“Everybody in; nobody out,” means health care regardless of wealth, location or medical history. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says 80 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck; 44 million are in poverty; and rural hospitals are closing. The National Cancer Institute says 1.5 million will be diagnosed with cancer this year. “Patient dumping” is a phenomenon. They tally of suffering is going the wrong direction.
Our health care system must be public, not private. Medicare for All is accountable to “we the people,” not insurance and pharmaceutical companies. We’re outraged by price-gouging and CEO salaries.
Our successful Medicare program must be extended for dental, vision and mental health. The National Institutes of Health has research proving that whole-patient care is best.
Cutting waste is a priority, but the Affordable Care Act’s patchwork maze is bloated with inefficiencies. Patient outcomes suffer, and our precious paraprofessionals take it on the nose with poor wages and conditions. Top economist Gerald Friedman says we’ll save $476 billion by eliminating private insurance and $116 billion by negotiating drug prices. These savings can fund retraining or former insurance workers, too.
The ACA is eight years old. It’s not enough and it won’t scale. Why don’t our members of Congress support the simpler, most cost-efficient solution. Reps. Rick Larsen and Suzan DelBene have not signed on to HB 676, even though 70 others have now formed the Medicare For All Caucus. Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray ignore SB 1804. We owe it to each other to ask them why.