Health Care

Single-Payer Healthcare

Once you believe you have enough information to do so, please be sure to sign Monstah PAC's Petition for the Establishment of a Single-Payer Health System in the United States.
We wish to share with you the following FAQ segments from the outstanding Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) website--An amazingly complete compilation of information relating to the establishment of a Single-Payer Healthcare system in the United States:

Will a single-payer system work?

"Other countries show it works well. Our own Medicare program is instructive.

Yes. Single-payer programs in other nations such as Canada, Taiwan, and Australia show that it’s possible to provide high-quality care for everyone at about half the cost, per capita, that the U.S. is spending now. Medical outcomes in such systems are generally as good if not better than those with private insurance in the U.S., and everyone is covered.

Our traditional Medicare program, which provides coverage for our nation’s seniors and the severely disabled, operates with low overhead, about 2 percent, in comparison with private insurers’ average overhead of about 12-14 percent. And Medicare enjoys very strong public approval ratings. That said, today’s Medicare suffers from serious deficiencies such as high cost sharing and gaps in coverage. And because it operates alongside many other insurance plans, hospitals and other providers have to maintain their complex and expensive cost tracking and billing systems. A single-payer national health insurance program would correct those deficiencies, creating, in effect, an improved version of Medicare for all."

What is single-payer health reform?

"Universal coverage for all medically necessary care – health care that’s publicly financed but largely privately delivered. Patients no longer face burdensome premiums, copays or deductibles, even as they gain free choice of physician and hospital. Doctors gain clinical autonomy and dramatically reduced paperwork.

In the U.S. context, “single payer” usually refers to “single-payer national health insurance,” a nonprofit system in which everyone is covered under a single public or quasi-public plan that pays for care, but the delivery of care remains largely in private hands.

Under a single-payer system, every resident of the U.S. would be covered from birth to death for all medically necessary care, including doctor, hospital, preventive, long-term care, mental health, reproductive health care, dental, vision, prescription drug and medical supply costs. Patients would no longer face financial barriers to care such as premiums, copays and deductibles, all of which would be abolished. Coverage would be portable – e.g. no longer tied to employment or to an insurer’s network of providers – and truly universal.

Patients would have free choice of doctor and hospital. The restrictive networks associated with today’s private insurance companies would be eliminated.

Doctors would regain autonomy over patient care, no longer micromanaged by private insurers or burdened by costly paperwork.

The single-payer system’s overarching aim is to provide comprehensive health coverage to everyone in the country, and to do so equitably, efficiently and at lower cost to individuals and the nation.

Key features of a single-payer program are concisely enumerated here. For a recent, detailed description of such plan, see the Physicians’ Proposal for Single-Payer Health Reform published in the American Journal of Public Health."

 

America has a very real problem providing quality healthcare for its citizens.

America continually educates and trains the best practitioners in the art and science of healthcare – physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, and therapists in all disciplines. BUT,

 America has worse healthcare outcomes, as measured across multiple areas, than all other western democracies, and including many so-called ‘third world’ countries. Even worse, America pays more, much more, that these others countries pay for better healthcare outcomes.

Why?

America embraces a for-profit corporate business model of healthcare administration (“medical-industrial complex”). This model is complex, wasteful and inefficient.

The vast majority of countries in the rest of the world embrace varying degrees of socialized or nationalized medicine, and attempt to offer ALL their citizens some form of ‘universal healthcare coverage’.  Americans have been victimized by a disinformation, misinformation propaganda campaign that universal healthcare coverage is bad (socialized medicine!), cannot be done here or is somehow ‘un-American” (free markets can meet our needs not the dead-hand of government). ALL NONSENSE.

Before 1973 it was illegal in the USA to profit off of healthcare. The Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973, originated through corporate special interests, and signed by Nixon, changed everything. The for-profit, corporate healthcare model operating in America today is a failure, it is literally killing us!

 

Want Proof?

Fact #1

The World Health Organization (WHO) tracks and analyzes healthcare data from around the world, and reports the findings in its Annual Statistics reports. In all 194 countries meet the reporting standards required for inclusion in the data sets. Here are 5 facts, real facts, from the 2016-2017 report that should make it clear where America stands when compared to the rest of the world regarding healthcare outcomes; we are NOT EXCEPTIONAL.

Life Expectancy at Birth (years, both sexes)

United States Of America = 78.5 years

31 Other Countries (16%) have longer life expectancy than we do (best = 84.2 and 83.3 years; Japan and Switzerland, respectively)

Maternal Mortality (ratio per 100,000 live births)

        United States of America = 14

43 Other Counties (22%) have better maternal survival than we do (best score = 3, shared by Finland, Greece, Iceland and  Poland)

Neonatal/Infant Mortality (rate per 1000 live births, birth to 1st year)

        United States of America = 3.7

43 Other Countries (22%) have better newborn/infant survival than we do (best score = 0.6, 0.9, 1.0 and 1.1; San Marino, Japan, Iceland and Singapore, respectively)

Under Five Mortality (rate per 1000 live births)

        United States of America = 6.5

 43 Other Countries (22%) have better under 5 years survival than we do (best score = 2.1, 2.3, 2.3, and 2.4; Iceland, Finland, Slovenia, San Marino and Luxembourg respectively)

Current Health Expenditure (% of Gross Domestic Product)

        United States of America = 16.8%

31 out of the 31 countries (100%) with a longer life expectancy spend less than we do (best score = 4.3%, 5.2% and 6.0%; Singapore, Bahrain and Luxembourg respectively)

40 out of the 43 (93%) countries with longer childhood survival than we spend less than we do (best score = 2.0%, 4.3%, 6.0%, 6.0% and 6.3%; Monaco, Singapore, Luxembourg, Montenegro and Poland respectively)

      

Fact #2:

The 2014 Euro Health Consumer Index ranked 37 different EU countries across 48 indicators. Every one of the 37 countries has established universal health care coverage for every citizen. Nearly every one of these 37 countries scored better, often much better, than the USA in the above WHO categories.

 

The cost of Healthcare in the United States is extraordinarily high and growing by leaps and bounds--case in point, prescription drug costs:

Fact #3:

Americans pay more for their drugs than residents of any other country in the world. On average, the cost of prescription drugs in the U.S. is at least double what people in other countries pay for the same exact product and in some cases, it can be as much as 10 times more.

U.S. law protects drug companies from free-market competition, and Medicare is not allowed to negotiate prices, despite Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's broken campaign promise to see to it, if elected, that the law would be changed to require Medicare to do so. By law, it has to pay exactly what the drug companies charge for any drug. The same goes for other insurance companies who simply do not negotiate.

In contrast, governments in other countries put caps on the price of drugs and negotiate prices based on what the actual therapeutic benefit is. And Big Pharma still turns a healthy profit in other countries, despite costs being 40 percent lower than they are in the United States.

In the case of almost every other product sold on the free market, the older a product gets the less it costs. In the case of cancer drugs in America, the inverse is actually true. Novartis developed Gleevec, one of the most popular cancer drugs, in 2001 and sold it for $28,000 a year. By 2012, its cost rose to $92,000 and even more skyward since.  "Generic imatinib is available in Canada for $8,800/year and Gleevec was available for $38,000/year in 2016.  In the United States, Gleevec was priced in 2016 at about $146,000/year" [and Generic imatinib was $142,000/year].  Thus, the 'generic price' in the United States was in fact not much lower than the branded drug price [but it is expected to drop dramatically due to worldwide competition from a number of other generics].  Despite not being a novel treatment, Novartis was allowed to hike up the price every year in the United States."

For more on this issue, see drugwatch

Why?

America embraces a for-profit corporate business model of healthcare administration. Nearly every country in the rest of the world embraces varying degrees of socialized or nationalized medicine and offers ALL their citizens some form of ‘universal healthcare coverage’.

The for-profit, corporate healthcare model is a failure.

American History Lesson

While it is impossible to think that the framers of the U.S. Constitution could have envisioned modern day medical and surgical practice and the multitude sciences of healthcare, they nonetheless understood the importance of a healthy society – they went home each night to their families and certainly new the pain and fear of injury, disease and death.

The Preamble to the Constitution, one sentence, 52 words, is widely considered to represent the ‘spirit’ of the document. You will recognize some of these words: 

“…form a more perfect Union…establish Justice…insure domestic Tranquility….promote the general Welfare….secure Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”

Now considering the words above, how do you think our nation would be served if every American, in every State, had guaranteed healthcare? Would our overall health and happiness improve? Does your view of the outcome that a guarantee of healthcare could bring, square with what you think the Founders would have thought?

Obamacare / ACA

The “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (ACA, Obamacare, effective March 2010) was the result of battling House (supported by President Obama) and Senate (strong GOP support) versions, the Senate winning; lost from the final bill were well over a dozen potential paradigm shifting policy changes that would have had brought America a far more progressive healthcare system. What remained was: guaranteed issue (prohibit pre-existing), minimum policy standards, individual mandate (concept by conservative think tank Heritage Foundation 1989, supported by Gingrich and Hatch in congress 1993), health insurance exchanges, low income subsidies, Medicaid eligibility expanded, and reforms in the Medicare payment system. 

The House Democrats abandoned their more comprehensive version of healthcare reform and embraced the most modest of beginnings of healthcare reform, today’s ACA, and in a shameful display of un-American, hyper partisan politics. Only one token Republican voted in favor of the bill as it left the House. Since that time the Republican Party, together with the current occupant of the White House have tried in earnest over a dozen times to repeal without any acceptable replacement, more dozens of times to slow, hinder or impede the implementation process. Few common sense, bipartisan legislative efforts to substantially improve the law have been allowed to occur.

 

Sign NowMonstah PAC's Petition for the Establishment of a Single-Payer Health System in the United States

In selected Congressional campaigns Monstah PAC will seek to highlight the political positions between candidates on the issues of protecting the ACA and the continuing need for further progressive healthcare reform.

 

AEDs are the Present Day Equivalent to the Giant Step in Emergency Preparedness of what Fire Extinguishers Represented 50 years ago

[Editor's Note:  Since 2008, David Eisenstein, Monstah PAC Founder and Treasurer, has devoted a substantial portion of his legal career to preventing deaths from Sudden Cardiac Arrest through his advocacy before the United States District Court (Los Angeles, CA), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the California Supreme Court in favor of the proliferation of AEDs, and working in cooperation with charitable foundations such as the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation.  He was lead counsel in the case of developmentally challenged Mary Ann Verdugo who died at a Target Store in the Los Angeles area when she suffered a Sudden Cardiac Arrest while shopping with her mother and brother and could not be revived by EMTs when they arrived at her side 16 minutes later.  It was against Target's policies to make an AED available for its customers and employees at its stores...although it sold them through its website on the internet where Target promoted them by emphasizing their life-saving capabilities.]

Eisenstein filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court which was denied by that Court in 2016 thereby ending that litigation which spanned seven years in total.  Now the Governor has signed into law a requirement that new "Big Box" stores such as Targets have life-saving AEDs available on their premises.] 

Shortly thereafter, David Eisenstein received confirmation that it was Mary Ann's case which inspired the new law, when David Sforza, aide to California State Sen. Ben Hueso, wrote him:

"We wrote this bill in response to Mary Ann's case.  I updated my boss on its holding and he made me aware that when he was President of the San Diego City Council one of his colleagues wrote and successfully passed an ordinance requiring an AED in large occupancy buildings.  We modeled this law after the San Diego ordinance"---David Sforza, aide to Sen. Ben Hueso (D-CA)

Rosemary Verdugo with a portrait of daughter, Mary Ann Verdugo

Every day 984 Americans suffer a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting. For every minute that passes, the chances of survival decrease by 7-10%; after 10 minutes resuscitation is usually hopeless and you die. Immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and early defibrillation, with an automated external defibrillator (AED), can more than double a victim’s chance of survival. In communities with comprehensive AED programs that include CPR and AED training, survival rates have approached 40%, in some locations 60-70%. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association are on record as supporting the widespread placement, training, and use of AEDs throughout American society. 

However most of private industry, and most importantly, big-box retailers and other large public venues have refused to self-implement, and resisted policies that would mandate the same. Their reasons: fear of being sued and cost. Good government policy, in the name of ‘Good Samaritan’  protection, and current prices as low as $1,200 each, makes their arguments hollow and places a very cheap value on the lives of 585 Americans who die every day, but who could be saved with CPR/AED.

Monstah PAC supports candidates who advocate policy to encourage the proliferation of AEDs throughout society, and in particular in big box megastores such as Targets, Staples, and Best Buys, etc.

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  • David Eisenstein
    published this page in Platform 2018-06-01 13:49:46 -0700