Single payer health care reform proposals seek universal health coverage to replace the confused network of thousands of for-profit private health insurance plans and companies. Under such proposals, a publicly accountable single payer board would administer the payment of medical costs.
Every other industrialized nation on the planet manages to achieve universal coverage for all their residents. They do that without relying on for-profit companies that make obscenely large profits by denying care to the policy holders.
In such countries as the UK, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Germany, France, Israel, and even Cuba, nobody goes bankrupt, loses their life savings, or gets thrown out of their home because of medical bills.
Yet, in the United States in 2007, 62% of all bankruptcies were for medical costs, according to Business Week. The Business Week article says that the majority of these bankruptcies were in what we Americans call the “middle class,” people who had insurance and no doubt thought they were covered.
As there were 822,590 total personal bankruptcies in 2007, according to the Bankruptcy Law Network, that means there likely was one medical-cost-related bankruptcy every minute during 2007 in the USA. Bear in mind that was 2007, before the big meltdown! No doubt, the situation is much more dire today.
Compare that massive number to zero medical bankruptcies in the above-named countries—no elderly, no desperately ill, no children, no pensioners, no handicapped, no working people thrown out of their houses and into the street because of medical bills! Zip! Zero!
Meanwhile, medical bills thrust hundreds of thousands of Americans into penury every year.
To get some perspective on this, consider that the number of people killed in the 9/11 terrorist attack on the International Trade Center was 2,973 (not including the 19 terrorists). According to this Urban Institute study, the number of excess deaths in 2006 in the United States was 22,000. That means there were 7 times more victim deaths owing to lack of medical insurance in 2006 than victim deaths owing to the 9/11 terrorist attack!
As the American Folksinger Woody Guthrie said:
As through this world I wander
I meet lots of funny men.
Some’ll rob you with a six-gun
And some with a fountain pen.
Just think about that for a moment, will you?
Despite the fondest wishes of the American for-profit health care “stakeholders,” the subject of single payer Medicare-For-All has impudently refused to slink off into the shadows with its tail between its legs.
As a matter of fact, in certain sections of the United States, the “specter” of single payer yet haunts the land of the free, hardly looking like a humiliated whipped cur.
In California, a historic movement to cover every citizen in the state is gaining momentum.
California has an active campaign to enact single payer throughout that state, the California OneCare Campaign. This campaign to cover all Californians under a single-payer program is gaining traction. If you’re an American, you’ll hear more of this as time goes on and the general economic and specific health care crisis deepens.
This historic effort is of vital interest to every single American citizen, Californians and non Californians alike, and warrants all our attention and support.
The California OneCare campaign have put out one really great YouTube video which is starting to go viral, and I’d love it if you’d help spread this virus.
Let everyone you know see this video. That’s the power of the internet, folks. Little people like us can make a difference by standing together, and the internet magnifies our voices by adding them together.
This video is a bit long but absolutely riveting.
In fact, it’s hard to sit through this video and not be deeply moved. It covers all the basic issues.
WHAT YOU CAN DO!
We need to keep up the pressure. You can help by talking to everyone willing to hear you out. Even if you’re not in California, you’ve got lots at stake here. You can and should discuss this issue in your churches, synagogues, mosques, activist organizations, or anywhere else people gather who care about the human condition.
I found a lot of links, as well as the above video, on the website of Health Care For All-Washington, a coalition in Washington State (my state) fighting for state-wide and nation-wide single-payer legislation.
(For the information of those readers not in the United States, Washington State is different from the capital in Washington DC, which is actually about 2700 miles or about 4,345 kilometers away. Washington State is on the far northwest part of the country and shares a border with Canada.)
For those of you living in other parts of the USA, many states have similar coalitions in various stages of formation. You probably can find something similar where you live if you’re an American. Start at the site that the Physicians For A National Health Program (PNAC) maintains.
And here’s a link to their state chapters and allied organizations.
Okay, fellow Americans. The ball’s in our court! For the rest of the world’s citizens, we ordinary people in America ask for your best wishes and support.
TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK!
In fact, tell us all what you think.
Please share your opinions and ideas below. You don’t have to register, and you don’t have to agree with me, and you don’t have to be an American. But do post your opinion. We all benefit from an exchange of views.