By Johnathon Ross, M.D., M.P.H.
The (Toledo, Ohio) Blade, May 25, 2020
The Partnership for America’s Health Care Future is a dark-money group mainly funded by health insurance and pharmaceutical companies whose profits are most threatened by health care reform. They are spending of millions of dollars running ads against “Medicare for All” and public option-type reform. Sadly, the American Hospital Association is participating and financially supporting this shameful anti-reform effort.
Improved expanded Medicare for all is supported by the majority of Americans. The American Medical Association and the American College of Radiology recently left the partnership. The AMA left under pressure after nearly losing a policy vote promoted by student members who support Medicare for All.
Our broken health system wastes more than $600 billion on insurance overhead and profits and leaves tens of millions of Americans without health coverage. As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, tens of millions more are losing their jobs and their health insurance. A Medicare-for-All system would save the $600 billion and provide seamless cradle-to-grave coverage without co-pays, deductibles, or narrow provider networks covering all of us, including the uninsured and unemployed in good times and bad.
The AHA cannot claim to represent struggling hospitals while opposing single-payer Medicare for All. Medicare for All would completely fund hospitals through annual publicly accountable global budgets based on community health needs. Medicare for All would provide a financial lifeline to rural and safety net hospitals who care for greater numbers of uninsured and under-insured patients.
Our hospitals should not be wasting precious resources advertising against universal health coverage. Doctors and nurses are demanding that the AHA immediately leave the anti-reform PFAHCF. Money spent advertising against reform should be spent caring for patients and protecting our caregivers struggling against the pandemic.
Dr. Johnathon Ross is a past president of Physicians for a National Health Program.