How the Current Senate Health Care Bill Proposes to Punish Americans, and the Evolving Advocacy to Counter It
Last week, Republicans in Congress shared the secretive Health Care bill they have been working on, which features tax cuts for the rich, and lack of medical care access for much of the country. Republicans pushed to pass it quickly, but the Bill was met by hesitant Senators, people protesting across the country, and the new label of “Weath Care.”
Right now, Republicans in Congress are proposing a 33 billion tax cut for very richest in America while allowing 22 million Americans to lose health insurance over the next decade, with the numbers only rising after that, according to the Congressional Budget Office. NPR published a helpful chart, which spells out the differences between ObamaCare and the current proposed Senate House Bill.
The proposed bill plans to cut Medicaid (health insurance for low income people) by over 770 billion dollars, defund Planned Parenthood for a year and substantially increase premiums for older Americans. Being uninsured raises death rate between 3-29%, and if the Senate Bill passes, 28,600 people will die early deaths every year because of it.
Single Payer Health Care System
A new poll says that 1/3 of the US population is now in favor of single payer healthcare (healthcare for all). The US actually already has a form of single payer health care which is extremely popular- it is known as Medicare (health care for seniors and those with disabilities). Right now there are 57 million people Medicare out of a U.S. population of 320 million. There’s no reason why expanding Medicare to the rest of the population is impossible, which is why single-payer health care advocates are calling for “Medicare for All.”
Canada currently has a single payer health care system, as does Scotland. Both countries have a life expectancy that is 2 years longer than the average American. In addition to saving and strengthening lives, single payer heath care will also save money. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, 31% of total health spending is spent on administrative costs with insurance companies. A single payer health care plan for all Americans will save half of this administrative money, by completely cutting out the need for insurance companies, according to Physicians for a National Health Program.
Senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts recently came out in support of Single Payer Health Care, or Medicare for all. The idea is being tossed around by other politicians more than ever before, and of course Bernie Sanders advocated for this health care plan during his campaign for the Democratic nomination in 2016. Physicians for a National Health Program is a big advocate for reform, and National Nurses United is also advocating for Medicare for all. Additionally, disability rights advocates, many of whom depend of Medicaid to live, recently made national news for their protest of the Senate Bill. Planned Parenthood advocates have also made news as they protested while dressed as Handmaid’s from Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel in protest of the effort to defund the organization.
Healthcare is on the minds of all Americans this week, and hopefully will be on all of our minds in the coming future, in an effort to pave the way for a health care system that takes care of all people in the country.
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