By Katie Robbins –
On Tuesday, the Health Care for America Now (HCAN) coalition performed a “citizen’s arrest” of the insurance industry at a meeting of Americas Health Insurance Plans, the private health insurance industry’s leading lobbying group, in Washington, DC.
Thousands came out to support this action, and rightfully so. There is no other place we need to be than in the streets in protest of the egregious crimes of the insurance companies. Advocates of Medicare for All agree that the private insurance industry must be held accountable for its crimes, and that it should be put out of business…permanently.
Behind the progressive facade, HCAN ultimately supports the Democrat’s bill, which would mandate that everyone purchase insurance from the very same companies they call evil.
Howard Dean stated at the HCAN event, “This is a vote about one thing: are you for the insurance companies or are you for the American people?” This is absolutely true, but Dean’s language is misleading. He implies that voting for the bill will help protect the American people.
In reality, both the House and Senate bills have at their core a regressive and harmful mandate that will force people to purchase insurance plans that will not guarantee they get health care when they need it or that the care will be affordable. It will keep the insurance company bureaucrats in control, handing them hundreds of billions of public dollars to subsidize these utterly inadequate insurance plans. These plans are more akin to an umbrella that melts in the rain. Moreover, the proposed legislation that HCAN is fighting for will continue to drive up health costs, raise premiums, and send people, even those with insurance, into bankruptcy.
The health care crisis will not end, and this bill will not bring us closer to a real solution.
Some at the rally said this bill will get our foot in the door; this is the best health reform we can get right now, but Healthcare-NOW!, the campaign for national single-payer health insurance, remains committed to implementing a real solution to the health care crisis. To get there, we cannot compromise on our principles. We must start the conversation by acknowledging the right to health care for all people, and when we do that, single-payer will be on the table.
As advocates, we must continue pushing for a system that guarantees high quality health care to everyone. We know we can do this at less cost than our current system and less cost to the American people. We will continue fighting alongside the doctors, nurses, and committed activists that support a real solution that puts the health of our people before the profits of insurance companies.
When this current reform fails to pass, or fails to solve our health care crisis, we will be ready with the solution.
The time to fight for what is right is always right now. Join us as we build an unstoppable movement for improved Medicare for all.