“I strongly support universal, single-payer, government-provided — or, government-funded — healthcare. It doesn’t mean the government runs it, it has competition among the different providers. But I just think that we’ve long since reached the stage that its immoral to put people in a situation where they cannot get the medical care they need because their incomes aren’t high enough. I think it ought to be a matter of right and our current system just doesn’t work, its way too expensive. The quality of healthcare is excellent for those who have enough money to buy the very best, but lower-income and low middle-income Americans are not getting good healthcare and so many now can’t afford the private health insurance that they’re going without insurance, millions and millions of people. And I think that to eliminate the incredibly ridiculous cost of all this unnecessary paperwork and different standards for different companies, it is time to have universal health insurance.”
—Al Gore | Watch the endorsement.
Americans spend more money for less coverage and care because we are the only industrialized country to allow for-profit insurance companies to be middlemen in our health system. In their drive to enroll healthy (and profitable) patients and screen out the sick, private insurers waste vast sums on billing, marketing, underwriting, utilization review and other activities that enhance profits but divert resources from care and hassle patients and physicians. The paperwork they inflict on doctors and hospitals wastes hundreds of billions more each year. Replacing private insurance companies with a single-payer public program - “Medicare for All” - would save more than $350 billion per year, enough new money to provide guaranteed comprehensive health benefits for all. (New England Journal of Medicine, 2003)