by Bob Schmetzer, IBEW retiree and PA 4th CD Chapter of PDA member
The air was charged with excitement as the crowd gathered in the park facing the Capitol. The weather was beautiful, the Park manicured, the old growth trees gave shade, and blooming flowers graced the grounds under a blue and white clouded sky. Friendship abounded among the many different groups that gathered for a common cause.
On the stage, ” The Singing Grannies”, gave song about our plight and our dreams of a more secure future for our health care. It was a beautiful day to be alive and sharing this experience. Congressman John Conyers from Michigan came to the stage. I spoke with him about who I was and thanked him for his efforts and concern for introducing HB 676, Single Payer Bill. He spoke briefly to the crowds still gathering about what has happened since the bill’s introduction.
Now, is when the masses of people really showed great excitement and enthusiasm. Chants such as, Everybody in, Nobody Out”, and ” Get the money changers out of our health care system” loudly rang out. Congressman Conyers has to be commended for his strength and courage for this bill, and the fight against such a politically and well funded adversary. Big Pharma and Insurance lobbiest have launched a tidal wave of opposition.
After talking to different congresspersons and watching them on tv, you can feel the discomfort coming from them about the single payer issue. This issue is one of the great American turning points in history. The Next speaker was Senator Bernie Sanders. He has a gentle yet firm approach about the subject. He stated, ” This is the greatest Civil Rights Issue of Our Time”. We are fighting a system that is Immoral! It is a Right, not a privilege , that every man , woman, and child have good health care. 18,000 Americans Die every single year, because they don’t have access to a Dr. when they need it. We are fighting against a system which forces the elderly to choose between eating or getting their prescriptions to stay alive.
The Pharmaceutical industry in the USA charges the highest rates in the world. That is whats wrong! 1,000,000 individuals this year will go through bankruptcy because of health related costs. We are fighting against a system , to where we are spending twice as much for health care as any country on this earth. Yet, we end up with 46,000,000 citizens uninsured. Health care is a Right, not a Commodity. That makes it a Moral Issue!
Insurance and drug companies make millions in profits, then pay out bonuses, golden parachutes, lobbyists, advertising, and have parties. Conservatives should be for Single Payer. The goal for good business management is to max out the value for the dollar spent. The reality is we only get 70 cents of value. What is absurd is that there are 1300 private companies with thousands of different programs. There is a two tier system. One for the young and one for the old with pre-existing conditions.
In the last 30 years, for every Dr. who entered the system, 25 bureaucrats were hired by the insurance industry to tell us why we can’t get the health care we need. This same health care industry is spending $1,400,000 Daily on lobbing to keep a system whose costs are out of control! This comes from our overpayments in premiums for health care. The Issue is ‘Single Payer System or Absurd System.’ Its about you being able to get health care, and not worry if you should, because of enough money.