Healthcare for all
Healthcare is a human right
All Americans should have access to healthcare regardless of income. We should all be able to visit a doctor when we are sick, receive the treatment we need when we enter a hospital, and not lose our home or declare bankruptcy if our medical bills outpace our earnings.
More than 30 million Americans do not have health insurance, millions more are underinsured, and millions more would be unable to afford COBRA or ACA premiums upon losing their jobs. Even Americans who have health insurance through their employers are one serious illness away from losing their homes or going bankrupt because of high deductibles, high copayments, high coinsurance, unexpected out-of-network providers, annual and lifetime limits, and denied claims.
Employer-based health insurance is not a solution that benefits the American people. A serious illness will likely lead to job loss and the loss of employer-based health insurance anyway. Having health insurance through your employer is like gambling in a Vegas casino: you can always play when you are losing money, but you will be asked to leave before a very large payday is supposed to come your way. The house always wins. The premiums you paid all those years to your health insurance company will be in vain when you lose your job because of a serious illness.
Today Medicare and Medicaid do not cover all healthcare expenses
The sad reality is that Medicare and Medicaid do not cover all of the healthcare expenses of their participants either. Medicare requires our seniors and disabled such as my parents to pay premiums, copays, coinsurance, and deductibles, which drain the modest savings and Social Security checks of our seniors, and condemns them to poverty. Medicare does not even cover most dental, vision, hearing, and long-term care.
Medicaid can come to the aid of Americans who are poor, but many Americans who are in need do not qualify for Medicaid because of unreasonably low poverty thresholds designed to limit eligibility. In fact, many seniors who need long-term care are forced to spend down their way into poverty before qualifying for Medicaid. Even seniors who wade through an ocean of paperwork and become dual eligible could find healthcare providers illegally balance-billing them in their time of need.
I have two family members who suffered medical conditions that led to catastrophic medical bills, and I do not want any American family to go through what I went through.
Single-payer universal healthcare is the solution
I want to enact a single-payer universal healthcare system. The system will be publicly funded and privately serviced, and every American will carry a Federal Health Card. The federal government would be the single-payer to avoid another for-profit health insurance disaster for American families. A single-payer universal healthcare system would allow the government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to lower prescription drug prices and negotiate with healthcare service providers to lower the prices of healthcare services.
We will spend money on doctors, nurses, dentists, eldercare specialists, mental health specialists, and other healthcare professionals who provide services to people and improve lives. We will invest in the development of new drugs and technologies that cure disease and alleviate pain. Healthcare service providers and pharmaceutical companies will continue to be reasonably profitable. Only private health insurance companies, the middlemen of organized suffering, will disappear.