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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 10/25/19

The ignorance about universal healthcare for Americans is astounding, incomprehensible

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Medicare for All
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I've watch the Democratic debates and, in particular, I've noticed the discussions about Medicare for All involving Senators Sanders and Warren. I can't believe my ears. It's no wonder that these two senators are having so much trouble selling this form of universal healthcare to the American people, and even to most of their fellow candidates.

Sanders and Warren are doing a very poor job of explaining how the systems that they are promoting will work, what they will cost and, and especially the effect that they will have on Americans' taxes. Why they are not prepared to do this is simply astounding, incomprehensible.

This has no become such a very debatable issue and it could have been entirely avoided if they had pointed out how such systems have been working very successfully in a host of other developed countries; and why it could also work quite effectively here in this country.

There are 32 developed nations in the world, including the US, as well as in Europe proper, Scandinavia, Canada, and various other nations. 31 of these developed nations have some form of universal healthcare and only one does not. And who might that be? Well, it's none other than the USA.

These countries are, quite obviously, distinctly different from America in that they all consider that healthcare is a right for every citizen. They make it clear that they feel this way because they care for their fellow citizens.

These other nations have had such healthcare systems in place for decades; some are better than others, some have problems that need to be addressed but, for the most part, they are quite effective and the people of these countries are quite satisfied with them.

Now let's ask this very pertinent question involving this critical issue: How many people in these other nations die annually because they have no medical coverage? The answer is none because every one of them is covered.

America doesn't have just one healthcare system, it has five, yes five. There is private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, and the VA system. And, if anyone thinks that they are all fully coordinated and work very effectively together, then think again.

What a convoluted system this is. Each of the five is greatly burdened with massive paperwork. Private insurance companies earn huge profits, premiums never stop increasing. Republicans are always trying to decrease funding for Medicare and Medicaid and they tried hard to destroy Obamacare.

Before we talk about costs, let's talk about the shortcomings of the US systems and how their shortcomings adversely affect Americans. Here are some statistics from various internet sources, including nerdwallet.com:

*56 million Americans under age 65 will have trouble paying medical bills.

*Over 35 million American adults (ages 19-64) will be contacted by collections agencies for unpaid medical bills; 17 million of the same age group will receive a lower credit rating on account of their medical bills.

*Over 15 million adults in the same age group will use us all their savings to pay medical bills; over 11 million in the same age group will take on credit card debt to pay off their hospital bills.

*Nearly 10 million adults will be unable to pay for basic necessities like rent, food, and heat due to medical bills.

*Over 16 million children live in households that are struggling with medical bills.

*To save costs, over 25 million adults will not take their prescription drugs as indicated, including skipping doses, taking less medicine than prescribed, or delaying a refill.

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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on OpEdNews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)
 

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