HEALTHCARE FOR ALL CITIZENS
I support ensuring that quality healthcare is provided to all citizens, and the most efficient and cost-effective way to do this is through some form of a single payer-style program. This is not some ‘pie in the sky’ ideal, but is a common sense, fiscally and morally responsible solution to the increasingly unsustainable rise in health care costs that the people of Ohio cannot continue to endure.
Prior to 1973, healthcare was run on a non-profit basis. It was in that year that Richard Nixon signed the HMO act, changing healthcare in the U.S. forever. The result has been over 40 years of rising healthcare costs, and an accelerating loss of freedom for Americans who are now increasingly tied to an employer-provided health insurance system. This has resulted in an unacceptable and job-killing burden for small and independent businesses, as well as all-too-often inhibiting people from pursuing the potential and needs of their lives as entrepreneurs, inventors, artists, caretakers, et al.
This is a loss of freedom. The freedom to choose a path that may not include employment in a large corporation, or a government job that can provide affordable healthcare insurance. At the same time, we find that many of our friends and family, even though they may have maintained employment that provided them and their families with health insurance, find themselves in bankruptcy due to an illness.
And now in the midst of the Covid pandemic, we’re seeing how tying the availability of healthcare to one’s employment is an untenable system, as millions of Americans who are experiencing job loss due to the economic effects of the pandemic find themselves losing their healthcare coverage along with it. NO ONE should lose their healthcare during a pandemic. And a system that makes healthcare even *less* available and affordable for people during a public health crisis is *not* an effectively working one.
This is unacceptable. Health care should be treated as right and an essential need, not just another consumer product we can pick and choose whether we want. Currently the U.S. is the ONLY modern industrialized country in the entire world to not offer healthcare to all of its citizens. Our nation has some of the worst healthcare results with correspondingly the highest costs, so it’s fair to say that the current system is broken. The only truly effective solution is to take the superfluous profit motive out of the equation, like most of the other countries in the world have. We can do better, and we must.
I also believe in the power of the states to show the federal government where our values lie. That is why I support HB292 and Single-Payer Action Network (SPAN) Ohio, so that Ohio can help lead the way in changing our country for the better. The cost benefits of such a universal coverage program, to say nothing of the human and social rewards as a result of its implementation, have been detailed in length in this exhaustively researched study on the Ohio Economic Impact of Single-Payer Care.
This ‘Medicare For All’ town hall, held back in 2018 in our nation’s Capitol building and viewed live online by well over 1 million people, also goes into great detail about how such a program would serve not only the human needs and well-being of our citizens, but the financial needs of our state’s businesses.