ANAHEIM, Calif – Duane Roberts, Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate, urges nationwide adoption of a “single-payer ‘Medicare-for-all’ health care system”, arguing it will save $4 trillion over the next decade and ensure that everybody receives health care. Roberts says “Obamacare” is a “$500 billion taxpayer bailout of the private health insurance industry”:
“As one of 46 million people in this country who doesn’t have any health insurance, I strongly urge that the United States consider adopting a single-payer ‘Medicare-for-all’ health care system. By doing that, taxpayers and consumers would save $4 trillion over the next decade and part of that money can be used to guarantee everybody has access to high quality health care.
“The so-called ‘health care reform’ bill signed into law by Democratic President Barack Obama earlier this year was in reality a thinly-disguised scheme to bailout Wall Street billionaires who made huge investments in private health insurance companies that lately had been experiencing a decline in revenues as a result of a rapidly shrinking customer base.
“Since 2000, private health insurers have lost more than nine million customers and Democratic Party politicians on their payroll came to their rescue with this scam to prop them up by forcing millions of people to purchase their defective, over-priced policies and subsidize their obscene profit margins with upwards of $500 billion in taxpayer funds.
“The irony about the ‘health care reform’ bill is major parts of it were modeled on legislation first brought forth by Republican Party politicians in the early 1990s. Back then, their proposals were widely condemned by liberals as being a giveaway to private health insurers. But because Obama adopted them as his own, they now laud it as ‘progressive social policy’.
“Equally laughable is when Republicans claim ‘Obamacare’ is ‘socialized medicine’. Besides the fact the law is based–sometimes almost word for word–on legislation introduced by their predecessors, it leaves the private health insurance industry wholly intact and imposes few restrictions on their ability to maximize profits by raising premium rates.
“Despite their rhetoric, Republicans aren’t always opposed to ‘socialized medicine’. They rarely criticize the Veterans Health Administration, a government-run network of 1,400 hospitals, clinics and nursing homes employing 14,800 physicians and 61,000 nurses. Studies show it outperforms the private sector in delivering high quality health care to patients.
“Unlike the VHA, a single-payer ‘Medicare-for-all’ system does not require the government to own and operate hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes; nor hire physicians and nurses. It merely eliminates the ‘middlemen’–private health insurance companies–and pays health care providers from a single fund that pools tax revenues collected from individuals and businesses.
“If the U.S. were to adopt a single-payer system, it is estimated that taxpayers and consumers would save $400 billion a year that the 1,500 private health insurers in this country waste on bureaucratic duplication, marketing costs, CEO salaries, and profiteering; even further savings would result as physicians and hospitals eliminated itemized billing procedures.
“Under a single-payer system, there would be far fewer personal bankruptcies due to medical bills. People would be free to go to any physician and hospital they wanted and not be limited to those a private health insurer handpicked for them in advance. And many would no longer be tied down to a job they might be unhappy with because it offers health insurance.
“But most importantly, every man, woman, and child in the U.S.–including millions of people who have no health insurance–would be guaranteed access to high quality health care. No longer would private health insurers be in a position to ration care by telling physicians and hospitals what types of medical treatments and services they can offer to patients.
“Eventually President Obama’s $500 billion taxpayer bailout of the private health insurance industry will be repealed and replaced with a single-payer system. But for that to occur, millions of people will have to organize from below and demand that it happen. The Democrats–like the Republicans–are too corrupt to bring this about on their own initiative.