I recently posted a blog about why I support universal single-payer healthcare. I told you about my personal trials with insurance companies in order to obtain my life-saving bone marrow transplant. I have been telling that story in my advocacy ever since the early 1990’s when I became a single-payer healthcare advocate.
In 2008, I ran for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Another candidate in another district that year was Cindy Purvis. Both of us ran for public office with the message that affordable, universal health care was necessary for individuals, families, businesses, and our communities in general.
The following year, Cindy helped found Health Care for All PA, a statewide non-profit organization that educates the public and government officials regarding the scope and seriousness of the health care crisis. She was their first President. A year later, she asked me to join their Board of Directors.
In our advocacy for a universal health care plan for Pennsylvania, we have received push-back from the legislature. They told us that the General Assembly would not move the bill unless we had an Economic Impact Study (EIS) that shows that universal, single-payer health care is cost-effective. So a couple of years ago, the legislature considered an EIS bill to find out this answer. Unfortunately it died in committee.
But this question still needed to be answered. So the Health Care for All PA Education Fund raised monies from individuals and small businesses to fund just such a study to compare the proposed state-based single-payer health care plan to the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) and other health care programs within Pennsylvania. And we now have the results.
STUDY PROVES PENNSYLVANIA CAN EXPAND HEALTH CARE TO ALL WHILE SAVING BILLIONS OF DOLLARS
ECONOMIC IMPACT STUDY COMMISSIONED BY HEALTHCARE4ALLPA PAVES THE WAY FOR AFFORDABLE UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE IN PENNSYLVANIA
Health Care for All PA released the results of this economic impact study last week based on and in conjunction with the anticipated introduction of the Pennsylvania Health Care Plan bill by Senator Jim Ferlo on Tuesday, March 19 at 2:00 pm in the Capitol Media Center, Harrisburg.
The results prove that a single-payer health care plan will save families, businesses and tax payers $17 billion annually while at the same time providing comprehensive health care to all.
This study was done by University of Massachusetts – Amherst professor of economics Gerald Friedman, Ph.D. It compares the cost of the current for-profit health insurance model in Pennsylvania whereby provider choice is limited and health services are rationed by health insurance companies to that of a consumer-driven health care system which lets people have the freedom to choose their own doctors, hospitals and health care providers.
Some of the important advantages of a single-payer system are:
- Provides comprehensive coverage for every resident of Pennsylvania, including dental, vision and mental health services;
- Eliminates the need for hospitals to absorb the cost of care for the uninsured;
- Reduces bureaucracy for private physicians resulting in reduced administrative costs and improved compensation for private physicians;
- Reduces or eliminates health insurance over-costs for small business, allowing for more job creation, greater reinvestment of profits, and reduced workers’ compensation costs.
- Radically reduces the total cost of health care to levels more consistent with costs in the rest of the industrialized world.
- Reduces healthcare spending in Pennsylvania by an estimated $16 Billion +
(from $144 billion to $128 billion). This includes savings of $7 Billion + for businesses that currently provide health care benefits and over $6 Billion for state and local governments and school boards. It also reduces the cost to the average individual who pays well over the 3% of personal income for health care coverage that is called for in the Pennsylvania Health Care Plan.
Here’s some highlights from the EIS:
EIS SUMMARY AND HIGHLIGHTS OF PENNSYLVANIA HEALTH CARE PLAN