July 22, 2019 | Updates

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

WASHINGTON – Following former Vice President Joe Biden’s rollout of a proposed government-run insurance system known as a “public option,” 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.

J.W. Cowan, Choctaw General Hospital Administrator, Alabama

… [L]awmakers shouldn’t be fooled by more moderate-sounding proposals such as “Medicare buy-in” or a “public option,” as these plans feature the same debilitating cuts to hospitals and are stepping stones to a one-size-fits-all system run by Washington, with all the same negative consequences to patients and hospitals.  That point is underscored by studies on “public option” proposals.  One study found that such systems could produce layoffs and “potentially force the closure of essential hospitals.”  Another study explained that reimbursing hospitals at the proposed lower rates “would compound financial stresses they are already facing, potentially impacting access to care and provider quality.”
… Instead of devising systems that will hurt patients, lawmakers and presidential hopefuls should focus on proven solutions to expand coverage and save our rural hospitals.  In fact, by using tools available by law today, such as expanding Medicaid in the states that have failed to do so, millions more Americans would immediately be covered, including up to 300,000 Alabamians who would be eligible for Medicaid under expansion.

Joe Jackson, Democratic Activist and Small Business Owner, Arizona:

I feel like with all the Medicare-for-all talk, we are forgetting the fact that the Affordable Care Act has done a lot of good in our healthcare system.

It has given us Medicaid expansion, more rural healthcare, and millions of people health insurance who previously did not have it.  It has its problems, but moderate Democrats, including Senator Sinema, have introduced small measures that are helping improve the program.
Medicare-for-all is not realistic.  The actual policy has several flaws, like reduced access to our doctors and higher taxes, but most importantly it has no chance of passing in this divisive Congress.  Working on real solutions for the system that is here is what our leaders should be focusing on.

Philip Overton, Rhode Island:

… I would argue though, that as imperfect as our present health care system is, it is still one of the best in the world, and we should not turn health care in America over to politicians for a number of important reasons.

The first reason is that taxes for all Americans will need to rise dramatically.  It is estimated that Medicare for all would cost an estimated $30 trillion over the next decade … There are just not enough “rich” people to pay for it, so that hardly seems like a bargain to me.
…  Medicare is scheduled to become insolvent in 7 years.  For these critical programs for our nation’s elderly to continue to pay out their promised benefits, it is going to take many more trillions of dollars of federal debt to bail these programs out.  The national debt has already grown from 10 trillion dollars in 2009 to 22 trillion dollars today.  These bills are going to eventually have to be paid with much higher taxes and a lower standard of living for all Americans.
… [I]t will create havoc in our medical profession.  Medicare reimbursement rates are so low that here in Rhode Island we already have a major shortage of doctors in important specialties.  Physicians in many cases couldn’t run their practices if they just had to rely on Medicare patients.  That is just reality.

TA Bradford, Former Director of Arizona MultiHousing Association, Arizona:

… “Medicare For All” is a fantasy and it’s crazy to think that candidates are still fighting for it.  How about some realistic solutions to health care, one that doesn’t involve trillions in new taxes and taking people away from their insurance.



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