Posted by John Stauber on March 25, 2009

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."

Comments

Obama ignores single payer because it doesn't work. nevar has, never will. Single payer advocates are cut out of the debate at the outset and that's exactly where they ought to be, Socialism doesn't work. Live with it.

"disaster" is what we have right now. And single-payer advocates are cut out of the debate not because "socialism" doesn't work -- every other industrialized country's health care system works better than ours! -- but because the bloodsucking for-profit health insurance industry owns our Congress. And you've obviously learned to live too easily with that.

Dittohead is a term used with pride by cultish followers of [[Rush Limbaugh]] who 'ditto' his opinions rather than actually digging into issues and thinking for themselves. The new president is brilliant and charismatic, but I think it's becoming painfully clear that he is also wont to throw hundreds of billions of dollars at propping up failed institutions and structures, rather than broadening his vision and backing fundamental change. Your Joe McCarthy-isk characterization of 'single payer' shows minimally that you haven't taken a look at it. You owe it to yourself to visit this site:
[http://www.pnhp.org/facts/single_payer_resources.php PNHP]

Anonymous hides behind no name because he knows he is lying through his teeth.The people of single payer nations have said they won't trade their health plans for our s for any reason.They also have better health care according to many world health organizations.Go back to wall street

Hello, you really need to examine your facts about "Socialism." First of all, Single Payer is NOT socialism, it's more of a hybrid system. The UK, where the government is the administrator of all healthcare and healthcare dollars, is SOCIALISM. Having moved to Canada recently, I'm now a member of their single payer system. I hate to break your bubble, but for the majority of people the majority of the time, it works just fine. I would never again trade my universal healthcare for the legalized rape going on in the US by the for-profit HMOs and insurers. This does not mean there are not problems with Canada's system. But overall, the quality of life here is high and the system seems to function very well for nearly all.

So what you are saying is that you are happy to have yourself and parents dropped from Medicare'; you will no longer be driving the federally created and subsidized public highway system and walk only on private roads; you won't be calling the police when your house is burglarized or your wife is mugged'; you also won't count on the fire department to come when your house is on fire (I sure hope you don't live in the wildfire areas of California). Also, don't bother listening to the weather as NOAA is the originator of all our national forecasts. I wish you a happy and healthy life of marginal bliss.

Wow! That is quite a convincing argument! You must have been on the debate team in high school.

If the lobbyists for the insurance and drug industries are against it, single payer is the system i want.

How cool would it be to have a government that represents US. Like the guy before me says, if the lobbyists are against it, I am for it. As far as the socialism boogeyman talk, I don't buy it. Can you give any examples of how it's never worked and why it never will?

Single Payer advocate Jerry Policoff [http://www.opednews.com/articles/Poll-Excludes-Single-Payer-by-Jerry-Policoff-090312-353.html has noted] "a recent poll commissioned by HCAN (Healthcare for America Now) suggests strong grassroots support for the Obama-supported Healthcare reform plan. It is indeed an interesting survey, though not a particularly candid or objective one, and if one reads between the lines, the survey strongly suggests that the one option respondents were not asked to consider, the Single-Payer option, would have resoundingly defeated the others if it had been included in the survey questionnaire."

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