The York Dispatch cover story on Tuesday, Nov. 1, about Highmark’s withdrawal of their ACA plans from the York Market has me livid. When private health insurance providers, who have just gained enormous rate hike approvals (some as much as 40 percent) still are able to turn their backs on communities that are “not sufficiently profitable,” something is dreadfully wrong.
Health care should never have become a market commodity. Greedy profiteering on a nation’s health care needs is utterly immoral and unacceptable. We must do away with private for-profit health insurers who add absolutely no value to our health care. The obvious solution is a single-payer, publicly-financed system, which can also curb the greed of pharmaceutical corporations and the growing monopolies of healthcare/hospital administration systems that have put us between a rock and a hard place. Most other developed nations have such systems in place. Their care costs less, and often their populations are healthier than we are in the U.S. Canadian drug prices, for instance, in many cases are only a quarter of what we routinely pay.
We should consider that we do not have to put up with the stranglehold that bottomless corporate greed has imposed on us. To deal with my frustration, I have been learning more about groups like Put People First-PA, Healthcare4All, Pennsylvania Health Access Network, and the Health Care is a Human Right campaign, which all take positive action towards achieving universal, publicly-financed healthcare. We can even proceed with these efforts on a state-by-state basis, one at a time. Join us in this work.