Now is the time for health care reform!

Universal healthcare is an absolute necessity in this country if we are going to continue to thrive as a nation!  This is probably the most important issue facing middle-class Americans (perhaps second to employment).     Our current system enriches the insurance companies, and serves to drive up health care costs, at the expense of the average working citizen who foots the bill for it all. 

Please! Get involved! Click this link and click the "Take Action" button to send a form letter to your legislators requesting that they refrain from repealing our current healthcare system without providing a better replacement.  Or, write personal correspondence to your Congressional representative and Senator, and let them know you support the concept of universal health care and that you expect them too as well.  (See the list of at the bottom of the page!)  Universal health care should not be an issue for rancorous partisan debate! It should be a source of national pride touted by every American politician as a fundamental benefit that they support! 

Health care may seem like someone else's problem;

until it becomes the biggest problem YOU have!

After you contact your legislators, please share the following links on your social media:

Act Now to Prevent Repeal of the Affordable Care Act

Real people NEED Obamacare. Don't play politics...

My dear friends from the Cancer Support Community, are already working with others in the cancer community to ensure patient voices are heard in the debate on ACA.   If you are at risk of losing healthcare coverage if ACA is repealed - and are willing to speak out - please email [email protected]

Start with what we already have.

The logical place to start the discussion on health care reform is to look at what we already have.  The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obama Care, is our starting point.  The following link purports to describe the benefits and shortcomings of the ACA:

ObamaCare Facts: Facts on the Affordable Care Act

The problem with the ACA is that it has also been called the Insurance Company Enrichment Act, even by those who supported it.  Without a public provider option (Medicare and Medicaid are examples already in place), consumers are left with "take it or leave it" choices in the types of coverage they can purchase.  The lack of a public option  allows insurance companies to "cherry pick" the markets in which they wish to participate.  This will inevitably lead to diminished coverage for those who need it, all in the name of profit.

The positive elements of the ACA, such as the prohibition of exclusion for a pre-existing condition need to be maintained, while an "insurance mandate" system needs to be put into place to fund it (Note: we already practice a form of this with homeowner's insurance in Florida-See Citizens Insurance.).  Failing that, a government sponsored public option needs to be implemented so that coverage is universally available at an affordable price for all.

How other developed nations manage universal health care

According to the blog, by Praveen Ghanta, “thirty-two of the thirty-three developed nations have universal health care, with the United States being the lone exception.” Mr. Ghanta has assembled a list of the countries on his blog, including when their systems were enacted, and how they pay for their coverage.  According to Mr. Ghanta, these payment systems are:

Single Payer: The government provides insurance for all residents (or citizens) and pays all health care expenses except for co-pays and coinsurance. Providers may be public, private, or a combination of both.

Two-Tier: The government provides or mandates catastrophic or minimum insurance coverage for all residents (or citizens), while allowing the purchase of additional voluntary insurance or fee-for service care when desired. In Singapore all residents receive a catastrophic policy from the government coupled with a health savings account that they use to pay for routine care. In other countries like Ireland and Israel, the government provides a core policy which the majority of the population supplement with private insurance.

Insurance Mandate: The government mandates that all citizens purchase insurance, whether from private, public, or non-profit insurers. In some cases the insurer list is quite restrictive, while in others a healthy private market for insurance is simply regulated and standardized by the government. In this kind of system insurers are barred from rejecting sick individuals, and individuals are required to purchase insurance, in order to prevent typical health care market failures from arising.

What should universal health care provide?

We believe that is reasonable for citizens of the United States to have medical care comparable to or better than other developed nations.  For example, the United Kingdom (arguably our closest ally and most comparable political/economic system) provides their citizens, "...With the exception of some charges, such as prescriptions, optical services and dental services, the NHS (National Health Service) in England remains free at the point of use for all UK residents." (Source:  National Health Service website)

We believe that universal health care in the United States should include (feel free to cut and paste this list in your email and other correspondence to your legislators):

  • Prenatal care, and all women's health issues (including contraception)
  • Child health issues including immunizations and vaccinations
  • Periodic wellness check-ups for all ages (including cancer screenings)
  • Palliative care for life-limiting illness and hospice care at the end-of-life
  • co-payments and deductibles should be waived on medications and treatments in the case of catastrophic illness

If you would like to offer additional suggestions or provide material that informs the discussion on this issue, please email  [email protected]

Single-Payer National Health Insurance

The organization,  Physicians for a National Health Program, promote a single payer system as the most effective way to fund universal health care.  According to their website:

Single-payer national health insurance is a system in which a single public or quasi-public agency organizes health financing, but delivery of care remains largely private.

Currently, the U.S. health care system is outrageously expensive, yet inadequate. Despite spending more than twice as much as the rest of the industrialized nations ($8,160 per capita), the United States performs poorly in comparison on major health indicators such as life expectancy, infant mortality and immunization rates. Moreover, the other advanced nations  (read more)