And the Arch-Villain Is...
They Are a Plague on all our houses (except theirs, of course)
For many decades America has handed the vital insurance responsibility of keeping our citizens healthy and well to corporations driven by profit. It's worked great - for making corporate profit. Not so much for the citizens. Millions have no health insurance. Millions more have inadequate coverage. Our workforce is constrained and debilitated by the for-profit system. There are some responsibilities that are too important to let profit supercede their fulfillment.
The way to a fair and universal health plan for America is to DO AWAY WITH FOR-PROFIT HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES. We don't want "socialized medicine" with the government running the health biz. We don't want health care to be "free." We will all pay our fair premiums. We want every penny to be paid by the recipients of the care, just on a progressive ability-to-pay, non-profit insurance basis. The House Bill (HR 676 - now with 122 co-sponsors) that describes this approach is called " Expanded & Improved Medicare" or "Medicare for All."
Over some years, we would gradually phase out the for-profit insurance companies, and transition to the Medicare-like system with tiny administrative costs comparatively. Nearly all the health care money goes to actual health care providers. What a concept!
Just How Big Is The For-Profit Health Insurance Business?
Add them up: Humana, BSE, Wellpoint, United Healthcare, Anthem, Aetna... it goes on. Impressive - or scary.
How many people work for all those companies? How many mega-bucks executives do they have? How many salesmen? How many LOBBYISTS? How many of our healthcare dollars go to pay NOT our doctors and nurses and labs, but all those insurance people? There are numbers out there ranging from 25 to 35%, maybe more. That's billions.
So transitioning away from for-profit companies to a Medicare type plan will be an earthquake. Saving or transitioning those worker jobs will be vital. The overpaid execs can fend for themselves.
...How Would This Transition Work?
"Transition" is the key word. "Management" is the key skill. Phasing out a highly profitable (at our expense) industry will be a battle. The fight will be colossal. Millions will be spent on lobbying and huge PR campaigns to convince us voters that single-payer health insurance is the work of demons. Still, with intelligent, patient management, it will be a success, because failure of this idea will contribute to the failure of our country. Even the 1% doesn't want that.
When it has succeeded, single-payer will free us all up. We'll be free from employer-sponsored health insurance - we can take a better job or start a company without risking health insurance loss. We will not be filing medical bankruptcies. We will all get our healthcare with the ease and certainty those on Medicare get now. IT'S WORTH THE BATTLE.