America's sick and it can't get up!
Health Care Lambs to the Slaughter, or GOP SMACKDOWN!

Health Insurance for Everyone? Imagine that!

By Brian Dann

Imagine for a moment that you, g-d forbid, get sick, break your leg, get a cold, whatever, and you have to go to the doctor.  Now imagine that you are unemployed, can’t afford cobra, and because of pre-existing conditions a private insurance company will not cover you.  What do you do?  You can go to a doctor or an emergency room and wait hours and hours, but if you can’t afford insurance how will you afford hospital fees, cat scans, prescription costs, and medical bills?  Would you even go?  Many don’t.  Now imagine that you have a job, a group health plan, and G-d forbid you or a family member comes down with a catastrophic illness.  You have medical costs that in one year exceed $100,000 and because the one specialist that could cure you is out of state, your insurance will only pay 60% or your costs.  After insurance you owe over $40,000 and you don’t have it.  You are forced into bankruptcy and lose your home to foreclosure, even though you have group medical insurance.  These scenarios happen every day to millions and millions of Americans because of the health care insurance system in this country.  It is estimated that over 48,000,000 Americans are with out health insurance, millions more are under-insured, and 22,000 Americans die every year because of lack of health insurance.  

Now imagine, G-d forbid, you or a family member gets sick.  Imagine you could choose to go to any privately owned medical practice or hospital you wish.  Imagine that you don’t have to worry about paying a single medical bill or even a co-pay for you or anyone in your family because your insurance pays it all.  Imagine that your insurance stays with you from job to job and even if you are unemployed or retired. Imagine that you have guaranteed health insurance coverage, that does not care about pre-existing conditions, from the day you are born until the day you pass on.   Now imagine that this insurance is provided to you by the government and is a guaranteed right as a U.S. citizen.  This is what is known as Single-Payer Health Insurance.  

Let’s clear something up right from the start.  Single-Payer Health Insurance is NOT socialized health care.  Socialized health care is when the hospitals and doctors offices are owned and run by the government.  The doctors and nurses are government employees.  Their pay checks come from the government.  This is what England has.  Not a single senator, congressman, or president is proposing any type of socialized health care system like England.  What is being proposed is a government run insurance program that would be a right of every American to have from birth to death. Doctors and hospitals would remain privately run entities just like they are now.  A doctor that has his or her own practice would still have his or her own practice. Nothing would change, except that now you would not have an insurance company telling you what doctor you have to go to if you want the bill to be covered to the maximum percent that they will cover it.  You will not be told by an HMO that you can only see certain doctors that are in there plan.  You will be completely unrestricted as to what doctors you can go see because the same insurance will apply to all of them.  And doctors will not be over run with paper work because they will no longer have to fight with multiple insurance companies to cover a procedure.  They will have only one insurance company to deal with which will mean less paper work, less administrative costs, and guaranteed coverage of procedures.    

In addition businesses will benefit because they will no longer have the high cost of providing insurance to there employees.  Small business will benefit because they will be able to get employees that may have not previously come to work for them due to the lack of a group health plan.  Life expectancy and infant mortality rates will rise because every American will be able to get health care when ever they need it regardless of there employment status or income.  Homeless people will not be turned away from hospitals because they have no money. There will be no Americans uninsured or under insured. 

How will this be paid for?  Well before I go into that lets put this into perspective.  Under the current system, if you have private health insurance for your family you could easily be spending $1000 a month for your premium.  Then there are the cost of co-pays, deductibles, and prescriptions.  If you don’t actually get sick and never visit a doctor you are putting out at least $12,000 a year.  Chances are though you will visit a doctor and someone will get sick so most likely the cost will far exceed $12,000 a year.  If you have a group plan your monthly premiums may be much less because you employer is picking up part of the tab, but the costs to visit the doctor and the deductibles and prescriptions will be just as much as the person with private insurance.  With a Single-Payer Health Insurance system, the cost of monthly premiums, co-pays, and deductibles that you are currently paying, will go down to zero.  What would replace it would be taxes.  Most likely a payroll tax, taxes to businesses, and taxes on certain items.  But these taxes would be far less then what we are currently putting out per person for monthly premiums, co-pays, and deductibles, not to mention the costs for actual procedures and doctor bills.  All of the medical services would be paid for 100% by Single-Payer Health Insurance.  The average American would save thousands of dollars a year. And that savings is money that could be used for other goods and services, further strengthening our economy.  

If you have not figured it out by now, I support Single-Payer Health Insurance.  We are the only industrialized nation that does not offer guaranteed health care to our citizens.  I support Single-Payer Health Insurance not because of any party affiliation, or because I lean left or right, or because of what some radio personality may be mouthing off about.  I support it because I did what I believe everyone in this country should do.  Stop listening to what the politicians are telling you, and stop listening to what the radio blabber mouths are spewing and research this.  Then decide for yourselves.  This is the single most important issue that affects every American.  It affects us personally because every American deserves to have decent health care available to them, and it affects us economically because our health care system is bankrupting this country.  People are loosing there homes and there life savings because they get sick.  Businesses are loosing profits because of the rising costs of health insurance that they have to provide to there employees.  There should not be 48 million Americans in this country uninsured.  There should not be 22,000 Americans dying each year because of lack of health insurance.  Unless you are filthy rich, most Americans are one catastrophic illness away from bankruptcy.   We all need to do something about this.



If you want to find out more about Single-Payer Health Insurance, check out these web sites: 

HealthCare Now 


Physicians For A National Health Program

Chicago Single Payer Action Network


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The comments to this entry are closed.