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.