In 2018, I injured my back and was on bed rest for three weeks. Luckily for me, I have health insurance that is considered “good”. I am self-employed and my wife has a stable job, so even though taking time off work wasn’t great, we were able to survive without issue. The rehabilitation process took over a year and I am still unable to move like I used to. Despite the “good quality” of our insurance, we have spent several thousand dollars on medical bills alone, and my “good” insurance finds any reason they can to deny my claims.
Nearly every day I think about how fortunate I am, and I feel awful for the people who are not as fortunate as myself. I think about how many people have been injured or have gotten sick and they did not have “good” insurance like I have. Consider these facts:
- Medical debt is the number one cause of bankruptcy in America.
- Americans spend more per person than any other country on healthcare.
- Our average life expectancy is getting shorter, and our infant mortality rate is rising.
- Healthcare companies are making record profits.
These are just some of the reasons I am for Medicare for All. In a country as rich as America, healthcare should be a right. Despite paying more per capita in our current system, we are the only developed country without a public healthcare system.
Medicare for All also benefits Veterans, who for too long have been left behind. No more waiting in lines, no more specific hospitals, no more lack of care for problems that were caused while valiantly serving the country.
I know that there are many potential options for healthcare plans by several presidential candidates. Personally, I support moving everyone away from private insurance and on to Medicare for All. I don’t think most people are so satisfied with their good insurance, and I can’t imagine that Medicare for All wouldn’t offer better coverage for less money. I have personally dealt with “good” insurance, fighting to get claims processed, and insurance companies deeming things not medically necessary despite recommendations from my doctor. I believe that most people just haven’t had a serious illness or injury that puts their acceptance of their plan to the test.
Insurance companies don’t want to help people be better, they want to make money.
“How do we pay for it?”
That is the question where I see people stumble. We hear things like wealth tax, increasing taxes, and others circle around the question with non-answers.
The simple answer is that it will have to come from taxes. Does that mean we have to raise taxes on most people? No. Taxes will need to be raised on top earners. A majority of Americans will not feel any increase, and will actually pay less for healthcare.
The healthcare industry spends well over half of a billion dollars every year to ensure that lawmakers keep them profitable. We must simplify system and turn it into a non-profit business. Human lives should not be monetized.
Over 150 million people receive coverage from their employers. This costs the employers money on top of employee salaries. As companies are seemingly okay with these costs, I propose we give everyone an insurance raise.
Helen works for “Company Name, LLC” and receives a salary of $40,000. Company Name, LLC also pays for Helen’s insurance at a cost of $14,000 a year. The cost of employing Helen is actually $54,000, even though Helen only grosses $40,000.
Under my proposal to supplement the cost of Medicare for All, Company Name, LLC would give all employees the cost they were paying for healthcare as salary. Helen would now receive a salary of $54,000 per year and healthcare taxes would come out of that total amount. Company Name, LLC still pays $54,000 to employ Helen with no additional financial burden on either party.
All taxed amounts to pay for healthcare should be marginal to no longer burden lower-income individuals. The final tax rates will depend on the final legislation and the services covered. Considerable work must go into this process, and it is work that I can’t wait to do. I believe we can cover everyone and lower costs at the same time.
Currently, those in rural areas are vastly underserved. In a for-profit healthcare system hospitals have no incentive to serve areas with lower population density. In a Medicare for All system where the goal is to keep Americans alive and healthy, we have every incentive to serve everyone.
I believe when people have the freedom to leave their job and still have health care it will make our country more prosperous and give people more power over corporations to strengthen the middle class. I am the candidate that will work tirelessly to make sure that everyone has healthcare, and it is independent of your job. I look forward to compiling data and standardizing prices across our nation to make sure every American has access to healthcare.