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For Patients, Not for Profits A Single-Payer National Health Insurance Program (HR 676) www.SiCKOCure.org www.pnhp.org.

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Presentation on theme: "For Patients, Not for Profits A Single-Payer National Health Insurance Program (HR 676) www.SiCKOCure.org www.pnhp.org."— Presentation transcript:

1 For Patients, Not for Profits A Single-Payer National Health Insurance Program (HR 676)

2 United States: 46 Million Uninsured But simply covering them with existing policies is not a solution.

3 America’s Underinsured Proportion of Americans Going Without Care due to Costs, 2005 (skipping doctor visit, specialist appointment, treatment or prescription when needed) Source: Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey, 2005

4 Medical Bankruptcy Illness and Medical Bills Contribute to HALF of all Bankruptcies. Source: Himmelstein, Health Affairs 2005 (state estimates provided by author) Of those, more than three- quarters had insurance when they got sick. Insurance Status at Onset of Illness

5 Rising Costs = Fewer Benefits = Under/Uninsurance Proportion of Americans Covered by Employer Insurance Source: US Census

6 What Does This Mean? Lesson #1: Simply Expanding Existing Private Insurance Policies Is Not a Solution. Current Private Insurance Policies Offer Inadequate Protection. Any Gains in Coverage Will Be Quickly Offset as Costs Rise and Employers Shed Benefits.

7 What Does This Mean? Lesson #2: Any Real Solution to the Health Crisis Must Do Two Things: 1) Offer Coverage More Comprehensive than that Currently Available on the Private Market. 2) Control Costs so that Benefits are Sustainable.

8 Life Expectancy, 2003 (Data in Years) Source: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

9 Infant Mortality, 2003 (Deaths in first year of life per 1,000 live births) Source: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

10 International Health Spending U.S. Public Spending is Greater than Other Nations’ Public/Private Spending Combined Per Capita Health Spending, 2004 Source: OECD 2004; Japan and Germany data are from 2003

11 Insurance Companies = Paperwork Waste Billing Marketing Underwriting Co-Payment Processing Eligibility Determinations Utilization Reviews Provider Administrative Staff Employer Benefit Administration

12 Growth of Physicians and Administrators Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics and NCHS

13 One-Third of Health Spending is Consumed by Administration 31% Potential Savings: $350 billion per year Enough to Provide Comprehensive Coverage to Everyone Source: Woolhandler, et al, New England Journal of Medicine, August 2003 & Int. Jrnl. Of Hlth. Services, 2004

14 Medicare Medicaid Payroll Tax Income Tax Single-Payer Health Care Fund $$$ Financing Single-Payer Bonus: Negotiated formulary with physicians, global budget for hospitals, increased primary and preventive care, reduction in unnecessary high-tech interventions, bulk purchasing of drugs and medical supplies = long term cost control.

15 Single-Payer Benefits Comprehensive Coverage for all medically necessary services (doctor, hospital, long-term care, mental health, vision, dental, drug, etc.) in a single-tier system. Comprehensive Coverage for all medically necessary services (doctor, hospital, long-term care, mental health, vision, dental, drug, etc.) in a single-tier system. Free Choice of doctor and hospital. Free Choice of doctor and hospital. Health Workers Unleashed from corporate dictates over patient care. Health Workers Unleashed from corporate dictates over patient care. Hospitals guaranteed a secure, regular budget. Hospitals guaranteed a secure, regular budget.

16 Only Two Paths to Reform 1. Preserve Private Insurance Companies and their Waste 2. Create a National Health Insurance System

17 “Save the Insurance Companies” A Bipartisan Consensus Private Insurance Tax Credits National Health Program

18 Subsidy and Individual Mandate Schemes (The Edwards and Obama Plans) Substandard Coverage: forces the uninsured to buy defective insurance industry products that are already causing families to face bankruptcy and go without needed care. Substandard Coverage: forces the uninsured to buy defective insurance industry products that are already causing families to face bankruptcy and go without needed care. Unaffordable: Without the savings achievable with single-payer, taxes must raised or funds diverted from other needy programs. Unaffordable: Without the savings achievable with single-payer, taxes must raised or funds diverted from other needy programs. Micro-coverage, Macro-costs: Preserves wasteful private insurers and adds yet another layer of state administrative waste. Rather than provide care to the uninsured through a relatively efficient program like Medicare, the plan launders tax dollars through wasteful private insurers. Micro-coverage, Macro-costs: Preserves wasteful private insurers and adds yet another layer of state administrative waste. Rather than provide care to the uninsured through a relatively efficient program like Medicare, the plan launders tax dollars through wasteful private insurers. No Realistic Cost Control: Any gains in public coverage will be unsustainable due to rising costs. No Realistic Cost Control: Any gains in public coverage will be unsustainable due to rising costs.

19 “Sounds Great, but it’s not politically feasible” 2/3rds of population want it Many (probably most) physicians want it Business community is now realizing the need for it

20 “If done right, health care in America could be dramatically better with true single-payer coverage.” - Ben Brewer, WSJ, April 18, 2006 “[single-payer] is an idea that's so easy to slam politically yet so sensible for business that only Republicans can sell it! …it may take a Republican President to bless the socialization of health spending we need.” -Matt Miller, Fortune, April 18, 2006 “Think, as a small business, how you could benefit from a single-payer system: you wouldn’t lose potential employees to larger firms that offer more attractive health benefits; health insurance costs would cease to be a line item in your budget. A serious illness befalling you or an employee wouldn’t be a company- wide financial crisis. You might even save money.” -Joseph Antony, CNBC / MSN Money, Winter 2003 CNBC / MSN Money

21 “A Step Towards Universal Coverage” or The Definition of Insanity? Other States That Have Taken “Steps” Hawaii (1974)82,000116,000 Massachusetts (1988)494,000617,000 Oregon (1989)400,000578,000 Tennessee (1992)687,000835,000 Minnesota (1992)350,000430,000 Maine (2003)133,000142,000 Uninsured 2005Uninsured at Time

22 Is “The Perfect the Enemy of the Good?” The Radical and the Republican “Many of Lincoln’s admirers have painted him as a man who wanted exactly what the abolitionists did but cannily waited for a perfect moment to achieve it. [In fact], radicals like Douglass set an agenda Lincoln gradually adopted as his own. Without abolitionists, there would have been no Lincoln.” - James Oakes, Historian, UC Berkeley

23 Single-Payer: “Politically Feasible?” Abolition of Human Slavery (1600s) Women’s Suffrage Movement ( ) Civil Rights Act (1964) Other “Politically Infeasible” Movements

24 What You Can Do Join Up with the campaign for HR 676 at Use the resources on the site to educate yourself, your family and your friends about the single-payer solution.www.sickocure.org Sign the Citizens’ Petition for single-payer national health insurance (on the website). Contact your Members of Congress to tell them you support HR 676, and they should too. Write an Op-Ed or Letter to the Editor of your local paper. You can find tips, templates and examples at Bring Materials and Talk to your church, labor, community or other group about the single-payer solution. The SickoCure website includes sample resolutions that your group can endorse and a copy of this slideshow you can use.


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