BernieCare: Vermont Senator Ready to Take Health Debate in New Direction

 

Celebrity Health & Fitness

CONGRESS

BernieCare: Vermont Senator Ready to Take Health Debate in New Direction

Will U.S. Join Allies With Single-Payer System?

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is ready to introduce legislation expanding Medicare to cover all U.S. citizens. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Sen. Bernie Sanders is ready to take the health insurance debate in a whole new direction with a bill to create a “Medicare for all” single-payer system that guarantees health care as a right. Is this socialism, or is it what the country needs?

The Vermont Senator appeared on CNN over the weekend to announce his plans.

“I’m going to introduce a Medicare-for-all single-payer program,” Sanders told anchor Dana Bash on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Voices from Countries With Universal Healthcare
 
From a Canadian, oh hell no, don’t get rid of your ACA/Obama Care. In 2009 it was found that 86% of Canadians prefer our health care to that which the Us has. Right now we have the problem of “for profit” creeping into it, and if I had my way, I’d confiscate the pensions of every single politician who allowed it to happen, and ban them from ever running for office again! The US, on the other hand, needs to amend their system to get rid of the “for profit” aspect. But greed in politics is such that, we have a battle ahead of both of us. Another thing we have to watch out for is the practice of politicians under-funding a benefit to make it appear that the government can’t handle the benefit distribution and therefore make it easier to privatize it. It is this simple, you have any benefit or service that is privatized to a company that will profit from it, and that money is taken away that service and put in the pockets of the private owner. Health care should not and never ever be for profit. The motivation will never be to prevent illness, only to cure it. — Cathy Tong

I come from Denmark. Our health care system is free – and we do also have private hospitals if you want fast treatment. I have always been puzzled about all the arguments for letting people pay for health insurances and such. It doesn’t create an effective hospital system and americans pay 7 times more for certain routine examinations than you do in the Danish hospital system. The public health care system is more efficient. In wars you are asked to give your life for your country, but in peace you can’t even treat a broken nail without paying. That is a disgrace. — Claus Westh

Source: Quora

In the wake of the stinging defeat of House Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan, dubiously dubbed TrumpCare, Sanders believes the floor is now open for a bipartisan plan that addresses health care in the United States through a single-payer system.

“Ideally, where we should be going, is to join the rest of the industrialized world, and guarantee healthcare to all people as a right,” he said. “Short-term, this is what we could do.”

Sanders said he has no problem reaching out to President Trump to put together a plan. Trump promised during the campaign he would repeal Obamacare and come up with a plan to cover everyone, with lower premium costs.

Sanders said the plan will include a provision to lower prescription drug prices, which are more expensive here than anywhere else in the world.

“President Trump, come on board. Let’s work together,” Sanders said. “Let’s end the absurdity of Americans paying by far the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs.”

The United States health care system is the most expensive in the world, but this report and prior editions consistently show the U.S. under-performs relative to other countries on most dimensions of performance, according to the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that promotes high-performing health care systems.

The New York City-based organization studied healthcare systems in 11 nations—Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The U.S. system ranked last and failed to achieve better health outcomes than other countries, all of which have national healthcare systems. The United Kingdom ranked first, followed closely by Switzerland.

>How the United States stacks up on health care delivery and outcomes compared with 10 countries with universal healthcare. (Source: Commonwealth Fund)

Click Here for a Large Version of This Chart


The Affordable Care Act is not reflected in the study’s data, but the ACA is increasing the number of Americans with coverage and improving access to care, the report noted.

Here is a summary of the major findings:

Quality: The indicators of quality were grouped into four categories: effective care, safe care, coordinated care, and patient-centered care. Compared with the other 10 countries, the U.S. fares best on provision and receipt of preventive and patient-centered care. While there has been some improvement in recent years, lower scores on safe and coordinated care pull the overall U.S. quality score down. Continued adoption of health information technology should enhance the ability of U.S. physicians to identify, monitor, and coordinate care for their patients, particularly those with chronic conditions.

Access: Not surprisingly—given the absence of universal coverage—people in the U.S. go without needed health care because of cost more often than people do in the other countries. Americans were the most likely to say they had access problems related to cost. Patients in the U.S. have rapid access to specialized health care services; however, they are less likely to report rapid access to primary care than people in leading countries in the study. In other countries, like Canada, patients have little to no financial burden, but experience wait times for such specialized services. There is a frequent misperception that trade-offs between universal coverage and timely access to specialized services are inevitable; however, the Netherlands, U.K., and Germany provide universal coverage with low out-of-pocket costs while maintaining quick access to specialty services.

Efficiency: On indicators of efficiency, the U.S. ranks last among the 11 countries, with the U.K. and Sweden ranking first and second, respectively. The U.S. has poor performance on measures of national health expenditures and administrative costs as well as on measures of administrative hassles, avoidable emergency room use, and duplicative medical testing. Sicker survey respondents in the U.K. and France are less likely to visit the emergency room for a condition that could have been treated by a regular doctor, had one been available.

Equity: The U.S. ranks a clear last on measures of equity. Americans with below-average incomes were much more likely than their counterparts in other countries to report not visiting a physician when sick; not getting a recommended test, treatment, or follow-up care; or not filling a prescription or skipping doses when needed because of costs. On each of these indicators, one-third or more lower-income adults in the U.S. said they went without needed care because of costs in the past year.

Healthy lives: The U.S. ranks last overall with poor scores on all three indicators of healthy lives—mortality amenable to medical care, infant mortality, and healthy life expectancy at age 60. The U.S. and U.K. had much higher death rates in 2007 from conditions amenable to medical care than some of the other countries, e.g., rates 25 percent to 50 percent higher than Australia and Sweden. Overall, France, Sweden, and Switzerland rank highest on healthy lives.

The United States has been trying to solve its healthcare crisis within the framework of a for-profit health insurance industry. The ACA created a hybrid system.

For-profit health insurance companies provide coverage within the framework of a government-run system that includes Medicaid to take care of lower-income Americans. Employers, however, still provide the bulk of health insurance coverage to employees.

Sanders acknowledged that ObamaCare needs to be fixed, but the GOP plan was not the way to go.

He called it nothing more than a $300 billion tax cut for the top 2 percent of U.S. households. They pay a small surtax to help fund the ACA. At the same time, as many as 24 million people would have lost their insurance.

Sanders called the measure “a disastrous piece of legislation.”

“The American people wanted it defeated,” he said. “And I’m glad that we were able to accomplish that.”

With a 237-193 vote edge in the House, Republicans would have final say over Sanders’ bill. But the Vermont Senator believes Trump could be the wildcard to move the debate forward.

Check out the video below.