August 5, 2019 | Updates

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Americans Urge Elected Officials To Build On What Is Working, Reject One-Size-Fits-All Health Care

WASHINGTON – As some candidates and elected officials continue to call for a government-run health care system, voices throughout the nation are encouraging our leaders to improve and build on what is working and fix what isn’t, while opposing a one-size-fits-all government-run system that will force Americans to pay more to wait longer for worse care.

Giancarlo Sopo, Florida:

… A growing body of evidence is also shedding light on the huge pitfalls of proposals being branded as “moderate” alternatives to Medicare for all – namely the “public option” and “buy-in” systems.  For starters, the candidates themselves confirmed on the debate stage that these proposals, would, by design, lead to the same result: a one-size-fits-all health care system run by Washington bureaucrats.  It would be foolish for Democrats to believe that a slightly slower path to the same bad outcome is truly more “moderate,” or would be any more popular once Americans learn the truth.

Studies find that “public option” and “buy-in” systems could also threaten patients’ access to quality care, as hospitals would be forced to accept payment rates that are insufficient to cover their costs, leading to significant layoffs of health care professionals and even “the closure of essential hospitals.”  In Florida alone, hospitals would face over $6 billion in cuts – a serious blow to patients and communities throughout our state.

Not only would these proposals force Floridians to pay more to wait in line for lower-quality care, the political consequences could be devastating for those who believe we need a change of leadership in the White House.  Polling has shown that majorities of Americans oppose government-run health care once they are aware of its consequences, and most Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents would prefer elected leaders focus on protecting the ACA.

Jewel Gatling, Community Organizer, Brown Virginia, Virginia:

… There has been speculation that a “Medicare for All” buy-in or public option would likely force hospitals to cut service.  If the health care reform debate continues without an open conversation about the unintended consequences, African American patients like myself could have the most to lose.  Proposals that eliminate private insurance coverage could gut billions from our health care system.  

There is no doubt that cuts of this scale will act as a catalyst to diminishing access to types of care that have already exhibited decreases in the last decade — such as local oncology treatment … The idea of billions in cuts in service and increased wait times are scary because African American women are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer.  African Americans have the highest death rate and shortest survival of any racial and ethnic group in the U.S. for most cancers.  The prospect of a nationalized one-size-fits-all approach to health care could diminish treatment options and force those who need care the most to wait longer to receive their lifesaving care.

… The closure of hospitals and clinics that could take place under the “Medicare for All” buy-in and the public option also would put an incredible strain on physicians.  The skyrocketing number of patients would result in a diminished quality of care.

Steve Chucri, President, Arizona Restaurant Association, Arizona:

… The Medicare-for-all and government-run healthcare movement remains a popular talking point for politicians in Washington, particularly among those running for President … Implementing a one-size-fits-all policy and ripping away their personalized health care insurance would be harmful and irresponsible.  

The Arizona restaurant and food service industry provide over 310,000 jobs in the state.  That is 11% of the state’s employment.  It is important that we be responsible when it comes the health and well-being of our restaurant owners and their employees.  Supporting a government-run health care system that will not take their health needs into consideration, will raise their income tax, and create obstacle to seeing their doctors is not something that will benefit such a large sector of our state’s economy. 

Raymer Maguire, Deputy Campaign Manager, United for Care and former ACLU Campaign Manager, Florida:

Former Vice President Joe Biden has officially thrown his healthcare proposal into the mix of policy recommendations put forth by other Democratic presidential hopefuls … However, what good points the Biden does make in his proposal are threatened by a provision to create a public option. 

Why strengthen ACA if you also include a public option that would cause private plan premiums to rise while increasing taxes and threatening the quality of and access to care?  It makes no sense … A public option … would only cause us to backtrack on lowering healthcare costs for all Americans.

Erik Huey, Virginia:

The Democratic Party won back the House in a landslide 2018 midterm victory primarily on the basis of one issue: health care … However, Democrats are on the verge of handing a second term to Donald Trump by prioritizing the far-left policies of Twittersphere Democrats over the health care concerns of working-class Americans … if Democrats want to lose in 2020 — and I mean lose “bigly” — then they should keep pushing pie-in-the-sky policies like “Medicare for All” and single-payer health care proposals.  It’s the fastest way to lose independent and working-class voters.

Growing up as the son of a West Virginia coal miner, I saw firsthand how hard my father’s union fought to win their employee-sponsored health care coverage.  Union workers nationwide struggled for the same right.  So Democratic candidates would be smart to remember that a substantial swath of the nearly 157 million Americans covered by employee-sponsored health care plans are from union families – working-class Americans upon whom they once could steadfastly rely on for votes.

… Health care is a right, not a privilege.  Ensuring that all Americans have access to high-quality, affordable health care should remain among our highest priorities.  But before we disrupt the country’s entire health care apparatus, let’s focus on fixing the very system we Democrats fought so hard to establish and to protect.



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