The League of Women Voters strongly supports HCR 173/HR136 which urges Congress to enact the United States National Health Insurance Act. We feel that health care should be included as one of the basic human needs, together with food, clothing and shelter. It is unconscionable for this wealthy country to have over 40 million uninsured people and tens of millions of underinsured residents. For Hawaii which has been one of the more progressive states when it comes to social issues, to have approximately 10% of its people without dependable access to health care is unacceptable.
Hawaii’s Prepaid Health Care Act has served Hawaii well, but is now challenged by escalating health care costs which leaves employers looking for ways to cut those costs, And even as we focus on Medicare and Medicaid as being financially unsustainable, the truth is that the underlying problem lies with the escalating cost of health care in general, such that even people in the middle economic scale are beginning to find it unaffordable.
We recognize that health care is not just a state problem; it is a national problem that should be addressed by the federal government. League has long been a backer of a universal, single-payer system of health care. To meet the needs of a very mobile populace, only a national program of health care will provide the portability that is required.
With a universal single-payer plan, what we save in management costs, plus the government’s negotiating leverage among other things can, we are convinced, hold the costs down. And this would not be at the expense of our service providers; our doctors, nurses and hospitals.
We urge the passage of HCR 173/HR136. If the legislatures of all of our states were to send Congress such resolutions, our goal would be reached sooner . Thank you.