Our elected representatives in Washington have departed the capital for their August recess, and they have chosen to not pass legislation reforming our nation’s healthcare system. There are many reasons for their lack of action, most of which are propagated by conservative Republican and Democratic obstructionists, who are receiving enormous amounts of lobbyist money and spreading irrational fear regarding a public option.
I believe the main reason, though, is the lack of basic moral and political courage. It takes courage to stand up to the multi-billion dollar insurance and pharmaceutical industries. It takes courage to admit that a law is not perfect, but should be enacted anyway. It takes courage to take a stand for the less fortunate amongst us.
I support HR 3200, but I do so only as a stepping stone to a single-payer system. My main concern about HR 3200 is that it doesn’t go far enough. By bowing to conservative and industry pressures, the bill will probably not achieve the desired end state wanted by the vast majority of Americans. The public has overwhelmingly voiced that they want a system that will provide quality healthcare without breaking a family’s finances.
By going to a single-payer system, much like the current Medicare system, we can provide higher quality healthcare to all Americans at a lower overall cost per person. This is mainly accomplished by reducing the insurance industry’s bureaucracy. The overhead for Medicare is about 4%, compared to about 40% for private insurers. By going to a single-payer system, we reduce the overhead by cutting out the insurance industry’s profit motive.
A number of other advantages of a single-payer system: no one is denied coverage for preexisting conditions; small businesses will prosper as they get out of the role of healthcare providers; and catastrophic treatment will not bankrupt families.
I strongly believe that our country funds its priorities. If we collectively believe, as I do individually, that our citizens are our most important national resource, we should absolutely, positively adopt a single-payer national healthcare system. It is cheaper; it is better; and it is the right thing to do.
Throughout our history, America has shown the courage to pass laws to correct many of society’s shortcomings. Our elected representatives must now show that they have the courage of their predecessors. It is far past time to fix our broken healthcare system.
Your brother, Doug