Guest commentary: What can I do to make ‘Medicare for All’ happen?
November 23, 2018
Democratic control of the next House of Representatives opens a door for some action on single-payer Improved Medicare for All.
While we don't expect a law to be passed in the next two years, the issue may be debated in committee and possibly on the floor, with an eye toward becoming reality after 2020.
If, after reading my recent series of articles on the status of American health care, which can be found on aspentimes.com, you agree that the best solution may be Improved Medicare for All, you may want to help move it along.
Here are a few actions you might pursue.
The route to achieving Improved Medicare for All has at least four paths:
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Learn more about it by reading legitimate, fact-based articles at nonprofit websites and joining such organizations as:
PNHP.org (Physicians for a National Health Program)
HealthOverProfit.org (HOPE: Health Over Profit for Everyone)
FixitHealthcare.com (Businessman's documentaries)
Medicareforallu.com (Medicare for All University)
COuniversalhealth.org (Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care)
Educate your friends, co-workers, relatives, chairlift sharers. Educate your group — political, civic, book club, religious, social. Invite a member of PNHP-CO to give a presentation — or make one yourself!
Educate the public — write letters to editors supporting Improved Medicare for All. Wear buttons and bumper stickers, available from the organizations above.
Talk to small and large business owners and leaders. Arrange for them to watch the "FixIt" documentary. Once they understand how this can help their employees, their bottom lines and the entire country, they should line up to support it.
Ask your doctors how they feel about Improved Medicare for All. Tell them how it would help both you and them. Surveys show that a majority of physicians already support a single-payer system. All of them should, when they understand its myriad benefits.
Call and tell your Congressional representatives, of either party, over and over, why they should support it, ideally as proposed in the House Bill H.R. 676. Bernie Sanders' Senate bill, S. 1804, comes pretty close, and if either bill passes, their slight differences will be ironed out in a Joint Conference Committee. Urge them to cosponsor those bills, if they don't already. In particular, call members of the next House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees, and ask them to hold hearings on it. You can contact all of your representatives through the U.S. Capitol switchboard, at 202-224-3121.
The 2020 elections will be here before you know it, and in order for Improved Medicare for All to become a reality, all of the above groups must understand its merits before then. Help spread the word and prepare the ground for this critical undertaking.
Dr. George Bohmfalk practiced neurosurgery in Texas before retiring to spend half of each year in the Roaring Fork Valley. He is active in Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP.org), a physician-driven group advocating for a single-payer health care system. He may be contacted at ImprovedMcare4All@gmail.com.