Tag Archives: Universal Health Care

What Is Single Payer Health Care?

What Is Single Payer Health Care?

Single payer refers to the method of financing health care in Maine. In a single payer system, health care is funded by the public whose money is managed by the state government or governmental agency. It is not Socialized Medicine. Unlike “socialized medicine,” the delivery of health care in a single payer system is handled by the same private health care providers that we use now. The Federal Medicare system uses this model, as do most developed countries around the world.

Single payer funding has advantages over private health insurance:

Single payer is nonprofit. There are no private shareholders and overpaid CEOs making fortunes from the financing of health services

Single payer is efficient. Doctors and hospitals deal with one payment entity, rather than with a multitude of insurance companies thereby eliminating much of the current administrative burden and cost.

Single payer is fair. The funding for health care is raised through taxes, which are set according to our ability to pay.

Single payer controls costs. A public process determines the level of health spending, and providers are reimbursed at uniform, negotiated rates.  This would be similar to the way pubilc utilities are regulated.

Single payer allows your choice of doctor and hospital.

Single payer savings are used to provide health care to all people as a human right. Patients no longer have to worry if they will be able to afford health care.  Preventative care will reduce hospitalizations and emergency room visits.

Single payer financing in Maine would preserve our health delivery system, which is known for high quality.

  • Federal support for Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Administration would continue.
  • Single payer assures adequate funding for rural hospitals.
  • State revenues derived from taxes would replace private insurance premiums.
  • Corporate “stakeholders” would no longer be able to take enormous profits from the financing of health care, in the process bankrupting individuals, and draining the economy.
  • Single payer would put health care financing where it belongs—in the hands of the people, and our democratically elected representatives.

Everybody in, Nobody out!

TESTIFYING AT A LEGISLATIVE HEARING – IT’S EASY AND REWARDING

Your elected state legislators are interested in your views on proposed legislation. Speaking at a public hearing is an effective way to let them know your opinion. This article explains how you can participate in the Legislature’s public hearing process.

Click Here for Full Article

 

LD 1274 “An Act To Promote Universal Health Care Including Dental, Vision and Hearing Care”

LD 1274 “An Act To Promote Universal Health Care Including Dental, Vision and Hearing Care”

This is proposed legislation being introduced to the State of Maine legislature.  There will be a public hearing at the State Office Building in Augusta on Thursday, May 4, 2017.  I am planning on providing brief testimony in favor of this bill.  Following is the draft of what I plan on saying:

May 4, 2017

Good Afternoon Senator Whittemore, Representative Lawrence and members of the Committee on Insurance and Financial Services.

My name is Michael Reynolds.  I live in Bucksport and I’m 65 years old.  I grew up in a rural area of mid-coast Maine.  During my younger years, I heard very little discussion relating to the cost of health care or of inability to access medical services.  Fast forward to today. We are barraged with stories every day of people facing financial ruin simply because they are facing an illness or injury.

I am here today to voice my support for LD 1274 – “An Act to Promote Universal Health Care, Including Dental, Vision and Hearing Care”

Our health care system is failing. It denies access to many in need and is expensive, inefficient, and bureaucratic.  Patchwork reforms as currently being debated in Maine and at the national level will serve only to exchange old problems for new ones. It is time for Maine to take the lead to fundamentally change the method of health care delivery and develop a comprehensive universal health program for the citizens of the State of Maine.

Universal single payer health care is the only real answer and this is supported by the vast majority of individuals and physicians.  Businesses that currently provide employee health coverage would see significant cost savings. It would also spur small business growth by eliminating the fear of losing employer paid health coverage.

You will undoubtedly hear powerful and polished testimony from representatives of the insurance industry, other for profit institutions and non profit organizations that have vested interests in the health care industry. Please keep in mind that these are the very institutions that have created our current dysfunctional system.  Eliminating the profits and the administrative costs within these organizations along with the administrative cost burden forced on individuals, physicians and health care facilities will go a long way toward financing this proposal.

There is one thing that we can all agree on – Our current system is broken.  We have an opportunity to lead the nation by truly reforming our health care system and bring to all Maine citizens Universal Health Care, Including Dental, Vision and Hearing Care.  As Maine goes so goes the nation.

I thank the sponsors and supporters of this important legislation and the Committee on Insurance and Financial Services for hearing public testimony.

Sincerely,

Michael Reynolds

 

I will post some photos of the day.  I have a feeling that this will be very well attended.