By Richard A. Damon, M.D.
Bozeman (Mont.) Daily Chronicle, Letters, Dec. 28, 2016
In contrast to other advanced countries of the world, health care as a human right is still controversial in the United States. Our market-based system still treats health care as a commodity for sale on the open market with access to care based on ability to pay.
The inadequate and shoddy debate over health care is closely linked to the thousands of ill-informed Americans who do not seem to possess even the most rudimentary understanding of the benefits of universal health care reform. John Geyman, M.D., author of “The Human Face of Obamacare,” has suggested three alternatives to consider how health care will be financed and how Americans will pay for it under the Trump administration:
1) Repeal the ACA and replace with a vague GOP plan with total privatization, ill-defined subsidies, health savings accounts, and cross-state insurers.
2) Continuation of the unsustainable ACA with changes, but with private insurers, drug makers and big corporate medical stake holders continuing control of costs.
3) Enactment of a single-payer Medicare for All system of National Health Insurance (NHI).
Comparison of the three alternatives gives obvious conclusion:
* The ACA has restricted access, choice, and accountability, no cost containment, unimproved quality of care, increased bureaucracy, no universal coverage, and no financial sustainability.
* The privatized GOP plan has restricted access, choice, and accountability, no cost containment, unimproved quality of care, increased bureaucracy, no universal coverage, and no financial sustainability.
* The NHI plan (Medicare for All) has unrestricted access, complete choice, cost containment, improved quality of care, reduced bureaucracy, universal coverage from birth to death, full accountability and is financially sustainable.
Check it out. How much more comparison is necessary to convince Americans which is the best plan? H.R. 676, Expanded and Improved Medicare for All overwhelmingly wins out.
Dr. Richard A. Damon resides in Bozeman.