Medicare for all

By Jack Bernard
Modern Healthcare, Letters, July 6, 2013

Hospital board members make decisions based on the mission of their organizations, not solely on how to increase the bottom line. Similarly, we can't just let our fellow citizens suffer, expecting the free market to magically take care of the problem of the uninsured and underinsured. The market has not done so; the percentage of uninsured has risen drastically nationwide. The Affordable Care Act will not eliminate the problem, only slow it down.

It is up to us to choose what sort of a country we really are, a nation of compassion or a Darwinian society in which the strong ruthlessly trample the weak. If we view ourselves as the moral beacon of the world, then we must take care of the less fortunate here. And that means national health insurance for all, not only those over 65. I have witnessed the fatuous arguments about expanding Medicare, about it being “too expensive.” Countries with single payer have better healthcare outcomes than we do and spend much less per capita. Healthcare should be a right for all Americans, not a privilege. The best way to achieve that goal is Medicare for all.

Jack Bernard is a retired healthcare executive in Monticello, Ga.

PNHP note: An archive of opinion pieces by Jack Bernard can be found here.