NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–July 29, 2012. On the occasion of Medicare’s 47th birthday a group of 67 doctors, health advocates, lawyers and others are publishing an open letter to the President, Secretary Sebelius, Majority Leaders Reid and Boehner and Minority Leaders Cantor and Pelosi. The letter urges the expansion of Medicare to everyone in the United States, and recognizes that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has serious shortcomings that prevent it from solving the health crisis in the United States.
The ACA and Supreme Court decision upholding it places the US further down the road to privatization of health care. And we anticipate that after the November elections, further austerity measures will be taken that cut or privatize our social insurances, Medicare and Medicaid.
The letter states that the United States continues to face a health care crisis which will not be solved by the ACA. The United States stands apart from the other industrialized nations by using a market-based approach to financing health care. Decades of experience with this approach have allowed us to document the results: the most expensive health care system in the world with poor outcomes, high numbers of uninsured and a growing number of people who are under-insured, meaning that they have coverage but still struggle to afford necessary health care and face bankruptcy if they or a family member have a serious accident or illness.
The letter emphatically states that “America’s multi-decade experiment with market-driven care which emphasizes protection of for-profit industries has devastated our families, crippled our businesses, smothered our economy, and stolen our health. The ACA is a continuation of this experiment and medical ethics dictate that this experiment must be stopped.”
The signers advocate for the immediate expansion of Medicare to every person living in the United States and then improving Medicare by making coverage more comprehensive, removing financial barriers to care and negotiating for fair prices for pharmaceuticals and medical devices and services, to name a few. These steps will begin to solve our health care crisis and place us on the road to a high quality health care system on par with the amount of money already being spent on health care.