UPDATE 11/17/12: Behold the power of GlossyNews.com… the petition reached the signature threshold and is now live at Petitions.Whitehouse.gov.
A single-payer system would do more than piss off a bunch of guys in suits, it would give coverage and an opportunity at greater health to tens of millions, lower overall costs, lower mortality rates, and level the playing field for all employers, with the biggest benefit going to small businesses.
One great resource for reading from the lefty doctor community comes from Physicians for a National Health Program, and one great article about the wealth of benefits from the business right comes from Forbes’ article A Dose Of Socialism Could Save Our States – State Sponsored, Single Payer Healthcare Would Bring In Business & Jobs.
But before we go too far, let me ask you once again, with bells on, to sign the petition.
It’s Better for ALL Workers
Under single-payer, everyone will have healthcare. Emergency coverage, preventative coverage, long-term coverage, rehabilitation coverage, everything. Sick babies and struggling grandmas alike will benefit. This means the guy at Walmart will have the same coverage as the guy at Microsoft. This means the self-employed guy with zero or five employees will have the same coverage as those seemingly indifferent members of congress.
If rich people don’t like it, they can lobby for better coverage for everyone. If poor people don’t like it, they can petition for their coverage to be adjusted accordingly. Everyone gets the same fair shake and in the end, everyone wins.
Businesses Can Better Grow
Imagine if your dog-walking business could offer the same healthcare as IBM. Imagine if you could leave your job in cubicle hell and start your own business without having to worry about your family losing their health insurance. With single-payer, everyone already gets the same coverage, so the playing field is leveled.
Costs WILL Go Down
Even small doctors’ offices employ one or two full-time employees to handle insurance claims. This could likely be handled by the receptionist under single-payer, and just imagine the savings if your ONE doctor didn’t have ONE person just to bill for payment. Hospitals and doctors’ offices will no longer have to deal with the cost of derilict customers, which will also lower costs by not inconsequential margins.
But more than that, many catastrophic costs will be avoided thanks to preventative care. Dealing with asthma on a yearly basis is quite cheap, but not dealing with it and waiting for a cold to become pneumonia can cost tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, and this is just one example of many.
More People Will Live
Every year 45,000 people die in America, the richest nation on earth, because they don’t have medical insurance. That’s 5.13 people every hour of every day. That’s one person every twelve-minutes that dies due to a lack of healthcare. This ends with a single-payer system.
What would you say to the children, parents, siblings or employers of those who died from easily preventable causes? You can’t tell them with a straight face that the status quo is working, because it isn’t.
Fewer People Go Bankrupt, Banks Will Profit
62% of bankruptcies in the US are due to medical reasons. Medical costs rack up quickly. I have a neighbor who went to the hospital last year without insurance, and was seen for fully 15-minutes before being discharged. His bill was over $2,500, and he’s still paying on it today. This nonsense would be a thing of the past.
But the biggest loser under the current system is banks. They are the ones who lose the most. Because patient Y can’t work, he defaults on his debts. If he can avoid getting sick, or just not have ten-times his income in medical bills, he won’t default on his debts. This benefits everyone. Bank lending rates can come down, bank profit rates can go up. Everyone wins.
More importantly, no one would go bankrupt just because their daughter or husband got sick while they happened to be unemployed, newly at a job, at a job that doesn’t provide for medical care, or running a small business. Medical bankruptcy is a shameful smear on a civilized society.
Insurance Employees Would Be Given Retraining
All of the bills that have hit the House have included financed retraining programs to cover the displaced workers from the insurance industry. These people wouldn’t become economic refugees, but rather be given full retraining and job placement opportunities.
But what if they were? Would that be so bad? Is it better to preserve a handful of administrative jobs if it means tens of thousands dying every year? Is it better to keep these heritage companies alive if it means that people die? No, it is not.
If we can better life for all Americans while strengthening small businesses and the lives of real, individual Americans, this is an easy route to go.
So again, I have to tell you, HERE IS WHERE YOU GO TO SIGN THE PETITION.
Now is the time. We’re ready to do this. It’s almost 2013 and America is still living a healthcare system according to 1940s sensibilities. Every other first-world nation has adopted universal healthcare, and while Obamacare is a great step in the right direction, it’s a very small step, and one our president’s re-election should suggust we might want to go beyond.
I hold no illusion in my head that this petition will actually cause a massive change in American politics, but it IS something we can do, and as such, it’s something we MUST do.