The Affordable Care Act will help millions but it is not enough. If OFA and other Obamacare supporters want the grassroots to help it get implemented they need to clearly indicate that it is not the final destination.
Healthcare represents more than 18% of our GNP according to the WHO ($2.700.000.000.000/year), dwarfing everything else. Obamacare will not bring this down. Norway, with a Single Payer system, spends only 9.7% of GNP and 100% of everyone there is covered with significantly better outcomes. As a matter of fact, we are #38 in healthcare according to the WHO. Hopefully the ACA will improve our ranking but even with Obamacare, more than 30 million people will not be covered according to a study by the Health Affairs journal.
And I doubt that the bankruptcies caused by medical bills will be reduced. 62% of all bankruptcies are due to medical bills and 75% of those happen to people who HAVE insurance.
I was not happy at all when Obama put Single Payer off the table before the negotiations with the GOP (and Blue Dogs) got started in 2009. He had supported Single Payer before 2008 but his bargaining chip for the ACA was the Public Option.
The ACA was the best Obama could get in the ridiculously polarized and dysfunctional DC given Republican shenanigans and blue dog timidity. But it is not what is best for the country.
Obama has his hands full implementing the ACA in red states and elsewhere. The fight for Medicare for all continues now state by state. Vermont leads the way with their Single Payer system based on the Taiwanese model but Single Payer advocates are not giving up in many other states including California where the movement is regrouping after the fiasco in Sacramento last year.
If we are going to reach the final destination people really want, we need to embrace healthcare as a human right. Once we do and reject the idea of healthcare as a privilege, nothing can stop us.
So yes, let's support Obamacare implementation but let's keep our eyes on the prize.
But if you want to expand Obamacare, as a majority of liberals, progressives and Democrats do according to Pew and Kaiser follow below the orange croissant.
The fight for Medicare for all will now be held at the state level. Canada implemented their Single Payer system province by province led by Tommy Douglass who was voted as the most admired Canadian ever. If you have any doubts about the Canadian system or if you want to educate possible supporters about their system vs. ours, I highly recommend that you get a copy of The Healthcare Movie. Single Payer supporters in California use this film to rally the grassroots. It works.
Last Saturday I spoke at a Democratic club in California and the message I stressed that the ACA is a step in the direction towards Medicare for all was very well received. I will be doing more of this as often as I can. This gives me hope.
This is one chart that I included in my slides, it shows the increase of the number of healthcare administrators and doctors. The ACA will not address this issue. Today doctors spend about $70,000 a year in administration.
So what can you do?
If you live in California, consider joining one of the Single Payer organizations;
California OneCare, Healthcare for All, Physicians for a National Health Plan, Labor United for Universal Healthcare and California Health Professional Student Alliance. We are planning some actions to coincide with the birthday of Medicare around July 30.
If you are a Single Payer supporter and you are attending Netroots Nation 13, please join me when I attend the only healthcare reform session on Friday at 4:30 in room AC 212. We can all get together after the session in some public area. I proposed a Single Payer panel which was turned down. This is the 2nd year in a row that Single Payer panels are turned down.
Even if you are not attending, keep an eye on the movement and let us know what you think, I'll do what I can to keep you informed.