Universal Health Care – Improved and Expanded Medicare for All, including full vision, dental and mental healthcare
A government that is “for the people, and by the people” should certainly be one that cares for and addresses the fundamental needs of human life -- with the absolute least being the peoples’ access to affordable health care as a fundamental right, as in all other advanced democracies. Those who promote the idea that market forces alone should govern our society have promulgated propagandistic memes to dissuade the American people from claiming their right to universal health care. Phrases like, “that’s socialist,” and “that’s expensive, where do we have the money” are used to distract us from realizing that with a government “of, by and for the people,” universal health care should be seen as the most natural thing in the world. Our government choosing to frivolously spend $800 Billion on a military budget and then saying that it doesn’t have any money to pay for and provide basic health care for its citizens is similar to giving $100 to a child, the child spending all of it on candy, and the child saying that he/she has no money to buy bandaids. It’s ridiculous, I know.
UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE IS A HUMAN RIGHT.
Our elected government officials were selected by us and our government exists to work for us, not for health insurance companies or any other corporate entities whose short-term profits may or may not align with our well-being. So not only do we discuss providing and paying for such universal access to health coverage, we should also discuss environmental, food, chemical and agricultural policies that contribute to our being sick in the first place. We should get rid of these policies so that our people aren’t getting sick in the first place and shift to a more preventive focus on healthcare while taking care of our well-being. Our current healthcare system has really just become a sickness care system where it reflects an outdated perspective on health and healing, in which far too little attention is given to the actual cultivation of health, as well as prevention of disease in all areas -- mental, emotional and physical -- being the absolute basic. Caring for our people requires doing away with environmental, food, chemical and agricultural policies that harm our people and get us sick. In order to care for our people, we must also improve our healthcare system by providing access to affordable universal healthcare, lowering pharmaceutical rates, and developing preventive care programs that will help in preventing us from being sick and seeking treatment, be it expanded mental health services, mindfulness clinics, trauma counseling services or free marriage counseling for our people. If we are a nation that really cares for its people, we need to show it by stepping up and really caring for our people in the most basic areas, like health, so that we unleash the power and spirit of the American people again. What good is a nation if its people are always living in this daily fervor of anxiety, sickness and scare? It’s time to put an end to all of this. Truly.
Policies which exist to serve as nothing more than profit maximization for corporate interests such as fossil fuel companies, chemical companies, food companies, health insurance companies, big agricultural companies and pharmaceutical companies contribute to the chronic illnesses suffered by millions of Americans. And these policies must all stop.
The Environmental Protection Agency needs to have its power restored as protector of our environment and thus our health. The Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act must be restored in full, with bans on dangerous pesticides once again vigorously established and enforced. Genetically engineered food should be labeled. The Food and Drug Administration needs to have its power restored so that it can once again guard the American people from toxic substances that should not be on our shelves. And our children’s food, particularly school lunches, should be filled with healthier ingredients and healthier options, not at the mercy of big agricultural policies promoting and subsidizing cash crops over healthier options. Until America comes to terms with how much we have acquiesced to the many unhealthy practices that should be considered unlawful -- but which are currently allowed in order to increase corporate profits -- we will continue to have a less-than-meaningful discussion about how as a society we provide health care.
Policy changes that help prevent and reverse chronic disease and cultivate optimal health will, in addition to helping our people live more vibrant and healthy lives, save taxpayers trillions of dollars. As our people would no longer have to worry about these questions of “What will I do if I get sick?” “What will I do if one of my kids get sick?” “I hate this job, but I stay because of the health care benefits,” our people would otherwise be able to produce more and pump back more into the economy, instead of being too stressed and anxious to create and produce at the level that they otherwise could.
Additionally, by extending single payer to everyone, our people will take less time off work, have more money in their pockets and other issues – like mass incarceration, homelessness and more – will also be alleviated with an increase in the number of people getting the mental and physical healthcare they need.
Hence, the importance of universal health care coverage and prioritizing our people and their health over profits, whereby the undue influence of corporate money no longer corrupts our food supply, soul, air and water.
Half of Americans now have at least one chronic disease, while four in ten have multiple diseases. From heart disease, to diabetes, to cancer, to auto-immune diseases, to asthma, many chronic diseases are preventable. Even when they have already manifested, if treated at their root cause, they are far more manageable to deal with and often even reversible.
Everything about American life today – including the economic pressure that leaves 40% of Americans living with chronic stress over whether they can make basic costs of health care, rent, transportation, and education – contributes to the broader trend of chronic disease.