By Jill Westerholm
The latest Affordable Care Act repeal by Republicans, the Graham-Cassidy bill, is reportedly now being pulled due to the good sense of John McCain, Rand Paul & Susan Collins expressing that they would not vote for the bill. A nightmare averted, for now, once again.
Eight years they've had to work on a replacement and they don't have anything. They just don't want an Affordable Care Act; repeal but no replace. Isn't that the best evidence of where their true intentions lie?
I don't know about you, but I was angry, really angry, that President Obama campaigned hard on single payer and we ended up with with a half private / half public larger version of Romney Care.
Yes, ACA has a good public option for those with pre-existing conditions, but it has done nothing to drive down costs. Big Pharma & health insurance lobbyists got a seat at the table and all of those who were there knew this would create the disaster we have today. Yes, Obama had to deal with lawsuits and obstruction left and right, but he didn't really hard sell single payer once elected either. Not at all.
Bernie was fighting hard for single payer back then and he is of course once again. His Medicare for All bill is the only answer and I encourage everyone to google it and read all the details.
Tragically, the Democratic leadership is not behind it. Hillary Clinton didn't champion it. They want more ACA "fixes" that make your eyes gloss over and won't really bring about long-term solutions. But the good news is 14 heavy hitter Democrats including Elizabeth Warren have now endorsed the bill and a whopping 59 to 65% of Americans now say they want it, depending on the poll.
Do you hear much about it in the news? No. Sit down and watch television commercials for a few hours and count how many Big Pharma ads you see. Flip through a national magazine and see how many drug ads you see. Big Media are not going to bite the hand that feeds them. It will not happen. Ever.
Republicans are nowhere near it either, of course, as they scream once again "Socialism!" just as they did to the candidate Barack Obama. Yes but we already have Medicare and Medicare IS socialism. It's also the most successful medical program in history. SOCIAL security is also socialism and it has never not paid a penny.
Australia has single payer. Canada has single payer. Virtually all of Europe has it why can't we? No reason.
Medicare For All would save thousands for every man, woman and child. No one would die from lack of health insurance. This isn't rocket science yet they like to make it out to be, with block grants and mumbo jumbo cost provisions and formulas.
Private health equals runaway greed. We all see it in our premiums and our drug costs. One need only look at what the top brass are raking in and square that with your bill and the charges on it and what is covered to see that in black and white: the insurance companies simply do not care. They've had their chances and they have failed. Isn't this why we have a government in the first place, to protect against such outrageous criminal greed?
Our representatives have the finest PUBLIC health care in country that WE pay for. They have no idea what it's like to change jobs and lose coverage or having to keep a job that's detrimental due to insurance. They have never had to cut pills in half to get by, nor had a loved one die because they didn't take insulin. Two thirds of them on BOTH sides of the aisle have their pockets lined by industry lobbyists.
Single payer health is not extreme or complicated. Lower Medicare eligibility to zero, add a tax to fund it. 100% coverage all the time, no co-pays, no deductibles, no this-is-covered-but-that's-not. No more in-network and out-of-network. No more exorbitant premiums.
Google "Bernie Medicare For All Bill" for what it will cost and how it is paid. The other side likes to bring up the deficit, yet we just approved a 700 BILLION dollar defense budget, an 80 BILLION dollar increase!
We are not broke and Medicare has effectively served millions of Americans for over 50 years, and it was even intended to be a public option.
The tide is turning but we have to get louder and louder, as has been the case every time in our nation’s history. If we can do that now while both sides struggle at selling us the same old stink, then we will finally have single payer and health insurance as the right of all people, like the rest of the world.
March 21st 2018
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