Senator Bernie Sanders is calling on all Americans to sign the petition to congress in support of single payer health insurance for all.
Sign the Petition - 06/16/2009It is hard to imagine why the people of this country would not support this. It is the way to a decent and civilized society. Read below the break for more.
Our current private health insurance system is the most costly, wasteful, complicated and bureaucratic in the world. Today, 46 million people have no health insurance. Even more are underinsured with high deductibles and co-payments. Close to 20,000 Americans die each year because they don't have regular access to a doctor. "The time is now for our nation to address the most profound moral and economic issue we face. The time is now for our country to join the rest of the industrialized world and provide cost-effective, comprehensive quality health care to every man, woman and child in our country. The time is now to take on the powerful special interests in the insurance and pharmaceutical industries and pass a single-payer national health care program." Sign the petition
Here are excerpts from an article in the Vermont Business Magazine by Dr Deborah Richter, a Cambridge-based family practice physician, who is also chair of Vermont Health Care For All, a group advocating for publicly financed universal health care system, also known as single payer. Even though she is speaking to Vermont residents, her message is applicable to all of us:
Every single study of single payer has shown we can cover every Vermonter with comprehensive coverage for less money then we are spending in total now,” she argues.Some see these calls for single payer as radical. If they are radical, then I do not know what to call what a real health care system would be called. Here is what the system actually entails whether we like it or not.
She points to a bill in the US Senate sponsored by Senator Bernie Sanders,
noting that this bill is “the most fiscally conservative model being proposed.”
Single payer, asserts Richter, “eliminates an entrenched entity. Insurance companies are not needed under this model. They are obsolete.”
According to her, “they no longer protect us from bankruptcy and to get the care we need, and they create enormous bureaucracy, but are very powerful and influential in Congress.”
Some doctors, she notes, are not in favor of single payer. “The specialists running the AMA, are against this as they are doing quite well financially as it is.”
Physicians won’t be leaders in this issue, she says, because people doing well in the status quo fight to keep it the way it is.
She sees single payer as helping to “create an enormous economic stimulus because middle class families will have more money in their budgets.”
“If we progressively financed health care we could inject an enormous economic stimulus into the economy. We would have to find the fairest taxes to pay for health care.”
The recent declaration by national insurance companies and some business groups to reduce costs does not get raves from Richter. “Who’s going to hold them accountable for cost cutting, its non binding?
“I don’t think it will do any good. You need to turn it into a German system with multiple payers, they are not for profit.”
But to do that, she believes “it would take all the fun out of it for insurance companies and they won’t go for that.”
Richter sees the solution in establishing “a global budget for the whole health care system with uniform reimbursements for hospitals and physicians and drug uniformity and new health planning.”
The use of prevention to cut the incidence of costly disease among the population.That's a start. Asking too much? If this is too much then health care really is not an important priority among us. Meanwhile, sign the petition, please.
A total supervision of our food delivery system to make harmful practices that are taken for granted known as the risks that they are.
A total change in education for health care providers that provides for both horizontal and vertical career development and advancement on merit alone.
In integration of health policy with environment, water quality, etc.
A significant component of public education at every level devoted to learning good health habits, learning how the health care delivery system works, and learning how one's health directly affects ones performance in school and on the job.
A total revision of the allowable working conditions for all workers.