9.3.19 / Updates

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

WASHINGTON – As Democrats continue to back away from proposed new government insurance systems, voices throughout the nation are encouraging elected officials to oppose a one-size-fits-all system that will force Americans to pay more to wait longer for worse care.

Veronica Horn, President & CEO, Saginaw County Chamber Of Commerce, Michigan:

Once again, Michigan is poised to be a battleground state in the upcoming presidential election in 2020.  So if a presidential candidate were to offer a health care plan that would put 60% of our rural hospitals “at high risk of closure,” do you think they’d do well here?  Obviously not, and yet that’s exactly the damage that a so-called “public option” could do to our state, according to a study recently released.  Nationwide, a public option … could threaten more than 1,000 – up to 55% – of rural hospitals … not only threatening patient access to care, but also roughly 420,000 much-needed jobs.
 
What’s more, even if the availability of a public option didn’t shut down a rural hospital entirely, it could still jeopardize access and diminish the quality of care patients receive and many facilities would be forced to eliminate services and reduce staff.  The last thing we need is a lower standard of care and longer wait times.
 
… If this is what a public option would do, just imagine what Medicare for all might throw our way.  Instead of taking us down this road, candidates and national leaders need to stay focused on making incremental improvements to strengthen and stabilize our current health care system.  A public option will not do that.

Janet Miller, Former President, Michigan Dental Hygienists’ Association, Michigan:

As the immediate past president of the Michigan Dental Hygienists’ Association, I find myself extremely concerned about the way Medicare for All, public option, or buy-in systems run by politicians would affect the access to and quality of care not only for Michiganders, but for our own families as well.  With numerous Medicare for All proposals circulating in Congress, it is essential to ensure that any of these systems of health care do not continue to devalue the importance of access to oral and dental care and further deepen the gap in access to care.
 
… While politicians have spent a large amount of time touting the supposed benefits of Medicare For All, they often avoid the biggest question plaguing the minds of Michigan’s families: how are we going to pay for these massive reforms?  In the recent Democratic Debate held at Michigan’s own Fox Theatre, presidential candidates avoided point-blank questions from the moderators regarding the possibility of middle-class families footing the bill in order to fund a transition to a one-size-fits-all Medicare for All system.  Many Americans are already responsible for additional dental coverage costs, and research shows that these proposals would increase that cost to middle-class families.  This is extremely concerning – both for what this health care coverage would cost … and the future of oral and dental care.
 
…  The answer is not creating an entirely new, government-dictated health system from scratch while removing personal choice options and forcing Michigan families away from the familiar options they’ve had for years.  We should honor the existing commitment to Medicare and to steer our current system toward a plan that better meets oral health needs and provides personal choice in coverage.

Neil Weisfeld, Retired Health Policy Researcher, New Jersey:

Several leading Democratic candidates for president support “Medicare for All” to guarantee health coverage for everybody.  It’s easy to see why.  But they’re wrong.
 
… Private insurance is popular because it pays for care that physicians recommend and people want.  Under Medicare for All, the benefits and pay structures would be determined by Congress, not by professionals … As things now stand, even if everyone has Medicare, there won’t be enough healthcare workers to provide the needed services — and most shortages are getting worse.
 
… Happily, there is an alternative.  The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, has greatly expanded coverage, through subsidies.  It would cover millions more if allowed to work as intended.  Why turn our back on this achievement?  Let’s improve it, learn from it, and then proceed from there.  Let’s be bravely practical, not dogmatic.

Colette Dow, Washington:

… Like other Democratic front-runners, Sen. Warren has drawn accolades from far-left supporters for her embrace of Medicare for All … her message of undermining the Affordable Care Act and potentially jeopardizing the plans that millions of Washingtonians enjoy likely does not resonate with all voters.
 
Some 290 million Americans are currently covered by the ACA.  We should be working on strengthening and improving it so that more people are covered and costs come down.  That will only happen by encouraging competition in the free market, not dismantling the entire thing to replace it with government-run health care that leads to higher taxes, fewer options and a poorer standard of care.

Brad Strominger, Ohio:

… Medicare pays hospitals only 87 cents on the dollar of their estimated average costs, while private insurers pay a hefty $1.45.  With the proposal of Medicare for all from Bernie Sanders and other Democratic presidential hopefuls, wouldn’t this be a negative solution?  Is not one of the reasons of staying in business is to make a profit, not a loss? Eventually a loss forces a closing of businesses. How are hospitals any different?

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