On February 27, 2019, Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal filed HR 1384, the new Medicare for All Bill of 2019, with 106 initial cosponsors. This is the long-awaited update of HR 676, the Medicare of All Bill introduced in 2003 and in each congressional session since, gaining cosponsors every year. HR 676 was a brief, 30-page “messaging” bill, without what’s called “legislative language.” HR 1384 is longer, at 120 pages, and crafted to be taken seriously by Congress. There are many improvements in HR 1384, such as including long-term care. While it’s unlikely that this bill will be passed by the current Senate or supported by the President, we believe that passage by the House, after many public Committee hearings and great debate, would educate enough of the general public and Congress that passage and enactment into law after the 2020 elections may be very possible.
The next step for HR 1384 is House Committee hearings, and you can help make those happen. We need to encourage the Democratic members on the relevant committees to urge their chairmen to schedule hearings. Please take a few moments to call their offices and write emails to their health care legislative aides, who are often better informed and very influential on their bosses’ positions. Click below for a list and suggestions for your messages.
At the bottom of the list are Representatives who cosponsored HR 676 but have not yet cosponsored the new bill. Please also call their offices to encourage them to become cosponsors of HR 1384. Every call is logged and reported - it does make a difference!
1. Explanation of Current Medicare - Is Medicare hard to grasp? It may be confusing if you are under 60. Dr. Bohmfalk explains it clearly in this brief video. You will be able to see why Medicare is so popular and works so well. He also makes a case for Improved Medicare for All as a solution to our impending crisis in health care funding that will affect every one of us, no matter our age.
2. Where American Healthcare Is Now - Why is US healthcare at least twice as expensive as it is in the rest of the developed world? Dr. George Bohmfalk leads you directly to the elephant in the room. It is no mystery, and it is solvable once we as a country make the moral choice to provide healthcare to every citizen. He then elaborates on the enormous difficulties that our current healthcare financing system creates for so many of us. It does not need to be this way. We can and must do better.
3. Where is All The Money Going? - How can Improved Medicare for All save us money? Listen, as Dr. George Bohmfalk explains how switching to this system can cut $500 Billion/yr. in administrative cost and $150 Billion/yr. in drug and device costs. Fantastic? That would be more than enough to pay for health coverage for all Americans, giving us dental and vision coverage and no copays to boot.
4. How Do We Pay For It? - Dr. Bohmfalk shares a clear explanation of the numbers, citing a study by Amherst economist Gerald Friedman.
5. Do We Need Skin in the Game? - Your health insurance copays and deductibles are designed to lower overall healthcare spending by having you bear some of the cost for services, but do they actually do that? Dr. Jessica Schorr Saxe explains that in reality they do not decrease costs and simply move the burden from your insurer (BCBS, Aetna, United, etc.) to the insured (YOU).
6. Will It Help Americans Be Healthier? - In this video, Dr. Bohmfalk carefully and clearly explains the data showing that not having healthcare insurance markedly increases your risk of death at any age. Conversely, having Medicare dramatically decreases this risk. Why not make it available to every American?
7. Would It Be Disruptive? - Watch as Dr. George Bohmfalk discusses whether or not Medicare for All would be disruptive.
8. Would It Wreck The Economy? - Dr. Bohmfalk outlines the reasons why it would not wreck the economy. On the contrary!
9. What Does Single Payer Mean? - The issue is pretty clear, but terms can be confusing. Orthopedic surgeon Pressly Gilbert sorts out single-payer, multi-payer, universal, and other terms in the healthcare discussion.
10. Is It Socialized Medicine? - Of course it’s not, despite how many people think it is. Dr. Bohmfalk explains the difference, and how this term has become weaponized.
11. Why Aren't We There Yet? - Dr. Bohmfalk talks about how this ideal plan is being delayed simply by fear and greed.
12. How Will It Affect Doctors and Hospitals? - Medicare for All will save them money and give them greater control over their practices and facilities. They can return to helping their patients, not driving them into bankruptcy.
Dr. John Clarkson
Dr. Pressly Gilbert
Dr. Jessica Schorr Saxe
Dr. George Bohmfalk