I can either write volumes about healthcare, or keep it short and sweet. I choose the latter.
Healthcare for all: I believe that everyone should have the right to healthcare, and access to healthcare. It should not be dependent on employment, or quality of employment, or where you, as an Iowan – as an American – live or work. It should not depend on accident of birth or how much you earn.
Healthcare for the whole person: I also believe that healthcare must cover the whole person. In addition to what “traditional” health insurance covers, mental health care, dental care, vision and hearing should all be part and parcel of healthcare. It is good for people, and healthy people also happen to be good for our economy. I don’t ever want to see another “go fund me” site for someone who experienced a medical emergency or had an accident. That is not how we take care of our people.
Piecemeal history: The consolidation of the system that ties health insurance to employers dates back to World War II. The federal government was rationing goods, even as factories ramped up production, and they needed to attract workers. Factory owners needed a way to lure employees (money did not help, since people could not buy more goods because of rationing), so they turned to fringe benefits, offering increasingly generous health plans. Then, in 1943, the IRS ruled that employer-based health care should be tax free.
No one thought this through; there was no grand plan. It developed by accident as a response to economic conditions and availability of goods at the time.
We need healthcare that all can access. It can be Medicare for all, it can be a universal healthcare system, or some hybrid. The important thing is that we finally decide, as have most other “first world” countries, that our people have a right to health care, regardless of whether they are in the top 1% or the 99%. It will help our people, be an equalizer, and propel us forward. It is the right thing to do.