WASHINGTON – As some presidential candidates and Members of Congress continue to advocate for unaffordable on-ramps to Medicare for all – like the public option, Medicare buy-in and ‘Medicare for all who want it’ – 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.

Brendan Lyons, Former Tucson Firefighter, Arizona

No public health issue is as important as being able to access high-quality, affordable health care … Right now, there is a debate going on in this country about the best way forward to ensure our health care system works for as many people as possible.  However, many of the solutions put forward by those running for office should give us all pause – especially first-responders and union members.  It is critical that we push candidates calling for a “public option” or “Medicare-for-all” to provide more details so we can realistically evaluate these plans’ impact on our access to care.
 
… Under a government-run healthcare system …  individualized plans – as well as other union-negotiated, employer-provided health care coverage – would not survive.  Forcing firefighters, law-enforcement, EMTs, teachers, and others off their insurance in order to create a government-run system that will offer less choice, longer waiting times, and poor coverage – could end up punishing hardworking families who have secured quality health care, while doing little to curb costs.
 
… Rather than creating a new government-run system, we should work together to ensure that Public-Private Partnerships are able to provide the best care to the most people at an affordable cost … We’ve invested too much to start over, it’s time to build on the system we have, shore-up the network gaps for those already covered and invest in care coordination to increase access.

Guy Ciarrocchi, President, Chester County Chamber Of Business & Industry, Pennsylvania:

… [T]he answer is not government-run healthcare.  Whatever these new programs are called –Single-Payer, Medicare for All, Public Option or Government-Run Healthcare – common sense, experience and basic math tells us that the these programs not only won’t work; but also, they will likely ruin the health insurance programs on which most Americans now rely.
 
… Every single sponsor of government-run healthcare admits that higher taxes – much higher taxes – are necessary to pay for these new programs … In addition to lowering local economic growth and increasing the unemployment rate, these new DC-run programs will raise costs and erode the level of care for most people.  Another problem: a government-run health system could lead to massive layoffs – less nurses, technicians or even doctors.  According to the Philadelphia-based management consulting firm, Navigant, we could see up to two dozen hospitals close here in Pennsylvania.
 
The Medicare system already is in dire straits.  Instead of putting this important program at risk by adding to its burden, lawmakers must fix it so it can continue to serve the millions of senior citizens who really need it.  And, most sponsors of “Medicare for all” admit that it would eliminate private insurance coverage, and maybe companies.  Since government bureaucrats will have to keep costs low, the range of treatments and options for patients will decline.  It would bring every man, woman and child into a government system that takes away choice and provides worse care.

Nathan Dienhart, Ohio

I have worked as a health care professional for almost 14 years and am deeply concerned by the rhetoric coming out of the national stage on health care reform.  The solutions spewing forth range from one radical idea to the next – Medicare for All, the public option, or single payer systems.  All of these will result in fewer personal choices, less access, and higher costs.
 
… Our leaders should be focused on finding ways to expand coverage and lower costs — while providing more flexible options — in our current health care system.  That is a far more practical approach than upending everything in order to put government officials in charge of our health care decisions.

Lisa Zanin, Democratic Precinct Committeewoman, Arizona:

… [Democrats] have focused too much on unrealistic proposals like Medicare for All or the public option while not doing enough to fix the Affordable Care Act.  Now that Congress is back in session, hopefully, Democrats will see that protecting the Affordable Care Act is their best chance of doing something meaningful in health care that will help a lot of people in the immediate.

Steve Huffman, State Senator, Ohio:

… Regardless of the name –whether it is Medicare for all, a public option, or single payer –any of the top-down, government-controlled health care proposals these candidates and national leaders have offered would do little to control costs … To begin, these kinds of proposals would all come at a major cost to the American taxpayer.  With a price tag of more than $30 trillion over the first decade alone, a Medicare for All-style proposal would mean higher taxes for hardworking American families.  It’s no wonder why the candidates pushing these government-run health care insurance systems are so vague on the details when it comes to funding these massive proposals.
 
… [And] the introduction of a public option to compete with private and employer-sponsored plans would begin the slow and steady descent into a government-controlled health care insurance system.  That is because it would be virtually impossible for private health care coverage to compete.  Slowly but surely, the government “option” would crowd out the marketplace until it is the only one left standing, leaving fewer choices for consumers to find individualized plans that meet their unique needs.
 
This kind of one-size-fits-all approach does not work for health care.  If candidates and members of Congress are serious about addressing the myriad of issues facing our health care system, they must put forward realistic policy solutions. 

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