Recently, Sen. Bernie Sanders held a health care town hall online. The Medicare for All event brought together doctors, nurse practitioners and business owners to testify about the need for health care for everyone. I learned the horrifying fact that nearly 40,000 people died in this country last year, just because they didn’t have health insurance and did not get the care they needed, like blood pressure medication or cancer testing.
The lack of health care in this country affects us all, whether we have good health insurance or not. It hurts us all when doctors have to spend hours each day on the phone arguing with insurance companies to get their patients’ care covered, or when people have to delay starting small businesses because of the cost of paying for health insurance. It hurts workers when salaries do not increase each year because employers pay the hidden costs of ever-rising insurance premiums, which eat up the money that should go to raises, or when more and more of us are only able to find part-time work, just because companies don’t want to provide expensive health benefits.
Americans must not realize that in so many countries — Australia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, France, Canada, Japan, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey — health-care is a right. There, you get care based on what your doctor recommends, instead of what your insurance company allows or what you can afford.
Bernie needs more support to pass Medicare for All nationally, but in New York we are very close to passing a similar bill, The New York Health Act, nyhcampaign.org. State Sens. Seward and Bonacic could vote to cover health care for everyone in our state, and save us all money in the process. Let’s do the right thing and fix health care in our country.
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