Healthcare is arguably the most critical issue facing our country today. With an aging population, rising care costs, and a widening wealth divide, many Americans are facing tremendous challenges when making choices about their health. The Affordable Care Act made great advances in the fight to insure more Americans, especially those of lower income. However, from before its inception to present day, we have seen this program repeatedly undermined by Republican legislators, governors, and health industry lobbyists such that it has not touched all Americans and we still need real solutions for solving access to healthcare for all. Many states have refused to expand Medicaid and they are less likely to do so now that the US Supreme Court struck down the Medicaid expansion mandate. Healthcare is a human right and we need a system that truly covers all Americans equally.
I support a reformed system that leads to Medicare for All for the following reasons:
Healthcare should not be tied to employment.
Americans often base their employment options on the benefits that employers can offer, and healthcare is often the largest factor. Removing the employer from healthcare services enables individuals to 1) have more freedom when choosing their desired career paths, and, 2) encourages more individuals to join smaller organizations or start their own business. Additionally, implementation of Medicare for All removes a substantial financial burden from employers.
Patients should have freedom of choice in their providers.
No American should lose access to the doctors and medical teams they trust because of an ever-shifting insurance marketplace. Too often we hear horror stories from patients who sought care for an emergency at their local hospital and then find out later that the ER staff was not covered by their insurance provider. The current situation forces individuals to navigate their insurance company portals to find health facilities where coverage is available. This complex system of in-or-out of network options prevents patients from receiving the best quality care and can cause immense financial burden when decisions must be made during emergencies. We should empower everyone to seek the care they need from the healthcare providers they know will guarantee the highest quality of care.
Migrate from Fee-For-Service to a Value-Based-Care model for medical billing.
The current Fee-For-Service model of medical billing encourages healthcare providers to deliver care based on the quantity of services provided and not on the effectiveness of those services. In a Value-Based-Care model, providers are encouraged to work more closely with the various teams that support patient care. This model sets a standard framework for the cost of procedures and treatments where providers are limited on how much a patient can be billed. This forces providers to develop more efficient and innovative treatments that will better serve the patient and increase overall quality of care.
Uninhibited access to healthcare is necessary for an equitable society.
Healthcare is a human right that should not be hindered with barriers to access like high premiums, high prescription drug costs, or employment status. Lower income communities of color, single parents, and the LGBTQ+ community are most affected by these barriers to access. Medicare for All will truly mean for ALL.
While there are many options for implementing healthcare reform, the path forward remains the same, every American deserves quality health care.