#M4A Now!

Our Leaders Deny Us the Healthcare We Desperately Need

We deserve #M4A

Contributed by: Angela Purnell

In the United States of America people die because they cannot afford medical care. Many of us are acutely aware of this; 34 million of us have known someone who died because they could not afford medical care. The Medicare for All act would end this by providing free at point of use national healthcare system that provides comprehensive healthcare for all of us.

I think it is outrageous that our elected leadership, who have publicly funded healthcare, are so vehemently opposed to a national healthcare system. Members of Congress, the Senate, and the President enjoy top of the line healthcare thanks to us tax-paying citizens. They feel healthcare is their right, but not ours. Even though it is our hard-working tax dollars supporting their care, they deny us the same opportunity to live healthy lives. Americans are expected to work hard, pay our taxes, pay for their insurance, pay for our own separate insurance, prescriptions, co-pays, deductibles, etc... and just deal with it? Socialist ideas for healthcare are crazy radicalism, except for when it helps them.

America is one of the only first world nations that does not provide some sort of Universal Healthcare plan as a right to its citizens. There are 32 countries in the world that provide healthcare to their citizens as a right. They recognize that people must have access to healthcare to be productive. Norway has had Universal Healthcare for its citizens since 1912! The Medicare for All Act of 2019 proposed by Bernie Sanders would give us access to Dental, Vision, Hearing, Home and Community-Based long-term care, in-patient and out-patient services, mental-health care, substance abuse care, reproductive and maternity care, and more. Tell me why any American does not have the right to any one of these services?

We should not have to choose between our homes or life-saving surgery, chemotherapy, or insulin. But, we do on a regular basis. In the United States, one out of four Type I diabetics are forced to ration their insulin. Some of them die as a result. Another 58 million of are unable to afford our prescribed medications. In the United States we have 32.8 million people under the age of 65 who are uninsured. Our government leadership tells us that Medicare for All is too expensive; we cannot afford healthcare for our nation. That is a lie.

We are an undeniably wealthy nation. The United States holds almost 30% of the world’s wealth. That's 105.99 Trillion dollars held by only 4.5% of the global population. That is more than enough money to make sure that our people don't die from treatable illnesses. The pharmaceutical industries get their fair share of this wealth.

Pharmaceutical companies in the United States receive substantial amounts of government assistance in the form of publicly funded research, along with the added benefit of tax breaks. To be clear, “publicly funded” means taxpayer funded. Since 1930, the US has invested $900 Billion in pharmaceutical and bio-technical development. The U.S. government invested $10 Billion dollars in COVID 19 vaccine development, alone. As tax-paying citizens, we fund the research required to produce the medication and treatments that we subsequently pay inflated prices for. Not only do pharmaceutical companies get to set the price and restrict the patent of their products, but they also get to advertise them on the taxpayer dime.

Advertising expenses are tax deductible. The industry has made broad use of this perk. Advertising increased from 79,000 (including 72,000 television commercials) in 1997 to 4.6 million (663,000 television commercials) in 2016. They sell a lot of prescriptions! Americans paid $535 Billion on prescriptions last year. That is a 50% increase prescription costs since 2010.

I stated previously that one out of four Type I diabetics are forced to ration their life-saving insulin. One out of four! One vial of insulin costs on average $300. That is for just ONE. It only costs between $78 and $133 for the pharmaceutical companies to make enough live-saving insulin to treat one person for an entire YEAR. How many lives could be saved if we were able to cap what Americans pay for prescription drugs under Medicare for All? Medicare for All would ensure that no American would pay more than $200 per year on prescription drug costs.

Every single year we pay hundreds of billions of dollars in massive compensation to big wig executives, ridiculous amounts in administration costs, and an alarming amount in profiteering. All of this money being thrown around benefits no one, but those raking in the profit. Under the Medicare for All Act, the cost of funding research and development of new drugs and treatments wouldn’t come padded with swank executive salaries and steep advertising budgets. We could actually cure disease and help to alleviate pain, rather than just mask it.

Big Pharma and insurance companies have shown us is that there is profit to be made in the sickness, not the cure. While we struggle and suffer, they are capitalizing. Our loss is their gain. CEOs of multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical companies don't care if you have to take out a second mortgage on your house, sell everything you own, or go bankrupt to pay for your medication or a life-saving surgery or procedure. In this country, medical care is “pay or die.”

We are the wealthiest nation in the world. We are supposedly the most “powerful” nation in the world. We are the land of the “free” and the home of the “brave”. Yet, we are enslaved by the corporate elite who behave as if they would willing to sell their own mothers for a profit. We need to break up this sordid affair between the politicians, the elite, and the pharmaceutical and insurance companies they operate. These corporate leeches don't cure disease, they exacerbate human suffering.   

Medicare for All would alleviate the need for networks through insurance companies. There would be no premiums, no deductibles, no co-pays, and no surprise bills. Our medical care would be free at the time of service. No more having to wait and “hope it's not serious” when you become ill. No more having to put off important appointments because you cannot afford the co-pay or the deductible. No more having to ration insulin, or just go without and pray you somehow make it through.

We all deserve adequate healthcare. We all have the right to be happy, healthy human beings. Proper healthcare should not be a luxury afforded to the only the rich and privileged. You, my fellow American, should not have to work overtime simply to be able to afford your insurance premiums along with alongside all your regular bills. People battling for their life with difficult illness such as cancer should not have to choose between homelessness and death. It is savagely cruel to expect people to have to decide whether they want to eat or pay for their insulin. Die from malnutrition or a diabetic coma? Unacceptable. This is supposed to be a nation “of the people, by the people and for the people”. We the people are pissed. We are fed up and we are tired. We the people need to rise up and DEMAND Medicare for All.

The power of the people is stronger than the people in power. Join with us to demand Medicare for All. Your financial support helps us organize in the streets and put pressure on elected leadership to do right by the American people. We deserve the same right to good health as them.

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