Health care Washington State Politics

Fighting for single-payer healthcare: Dr. Milstein vs. the naked emperor

When it comes to the current health care system here in America, Dr. Jerrold Milstein relishes repeating his mantra, “The emperor has no clothes!”

A strong supporter of the Affordable Health Care Act, or “ObamaCare” as right-wing conservatives derisively call it, Dr. Milstein is convinced that “once people realize they’ll be getting better care…resistance will decline.” It’s just a matter of educating both patients and their physicians.

And the central thesis of that education would be getting people to understand that America currently suffers from a “two-tiered system.” The rich can afford to be healthy, the poor cannot; physicians are hounded into requesting unnecessary drugs and tests for their patients, while insurance companies and their CEOs reap record profits; expensive treatments are routinely recommended, but common sense preventive care is routinely denied.

And so it goes. Yes, says Dr. Milstein, Associate Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics and Neurology at Seattle Children’s Hospital, folks here in Washington State and across the country are beginning to realize the benefits of ObamaCare as its improvements slowly kick in. But, here in the Evergreen State, Dr. Milstein would like to give health care a booster shot.

Namely, a giant dose of single-payer health care. By eliminating the insurance company middlemen and the grotesquely exorbitant salaries of their CEOs, Milstein foresees a future where Washington State shines as a pioneer in single-tier health care, with no one standing between patient and doctor, dictating what can and cannot be allowed on the basis of profitability instead of good health.

With the top-heavy for-profit insurance gargantuan out of the way, perhaps we as a society can begin to heal.

Toward that end, Jerrold Milstein has begun a petition effort entitled, “Washington: Be the first single-payer healthcare state.” He’s rapidly approaching his goal of 5,000 signatures, whereupon he’d be most pleased to present said petition to Gov. Jay Inslee and the state legislature.

“I still tilt at windmills,” muses Dr. Milstein, now in his seventies. Naked emperors, beware!

Originally published at examiner.com

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