Healthcare

Healthcare fact sheet 2

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  • Medicare for All Makes a Lot of Sense

    The economics of Medicare for All championed by Sen. Bernie Sanders are actually quite straightforward. Under what advocates call "M4A," health care coverage would expand while total spending on health care -- by companies, individuals and the government -- would decline because of lower costs. More would be paid through the government and less through private insurers.

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  • 10 Questions About Healthcare, Answered

    The healthcare debate has been going on for a while now, and yet misinformation continues to spiral out of control on social media threads and in the mainstream media.

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  • The Zero Hour Interview: Medicare for All, Accept No Substitute

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  • A Labor-Based Movement For Medicare for All

    Healthcare is the crossroads where the assault on workers meets the juggernaut of “crony capitalism.” That’s the term used by the mainstream neo-classical and Nobel prize-winning economist Angus Deaton to describe the coziness between the healthcare industry and its government “regulators.” 

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  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Votes Against Bill that Undermines Civil Rights Protections for Americans with Disabilities

     “For more than 25 years, the ADA has been instrumental in expanding and protecting fair, equal opportunities for disabled Americans. H.R. 620 unravels this progress, making it easier for employers to skirt around discrimination laws and requiring people with disabilities to jump through hoops for the equal access protections to which they are entitled. I’ve heard from many community organizations in Hawai‘i that shared how this legislation would hurt our more than 210,000 disabled residents. I stand with them in strong opposition to this harmful legislation.”

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  • Meet The New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

    The announcement by the CEO’s from JP Morgan Chase, Amazon and Berkshire-Hathaway that they are forming a new healthcare company signals the symbolic end of the ACA-reform era.

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  • The Real News Network: Trump's Medicaid Work Requirements Punish the Poor

    In this interview with Aaron Maté of the Real News Network, Michael Lighty, Founding Fellow at the Sanders Institute and Director of Public Policy at National Nurses United explains how the new work requirements for Medicaid recipients is a punishment for people already living in poverty. 

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  • What's at Stake: Healthcare for All

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  • New Medicaid Work Requirements Will Deny More Care

    Having failed to repeal the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, the Trump Administration wants to open the door for states to dismantle this essential safety net program by allowing them new ways to deny care.

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  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Condemns Big Pharma’s “Pervasive Hijacking” Of American Democracy

    "The recent investigation by The Washington Post and 60 Minutes shines a light on the systematic failures behind the opioid epidemic. The pervasive hijacking of our government by the drug industry who have been buying their way into Congress has led to their influence in crafting every piece of legislation impacting the opioid crisis."

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  • Nina Turner on Bernie at the Women's March, Trump's ACA Sabotage, and More

    The former Ohio State Senator and current president of Our Revolution addresses the controversy over Bernie Sanders' upcoming speech to the Women's March convention; Trump's new sabotage of Obamacare; the finale of "The Nina Turner Show," and more.


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  • A Conversation with Dr. Jane O'Meara Sanders and RoseAnn DeMoro

    On Thursday September 21, Dr. Jane O'Meara Sanders (Co-founder, Fellow of the Sanders Institute) joined RoseAnn DeMoro of National Nurses United to talk about Medicare for All and the need for civil discourse.

    A Conversation with Jane Sanders and RoseAnn DeMoro from National Nurses United on Vimeo.

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  • "Pivotal Moment in American History": Michael Lighty on Medicare-for-All

    On September 13, 2017, Senator Bernard Sanders introduced S.1804 - a bill to establish a Medicare-for-all health insurance program, with 15 co-sponsors. Sanders Institute Fellow and Director of Public Policy for National Nurses United spoke with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! on the pivotal piece of legislation. According to a June poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, some 53% of Americans support a national health care plan

    UPDATE: As of September 14, 2017, there are now 16 co-sponsors for S.1804.

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  • Medicaid, Explained: Why It's Worse To Be Sick In Some States Than Others

    This video from Vox looks at the Medicaid system through the eyes of an individual on Medicaid, Matthew, who has Crohn's Disease. He is one of the 1 in 5 Americans who get their healthcare paid for by Medicaid. 

    The video states “The thing about Matthew is, if he lived in a different state, he might not have Medicaid.” It explains the history of healthcare in the United States, the attempts of certain presidents (FDR, Truman, and LBJ) to create a national healthcare system, the reason behind the emergence of a private healthcare market, and the ultimate expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

    Due to the Supreme Court decision that made this expansion voluntary by state, the video explains that the specific states get to decide who gets covered and what service gets covered. Some individuals are consistently covered across the board, like children and Pregnant women; However, coverage of other groups like individual who make below a certain amount per year are only covered in certain states. 

    The video goes on to describe the rising costs of Medicaid, due to the rising costs of health care in the United States, and ways that Republicans have proposed to change Medicaid.

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  • Health Care Research Paper Delivered to Congress

    The Sanders Institute and National Nurses United delivered a research paper, titled Medicare For All vs All the Healthcare Each Can Afford, to every Senate and House of Representatives office on Capitol Hill. This report analyzes our current fragmented healthcare system and suggests a system of healthcare reflecting the nurses' values of caring, compassion and community.

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  • Medicare for All

    In this video, Robert Reich explains why healthcare is a right that should be guaranteed for all Americans and why moving towards a Medicare for all system would deliver better healthcare at a lower cost. 

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  • Jeffrey Sachs: Americans can save $1 trillion and get better healthcare

    In this article, Jeffrey Sachs, university professor and director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia, discusses the big business of American healthcare and lays out a 10-point plan for achieving a feasible, fair and reasonable healthcare system that limits the monopoly power of the health care sector.

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  • In the News: Ben Jealous on Single Payer Health System

    In this interview with Thomas Roberts of MSNBC, Sanders Institute Founding Fellow Ben Jealous discusses the importancee of protecting families from the AHCA and standing up for single-payer healthcare.

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  • It's Time for Medicare for All

    American spending on healthcare per person is more than twice the average in the world’s thirty-five advanced economies. Yet Americans are sicker, our lives are shorter, and we have more chronic illnesses than in any other advanced nation. Medicare for all would avoid all these problems, and get lower prices and better care.

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  • CBO Score H.R. 1628, Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017

    On June 26, 2017, the Congressional Budget Office released its estimate for the Senate version of what has been called the American Health Care Act. The CBO estimates that this bill (now named the Better Care Reconciliation Act) would "increase the number of people who are uninsured by 22 million in 2026 relative to the number under current law, slightly fewer than the increase in the number of uninsured estimated for the House-passed legislation. By 2026, an estimated 49 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law."

    As this healthcare debate continues, it is important to understand the facts behind that decrease in coverage - who would no longer have or purchase insurance and why? Would the plans be different? Who benefits and who would suffer under this law?

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  • Trumpcare Truth: A Gift to the 1% and a Kick to the Sick and Poor

    The Senate’s bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act is not a healthcare bill. It’s a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, paid for by a dramatic reduction in healthcare funding for approximately 23 million poor, disabled, and working middle class Americans.

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  • Medicare for All vs. All the Healthcare That Each Can Afford

    This paper from the National Nurses Union examines the U.S. healthcare system as it is currently, as it would be under the American Health Care Act, and how it could be under a Medicare for all single payer healthcare system.

    "A Medicare-for-all health plan would provide comprehensive healthcare benefits for all medically appropriate care without regard to income, employment, or health status." In comparison, the American Health Care Act is market-driven and is "leaving increasingly more people at the mercy of the market."

    The paper concludes that "Now is the time to take on our market-driven system and fight for an improved and expanded Medicare for all."

    *This is a joint research/education project of National Nurses United and The Sanders Institute.

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  • Healthcare for All in California

    Michael Lighty, the Director of Public Policy for National Nurses United and a Fellow of the Sanders Institute, gives an in depth lecture on how Senate Bill 562, also known as  "The Healthy California Act" would be funded and how it would work with current healthcare coverage. He also provides an economic analysis that demonstrates how California is able to provide quality healthcare for all while also saving the state billions of dollars. 

     

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  • H.R. 1628, American Health Care Act of 2017: Summary of Cost Estimate

    This report from the Congressional Budget Office looks at the recently updated American Healthcare Act (H.R. 1628).

    It states that "H.R. 1628 would reduce the cumulative federal deficit over the 2017-2026 period by $119 billion. That amount is $32 billion less than the estimated net savings for the [earlier] version of H.R. 1628." This reduction to the deficit would largely "come from reductions in outlays for Medicaid and from the replacement of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) subsidies for nongroup health insurance with new tax credits for nongroup health insurance." 

    Unfortunately, more people would be uninsured under this bill than under the current law (the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare): "In 2018, 14 million more people would be uninsured under H.R. 1628 than under current law. The increase in the number of uninsured people relative to the number projected under current law would reach 19 million in 2020 and 23 million in 2026. In 2026, an estimated 51 million people under age 65 would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law."

    H.R. 1628 Budget Effects

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  • How Affordable Care Act Repeal And Replace Plans Might Shift Health Insurance Tax Credits

    After its release, the Kaiser Family Foundation analyzed the new Republican bill, the American Health Care Act. 

    The Kaiser Family Foundation finds that "Both the ACA and the American Health Care Act include tax credits in their approach. However, the law and the proposal calculate credit amounts differently: the ACA takes family income, local cost of insurance, and age into account, while the replacement proposal bases tax credits only on age, with a phase out for individuals with incomes above $75,000."

    The result of this change in legislation means that in general, people who are older, lower-income, or live in high-premium areas (like Alaska and Arizona) would receive less in tax credits under the new legislation than they do currently under the Affordable Care Act. While those who are younger, higher-income, or live in low-premium areas receive larger assistance under the AHCA than they currently do. 

    The figure below taken from the article shows the differences in tax credits by age and income:

    Kaiser Figure 1

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  • Healthcare Polling Data

    Healthcare and specifically discussions of the Affordable Care Act have been prominent in U.S. politics for a number of years. It was a major issue in the 2016 election and will continue to be a prominent issue as the new administration addresses the issue. This article gives a quick overview of trends in public opinion polling around healthcare in the U.S. - approval of the ACA, whether they are satisfied with the cost of their insurance, and whether they think healthcare coverage is the responsibility of the federal government.

    Healthcare Polling Slide1

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  • CHIP Insurance: Understanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program

    This article from NertWallet covers the basics of the CHIP insurance program.It succinctly covers some of the main questions that you may have about the program:

    The difference between CHIP and children’s Medicaid.  CHIP is often thought of as a part of Medicaid. While that’s true, states often design their CHIP programs a bit differently from Medicaid.

    Who qualifies for CHIP. Children with household incomes that are too hight to qualify the entire family for Medicaid, children of state employees, pregnant women with low incomes.

    What CHIP pays for. Kids’ benefits under Medicaid and CHIP are comprehensive, but the programs differ slightly depending on your state.

    What CHIP costs. Some families pay premiums for CHIP. In 30 states, parents pay premiums for children in CHIP or Medicaid, depending on annual income, according to the foundation.

    How to apply for CHIP. You don’t have to wait for any open enrollment period to apply for CHIP insurance, as you would with private health insurance - you can apply any time of year.

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  • Key Facts About The Uninsured Population

    This fact sheet from the Kaiser Family Foundation specifically looks at the uninsured population in the United States. The main questions it answers are:

    Why do people remain uninsured? The fact sheet states that even under the ACA, high costs are cited as the main reason for not purchasing health insurance

    Who remains uninsured? Most are low-income families; people of color are at a higher risk of being unisnured

    How does the lack of insurance affect access to health care? People without insurance have worse access to care and less access to preventable care.

    What are the finanical implications of lack of coverage? The uninsured often face unaffordable medical bills when they do seek care.

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  • What You (Probably) Didn't Know About Medicaid

    This series of graphics by the Commonwealth Fund outlines the basics of Medicaid. It describes how Medicaid began, who is covered (and the variation between states), how it is paid for, comparisons between Medicaid and other healthcare, and the changes to Medicare made by the Affordable Care Act.

    CF Medicaid 21

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  • Health Insurance Coverage of the Total Population

    This article breaks down health insurance coverage across the United States by state and type of coverage, if at all.

    It is through maps like these that we can see the affect that policies and aging populations can have on who gets covered by which type of insurance or not covered. The map below shows the percentage of individuals in that state who are uninsured.

    Uninsured

    HC Uninsured

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  • National Health Expenditures 2015 Highlights

    This article from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services looks at healthcare spending in the U.S. through two different lenses: 

    Health spending by type of service or product, and health spending by major source of funds.

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  • Healthcare Systems In The U.S. And Other Countries Explained

    Healthcare in the United States is comprised of a mixture of both private and public components listed below:

    1) PRIVATE: About 60% of citizens get health insurance from their employer. 

    2) MEDICARE: 15% of Americans are covered by Medicare (and most of them are elderly people.) "Medicare is a national social insurance program run and administered by the federal government." It is the closest thing to a single payer system in the U.S. The video then explains the differences among the different types of Medicare (A, B, Medigap, etc.).

    3) MEDICAID: Medicaid is a state run program that is supposed to provide care for those at the low end of the social economic spectrum. There are minimum federal guidelines that are set for Medicaid and then each state gets to implement it as it sees fit." The video then explains the Medicaid expansion. 

    4) THE VA: Veterans Health Administration (socialized medicine) and Tricare (private).

    The video ends with the observation that, "Interestingly, while about two thirds of people get their insurance from private companies, only about one third of spending comes from the private sector. In other words, the Government has to cover about one third of people in the United States but has to pay about two thirds of the bill."

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  • How Single Payer Healthcare Works

    This Vox video summarizes what people and especially politicians mean when they say "single payer healthcare."

    It acknowledges that single payer healthcare is a contentious issue - some think that it is the solution to the healthcare system's issues or "silver bullet" others think that it is government takeover. 

    First, Vox describes the current healthcare system in the U.S. that they describe as multiple "tubes" or "thousands and thousands of payer healthcare and each of them pay different amounts for the exact same medical service." This leads to a lot of administrative work.

    In contrast, a single payer system is "just one tube of payments" where all the money comes from the government to the doctors.Vox comments that single payer healthcare is "actually pretty popular" in countries that have adopted single payer.

    However, Vox describes that there is a "catch" because the government "gets to decide what they will and will not pay for." In addition, if the government has not raised enough in taxes for the healthcare plan it could lead to more wait times.

    The video ends referencing Vermont's attempt at creating a single payer healthcare system and the possibility that if a state were to successfully implement a system like that, the country could follow suit.  

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  • A Comparison of Hospital Administrative Costs in Eight Nations: U.S. Costs Exceed All Others by Far

    "Administrative costs accounted for 25 percent-or more than $200 billion—of total hospital spending in the United States. In the other nations included in this study, these costs accounted for between 12 percent of spending (Canada and Scotland) and 20 percent of spending (the Netherlands)."

    This article summarizes the findings from a study that investigated hospital administrative costs in 8 nations, including the United States. It found that countries that have "multiple payer systems" like the United States, force hospitals to "negotiate payment rates separately with each payer and conform with a variety of requirements and billing procedures" which increases administrative work and cost. In comparison, "In countries where hospitals receive global, lump-sum budgets, garnering operating funds requires little administrative work."

    Administrative Costs

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  • Entitlements Hysteria

    In this article Jeff Sachs injects some reality into much of the hysteria around entitlement spending. Many have heard the argument that healthcare costs are rising and that the government will go broke paying for programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

    Sachs, however, breaks down the number of the price increase. In 2012 the President's budget saw an increase in Medicare and Medicaid spending from 5.1% to 5.5%. This was not a substantial increase. Sachs warns that many of the long-term predictions should be taken with a grain of salt, "Mechanical extrapolations that assume that health care costs will rise much faster than GNP between 2011 and 2085 are utterly unconvincing. Why should healthcare costs continue to rise so far and fast when healthcare costs are already vastly over-priced now compared with what other countries pay for the same services? Why should we assume failure decade after decade to use the new information technologies to lower the costs of health-care delivery and administration?"

    This article is a reality-check about entitlement spending. Yes, it has grown and will continue to grow, but for programs that help so many people, the last thing that we need is to demolish the entire system.

     

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  • Senator Bernie Sanders On Public Healthcare

    In this video from 2009 Senator Bernie Sanders talks about universal health care. 

    He begins his speech by looking at two "socialized medicine" systems currently provided by the United States government: the VA and Medicare. He describes their popularity with Americans and then compares that popularity with the popularity of the private healthcare system. Specifically, he mentions that Medicare and the VA do not throw people off of insurance because of preexisting conditions.

    Senator Sanders argues that the function of the United States government's policy on healthcare should not be to support the insurance industry. Instead, it should be to help the American people by providing the "best quality healthcare in the most cost effective way" and Senator Sanders uses polling to demonstrate that the majority of the American public is in support of universal health insurance program. 

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