MEDICARE FOR ALL
As Trump and the GOP race to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act that will leave 20+ million people uninsured, we must rally together to use this time to organize and fight back for healthcare and affordable prescription drugs as HUMAN RIGHTS. We are the only major country in the world to not provide healthcare as a RIGHT. 60% of Americans across Party Lines support a Single Payer system. The U.S. also spends around $9,000 per person on healthcare. That’s on average 2.5 times more than other major industrialized nations who actually provide universal healthcare for ALL, whereas we don’t. Most uninsured people are low-income families and felt even worse in communities of color.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) made history by expanding health insurance to 30 million Americans by requiring people to buy private health insurance policies and expanding Medicaid. However, it left insurance companies in charge of our healthcare system. It is also said that 30 million more would be uninsured in 2023, and tens of millions will remain UNDER insured.
It is wrong to privatize what should be basic human rights... This isn't a partisan issue, it is a moral issue that we are more than capable of taking care of, especially as the wealthiest nation on the planet.
SINGLE PAYER SYSTEM
We will be fighting for a Medicare for ALL "Single Payer" System to provide universal healthcare and affordable prescription drugs as human RIGHTS. It's time to cut out the for-profit private health insurance companies and stop the pharmaceutical companies from overcharging prescription drugs.
What Is Single Payer Healthcare? (according to healthcare-now.org Organizing for a National Single-Payer Healthcare System)
The United States is the only country in the developed world that does not guarantee access to basic health care for residents. Countries that guarantee health care as a human right do so through a “single-payer” system, which replaces the thousands of for-profit health insurance companies with a public, universal plan.
Does that sound impossible to win in the United States? It already exists – for seniors! Medicare is a public, universal plan that provides basic health coverage to those age 65 and older. Medicare costs less than private health insurance, provides better financial security, and is preferred by patients (Davis, 2012). Single-payer health care is often referred to as “Expanded & Improved Medicare for All.”
A single-payer system would save as much as $570 billion now wasted on administrative overhead and monopoly profits.
In Congressional District 34 of Los Angeles, 1 out every 5 people don't have health insurance, and those that do are facing increasing premiums and deductibles annually whether it be through Obamacare or Private Health Insurance.
Providing Medicare for ALL via Single Payer is what we should be aiming for and it is NOT a radical idea at all, especially since everyone else is doing it. How do those other countries pay for it? Well... They actually make the top 1% pay their fair share and don't have the bureaucracy of the Health Insurance industry.
We could pay for Medicare for ALL by increasing personal income taxes on top 5% income earners, an additional 2% tax on those who make more than $250,000 (2% of the population) in taxable income and a 6% premium on large billionaire multinational corporations. The rest of the funding needed would be through authorization of funds through the Federal Reserve. As stated, Single Payer would save $570 billion a year in reduced overhead, monopoly profits, and administrative costs from the bureaucracy we call the Health Insurance Industry. In addition, many Americans and small/medium sized businesses will be relieved in the long-run of the financial burden of providing and receiving healthcare coverage.
We would support and co-sponsor H.R. 676 - "Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act" which would provide comprehensive healthcare coverage including at least the following:
(1) Primary care and prevention.
(2) Approved dietary and nutritional therapies.
(3) Inpatient care.
(4) Outpatient care.
(5) Emergency care.
(6) Prescription drugs.
(7) Durable medical equipment.
(8) Long-term care.
(9) Palliative care.
(10) Mental health services.
(11) The full scope of dental services, services, including periodontics, oral surgery, and endodontics, but not including cosmetic dentistry.
(12) Substance abuse treatment services.
(13) Chiropractic services, not including electrical stimulation.
(14) Basic vision care and vision correction (other than laser vision correction for cosmetic purposes).
(15) Hearing services, including coverage of hearing aids.
(16) Podiatric care.
Some history on Medicare for All via Single Payer:
H.R. 676 was introduced back in 2003 which would have provided Medicare for All via Single Payer but never really got any traction. Democrats supported the measure. However, it was then brought up in 2009 when Obama became President and some Democrats who originally supported Medicare for All via Single Payer backed out. They supported the Public Option instead but some Conservative Democrats made clear that if there was a public option, they would filibuster the final bill and so it died.
In addition, the Democratic Party voted down a single payer system that would have provided Medicare for ALL last year as part of the Democratic Platform by a vote of 66-to-92. Even though it was made clear that single payer is supported by 81% of Democrats and 58% of U.S. residents and yet they still shut it down.
The fact is both the Democrats and Republicans are in the wrong when it came to our Healthcare System. The Republicans stripped down parts of the ACA that were favorable, and some Democrats as well backed off single payer and were against the Public Option. Both parties are backed and lobbied by the health insurance and pharmaceutical industry while putting the blame on one another, especially at the "costs", of universal healthcare coverage via single payer when we are more than capable of paying for it.
CONTROL PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICING
We will work to also control the monopolizing of profits by the big pharmaceutical companies by regulating the prices they charge for prescription drugs. We will also work to pass a bill that will allow us to purchase prescription drugs from other countries that are providing the same drugs by the same reputable companies from countries like Canada. 13 Democratic Senators just recently voted NO on lowering prescription drugs and importing them from Canada.
We would work on passing legislation equivalent to the Prescription Drug Affordability Act of 2015 which would:
- Allow the importation by individuals of prescription drugs from Canada and, potentially, other countries
- Establish certain conditions on the award of market exclusivity with respect to drugs. Specifically, a drug manufacturer's market exclusivity shall be terminated if the manufacturer commits, or fails to report, a drug-related violation such as misbranding, illegal marketing, or fraud.
- Establish restrictions on certain anticompetitive patent settlements known as "pay-for-delay" agreements, which effectively block generic drug competition.
- Allow the Federal Trade Commission to initiate proceedings to enforce these restrictions against any parties to such a settlement.
- Require drug manufacturers to provide drug rebates for drugs dispensed to low-income individuals.
We will work to expand the current $5.21 billion budget allocated to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for cancer research to $100 billion to hire more researchers, doctors, scientists, and build more cancer research facilities in order to find the cure to cancer. In addition, we would also cover the educational costs for students studying to become cancer researchers and scientists. Funding would be provided by progressive taxes on the wealthiest 2% of Americans and the Federal Reserve which derives its authority from Congress.
According to the NCI, in 2016, there were an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer that were diagnosed in the United States and 595,690 deaths from the disease. In addition, cancer is among the leading causes of death worldwide. In 2012, there were 14 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer-related deaths worldwide. The number of new cancer cases will rise to 22 million within the next two decades. Also, national expenditures for healthcare related treating cancer could reach $156 billion by 2020, that is why it's important we move towards a single payer system to not burden the cancer patients with the costs while they're fighting for their lives.
Instead of fighting of fighting endless wars that costs trillions of dollars, we should be putting that money into fighting cancer.