Poll after poll shows Americans want Single Payer health care, also known as Medicare for All. Doctors strongly prefer it too. Single Payer provides care for every American keeps costs down by having a large pool of individuals, It's essentially what the 35 countries that have better health care than the US are doing right. Progressive Democrats have been calling for Single Payer for years in the bill HR 676.
But Democratic and Republican leaders refuse to stand up for what doctors and patients want -- they want to continue the insurance based system that adds at least 31% to medical costs, makes more profit when you get less care, and comes with skyrocketing premiums since there's no public option. It's yet another industry whose interests and lobbyists prevent Americans from getting the improved care they want.
It's not rocket science. I'm with the people, not the insurance companies and their politician servants, on this one.
And here's a bonus:
How My Party Prevents Medicare-for-All
Ever since Michael Moore’s award winning 2007 hit documentary Sicko exposed the corrupt US health care system, Americans have understood that the for-profit insurance system that lobbyists and politicians have been forcing on us isn’t what we want.
Since 2009 -- when the Democratic party controlled the House, the Senate and the White House -- polls have overwhelmingly confirmed Americans want universal single-payer health care. That’s the cost-effective expansion of Medicare -- not-for-profit group insurance -- to include younger, healthier members so it covers every American affordably: Medicare for All.
How have Americans failed to obtain universal, not-for-profit health care - - when every other civilized country has it? Why are we instead -- under a new Democrat-sponsored law known as the Affordable Care Act or Obama Care -- now being required to pay insurance premiums to companies that profit most when they deny us the health care we need?
One 10 minute video of Senator Dianne Feinstein helps us unravel this mystery, and demonstrates how the senior Senator and her party leaders routinely prevent Americans from getting what we want. (I've set up the cue points properly, but it won't stop automatically after each point is made, so you'll want to pause it, read, and scroll down to start the next one.) Let’s break it down:
Early on the Senator says, “I looked at some statistics” and discovered the US was down at 36th place in health care quality:
You have to wonder -- did our Senator and health care expert really miss the most popular, acclaimed, award-winning documentary of 2007 that a billion other people saw, focussed on health care? Why isn’t she mentioning Sicko? Those statistics were beyond prominent in the movie. They were even in the trailer:
Maybe somehow Senator Feinstein never saw or heard of ‘Sicko’. But I doubt she’s as out of touch as she seems. She doesn’t want to mention that movie because she’s determined to escape its conclusion that for-profit insurance is bad for America. She has other plans.
Almost 7 minutes in, the Senator says: “Now I know people don’t like this plan, some of them. But the question comes, do we keep doing what we’re doing, spending more and more of our gross domestic product, and not really improving our over all performance, not improving our longevity, the way good, practical medicine should?”
We might be grateful the Senator is acknowledging these problems. But this is where an accountable Senator, a representative of California - would point out, “Polls show 59% of Americans want single-payer Medicare for All.” Instead she’s framing it the way lawyers and politicians so often do: Do you want the changes my party is proposing, or to stick with what we have now? The solution Americans overwhelmingly want is never introduced, discussed or debated by the senior Senator. When the whole Progressive Caucus introduces House bill 676 or Senator Bernie Sanders proposes single payer health care, Senator Feinstein declines to introduce, co-sponsor, or champion it. She wants for-profit health care to continue without debate -- so that’s what we’ve got.
Next the Senator raises a gravely serious issue but, unfortunately, dodges that too.
“I want to talk about one thing that isn’t in any bill that I’m very much worried about. ... We have about 9 very large for-profit medical insurance companies in the United States. As a product of an earlier action, they’re the only industry other than Major League Baseball that has an anti-trust exemption. And what they have been doing is merging and acquiring companies so that they can control markets. ... And once you have this market share and control, you can raise premiums with abandon. ... Can you imagine getting a notice that your insurance has gone up 40%? And then, to add insult to injury, they say, they may come back in the middle of the year and ask for another.”
To her credit, the Senator acknowledges that the CEO of the insurance company is paid $9 million a year, and that costs like those add more than 30% to our premiums and health care costs.
But then, in the final seconds of the video, the Senator proposes a potential solution that she believes would solve the problem and explains, “That, madame president, is not in the bill. These rate increases go into play May 1, so it is vital that we take some action before May 1 or all throughout the United States there are going to be substantial premium increases.”
Got it? The Affordable Health Care Act the Senator insists on promoting skips the “affordable” part -- it just keeps the “mandatory” and “for profit” parts instead. That’s what she got us instead of introducing, co-sponsoring or debating the Medicare for All we want.
Unfortunately this is the Senate’s and the senior Senator’s standard modus operandum.
Voting on the National Defense Authorization Act with unconstitutional provisions that allow indefinite detention without charges or a trial? The Senator votes Yes -- eager to introduce an Amendment later that might exempt US citizens - and hope that it passes. No accountable citizen would dream of voting for such an unconstitutional bill. None of my debate opponents in this race would either. Only someone who has been in a corrupt Washington bubble for years -- including 93 Senators led by Senator Feinstein.
Pushing through an unconstitutional FISA Amendments Act renewal in the Intelligence Committee (where Senator Feinstein is the Chair) that allows data collection on Americans without warrants, without oversight, and without limits? Let’s quietly renew it until 2017.