Category Archives: Healthcare, Medicare & Medicaid

Single-payer system would solve health care woes

by Jess King, 2018 candidate for congressional district PA-16, at Lancaster Online, 5/21/17, excerpt:

…The reality we face is a rigged political system in which only the biggest, most entrenched insurance corporations get their way.

Over the past four decades, health insurance industry lobbyists have literally been writing our legislation and consolidating their control over a complicated system, while leaving the rest of us to navigate a perilous maze.

What we need is health care policy whose starting point is the concrete needs and experiences of everyday people. For most of us, deciding among competing insurance agencies is like pulling teeth. Which ones include the doctor I’ve been seeing for years, let alone the same health system? What is actually covered?

I attempted to get prices from different doctors last year as I rationed and evaluated spending toward my massive insurance deductible. They couldn’t give me prices for the procedures they offered; they didn’t know the numbers, or even how to get them.

Other numbers are available, and they are telling. The United States spends more than double the average of other developed countries and gets far worse outcomes. We have the highest child mortality rate in the developed world and lower life expectancy than our peers.

Other developed countries are more advanced than we are in making sure citizens have access to quality health care, and it costs them less than what we pay for a system that leaves millions behind. The money wasted on insurance company administration and bloated executive pay could extend coverage to America’s uninsured.

A recent Economist/YouGov poll found that most Americans support “expanding Medicare to provide health insurance to every American.”…

read the full column at Lancaster Online

A sigh of relief (and pride)

from Christina Hartman, 7/28/17

Earlier this morning in the U.S. Senate, three Republicans voted with all 48 Democrats to say NO to repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

When I heard the news, I breathed a (temporary) sigh of relief for the many, many people in the 16th district who would have been hurt by a repeal.

I’m relieved for people I’ve met on the campaign trail who told me about friends and family members receiving opioid addiction treatment — which they can afford because of ACA tax credits or Medicaid.

I’m relieved for the small business owners in downtown Lancaster who provide insurance for their employees through the state exchange.

I’m relieved for my husband, who has a preexisting condition.

And I’m relieved for myself — and 50% of our country’s population — because before the ACA being a woman was a preexisting condition!

But I also feel immense pride for the many Americans, here in PA and across the country, who mobilized to protect our care — from the the disability activists in wheelchairs who faced arrest at the Capitol to the women and men calling their member of Congress for the first time.

I’ve seen civic democracies take shape around the world, but witnessing the outpouring of activism here in my own community has truly been incredible.

Today’s victory belongs to all of YOU. Tomorrow, we’ll get back to work.

PA House GOP Stealth Attack on Medicaid

By Marc Stier, Third and State, 7/11/17

The House passed the bill through to the Senate 102-91. The Senate must again vote on the bill as amended

PA House Republican leaders are trying to force Pennsylvania to seek federal waivers for our Medicaid program that would establish requirements that Medicaid recipients either be working or searching for a job and that that ask them to pay premiums or higher co-pays for their insurance.

These ideas were part of Governor Corbett’s plan to expand Medicaid, which Governor Wolf rightly rejected. Now, the House will vote on these terrible provisions as part of the budget code (instructions for implementing the budget) for 2017-18 after it was added as an amendment in the House Rules Committee.

What’s the objection to work requirements or premiums for Medicaid?

First, support for a work or job search requirement is based on a misconception that there are a large number of able-bodied adults who receive Medicaid, could work, and are not doing so. That’s simply not true. The vast majority of people who receive Medicaid are children, the disabled or seniors….

keep reading at Third and State