Every person deserves the best medical care available, and DSA is committed to making this right a reality through Medicare for All. Even under the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) over 10 million people remain uninsured, and tens of millions more are underinsured, with insurance plans that are too expensive and too stingy to meet their medical needs. In the United States, we could easily fix this gross injustice (in fact, it would save us money), but as long as insurance companies pull the strings, nothing will change. We can make that change happen, but we will need to build a mass movement of people demanding a right to health care and calling for Medicare for All!
At its simplest, Medicare for All would mean that all Americans would be able to receive all their necessary medical care without paying anything: no premiums, no co-pays, no charges for prescriptions. These costs would all be paid out to health care providers by a single, public health insurer (that's why Medicare for All is also called 'single-payer').
Our current Medicare program already does this for people over 65, and most of us know somebody who has benefited from the security and stability this provides. However, Medicare currently has some major gaps and, of course, it only covers a limited set of people. That is why we want to both expand and improve Medicare. Medicare for All proposals like Bernie Sanders' bill in the Senate not only expands Medicare coverage to all Americans, but it extends coverage to all necessary medical care, including dental, vision, mental health, and prescription drugs.
DSA has established the following five principles for a universal health care program:
Very easily. The United States pays more than twice as much as other leading countries per capita even as we provide more limited care with worse health outcomes. The difference between the United States and a country like Canada or the UK is not that they spend more (quite the opposite!) but that they spend their money on unified public programs that prioritize delivering care to their citizens, while we spend our money on private health insurers that prioritize making a profit. Medicare for All not only cuts profit out of the equation, but a single payer system is much more efficient. Currently, our health care system produces 13% of its total cost from administration, largely from complex billing procedures while the existing Medicare system has administration costs of only 2%.
In raw numbers, we currently spend 59.6 trillion dollars on health care, but a Medicare for All plan like Sanders' would only cost 57.6 trillion. That's a savings of over 2trillion dollars every year(for comparison, this is more than eight times the size of the Washington State operating budget), all while providing health care to more people, with no out of pocket expenses, and includin coverage for dental, vision, and prescription drugs.
We are holding regular canvasses to talk with people in our neighborhoods about their own concerns about our health care system and how Medicare for All could make things better. We already know this is a wildly popular proposal (over 70% of all Americans support Medicare for All), but people have been told again and again by certain politicians that it is impossible. We believe that by having these conversations now, we can lay the foundation for a mass mobilization that will steamroll the Republican opposition and drag even the most recalcitrant Democratic politian into supporting Medicare for All.
If you would like to get involved as an organizer, a canvasser, or just an informed citizen who can talk with their friends and coworkers, the contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.