Members of the Steering Committee of KSPH are often asked to give a talk about single payer. Ideally, we like to have about 40 minutes for a PowerPoint presentation, followed by 15 minutes for Q&A. But quite often the hosting group asks for a shorter talk, so we have prepared this “nutshell” version of our message. It takes less than 5 minutes to deliver–and can be adapted by the speaker.
1. We are members of Kentuckians for Single Payer Healthcare, volunteer advocates for a health care program that would go beyond the Affordable Care Act(ACA) to cover absolutely everyone in our country. We acknowledge that the ACA will benefit certain people, but over 30 million will be left uninsured.
2. We are nonpartisan, but we do support a bill in Congress, HR 676, that would expand and improve Medicare–and give it to everyone. You have our brochure which will give you details about the legislation. You may also read a summary, or the full text, online.
3. HR 676 would provide coverage for all necessary medical care–dental, vision, and long-term care–and we could choose our own doctor.
4. Passage of HR 676 would save billions of dollars per year by cutting the administrative waste caused by our current dependence on private insurers. The plan would be nonprofit, and publicly funded. The ‘”single payer” would be “we the people” using our taxes to provide coverage and care for each other. Ninety-five percent of Americans would pay less than they do now–considering what we currently pay if you add up premiums, out-of-pocket expenses, and taxes. The health of our people and our economy would benefit. Business would be relieved of the burden of providing and managing health insurance.
5. Our companies would be more competitive in the global marketplace. The governments of other advanced industrial democracies–countries where capitalism is thriving–have set up some version of single payer to provide universal care to their people. Moreover, their health outcomes are better than ours–outcomes such as infant mortality, life expectancy, etc.
6. You may ask about the impact on jobs. HR 676 has built-in funding for transitioning employees from a for-profit system to a system focused on providing care. As everyone gets access to care, thousands of health care jobs will be created.
7. We think you will agree that this also is a moral issue, a human rights issue. No one who is ill should be denied treatment. No one who has been hospitalized should face bankruptcy due to medical bills. No one should have to go through Medicaid’s humiliating process to prove they are “poor enough” to get coverage for themselves and their children. “Ability to pay,” or a high deductible, should not be a barrier to care.
We are a grassroots movement. We believe we can make this happen. We invite you to join us. We meet on the 1st and 3rd Thursday each month in the downtown Louisville Library. You may find us on Facebook. If you would like more information, the brochure lists several websites. For those who want to view data and the results of research, go to pnhp.org the web site of Physicians for a National Health Program.
(Louisville, KY, January 14, 2014)