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Green Party US: Single-payer health care will boost the economy

Enacting a single-payer health care program will boost the ailing US economy, says Green Party

• Single-payer plan would remove the expensive burden of employer-based health coverage
• Green  see danger that progressive groups, unions will acquiesce to the Obama’s ‘life-support for insurance industry’ plan

Green Party leaders urged Americans to take up President-elect Barack Obama’s call for discussion on health care and demand a single-payer national health care program, also called Medicare For All.  The Green Party said that the current financial crisis is an ideal time to introduce single-payer.

“Mr. Obama asks Americans to send their ideas to him about how to fix health care.  Now is the time for organizations and Americans who support single-payer to tell the President-elect that single-payer is the only acceptable solution,” said Carl Romanelli, former Green candidate for the US Senate and Northeastern Pennsylvania coordinator for the PA single payer movement (http://www.healthcare4allpa.org).

“Businesses have been burdened for decades with the high expense and administrative burden of employer-based health care benefits.  Single-payer will alleviate the burden and stimulate the economy.  It will also cost working people far less than they now pay for private coverage.  Businesses large and small, unions, and all middle- and low-income working Americans will benefit from single-payer,” said Sanda Everette, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States.

“The greatest danger is that the sense of exhilaration and relief that greeted Mr. Obama’s election will turn into acquiescence to his mandate plan for health care reform,” added John Battista, MD, Green Party member and Coordinator of the Connecticut Coalition for Universal Health Care.  “That’s what happened in 1993 after Bill Clinton was elected, setting back the chance for single-payer for more than a decade.  Like Mr. Clinton and every Democratic presidential nominee for the past two decades, Mr. Obama would leave the private insurance industry in control of our health care.”

Will Barack Obama stand with the American people and make quality health care a right for all by saying no to for-profit health insurance? Or will he allow health insurance companies to continue to make profits by denying consumers access to coverage?  Doctors say yes to single-payer, nurses say yes to single-payer, and the American public says yes to single-payer in every poll despite the denials from politicians and the media.  Will Mr. Obama say, Yes we can?

Green Party leaders urged progressive and consumer groups and unions not to repeat mistakes made during the first Clinton term, when many of them dropped their demand for single-payer and endorsed the Clinton ‘managed care’ plan, which would have herded Americans into coverage under a handful of the largest private insurance companies.  President Clinton rejected single-payer, and support for national health insurance was deleted from the Democratic Party platform during the Clinton Administration.  As a result, health care reform languished while the number of uncovered Americans grew and even those with coverage have been increasingly denied treatment.

The Obama plan includes similar mandates and attempts to compensate insurance firms and HMOs for heavy regulation by giving them huge subsidies.  “The Obama plan is a scheme to sustain insurance companies and HMOs with our tax dollars.  It reciprocates the hundreds of thousands of dollars that these corporations contribute to Democratic candidates every election cycle.  Insurance companies and HMOs have a financial interest in excluding ‘high risk’ people — the old, the poor, those with prior medical conditions — and limiting treatment for those who have coverage in order to maximize profits.  Why should we pay off insurance companies and HMOs to cover the excluded, when we can save hundreds of billions annually by covering everyone with a single-payer plan?” said Green Party co-chair Jill Bussiere.

Single-payer/Medicare For All would cover all Americans regardless of income, employment, residence, age, or prior medical condition, while allowing choice of health care provider.  In 2003, the New England Journal of Medicine published an article estimating that Single-Payer could cut health care costs by $350 billion annually (http://www.pnhp.org/publications/nejmadmin.pdf).

Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) is sponsoring a bill, HR 676, that would enact a single-payer plan (http://thomas.loc.gov/home/gpoxmlc110/h676_ih.xml).  For a comparison of mandate plans and single-payer, see “Talking Points: Why the mandate plans won’t work, and why single-payer ‘Medicare for All’ is what we need” by Len Rodberg, PhD, published by Physicians for a National Health Program (http://www.pnhp.org/news/2008/december/talking_points_why_.php).

One Response

  1. […] Green Party US: Single-payer health care will boost the economy Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Green Party US: Single-payer health care will boost the economyObama’s town hall meeting in IndianaAs Obama Hosts Summit on Healthcare, Marginalized Advocates Ask Why Single-…Obama on Single-Payer Health Care, not yet […]

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