Open Medicare for All
Under Medicare-for-All, also known as Single-Payer National Health Insurance, essentially the federal government would administer healthcare financing with delivery of care remaining private or locally-controlled. Jan Schneider favors transitioning to Medicare-for-All, to ensure high quality, universal healthcare coverage.
Vern Buchanan (RFL16) wants the opposite, to get rid of the Affordable Care Act and convert Medicare itself into a “premium support” a/k/a voucher system. Our Ailing Healthcare System The Affordable Care Act was a major step forward in safeguarding the health of Americans. Obamacare is, however, now excessively expensive, overly complicated and significantly debilitated.
While fatally bungling “repeal-and-replace,” President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress engaged in a sustained and effective campaign of piece-by-piece sabotage. Most notable was repeal of the ACA individual mandate in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Trump Tax Cut) of 2017.
The COVID-19 pandemic accentuated the need for improvement in American healthcare. Universal health coverage could have saved close to 339,000 lives from COVID-19 alone, according to findings published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The United States could also have saved about $106 billion in costs associated with hospitalizations from the disease—on top of an estimated $438 billion in savings in a non-pandemic year.
Meanwhile, the United States currently spends around $12,500 per capita and 20% of gross domestic product on healthcare. While thus laying out more than twice the average of advanced industrial countries, the U.S. ranks last among them in coverage. Moreover, U.S. life expectancy at birth has fallen to 76.1 years, the lowest since 1996 and well below average. Our healthcare/insurance system is ailing.
Vote Jan for Your Health
Jan believes that not only the wealthy deserve to be healthy. Different plans have been introduced in Congress under the general rubric of Medicare-for-All/Single Payer. They range from a Medicare-like plan in the marketplace, to a Medicare buy-in for those over 50, to a buy-in open to all (essentially a public option), to a comprehensive insurance system encompassing everyone. Jan could support extending eligibility at once or on a buy-in basis with increasingly lower age brackets.
At least initially, such changes could adhere to current Medicare features, without some bells-and-whistles expansions being sought by more progressive members of Congress. Recent studies by prestigious institutions have shown that Medicare-for-All would cost both the government and individuals considerably less than the present system.
In contrast, Buchanan consistently votes to undermine the health of constituents and the American public. He voted to repeal Obamacare about 60 times, to repeal the individual mandate, to abolish the Prevention and Public Health Fund, to turn Medicare into a premium support system, and to cut Medicare and other healthcare funding repeatedly.
Fight Like a Women
Women must fight back to regain reproductive freedom and control over our bodies. Jan Schneider is pro-choice and fights to restore, protect, and defend the full range of reproductive and other rights for women.
Representative Vern Buchanan (R-FL16), who seeks “to defend life from conception to natural death,”wages war against women by voting against us at every opportunity.
In recently striking down half a century of reproductive freedom under Roe v. Wade, theSupreme Court relegated women to second-class citizen status. To deny a woman theright to choose an abortion even when the pregnancy is a threat to her life or resultedfrom rape or incest is all the more despicable. More broadly, however, women need renewed access to all kinds of medical services, not only abortion.
Congress should enact the protections of Roe v. Wade into federal law. Congress alsoneeds to pass legislation to protect freedom to travel, in particular the right to cross state lines to seek an abortion or other reproductive care. Congress should also repeal the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits use of federal funds to pay for abortions. It discriminates not only against poorer women who rely on Medicaid, but also against servicewomen and female members of military families who rely on military medical facilities or Tricare health insurance at private facilities. On the other hand, what Congress should not do is to cut back federal funding to Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide free or low-cost family planning and other healthcare services.
Finally, a woman’s right to choose should include the right to choose to bear a healthy child. This means supporting full funding of programs improving healthcare for pregnant women and young children, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), among others.
What's at Stake
Buchanan has consistently voted against women. He has voted against every pro-choice measure and in favor of every restriction on a woman’s control over her body. He has also voted against the Violence Against Women Act, the Paycheck Fairness Act, the Equal Rights Amendment, among other legislation. Since between Buchanan’s words and his deeds, there often falls a shadow.
Protect Social Security
Jan Schneider seeks to keep and sustain the Social Security for the protection of current and future seniors. Vern Buchanan (R-FL16) accords only minimal attention to problems such as the declining worker-to-beneficiary ratio threatening the solvency of the system.
Social Security is a Vital Safety Net for Seniors
Jan opposes proposals to increase the Normal/Full Retirement Age or the Early Eligibility Age, which are scheduled under current law to climb to 67 and 64 respectively in 2030. She also opposes changes to reduce the requirement of at least 10 years of work (40 quarters) to qualify for Social Security or the various requirements for Supplemental Security Income eligibility. Social Security is an earned retirement benefit -- and only in that sense qualifies as an “entitlement”.
On the other hand, Jan is prepared to consider proposals to keep Social Security solvent. The 2022 Social Security Trustees’ Report projects that Old-Age & Survivors Insurance Trust Fund reserves will be depleted by 2034, after which continuing tax income will suffice to pay only 77 percent of scheduled benefits. One way to deal with this would be to increase the taxable maximum above the current $147,000.
Buchanan has Failed to Protect Social Security
Buchanan keeps pledging action to sustain Social Security, but such assurances ring hollow. He did cosponsor the Know Your Social Security Act, which would require the Social Security Administration to provide statements to people 25 or older eligible for but not currently receiving Social Security. While that might benefit some individuals, it falls far short of a major protection or enhancement.
Jan is for increased border security through modern measures, not an ineffective wall. She supports immigration policy including a path to permanent legal status and/or citizenship for the estimated 11.5 million undocumented immigrants already in this country.
Vern Buchanan (R-FL16) believes in the Trump border wall and opposes all proposals to grant amnesty to any undocumented immigrants.
Curbing Illegal Immigration
Congress needs more effectively to hold liable those who employ undocumented immigrants, to disincentivize unauthorized entries. Such measures should be part of a compendium of comprehensive immigration reform and border protection measures. For now, “Dreamers,” a label from the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act first introduced in 2001, deserve special attention. Jan also supports Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a policy first implemented in 2012. In addition, another group needing attention is people enjoying Temporary
Protected Status because of coming from designated countries afflicted by armed conflicts, environmental disasters, epidemics or other extraordinary conditions.
Jan is prepared to consider immigration reforms to update the current family-based immigration system, revise employment-based visa rules and increase the number of diversity visas.
Meanwhile, Jan will continue to fight against inhumane policies like separating families with children and keeping kids in cages. In addition, she finds cruel and unacceptable the recent actions by the governors of Texas and Florida in shipping busloads of immigrants to northern communities.