Healthcare Reform in Jeopardy

House Democrats unveiled a draft health care reform bill Friday June 19   that would include a public health insurance option and would require all individuals to get health coverage. The bill would also require employers to provide health coverage for their employees or pay into a government fund. . To insure all Americans, the Obama administration has proposed a public plan option that’s sponsored by the government, and therefore has very low or almost nonexistent administrative costs, compared to other private plans. Administrative costs of private plans can be upwards of 20%, while a government plan like Medicare has administrative costs of 3%. A public plan doesn’t have the need to have brokers out selling; it wouldn’t have the need to have a lot of costs and profits, the way private plans would. So it has that advantage. It could operate by the same rules that all the other plans do. It could have payment rates that are very similar to other plans, or it could have payment rates that are the same as Medicare – this is the one idea that’s received the most attention. A public plan option will give people more choices. Importantly, it’s an option, people who like their private plans can keep them. Most importantly, the government run plan will insure all people regardless of their health status. A public plan will promote competition and offer Americans a choice. Recent polls show that 76% of Americans want a public plan option.

The opposition to a public plan like to use the symbol of all that is to be feared about government-run health care systems like those in Britain and Canada, long waiting lines to get medical care. We have lines, it’s just that we’ve just managed to hide our lines through clever statistical gimmickry. Britain and Canada have decided that no one will go without care, even if some must occasionally wait, while the U.S. has decided that most of those who can’t afford care simply won’t get it. If someone cannot afford care, their wait time is recorded as zero. A for-profit health care system means less care because it takes away from the bottom line. The time has come for all of us to demand affordable, safe, high quality healthcare. Contact you representative in Washington and demand a public plan option.

Keep the pressure on Congress. The skeptics, yes, the ones with good health insurance are claiming that it’s too expensive and most of the uninsured are illegals. If we do nothing, we will have poorer health and shorter life spans. Additionally, it costs U.S. taxpayers about $200 billion to provide healthcare to the uninsured which could easily fund health insurance for all. Health-insurance inflation will continue to outpace wages; the average cost of an employer-sponsored insurance plan for a family would reach $24,000 in 2016, an 84 percent increase from today. At least half of U.S households would need to spend more than 45 percent of their income to pay for insurance — while the coverage itself would be sparser. Health costs would further undermine the ability of U.S. manufacturers to compete internationally, threaten the stability of U.S. jobs, and deepen the burden on local, state, and federal budgets.

So, don’t abandon the fight-it is a war that cannot be lost!!

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