Can Universal Healthcare Actually Happen in the U.S.? | AJ+

Paying too much money to see a doctor
getting charged crazy amounts just for routine procedures and trying to figure
out exactly what is covered by your insurance. Why is the health care system
in the U.S. so broken. Most countries in the world have some form of universal
health care sometimes called single-payer, because everybody pays into
it everybody benefits from it – sort of like public schools or public
transportation. Basically you take away private insurers and the government runs
the insurance program and so the government is the single payer. In the
U.S., the idea of universal healthcare has always been a non-starter, especially
on the federal level but it’s quickly picking up steam among young Americans. A
recent poll showed forty five percent of people between 18 and 29 support
single-payer, and 66 percent of young Democrats. More and more people are
realizing that that we can’t stay on this trajectory. Millennial generation is
the highest level of uninsured in the country. Not only do we not have access
to employer plans on an increasing level, we also don’t have the money that our
parents generation had in terms of real wage growth. As enthusiasm around the idea
continues to grow, some states aren’t waiting for Congress. But when New York
California and Vermont tried to enact their own versions of universal health
care in the last few years, their efforts failed. But there’s one state where some
think it just might work: Maryland. And there’s one candidate for
governor who’s betting on it: if we want to unlock opportunity in our states
we’ve got to fix the health care system. There’s no state that’s ever been in a
better position than us to make single-payer happen. Why might Maryland
be different? Well most notably, the state tends to be
left-leaning, with twice as many registered Democrats as Republicans.
Maryland also has the highest median income in the U.S., which means more
people with money who can pay into the system. Canada started with one province
standing up and saying that we will do it. Maryland can be that state here. We
have the will, we’ve already shown that if we move in this direction we can
save hundreds of millions of dollars. Ben Jealous isn’t alone in embracing single-payer for his election campaign. Gubernatorial
candidates in Iowa, California, Massachusetts, and Michigan, among others,
are all running on a medicare-for-all type platform. Why is this gaining
traction? Because of the pain in our society, and we’ve hit a place where
health care’s become so expensive and is exerting so much pressure, not
just on working families but on small businesses, that something’s
gotta give. But single payer advocates aren’t so sure this could actually
happen in Maryland. Or that trying to solve this on the state level is
necessarily even the right approach. You can really only do it at the national
level, because there’s so many national laws and policies that get in
the way. That even if you passed a bill that looked something like
single payer, you would then find yourself trying to get waivers from the
federal government. Until recently, campaigning on a single-payer health
care platform might have been political suicide. But things are changing. Bernie
Sanders’ “Medicare for All” plan last year garnered 15 Senate co-sponsors,
including some potential presidential contenders. Just two years earlier he
couldn’t even find one. I think it’s notable that every Democrat who wants to
be president who’s in the U.S. Senate has signed on to Bernie Sanders bill. There’s
a big battle that’s gonna be played out in the Democratic Party over health
care. The country has been activated, I mean, we all watched what happened when Trump
tried to get rid of the Affordable Care Act and there were thousands of people
down in Washington, some people sitting in, you saw disabled people being carried out
of you know the Senate and House buildings. We’re working just as hard and in some cases
harder for longer hours, but we’re getting less. We see that money is being
generated in this country, it’s just going into the pockets of the super
wealthy [Music]

48 Replies to “Can Universal Healthcare Actually Happen in the U.S.? | AJ+”

  1. Idk understand y the west can't have free/affordable healthcare. Even most middle East healthcare is free or dead cheap.

  2. They want everything to be free but they don't want to talk about the costs it incurs. The money has to come from somewhere, taxes have to go up, money has to be borrowed which will make the national debt worse.

  3. The way to pass universal healthcare isn't to keep yelling on about "rights". It's to change the culture of "if it makes less money, it's bad". Education is the key, not insisting on what you think is a "right".

  4. problem with the polls and opinions, they are left leaning. why not be unbiased and incorporate some republicans or conservative voices into the video next time?

  5. It will fail in Maryland. If it couldn't work in the People's Republic of California, New York, or BS's Vermont, then it won't work in Maryland.

  6. If 🇺🇸 would tax the richest citizens and companies at 92% (as we did under Eisenhower, a REPUBLICAN), we'd have more 💰 than we'd know what to do with.

    Oh wait – we'd know EXACTLY what to do:
    better public aid;
    rebuilt infrastructure;
    more funding for 🚑🚒🚓;
    nature preservation;
    legit aid & housing for the homeless;
    better public schools (both buildings AND learning materials;
    free collegiate tuition;
    better environmental protection;
    AND YES, well-funded single-payer healthcare🏥.

    Every country but us does it. And it's not as if Universal Healthcare means means private companies go away, just that have COMPETITION – the engine that powers a thriving economy.

  7. The majority of Americans who file for bankruptcy every year are as a result of medical expenses/debt. And of those, most had insurance. Let that sink in.

  8. No, there is no possibility of universal anything on this planet. The money is going into the pockets of the 'super wealthy' because, in reality, those who create infrastructure are the ones who manage resources, and there are never enough for everyone to be saved. If you can't accept the fact that scarcity is a natural necessity, then you will not survive.

  9. It has to be done on the federal level so the funding is actually sustainable. Also, if only one state did it that's not good because it'll be a mass migration of sick people running to that state exploding costs. It needs to be done by the federal government. I wish the corporate media actually covered the facts about what Medicare for All actually means instead of letting corporate executives and politicians bought by industry state the inaccurate talking points and scared tactics.

  10. It could actually happen. We just need to stop waiting for it to be handed down to us by corrupt politicians and demand it. The only reason it hasn't happened here is because of the political clout of the wealthy in general and the private health insurance industry particularly. We have more than enough money, just a slice of the national military budget.

  11. I kno shit bs America just evil money money wen u ain’t got it ur look down on like ur a peace of shit

  12. Of course Money will go to the pockets of the wealthy, because they own the business and you work for them and get paid in exchange

  13. Forget about the ethicality, the pain and suffering among over 10s of millions of Americans that receive medical bills they can't afford every year, forget about the absurd cost of our prescription drugs and uncertainty when you go to the doctor. There is one argument that should trump them all. What if I told you the United States could provide free healthcare to everyone. No increased taxes, and the abolishion of premiums, copays, deductibles, and out of pocket costs, on ever level of the healthcare system, whether it be dental, hospital, hospice, doctors, etc.

    Here's some simple math. The US spends $11,000 per person every year on healthcare. Our Canadian neighbors spend $5,000 per person. I believe it's $3600 of that $5000 comes from taxes. In the US, about $7200 of that $11,000 comes from taxes. Before I make my point, let me just point something out about these numbers. Americans are taxed quite literally double what Canadians are for healthcare. Canadians can go to the doctor and leave without ever seeing a bill. Just let that sink in for a minute. Canadians pay half the taxes we do for better healthcare that covers everyone

    Ok, moving on… Let's say that the US copies every single aspect of Canada's healthcare system, down to every detail. The US would have $7200 to spend per person, but only need to pay for $3600 of it to cover what Canada does. The system would quite literally be double funded. In Canada, most patients are still liable for copays for prescriptions, and dental generally requires private plans, and there are still some gaps here and there. The US could cover all those gaps and fund 100% of the healthcare system via taxes. That would bring the cost to $5000. While Canada already has better quality of healthcare than the US, I'm sure Canada could see a little more funding improve things. Build more hospitals, guarantee funding to rural clinics, fund medical research. That sort of thing. Let's say the US decides to pump another 160 billion dollars ($500 per person) into the total cost. $5500 per person.
    Let's say the US also wants to educate 500,000 doctors and pay their wages every year. That would only cost $500 extra per person. (500K additional doctors is absurdly high, even if it's we need more, but I'm just trying to show the scale of what the US could do with all of the savings, and still not raise taxes) $6000 per person, with $1200 to spare.
    Let's say the US decides to cover the cost of public universities and colleges. No tuition fees, no book fees, etc. That would cost $230 per person per year. $6230 per person now.
    Let's say the US wants to fund a 1 trillion dollar over 10 year infrastructure expansion. Fix all the outdated and damaged roads, bridges, and transform the country to green energy. That's only $300 per person per year. $6530 total now. Let's say the US wants to give school teachers a raise of 10%. Another $60 per person. $6590 total now.
    There's still $600 per person (Almost 200 billion dollars left to spare). Use that to cut down on the deficit.

    We don't need to raise taxes to fund healthcare for all. We already have more than enough money to fund it.

    How about one more scenario. We copy Canada's healthcare system, with the $3600/person in public funds, and $1400/person in private funds. We'd have 1.2 trillion dollars left over on the national budget per year. That's more than the current deficit. Over a 200 billion surplus. We'd be paying our debt off at a healthy pace. After 10 years, we'd have cut our debt from 20 trillion to 18 trillion. It would take about 60 years to pay off the debt at this rate, but keep in mind, this is with no tax raises, and a leveled deficit. If we cut 300 billion from our military budget on top of this, (700B to 400B/yeay) we could pay off our debt in just 30 years.

    One more scenario, building on the latter. So in the latter scenario, most healthcare services would be free of charge, and the private insurance industry would be minimal, mainly focusing on dental and some gaps. Let's say that the US government also passed a 5% flat tax that taxes all income, before deductions, called a "Medicare for all tax" to pay for the system (Even though it's evident that the US can already well afford it without tax raises) This would cost the typical american making $50,000 just $2,500 per year. (Average cost for health insurance for a family making this much is $5000) $2500 a year is just over $200 a month, and keep in mind there'd be no deductibles, minimal copays, and minimal out of pocket costs, and everything medically necessary and/or will improve quality of life is covered. Substantially less than what the average american pays now. This would bring about $800 billion dollars to the national budget every year. Add that to the 300 billion saved by cutting military spending, and 1200 billion saved by theoretically copying Canada's health care system. That's 2300 billion | Subtract about 1 trillion (Current deficit)… 1.3 trillion dollar surplus every year. We could pay off our debt in just 13 years. Let this go on for 15 years before increasing spending, and we'd be left off with a 2.5 trillion dollar reserve available for war, disaster, etc. Imagine what the United States could do with 1.3 trillion dollars a year and no debt. I can't imagine.

  14. First World Problems. At least they have health care and top class hospitals and doctors. Its more then most of the world has access to.

  15. According to my healthcare Econ course I’m currently in the answer is nah. Actually it’s a hell nah

  16. Why not have both government funded and private option? If you have good insurance / can afford to pay and doesn't like to wait, go to the private hospitals. Otherwise, public funded hospital will be there as a backup option. This way, everyone get proper healthcare.

  17. I don't understand why in a country on 300 000 000 why there aren't protests of millions strong every single week in the US over this topic. Seriously I don't understand, they are basically robbing you of thousands of dollars a year and at the same time letting thousands die prematurely all because they couldn't pay, it's sick. We've had a dozen protests about under funding for the NHS here imagine how many we'd have if they had no funding and people were being left on the street to die, we'd be having riots on a regular basis. I don't understand the passivity of Americans.

  18. There are countries where people don't go bankrupt trying to pay medical bills, like a little place called every other developed nation.

  19. Take notes from belguim where ever healthcare is refund. I can break my leg and bot paid anything, I can get cancer treatment and not paid anything (or just a small amount of money like 1000$ for big problems and 50$ for like broken leg)

  20. Why would anyone trust a video by Al Jazeera with a spokesmouth who crosses his legs like a girl 😉

  21. We can do universal health care but we wouls have to pull back all our humanitarian aid and military aid to other countries. The US is a great country because we help everyone else and spend alot of money on other countries.

  22. If this happens Maryland here we come. CEO's of health insurance companies are profiting big time from the economic and the medical demise of those who pay there salaries. The work week has gone to 70+ hours per week and more going homeless from high healthcare cost. BASIC NEEDS FIRST… food, house, medical care. Feel sorry for the future generations. We must do better.

  23. Here's an example of why we need Universal healthcare in the US. Oklahoma Heart Hospital is a Great hospital but we are not pleased. We had to go to the ER for a couple hours because we thought that my wife might be having a heart problem. We just received a bill for $2,500 dollars. Is this justice? Is this what competent and affordable medical care looks like? We were there for less than two hours and no work was done other than blood work. No MRI and No imaging. We got to spend five minutes with a doctor who was pleasant and we were charged $2,500 dollars. Insurance isn't covering all of it and our deductible is not the best. What would it cost to get a heart valve replaced, Maybe what, a half a million dollars? What price is good health care worth? We feel scammed and taken advantage of. Any hospital that charges poor people $2,500 dollars for a couple hours work that they didn't do is a near felonious illegitimate operation. Even if Insurance were to somehow be able to pay all of the bill, what kind of world do we live in where greedy doctors and hospital administrators can drive million dollar cars and live in million dollar homes because they are allowed to feed on your pain and suffering like diamond studded vultures. We the people are tired of being ripped off. Thanks Oklahoma Heart Hospital for the excellent care. Maybe you can come down to where I work and buy a 200 Hamburger or a 50 dollar Pepsi. Justice needs to be served. We cannot continue to let the medical industry destroy our meager live savings. They aren't just stealing from you, they are stealing from your children! Hospitals in the United States are run by White Collar Mobsters and Ironically People actually wonder why the United States might need Universal healthcare.

  24. As good as universal health care may be in theory but what about the cons? Aside from ridiculous wait times but what about having to deal with still paying for some of the specific medical procedures that are NOT covered under Universal Healthcare?

  25. I have always said f there was a separate sales tax on all items purchased that went into a medical fund it would easily pay for all of us.Even if it were just a couple of pennies per item sold.It wouldn't be noticeable if your bananas were 2 cents more your soup was 2 cents more making your entire weekly grocery purchase an extra dollar.Virtually everyone would be paying into it with every single purchase made and they would be covered.The reason Obamacare wasnt the best is because you were required to purchase health insurance you couldn't actually use until you paid the high deductible.I really do believe that everyone deserves health insurance.Its not a luxury its as human right.Noone should be in the position of having to choose between food /housing and health care but many do and it's just not fair.Also,pharmeceutical companies are charging insane amounts.If you go to Mexico you can get the same medications for pennies on the dollar.Many seniors in California,New Mexico and Arizona would cross the border to buy their medicines because it's so much cheaper.People would also often go to Mexico for dental care.The US is a sad,sad place.

  26. I'm a conservative and Trump supporter myself, but I wouldn't mind if local or state levels implemented their own single payer healthcare system.

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