By Arizona Democratic Congressional District Eight Candidate Bob Musselwhite
I am Bob Musselwhite and I am running for Congress in District 8.
My comments here will be concerning Health Care.
Affordable Health Care—There is no such thing as “free health care”. Politicians that promise, “free health care” are not being honest with the public.
In our market-driven health care system prices continue to rise along with deductibles. That is the fundamental problem facing our country. The question is how to control costs so that quality health care is within the affordable reach of all Americans. The unfair practice of the medical insurance companies that consider every medical payment a loss and who resist payments is another matter. There are many steps that need to be taken to make the system fairer.
Health costs are currently almost 18 percent of our gross domestic product. That cost is about twice what is paid by other industrialized nations in the world. In fact, if the total cost, 3.4 trillion dollars per year is divided by our population the result is about $10,000. For every man, woman, and child in this country. Our public employers and private businesses pay most of this expense now. It is a tremendous cost to an economy particularly when 20% of what we pay does not pay for medical bills at all but goes into advertising, profits, dividends, inefficient administration, lobbying Congress, paying for Congressional campaigns and so forth.
I believe that the first step is to reintroduce competition to the market. To do that a guaranteed non-profit public option should be made available for all Americans. This public option would allow anyone to participate by simply paying a premium just like any other insurance policy. It would also be available to business and public employers to cover their employees. The goal of this non-profit would be to pay medical expenses not to produce dividends for stockholders. The ethics of this non-profit public option would be similar to Medicare for example premiums would be based on a sliding scale and pre-existing conditions would not bar a person from being included for the same price as everyone else.
A second step would be to regulate the cost of medicine. Medicine is too expensive and quickly becoming more expensive. The reason is that costs are unregulated in the United States. The cost of medicine should be fair and should be based not on whatever the market will bear but rather what it costs to make the medicine, plus a reasonable profit. A person who depends on medicine for life is not exactly in a position to bargain as if he/she is buying a car.
Candidate for Congress District 8