Solve health care, win the White House
Now that it looks as if war with England has narrowly been averted, my optimism about the future is running so high, I’m beginning to believe a Democrat could win back the White House and Make America Even More Super Greater Than Ever Before Believe Me. The cost of MAEMSGTEBBM caps will be slightly higher due to the extra embroidery.
For Democrats to prevail in 2020, to paraphrase Bill Clinton, it’s economics, stupid. Since we’re quoting Bubba, we must acknowledge that pocketbook issues have long-since trumped presidential ethics as a voter concern.
A key issue facing Americans is the cost of health care and the immoral uncertainty of a bloated system in which the size of one’s wallet dictates the quality of care — and sometimes whether you live or die. Two-thirds of all bankruptcies are health care-related. Your money or your life. health care represents 18 percent of GDP, however, life expectancy continues to erode. In America.
Instead of lowering health care costs as promised, the president diminished coverage and made it more expensive for low-income Affordable Care Act policy holders by eliminating some reimbursements to insurance companies for deductibles and co-pays. Insurers hiked ACA rates 22% in North Dakota this year alone, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. By sabotaging the ACA, Trump increased the number of uninsured Americans by 7 million.
Republicans, who primarily serve the affluent, despise the Affordable Care Act because for the first time in a long time, it shifted wealth from the top to the bottom instead of vice-versa. Oppressed billionaires can relax, though. The top 1% still holds more wealth than the bottom 90% — about where it was prior to the Great Depression.
Republicans have have failed for a decade to deliver a better plan, but a recent study suggests it’s possible to cut costs for families and businesses. According to the Political Economy Research Institute, a Medicare for All system would save $5.1 trillion in overall health care expenditures over a decade. It would also boost workplace productivity and upward mobility, allowing workers to move freely from job to job without being handcuffed to employers for health insurance. There’d be fewer bankruptcies.
Once freed from the onus of providing insurance, businesses, which pay nearly $20,000 per family policy, would have more capital to apply to innovation and growth, making American industry more competitive in a global market, arguably lowering the trade deficit.
This advances free market principles by introducing progressive philosophies that adhere to the belief that social safety nets are a necessary and civilized counterbalance to the inevitable excesses of capitalism. Yin and Yang. Left and Right. Balance.
But, but . . . isn’t that like socialism? No more than sweetheart tax breaks for the wealthiest among us. No more than subsidized energy and agriculture.
Forget labels. It’s about the expectations we have as Americans. We wanted public education, so we got it. It’s an investment that pays dividends. We wanted senior citizens to have a modicum of security in retirement — because it’s the right thing to do — and we got it. From Democrats.
If we want a more affordable single-payer health care system, we’ll get that, too — but history tells us it won’t come from Republicans.
Tony Bender writes an exclusive weekly column for Forum News Service.