Assembly Bill 1400, California's Medicare for All bill, failed, joining former attempts at reforming our broken healthcare system (NCJ Daily, Feb. 3). Why is it so hard in the world's richest country to provide this basic human necessity?
The answer is clear: Profiteering health and pharmaceutical companies are loath to give up the enormous profits gained by syphoning funds from every healthcare dollar we cough (no pun intended) up. They use our money to lobby and bribe our legislators to do their bidding. Any legislator who accepts their donation/bribe must also realize that refusing to play ball will mean the money stops and they will use it instead to unseat them at the first opportunity. They are owned.
Democrats in the California Assembly who receive these bribes have no concern for Californians who go bankrupt because of enormous medical bills, or become homeless and/or die from lack of access to health care — the goal is to stay in power. They must either be made personally aware of the suffering they allow and give up corporate bribes, or they must be replaced by popular demand.
We can all have comprehensive cradle-to-grave healthcare free at the point of service; that means no excessive taxes in the form of copays, deductibles, out-of-network medical bills or wage reductions to pay health insurance corporation fees. History clearly shows that too many of our elected officials will not do this for us. We must come together and do it for the people we love.
Diane Ryerson, Arcata
Thank you for this week's rundown on single payer's death, "again." The arguments claiming that single-payer healthcare for Californians would be a "job killer" or create "crippling tax increases" are outdated dog whistle tactics designed to prop up profits for an industry so out of control that it has effectively bruised and battered the term "healthcare."
Yes, it must be paid for — but we're already paying! The taxes required are not in addition to anything but will replace the much greater costs we now endure. High premiums, co-pays, deductibles, doctor and hospital bills will all go away, resulting in huge net savings for individuals, families and businesses. And the benefits enjoyed in other nations: vision, dental, hearing, long-term care and more.
What we have now is an expensive and dangerously broken system. No longer will insurance company staff have power to refuse coverage for lifesaving medical tests, procedures or prescriptions ordered by medical practitioners. No longer will insurance billers outnumber medical staff in medical facilities. Single-payer systems have been shown by multiple, non-partisan, credible studies to cost less and deliver more access to care than we now have. Other developed nations providing universal healthcare prove that such streamlined systems work.
The majority of Californians want this cost- and life-saving program. We aren't willing to allow the for-profit corporate bribery of our legislators to win this fight. We'll vet candidates to assure they represent the majority and we'll continue to fight for what Gov. Newsom calls "the ideal system." If we don't start with the ideal, we'll end up with the bad deal of the status quo.
Eileen McGee, Eureka