The Social Action Ministry (SAM) at First Parish comes from our Unitarian Universalist faith based on the values of love, justice, community and responsibility. We do this within the supportive environment of our broader church community and the mission of First Parish “…to act on our values to serve the larger community and create a more just and loving world.”
Healthcare in America: What’s Next – Panel Forum
On Monday, October 2nd, in collaboration with the Harvard Medicine Indivisible Group, we sponsored a forum on healthcare featuring a panel of three recognized healthcare experts:
Alan Meyers, MD is a professor emeritus of pediatrics at BU & founding member of Physicians for a National Health Program. He presented some startling statistics about healthcare today: 20m people with no insurance; 28m underinsured; 60% of people who were forced to declare bankruptcy had insurance; US #1 among developed countries yet paying 2½ times other countries based on GDP. Why? The cost of administration of the current multi-payer system. His contention is that everyone needs to have ready access to comprehensive care without financial barriers.
William Hsiao, PhD is a professor of economics at Harvard School of Public Health and a leading global expert in universal health insurance. He focused on the economic issues: Access; Cost Escalation; & Uneven quality. He presented his estimates of savings if the US had single payer insurance: administrative $300-400b; abuse and fraudulent claims $180b; drugs $180b; end of life heroic measures $80-100b. There are additional costs of $350b-450b, but the net savings would be roughly $300b-400b, 50% of current costs!
Don Beriwick, MD is a senior fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and former administrator at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. He emphasized that taking care of our fellow humans is in our DNA, and that universal healthcare is part of a nation that helps each other. The recent Replace & Repeal bills in the House and Senate were NASTY bills (half of the Essential Benefits of the ACA were removed; HHS is drastically interfering with ACA enrollment; the bills push costs to the states, ultimately to the individual). We have to get back to the moral value that universal healthcare serves.
Their discussion made an imperative for moving away from our multi-payer, multi-provider system to one of universal healthcare.They called on Indivisible Groups to step up to claiming the moral high ground and provided a number of steps that we might take. Want more info? Contact Pete Tasker.
UU Urban Ministry