It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fun*Run Time

It's ALREADY that time of year again: The ADAPT Fun*Run for Disability Rights is April 22nd 2012. Maryland's fundraising goal is $8,000 this year. Yes, that's right, $8,000

Donate $1! Donate $10! Donate $100! Donate $1,000! JUST DONATE so we can FREE OUR PEOPLE! http://adaptfunrun.org/runner.php?id=7 I thank you very much for your support!

Monday, November 30, 2009

I Stand with Physicians for a National Health Program

I was flipping channels earlier and landed on CSPAN, paused for a bit, saw they were reairing a press conference on adopting a single payer system from Wednesday. Then I passed because CSPAN is boring. But I don't have cable and nothing was on and I SUPPORT A SINGLE PAYER SYSTEM, so I watched it. And it was interesting and powerful.

I've never thought of viewing the giant 2000 page healthcare bill currently being debated in congress as a health insurance bail out, but that's what it is. Only 1-2% of Americans will be able to access the public option. Did you know that if someone has employer sponsored healthcare they will NOT be allowed to access the public option should they want it? What if it turns out to be better then the policy they have? Too bad. So this bill is NOT lending to increased competition as congress keeps claiming, but locking people into only what their employer wants to offer and not allowing free mobility between plans. How does this help America? It doesn't. And it will still leave 17-22 million people without any coverage. While that is certainly better then 46 million that is NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Private money and government subsidies will be going to pad the pockets of FOR PROFIT insurance company CEOs who on average make $11 million a year.

I've been a fan of a single payer system since I had to prepare arguments for a debate in class 5 years ago. Did you know that, as those stats I looked at stated, the US and South Africa are the only industrialized nations that do not offer every citizen a minimum level of care? The representatives at the press conference, which was sponsored by the activist organization Single Payer Action, stated that it is only the US, so maybe South Africa has gotten its act together over the last 5 years. Shouldn't we follow suit? As an American, I can arguably state that I am a citizen of the most powerful nation in the world, but yet the World Health Organization lists us as 37th in over all health system performance. We should be ashamed of ourselves. We can do better then that.

Dr Carol Paris, a psychiatrist from southern Maryland, activist and representative from Physicians for a National Health Program spoke of a patient who lost her job and insurance and isn't sure how she's going to pay for necessary surgery. She also spoke of another patient whose employer switched plans to one whom she does not participate in, so this patient is now forced to find another psychiatrist. She believes that a single payer system would eliminate competition from for profit companies trying to win your business by allowing you to see any doctor you want and go to any hospital you want, switching to doctors competing for your care. In this system everybody wins, because people are allowed to switch to/keep GOOD DOCTORS instead of being forced into narrow options of their plans. This forces doctors to be better doctors and will result in patients getting better care. This, she says, is competition she supports. I do too.

If you're a consumer of psychiatric services you know that many physicians / therapists do not accept insurance because of how little they receive. Many, even those with insurance, go without because of this, and I have a feeling that this would change in a climate of a single payer system. More people would get the care they need because more people would be able to afford it.

You may argue that if more people start seeking care and the amount of providers do not increase, this will overload the system, make it impossible for you to get in to see someone when you need. Well I don't know about you, but if waiting a bit longer allows 46 million Americans to get care, keeps between 18-45,000 (depending on the source) people from dying per year due to complete lack of or inadequate coverage, keeps people out of bankruptcy (2/3 of all bankruptcy is caused from uncovered medical costs--an average of $18,000-- and 3/4 of those are middle class insured individuals), allows people to have the luxury (if you want to call it that) of no longer having to choose between buying food or paying for prescriptions, then I'll wait.

There are many more reasons why I support a single payer system, but I want to keep this short. Did you know that there is also a single payer bill that was introduced into congress in January? HR 676. The bill is sponsored by John Conyers (D-MI) and is supported by 88 members of the house. It is only 30 pages instead of 2000 (I haven't read it).

2 comments:

Cheryl said...

I just wish they would put a health care program in place for everyone. Too many people I work with don't have it, and it can bankrupt them, with one hospital visit.
I'm tired of the talking and wish they would put the plan into action.


The best think I can suggest to get more readers, is to start reading and leaving more comments on other peoples blogs. If you really like them, keep commenting or join. That was the quickest way I found to expand my readership, early on. Now I've been really slacking, Facebook is quicker and life gets so busy! But I wouldn't trade blogging, I've made the greatest friends through here. Don't get discouraged! Just start commenting on other blogs.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for the advice

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