Press Release 10-9-18
KAHN SUPPORTS MEDICARE 4 ALL WITH 8 AMENDMENTS
Schroon Lake, NY – With health care a significant topic in the North Country, and Congresswoman Stefanik’s (R-Willsboro) detrimental vote in May of 2017 for H.R.1628 American Health Care Act, the campaign trail for Green candidate Dr. Lynn Kahn (G-Schroon Lake) has turned into a concrete plan upon entering Congress.
Dr. Kahn fully supports H.R.676 Expanded & Improved Medicare For All, and would strengthen the bill with a few of her own amendments as well as a realistic roadmap.
“I have proposed 8 amendments to the original bill I would like to deliver to the House when I’m elected. We need to ensure that the expansion of Medicare preserves the current networks of providers and services,” stated Dr. Kahn. “I would also want clarification that mental health services include family counseling & reunification, services specific to victims of violence, and peer support services.”
A poll conducted in August of 2018 by Reuters-Ipsos showed 70 percent of Americans favor a single-payer healthcare system. Another study in the same month by libertarian-leaning Mercatus Center at George Mason University stated healthcare costs under Medicare For All would decrease by $2 trillion by 2031.
H.R.676 currently has 123 co-sponsors. Below are Kahn's 8 amendments. A recent article details how these amendments would be part of a focused roadmap to universal healthcare.
- Clarify purpose of 676 to focus on health outcomes: “To expand comprehensive health care delivery and improved health care outcomes through government-funded insurance, and for other purposes”
- Given that between 2010 and 2016 every single one of 210 new drugs approved for market came from taxpayer-funded NIH and NSF research, support every legislative effort to reduce costs of pharmaceuticals – negotiate Medicare drug costs, cap out of pocket prescription drug costs, allow easier imports of generic drugs, repeal legislation and change FDA regulations to limit patent protections and enable quicker marketing of generic alternatives, use Bayh-Dole Act to transfer licenses or patents in instances of national security, fund open science collaborations and “NASA for Medicine” to focus on developing critical, affordable, taxpayer-owned, life-saving medicines
- Make sure expansion of healthcare preserves Medicare infrastructure – networks of providers and services
- Clarify that mental health services include family counseling, family reunification, peer support services, services specific to victims of violence, domestic violence perpetrators and “red flag” violent-prone individuals; include out-patient services
- Under prescription drugs Include medical marijuana for chronic pain, post-traumatic stress, seizures and other conditions
- Finances and Funding – do cost-benefit analysis to identify information systems that can be adapted (such as Department of Defense, the VA and current Medicare) instead of creating new confidential, electronic patient record system; delete any new taxes on payroll or self-employment income; use money recovered from $60 Billion of healthcare fraud (including $2.6 billion recovered in 2017); clarify reasonable financial and administrative costs to be paid to insurers as a result of conversion to non-profit status; eliminate two year’s salary for displaced workers in areas with expanding employment; and limit payments to Board members.
- Recognize that improving health outcomes is a whole-of-government effort and put in place mechanisms of cross-government coordination that will enable measurable health outcomes.
- Publish roadmap that includes:
- Publish National Health Care Assessment that summarizes existing state assessments (required by law) and maps well-served and under-served areas
- Publish plan to dramatically expand numbers of health care professionals in under-served areas
- Recognize that only 18% of Americans trust government to do the right thing so develop and implement information campaign that emphasizes Freedom of Choice; address the concerns of the 19 states that refused to expand Medicaid (Texas has 2.5 million uninsured and left $65 Billion on the table)
- Demonstrate that government can make a difference by funding pilot projects based on best practices to solve a specific problem such as increasing childhood obesity or increased suicide rates
- Develop more realistic plan for Americans to understand and transition to new system
- Develop standardized electronic patient record system in accordance with federal guidelines for information systems including full testing at all stages of development
- Recognize and address hacking risks and lack of sufficient IT staffing in government
- Expand public health services in underserved areas including rural America and within Indian Health Services
- Address problems for improving VA healthcare and criteria for transition (recognizing vets want an independent VA)
- Identify true administrative cost savings and employment transition costs given health care providers still need clerical and billing personnel
- Long Term
- Fully test new systems before going operational
- Clarify implementation plans and schedules – be realistic
- Develop measurement system that focuses on health outcomes