Our current private health insurance system is the most costly, wasteful, complicated and bureaucratic in the world. Today, 46 million people have no health insurance. Even more are underinsured with high deductibles and co-payments. Close to 20,000 Americans die each year because they don't have regular access to a doctor.
The time is now for our nation to address the most profound moral and economic issue we face. The time is now for our country to join the rest of the industrialized world and provide cost-effective, comprehensive quality health care to every man, woman and child in our country. The time is now to take on the powerful special interests in the insurance and pharmaceutical industries and pass a single-payer national health care program.
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•46 million Americans are currently without health insurance;
•60 million Americans, both insured and uninsured, have inadequate access to primary care due to a shortage of physicians and other health service providers in their community;
•100 million Americans have no insurance to cover dental needs;
•116 million adults, nearly two-thirds of all non-seniors, struggled to pay medical bills, went without needed care because of cost, were uninsured for a time, or were underinsured in the last year;
•The United States spends $2.3 trillion each year on health care, 16 percent of its Gross Domestic Product;
•Americans spend $7,129 per person on health care, 50 percent more than other industrialized countries, including those with universal care;
•The U.S. does not get what it pays for. We rank among the lowest in the health outcome rankings of developed countries, and on several major indices rank below some third-world nations;
•The number of health insurance industry bureaucrats has grown at 25 times the growth of physicians in the past 30 years;
•In 2006, the six largest insurance companies made $11 billion in profits even after paying for direct health care costs, administrative costs and marketing costs.
•Medicare has administrative costs far lower than any private health insurance plan;
•The potential savings on health insurance paperwork, more than $350 billion per year, is enough to provide comprehensive coverage to every uninsured American;
•Only a single-payer Medicare-for-all plan can realize these enormous savings and provide comprehensive and affordable health care to every citizen.
•We, the undersigned, urge the United States Congress to pass a single-payer Medicare-for-all program which will provide quality, comprehensive health care for all Americans.