Health Care for All
ADA has been an advocate for universal single payer health care for more than 45 years.
The basic concepts of the original ADA plan of 1972 (with minor modifications over the years) still hold true today .
I. A Single Payer Health Care System
The health care system must be organized, funded and regulated by the United States government. A “single payer” system means that the government negotiates the funding and sets the standards. The system:
- Understands and supports the goal of universal coverage for all residents;
- Eliminates involvement of insurance companies and their wasteful bureaucracies;
- Has a single set of rules for reimbursement for all providers;
- Neutralizes and ultimately eliminates the power of health care industry lobbies to inflate costs;
- Provides for portability of benefits not tied to a job;
- Maintains freedom of choice of care provider; and
- Uses global budgeting to contain costs by controlling the rate of cost increases, tying them to GNP.
II. A Comprehensive Health Care System
A comprehensive health care system covers all residents of the U.S. This system:
- Promotes and covers total health services, including but not limited to primary, secondary and tertiary care, mental health and substance abuse, dentistry, optometry and chiropractic and other delivery systems;
- Fosters “wellness” and places emphasis on a full program of prevention which is universally practiced and which includes regular check-ups, multiphasic screening, and continuous individual, family and community education;
- Provides long term care for all who need it;
- Maintains a decent level of care for everyone; and
- Acknowledges the dignity of dying patients.
III. An Affordable Health Care System
An affordable health care system contains costs. The system:
- Is financed by a progressive tax structure with cost sharing by employers and employees;
- Limits drug and pharmaceutical costs;
- Meets long term costs based on the recipient’s ability to pay; and
- Effectively meets the challenge of malpractice.
IV. A High Quality Health Care System
A high quality health care system provides for quality care in response to citizens’ needs. It:
- Subsidizes medical education for clinicians (physicians, nurses and physicians’ assistants);
- Provides for salaried health care workers, clinicians and managers;
- Supports research with an emphasis on effectiveness, enabling the health care system to determine what procedures are effective, who should receive them, etc;
- Balances the needs for primary care and high technological services; and
- Dramatically expands the national health service corps.