Green Party's ‘Doctor’ Stein: Hippocrates not Hypocrisy
Dr. Jill Stein is the Green Party front runner for President.
She is a graduate of Harvard Medical School.
She has over 25 years' experience as a doctor.
Dr. Stein campaigned for single payer health care when she ran against Mitt Romney for governor of Massachusetts in 2002.
When asked about the mandate and Obamacare she explained that whatever the outcome determined by SCOTUS:
…, Americans will still be stuck with an expensive, ineffective health care system that fails to provide quality health care to all Americans.
The mandate that every American buy expensive, inadequate health insurance is a scheme developed by Republicans and foisted on the nation by Democrats. The winners are the health insurance companies. A Stein administration will make health care a right while eliminating the enormous waste, bureaucracy and negative health impacts of the current health insurance mess.
As a medical doctor trying to care for people in an increasingly broken system over 25 years, I know that a single payer Medicare for All program is the real solution to the American health care crisis. President Obama repeatedly admitted this during the health care debate while insisting that single payer was off the table.
Americans spend far more money on health care than other industrial democracies but have a poorly performing health care system, ranked only 37th in the world, due to the cancerous burden of private health insurance. Obama and the Democrats turned their backs on Medicare - a proven solution. Instead they enacted a health insurance mandate whose prime goal will be to increase insurance company profits.
Dr. Stein contends that our complicated health system increases health expenditures each year by $400 billion.
She points out that the federal health insurance law now being deliberated will still leave more than 26 million Americans uninsured.
The present law will force other millions of Americans to buy expensive yet still inadequate health insurance.
It will cause millions of Americans to go bankrupt due to high medical bills. Stein emphasizes that ¾ of Americans who go bankrupt today do so in spite of having health insurance.
Our country spends more than twice as much as other industrialized nations per capita ($8,160) on health care, yet we still perform poorly in terms of life expectancy, infant mortality and immunization rates.
Other nations provide comprehensive coverage for each of their citizens, the United States leaves 51 million at present uninsured and millions more under-insured.
Dr. Stein concedes there are some positives within the Obama reforms, but she points out that most will not go into effect until 2014 and such a delay will cost lives. Approximately 45,000 Americans die annually due to lack of health care coverage.
Dr. Stein discloses that Romney Care’s Massachusetts' experiment with insurance mandates, though it did reduce but not eliminate the uninsured population, “significantly increased under-insurance, increased health care premiums, and created a financial crisis among the state’s safety-net hospitals and community health centers….”
Many low-income residents had less access to health care. And the financial burden of the reform has fallen disproportionately on lower-middle-class. This is not the reform we need. A system based on mandates is basically a regressive tax imposed on the middle class in order to support profiteering in the health industry. No other country in the world would tolerate such an abuse of consumers and neither should we.
According to Dr. Stein’s math, with the Obama mandate, a family of four with an $80,000 a year income will be forced to pay 9.8% of their income to purchase health care, a health care that would only cover 70% of their medical expenses. This is financially challenging enough, but Stein warns that in the event of a serious illness of a family member, the family would face financial ruin.
Dr. Stein on a single payer system:
… that means that all medical bills get paid under a single streamlined system, similar to Medicare. Everyone would be covered, regardless of employment or medical care status, for all medically necessary services, including: doctor, hospital, preventive, long-term care, mental health, reproductive health care, dental, vision, prescription drug and medical supply costs. Patients would regain free choice of doctor and hospital, and doctors would regain autonomy over patient care. All those complicated forms that have to be filled out for the current multitude of private health insurers would no longer be necessary, and that would save billions in paperwork costs.”
Dr. Stein’s and her Green Party’s platform has long supported single payer health care. It contends that eliminating private insurers and recapturing the money draining away in administrative waste would easily fund health care for the uninsured.
With a single payer system modest new taxes would replace premiums and out of pocket costs currently paid by both businesses and individuals.
Negotiating fees, bulk budgeting and purchasing would be provided by the single payer system on behalf of the patients, leaving patients with NO out of pocket costs.
A single payer system would mean an end to obscene corporate profit-making by vendors who hold the economic and physical fates of too many Americans in their amoral hands.
Winston Churchill once said, "Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing...after they have exhausted all other possibilities."
Dr. Stein wants to do the right thing.
Let's let her!
[cross-posted on correntewire and open salon]