The Public Option or Single Payer, you choose.
The Senate Healthcare bill does indeed give us a foundation of National Single Payer Primary Healthcare. I know that saying because the government pays 80% thats not exactly single payer, and that its really charity care, or when the House and Senate are in conference we should keep the House's Public Option.
But the Senate bill is the closest thing to single payer I have seen yet. Starting a national healthcare program with single payer at its core gives us a foundation from which to expand on. Primary care for 30 million poor is significant, and takes millions out of the Emergency room and puts them in a Doctors office where they belong and where George Washington University says we will save 23 billion over 5 years.
Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon wants to allow states to take Senator Sanders Primary Care plan and make it comprehensive. Clearing the way for Universal Single Payer Comprehensive Healthcare at the state level. I don't know about you but that makes the public option a dead issue for me.
Community Healthcare Centers.
These centers are born of legislation originally authored by the Late Senator Ted Kennedy about 40 years ago, they provide primary care for 20 million Americans with 4000 locations, 98 of these centers already exist in New Jersey, and the state is slated to get over 250 additional Clinics.
Click on this link and do a search by state or zip code..
With 14 Billion dollars to build new Clinics, and to fund repayment of college loans thru the National Health Service Corps to create an additional 20,000 primary care doctors, dentists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and mental health professionals, we should see 10,000 new clinics built and staffed over 5 years.
Heres a few bullet points to drive home to your friends:
- The Senate bill will eliminate co-pays and deductibles for recommended preventive care, including preventive care for women.
- The Senate bill protects you legally from being charged any more than 10% of your income in out-of-pocket expense. Out-of-pocket expense is all of your medically necessary expenses except for your premium. That includes co-pays, whatever your share is at the hospital, etc. And the bill puts an absolute cap of $11,900 on out-of-pocket for family plans, and $5,950 for individuals (that is, if 10% of your income is greater than those amounts).
- The Senate bill will provide Premium Assistance if your income is up to 400% of Poverty level, under 100% you pay nothing, 100 to 400% you pay on a sliding scale. Check this table for particulars.
- In the Senate bill you are mandated to buy insurance but one is exempt from it if their premium costs more than 8% of their income.
Senator Sanders Monday December 21st Presser on C-span.
Senator Bernie Sanders press release.