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Single-Payer

Medicare For All Rallies In 50 Cities

Why is the U.S. an outlier with regard to health care? What keeps the country from adopting a universal health care system, which most Americans have supported for many years now? And what exactly is Medicare for All? On the eve of scheduled marches and rallies in support of Medicare for All, led by various organizations such as the Sunrise Movement, Physicians for a National Health Program, the Democratic Socialists of America and concerned citizens throughout the country, the interview below with Peter S. Arno, a leading health expert, sheds light on some key questions about the state of health care in the United States.

Louisville And 20 Other Cities Plan March For Medicare For All, July 24

We will begin at 11 AM in the park in front of the Federal Building where we have permission from the city to use the site. We will have speakers (brief) and music then march and/or caravan to Breewayy, the square at 6th between Liberty and Jefferson. There we will place flowers in honor of Breonna Taylor, to connect with her profession as a healer, and to link the struggle for health care with the fight to end systemic racism. We will return to where we began and share refreshments and socialize. We will also be celebrating Medicare’s 56th birthday.  We hope you will join with us in demanding that Congress take action by passing a national single payer, improved Medicare for All plan.  Such a plan would end the tragic denial of care that causes so much suffering and unnecessary loss of life.

Medicare For All Reaches The Crossroads

In 2021 the U.S. healthcare crisis has, again, reached a boiling point. It was already simmering in 2019 when the number of uninsured grew to 33 million. Covid then triggered a job crisis that added anywhere from 15 to 27 million to the ranks of the uninsured. The still-growing job crisis has pushed the number of uninsured near or beyond the 49 million uninsured that existed prior to Obamacare, whose goal was “universal healthcare.” It’s no surprise then that Medicare For All emerged, pre-Covid, as the most popular policy during the Presidential Democratic primaries. But after the Democratic Party organized, once again, to crush Bernie Sanders’ campaign, Biden tried to push discourse away from Medicare For All with plans to “improve Obamacare” a goal as ambitious as “patching up the Hindenburg.”

A Better Health Care System?

Suzanne Gordon, a longtime health care reporter and author of Wounds of War: How the VA Delivers Health, Healing, and Hope to the Nation’s Veterans, says the VA “outperforms the private sector with one hand tied behind its back.”   The VA delivers health care to around nine million veterans each year at more than 1,200 sites across the country. In Wounds of War, Gordon described the VA as resembling “the health care systems of almost all other industrialized nations: a full-service health care system that both pays for and delivers all types of care to those it serves.” The VA’s health care providers are salaried, rather than paid by the service, meaning they can actually spend time with their patients, and its integrated system cares for the whole patient, from when they leave the military to end-of-life care. This makes the VA uniquely invested in keeping its patients well.

The Decade Of Transformation Is Here: Remaking Health Care

We've been writing for a while that the 2020's would be a decade when multiple crises would come to a head and we would have an opportunity for major transformations if we were organized to mobilize and demand them. The current coronavirus pandemic, economic collapse, and falling oil prices are three events that are creating such opportunities. Each crisis shows the glaring shortcomings of healthcare, economic and environmental policies that are failing the people and planet. Nobody could have predicted that the crises would happen so quickly, but here we are. Now, we must act on two levels. First, an immediate response to the pandemic that is rapidly infecting and hospitalizing people and could lead to more than one million deaths in the United States and to the global economic collapse triggered by the COVID-19 virus that is bringing the economy to a standstill with rapidly rising unemployment and resulting in a deep recession or even a depression.

Public Health Experts: Single-Payer Systems Coping With Coronavirus More Effectively Than For-Profit Model

As the coronavirus pandemic places extraordinary strain on national healthcare systems around the world, public health experts are making the case that countries with universal single-payer systems have thus far responded more efficiently and effectively to the outbreak than nations like the United States...

Medicare For All Would Cut Poverty By Over 20 Percent

The Census released its annual income, poverty, and health insurance statistics earlier this week. The summary report shows that 8 million of the nation’s 42.5 million poor people would not be poor if they did not have to pay medical out-of-pocket (MOOP) expenses like deductibles, copays, coinsurance, and self-payments. Medicare for All (M4A) virtually eliminates these kinds of payments, meaning that these 8 million people (18.8 percent of all poor people) would find themselves lifted over the poverty threshold if M4A were enacted. This headcount poverty measure actually understates how significant MOOP expenses are to poverty in this country. According to this same data, in 2018, the total poverty gap stood at $175.8 billion.

The Transformative Potential Of Single-Payer

Our highways are crumbling. Our trains, where they exist, are failing. Our sewer systems are disintegrating. So, too, is the health infrastructure of America. Under decades of for-profit domination, it has healed only some of us, while leaving the wounded rest behind. Those of us who are yet cared for know we’re just a snap of a thread we can’t see from falling and being lost. Our neighborhoods have been made unsafe; our water has been made poisonous; we are hostages, trapped in our own bodies, to the billing departments of American healthcare.

New CBO Report On Medicare For All, A Serious And Positive Contribution

The Congressional Budget Office issued a report on May 1, 2019 titled "Key Design Components and Considerations for Establishing a Single-Payer Health Care System." This report reviews a range of considerations as regards the design and implementation of a single- payer system as applied to the United States. The CBO report, as with all such analyses, needs to address two fundamental issues with respect to the establishment of a single-payer system for the U.S. These are: 1) Is a single-payer system capable of providing good-quality care to all U.S. residents; and 2) Is a single-payer system capable of significantly reducing overall U.S. health care costs while still delivering universal good-quality care? The report does not provide explicit answers, yes or no, to these questions. But it does present a framework for understanding how the U.S. could, in fact, establish a successful single-payer system.

We Desperately Need Medicare for All. These 10 Statistics Prove It.

Here’s a reminder of the disastrous state of American healthcare. It was a big week for Medicare for All. The House Rules Committee held its first-ever congressional hearing to discuss U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal's (D-Wash.) Medicare for All Act of 2019, and the Congressional Budget Office will release a report addressing many of the key questions about single-payer healthcare. This discussion couldn't come soon enough. Here's a statistical snapshot of the gravity of America's current healthcare crisis.

Single-Payer Advocate Ady Barkan Shines At Historic ‘Medicare For All’ Hearing

Above Photo: GABRIEL OLSEN VIA GETTY IMAGES. Ady Barkan (center) attends the Los Angeles Supports a Dream Act Now! protest  with actress

Single-Payer Advocates Worry ‘Medicare For All’ Hearing Could Be A ‘Farce’

WASHINGTON ― It’s supposed to be the first congressional hearing ever on “Medicare for All” ― a huge win for single-payer advocates and progressives in Congress. But next week, when the House Rules Committee holds that landmark hearing on the expansive health care legislation, Medicare for All advocates may actually be getting screwed. There are four people testifying for Democrats: Sara Collins from the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund; Dr. Doris Browne, the former president of the National Medical Association; Dr. Farzon Nahvi, an emergency physician and professor in New York City; and Dean Baker, the co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

How My Republican Parents Convinced Me The U.S. Needs Single-Payer Healthcare

Twice, my Republican mother has almost died from a lack of affordable health care, but she still hates the idea of a single-payer system. The first time she almost died she was at age 21. Her appendix ruptured because she’d put off seeing a doctor until she could get insurance from, ironically, the insurance company she’d just started working for because she wanted health insurance. (Dad didn’t get insurance through his employer at the time.) The health insurance didn’t kick in for three months, so she put off going to the doctor until her appendix had ruptured and sprayed infected tissue everywhere.

Act Now To Protect Everyone’s Health In New Bill

The reports we have are that Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal is planning to introduce her new Medicare for All legislation in early February. We still have not seen a copy of the text - now her office says they will not release it ahead of time - but many HOPE members have been in touch with her office and have met with her staff. It seems the bill is better than the senate version but weaker than our gold standard, the former HR 676, in critical ways. This means we have a short time to act to urge Congresswoman Jayapal to strengthen the bill so that everyone's health is protected.

Importance Of Aligning House And Senate Single-Payer Bills The Right Way

Single-payer reform is in the news — and in the U.S. House and Senate. One hundred twenty-three Congresspeople have signed on as co-sponsors of H.R. 676, the single-payer legislation in House of Representatives, and 16 Senators have formally endorsed S.1804, the Senate version. (Disclosure: H.R. 676 was closely modeled on the Physicians for a National Health Program reform proposal published in JAMA, for which we served as lead authors). While both bills would cover all Americans under a single, tax-funded insurance program, they prescribe different provider payment strategies. The Senate version largely adopts Medicare’s current payment mechanisms...
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