Without good health, we cannot spend time with our families, we cannot attend school and get a good education, and we cannot work hard and start businesses. Furthermore, every day, families stress about paying for healthcare and often go into debt and bankruptcy trying to cover the bills for a loved one. As premiums, co-pays, and deductibles continue to rise, insurance companies deny treatments, and pharmaceutical companies raise drug prices, we have to recognize that the for-profit insurance model of healthcare has been a disastrous failure.
I therefore believe healthcare needs to be a fundamental right of all Americans. We have the technology and resources, everyone deserves to receive the care they need. I support a single payer system that provides guaranteed, high-quality healthcare to everyone, similar to the successful systems used in every other major industry in the world. As representative, I would support the Pennsylvania HealthCare Plan (HB 1688) to establish a statewide single payer system until the preferred national single payer system (as expressed in HR 676, also known as “Improved Medicare For All”) is implemented.
What does single payer healthcare mean to me?
- Comprehensive coverage everywhere. A comprehensive list of services should be available to everyone. See the doctor you want or go to the hospital you want, whenever you need it. Single payer is about handling the costs, not getting between you and the doctor as private insurance often does. In particular, I will make certain any healthcare system protects womens' health issues, including the right to choose abortion, as well as the rights of LGBTQ+ patients.
- No fees or costs at the point of service. Too many are afraid to get the treatment they need because they are afraid how to pay for it. Single payer healthcare would only ask one question: Do you live in Pennsylvania? If so, then you're covered! No deductibles, no copays, no premiums, no fighting for insurance company pre-approvals, just get good quality care when you need it. Costs would instead be covered by an appropriate tax plan (see below) that is much cheaper than what we currently pay in premiums, deductibles, and co-pays.
- Reduce costs to business and encourage entrepreneurs. A single payer healthcare system would decouple healthcare from jobs, allowing portability and choice for workers. That portability makes it easier for workers to start their own small businesses without fear of losing benefits. It also reduces the costs for companies since they no longer need to provide private insurance as a benefit or pay for the administrative overhead to provide it.