Letter: A new prescription: health care for all!

Graphic by Lori Deaton

On Aug. 27, 2019, the Asheville City Council made a proclamation in support of Improved Medicare for All. No one foresaw the COVID-19 pandemic, a condition that has now made Medicare for All a much more urgent issue.

In accepting that proclamation, I outlined the tenets of HR 1384, the Improved Medicare for All bill that was introduced to Congress by Rep. Pramila Jayapal in March 2019. She was surrounded by National Nurses United that day, the same union that our Mission Hospital nurses are seeking to join.

The tenets are:
• Everyone is issued a universal health card when they are born that expires when they die.
• The single-payer plan creates one national entity that pays for health care in the U.S., eliminating the chaos of the private insurers and complexity of the bureaucracy that consumes 30% of our health care dollar.
• The right to choose your own health care providers is preserved.
• Copays, deductibles, premiums and all other out-of-pocket costs are abolished with a modest increase in personal taxes that are predictable every year. Drug prices, diagnostic testing, hospital stays and medical equipment prices are all negotiated and standardized.
• Employers are no longer providers of health care insurance, so that they can manage their budgets without factoring in runaway health care costs (including cities and municipalities, like Asheville).
• Since all individuals have their own health coverage, people are free to change jobs, move to different locales and be entrepreneurs without concern about their health care coverage. (Asheville entrepreneurs, I am talking to you!)
• Physicians have their documentation/billing issues streamlined and minimized, getting back to the business of taking care of patients.
As a physician, I saw how important that “golden ticket” known as the Medicare card was for my patients. Everyone has a need for this “golden ticket,” especially in this time of COVID-19.

It’s time for this new prescription.

— Ellen Kaczmarek, M.D.



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5 thoughts on “Letter: A new prescription: health care for all!

  1. bsummers

    It makes complete sense. That’s why the Grand Old Death Cult Party will never allow it as long as they have a Death Grip on the government.

    Vote Blue in November if you want to live.

    • steino

      I was living in a Squat in Berlin Germany when Bush junior became president, and the europeans hated him. I barely knew who the he was, because I only knew his father. After I came back to USA, I tried voting against his second term, but he won again. Later, I decided never to vote for the lessor evil, and voted for Gloria La Riva, then Jill Stein and then Jill Stein again. It felt better voting for Gloria La Riva, but she isnt always available. Just like Maybe I would vote Mark Charles, but he doesnt have write-in status. That’s why Green Party.

      • bsummers

        I understand the arguments, and truthfully I lean more towards the Greens. But we can’t allow another term for Trump, or another GOP Senate or House. They are dismantling the parts of the political structures, govt. institutions etc. that the left will need to push things back towards reality. Another Trump term is the tipping point into fascism.

        It’s all hands on deck, more than ever before. If you are even remotely opposed to Trump and his congressional enablers, vote Democratic. We can fight over the table settings when we turn the table back upright.

        • stein

          Nevertheless, you have complained on several ocassions of being “priced-out” of asheville and you found the article about “rich californias who moved here during pandemic” to be reprehensible. Its hard to imagine that those Yoga people are anything but democrats, so basically you are voting for the people who are pricing you out. If you saw the video of jill stein and the police outside the Hofstra Debate, you can instantly see she isnt just one of the “Yoga Democrats”. She actually sits down in the street in front of police.


  2. Steve

    Reason why I wont pay for others health care:
    Excessive smoking
    Excessive drinking
    Doing drugs
    Drinking 10 sodas a day
    Eating fast food all the time
    Riding a bike without a helmet….
    Lack of personal responsibility.
    I could go on.

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