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Single-Payer Healthcare: A Right, Not a Privilege
AfterDowningStreet has long been a supporter of a single-payer healthcare system, also called Medicare for All. There will actually be a vote on this in the U.S. House of Representatives after the August recess and we need to lobby our representatives to commit to voting Yes.
But, even should we fail, there is another way we can win that we should also be demanding commitments on in August. Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduced an amendment that was passed by the Education and Labor Committee that would let individual states create single-payer healthcare systems without the risk of having them blocked or tied up in the courts for years by insurance companies.
That's exactly how Canada evolved towards single-payer: one province at a time. Given the corporate-funded resistance to single-payer in Congress, the U.S. may have to follow the Canadian path.
Tell your congressperson to support national single-payer, and if we don't get that, the right of states to create single-payer and the creation nationally of as strong an immediate public option as possible.
If they ask you where to find the money, tell them to cut the military budget and end illegal wars. They should pay for the nation’s first line of defense—our health.
What is single-payer healthcare?
Single-payer national health insurance is a system in which a single public or quasi-public agency organizes health financing, but delivery of care remains largely private.
Currently, the U.S. health care system is outrageously expensive, yet inadequate. Despite spending more than twice as much as the rest of the industrialized nations ($7,129 per capita), the United States performs poorly in comparison on major health indicators such as life expectancy, infant mortality and immunization rates. Moreover, the other advanced nations provide comprehensive coverage to their entire populations, while the U.S. leaves 45.7 million completely uninsured and millions more inadequately covered.
For more information on the Single Payer system, see:
- Physicians for a National Health Program
- Health Care Now!
- Single Payer Action
- MD Physicians for a National Health Program
- Prosperity Agenda US
- Fresh Air, Clean Politics
- CA Nurses
- Progressive Democrats of America
- Health Care Initiatives offers "A Virtual Library of Timely Information on Healthcare Access, Costs, Distractions, Fraud, Malpractice, Marketing, Negligence, Patient Safety, Political Corruption, Politics, Quality, Public Policies, and The Rationale for An American Single-Payer Universal Healthcare System."