Mission Nurses and National Nurses United Leadership,
Congratulations on your tremendous victory today. It is truly historic- the biggest union win in a hospital in the American south in decades. This is testimony to the patient advocacy, perseverance, dedication and vision of Mission nurses, as well as excellent leadership. You overcame huge obstacles, including HCA‘s continual union busting efforts and money resources. You are an inspiration to us all to continue to fight for safety for providers and first rate health care for all patients.
Healthcare For All – WNC
Racism is a public health emergency
The current COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the deep inequalities in our health system, as Black Americans are more than twice as likely (and in some states seven times as likely) to die from the virus than whites.
“Racial inequities have, for too long, been tolerated and accepted as normal in this country,” stated Dr. Susan Rogers, president-elect of PNHP. “The overt brutality displayed by police makes this clear, but these inequities extend to health care, housing, and education.”
Compared to whites, people of color are more likely to be uninsured, face barriers to care, and suffer and die from preventable health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Black families are also three times more likely to live in poverty compared to white families, and twice as likely to be food insecure, factors known to contribute to poor health.
PNHP is committed to fighting all forms of racial inequity, including the structural racism that puts Black people at substantially higher risk of police violence and incarceration, and a broken health care system that denies patients of color the right to health and health care.
Medicare for All: single-payer reform
Our health care system is wasteful; is this a government problem or a for profit health insurance problem?
- Waste: Our current health care system costs 3 trillion dollars a year. All 5 independent studies demonstrate that 34% of this expenditure
($812 billion) is wasteful, i.e., doesn’t fund care, funds administrative costs of care instead.
- Medicare and other publicly funded care uses 3% of this $812 billion for admin costs
- For profit funded care uses 15% of this $812 billion dollars for admin costs.
Which of our two differently financed healthcare systems gives us the most freedom of choice?
For profit financed health insurance:
- Restricts choice of provider network and works diligently to restrict utilization of care, even though Americans use one-quarter the number of hospital days and physician visits as the Japanese.
- Restricts flexibility in changing jobs or starting new business.
- Restricts the increases in wages and over all purchasing power due to employer needing to shift that money into increasing premiums.
- Exposes workers with employer based insurance to excessive risk of bankruptcy despite the illusion of coverage.
- Exposes participants to premiums, co-pays, out of pocket costs, supplement insurance costs.
Single payer reform, or Medicare for All provides:
- Reduction in overall cost to 95% of participants as the payroll tax to both employer and employee will be less than the accumulated costs of premiums, co-pays, out of pocket and supplemental insurance.
- Freedom for workers to change jobs without loss of health care.
- Freedom to start up a new business.
- Freedom from fear of bankruptcy should you or family member become ill.
- Security in all aspects of life from knowing that health care is affordable and available for all folks in the US.
“It is time to balance ‘social distancing,’ with efforts at ‘social instancing’ that exemplify how life is all about connection.
It is time that you and I join a pandemic of love.” Professor Jem Bendell
HealthCare For All WNC is an Asheville, N.C., group organizing for fundamental health care reform. We advocate a single-payer national health program – improved Medicare for All – that would provide universal coverage, comprehensive benefits, and zero cost sharing.