#MedicareforAll beats Trump

Dec 30, 2019

By Dr. Bill Honigman​, Progressive Democrats of America – National Outreach Lead

 

I’m a recently retired Emergency Room physician, and after 37-plus years in the business I should know that #SinglePayer expanded and improved #MedicareForAll will save money and save lives.  And as an engaged citizen and a lifelong grassroots political organizer, I know it will beat Donald Trump in 2020.

Over the years, my night shifts in the ER became increasingly filled with folks suffering from untreated medical conditions like severe dental infections or unstable mental health ailments.  I had no way of knowing exactly how many at the time, but I well imagined the many sufferers of strokes, heart attacks, diabetic coma, and septic shock as being those who had avoided regular medical care or medications too expensive to take as recommended.

And yet thanks to lots of good economic studies and public discussions especially from champions like U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, it now requires no imagination whatsoever to know that the phenomenal waste, fraud, and abuse of big insurance and big pharma are driving up costs to an unsustainable level, resulting in still far too many preventable deaths per year. (This is despite the bit of progress made in the last decade with the Affordable Care Act.)  Every study that has ever been done on the subject, and there are lots of them, clearly shows that by eliminating private health insurance and obtaining bulk purchasing capability for drugs and medical devices in a #SinglePayer system, we Americans can have expanded benefits at a fraction of what we are now paying for health care, as they do in all other advanced countries around the world except ours.  And as Bernie and Elizabeth say, it’s a matter of political will not finances that is holding us back.

Significantly, more and more of us in America are catching on.  A 2018 poll suggests two out of three favorability overall for a #MedicareForAll system that ensures everyone living in America can have all essential medical services with free choice of doctors, hospitals, and approved ancillary services.  And politicians are slowly getting on board, following the lead of advocates who are no longer content to sit back while their friends, family and colleagues rack up big insurance and big pharma horror stories.

Clearly in the Democratic presidential primaries to date, the advocates of #MedicareForAll are rising to the top tier while those too timid to address the crisis head-on are falling by the wayside.  The people know that big problems require big change, and leaders offering “baby steps” will not be rewarded with their votes.

More and more of us are also now coming to see that the movement for #HealthcareJustice is just a part of what is needed to address a very large array of social injustices including our #ClimateEmergency, student loan debt, affordable housing, infrastructure needs, mass incarceration, refugee resettlement, gun violence, hate crimes, slave labor, and more. This is why the prospect of a #GreenNewDeal that includes #MedicareForAll makes so much sense.  

This is also why the sham promises of President Donald J. Trump will not stand the light of day at election time when exposed to the strength of candidates who run on the actual needs of the American people, like #MedicareForAll.  And the more critical the need, the more politically sound the judgment of voters will be. 

You don’t have to be a retired ER physician to see that Donald Trump and his Republican enablers clearly have no such plan, and the Democrats are moving decisively to beat him in 2020 with #SinglePayer, expanded and improved #MedicareForAll, a plan that will save both money and lives.

Dr. Bill Honigman is a retired Emergency Room physician and political activist living in Orange County, California.

 

8 Comments

  1. Ruth Walker

    Bernie’s is the only plan that can work: S.1129 – Medicare for All Act of 2019. While Elizabeth Warren is a co-sponsor, her proposal as a presidential candidate is to require two bills to get to as single-payer health care system, virtually a recipe for failure!

    Reply
  2. Eugene Lanz

    It sounds good but like most things that come out of Congress it probably contains loopholes through which an airliner could fly. Then the Democrats and republicans would not be able to come to an agreement and the public takes it on the chin and out of their pockets.
    Can you guarantee that this plan will be better than Obamacare! I know it would be better than trumpcare. That bastard does not give a damn if the American people have healthcare let alone affordable or workable care.

    Reply
    • Dr Bill Honigman

      #MedicareForAll will absolutely be better than the ACA/Obamacare. It will cover everyone living in the US. It eliminates all out-of-pocket expenses, copays, deductibles. It eliminates all restrictions on provider groups from an outside source. You would be able to sign up for any doctor or provider group of your choosing. And it is far more comprehensive than even the best union-negotiated plan or Medicare supplemental plan that you can imagine. All essential medical services, drugs, and medical devices are fully paid for by a public fund with revenues from a progressive income-based public premium. All of this is possible because of the incredible savings of eliminating the waste, fraud, and abuse of corporate-run market based insurance and being able to negotiate prices for drugs and medical devices just like the VA and every other advanced country in the world already does. It’s past time we did this, too. Onward to #HealthcareJustice. 🙂

      Reply
      • Linda Patterson

        Dr.Bill.
        I listened to you speak at the Oro Valley Library with Eva Putzgova. It was a great event.

        Would it be possible for you and I to host another healthcare town hall soon.

        Thank you, Bill

        Reply
        • Dr Bill Honigman

          Absolutely Linda, thanks. Travel time and resources are a challenge for me, but if I can’t make it my great friends Ken and Barbara from your area can help make it happen. Onward!! 🙂

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          • Nancy

            Hi Dr. Bill,

            I work with Linda Patterson’s campaign for AZ Senate. We heard you speak with Eva Putzova in Oro Valley. We’d love to have you do another healthcare town hall (with Linda) in Casa Grande, AZ. Is this possible and, if so, what month and/or days would work for you? Thanks! Your speech is so needed!

  3. Olga Weiss

    I love the idea…but how do you plan to pay for such comprehensive care? We have a true shortage of doctors and nurses to provide services…. current Medicare reimbursement for services is discouraging providers. There is much to fix…and quality medicine is now not happening. We are 32nd is the world for health outcomes. The stars in comprehensive coverage are Denmark (#3) with no private option, Germany and France (#1 and #2) with private option.

    Please respond.

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  4. Dr Bill Honigman

    @Olga, thanks for asking. Do you believe in science? I do. And over 200 economists and tens of thousands of members of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) an organization with its roots at the Harvard School of Public Health agree that a Single Payer Medicare for All system, including all the added medical benefits and retraining of insurance claims processors and training of new skilled medical personnel will cost less, not more than what we do now to finance Healthcare in America. Here’s the link for this, https://pnhp.org/news/economists-open-letter-in-support-of-single-payer-medicare-for-all/. Also, the “private options” of some of the top performing countries to which you refer, are not necessarily why they may rank slightly higher in outcomes. There are many other factors involved, and many published articles and books by nonpartisan analysts to which I’d be happy to refer you. One such publication is “Priced Out” by Prof. Uwe E. Reinhardt published just after he died last year, and his wife Prof. Tsung-Mei Cheng is also a strong advocate of the Single Payer system in Taiwan was featured in the monumental film “Fix It Healthcare at the Tipping Point” available to be watched free online. I hope that helps. 🙂

    Reply

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