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Joe BidenCongratulations to our presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden!

Tue May 28, 2019, 11:12 AM


Andrew Yang Policy on MEDICARE FOR ALL

Access to quality healthcare is one of the most important factors in overall well being, and yet America is one of the few industrialized nations not to provide healthcare for all of its citizens. Instead, we have a private healthcare system that leaves millions uninsured and bankrupts even some of those who do have health insurance. At the same time, our cost of care is higher than in almost any other industrialized country while providing worse outcomes. The Affordable Care Act was a step in the right direction, providing funds to states to innovate while expanding Medicaid substantially. However, it didn’t address the fundamental issues plaguing our healthcare system:

Access to medicine isn’t guaranteed to all citizens
The incentives for healthcare providers don’t align with providing quality, efficient care
This must change.

Through a Medicare for All system, we can ensure that all Americans receive the healthcare they deserve. Not only will this raise the quality of life for all Americans, but, by increasing access to preventive care, it will bring overall healthcare costs down.

With a shift to a Medicare for All system, costs can also be controlled directly by setting prices provided for medical services. The best approach is highlighted by the top-ranked Cleveland Clinic. There, doctors are paid a flat salary instead of by a price-for-service model. This shift has led to a hospital where costs are visible and under control. Redundant tests are at a minimum, and physician turnover is much lower than at comparable hospitals.

Doctors also report being more involved with their patients. Since they’re salaried, there’s no need to churn through patient after patient. Instead, they can spend the proper amount of time to ensure that each patient receives their undivided attention and empathy.

Outside of a shift to a Medicare for All system, we can look to the Southcentral Foundation for another important shift necessary in the way we treat patients: holistic approaches. At this treatment center for native Alaskans, mental and physical problems are both investigated, and, unsurprisingly, the two are often linked. By referring patients to psychologists during routine physicals, doctors are able to treat, for example, both the symptoms of obesity and the underlying mental health issue that often is related to the issue. The referral also leads people with issues they may otherwise try to bury – sexual abuse, addictions, or domestic violence issues – to bring them up with a doctor so that they can be addressed.

By providing holistic healthcare to all our citizens, we’ll drastically increase the average quality of life, extend life expectancy, and treat issues that often go untreated. We’ll also be able to bring costs under control and outcomes up, as most other industrialized nations have.

Finally, being tied to an employer so that you don’t lose your healthcare prevents economic mobility. It’s important that people feel free to seek out new opportunities, and our current employee-provided healthcare system prevents that.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:

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