Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Medicare for All!

Obamacare has not been successful in helping all working people obtain lower health care. I'm happy that it has helped millions of uninsured people and I do know hard working people who were able to obtain health care BECAUSE of Obamacare. Because it hasn't helped everyone is NOT a good reason to eliminate a program that has helped millions. The focus of our efforts should be what to do next for those who still need help. If we are going to repeal it, we need a REPLACEMENT that actually takes care of ALL.
Looking at Bernie Sanders plan, I ran some numbers to see if it really would make a difference for me. I have a company health care plan for which I have to pay in. I have co-pays for use of health care and a hefty deductible.
By my rough estimates, the "Medicare for All" program would save me - paying 2.2% taxes instead of what I pay into my company plan - about $1000 a year and it would provide about the same or more savings to my company. That's not near the $5000 personal savings claimed by the campaign but that's only in my premiums savings. I avoid using my health care because co-pays add up. If I cannot avoid using the system, it can quickly become overwhelming as I discovered when I had shoulder surgery a few years back. I'm lucky. That was short term and within months the bills stopped adding up. For anyone with on-going health issues and health care needs, it's a huge problem.
Under Senator Sander's plan, I would not have deductibles and co-pays. I'm still not one to run to the doctor at a sniffle but I'm getting older and know that things happen. One accident - one serious illness - can turn to financial devastation. I am pained by the struggles family and friends express over the financial burdens and fears about health care. I want to see us fix that.
Our Medicare program is widely popular and viewed as well managed. Conservatives and liberals alike are very protective of the current system. (Though I'm humored that some conservatives are insulted at the thought of it being a government program perhaps because it's difficult to acknowledge that government can actually work.)
Yes, Senator Sanders is calling for everyone to pay taxes to support it. Those of us who are working, our employers and the very rich who do not pay into the Medicare system now. But it promises by example of Medicare now to actually do what we need. And yes, some non-working people will benefit from the program without paying in. But that is true with Medicare and Social Security now. I have no need to deny anyone health care, food and a basic safe place to live. I will pay in what I can to cover myself and someone else who may need it. I will! I can think of no one - NO ONE - that I disdain so much that I wish them to be sick, hungry or homeless.
I believe in health care for all. Obamacare has not taken us far enough on this path. We need a revolutionary change in how we do this. We need it now! America should not be the last civilized nation to have this solved. Right now, we are.

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