Obamacare helped some but real solution to U.S. health care crisis is Medicare-for-all
In 2009, the Obama administration embarked on an effort to confront the crisis in our health system. They were right to confront it but wrong not to include everyone in the discussion: single-payer advocates were not only not included, they were, at times, forcibly removed from hearings and proceedings for trying to be heard.
It seemed to me then, and I still believe, that the crisis called for all hands on deck, not just those who represented the current, dysfunctional system — the very people that helped bring us to the crisis point. President Barack Obama set out to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic that the health system had become, managed to make those on board more comfortable, found seats in the life rafts for more of the passengers, but didn't change the inevitable outcome. Sooner or later, the system was going to hit the iceberg and it was going to sink, taking more people than ever down with it.
What did Republicans do to stop that inevitability? Nothing. In fact, there's a clear argument that they've spent the last eight years doing all they could to speed up the sinking, to undermine the system, caring only that President Obama got the blame and not caring one whit about the people who would be cast into the sea and left to fend for themselves ("Republicans' fingerprints are all over Obamacare premium increases," May 8).
As someone who wasn't a fan of the Affordable Care Act or the heavy presence of those responsible for bringing us to a crisis point being involved in "fixing" it, I am nevertheless glad that, and concede that, millions of people have gotten much-needed care. What is still immutably true, though, is that it only came about by making insurance their ticket to access.
The system is still broken. Insurance companies are not going to fix it and neither, apparently, are Republicans. The House bill appears to be little more than a Molotov cocktail that is waiting only for the Senate to light the fuse and for President Donald Trump to heave it into the building.
It's long past time for a serious discussion about moving this country to a single-payer, Medicare-for-all type system. There is legislation in both chambers of Congress to do just that. What are we so afraid of — that we could make it work?