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Medicare for All's Time Has Come


#1

Medicare for All's Time Has Come

Bernie Sanders

Let's be clear. The American people are increasingly tired of a healthcare system that works for Wall Street investors, insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry—but ignores their needs.


#2

Demonic socialism for the rich is the disease.
Democratic socialism for the people is the cure.


#3

The US has an unusual health care system. It is extremely strong in providing specialized care but rather weak in providing routine care. It is by far the most prestigious system in the world but fails many people with ordinary illnesses that need treatment. I don’t think any country can come close to matching this countries great medical centers such as Harvard, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Penn, and Columbia-Cornell. These type of institutions produce the research that results in great advances in diagnosis and treatment. But when it comes health care delivery the US system is wanting. A system advocated by Sanders certainly seems like an improvement from what we have. The main problem with it is that it might not be politically possible to achieve. So people have to decide where they believe it is politically possible. For those who believe it is not politically possible then pursing it is a lost cause and it would be more productive to work other ways to improve the health care system. A Democrat running for Congress in New York State, Antonio Delgado, is arguing the best solution for universal health care is the public option. That might be something to consider although it also was not politically viable when the push was on for the ACA. Hillary Clinton’s proposed plan in the early 1990s for universal health care got nowhere. It seems like the US will be stuck with an inadequate health care system for quite some time.


#4

https://www.healthcare-now.org/ about single payer


#5

It’s time is coming, fast.


#6

I donated to Common Dreams because of this article.

We need Medicare For All. It’s literally a life-and-death issue.


#7

Progressives are making it politically possible. That’s the whole point of the movement, is to move our government closer to where the people are. The people already support Medicare For All. The data is 100% clear on that. There is no question that the people support single-payer. The question is how do we get our government to do it. Well, we hold their feet to the fire. We don’t give up and try the “public option” again, which is just as politically feasible as single-payer Medicare For All, just as “socialist” in the eyes of the right wing, except it doesn’t excite and enthuse people so it’s politically less prudent, and it leaves too many Americans behind so it’s just really bad policy.

The public option is not okay. There is absolutely no excuse for Democrats in general to avoid single-payer. It has majority support, and it has a lot more support than it had a few years ago, which means it’s only gaining steam.

Don’t be scared. Be smart. Medicare For All is practical, pragmatic, and is the only universal health care system that is truly universal and truly guarantees coverage.


#8

If Bernie is serious, he needs to pull S. 1804 and replace it with a true single payer Medicare for All bill that mirrors HR 676. But if he did that, he’d lose his co-sponsors who include “progressives” Kamala Harris, Corey Booker, Liz Warren, Karen Gillebrand etc. – who happen to be running for president and need progressive cliches to bolster their chances.

Real Single Payer NOW! Support HR 676!!!


#9

It’s perfectly obvious that Medicare for All is the WAY. It’s also perfectly clear that huge amounts of money are wasted on CEOs and people at the top. It’s becoming clear that those AI jobs are taking over more human job at the bottoms—so what to do.
We need to get rid of the expensive CEOs and use AI for the position instead of for taking away so many employees’ jobs.
With a CEO like WATSON, we could cut the huge salary, and the bonuses and the stock buy backs, because what’s WATSON going to buy? Watson will be so busy working, ( he can work 24/7 ) as AI, he won’t have time for affairs and insulting people. START economizing at the top, and there will be enough money for all to have great health insurance. : )
However, the wrong personality could be factored in so I suggest someone like SOLON from ancient Greece as the personality and ethical base, and adding MLK, for moral value, and Susan B. Anthony to maybe make WATSON a female. : )


#10

I’ll tell ya what, LET’S really “make America great” by FINALLY passing Medicare for all. We are 50 yrs behind the rest of the world.


#11

He needs to put legislation behind his rhetoric. S1804 will not do away with co-pays and will not provide heath care for everyone. It does not remove for profit from the system and it is a phase in which is sure to fail. If he is serious, he will replace S1804 with a companion bill to HR676.


#12

Here’s how to pay for Single Payer – AND increased Social Security benefits, stopping global warming, and many other leftist goals – without new deficits:

  1. End all of the many, endless, counter-productive, immoral wars (that murder & maim millions of innocents!)
  2. Cut military spending by at least 75%. (U.S. military spending would still be more than China’s or Russia’s.)
  3. Recover & reclaim the $21 Trillion (!) that the Pentagon has “misplaced” (which may have been stolen!)
  4. Close all U.S. bases in other people’s nations. (The U.S. would never allow foreign bases in the U.S.!)
  5. Eliminate nuclear weapons. (and their terrible dangers and exorbitant costs.)
  6. End all U.S. imperialism (and world domination and interference with others’ self-determination.)
  7. End U.S. capitalism (which harms 80%+ of common people and is harming Earth’s livable environment.)
  8. Establish eco-socialism and true, full democracy in the U.S. (instead of capitalistic oligarchy!)
  9. Tax the super-rich 1%ers and giant corporations progressively up to 90%. (like from 1940 to 1960.)
  10. Seize the Trillions of dollars that super-rich 1%ers & giant corporations have illegally hidden off-shore.
  11. Cap personal income and wealth at $1 Billion and $10 Billion (and tax the excess at 100%.) (Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said “You can have extreme wealth concentrated in a few hands, or you can have democracy, but you cannot have both.” The current concentration of wealth is so extreme that U.S. democracy is near-dead and has been almost totally replaced by unrepresentative government controlled by oligarchy & plutocracy!)
  12. Establish estate taxes on the super-rich 5% to 10% that tax estates progressively up to 90%.

Not only will these and similar actions pay for the above programs (without huge, new deficits) that the common people and the Earth urgently need – ONLY these actions will do so – and only these actions will close the inhumane, immoral, and democracy-destroying gap between the 1%ers, the giant corporations, the military-spy empire vs. the common people majority.

If anyone objects to these goals and methods, please say why – and please tell us YOUR goals and methods.


#13

LOL. I love your creative imagination.


#14

The ACA was passed without a single Republican vote. The public option was “not politically viable” because the Democratic Party’s funders didn’t want it. As long as those same funders remain, the public option or anything remotely beneficial to the overwhelming majority of Americans will never be “politically viable.”


#15

This is just great!!!


#16

Thanks, Tom.


#17

Tom, you are absolutely right. Since the Sanders movement has aroused so many, people who know better are afraid to consider Bernie the opportunist that he is. His rhetoric is sometimes exciting, but what he actually does is often disappointing. Such as crafting his S1804 - it is in no way a companion bill to HR676.


#18

Bernie Sanders does not support a publicly financed, privately delivered, nonprofit single payer healthcare monopsony. And he never will.

Improved Medicare for All means something. Don’t dilute it.
By Kay Tillow, Health Over Profit for Everyone.
“Some have suggested that the model single payer bill, HR 676, needs to be rewritten to conform to the flawed senate bill S. 1804. That would be a disastrous setback for the single payer movement. S. 1804 excludes long term care. S. 1804 maintains private, for-profit hospitals and nursing homes. S. 1804 includes some copayments for drugs. S. 1804 has no global budgeting of hospitals. S. 1804 adopts in Section 611 (b) a “value based payment” system that has been proven to discriminate10 against physicians who care for those with low incomes. S. 1804 has a public option11 and a Medicare buy-in12 that will become barriers to achieving single payer. S. 1804 needs to be improved to come up to the standards of HR 676.”

Don McCanne MD, PNHP, Let’s get it right: Medicare for All is a huge bargain.
"[A] new Medicare for All caucus has formed in the House of Representatives. It is rumored that they intend to rewrite HR 676, the Expanded & Improved Medicare for All Act.

"I’m much more worried about our friends than our enemies. A decade ago our friends kicked us out of the negotiations and brought us Obamacare. By now we could have had everyone covered at a cost we could afford, but instead we have tens of millions of uninsured and underinsured who are losing their choices in health care while our national health care expenditures increase at twice the rate of inflation, all the while perpetuating suffering, hardship, and premature death.

“Be sure that the Medicare for All Congressional Caucus continuously hears our voices loud and clear.”


#19

Medicare for all should be the easy part----I hope Sen Sanders continues the fight for community healthcare centers-----and I mean making healthcare centers the center of our communities-and by doing this you could also draw a lot of conservative support for a national health care system.


#20

I agree with Bernie, but the devil is in the details. One good way to help decrease costs is to make health care non profit. Many hospitals in America are private and non profit already and give superior care. I worked for one, Tucson Medical Center, and when I worked there in the late 1980s and early 1990s it was the best run hospital I could have ever dreamed of. The administration believed if they took good care of the staff and created a respectful professional collegial environment, which they did, that the staff would be freed up to provide the patient’s with the best care, and it worked amazingly well. We had an Employee Assistance Person whom we could utilize to help us solve any personal, family, or professional problem, even drug abuse and addiction. As long as the person on staff came forward and sought out assistance for treatment of drug abuse they would be assisted and not fired or prosecuted. Family problems, domestic violence, financial problems, any personal or professional problem could be addressed for free. Since staff had their needs met and all unit problems were addressed in mutual mandatory monthly staff meetings, we had few problems on our unit and any perceived problems were addressed and solved as they came up. Staff got points toward promotion by volunteering to help solve unit problems. Any inappropriate staff behavior towards other staff or patients was immediately, constructively, and fairly addressed in an adult and respectful manner. TMC expected its staff to act like professional adults and so everyone did act as adult professionals, bad behavior or disrespect was not tolerated, but addressed and dealt with.

Anyway, I believe that for profit health care leads to an emphasis on profits rather than on the health of the American people. This leads to corruption, and fake, reverse engineered research studies and deliberately bad medical research designed to create outcomes more related to increasing profits rather than helping patients get well. This is why unsafe drugs are getting on the market, and why natural cures which cannot be patented to make profits are not researched or used. There are all kinds of dirty tricks that drug companies, and insurance companies have used and continue to use that cause serious harm and even death to patients, all in the name of profits. The huge rise in health care costs are also tied more to profits than real increases in the cost of care. The for profit health care system is harming patients for money and harming the practice of medicine and nursing in this country as well. We must get rid of for profit health care and buy health care wholesale and cut out the middlemen in the insurance industry as they take 1/3 of all health care money, but do not provide any patient care with these funds.

Hospitals and doctor’s offices and provider’s offices would be paid for their cost to operate and doctors and nurses would get the same salaries as they do now. It will take some serious work and tweaking to get it right and it will be very chaotic at first until we get the bugs worked out, but we can have much better and safer medical care, for less cost, and improve medical and nursing practice, and save lives if we get it right. Today we are penny wise and pound foolish with health care, so instead of waiting until people are sick to access care, as happens far too often now, everyone should have good primary and preventive care so that we can prevent many bad outcomes and treat problems early when they are easier to treat and cure rather than waiting too long when the situation becomes dire and becomes incurable or leads to serious and very expensive complications or even death.

It will be extremely difficult to put the deeply entrenched for profit health care system out of business, millions of people will lose their jobs, but they can then be recycled to work as providers of care in the new system, or can retrain for other jobs. If we make this change, job retraining assistance should be provided for any displaced workers. We also must get the corruption out of the system, and have it run by doctors, and overseen by State Boards of Medicine and Nursing, not government officials. Each state can administer the program and collect data concerning the operating costs of hospitals and doctors and provider’s offices. Each year the costs accrued by providers and the numbers of patients seen and number of patient appointments provided and other data should be collected to help determine how the care providers and institutions are paid for their operating costs and needs. Any need for new equipment or building projects or capital expenses should be presented and approved or rejected as merited. However, Bernie’s plan cannot cut the payments to providers because Medicaid and Medicare pay too little as it is.

One good thing is with one system there will be no need for billing and no need to have Medicare send out paperwork on care provided to its patients. Since the providers of care will be investigated to check their needs for funding each year, and to ensure that these providers are properly credentialed and give quality care, there will be much less fraud, and waste and abuse of funds with one system. It will make prescription drug abuse less of a problem, as it will be impossible to doctor shop, and it will provide a massive patient database that can be used for medical research. Without profit as a motive, then providers can focus more on patient care and less on finances and filling out insurance forms and dealing with hundreds of different insurance systems. It is very time consuming for doctors to have to research which drugs and treatments are covered for each patient with many different insurances. With one system it will be much more efficient and cost effective. The savings will improve over time in a properly managed system. The devil is in the details and it is vital that the system be run efficiently, cost effectively and honestly. Perhaps we should polygraph administrators each year to ensure there is no corruption. There has to be a way to get honesty and proper management of at least our health care system in this country. We have so much corruption, fraud waste and abuse in America, it is disgusting and it must be stopped now. Every American citizen needs access to good quality health care. Rather than build a new branch of the military, a space force, we need to first take care of our citizens here on earth.

Access to health care must also include mental health as well as physical health as Americans are in dire need of everyday mental health care, especially care related to trauma, child abuse and domestic violence and dysfunctional family systems and substance abuse. Access to mental health care can decrease violence and drug abuse, decrease crime and the need for prisons, and help solve other problems as long as we can get the public to use these services. Right now, it is too expensive, and there are too many barriers to people getting mental health services. Mental health is not just about major mental illness, every American citizen could probably benefit by learning better coping skills and better interpersonal skills. Some of this could be taught in public schools as well. Anyway, we can improve the health and quality of life for every American if we can get a single payer, non profit system. It will be very hard to accomplish, but it will truly be worth the effort.