BERN NOTICE: When You See The Word "Stent" -- Remember Medicare for All

Bernie's routine medical procedure spotlights why we must pass his health care agenda

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By now, you’ve probably heard the news: Bernie is taking time off the campaign trail following a medical procedure that inserted two stents.

Billionaire Trump adviser Steve Schwarzman last night publicly declared that he thinks “Bernie Sanders shouldn’t exist.” But, alas, the billionaire’s wish has been denied: Bernie is conversing and in great spirits as he rests up from what medical experts note is a routine procedure (roughly 1.8 million stent procedures happen in the United States every year).

This campaign’s motto is “Not Me, Us” — and because we are always on message for the 99%, we are encouraging media outlets that are reporting on stents to note that stents are a perfect example of why the United States needs to join the rest of the world and pass Bernie’s Medicare for All legislation.

An October 2018 study published in Health Affairs found that stents — which are very common — cost up to six times more in the United States than in other industrialized countries with government-sponsored health care systems. The study found that one set of stents cost $670 in the United States “but only $120 and $130 in Germany and the U.K., respectively.” Another form of stent “remained about $1,000 more expensive in the U.S. than Germany.”

Why the price differential? In part, because America’s dysfunctional health care system involves a complex web of payers — rather than a single-payer Medicare for All system that can negotiate better prices.

“Purchase prices are often the result of negotiations or tendering between manufacturers and individual hospitals, group purchasing organizations, or healthcare payers,” the study authors wrote. “It is commonly accepted that prices are confidential, which allows manufacturers to increase profits by charging different prices to different buyers, depending on their bargaining power.

So as you see the headlines about Bernie today, send him your good vibes — and remember how important the fight for Medicare for All really is.

Bern after reading,

Sirota