Petition Closed
Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives and 2 others
This petition will be delivered to:
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate
President of the United States

Enact a Single-payer Medicare-for-all Program

We, the undersigned, urge The President and The United States Congress to pass H.R. 676, a single-payer Medicare-for-all program which will provide comprehensive health insurance coverage for all Americans.

The health care crisis in the United States is worsening. Our current private health insurance system is the most costly, wasteful, complicated and bureaucratic in the world.

Over 46 million Americans lack health insurance. A comparable number are underinsured. Those with insurance are paying more in premiums and more out-of-pocket as well.  And even the insured may face bankruptcy if they get sick. Many have to choose between paying for medicine and paying for food and housing.

The Solution: 

A national, universal, publicly funded health care system, or Improved Medicare for All, as defined by U.S. House Bill H.R. 676, the U.S. National Health Care Act.

The bill would create a publicly financed, privately delivered health care system that builds on the existing Medicare program. It would improve and expand Medicare to cover all U.S. residents.

A single-payer Medicare-for-all program would:

-automatically enroll everyone in the plan 

-provide comprehensive health insurance coverage for all medically necessary care and drugs 

-allow free choice of doctor and hospital, the choice Americans want and value.  

-eliminate all co-pays and deductibles

-finance care through progressive taxation, with people paying less than what they are paying now for premiums and out-of-pocket expenses

-create a public, nonprofit agency to pay all the bills, simplifying administration, paperwork and bureaucracy

-boost job growth and the entire U.S. economy by reducing the burden of health costs on businesses

-respond to what doctors and their patients need, not what corporate executives and their stockholders want

 

It's time to choose people over profits!


Letter to
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate
President of the United States
The Problem:

The health care crisis in the United States is worsening. Our current private health insurance system is the most costly, wasteful, complicated and bureaucratic in the world.

Even though U.S. health spending is the highest in the world, at an estimated $8,649 per person (17.7 percent of GDP) in 2011, the U.S. ranked six out of seven countries in terms of quality in a 2010 cross-national study by The Commonwealth Fund. We’re not getting our dollars’ worth.

Over 60 million people were uninsured at least part of 2010, and at least 26 million will likely remain uninsured in 2019.

At least 9 million working-age Americans became uninsured between 2008 and 2010, and one-third of working-age adults, 49 million people, spent 10 percent or more of their income on health care and premiums, meeting the definition of “underinsured.”

About 45,000 deaths annually are associated with lack of health insurance. That’s roughly one unnecessary death every 12 minutes.

In 2010, 75 million working age adults went without necessary care due to costs, 73 million reported having trouble paying bills or were in medical debt, and a quarter of those with chronic conditions skipped care due to cost. Many people have to choose between paying for medicine and paying for food and housing.

Sixty-two percent of all personal bankruptcies in the U.S. are linked to medical bills or illness, and three-quarters of those bankrupted had health insurance when they got sick. That’s about one medical bankruptcy every 15 seconds.

Private health insurance companies have high overhead expenses, including advertising, underwriting costs, and lavish payouts to executives and shareholders. They siphon off 12 percent to 25 percent of premiums – billions of dollars every year – that should be spent on health care. By comparison, Medicare’s overhead is about 1.4 percent.

The nation’s five top for-profit health insurers netted $11.7 billion in profits in 2010, up 51 percent from 2008, with UnitedHealthcare leading the pack with over $4.6 billion in profits. The CEOs at those five firms garnered at least $54.4 million in compensation in 2010.

The Solution:

A national, universal, publicly funded health care system, or Improved Medicare for All, as defined by U.S. House Bill H.R. 676, the U.S. National Health Care Act.

We already have an American system that works: Medicare. It’s not perfect, but Americans with Medicare are far happier than those with private insurance. Medicare has been a leader in keeping costs down, even while insuring those with the greatest health care needs –people over 65 and the disabled. We must expand Medicare to cover everything for everyone.

H.R. 676 would:

• automatically enroll everyone in the plan
• provide comprehensive services covering all medically necessary care and drugs
• allow free choice of doctor and hospital
• eliminate all co-pays and deductibles
• create a public, nonprofit agency to pay all the bills, simplifying administration, paperwork and bureaucracy
• finance care through progressive taxation, with people paying less than what they are paying now for premiums and out-of-pocket expenses
• boost job growth and the entire U.S. economy by reducing the burden of health costs on businesses
• provide everyone with first-dollar coverage without spending any more than we are now, thanks to the administrative savings, estimated at $400 billion annually
• provide powerful cost control tools like bulk purchasing and global budgeting for long-term, sustainable savings

A single-payer Medicare-for-all system would not be “socialized medicine,” since many physicians and other providers would remain in private practice. Only the financing would change. We would have privately-delivered health care that is publicly-paid. Family doctors with private practices will be promptly paid by the public agency.

It would not introduce “government rationing,” as opposed to the rationing we have now based on ability to pay, but would restore the doctor-patient relationship by removing meddlesome private insurer bureaucrats. It would be transparent and publicly accountable, fair and efficient. It would be humane.

Polls, surveys and “citizen juries” show such an approach enjoys the support of two-thirds of the U.S. population. Endorsements by labor, faith-based and civic organizations and legislative bodies provide further evidence of strong support for this solution.

We, the undersigned, urge The President and The United States Congress to pass H.R. 676, a single-payer Medicare-for-all program which will provide comprehensive health insurance coverage for all Americans.