruptcies in the US (even adjusted for the period after the Great Recession when all bankruptcies increased).
As a nation, how are we copasetic with this?
As well, Medicare as it is now is a highly effective and popular program. And we’re okay denying this same benefit to all Americans? Because most of us may pay more in taxes? And I say “may” because we’re seeing some feasible proposals to fund health care coming from the Democrats; namely, by raising the marginal tax rates, especially on higher income individuals.
Additionally, the overall cost of healthcare would be lowered and could offset higher taxes, although a non-partisan study (or several) would be needed to confirm this. Congressional Budget Office, I’m looking at you.
We’re Already Paying But We Usually Don’t Know It
Your tax dollars fund public hospitals, whose emergency rooms are often the treatment option of first choice for uninsured people.
It’s an expensive and very ineffective way to fund health care as compared to universal health care.
Sometimes people tell me, “I don’t want my tax dollars paying for someone else’s care!”, and they sure do get mad when I point out they already are.
Putting aside the utter lack of compassion for our fellow human beings, I’m sorry the truth hurts but ignorance is no excuse for perpetuating the status quo.
So at least vote in favor of your tax dollars being spent more wisely and for better health outcomes!