As Americans file their tax returns this month, voices throughout the nation are encouraging elected officials to come together to protect what is working and fix what is broken in America’s health care system, while opposing a costly one-size-fits-all government-run approach that will force Americans to pay more through higher taxes.

Bill Millner, Retired Music Director, Florida:

156 million Americans receive health care insurance through their employers and are mostly satisfied with their coverage.  A Medicare for All plan would take away this coverage … but proponents say “trust us, the replacement will be better.”  New taxes to pay for this coverage would be imposed … Don’t be fooled by those who promise “free” everything, or a better system. 

Joy Bruck, Former AARP State President, Montana:

As a volunteer lobbyist and president of a non-partisan, non-profit state organization, I was very involved in the push to support the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Expansion.

These programs make such a positive difference for Montanans; access to affordable healthcare is a necessity, not a luxury.  Because of the ACA and Medicaid Expansion, thousands of Montanans who previously worried about not filling a prescription in order to afford groceries have access to quality care they can afford, and Montanans with pre-existing conditions don’t need to fear being unable to afford insurance.  And, the ACA is critical for Montana’s rural hospitals and medical facilities, as it has sharply reduced uncompensated care.  They can remain open and continue serving their communities …

Yes, there may be parts of the ACA that need to be re-evaluated, but neither the ACA or Medicaid Expansion should be ended.  Rather than scrapping these policies that help so many, or going down an unknown, costly path, they should be built upon and continually improved.

Peter Schorsch, Political Commentator, Florida:

Despite AOC herself endorsing Murphy’s primary challenger, Murphy didn’t take the bait.  She remained steadfastly in favor of strengthening Obamacare rather than getting dragged into supporting an unelectable left-wing policy that primary voters love but general election voters fear … 

In a recent Bloomberg article about the internecine battle being waged among Democrats on this issue, Murphy features prominently.  A quote from her sums up precisely the lesson that should be taken by Florida Ds: “The majority lays in the hands of members who unseated Republicans and are representing moderate policies.”

Diane Mufson, Retired Psychologist, West Virginia:

[A]ll Americans deserve decent and affordable health care.  Note I said “decent and affordable.” … I also didn’t say free.  Medicaid is needed to support those with very limited funds …  There is no “free lunch” because health care monies must come from some source …

 

As great as it may sound, “Medicare for all” isn’t a quick fix for what ails our health insurance system.  Some have suggested that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) actually makes more sense as it coordinates with our nation’s ongoing health insurance industry …

While imperfect and needing changes, the ACA was the much-needed first attempt to provide health insurance coverage for the millions of Americans who lacked it.  

Harry Booth, Florida:

The Democrats right now have a new generation of very young candidates who are exploring a run for the presidential office and are making a lot of promises about … Medicare for all and the like … But these ideas are not supported by the vast majority of the Democrats and most of these candidates will fall by the wayside long before nomination. 

Of primary concern to me is our national debt, now well over $22 trillion … This will have disastrous consequences for us in the near future … Our debt is growing 36 percent faster than our GDP.  We can only raise the debt ceiling so far, as foreign investors will reject our notes and then the dollar will be devalued, interest rates will rise, housing prices will fall, construction will stop and products and services will skyrocket in price.

A Reed, Arizona:

Democrat Presidential hopefuls like Bernie Sanders have come out supporting “Medicare for all”, which would cost a projected $36 trillion over 10 years.  Democrats are rather vague as to how they would pay for it.  Medicare is a federal health care program that working people pay into via payroll FICA deductions, currently at 1.45% of salary.  The monthly premium for those on Medicare is now at $135.  Those 65 and older who contributed to the program are eligible.  If you want prescription medicines you pay extra.  There are 20% co-pays for visits to doctors, medical procedures, and hospital stays.  To cover those extra expenses, many people purchase a Medigap or a Medicare Advantage plan that can cost between $200 and $400 a month.  People thinking that Medicare for all would be a panacea for our health care system should rethink it.