For Immediate Release: July 31, 2015
Dr. Jill Stein, who is seeking the Green Party nomination for President, supported the 50th anniversary of the enactment of Medicare by calling for an expanded and improved Medicare for All to make health care a right for all Americans.
“Medicare has proven to be one of the great success stories of our country, despite all the predictions of chaos and failure made by the health care industry and conservatives when it was enacted half a century ago. Unfortunately, the Obama administration turned its back on health care for all and instead pushed through an insurance mandate written by the insurance industry. Health insurance is a cancer that must be removed in order to make our health care system work,” said Dr. Stein speaking at a Healthcare Justice March at W.Potomac Park, National Mall in DC.
Stein said that we need to improve and strengthen Medicare, not cut it. She strongly opposes the proposal to hand vouchers to seniors to buy private health insurance from a marketplace. Stein would expand the services covered under Medicare and enable it to negotiate lower prices with drug companies. In recent years it has been burdened with excessive and unnecessary red tape.
Stein noted that Medicare has provided a much greater measure of financial security to our nation’s seniors and their families. It has significantly reduced poverty and diminished income- and racially-based disparities in care and medical outcomes.
Stein has been a long time advocate of a single payer health care system which would eliminate the nearly half a trillion dollars wasted each year dealing with the paperwork, bureaucracy and barrier imposed by the health insurance industry.
The expensive health insurance required under the ACA does not cover all of a patients’ health care and high medical bills will still force many families into bankruptcy. Tens of millions of Americans will be left without insurance and far more will be forced to pay for inadequate coverage.
The Affordable Care Act will add more than a quarter of a trillion dollars to the already very high administrative costs of U.S. health care through 2022 according to a study by Drs. Himmelstein and Woolhandler. Nearly two-thirds of this new overhead – $172.2 billion – will go for increased private insurers’ administrative costs and profits
“In recent decades whenever the American public organized a national movement to demand universal health care, the Clinton and Obama administrations swooped in to offer us something else, the classic bait-and-switch. The real winners have been the drug and insurance companies and their obscene profits. The US spends twice as much on health care as the rest of the industrial world, yet the other countries all provide health care to everyone with much better health care outcomes,” noted Stein, a graduate of Harvard Medical School. Stein practiced internal medicine for over 25 years before moving to “political medicine” to address the “mother of all illnesses, our sick political system – which we must fix in order to remedy the many crises are literally killing us.”