Proposed Resolution for the February 2008 Washington State Caucuses:

    It is apparent to all Americans that the state of health care in the United States has reached crisis proportions. At least 43 million American citizens are without health care.
    Article 25 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, enacted in 1948 and signed by the United States, states that health care is a basic human right.
    Many Americans, who currently have health insurance through their places of employment, would lose their insurance coverage if they were sick or injured for an extended period of time, as they would also lose their jobs.
    Americans pay more per capita for health care services than anywhere in the world and receive fewer services dollar for dollar. Approximately 31% of health care expense in the United States is due to bureaucratic paperwork for the billing departments of insurance companies and Health Management Organizations (HMOs).
    Digitizing medical records will save $77 billion and will play a major part of the cost saving measures of the candidates’ health plans. The United States spent $2.1 trillion on healthcare in 2006, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Office of the Actuary, National Health Statistics Group. 31% of that $2.1 trillion amounts to nearly $653 billion that is spent due to insurance company bureaucratic waste. Utilizing a Single Payer Health Insurance system, America could save much money while also providing superior health care.  
    According to the United Nations World Populations Project, the United States spent 13.9% of our Gross Domestic Product on health care in 2001.  Only Switzerland at 10.9% and Germany at 10.7% spent anywhere near this amount for health care.  These two countries are known for having some of the best health care in the world. They are universal single payer systems. Universal Health Insurance is part of an income tax levied along the same lines as our payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare. Absolutely every European has health care coverage and chooses whichever doctor they wish.
    The Washington Post reported on February 8th 2008 that Merck Pharmaceutical paid a $650 million fine for defrauding the Medicaid system. Carrie Johnson, Washington Post staff writer, states, “Prosecutors say the drug maker gave pills to hospitals at virtually no cost to hook poor patients on expensive medicine. When the patients left the hospital, they often continued taking the drugs, but with the government footing the higher bill.”
    On January 16th 2007, Premera Blue Cross asked a judge to seal documents that disclosed it defrauded Medicare by using it to pay insurance claims. On August 26th 2006, the New York Times reported that the California State Attorney General filed charges against 39 drug companies suspected of defrauding the state by overcharging for medicines.
    When former Republican President Richard M. Nixon first introduced HMOs to the American people in the 1970s, those who had developed the business structures knew they were taking client funds and profiting by not providing services. It is obvious that private insurers or Health Management Organizations cannot be involved in any successful health care system. The current United States health care system, using private insurers, is not only ineffectual and inefficient but it is corrupt, as well.
    A health care system based upon human rights and dignity cannot work without eliminating the profit motive.
    The current health care system also hurts the United States in economic ways that are immediately apparent.
    It cost an additional $930 per vehicle to produce a car in the United States in the year 2000 because businesses bore the brunt of the cost of private insurance. This is the primary reason many auto manufacturers relocated their production plants from Michigan to Ottawa, Canada. Our health care system is another reason for corporations to export jobs. It would stimulate the economy to have a universal health care system in the United States.
    Productivity lost due to untreated or unnecessary illnesses causing people to miss work costs the nation’s economy untold dollars. The ethical cost is also high.
    Representative John Conyers from Michigan and Representative Jim McDermott from Washington have proposed The United States National Health Insurance Act  (House Resolution 676) to the 107th Congress.  House Joint Resolution 30, introduced by Representative Jesse Jackson of Illinois, also in the 107th Congress, amends the Constitution of the United States and makes health care a constitutional right. Rep. McDermott has introduced another bill, H.R.1200, The American Health Security Act of 2003. These are proposals that address the concerns of the American taxpayer as well as the health care issue.
    THEREFORE, we resolve that all Democrats and their Democratic Representatives work for a Federal Single Payer Universal Health Care system or “Medicare for All” that includes complete coverage of prescription drugs, dental, visual, and mental health in the United States and that covers all Americans and guests of our country.