Sunday, March 29, 2009

Greens note victory for the universal health care movement after the White House, in a reversal, invites Single-payer advocates to health summit

Greens note victory for the universal health care movement after the White House, in a reversal, invites Single-payer advocates to its March 5 health summit


For Immediate Release:
Friday, March 6, 2009

Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, cell 202-904-7614,
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805,

Issues & Answers for the media on Single-payer universal health care

WASHINGTON, DC -- Green Party leaders called the White House's reversal on excluding Single-payer advocates from a March 5 health care policy summit a modest but important victory for universal health care.

The Green Party of the United States is one of several organizations supporting Single-payer health care that urged its members and the public to demand an invitation for advocates of Single-payer/Medicare For All, who until Wednesday evening had been barred from the summit (

"The Obama Administration's reversal proves that if enough Americans speak out for real universal health care, we won't be ignored. Unfortunately, President Obama's welcoming remarks on Thursday showed that he won't stand up to the insurance lobby. He won't admit that the private insurance industry adds nothing of value to our health care system, while greatly increasing health care costs and impeding the delivery of health care," said Mark Dunlea, former chair of Green Party of New York State, currently co-chair of Single Payer New York.

"One of our greatest obstacles is the lack of media coverage for Single-payer, because too many in the media have been subject to pressure by politicians and the HMO-insurance industry, which exercises leverage through advertising contracts and underwriting," added Mr. Dunlea.

On Thursday morning, Green Party members learned that the White House had relented after receiving numerous complaints, and invited two Single-payer advocates: Dr. Oliver Fein, president of Physicians for a National Health Program ( and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the author and main sponsor of HR 676, legislation for Single-payer program (

Until Dr. Fein and Rep. Conyers were invited, the 120 guests at the meeting included lobbyists for the for-profit insurance industry, as well as members of Congress, including Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus, who has declared the Single-payer "off the table." Physicians for a National Health Program, other members of the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care, and the National Single Payer Alliance led the call for President Obama to invite Single-payer leaders.

Issues & Answers for the media: facts about Single-payer national health care (also called Medicare For All)

How Single-payer works:

* Everybody in, nobody out: Single-payer covers every American regardless of employment, income, ability to pay, age, and prior medical condition. Right now, about 48 million Americans have no health coverage at all and millions more have inadequate coverage. Under Single-payer, they will all enjoy guaranteed quality health care, including prescriptions.

* In a Single-payer system, no American will face financial ruin because of illness or injury. Private HMOs and health insurance companies raise their profit margin by denying treatment to people with medical emergencies and by denying coverage to those they consider 'high-risk' because of existing health problems, age, low income, etc. In other words, private health insurance is designed to fail people who need health care the most.

* Single-payer will allow Americans to choose which physician, health care provider, and health care facility will treat them.

* Single-payer will cut national health care costs by as much as a third and reduce what working Americans pay for health coverage. Single-payer will be funded at the federal level and administered at the state level. Americans will pay for Single-payer the way we now pay for Social Security, but the amount working Americans will pay will be far less than for private health coverage, because Single-payer eliminates the profit-making insurance and HMO 'middle-men.'

* Single-payer reduces paperwork for physicians and other health professionals, one reason why thousands of MDs, other people working in the health care industry, and medical students have endorsed Single-payer.

* Under Single-payer, physicians, hospitals, and other health care providers would compete to serve the public, raising the quality of health care. Single-payer is a health insurance payment mechanism, not a health care delivery system.

* Health care rationing? All health care plans ration care to some extent. Under private insurance programs, treatment is rationed according to ability to pay for coverage. Under Single-payer, the insurance company profit motive is removed and health care is rationed according to need, with medical emergencies and serious illnesses receiving top priority.

Single-payer and the economy:

* Single-payer makes economic sense. At 3% administrative cost, Medicare (which would be made universal under Single-payer) is highly efficient compared to the 15-30% administrative costs of for-profit insurance.

* Single-payer will boost the ailing US economy and provide relief for businesses large and small, since it will cancel the high expense and administrative burden of employer-based health care benefits (

* Single-payer will relieve municipalities and school boards from having to bear the cost of providing health insurance to employees, allowing responsible officials to reduce their budgets and lower local property taxes.

* Single-payer gives government (and therefore taxpayers) a stake in preventive medicine and promotion of good health habits to keep costs down.

The politics of Single-payer:

* Polls have demonstrated popular support for a national health care program that guarantees universal coverage ( In 2008, the US Conference of Mayors endorsed Single-payer (

* The US is the only industrial democracy that does not guarantee every citizen health care. Compared to other nations, America has the best medical technology but poor access to medical treatment. Single-payer will correct this scandal.

* The Center for Responsive Politics has documented the millions in campaign money that the insurance industry has given to Democrats and Republicans to maintain their control over health care (, with a total of $46,002,881 in insurance lobby contributions in 2008.

* The Green Party endorses Single-payer in its national platform. The Democratic Party endorsed national health insurance in 1948, but removed it from the Democratic platform during the Clinton Administration. The Democratic and Republican parties continue to embrace failed 'market solutions.'

* Barack Obama, before he launched his bid for president, supported Single-payer ( Al Gore opposed Single-payer when he ran for president in 2000, but admitted two years later that Single-payer is the best plan ( Dennis Kucinich was the only Democratic presidential candidate in 2008 to support Single-payer.

* "Single-payer health care is socialism!" By the same standard, so are public streets, sidewalks, parks, schools, libraries, fire departments, police forces, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and bailouts for ailing Wall Street firms. The principle behind Single-payer is that health care should be a human right, not a commodity that allows powerful corporations that don't actually provide health care (HMOs and insurance companies) to make money.

See also "Single-Payer FAQ" at the Physicians for a National Health Program web site (


Green Party of the United States
202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN
Fax 202-319-7193

Tally of Green election victories
Green candidate news
Green candidate database for 2008 and other campaign information:
Green Party News Center
Green Party Speakers Bureau
Green Party ballot access page

"The First 100 Days: What Would a Green Administration Look Like?" (video and text)

Green Party information page on Single-Payer

"President Obama can either work to enact health care for all Americans or he can support insurance and HMO industry profits, say Greens"
Green Party press release, January 29, 2009

"An International Perspective on Health Care Reform"
By Connecticut Green Party member John R. Battista, MD
(Published on the Green Party's web site as part of "The First 100 Days: What Would a Green Administration Look Like?"

Video clips:
2008 Green presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney speaks on Single-Player health care and racial health care disparities
More on health care:
Health, the environment, and the economy:

"Talking Points: Why the mandate plans won't work, and why Single-Payer 'Medicare for All' is what we need"
By Len Rodberg, PhD, Physicians for a National Health Program

"Albany Med chief [CEO of the Albany Medical Center] calls for hospital reform and single-payer system"
The Business Review (Albany, New York), September 8, 2006

Green Pages, Vol. 13, No. 1
The official publication of record of the Green Party of the United States

1 comment:

jacksmith said...

Finally, the time has arrived to fix Americas Healthcare crisis, and Americas healthcare nightmare. Hundreds of thousands of you are killed needlessly every year by your healthcare delivery system in a rush to profit. And because of a rush to profit Hundreds of thousands more of you are needlessly dying from treatable illness that people in other developed and civilized countries don't DIE! from. Rich, middle class, and poor alike. Insured, and uninsured. Men, women, children, and babies.

Additionally, thousands more of you are driven into financial ruin, and bankruptcy just because you, or one of your loved ones got sick or injured. And all of this is happening at a time when America spends twice as much of it's GDP (Gross Domestic Productivity) on health care than any other country in the developed world. Individual Americans spend about ten times as much on health care as any other people in the developed world. This is a CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY. AND IT MUST END!

But before we can truly fix this healthcare crisis and disgrace, everyone needs to clearly understand what the problem is. And everyone needs to clearly understand the real enormity of the problem. The problem is that HEALTHCARE AND MEDICAL DELIVERY IN AMERICA IS SEVERELY CORRUPTED AND COMPROMISED BY GREED! AND THE PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MOTIVE. And it is corrupted, and compromised IN EVERY ASPECT, AND EVERY PLACE OF HEALTHCARE AND MEDICAL DELIVERY. Unfortunately for all Americans, compromised healthcare ALWAYS results in needless suffering, injury, disability, and or death. Which is exactly what is happening now in America in shocking numbers.

Health care is NOT! a private for profit business. Healthcare is an essential public service. Like police, and fire. And healthcare is also a human right! PRIVATE FOR PROFIT HEALTHCARE IS AN OXYMORON, AND AN IMMORAL AND UNETHICAL PERVERSION OF HEALTHCARE AND HUMAN RIGHTS.

So how do we fix this healthcare disgrace? I believe the fix for Americas healthcare disaster is essentially the same thing that every other developed country in the World has essentially done. "NOT FOR PROFIT, TAX PAYER SUPPORTED, SINGLE PAYER, AUTOMATIC, FREE UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE FOR ALL". Essentially HR676 (enhanced, and improved medicare for all). Just like every other CIVILIZED! country in the developed World has. There is no other way to truly fix and reform our current disastrous healthcare delivery system.

All Universal health care systems work best when everyone participates. But I know that the healthcare lobby, and some politicians will try and undermine "Not For Profit, Tax payer supported, Single payer, Automatic, Free Universal Healthcare for all" by falsely claiming that it will limit your choice, and require you to participate.

So, I propose that everyone be included in the national plan unless they choose to opt out. If you opt out and need medical care the national plan will insure your provider that they will be reimbursed under the rules for members in the national plan. But those who opted out, and their insurer will be responsible for the FULL! cost to the national plan for providing your care if you or your private insurer fails to reimburse the provider or the national plan in a timely manor to at least the standards of the national plan.

Including reporting you to credit agencies, withholding of taxes, leans, and garnishment of wages for unpaid medical bills. Just like you have now under private for profit healthcare, and private for profit health insurance.

Further, people who opted out will be required to provide proof of financial responsibility for future illness or be required to participate in the national plan. And everyone with children will be required to participate in the national plan. Or provide proof of insurance coverage on each child to the standards of the national plan. It will be against the law to report anyone in the national plan to a credit agency for unpaid medical bills.

Frankly, only a dope would want to opt out of the national plan and opt to keep our current disastrous private for profit medical, and insurance plans. But they will be free to choose. The most important thing is that the vast majority of Americans that want the protection, benefits, and higher quality of a universal national plan have that choice.

You see, one of the most important aspects of a universal healthcare system is easy access, and patient protection. This is accomplished by having a single payer without a conflict of interest in patient care. And by having a payer who has the power to enforce minimum standards of excellence in healthcare delivery for everyone in the plan. This is much of what Medicare does now for senors. "Aeger Primo" (The patient comes first). Unfortunately in our healthcare system the patient comes last. We are just a peace of meat to them. Cash cows to be slaughtered for profit.

So this is IT! my fellow Americans, My fellow human beings, My fellow World Citizens. And my fellow Cyber Warriors. :-) The time has come. D day. H hour. HEALTHCARE REFORM THIS YEAR! Let no one stand in our way. Contact your representative and tell them you want "Not For Profit, Tax Payer Supported, Single Payer, Automatic, Free Universal healthcare for all. And tell them you want that choice now. Tell them you want President Obama's budget passed without delay. President Obama's budget is brilliant. And exactly what is needed now.

President Obama, and his allies will need all the support you can give them. The healthcare lobby will try to take out his people if they can, like they did with Tom Daschle and Nancy Killefer. And they will try to neutralize President Obama's popularity, and political power. Or they will try to take him down someway. Don't stand for it. If they attack him. Go after them ten times harder and remove them from office. We had an election. And you the people chose President Obama's leadership, and change agenda. Let no one in government disrespect the will of the American people and remain in office.

SPREAD THE WORD! And talk it up with your families, friends, and coworkers. Keep ratcheting up the pressure until there is a ROAR! across America for "NOT FOR PROFIT, TAX PAYER SUPPORTED, SINGLE PAYER, AUTOMATIC, FREE UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE FOR ALL".

Let's get this healthcare reform done now my fellow Americans. This year. Take no prisoners.

God Bless All Of You

Jack Smith — Working Class :-)