Green Party: The solution to Obamacare's defects is Medicare For All
WASHINGTON, DC -- The solution to problems with the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") is a "Medicare For All" Single-Payer universal health-care system, said Green Party leaders and candidates.
"Obamacare offers a set of modest positive reforms and a substantial expansion of Medicaid which are thoroughly offset by numerous defects and continued deficiencies that can be readily remedied by legislation that expands Medicare to all Americans," said John Battista, MD, former Green candidate for state representative in Connecticut and co-author of his state's single-payer legislation in 1999 (the Connecticut Health Care Security Act). "The Green Party has advocated a Single-Payer program since the party began."
Single-Payer covers everyone regardless of income, ability to pay, age, or prior medical condition. It drastically lowers the price of medical treatment, including prescription drugs, allows full choice of health-care provider, and replaces the high overhead of for-profit insurance companies (up to 30%) with the low overhead (3%) of Medicare administration.
Green Party leaders rejected the Republican alternatives to the Affordable Care Act, which are based on the same premises as the ACA, and called Republican denunciations of the ACA politically motivated and irrelevant to the real need for health-care reform.
Greens noted that the individual mandate was introduced by the conservative pro-corporate Heritage Foundation, enacted in Massachusetts by Gov. Mitt Romney, and promoted by Republicans as a free-market reform -- until Democrats made it the basis of the ACA in 2009. The Green Party opposes the legal requirement that all Americans purchase private health insurance, calling the individual mandate a direct public subsidy to enrich insurance companies.
Greens listed the ways a Single-Payer program can fix Obamacare:
• Obamacare Problem: Online registration in insurance exchanges doesn't work.
• Single-Payer Solution: No online registration. Everyone receives a Medicare card.
• Obamacare Problem: Consumers complain about losing their preferred physicians, after many are forced to surrender previous health plans -- despite earlier assurances from President Obama that previous plans could be kept.
• Single-Payer Solution: Everyone gets full choice of physician and hospital.
• Obamacare Problem: 26 states controlled by Republicans are refusing to participate in Medicaid expansion under the new law, which leaves millions of poor people ineligible for subsidized health insurance. (New York Times, Oct. 3, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/03/health/millions-of-poor-are-left-uncovered-by-health-law.html)
• Single-Payer Solution: All Americans are insured, regardless of income or state residence.
• Obamacare Problem: Decisions about medical treatment are often made by faceless insurance company bureaucrats.
• Single-Payer Solution: Decisions about medical treatment are made by patients and their physicians. (http://www.pnhp.org/facts/single-payer-faq#run_system)
• Obamacare Problem: The individual mandate requires people who can't afford high-price policies to purchase low-quality policies that offer inadequate health coverage.
• Single-Payer Solution: Everyone gets high-quality coverage at a cost that's far lower than private health insurance.
• Obamacare Problem: Medical costs continue to skyrocket. Americans still go bankrupt from medical emergencies.
• Single-Payer Solution: Medical costs are negotiated and reduced. No one goes bankrupt because of a medical emergency.
• Obamacare Problem: Health care remains a commodity for the insurance and health-care industries. For-profit insurance company execs boost profits by padding medical costs up to 30% for administrative overhead and by denying or restricting treatment.
• Single-Payer Solution: Health care is a right. Sorry, insurance company execs.
• Obamacare Problem: 31 million people still go without health insurance.
• Single-Payer Solution: Everybody in, nobody out.
• Obamacare Problem: Physicians still have to fill out lots of paperwork.
• Single-Payer Solution: Minimal paperwork -- one of many reasons a majority of physicians favor Single-Payer. "We want to practice healing, not paperwork."
• Obamacare Problem: Employers endure the expensive financial burden of providing employee health benefits.
• Single-Payer Solution: Employers are relieved of the health-benefit burden, which stimulates the U.S. economy.
• Obamacare Problem: Politicians say "We have to keep health insurance companies in business! We can't have Single-Payer, because that would be socialism!"
• Single-Payer Solution: Citizens tell politicians "We're not buying it any more."
"Why the Silence from the Sponsors of the Superior Full Medicare for All?"
By Ralph Nader, November 1, 2013
"Margaret Flowers: Web failures just a symptom of Obamacare's illness"
Interview: Talk Nation Radio, October 30, 2013
"Obamacare VS Single Payer – Top 10 Things the ACA Gave Us VS the Top 10 We Gave Up"
By Bruce A. Dixon, Black Agenda Report, October 16, 2013
"Obamacare: The Biggest Insurance Scam in History"
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, Truthout, October 30, 2013
"The ACA is the Wrong Direction, Time for Medicare for All"
Margaret Flowers, Secretary of Health in the Green Shadow Cabinet, October 21, 2013
"Throw out Obamacare? Yes, and give us a single-payer system."
By Paul Whitefield, The Los Angeles Times, October 29, 2013
"Single-Payer Prescription for What Ails Obamacare"
By Amy Goodman, October 11, 2013
Physicians for a National Health Program
Single Payer Action
Single Payer Now: Universal Health Insurance for California SB 810
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