email from Bernie Sanders, 12/24/15
I want to talk with you about one of the very real differences between Secretary Clinton and me that surfaced during last weekend’s debate, and that is our approach to health care in this country.
I was, and all progressives should be, deeply disappointed in some of her attacks on a Medicare-for-all, single-payer health care system. The health insurance lobbyists and big pharmaceutical companies try to make “national health care” sound scary. It is not.
In fact, a large single-payer system already exists in the United States. It’s called Medicare and the people enrolled give it high marks. More importantly, it has succeeded in providing near-universal coverage to Americans over age 65 in a very cost-effective manner.
So I want to go over some facts with you and ask that you take action on this important issue:
Right now, because of the gains made under the Affordable Care Act, 17 million people have health care who did not before the law was passed. This is a good start, and something we should be proud of. But we can do better.
The truth is, it is a national disgrace that the United States is the only major country that does not guarantee health care to all people as a right. Today, 29 million of our sisters and brothers are without care. Not only are deductibles rising, but the cost of prescription drugs is skyrocketing as well. There is a major crisis in primary health care in the United States.
So I start my approach to health care from two very simple premises:
1. Health care must be recognized as a right, not a privilege — every man, woman and child in our country should be able to access quality care regardless of their income.
2. We must create a national system to provide care for every single American in the most cost-effective way possible. Continue reading