I have been thinking, what can people do to get the message across to legislators and their owners in the business community that the United States is facing a crisis in health care that is not going to wait another decade or two for a solution? What can we do to address the refusal of our leadership to institute universal health care for all Americans like other developed nations have?
We ask for a solution, and what do they present us with, another dysfunctional insurance program, one that leaves people exposed to far more risk than it should, and does not address the root problems with skyrocketing costs.
I think that they need to see that all Americans are under attack by these costs and that we can't afford them to put off actually solving these problems any more.
The only way to do that is TO STOP BUYING UNTIL WE HAVE UHC.
I think that all Americans should, effective immediately, stop making any and all unnecessary purchases. Instead, we should send letters to vendors, we would otherwise buy, or via some other method, like wearing a white armband, inform others that we are "boycotting until we have universal healthcare and health security". The wearing of the white armband would also give a symbol of solidarity to others, for example, public option supporters, as it would mean that we support affordable, universal healthcare for all Americans, even those who could not afford its premiums.
|The "Public Option" vs. Single Payer Compared|
|Number Insured||Universal Coverage||Millions remain uninsured or underinsured|
|Coverage||Coverage for all medically necessary services.||Insurers continue to strip-down policies and increase patients' co-payments and deductibles.|
|Cost||Redirect $350 billion in administrative waste to care; no net increase in health spending.||Increase health spending more than $1 trillion over 10 years.|
|Savings||$350 billion in administrative waste. Further systemic savings achieved through negotiated fee schedule with physicians, global budgeting of hospitals, bulk purchasing of pharmaceuticals, rational planning of capital expenditures, etc.||Add further layers of administrative bloat to our health system through the introduction of a regulator / broker "exchange."|
|Sustainability||Large scale cost controls (global budgeting, capital planning, etc.) ensure that benefits are sustainable over the long term.||Uncontrolled costs ensure that any gains in coverage are quickly erased as government is forced to hike spending or slash benefits.|
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"Won’t this raise my taxes?
Currently, about 60% of our health care system is financed by public money: federal and state taxes, property taxes and tax subsidies. These funds pay for Medicare, Medicaid, the VA, coverage for public employees (including police and teachers), elected officials, military personnel, etc. There are also hefty tax subsidies to employers to help pay for their employees’ health insurance. About 20% of health care is financed by all of us individually through out-of-pocket payments, such as co-pays, deductibles, the uninsured paying directly for care, people paying privately for premiums, etc. Private employers only pay 21% of health care costs. In all, it is a very "regressive" way to finance health care, in that the poor pay a much higher percentage of their income for health care than higher income individuals do.
A universal public system would be financed in the following way: The public funds already funneled to Medicare and Medicaid would be retained. The difference, or the gap between current public funding and what we would need for a universal health care system, would be financed by a payroll tax on employers (about 7%) and an income tax on individuals (about 2%). The payroll tax would replace all other employer expenses for employees’ health care, which would be eliminated. The income tax would take the place of all current insurance premiums, co-pays, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket payments. For the vast majority of people, a 2% income tax is less than what they now pay for insurance premiums and out-of-pocket payments such as co-pays and deductibles, particularly if a family member has a serious illness. It is also a fair and sustainable contribution.
Currently, 47 million people have no insurance and hundreds of thousands of people with insurance are bankrupted when they have an accident or illness. Employers who currently offer no health insurance would pay more, but those who currently offer coverage would, on average, pay less. For most large employers, a payroll tax in the 7% range would mean they would pay slightly less than they currently do (about 8.5%). No employer, moreover, would gain a competitive advantage because he had scrimped on employee health benefits. And health insurance would disappear from the bargaining table between employers and employees.
Of course, the biggest change would be that everyone would have the same comprehensive health coverage, including all medical, hospital, eye care, dental care, long-term care, and mental health services. Currently, many people and businesses are paying huge premiums for insurance so full of gaps like co-payments, deductibles and uncovered services that it would be almost worthless if they were to have a serious illness."