Health Care

It used to be you worked hard for a company, kept the job for life and had a pension plan you could count to still be there when you retired.
However now layoffs are common and if you lose your job and have to find another one your medical insurance typically takes 90 days to kick in.  Sure there is COBRA but anyone who has had to rely on that knows how incredibly expensive it is.

The Problems of Current Health Care

Individual insurance is expensive and employee insurance is not always an option.  Typically employers do not like to pay or contribute to healthcare.  Honestly who can blame them?  It is an incredible business expense.  Part time employees, contractors and many other types of employees are often not required by law to offer employee health care.  Without the force of law requiring it it is hard to justify the expense. Small businesses (under 50 people) may also be afraid to grow as they can avoid that expense unless they have too many employees, typically 50 but states may vary.
However employers also know that good benefits can be seen as an attractive employment inducement and that sick employees mean lost revenue.
For the poor, elderly and disabled (hopefully temporarily) there is Medicaid and Medicare. and finally Social Security

The Conservative Solution

The old way is good and we do not want government involved in anything so let businesses worry about it. Most conservatives also want to get rid of Medicare, Medciad and Social Security.
The advantage of this is lower government spending.
The disadvantage is higher cost of living, increased business costs, lower consumer spending (money tied up in Healthcare cant be used to buy goods and services) and a lower quality of life for middle class and low income Americans.
The Republican offerings are to deregulate the insurance companies so they can offer lower premiums by offering less coverage.  Get rid of requirements to cover preexisting conditions and insurance companies will make more money but those who get sick once may be stuck without insurance in the future or at least pay more and get less. Only women should have to pay for maternity care for example (so women have higher premiums in order to have healthy kids).

The Progressive Solution

A single payer solution (Government healthcare like Medicaid) expanded to cover all Americans.
The advantage of this approach is lower cost to run a business and a higher quality of life.
The disadvantage of this is higher taxes to pay for it and possibly some sacrifice with choice, especially in elective procedures or certain doctors.

My Look at Things

I used to be against Single Payer, even though when I served overseas I saw how good it can be, I also saw the higher taxes used in part to pay for it. As a Republican at the time I also favored less government and a free market.  However my opinion has changed, especially with the current plans offered by our politicians.  The fact is that what we have now leaves millions of Americans struggling, bushiness crippled, insurance and drug companies driving up medical costs (did you know Americans pay more than anyone else in the Western World?) and the stress and uncertainty of dealing with insurance companies who do their best to avoid paying and thus driving everyone's (Consumer and Medical people) costs up.  In 2012 I almost lost my leg and incurred over a hundred thousand dollar debt because the insurance company I had through work refused to pay since it was a "Preexisting Condition" which I incurred while on Active Duty twenty years earlier.
Now NO ONE wants to raise taxes, so how can Single Payer work?  Remember every other developed country in .the world has already figured this out.  Some in Washington (Check campaign donations and you will see they are bought and paid for by Insurance and Pharmaceutical Companies) say that it does not work because some of those people come to America for medical care.
However most people enjoy local health care and travel for American Medical treatment for elective procedures or very specialized ones where we have great doctors in that field.  That means it works but not in 100% of the cases.

Actual Proposed Single Payer Plans

  • Sentaors Sanders Solution The average person will pay 6.2% payroll tax towards covering this.  The insurance industry will try to scare you by saying that is a lot of money but they wont show what that really means to your pocket book. Someone making $40,000 a year would pay $2480 at that rate. At my last job I paid $80 a check on a $35k salary.  So that cost me $1920/year so $250 less than I would have paid under his single payer program. And with his plan there would be no deductibles! 
  • Cenk on Bernies plan
  • Rep. Conyers, John Jr. plan HR 676

Other Peoples Ideas

AMSA American Medical Students Association.
Physicians for a national Health Program
Medicare for All: National Nurses United
Common Dreams 'Medicare for all Only' way for Trump to keep campaign promise
The Heritage Foundation (Conservative organization evaluating the current system with suggestions for universal health care to fix things)
Health Care Now

State Solutions

Polls and Petitions

 It is a pretty tough road for a single state to do this but California has the wealthiest economy in the U.S. and this can be a big draw for local business.

If I were in Charge

Single payer makes sense from a Christian and Humanitarian point of view and other countries have proven it can work from an economic point of view as well.  Remember every country with it pays about half (oe even less) of what Americans do.
Still we want to avoid paying more if we can right?  I know I would like lower medical bills without higher taxes.  So how to do it?
Taxes will have to go up.  We already pay for Medicare on our income tax but that is designed to cover a small percentage of the population, not everyone. That is the bad news.
We save money however by not buying medical insurance (They will hate that!).  Look at your paycheck and see how much your paying for insurance.  Put that money into a medicare tax and your income stays the same but now you dont have to fight the insurance company if you get sick.  That is a win for me, how about you?
Now will that alone be enough to pay for things?  I am no expert but I bet yes, and here is why.
Insurance companies are making a profit.  Yes they raise rates every chance they get and complain about expenses while trying to avoid paying bills but no one is forcing a company to go into the insurance business.  If there was no money in it they would quit and they have not done that yet.
References: Consumer Affairs, Healthcareinsurance site, a less optimistic report by Forbes that still shows profits. So if a company can make a profit the government should be able to cover expenses with the same amount of money.

Even better though if we can lower medical expenses...
High Risk Pools are smaller groups of people with preexisting conditions or at high risk such as the elderly or even women who may get pregnant.  Insurance companies hate these people and would avoid covering them if they could. President Obama listened to their concerns and put in place the mandate where everyone had to buy insurance at a certain level or higher or pay a tax penalty. Few people liked it but it was a cost of getting the insurance companies on board with covering the High risk people.  Normal people they were happy to cover but like a casino they gamble and want the odds in their favor.
With Single Payer everyone is in the pool so the costs of high risk people are offset by the lower risk, younger and more healthy people.  This will lower overall medical costs.
Administrative costs are a huge expense, just ask your doctor the next time your there. Some insurance companies are so hard to deal with (Or avoid trying to pay) your doctor may not even accept them. Medicare has a lower administrative cost than insurance companies do, a lot of that being because they are not trying to tie people up in red tape to avoid paying out. Another rule insurance companies hated about Obama Care was a requirement to lower those administrative costs so they told Republicans to get rid of it.
Prescription Drug costs,  Insurance companies negotiate lower prices with drug companies because they are big customers. Medicaid is currently not allowed to do this due to the Republican agenda where they wanted to hurt Medicaid and help the insurance and drug companies.  Change that rule and drug costs will go down.  Remember Americans pay more than any other major country because of that rule.
But what about Medical Rationing? House Speaker Paul Ryan likes to throw out this scare tactic. What happens here is that most countries try to limit elective or unnecessary care to curb abuses by people who are pretending to be sick.  Sometimes they are trying to avoid work but often these are people addicted to pain killers seeking a free fix.  What he does not tell you is we already have this.  While some doctors may just give out pain medicine like candy there are laws against it.  Also insurance companies require you to prove you needed that medical care before they will pay, and charge you a deductible. So we have rationing an limits on medical care already, its just based on income.  I do think Medicaid should keep some restrictions and limits in place.
But what about Elective Treatment?  Good question.  My opinion is that unnecessary medical care such as cosmetic surgery to look better (Not counting fixing things like say scars for burn victims) can be set aside from government coverage.  We can allow people to buy insurance or use Health Savings Accounts to pay for those.  I expect most insurance companies wont want to gamble on millions of people paying a small premium for elective or supplemental care while hoping only a few actually use it.  But that would be their choice and HSA, especially if allowed to roll over from year to year could be a nice option, especially for the wealthy
I dont want my taxes paying for abortions or contraception  Ok, I dont happen to agree with you but I concede your point of view. So in states where that is legal use a HSA (Health Savings Account) for that kind of thing and if needed go to a private doctor.
But what about my Doctor?  Doctors really do not care where the money is coming from so insurance, HSA or Medicaid does not matter as long as the red tape (and cost) is not too much. Medicare and Medicaid already work with regular doctors so unless they try to pay less doctors will be fine with it. In fact they will likely make more money since they will have lower expenses. Specialists and elective type doctors may require supplemental money so you use an HSA and Medicaid to cover them. This wont be needed for routine care but I can see some doctors wanting to charge more because they feel they are better than the rest or the care is not medically necessary.


 A single payer system has been proven to work time and time again.  It will save money for consumers and business while promoting the overall quality of life for millions if not all Americans.
The HSA option gives extra options I don't believe other countries have as well.
One other thing to consider when listening to our politicians talking about Health Care. They have government paid health care and seem to like it. And when they talk about this is all about giving Americans choice, statements such as "People need to choose and maybe give up that new iphone and get health care instead" show just how out of touch with things they really are.

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