Here’s why, regardless of your political ideology, you should support Medicare-for-All.
Healthcare is a human right. That statement sums up my personal support for Medicare-for-All. Healthcare should not be tied to employment or the ability to pay thousands of dollars. The American Healthcare system is beyond broken; it’s morally reprehensible. We condemn people to death or economic ruin for coming down with cancer, commodify their ability to stay alive, and allow health insurance companies to profit off of sick people in their most vulnerable times. This is sickening. We must end it as soon as possible, especially as we endure a global pandemic. Folks that oppose universal healthcare usually cite costs, fear of limiting choices, and the lack of support it has. Let’s discuss why all of these reasons are complete bull sh*t.
Before we discuss how much Medicare-for-All(M4A) costs, we must first acknowledge that Americans spend more on healthcare than any other country. One might assume that as a result of that, we get better care, but that assumption is incorrect. The American Healthcare system is ranked last in quality of care among other developed nations. These rankings signify an utterly inefficient system. From premiums and co-payments to filing costs and fees, Big Pharma sure knows how to nickel and dime us. However, there are no premiums or co-payments under Medicare-for-All. The care that we’d receive is for health, dental, vision, and hearing as well! Truly redefining what ‘comprehensive care’ means in America.
According to a recent Yale study, Medicare-for-All would save us $450 billion a year. In other words, we can cut our collective healthcare costs and deliver fully comprehensive healthcare to everyone. There’s no need to choose between the two! This legislation can also lead to the largest take-home pay raise that American workers have experienced in a generation. Currently, employers take a percentage of our pay and divert it towards our health insurance policy — if we’re fortunate enough to have health insurance, that is. With Medicare-for-All, we are taxed based on our ability to pay, and we all receive the same comprehensive coverage. Employers can then divert those funds right to our wages! For most of us, we’d take home more in increased wages than we would have to pay in tax increases. The very wealthy are primarily responsible for covering this tab, which is the main reason you’ll hear a lot of anti-M4A talking points in the corporate news media.
Freedom of Choice
This has to be the talking point I loathe most. What choices do we have under our current system? Most of us can only afford whatever healthcare packages that our employer chooses for us. That coverage plan may or may not include our preferred doctor in their network. Furthermore, if you are displeased with your job and want a different one, you can only hope that the new job will have a comparable insurance plan. If you have a family, that would be a significant factor in where you go next and may deter you from leaving altogether.
You might even want to start your own business. If that’s something you’re interested in, you have to worry about your healthcare coverage and covering your prospective employees as well. This is a major barrier to prospective ‘mom & pop’ business owners. The headache of trying to figure out paperwork and the best network can be extremely frustrating and discouraging. Under Medicare-for-All, every doctor and health practitioner is in-network, because there is only one network(hence the name ‘single-payer’)!
Every one is insured, and you don’t have to stay at a dead-end job just so your family can remain covered. Medicare-for-All doesn't take anyone’s healthcare away, it ends profiteering in healthcare while insuring everyone. You have more freedom of choice because your human right to healthcare is guaranteed to you. You have more freedom of choice because your selection of doctors is no longer limited! This myth that single-payer ‘takes options away’ only applies to the wealthy and well-connected that have no problems affording hyper-inflated rates and costs that the market offers us all. Don’t believe the hype, Medicare-for-All gives the working class more choices in healthcare.
Lack of Support
You might be thinking, sure, Medicare-for-All makes sense, but it simply doesn’t have the support necessary. One, it doesn’t have the necessary support yet. Two, it currently has much more support than the corporate news media lets on. It’s polled as highly as 70% among all Americans, including over 50% with Republicans. During the Democratic Primary, it had a majority of voters’ support in exit poll after exit poll. This is after candidates of the party and the corporate news media railed against it for months. What would the approval ratings look like if either party establishment embraced Medicare-for-All? The even better question is, why won’t they support it right now?
While this legislation has always polled well with voters, it’s never had much support from elected officials. Many of the Senators that signed onto the bill upon its release backed away from it during their Presidential campaigns. This isn’t because the proposal isn’t good enough — it’s because their donors don’t want to see it happen. The corporate news media is complicit in this grand scheme as well. The ruling class loves their profit margins and positions of power too much to make staying alive easier and more affordable for us. Amid a global pandemic, they still don’t want to guarantee us this fundamental right.
Millions have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, and therefore their healthcare, but the ruling class still doesn’t think it’s necessary to have healthcare guaranteed no matter what. Every federally elected official already has the best healthcare that this country has to offer. Whether this legislation passes or not, we are already subsidizing their coverage. Shouldn’t our money go to helping us out, too? Every elected official that opposes Medicare-for-All is a hypocrite that doesn’t want us all to enjoy what they already have. Some of them have said that everyone that has COVID-19 should have all of their costs covered, but COVID is not the only disease that kills people. What if someone with cancer comes down with pneumonia instead of COVID? In this scenario, pneumonia or cancer can kill them just as COVID could. Do they deserve to be left out to dry because of corporate greed and establishment complicity? Is that a practice that we want to take with us into the New Normal?
The case in favor of Medicare-for-All is it will save lives, cut costs, and allow ordinary citizens far more freedom than they currently have. The case against this legislation is that it makes the ruling class uncomfortable. Enough is enough. It is entirely nonsensical that neither major Presidential candidate is championing this legislation to end the corrupt profiteering off of Americans’ suffering. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated our failed system. Medicare-for-All is not a radical idea; over 30 countries all over the world have already decided to guarantee healthcare as a human right. Some of them, such as Germany and England, have Conservative governments. Any alternative, such as Obamacare or COBRA that do not remove profiteering from peoples’ need to live, is insufficient. The time for excuses has expired. We need Medicare-for-All now more than ever.