10.21.19 / Updates

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

WASHINGTON – After last week’s presidential debate once again laid bare the unaffordable costs of new government-controlled health 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.

Asim Shah, Executive Vice Chair & Psychiatry Professor, Baylor College Of Medicine; Psychiatry Chief, Harris Health System & Nidal Moukaddam, Psychiatry Associate Professor, Baylor College Of Medicine, Texas:

… Whether it’s known as “Medicare for all”, single-payer, or the public option …  [u]nder such a system, providers may see reimbursement rates drop drastically, which could ultimately undermine their ability to deliver high-quality services.Particularly for rural hospitals and health care centers, a public option – among the more “moderate” proposals by Democratic presidential candidates – would have dire consequences.

… According to a recent analysis from Navigant Consulting and the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, 55 percent of rural hospitals – more than 1,000 locations across 46 states – would be affected by a move to a government-run system.  While the result of changes to their existing funding model are largely unknown, the impact of having reimbursements slashed could force many facilities to close or downgrade services and lay off much-needed staff just to stay open.  It would also reduce a patient’s access to affordable, convenient options, forcing them to travel further and pay more for a lower quality of care.

… That means in order to improve health care, we must all work together to strengthen the positive outcomes ACA has already brought. This will help ensure that we have a health care system that works for every man, woman, and child in America.

Brad Williams, Government Relations Vice President, Detroit Regional Chamber, Michigan:

… [W]hen it comes to health care, businesses and citizens value their choice.  The current discussions advocating for a government health care system that would likely reduce access to care, increase wait times, and raise taxes on citizens are a big concern. 

… “Medicare for All,” public option, and expanding Medicare with a buy-in may seem innocuous but it would be significantly disruptive to all our members that are currently well-served with employer-sponsored insurance … Current proposals will result in significantly higher costs for businesses and individuals, a drastic drop in the quality of care, or worse: both.

… We have made progress in improving the health care marketplace by protecting individuals with pre-existing conditions and allowing children to remain on their parents’ plan while they are starting their careers … We should honor our commitment to Medicare and solve lingering issues by fixing and improving the current infrastructure before expanding it or eliminating private health insurance companies entirely.

Michigan voters made it clear when our poll showed their opposition to “Medicare for All.”  Instead of putting the government and elected officials in control of the health care system, let’s continue to work together and build on what’s working.

Thomas Loftus, Doctor & Founder, Austin Neurological Institute, Texas:

Based on single-payer systems that exist in markets in other countries, it seems that single-payer insurance would hurt spine practice.  To allow absolute control of healthcare delivery by a single payer restricts patient access to care and severely affects and limits decision making by the actual physician … It would be bad for patients and bad for their physicians.

Wayne Campbell, President, Pennsylvania State Grange, Pennsylvania

There’s a buzz in Washington and among Democratic presidential candidates around the idea of Medicare for all.  Others favor an alternative called the public option,which increases federal control of the U.S. health care system, though not by as much as Medicare for all. 

I would ask that federal officials step back and rethink these plans … Rural areas face difficulties such as a lack of providers, long distances between patients and health care facilities and high cost-to-patient ratios because of a smaller population base.  Massive new federal intrusion would most certainly create new issues

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