The Vermont legislature has passed a single-payer healthcare bill. A similar bill that had formerly been passed but vetoed is being revived in California.
While the insurance companies have been successful in derailing the movement for single-payer (Medicare for All) at the national level, if one state after another shows a preference for healthcare sanity the momentum could become unstoppable.
In no other industrialized nation in the world do insurance companies play such a dominant role in healthcare delivery as they do in this country. The result is that Americans pay twice as much as Europeans for less service. Currently we are ranked 37th in the world in terms of the quality of healthcare and have the highest infant mortality rate of any industrialized country.
Universal single-payer healthcare is not socialized medicine. The government would not own the hospitals and the doctors would not be government employees. Under single-payer, we would simply remove the middlemen. The government would pay the bills but healthcare would still be delivered by private doctors and hospitals.
Taxes to fund such a system would be lower than what we currently pay through employers for our healthcare coverage. Furthermore when we lose our jobs, we will not lose our healthcare! There would be no co-pays, no deductibles, no “pre-existing conditions”, no “out of network” physicians. HMOs and drug companies would not be able to tell doctors what treatments and medications they can prescribe. Everyone could choose their own physician.
New Jersey should join other states that are proposing to take out insurance company middlemen. We could demonstrate to the whole country how the cost of healthcare would be lower under single-payer and the quality of healthcare would increase dramatically . . . because it would be the doctors, not the insurance companies who would decide how to treat patients.