Let's live up to our values as a nation by investing in affordable healthcare.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that the United Sates ratified in 1948, at Article 25, mandates that all Americans are entitled to basic healthcare. This is a basic human right that cannot be ignored. In many respects, this is a goal that we have aspired to since that time, although unsuccessfully.
Of course, the devil is always in the details. After World War Two, American business sought to reemploy returning GIs. However, wage controls were in effect so, to attract the best applicants, employers offered private health insurance. This outmoded, profit driven system still operates today. Policies vary greatly, so that coverage is not uniform. Insurers only stay in the system so long as there is money to be made. If under-employed or unemployed, health coverage is not available or unaffordable.
In 2010, the Obama administration proposed and Congress enacted the Affordable Care Act. Unfortunately, due to legislative compromise, GOP opposition and a continued reliance on private health insurers, the ACA has struggled.
Currently, 43% of Americans get their health coverage through a single payer system — through Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare and the VA. Surveys show that most recipients of these programs are satisfied with the coverage they receive. And the costs to administer these programs is less.
In 2016, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders proposed a single payer “Medicare for All” system financed through payroll taxes. This would provide universal coverage. In many cases, the payroll taxes would be less than the premiums employers now pay. Also, the administrative costs would be far less.
Who is against such a proposal? Private health insurers, of course. Also, the current GOP controlled government in Washington. Therefore, I believe that the legislature in Tallahassee needs to step up and develop a single payer program to include all Floridians.
I support the expansion of government health care programs to cover all Americans. It is our right and our duty.