What Is Single Payer Healthcare? Why We Don’t Have It!

There are many culprits including the usual suspects: pharma, insurance companies, for-profit health plans, but even Democratic Party leadership at the national level are at fault. And here in NM, with a Democratic controlled Roundhouse, the Health Security Act didn’t get to the Governor’s desk. Will it in 2019 when we may have a Dem. Governor?

This post first outlines why we don’t have single-payer. Once again the answer is money in politics, corporate greed and Democratic Party cowardice or if not cowardice, allegiance to corporate benefactors. Then we provide a very concise summary of what Single-Payer coverage is and how it compares with ACA and other healthcare plans. If you want a reminder of what TrumpCare is click here for an earlier post. Single-Payer is so simple: cut out the insurance industry who are in bed with Pharma, eliminate all insurance profits and multi-million dollar salaries, and negotiate from strength with Pharma. But this is what we are up against: a medical industry….just like a banking industry, and a fossil fuel industry and a gun industry  and a pesticide industry and a pharma industry, that will all spend huge amounts to knowingly create utterly false arguments and then disseminate those lies throughout their purchased media and to their purchased politicians, all so they can generate obscene profits and pay themselves millions. This post should anger you.  Read on and please share this article.

It’s Greed, It’s Lobbying, It’s the Democratic Party Out of Step with America. Again.

I had a kid with leukemia and he survived because he had excellent care and his parents didn’t pay much of anything, so I get single payer in my heart, not just in my head. I can’t fathom what it would feel like to know you had a very sick child or grandparent, or partner and know that the care that they need to survive, is available, if you are rich, but that you can’t afford it…and so they will die.  No wonder, as the pie charts at left reveal, huge majorities of American’s support Single-Payer. We should worry about our health, but not how we pay for it.

As another excellent Truthout report reveals, while 75% of Americans support Single-Payer,  Democratic party leadership does not. Truthout quotes a NY Times report:  “Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, replied with a flat ‘no’ when asked if Democrats should make single-payer a central theme in 2018,” the Times reported. “The comfort level with the broader base of the American people is not there yet,” Pelosi said.

From Truthout:  “Even a plurality of Republicans supports single payer: 46 percent support Medicare for All, compared with 38 percent opposed. (Seventeen percent are not sure.)”  So who is this “broader base,” to whom Pelosi is referring? Corporate America, plain and simple. Below is a table from Truthout showing the top lobbying spenders and the amounts they spent lobbying in 2016. Truthout also points out that Pelosi gets a huge amount of campaign donations from the list below. Wonder why? No wonder so many Democrats yearn for the Democratic Party to actually assume a role as an advocate for the people, instead of the corporations and the 1%.

Wendell Potter, a former Cigna executive, now an advocate for health justice, was long an industry spokesman trying to smear single payer as ‘socialized medicine. From Truthout: “Over the course of a two-decade career as a health insurance executive, I spent hours and hours implementing my industry’s ongoing propaganda campaign to mislead people about the Canadian health care system,” Potter once said to a Canadian audience, noting he had yet to “encounter a single Canadian who didn’t talk about their Medicare program with pride.”   Click here for the full Truthout report. It is full of important information on how the health industry misleads the American public.

What Is Single Payer?  And How Does It SIGNIFICANTLY Improve ObamaCare?

TrumpCare could prevent this child from accessing the healthcare he needs to breathe.

The United States is the only country in the developed world that does not guarantee access to basic health care for residents. Countries that guarantee health care as a human right do so through a “single-payer” system, which replaces the thousands of for-profit health insurance companies with a public, universal plan. From Healthcare Now, this concise set of bullets outlining what Single Payer is. “Under the single-payer legislation in Congress (H.R. 676):

  • Everyone would receive comprehensive healthcare coverage under single-payer;
  • Care would be based on need, not on ability to pay;
  • Employers would no longer be responsible for health care costs and coverage decisions;
  • Single-payer would reduce costs by 24%, saving $829 billion in the first year by cutting administrative waste and allowing negotiation of prescription drugs (Friedman, 2013); and
  • Single-payer would create savings for 95% of the population. Only the top 5% would pay slightly more. (Friedman, 2013)”

In one short page, the Physicians for a National Health Program summarizes the differences between a Single-Payer plan and Obamacare. It identifies these signfificant flaws to Obamacare, flaws that are there primarily due to successful lobbying from the healthcare industry and Congress and our Democratic president bending to their priorities, not standing for ours.

  • About 30 million people are still uninsured in 2023, and tens of millions will remain underinsured.
  • Insurers continue to strip down policies, maintain restrictive networks, limit and deny care, and increase patients’ co-pays, deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs.
  • The law preserves our fragmented financing system, making it impossible to control costs (PG: to the benefit of the health industry)
  • The law continues the unfair financing of health care, whereby costs are disproportionately borne by middle- and lower-income Americans and those families facing acute or chronic illness.

Click here for the full Physicians for a National Health Program report.

Finally, from Mother Jones, an excellent, brief summary that contrasts single-payer to other forms of healthcare reform. It also includes the table below. Click here for the full report.

Taken together, this post makes a very strong case for single-payer healthcare and lays out exactly who is opposing it and why. Surprise, anytime we run into economic injustice, corporate greed and a broken political system are at the root of the evil. Please share this post with friends, use it to educate others. Engage, educate, activate, organize is the Retake mantra, but while we can provide posts like this, only you can share them, talk with others about them and get others active. 

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne

Categories: Healthcare, Healthcare coverage

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2 replies

  1. Single payer and the NM Health Security Act should be at the top of the list for the State Dem Party platform.

    Tom Leatherwood
    CD3 elected Rep to the State Democratic Platform and Resolutions Committee (SPARC)

  2. My view has changed radically since the last election. It isn’t that I did not know that the Dems never where what they portray themselves to be (maybe with a few individual exceptions here and there) it is, I believe, that I was made to forget what I learned in the 80’s. At that time I had a conversation with a New Yorker who told me that the two parties could be represented as the two wings of the same bird. This bird did nest a few times on the White House, as it is doing so today, but it has always, since 1776, been flying over it and making continuous stops on it and on our (or maybe its?) Congress. Has always Congress been playing the ‘good cop bad cop’ with Americans???????
    Probably so. And the question we need to ask ourselves is how to change the (Fake?) story to begin to talk and show the American reality, the one we have never been allowed to see. Then, as we accept that we have been lied to for generations, we need to figure out how to develop a story for our future grounded on the ecological and social realities of the 21st century. But, we need to recognize, first, that we are all children of the same culture and as such we are the carriers of the old/present story and second, that, as carriers of the old paradigm, we must, first as individuals, evolve out of this all paradigm into the new one so that we can convey this new world view to others and to future generations. Yes, it is going to be a long journey, but who knows, it may take us only 40 years in our self made wilderness to achieve the tipping point. Who knows.

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