- Create a single-payer non-profit national health insurance program
- Free at the point of service
- No deductibles, no premiums, no co-pays, no networks, no confusion, no unreliability
- Choose any doctor you'd like
- Includes medical, dental, vision, emergency, mental health, home health care, chiropractic, physical therapy, and nursing homes
- Cap on pharmaceutical costs each year and per prescription
- According to recent Yale study, we would save $450 billion a year and prevent 68,000 unnecessary deaths
- Businesses will no longer have to bear the burden of paying for and providing health insurance to their employees
Our current, for-profit, health care system is overly complicated and overly expensive. We are allowing far too many people to go uncovered, succumb to bankruptcy, or die because we have a system in place that values profits over human care. The solution is a single-payer non-profit national healthcare system. Many know this as the term Medicare for All. Ultimately, the solution for healthcare is two-fold. We need to abolish the current system that includes private for-profit insurance providers charging exorbitant costs and providing minimal coverage. We need to establish a national health insurance program that everyone pays into, everyone benefits, and is non-profit.
The days of deductibles, co-pays, in network vs out of network doctors, surprise costs, and general waste from the current system would be gone! What you know as premiums today will come out of your paycheck as income tax under the new plan. By cutting out the for-profit private insurance intermediary that is private insurance, we not only free up billions of dollars spent on overhead, but we also free ourselves from the complexity. The entire goal is to simplify the system to take the fear and stress out of getting the care you need.
- We currently pay a 1.45% income tax for the Medicare system that exists today
- An increase of this tax to 4% will cover the costs for a single-payer system
- The reduction of private health insurance will significantly lower costs, even with the income tax increase from 1.45% to 4%
This system will also include dental, vision, mental health, emergency, home health care, chiropractic, physical therapy, nursing homes, and skilled nursing facilities. Quality home health care is both cheaper than nursing homes and maintains a better quality of life.
What if you want to choose your plan? The choice of a healthcare plan is a trap in today's system. The main issue being, your plan is tied to your job where your employer is the one who picks a plan or two for you to choose from. The plans consistently change year in and year out, while costing more and covering less. What we need is the ability to choose our doctors, not our health providers. Under a single-payer system there are no more lose-lose choices.
What if you want to change jobs or take a risk and start your own business? Good! Your health insurance will no longer be tied to your job. You are free to make life choices that you see fit for you. No other type of insurance is tied to your job, why should your healthcare coverage be held hostage?
What if you're retired and already on Medicare, as it exists today? You're fully covered, just like everyone else! No more having to choose between numerous supplemental coverage options.
Healthcare is a right. When you need care, you need to not worry about if you are going to go bankrupt or if the doctor you urgently need to visit is in your network. We all pay in on one full coverage plan, we all benefit.
We are living through an unprecedented time in history, with incredible stress placed on our healthcare systems, daily lives, and careers. More than ever it has been made clear that our current systems are not good enough, nor sustainable. 30+ million people have swiftly lost their access to healthcare, during a global pandemic! This is unfathomable, without even taking into consideration how they are going to be able to pay their bills and afford groceries. It saddens me that a global pandemic is what it took to shed a light on the inadequacy of our private for-profit employer-based healthcare.
It is clear that a public non-profit single-payer healthcare system is the only option that will truly address the issues this country faces. No more confusion, no more high or unknown costs, no more employer-based plans.
Why I Oppose a Public Option (As an End-Goal)
The short and simple answer to why I do not support a public option as a fix to our healthcare issues is that it doesn't provide true relief or address the actual struggles people are dealing with.
What is a public option? Essentially, it is the addition of public non-profit healthcare plans to be included in the market for people to choose if they please. This allows for the current private for-profit employer-based system to continue to dominate, and merely adds public plans into the mix. You can read more here on high level definitions of different types of healthcare, including a public option.
The true struggles and failures with our current system are as follows:
- Too much confusion- What doctor can I go to? How much is my visit going to cost? Did I reach or not reach my deductible yet? What do I do if I lose my job?
- Too expensive and unknown costs- Why do I pay premiums each month out of my pay check if I still need to pay co-pays and deductibles? How do I afford expenses that my provider decides not to cover? Why do I pay so much in and get so little back?
- Tied to employment- The United States is the only country in the world that has a healthcare system that is primarily employer-based. What if I lose my job? What if I don't like the plans offered by my employer?
- Not everyone is covered- There are millions uninsured or under-insured for various reasons including not currently being employed, having a preexisting condition, not qualifier for their employer plan or public plans, or not being able to afford public plans.
The addition of public option plans do not fix any of these issues. A public option actually causes more confusion by providing more options for people to try to understand what works best for them, when in the end it will still limit what doctors they can visit, have additional expenses, and not cover everyone. The one area it does take a step in the right direction is that it would not be tied to employment.
If someone is advocating for a plan that doesn't provide a solution for the true issues, what is the point? Sure a public option would be slightly better than what we have now, but for the vast majority of people it doesn't help provide a solution that addresses the true struggles. If we want to provide a healthcare system that is simple, affordable, easy to understand, and benefits everyone, we need to provide a plan that puts everyone under one umbrella, not for profit, and funded together. We all contribute and we all receive value in return.
- Harvard - Single payer healthcare: Pluses, minuses, and what it means for you
- Yale - Improving the prognosis of health care in the USA
- PLOS Medicine - Projected costs of single-payer healthcare financing in the United States: A systematic review of economic analyses
- ABC News - Health care spending decreases under single-payer systems: Study