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White House, HCAN, Ignore the Single Payer Option
Most western democracies guarantee their citizens a right to medical services through their own version of government managed single payer health care. But such a system has been attacked in the US as "socialized medicine" since before the 1950s especially by lobbyists for the insurance and drug industries who would see their profits decline. Although Barack Obama was elected on a health care reform platform, his version ignores single payer. Nor is single payer advocated by his allies in the well-funded coalition called Health Care for America Now, composed of MoveOn, USAction, ACORN, Americans United for Change, the unions SEIU and UFCW and other liberal heavy hitters. Journalist Russell Mokhiber, founder of the new group Single Payer Action, notes that no advocate of a single payer system was invited to the recent White House summit on health care reform. Only protests by Progressive Democrats of America and others won an invitation for Congressman John Conyers, sponsor of the United States National Health Care Act: H.R.676. Mokhiber quotes Dr. David Himmelstein of Physicians for a National Health Program: “The President once acknowledged that single payer reform was the best option, but now he’s caving in to corporate health care interests and completely shutting out advocates of single payer reform," even though "the majority of Americans favor single payer, and it’s the most popular reform option among doctors and health economists."