A blog to keep current on MPIRG'S fight for social and environmental justice.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Health Care Fridays: Single Payer Myths - Debunked! Part 3

I am Mary Einspahr, HECUA intern for MPIRG this semester and University of Minnesota- Twin Cities chapter member focusing on health care. I care about this issue because I believe that healthcare is a human right.

The Minnesota Health Plan is a single payer healthcare reform bill for our state that would cover 100% of Minnesotans. Single payer is health care in which all payments are under one health plan rather than over 250 for-profit insurance companies. There are many myths about single payer. I am here to debunk them for you.

Myth #3: Single payer will lead to rationing, like in Canada.

Our current health system in the United States as private health insurance is ration care. If you don’t have insurance, you don’t get care. 50.7 million Americans lack health insurance. 120 Americans die every year for this very reason. Other ways that our current health system is rationed is through insurance plans excluding care for pre-existing conditions or refusing to cover people with chronic health conditions. The more often you are sick, the more you need coverage, and the greater chance you have of being denied coverage. This is morally wrong.

Health care should not be rationed by the government or greedy insurance companies. Decisions should be made solely through the doctor and patient. Under the Minnesota Health Plan, care would not be rationed because you are sick and unable to pay.

You may have heard of issues with health insurance in Canada, specifically about the “wait list” with long lines. This is health insurance industry propaganda.  Under the Minnesota Health Plan, lines would actually be shorter, because the plan would ensure that there were enough health care providers to provide timely access to treatment.  The Minnesota Health Plan would be required to work with higher education institutions to ensure there are enough health care providers to meet the needs of Minnesotans. 

Although there were minor glitches in Canada for waiting for non-emergencies visits, this was only temporary while the system was first being established. It truly was not as great a problem as portrayed by the American media. The fact is the Canadian health care system is half the cost of our current system and zero people die in Canada every year due to a lack of health insurance.

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