Physician-Candidate for President, Jill Stein, Applauds National Health Program. Says It’s Urgently Needed.
As a candidate for President of the United States, I enthusiastically applaud the National Health Program put forward today by Physicians for a National Health Program. The program would make health care a human right, and put people rather than profit at the core of our health care system.
As a medical doctor, I join thousands of physicians across the nation who have signed on to the plan, and urge that this program be urgently implemented. It is a national embarrassment that the wealthiest country in the world somehow cannot figure out how to provide this basic human right as virtually all other developed nations have done.
Having spent decades delivering primary care, I am painfully aware that America has a health emergency. Despite living in the wealthiest nation on the planet, Americans are leading shorter lives in poorer health than residents of virtually all developed countries.i And our health is getting worse by multiple key measures: rising death rates for womenii, rising maternal death ratesiii, rising death rates for middle aged white Americansiv, and surging suicide ratesv.
Among the many factors contributing to this health emergency, the lack of affordable and comprehensive coverage is shameful and unacceptable. Each year an estimated 26,000 people die, or three people per hour, from lack of health insurance.vi
The Affordable Care Act cannot meet the need. Fewer than half of America’s uninsured residents have gained coverage under the plan, and tens of millions will be shut out even after full implementation. And underinsurance is epidemic, with skyrocketing copayments and deductibles that discourage people from using insurance even when they are fortunate enough to have it.
Like the plan that preceded it in Massachusetts, the Affordable Care Act was designed to serve the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries. Over 3000 registered healthcare lobbyists spent a staggering $1.2 million dollars per day in the run up to its passage. A widely supported public option initiative was declared “off the table” by then Senate Finance committee chair, Max Baucus, who unsurprisingly received more campaign money from health and insurance industry interests than any other member of Congress.
The Affordable Care Act is a seriously compromised product of a fatally flawed political system.
In contrast, the National Health Plan provides what Americans actually need: comprehensive cradle-to-grave health coverage, free choice of provider and hospital, and coverage of all medically necessary care without cruel and arbitrary restrictions defined by profiteering CEOs. In addition, the plan ramps down medical inflation, and saves a monumental half trillion dollars every year by streamlining administrative red tape and bureaucracy, and through bulk purchasing of pharmaceuticals.
It’s long past time to provide the American people the health care they deserve by implementing this plan. A Stein administration would mobilize existing majority demand for health justice and work tirelessly to ensure that our urgent health needs are met in short order.
i� US Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health
ii�Mortality mystery: Female death rates are rising–and it’s not clear why
03/04/13 07:05 PM—Updated 09/13/13 08:47 AM
By Geoffrey Cowley http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/mortality-mystery-female-death-rates-are-ris
iii�The U.S. Is The Only Developed Nation With A Rising Maternal Mortality Rate
05/19/2014 8:12 am EDT Updated: 05/19/2014 9:59 pm EDT
iv�U.S. Suicide Rate Surges to a 30-Year High By SABRINA TAVERNISEAPRIL 22, 2016 http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/22/health/us-suicide-rate-surges-to-a-30-year-high.html?emc=edit_th_20160422&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=48404380
v�U.S. Suicide Rate Surges to a 30-Year High
By SABRINA TAVERNISEAPRIL 22, 2016