Whether you are a Democrat, Republican, or otherwise, this story should be the closer. Anyone who denies we need Single-P
The failure of private insurance
In one of the most arcane and immoral acts, a bill collector docked a woman's salary and put a lien on her home for a bill that insurance should cover. NBC reported the following.
She declined to pay the bill. Two years later, a collection agency slapped a lien on her home, which would block her ability to sell her house until she paid off the debt.
"It's really scary," Briggs said. "This is all we have, and to think that it could all be taken
away,because some doctor doesn't feel like taking anyone's insurance is — it's just so wrong."
She isn't the only one facing this "scary" reality. NBC's Denver affiliate KUSA worked for months on a series about surprise medical
bills,and found that since 2017, just one collection agency had put liens on 170 local homes. When NBC News contacted Credit Systems, Inc., the company declined to comment.
NBC News dug further and found similar cases of liens on homes because of unpaid medical bills in at least five other states: New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma and Vermont.
Surprise medical bills like the one Briggs received in the mail can easily lead to these liens. A recent poll by Kaiser Family Foundation found that four in 10 Americans have received a surprise medical bill.
"I find this really unconscionable," said Dr. Ashish Jha, a health policy professor at Harvard's Chan School of Public Health. "This is really a failure of our system to stick people with these kinds of bills that really have no justification whatsoever."
Briggs says that when she got to
SwedishHospital Center for her surgery three years ago, she asked again and againto be sure she was fully covered. Even after she was told the hospital took her insurance, she says she kept asking — more than a dozen times.
Why Single-Payer Medicare for All?
Here is an absolute statement. If one entity is paying our medical bills, it is much more efficient than having multiple companies do it. We have hundreds of health insurance companies. When you add that each company has to have its own executives, a board of directors, advertising budgets, capital costs, computer equipment, accountants, risk managers, and a myriad of other expenses, it shows the inefficiency as to why it costs so much. If there is one payer that covers everybody, Single-Payer Medicare for All, then all of those duplicated costs go away, and some functions are virtually unnecessary.
Private insurance companies also have shareholders. Shareholders demand dividends and ever-expanding stock appreciation at a higher rate than inflation or a higher rate than the expanding economy. That is one reason among many others why health insurance rates increase faster than inflation. This same issue applies to pharmaceutical companies who raise rates not to create better drugs but to ensure better value for their shareholders and corporate bonuses.
A family making $50,000 may pay $5,000 in Federal Income Taxes and $12,000 in health insurance -- that $12,000 goes to an insurance company. That insurance usually has anywhere from a $500 to $10,000 deductible. There are traditionally copays associated with it as well. So even with this insurance and level of payments, if one uses health care, they can still be relegated to bankruptcy, wages docked, and liens placed on homes as occurred with the woman I describe above. In effect, out of pocket expenditures for health care and taxes can leave little for all other standard household and living expenses.
Single-Payer Medicare for All simplifies everything and cost less in the aggregate. That same person would still pay that $5,000 in Federal Income Tax. They may then pay, who knows, $5,000 in health care taxes. The taxes would actually be progressive, meaning if you make less you pay less. If you make more, you pay more. Every single American would have access to health care without concern for deductibles. One could actually plan their life without the fear of worrying that if they get sick their entire outcome changes including the possibility of bankruptcy. Isn't this the world you want to live in?