Positive Action on Healthcare

There are lots of comments about single payer, Medicare for All, and other options to improve our healthcare system.  The overwhelming and immediate criticism from the right is that any of them are impossible because they would cost the government trillions of dollars.  I think we should have a response to this criticism that is clear to everyone.

It seems that republicans just assume that the government is going to pay all health expenses which is about the only way you could come up with expenses of trillions of dollars for the government.  Take Medicare - the government doesn't pay it all.  We each have an amount deducted from our Social Security each month.  Then the government is only paying 80% of any charge.  We each decide to cover the 20% that is our responsibility by just paying cash or covering it with a supplemental insurance policy.

Our system is running well enough with insurance companies in control.  Each person out here is responsible for payments to the insurance companies (sometimes a company may pick up some of the cost).  It is a fact that of every dollar we pay to insurance companies, either our dollars or our employers, about 20% is kept by the insurance company to cover executive pay, stock dividends, advertising, and administration.  Medicare uses about three percent of what it receives to cover administration - no need for executive pay, stock dividends, or advertising,

You can see where I am going - if we asked everyone to pay what they are paying now under Medicare for all, we could probably knock off 16 to 18% from everybody's premium right out of the box.  Add to that prescription savings (because we would negotiate as a whole country just like other countries to), emergency room savings (since everyone will have insurance and nobody will show up at the emergency room expecting the hospital to pay), and reduce health problems in general because we have a generally healthier population. since everyone has insurance.

The amount each person pays could be graduated based on a means test.  The extra money paid by the wealthy could reduce the burden on those to poor to pay premiums.  We would still have some level that would replace Medicare (or just keep the Medicare system as it is now).

The single biggest criticism of the whole program is that there would be no need for insurance companies any longer.  I did hear one republican say that it would be impossible to cover the loss of business and jobs that eliminating insurance companies would cause.  Are we really willing to say that insurance companies have a right to exist because they offer jobs and profits and that we should pay them out of our healthcare dollars?

Submitted by Lee LeFaivre

A link to the folder containing Sue Dubman’s presentation, at the November 17 meeting of The Villages Democratic Women’s Club, on “Healthcare in the Age of Trump” can be accessed by


The presentation is in both PDF and PowerPoint forms including notes. Both versions include backup slides that cover (1) “The History of Medicaid in Florida” and (2) “Truths and Myths about Single Payer”.

For a summary of Trump's lies about Medicare CLICK HERE.

For an overview of the issues our country faces in revising and improving our healthcare system CLICK HERE.

It was the Democrats under President Obama that proposed and passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  By most measures it was very successful, greatly reducing the number of uninsured citizens.

The reason to implement the ACA was driven by the high cost of healthcare in the US.  We pay more for healthcare than any other developed country and have much poorer outcomes.  In trying to understand how this discrepancy can exist, one factor stands out, every other country has some form of universal healthcare.  Our poor results overall are largely due to the poorer health of our uninsured population.

Despite overwhelming evidence that a universal plan would make things better, there was massive resistance against a plan "run by the government".  Remember the ads for "death panels" that would decide if it was cost effective to continue caring for elderly patients?  The greatest comment heard from a protestor is that they wanted the government to "keep it's hands off my Medicare" which is, of course, run by the government.

Republicans have been resisting "Obamacare" largely because it was passed by President Obama.  They have another issue though.  People and companies who make money from providing healthcare are opposed to any sort of changes.  Politicians, largely Republicans, who get money from these individuals and companies are determined to do their bidding.

The big losers in reforming our health system would be insurance providers and drug companies.

Our current system allows insurance companies to keep roughly 25% of every dollar spent on insurance for profit, salaries for executives, and bonuses for share holders.  In a government program, such as Medicare, the cost to administer the programs is about 3% of premiums paid - there are no salaries for executives or bonuses for shareholders.

Drug companies charge US companies and citizens what ever they like because our government doesn't allow groups (like Medicare) to negotiate prices with the suppliers like every other country in the world.

Bernie Sanders had some comments about President Trump's plans to reduce our drug prices.  See what he had to say - Click Here.

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