Demand people come first

Support Medicare for All, a cost-effective and comprehensive way to fully insure every American

The author, a nurse practitioner, is co-chair of NorCal Physicians for a National Health Program and on the steering committee for California PNHP.

Medicare for All is now House Resolution 1384. Memorize that number. The 2019 U.S. Congress’ excellent universal health insurance bill would provide comprehensive coverage, including mental health, vision, dental, catastrophic care, and long-term care for the elderly and disabled.

It is government-provided insurance for privately delivered care with a choice of clinicians—no premiums, co-pays, deductibles or exorbitant medication prices. And it will cost less than the current private for-profit chaos that leaves 1 in 5 Americans uninsured or underinsured. Multiple polls say a majority of your friends and neighbors—Republicans, Democrats and independents—want Medicare for All.

Here’s the bad news: America’s Health Insurance Plans and big pharma hate this plan. With Medicare for All in place, they and their army of professional liars in lobbyland would no longer be the first to profit from your health care needs. Expect these groups to spend hundreds of millions of dollars trying to convince you Medicare for All can’t work, despite studies of other countries proving it does and results in better outcomes.

But the good news is great news: Around the United States, citizens are doing their homework and demanding that people come first. HR 1384 can be a giant part of that narrative. It would end tens of thousands of dollars of out-of-pocket spending. It would negotiate drug prices. It would help individual hospitals save costs by replacing redundant and complex single-item, single-patient billing with global operating budgets. It would help both labor and business by taking health insurance out of those economics. It would provide employees whose jobs are eliminated—such as insurance industry personnel—with priority job placement and retraining.

So what can you do? Come to the Southside Community Center in Oroville at 12:30 p.m., April 13, to hear Dr. Ed Weisbart, a family physician, and Medicare for All advocate Tim Faust speak. Contact legislators to support HR 1384 and encourage improvements to Bernie Sanders’ single-payer bill. Build Medicare for All into your organizations’ platforms. If you’re a business owner, invite the Business Alliance for a Healthy California to speak. Watch the films Fix It and Now Is the Time.