Healthcare For All Hawaii

Universal 'Improved Medicare-For-All' 

Insurance is complex.  Insurance is expensive.  Insurance denies coverage.

Lets stop having health insurance, and start having Health Care!

Single Payer

You've heard of Bernie Sanders call for a national Medicare-For-All plan?  That is a form of single payer.

This is a definition of Single Payer borrowed from the national organization www.healthcare-now.org

  

What Is Single Payer Healthcare?

The United States is the only country in the developed world that does not guarantee access to basic health care for residents. Countries that guarantee health care as a human right do so through a “single-payer” system, which replaces the thousands of for-profit health insurance companies with a public, universal plan.

Does that sound impossible to win in the United States? It already exists – for seniors! Medicare is a public, universal plan that provides basic health coverage to those age 65 and older. Medicare costs less than private health insurance, provides better financial security, and is preferred by patients (Davis, 2012). Single-payer health care is often referred to as “Expanded & Improved Medicare for All.”

Under the single-payer legislation in Congress (H.R. 676):

  • Everyone would receive comprehensive healthcare coverage under single-payer;
  • Care would be based on need, not on ability to pay;
  • Employers would no longer be responsible for health care costs and coverage decisions;
  • Single-payer would reduce costs by 24%, saving $829 billion in the first year by cutting administrative waste and allowing negotiation of prescription drugs (Friedman, 2013); and
  • Single-payer would create savings for 95% of the population. Only the top 5% would pay slightly more. (Friedman, 2013)

See our basic handout on single-payer healthcare: “Improved Medicare for All: Quality, Guaranteed National Health Insurance” (you can order print copies at discounted rates from our online store), and more information on our Single Payer Education page.  

Please visit the very useful website of www.healthcare-now.org  Their primary purpose is to support a national Single Payer plan.  A national plan offers the most savings, and can best negotiate drug prices 'Big Pharma.'

California is working on it:

Due to the likely repeal of the ACA, which means a loss of 22 billion dollars per year in Medicaid Expansion funding, California is working hard on a Single Payer bill right now, and they wrote this great summary on their web site:  http://www.healthcareforall.org/what-we-believe

 

We believe:

Everybody deserves to be free from the fear of having to go without needed care or suffer deprivation in order to pay high medical bills.

Everyone deserves to have equal access to health care regardless of income level, health condition, employment circumstances, immigration status, age, or marital status.

Restricting the availability of adequate health insurance to those who have it through an employer, those who can purchase it on the private market, or those who have it through a government-subsidized program has left millions with inadequate coverage.

Working together, we can develop a single-payer system that provides affordable and universal access to high quality health care.

We believe a single-payer system is the way to achieve universal health care because:

It saves money on administration by having one agency collect all funds and pay all bills, with costs further reduced through price negotiation and bulk purchase of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies.

Savings can be used to finance comprehensive benefits for all residents.

We believe universal health care needs to be guaranteed by and for society, similar to police and fire protection, education, and defense.

Illinois Has a Single Payer bill, too!

This is one of my favorite parts:

(c) No deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, or other cost sharing shall be imposed with respect to covered benefits except for those goods or services that exceed basic covered benefits, as defined by the Board.   Illinois S-P Bill - HB0108lv.pdf

Single Payer can end out of pocket expenses from the savings received by eliminating insurance company micro-management of physician care.

Join the discussion on Facebook at Healthcare For All Hawaii

https://www.facebook.com/groups/healthcareforallhawaii/

 

The Good News:

Representative John Mizuno introduced HB129 which asks for funding for the Hawaii Health Authority, an agency which can design a Universal Health Care Plan for Hawaii.

Senator Rudderman and nine other senators introduced a companion bill,  SB1269 for the same purpose.

The bad news:

This is the bill, HB1111, which our Governor Ige personally asked to be introduced:  It kills the existing agency which could fix our health care, and offers as a rationale, "private health care continues to evolve rapidly..."  Sure.  The administrative costs of our current health care system continue to increase, year by year, as rapidly as possible.

 No Thank you, Governor Ige. 

SECTION 1.  The Legislature finds that the Hawaii health authority was established by Act 11, Special Session Laws of Hawaii 2009, to be responsible for overall health planning for the State and to develop a comprehensive plan to provide universal health care in Hawaii.

     However, the state health planning and development agency and the health care innovation office also conduct comprehensive health planning activities.  The state health planning and development agency in particular, in contrast to the Hawaii health authority, has full-time staff and a budget.

     Furthermore, the private healthcare sector continues to evolve rapidly in response to federal policy changes, new business models, and new technologies.

     The Hawaii health authority, therefore, having duly and thoughtfully advanced Hawaii′s health policy debate through the performance of its duties, may be abolished as part of the effort to streamline health planning and policy management.

     SECTION 2.  Chapter 322H, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is repealed.

 

Dr. Stephen Kemble responds to the Governor:

The State Health Planning and Development Agency (SHPDA) is responsible for certifying when and where new facilities such as hospitals, MRI facilities, dialysis centers, etc. are needed according to public health needs. The director of SHPDA was (and hopefully still is) Romala Sue Radcliffe, who attended many of our HHA meetings and was most supportive of what the HHA was doing. We were also very supportive of what her agency does.

Any well designed health care system should have a SHPDA as part of its governance. However, SHPDA is not an overall planning agency for health care policy as a whole. It is specifically for determining the need for new facilities and approving or denying applications to build them. We need the HHA for overall planning and policy, and also a number of agencies, including SHPDA, that serve necessary administrative functions within the governance of health care. 

The bottom line is that "federal policy changes, new business models, and new technologies” are having increasingly destructive effects on doctors, hospitals, and patient access to care and are driving costs up, not down, perhaps more so in Hawaii due to the relative cost-effectiveness of our previous model compared to the rest of the country. These policies and business models are in urgent need of reassessment. Hence the need for the HHA.Further more:   

 

 

"This came through small, but the red line is the more than doubling of HMSA premiums over the past 10 years, as these "new business models and technologies" for managing health care have been rolled out. How many times do we need to have policies pushed on us with the stated goal of reducing health care costs, only to have the outcome be double digit increase in health care costs, before we say, "We need a different model." "  Per Dr. Kemble.

 

 

What can I do?

1.  Personal stories matter.  Please don't suffer in silence.  Share some details of how insurance in Hawaii caused financial or personal harm to you,  and what the process was like.  Let your story be instructive to others who don't understand that many people are mistreated badly by our current system.  Please post that story on facebook on the page https://www.facebook.com/hawaiihealthcarestories/ as well as on this site via blog, once that is set up.

2.  Please prepare a short, perhaps three paragraph explanation of you support a Single Payer health care plan for Hawaii.  Longer explanations are fine for blogging and sharing with friends, but a concise explanation will allow you to send that to all local news papers, news channels, and to your state elected officials. 


3.  If you are an employee, as your employer if they want to reduce their Health Care cost.  If they say, sure, how?  Please introduce them to this website and ask them to get on board the campaign to move our government away from Insurance company donations and back over here, to where the people are. 


5.  Ask your friends if they want to reduce their Health Care out-of-pocket expenses and increase the quality of their care.  If they are curious about how, introduce them to the info on this site.


6.  Join our FB group page:  Healthcare For All Hawaii.   We have a library of info on the page.


7.  Sign the petition:  https://www.change.org/p/hawaii-state-legislature-support-universal-single-payer-health-care-introduced-as-a-bill-in-hawaii-in-2017?recruiter=9811641&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink


8.  If you are visiting your doctor, let them know that you are supporting Single Payer, but, be careful, many doctors do not understand how the plan works.  The first line of info for a doctor is to mention that it simplifies how they are paid and eliminates insurance company micromanagement; from there, they need to read Dr. Kembles two page explanation of how this work.  Please see the link to that file in our links section.

9.  Please Please Please watch the documentary www.fixithealthcare.com  This is 100% persuasive.  You can't watch that and not join the cause.  Knowledge is motivation!

10.  Join our rallies, soon to be announced!

11.  Go to this website: www.capitol.hawaii.gov, log in, and then, sign up for notifications on bills.  

12.  Once a bill has been assigned a hearing, the legislature may only give 48 hours of notice before the hearing.  We have to be ready to launch ourselves into hitting that online testimony button, mailing post cards, and showing up.  Showing up is the most persuasive form of testimony.  Thousands of us, state wide, must prepare to testify as soon as possible.  

       For example:

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=1269&year=2017   

 

We are a group of volunteer activists. All writing on this page which is not attributed to another author is the sole property of the owner of this website.
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