Medicare for All

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation report, “between 1999 and 2009, health insurance premiums rose 131 percent, a much faster rate of increase than general inflation (28 percent) or workers’ earnings (38 percent).” The report also had this shocking statistic about the amount spent by employers on group health insurance policies: “The amount grew over twenty-fold from $25 billion in 1960 to $545 billion in 2008.”

While many citizens of the U.S. still cling to an outdated belief that somehow capitalism equals for-profit healthcare, many more are beginning to realize that healthcare should not be something that a few companies make billions in profit on; but instead, it should be a fundamental human right.

A 2009 report from Health Care for America Now shows: Profits at 10 of the country’s largest publicly traded health insurance companies in 2007 rose 428 percent from 2000 to 2007, from $2.4 billion to $12.9 billion, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings. In 2007 alone the chief executive officers at these companies collected combined total compensation of $118.6 million - an average of $11.9 million each. That is 468 times more than the average American worker made that year. This was just one of the glaring disparities that former President Obama sought to fight with the Affordable Care Act. While that legislation was far from perfect, it provided a strong foundation to build upon. It is too bad that the Tea Party has warped the GOP into a party that will not even acknowledge that the ACA was their brainchild, the main reason they have no other plan is because the ACA was their plan.

So, the average American continues to suffer from partisan fights, premium increases (due, directly, to the Marco Rubio sponsored, and GOP supported blow up of the risk corridors), and profiteers controlling our medical care and choices for our best health. Not only are individuals struggling, employers are struggling. Most small business owners that are against the ACA – or Obamacare as the right enjoys calling it – only fight because they struggle to afford the premiums, they are not heartless people that do not want to provide insurance to their employees. The costs can sometimes be so prohibitive that they seem insurmountable and are even hurting our ability to compete with innovation and technology. But in every other developed country (and many that are considered below that threshold, like Costa Rica), entrepreneurs don’t have to take such risks. And the result is that the United States is being hammered in the area of innovation by countries that have stronger social safety nets. The Economist magazine recently published a study sponsored by Cisco Systems titled “A New Ranking of the World’s Most Innovative Countries.”

During the period the study was conducted, every country in the top 20, including number 19, Slovenia, had a national health care system that covered every citizen regardless of employment - except the United States.

The study noted, “The high rank for three small wealthy European states reflects the fact that their economic, social and political conditions favor innovation.... The slippage of the U.S. confirms the gradual erosion in recent years of that country’s traditional position as the world’s technological leader— a trend we expect to continue.”

Praveen Ghanta, a Louisiana resident and a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who runs the True Cost blog, notes that of the 33 acknowledged “developed” nations in the world, 32 of them have universal health care for all their citizens. The single exception is the United States.

Many have posed that a single-payer system could provide healthcare to all, at a fraction of the cost Americans are paying for premiums annually.

The typical for-profit health insurance corporation devotes 31% of its revenue toward overhead stuff like paperwork, employees, and CEO salaries, however a single-payer system like Medicare - only has a 3% overhead. Due to the organizational system it was created to be run by the state, it's answerable to the people, and it doesn't pay its CEO the hundreds of millions of dollars that leeches like Stephen J. Hemsley of United Healthcare essentially steal from their customers.

For some insane reason - we've decided it's better to turn CEOs of health insurance corporations into multimillionaires and billionaires - rather than using that money to hire more doctors, hire more nurses - or build more community clinics. Most Americans do not know this, but as the former CEO of United Healthcare - Bill McGuire made $1.6 billion.

For some insane reason - we've decided billions are better spent on administrative costs to hire armies of number-crunchers to scour medical records and deny you and me, people, whoever it may be, with pre-existing conditions life-saving medical treatment.

A health care system should not exist to turn people into millionaires and billionaires like it does here in the United States.
It should exist to make sure that EVERYONE has access to basic health care - which is considered a human right in every other developed country in the world.

It exists so that we're all healthier - so that we can avoid disease outbreaks - so that we can all be more productive - and all raise better families - and all be alive, healthy, and available to make this nation a better place.

A single-payer system is the best way to achieve this, as we've seen in the examples of countries all over the world - and we'd be insane if we didn't all start working to put one in place in America right now.

As the slogan at Progressive Democrats of America – goes, "Healthcare, not Warfare".

If the United States government put the same amount of money as Trump has budgeted to increase DOD spending by, we would be able to create the Medicare for All platform and every citizen in this great nation would NEVER have to worry about housing or healthcare, bankruptcy or life.

The GOP and “Freedom Caucus”, or TEA PARTY as they once called themselves, still want to make this a FREEDOM issue. But what is their idea of freedom? As Ryan put it in a recent tweet, "Freedom is the ability to buy what you want to fit what you need. Obamacare is Washington telling you what to buy regardless of your needs." Which is really weird, because having the ability to buy anything you want isn't generally called "freedom" - it's usually referred to as "wealth".

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...


  1. And interestingly, the states most resistant to the ACA and/or a single payer system are also the states with the highest level of poverty and the least effective health care systems.

    1. Weird, isn't it? California has a bill before the state legislature for a Medicaid expansion such as this. Wouldn't it be cool if it worked out?

  2. The wealthy don't care about the health of the people... Actually, that's not true. Unhealthy people are more compliant, so providing healthcare isn't in their best interests.


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