Take Action for Senate Single Payer Bill
The cause of universal healthcare is alive and well. Not only is the state of Vermont moving toward a single-payer system, but Vermont’s U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders has introduced a bill and is holding a hearing this week on the benefits other countries enjoy from a single-payer system that would benefit everyone except the profiteering middlemen who’ve rigged the current system.
Click here to ask your senators to cosponsor and support. This is a joint action with RootsAction.
“The United States is the only major nation in the industrialized world that does not guarantee healthcare as a right to its people,” Sanders said. “It is time that we bring about a fundamental transformation of the American healthcare system. It is time for us to end private, for-profit participation in delivering basic coverage.”
The bill, S. 1782, the American Health Security Act, would be a much more significant change to health coverage than those recently implemented. It would create a much simpler, less wasteful system of paying for healthcare, one that’s in fact been tested in every other industrialized nation in the world, every one of which buys more healthcare for less money than we do in the United States.
The current system remains so broken that change must come. The question is how slowly and how piecemeal, and with how much unnecessary suffering along the way.
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I’m ambivalent about this bill: it could be a step toward more universal coverage (though it conspicuously allows states to exclude, e.g., illegal immigrants) but seems to specify a mechanism in which each state designs its own system, which not only opens the door to significant chicanery in states whose governing bodies oppose the basic tenets espoused in the bill but potentially creates difficulties for patients and doctors dealing with traveling situations (i.e., having to deal with 50 different health-care-payment mechanisms may be a lot better than having to deal with over 1,000 at present but is a lot worse than having to deal with just 1: Medicare for All or something enough like it to be called by that name).
So lacking a convincing argument to the contrary I’m inclined to view it as another diversion from what we really need, even though it may be a significant improvement over what we currently have (which we got because we were too timid to demand what we actually need last time around).