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SINGLE PAYER The Next Step for Health Reform (Beyond the Affordable Care Act of 2010) Prepared by Randy Block Co-Chair, Gray Panthers of Metro Detroit.

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Presentation on theme: "SINGLE PAYER The Next Step for Health Reform (Beyond the Affordable Care Act of 2010) Prepared by Randy Block Co-Chair, Gray Panthers of Metro Detroit."— Presentation transcript:

1 SINGLE PAYER The Next Step for Health Reform (Beyond the Affordable Care Act of 2010) Prepared by Randy Block Co-Chair, Gray Panthers of Metro Detroit

2 Overview Why Health Care Reform Is Needed Myths of Health Reform Introduction to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) How ACA Reforms Fall Short Single Payer: The Best Reform Alternative Let’s Keep Working for Single Payer

3 Why Health Reform Is Needed Access to affordable health care is essential for survival In 2009, 48.5 million Americans did not have coverage After health reform in 2010, 16.5 million Americans will STILL be without coverage The insurance industry influences our healthcare system in ways that helps their bottom line, but hurts patients Health care costs continue to rise dramatically Lack of affordable health care is barrier to job creation Many people cannot afford adequate coverage Health care still is not guaranteed as a right

4 Myths About Health Reform Source: FactCheck.org, March 19, 2010 Insurance companies and right wing propagandists seek to turn the clock back on health reform with misinformation. MYTH #1: Congress passed “government run health care”. FACT: The new system builds on current health insurance system. MYTH: #2: Americans premiums will go up (or) Americans premiums will go down. FACT: CBO indicated most people’s premiums won’t change significantly. MYTH #3: The bill cuts Medicare by $500 billion. FACT: Cuts Medicare Advantage overpayments, but retains traditional Medicare benefits, expands preventive health and closes “donut hole”. MYTH #4: Medical Malpractice is the biggest driver of health care spending. FACT: CBO reported total spending could be cut by only about 0.5%. About 75 % of health system costs go for chronic disease.

5 The Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (Adopted by Congress in March 2010) Expands coverage to 32 million Americans by expanding public coverage (Medicaid); subsiding private health insurance; and providing health tax credits for small businesses. Regulates private health insurance, e.g., limits denial of coverage by health status; sets minimum benefit levels; allows some youth to be covered via parents’ policy. Creates an “Exchange” where public/businesses can purchase private insurance in four comprehensive benefit packages. All citizens above certain income level required to buy insurance. Cost containment strategies, new fees and quality improvements (including mandating free preventive health coverage in Medicare and private policies) projected to save more than $100 billion over a decade.

6 ACA Health Reforms Fall Short About 16.5 million Americans remain uninsured. Undocumented immigrants are excluded from purchasing health insurance. Millions not eligible for Medicaid or Medicare will be pressured to buy commercial health insurance policies. (However, if premiums exceed 8% of income, purchase is not required.) Insurance companies will receive $447 in taxpayer funds to subsidize purchase of their products. System is built on a for profit system, which diverts resources from providing quality, comprehensive, universal coverage. Expansion of benefits is significant, but bill won’t control health costs for many working families and businesses.

7 The Medicare for All Act ( HR 676) The Best Next Step! Everyone is covered automatically at birth. Every person living or visiting the U.S. is eligible. Comprehensive coverage – covers all medically necessary services. Patients have choice of medical providers. No co- pays or deductibles are permissible. Converts to a non-profit system. Private health insurance prohibited from selling coverage that duplicates program. Shifts $400 billion in administrative waste to care without net increase in health care spending.

8 Let’s Keep Working for SINGLE PAYER! Many Michigan groups are working for a single payer system: - Jobs With Justice - Physicians for a National Health Program - Health Care Now! - UAW Local Michigan Alliance to Strengthen Social Security & Medicare - MichUHCAN (Michigan Universal Health Care Access Network) - Gray Panthers of Metro Detroit

9 Medicare for All Single Payer Benefits Fees are negotiated with health care providers. A progressive income contribution will cover program costs and reduce costs for 95% of Americans. This system would save state and local governments hundreds of billions of dollars nationwide.

10 What You Can Do to Work for Real Health Reform Get informed. Join an activist organization and get energized! Urge Your Members of Congress to sign on HR 676 Educate your community – public speaking, letters to the editor, distribute literature, tells stories about the need for reform. Demonstrate and protest

11 Conclusions Right wing opponents of health care reform seek to distort the truth and confuse citizens about the need for health reform. Under the new ACA law, private health insurance benefits have been expanded to 32 million more people and there have been some important regulations of the health insurance industry. However, as long as private health insurance is allowed to dominate the U.S. healthcare system, consumers will continue to lack coverage and costs will continue to rise. A single payer health system (HR 676) is the next step toward real health reform that brings everybody in and leaves nobody out. Citizen activism is needed now more than ever.


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