What is the main reason our health-care system is failing us? A for-profit system of health care. By definition, private insurance makes money by charging high premiums, denying care and eliminating those with pre-existing conditions—those who need care the most.
What do the presidential candidates propose? Their proposals are basically a reshuffling of the deck, with no substantial changes. While the candidates use terms that sound good, like “affordable health care for all” or even “universal health care,” none of the proposals will contain rising costs or provide equal coverage to everyone. The private insurance companies (big donors to candidates), with their wasteful spending and denials of care, remain in place.
For true health-care reform, we need single-payer, universal health care. Universal health care means everybody in, nobody out. Everyone has access to health care. And the private insurance companies are replaced by a single payer accountable to all of us.
A grass-roots movement has been growing across the country to support single-payer universal health care. Legislation has been introduced into the U.S. Congress by Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, along with nearly 90 co-sponsors, to provide for a publicly funded, non-profit health-care system. The U.S. National Health Insurance Act (HR 676) is supported by a coalition of health-care providers, faith-based groups, labor unions, community organizations and many others.
We need a change! Our families deserve better! We need health-care decisions made by our doctors, not by health-insurance employees! We need care determined by the medical community, not by private insurance companies denying our care so they can make money!
Beware: There are groups that don’t want you to have universal coverage. They have tried to scare us in the past by saying that this is “socialized medicine” and we wouldn’t be able to choose our own doctors. Who are these groups? The main culprits are the greedy insurance companies that want to continue making huge profits off our misfortune. These companies have deep pockets and have spent lots of money on TV and radio ads trying to scare us. And they spend lots of money making donations to certain Congress [members]. Wouldn’t you like to have the health coverage that Congress has?
We in Asheville have an opportunity to become part of this movement. An organization called “Health Care—NOW!” is doing a road show that will be coming to Asheville on Dec. 5 and 6.
A coalition of local groups has been working together to plan for this. The coalition includes Just Economics, WNC Central Labor Council and WNC Community Health Care Center.
We will have a welcome and press conference on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at Pack Place [at 4 p.m.], a showing of Michael Moore’s movie Sicko on Wednesday night [6 p.m., 312 Haywood Road], and a community press conference on Thursday, Dec. 6 [10 a.m., 312 Haywood Road].
We can make a difference; we can make a change. They have the money, but we have the numbers. Please join us on Dec. 5 and 6.
— Laura Gordon, Just Economics president and WNC Central Labor Council
Isaac Coleman, Just Economics board member, manager of Pisgahview Apartments, Asheville Housing Authority
Ernie Boyd, Just Economics treasurer