The U.S. is virtually alone among rich modern democracies in failing to provide decent health care for all of its people. The U.S. ranks low among these nations in many indicators of health (life expectancy, infant mortality, deaths from preventable diseases, etc.).
A major reason is that while other nations regard health care as a BASIC HUMAN RIGHT, the U.S. pretends that it is a COMMERCIAL COMMODITY for private profit.
The real remedy — UNIVERSAL SINGLE-PAYER health care — is explained in the “Health Care” part of my blog, www.parallaxperspectives.org. I encourage you to read several posts about it.
Please publicize the truth about it. Let’s debunk the myths and lies about single-payer. Several good organizations work for Universal Single-Payer. The information below came from Public Citizen, the excellent non-profit organization Ralph Nader founded in 1971. (I’ve edited the wording only a little bit.) See www.citizen.org
MYTH: Single-payer is government run health care:
- That would be the Veterans Administration. Or the British health care system. Where the government pays for the doctors and hospitals.
- Under single-payer, you get a health care card and you can go to any doctor or hospital in the United States.
- Doctors are not employees of the government.
- Hospitals remain in private hands.
- You get free choice of doctor and hospital.
MYTH: Single-payer will lead to rationing, like in Canada:
- Right now in the United States, the private health insurance companies ration care.
- If you don’t have health insurance, you don’t get health care. More than 30 million Americans currently lack health insurance.
- That’s why 100 Americans die every day from lack of health care.
- Zero people die every day in Canada due to lack of health insurance.
- There are some problems in the Canadian system, but most of what you hear about long lines is health insurance industry propaganda.
MYTH: Costs will skyrocket under single-payer:
- Single-payer is the only health care reform that will save enough money to insure everyone.
- By eliminating the health insurance industry, we save $500 billion a year or more in administrative costs and profits.
- We then use that money to insure those who lack insurance and fully cover those who are under-insured.
- Yes, more people will be seeking health care because they will now have insurance. But they will be taking care of medical problems early, thus preventing more costly treatment later.
MYTH: Drugs will be more difficult to get under single-payer:
- The drug industry would have you believe that there will be less research and development under a single-payer system. In fact, much medial research is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health. Under single-payer, this would grow.
- Drugs will be cheaper under single-payer. When all patients are under one system, the payer wields a lot of clout. For example, the Veterans Administration gets a 40% discount on drugs because of its buying power.
- The single-payer buying power is the main reason why other countries’ drug prices are lower than ours.
MYTH: Single-payer will cover less than the insurance I have now:
- For most Americans, single-payer will be a vast improvement.
- All medically necessary care would be funded through the single-payer, including doctor visits, hospital care, prescriptions, mental health services, nursing home care, rehab, home care, eye care, and dental care.
- An enlightened single-payer will also result in sharp increases in public health funding to prevent disease.
- No more bills. No more deductibles. No more co-pays.
MYTH: Single-payer will cost me more than I’m paying now for private health insurance:
- The vast majority of Americans will pay about the same or less than they are paying now.
- Instead of paying premiums to a private health insurance company, most of us will pay a similar or smaller amount in taxes.
- So, right now, if you are paying $8,000 in premiums for a family of four with a $4,000 deductible, your yearly liability is at least $12,000. You will probably pay less than that in taxes to fund a universal single-payer. There will be no deductible.
- And you can go to see any doctor or check into any hospital in the United States.
Please share this information with other people!
Connect with www.healthcareforallwa.org and other advocates for Universal Single-Payer.