As time passes I become more and more frustrated with the health care system in the U.S.
Recently I found out that my 18 year old pregnant daughter is facing open heart surgery. On top of the emotional shock and drain this is causing on her and me, the amount of “stuff” she is going through with doctors and insurance is unbelievable. Because she is 18 and not in school, she was just informed the other day that she would not be covered on her dad’s insurance. She turned 18 in December and was told (again just the other day) that not only would she not be covered, but all doctor’s bills that this insurance company had paid would be billed to her to have to pay. This will amount to thousands of dollars.
She is pregnant with no job and now newly diagnosed heart disease.
We are going to see if her state insurance (which served as her secondary insurance as a pregnant teen) will cover those bills, but who knows……
To put it bluntly: Health Care in the U.S. sucks.
One of the many reasons I am a member of the Green Party is because of its position on health care, particularly the section on Universal Health Care:
The United States is the only industrialized nation in the world without a national health care system. The current system’s high costs and widely recognized failures demand that bold steps be taken. The Green Party supports a universal, comprehensive, national single-payer health insurance program as the only solution to the current disastrous for-profit system.
Under a universal national single-payer health care system, the administrative waste of private insurance corporations would be redirected to patient care. If the U.S. were to shift to a system of universal coverage and a single payer plan, as in Canada, the savings in administrative costs would be more than enough to offset the cost. Expenses for businesses currently providing coverage would be reduced. State and local governments would pay less because they would receive reimbursement for services provided to the previously uninsured, and because public programs would cease to be the “dumping ground” for high-risk patients and those rejected by HMOs when they become disabled and unemployed.
Most importantly, the people of America will gain the peace of mind in knowing that needed health care will always be available to them. No longer will people have to worry about facing financial disaster if they become seriously ill, are laid off their jobs, or are injured in an accident.
The Green Party supports a universal, comprehensive, national single-payer health plan that will provide the following with no increase in cost:
a. A publicly funded health care insurance program, administered at the state and local levels.
b. Lifetime benefits for everyone. No one will lose coverage for any reason.
c. Freedom to choose the type of health care provider, with a wide range of health care choices.
d. Decision-making in the hands of health providers and their patients.
e. Comprehensive benefits, as good or better than existing plans, including dental, vision, mental health care, hospice, long-term care, substance abuse treatment and medication coverage.
f. Participation of all licensed and/or certified health providers, subject to standards of practice in their field.
g. Portable health plan benefits.
h. Primary and preventive care as priorities, including wellness education about diet, nutrition and exercise.
i. Greatly reduced paperwork for both patients and providers.
j. Fair and full reimbursement to providers for their services.
k. Preservation of all health care services currently available.
l. Cost controls via streamlined administration, national fee schedules, bulk purchases of drugs and medical equipment, and coordination of capital expenditures. Prices of medications must be publicly supervised.
m. Hospitals that can afford safe staffing levels for registered nurses.
n. Establishment of national, state, and local Health Policy Boards consisting of health consumers and providers to oversee and evaluate the performance of the system, expand access to care, and determine research priorities. All meetings of the boards shall be open to the public.
o. Establishment of a National Health Trust Fund that would channel all current Federal payments for health care programs directly into the Fund, in addition to employees’ health premium payments.
Remember to vote green when you vote. The only party that advocates for the basic human need and right to free accessible health care.