October 14, 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 presidential candidates prepare to take the debate stage again this week, 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.

April Christensen, Executive Director, Coalition of Hematology & Oncology Practices, Colorado:

In rural Colorado, families too often see that what makes a good campaign slogan or promise doesn’t translate well into good public policy that helps struggling communities.  This is especially true in the case of government-run health care proposals.  Particularly for community-based oncology clinics in rural communities throughout Colorado, a government-run health care insurance system could undermine access to life-saving medicines and more.

… Medicaid reimbursements are often insufficient to cover the full costs of care – and there can be significant delays in the process, burdening both providers and patients alike and delaying treatment for serious health issues that require a more responsive system.

… According to a study released this summer, introducing a government insurance program that reimburses at Medicare rates as a public option to compete with private and employer-sponsored health care plans could put up to 55 percent of rural hospitals across America “at high risk of closure.”

… Instead of clamoring to replace the Affordable Care Act with a government-run health care system, our elected officials and candidates running for office should take a closer look at ways in which we can build upon and improve the ACA in order to lower costs and expand access to care.  When all is said and done, that is the best way to strengthen health care in rural Colorado without undermining access for anyone.

Randi Thompson, Nevada State Director, National Federation of Independent Business, Nevada:

Whether it is called single-payer, a public option, or Medicare for All, these systems would all result in either undermining private and employer-sponsored health care plans to compete – or wiping out their ability to do so in one fell swoop.  Eventually, under a government-controlled health care insurance system, private and employer-based coverage options would diminish until only the government’s plan is left standing – with no assurances as to what would be covered and what out-of-pocket expenses it would mean for consumers.  Moreover, any of these proposals would mean higher taxes for hardworking American families.  It is naive and foolish to think otherwise.  There is simply no way to fund a massive, government-run program – with a price tag in the tens of trillions of dollars – without massive tax hikes.

In return, Nevadans would not be assured a higher quality of care; if anything, the opposite is true. Government-run health care would also mean uneven quality of care and longer waiting times …In Nevada with many rural communities, the impact of a government-run health care system could have detrimental impacts on access for patients.  According to one study by Navigant Consulting, a public option to compete with private and employer-sponsored health care could put as much as 55 percent of our nation’s rural hospitals at a high risk of closure

… A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll showed that 59 percent of Americans oppose a single-payer Medicare for All system that would eliminate the private health insurance industry.  The sooner candidates running for president realize this, the better off we’ll all be.

Michael Kitchell, Doctor, Iowa:

As the Democratic presidential candidates’ debate more about whether to improve Obamacare or to abandon it and switch to “Medicare for All” (MFA), there have been some statements that warrant further explanation …  A recent study by the independent Rand Corporation showed that …overall costs would go up with MFA – not down.  The reason costs would go up under Sanders’ and Warren’s proposals would be greater spending on home care and higher rates of utilization of healthcare.

… A study by Navigant Consulting found that 55 percent of rural hospitals (more than 1,000 across the country) would be at risk of closure with MFA and a public option, unless Medicare payment rates were increased by 40 percent to 60 percent over the current rates. Medicare simply doesn’t pay enough for most hospitals to stay open with the same services.



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