For Immediate Release
Mark Almberg, PNHP communications director, (312) 782-6006
Health Law, Constitutional or No, Fails to Remedy Ailment: Doctors Group
Regardless of whether the Supreme Court upholds or overturns the Affordable Care Act in whole or in part, the unfortunate reality is that federal health law of 2010 will not work: (1) it will not achieve universal coverage, as it leaves at least 26 million uninsured, (2) it will not make health care affordable to Americans with insurance, because gaps in their policies will leave them vulnerable to bankruptcy in the event of major illness, and (3) it will not control costs.
Why? Because the ACA perpetuates a dominant role for the private insurance industry. That industry siphons off hundreds of billions of health care dollars annually for overhead, profit and the paperwork it demands from doctors and hospitals; it denies care in order to increase insurers’ bottom line; and it obstructs any serious effort to control costs.
In contrast, a single-payer, improved-Medicare-for-all system would achieve all three goals – truly universal, comprehensive coverage; health security for our patients and their families; and cost control. It would do so by replacing private insurers with a single, nonprofit agency like Medicare that pays all medical bills, streamlines administration, and reins in costs for medications and other supplies through its bargaining clout.
The major provisions of the ACA do not go into effect until 2014. Although we will be counseled to “wait and see” how this reform plays out, we’ve seen how comparable reforms in Massachusetts and other states have worked over the past few decades. They have invariably failed our patients, foundering on the shoals of skyrocketing costs – even as they have profited the big private insurers and Big Pharma.
The Supreme Court’s ruling is not expected until June. Regardless of how it rules, we cannot wait for an effective remedy to our health care woes any longer, nor can our patients. The stakes are too high.
We pledge to continue our work for the only equitable, financially responsible and humane cure for our health care mess: single-payer national health insurance, an expanded and improved Medicare for all.
Physicians for a National Health Program is a single issue organization advocating a universal, comprehensive single-payer national health program. PNHP has more than 21,000 members and chapters across the United States.