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Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Santa Clara Counties, CA June 6, 2006 Election
Smart Voter

National Healthcare

By Stevan E. "Steve" Thomas

Candidate for United States Representative; District 11; Democratic Party

This information is provided by the candidate
We are the only industrialized Nation without it, it's long overdue!
One of the most important speeches in American history is one of the least known. It was Franklin Roosevelt's January 11, 1944 State of the Union address. He was ill, it was snowing, so he delivered it as a "Fireside Chat" instead of going down to the House of Representatives as is traditional. In it, he introduced the "Economic Bill of Right." National healthcare was part of the "Economic Bill of Rights". We may very have had the entire Economic Bill of Rights now, if he hadn't died 3 months after that speech.

Harry Truman tried to get national healthcare passed, but was blocked because white southern racists would not accept integrated hospitals.

Today, we still have strange fruit from this. There are 45 million uninsured Americans on one branch and an unknown numbers of Americans who lose their healthcare whenever they change jobs on another.

Years ago, Ford committed to building SUVs because those were the vehicles with the most profit. Ford has healthcare costs of $1,500 per vehicle. If they didn't have those healthcare costs, they would have been profitable in 2005, and wouldn't be laying off 30,000 workers in their 50s, with mortgages and kids in college.

Healthcare has seen a 70% premium increase in the last 3 years. Coverage for most Americans is skeletal. Not having "catastrophic" coverage, in addition to regular coverage, is a leading cause of personal bankruptcy.

Right now, healthcare is 16% of GDP, in a decade it will be well over 20%. 30% of our healthcare dollars go to insurance companies and administration. We pay twice what any other industrialized nation does, and we have 45 million uninsured Americans. But in a way, they are insured. They go to an emergency room. You and I pay for that. It's the most expensive form of healthcare possible. The profits are privatized by the insurance companies, the risk is socialized to us. We pay for it.

The Medicare drug plan is pure corporate welfare and is overly complicated. By making it complicated and dividing it up over many small insurers, there is no possibility of negotiating lower drug prices with the manufacturers. Drugs are dropped and you can't change plans. The whole plan is complete elephant manure and needs to be redone as a consumer and elder friendly plan!

National Healthcare is long overdue. National Healthcare will go a long way toward making our industries competitive with those countries that have it. It's time to get it done and done right. It has to be done by people who believe in it and want it done right. People like me.

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