Before the Affordable Care Act it was estimated that 45,000 Americans died each year from lacking or having no health care (study conducted by the American Journal of Public Health).

With the current Republican proposed health care legislation the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) estimates that 22 million Americans will lose their health care insurance. As a state we need to start to explore the creation of a single payer health care system.

Currently, every major industrialized nation on Earth has a single payer system (France, Luxembourg, UK, New Zealand Austria). While there is no question that health care should be a right and not a privilege for those who can afford it, such a plan also makes sense economically. 

Gerald Friedman, Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, estimates that a single payer health care system would save the United States $600 billion in its first year alone. The savings would be generated from the elimination of bloated administrative fees associated with our current private health care system. Economist Robert Fountain, a frequent economics consultant for the California Public Employees Retirement System conducted a study that found that establishing a national single payer health care reform system would provide a major stimulus for the U.S. economy by creating 2.6 million new jobs while infusing $317 billion in new business and public revenues, with another $100 billion in wages into the U.S. economy.

Here in Rhode Island, establishing a single payer system could be a major economic driver. Our state is facing a $135 million deficit. The car tax alone will cost Newport an estimated $2 million shortfall. A single payer health care system will generate valuable funds that can be directed at our schools, our infrastructure, and our innovation projects, such as The Sheffield School. 

– John Florez
Candidate for Senate district 13

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