It does work

My husband and I are proud and grateful consumers of socialized medicine. It’s not the same brand of socialized medicine our British or Norwegian friends enjoy, but it is publicly financed and administered through state and federal governments. We became eligible for Medicare about 6 years ago, and because of this access to healthcare, we are active and healthy parents and grandparents. In spite of dire warnings from free-market zealots, Medicare has not turned us into chattel of communistic overlords. Publicly supported access to health care works, which is why we support Medicare for All.

It’s partly selfish: because Medicare isn’t even for all seniors, we still have worries about our future. We still need to buy supplemental insurance, and it does not cover long-term care. Those who can pay upwards of $100,000 per year out of pocket can live out their lives with dignity and pass wealth to their children. The rest of us will be required to impoverish ourselves to be eligible for Medicaid, which provides basic care in minimally reimbursed facilities staffed as cheaply as possible with underpaid direct care workers. Improved, expanded Medicare for All would mean dignity and care for everyone.

Market-based health care has failed. The U.S. has the most expensive care in the world, with some of the worst health outcomes of all industrialized countries. Greed and corruption have enriched a few corporate giants and left the rest of us to pay exorbitant prices for life-saving medications, basic care, and hospital care – or go bankrupt trying. Opponents of publicly financed health care say government can’t do anything right, but the vast majority of us who use Medicare beg to differ. It works well for us, and with thoughtful implementation and improvements, it can work even better for all Americans.

Skeptics (and these days, it is very good to be skeptical) have a lot of legitimate questions about Medicare for All: How is it paid for? How is it administered? How does it affect my health care? UMass Amherst economics professor Robert Pollin will address these questions and many more at a Medicare for All forum at St. Anselm College on July 13, from 1-3 p.m., hosted by Greater Nashua Rights and Democracy. For more information about the forum, go to rad.nh.org/special-events. We will be there, and we hope everyone reading this will join us.