The Affordable Care Act was an improvement in a totally broken national health care system. Among other benefits, it increased access for millions through the expanded Medicaid program. It prevented the denial of coverage due to pre-existing medical conditions. However, it was a “band-aid”. We need a real solution. We need universal health care NOW.
Almost 30 million Americans still have no health care coverage. Many millions more live with the risk of bankruptcy due to deductibles, coinsurance requirements and copayments. Thousands of American businesses who admirably help pay for employee health coverage are made uncompetitive relative to their overseas counterparts. Many thousands of churches, school districts and county governments struggle to maintain employee health coverage and balance their budgets as their premiums increase unpredictably and far exceeding the cost-of-living. The solution to all of these problems is SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE.
The solution to all of these problems is the United States coming together, Democrat-Republican-other, youth-aged and in-between, black-white-brown-yellow, rich-poor, gay-straight-trans-bisexual, legal citizen-illegal immigrant, male and female standing up in solidarity to DEMAND SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE NOW! In 22 countries with health insurance for all, people live longer than people in the U.S. and spend ½ the amount that we do. Indeed, 1/3 of our premium dollars are wasted on private insurers’ billing, marketing and salaries.
While the corporate masters of Congress prevent a federal solution, New Yorkers already have a single payer bill (the Gottfried-Perkins’ “N.Y. Health Act”) awaiting approval in our state legislature. In 2017 the New York Assembly passed the Act by a margin of 2 to 1. Now we need the NY State Senate to do the same. Some naysayers and concerned citizens ask, “How will this Single Payer Health Care system be funded, especially since it includes prescription drugs, dental, vision and hearing care coverage? The answer is – a graduated assessment on payroll and non-payroll taxable income. It will be based on “ability to pay”. 80% of the premiums will be covered by employers. All of the funds will be placed in a NY Health Trust Fund, administered by the NYS Health Department, overseen by consumers and providers.
Another logically asked question is – what organizations support the NY Health Act. The list continues to lengthen, but already includes the following – NYS AFL-CIO, NYS Nurses Assoc., Citizen Action, United Federation of Teachers, League of Women Voters, NYS Academy of Family Physicians, Public Citizen and over 100 NYS legislators. There is, of course, strong resistance to the passage of the Act among well-lobbied legislators. The lobbyists have the greater access to power. However, WE are the ultimate power. WE determine who represents us. WE need to step up. WE need to speak up. WE need to hold the feet of our representatives to the fire of public outcry for change. WE need to reject their complicit, self-serving actions. WE need to question their authority and motives. Health care is a human right, not a commodity for those who can afford to pay. People are the Power. Let’s unite and wield it!