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What's At Stake When We Talk About Healthcare


What's At Stake When We Talk About Healthcare

Julie Chinitz

All across the country, citizens at town hall meetings are asking hard questions to the 217 Republicans like New York’s John Faso and Elise Stefanik who voted in Congress to repeal Obamacare.

People’s Action’s Julie Chinitz offers advice about how we can talk with our family, friends, neighbors and leaders about what’s at stake, and what we can do together to defend healthcare.


The ACA isn't that great either. An article titled What's at Stake When We Talk About Healthcare but never mentions Medicare For All, misses the point completely. What is at stake is our health and as long as our health care remains under the control of private health insurance we will remain a sick nation. The only solution is Medicare for All HR 676 because it is the only proposed solution that changes the system. Until the SYSTEM changes, private insurance remains in control of our health and we will remain sick from their profiteering.


It is time to throw the baby out with the bathwater. We must abort the current health-care system. Millions will lose their jobs in the insurance industry but that industry has to go. At least those people will have good health-care and being healthy will be able to function at whatever new job they find.

Both sides of Congress have to get together and fundamentally change America. It will take compromise on both sides but most insist on all or nothing. Can we have single payer and open borders?


Every other industrial nation provides healthcare for all of their citizens. Fifteen years ago the Institute of Medicine, the medical branch of the National Academy of Sciences, tasked with advising the Congress on medical matters, issued a report in which they said that the health care system in the United States is unsustainable in the 21st Century. Indeed, thirty years ago, when Hillary Clinton tried her hand at fixing the system, 34 million had neither commercial insurance, Medicaid, nor Medicare. There were a similar number of under-insured, whose co-pays and deductibles were so high that they could not use them. Both groups received no primary care and no preventive medicine. When they became ill, they waited until their problem became so bad, that in desperation they went to expensive emergency rooms where the law says they must be seen. The ERs had no alternative to shifting the cost to those who had insurance in the form of increased premiums, co-pays and deductibles. As these rose, more and more people and companies were priced out of the system to send more people to the ER to shift more costs. In 2010, when the Affordable Care Act was passed, the number uncovered had risen to about 48 million. Even with the ACA, there are still 28.5 million uninsured according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, and that dynamic of cost shifting persists.
So we need a national health program in the United States, but our system is such that we will not have it nationally until we have it in a state or two. In the 1930s, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said that the states are the laboratories of democracy.
20 years ago, the Single Payer Action Network of Ohio (SPANOhio.org) devised what is now called The Ohio Health Plan that is now before the Legislature. If we could get it enacted, everyone in the state would have comprehensive medical care, including prescription drugs; it would be publicly funded. The benefits are legion; it would improve the health of our citizens and be a boon to business in the state. Our challenge is to get it enacted.