Health Care For America

Roger Hickey

The great debate over how to fundamentally fix our broken health care system just got a lot more interesting.

Today, the Economic Policy Institute released the Health Care for America plan – a simple yet sophisticated approach crafted by Jacob Hacker, author of “The Great Risk Shift.” Health Care for America, which you can find at www.sharedprosperity.org, comprehensively tackles the major health care problems holding back our society and economy: the 46 million uninsured, the skyrocketing costs and the uneven quality.

My organization, Campaign for America’s Future, will be launching a nationwide effort to discuss and debate how to get good healthcare coverage for all Americans while controlling spiraling health care costs. The best way to start that debate is to put a simple, clear and progressive health care plan on the table. Health Care for America is that plan, and it will be a benchmark by which all other plans can be judged.

How? By creating a Medicare-style system for all Americans under 65. The uninsured and underinsured could buy into the Health Care for America plan, with federal or state government assistance if necessary. Medicare and Health Care for America would then join forces and wield enormous bargaining power, driving down costs and raising the bar on quality.

Workers could still be covered by insurance provided by their private employers. Further, employers who did not want to shoulder the burden of providing coverage as good as Health Care for America could instead enroll their workers into Health Care for America at a modest cost. They would have to do one or the other, which would make sure that affordable, quality health coverage would be guaranteed for all Americans.

The odds for universal health care coverage are greatly improved after the midterm elections, but nothing is certain and nothing will happen overnight. The public needs considerable time to learn the pro and cons of the various paths to universal coverage, so they can tell their representatives the best way to go.

My organization, Campaign for America’s Future, will be launching a nationwide effort to discuss and debate how to get good healthcare coverage for all Americans while controlling spiraling health care costs. The best way to start that debate is to put a simple, clear and progressive health care plan on the table. Health Care for America is that plan, and it will be a benchmark by which all other plans can be judged. To begin this effort, I encourage you to go to www.sharedprosperity.org, check out the details of Health Care for America, and share your impressions below in the comments.

The more you engage in the health care debate, the more informed the public will be, the more pressure we can put on our elected officials to solve our health care crisis once and for all.

Cross-posted at TPMCafe

Comments