Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dr. Margaret Flowers on the Upcoming Supreme Court Decision and the Future of American Health Care

OpEdNews, Apr. 3, 2012

What happens to our health care if the individual mandate is struck down by the Supreme Court? Are we back to square one? Many are concerned that we'll be even worse off than we are at the present. Congress is so beholden to the health care lobby that single payer seems more and more of a pipe dream.

If the individual mandate is struck down and the rest of the ACA is kept intact, we will see the true nature of the private health insurance industry - an industry that sells insurance to make a profit and that profits by denying and restricting care. We will see premiums skyrocket and more care denied.

If the individual mandate is struck down and the ACA is considered to be 'unseverable,' meaning that the whole legislation is struck down, then we will be at square one. This provides a real opportunity. The majority of the US favors single payer. All of the evidence points to single payer. The Occupy Movement is a manifestation of social unrest. All signs point to the fact that Congress and the White House are beginning to fear the people.

This is our opportunity to push for single payer. After the passage of the health bill, Ezra Klein and others started to admit that if the ACA fails, the US will have to seriously consider Medicare for All.

And the truth is that the ACA is going to fail. It will follow the same path of similar legislation that has been passed in the US previously. Either the cost of health care will become even more unbearable, or as has happened in Massachusetts, people or health benefits will be cut. Even those on the Deficit Commission who don't support single payer admitted that lack of control of our health care costs is the greatest problem for the US economy.

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