Raising Women’s Voices

Single-Payer or Bust

Posted in DC Reform, Health Disparities, Health Reform Policy Proposals by raisingwomensvoices on May 7, 2009

Tuesday’s Senate Finance Committee roundtable was livelier than usual, and no wonder: the topic was healthcare.

Doctors and other single-payer advocates disrupted the hearing, demanding to know why single-payer wasn’t on the table. Polling has shown both public and physician majority support for a single-payer system yet Chairman Baucus (D-MT) has stated that it is “off the table” to be considered for health reform.MINIMUM WAGE

Doctors say that a publicly-funded privately delivered single-payer system is the only solution to the crisis of ballooning costs and up to 22,000 annual deaths due to lack of comprehensive coverage.

Doctors and activists in attendance represented Physicians for a National Health Program, Healthcare-NOW!, Single Payer Action, Private Health Insurance Must Go, the Campaign for Fresh Air and Clean Politics, Prosperity Agenda, and Health Care for the Homeless.

The US Medicare system currently provides comprehensive care to the elderly in a single-payer system, and legislation HR 676 and S 703 seek to do the same for all Americans at the same cost as our current system.

Single-payer advocates will continue to use non-violent civil disobedience to get their message across.

And, via Ezra Klein: Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has forced the Senate Finance Committee’s Health Care Coverage Roundtable to address the public plan, saying, “Just as bad as a public plan with an unfair advantage, is no public plan at all. My colleague from Kansas said the American people don’t want the government involved. Well, let me tell you, the American people have some problems with the government. But they have a lot more problems with private insurers.”

Schumer claims that opposition to the public plan is based on an idea of a private industry that doesn’t exist, namely that private insurers don’t know what procedures cost and won’t release data on quality or prices.

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