The Push for Single Payer
Why We Need Single Payer and Why the Establishment Is Stubborn
To not cover everybody automatically at birth is like denying citizenship to babies born in the United States from foreign parents. Our current atmosphere is not conducive to even contemplating single payer. As someone who wants to go to law school to become a health care reform activist, I’m still puzzled by why we haven’t thought of single payer yet. What single payer actually means is that all medical care that is considered necessary medical care is covered. This doesn’t mean plastic surgery but it means anything considered life-saving. We just can’t be like Canada, Spain, or South America. The United States healthcare crisis makes us one of “those types of countries” right? We make all our citizens pay for health care. They go broke trying to take care of themselves, often not having a job for months at a time.
Some of us disabled people gravitate to SSI and SSDI for those of us who have worked. For those of us with limited work experience in earning a salary, we gravitate to SSI, which means that we have nothing. No 401K, no savings, nothing. There would be more savings if we had a single payer system. There would be cost control and total freedom of choice regarding which doctors and hospitals a patient needs to be seen at. The whole goal of single payer is to pay less. It is not about higher taxes like in other countries. It is not about how the United States is too big for a single payer system in all states.
Nobody would face obnoxious premiums, copays, or massive deductibles that try your patience. Many doctors don’t know about health insurance in my experience with them. They are pretty ignorant about this stuff. They only care about practicing medicine. For goodness sake, Tea Party republicans have healthcare on the brain and are stubborn about not passing single payer as they have for many years. The taxes for single payer would not be that high. Single payer is not about hospitals being owned by the government or medicine becoming a government job like in Canada. Single payer wouldn’t royally mess things up, something republicans need to get through their heads. Research would get better because it is publicly funded. Aging generations of the United States would not bankrupt the system. This is another ridiculous republican fear.
Many businesses would not rely on the shackles of health care benefits that they have to pay astronomical fees for. The Affordable Care Act has its bad points in not insuring everybody as well as having that mandatory insurance clause that forces people who do not have insurance to pay a penalty fee. It doesn’t apply to those of us with free medical care, however, if only because we already have publicly-funded insurance. All types of healthcare are covered under single payer, that is considered medically necessary except for plastic surgery, which people would still have to pay for.
Single payer would free doctors from the burden of having to deal with insurance companies who stifle freedom of health care choices by controlling what care a patient can get. Single payer would return the freedom of choice to doctors and their patients, not the politicians. Another unfounded republican use of fear mongering is to make people paranoid that fascist politicians would take over the system, dictating who lives and who dies. Single payer frees up a lot of things, including the stress that paying for health care can bring. For now, healthcare is based on ability to pay. This bankrupts average citizens. Having the healthcare system the way it is right now is destructive and leads to more loss of life. We need to implement long-term solutions because I feel that in order to get anywhere in my life, I have to start the health care reform movement.