President Donald Trump
The White House
Dear President Trump:
We are business owners, physicians and health policy experts writing to urge you to take action that will truly solve the healthcare crisis in the United States. The current approach is the most expensive and inefficient in the advanced world, is a drag on our economy and yields relatively poor health outcomes. We are writing to seek a meeting with you to discuss how to create a national system that provides health care for all in a far more cost-effective and efficient manner than our current system provides.
We agree with you that the Affordable Care Act is a problem. It has not changed the fact that the United States spends the most on health care simply because the cost of services, pharmaceuticals and administration are the highest in the world. Healthcare spending is rising faster than wages and inflation and is consuming an increasing share of our Gross Domestic Product. This is not sustainable.
The business sector spends more on administering and paying for employee health benefits than it gains in net profits. This makes it impossible for US corporations to compete internationally with countries that have a universal, national health system funded by taxpayers. For example, health care adds $1,800 or more to the cost of an automobile, which drives automobile manufacturers out of the United States. And the cost of health care forces businesses to hire fewer employees or to seek greater automation.
Small and medium-sized businesses have ranked healthcare costs as a major concern for more than 25 years. They face the difficult situation of whether to offer health benefits to attract high quality employees or not to offer health benefits in order to be more competitive financially. And the cost of health care creates job-lock and prevents people from venturing into new entrepreneurial enterprises.
A growing portion of healthcare spending is being shifted onto individuals and their families through co-pays, deductibles and restrictive provider networks. This reduces their discretionary spending and places a drag on the economy from the bottom. It also adds to high rates of personal bankruptcy when a serious accident or illness occurs.
Despite the high spending on health care, the United States is the only major industrialized nation that leaves tens of millions of people without any health insurance. Unmet health needs are high due to financial barriers to care and health outcomes are poor in comparison to other countries. For example, a recent study showed that life expectancy in the United States is declining. An unhealthy population is less productive and places a greater cost burden on our health system.
The reality is the United States is already paying enough to provide excellent health coverage to every person in the United States from birth to death if we did not waste hundreds of billions of dollars on the insurance industry and the bureaucracy it creates for businesses, health providers, the government and patients.
The answer to the healthcare crisis is obvious and simple: expand and improve Medicare for every person in the United States. Medicare has provided the funding for the health needs of the elderly and chronically ill since 1965. It is a proven, made-in-America, system that other countries have chosen as the basis of their universal health systems. We can do the same and create the greatest healthcare system in the world.
You are in a unique position compared to any other president. You can challenge the elites in Washington, DC and show the people of the United States that there is a leader who is with the people and not the political and economic elites. By advocating for expanded and improved Medicare for all you will be with a super-majority of Americans who want this approach. This is the only path to fulfilling your promises that everyone will have access to healthcare and to create a health system that works.
We look forward to meeting with you to discuss this critical issue with you. We want you to be the president to do what no other president has done – create a national health system that makes the US the envy of the world and provides our people with excellent healthcare.
Richard A. Bruno, M.D.
Mary L. De Luca, M.D.
Margaret Flowers, M.D., National Coordinator of Health Over Profit for Everyone campaign*
Leslie Gise, M.D.
James Goodman, M.D.
Pamella Gronemeyer, M.D.
Joe Marcinkowski, Owner, Metro Retro Furniture
Richard Master, Chairman and CEO, MCS Industries
Carol Paris, M.D., President of Physicians for a National Health Program
Anita Prizio, Esq., President, Pittsburgh Crankshaft Service, Inc.
Anne Scheetz, M.D.
Robert Zarr, M.D., Past President of Physicians for a National Health Program
Kevin Zeese, Esq., Co-director, Popular Resistance
*All affiliations for identification purposes only.