Now is time for single-payer health insurance

By On

With the collapse of the Republican plan for national health care, and after eight years of Republicans castigating Obamacare, now - this week - is the perfect time to push for a single-payer health care system. Whether you are uber left or right, Tea Party or bleeding heart liberal - anything except a Libertarian - we can support and benefit from a single-payer system. Basically, Medicare - now only for those 65 and older - applied to all Americans.

And lo, Bernie Sanders has stepped forward. He will introduce a single-payer plan to Congress. He is reaching out to Trump to work with him. Indeed, this makes sense, as many or most Trump supporters also liked Bernie because both were outsiders shunned by their respective Democrat and Republican party elites. But so far, Trump has not responded to Bernie.

Single payer. No room to fully explain it here, but it is the system most countries use to lower medical costs and increase quality care for all. Seriously. It fits the requirements for both liberals and conservatives. So, why has it not been enacted? Well, we liberals like to say the GOP is in the grips of big medical and believes each person should be responsible for their own medical bills, no matter how high. Also, the GOP prime clients are the wealthy who don’t want to subsidize coverage for the poor. But the truth is, Obamacare was crafted by the Dems to benefit the big medical and drug companies. And the Dems are also against a single-payer plan because they get huge donations for re-election from the medical industry.

So, why is now the time for single payer? Two reasons. First, millions of Trump supporters have just seen the GOP fail to repeal Obamacare and are now at a loss as to what their options are. Second, by electing Trump, we as a nation have shown we are ready for dramatic change. So, if enough people from the left and right pressure our representatives to support Bernie and his single-payer proposal, and if we say it is a litmus test of our vote next time they are up for re-election - then maybe, just maybe, they will support Bernie’s health care bill. More than anything else in the world, “our representatives” want to be re-elected. Really. That is the only leverage we citizens have left given that big money now dominates our politics. Left or Right, here is an opportunity for us.

Single-payer health care is the only solution for health care. And we all need it. We can argue whether or not it is a basic right, but it is a basic need - and every major nation in the world today provides healthcare for their people - except the USA. A basic need can become a right once a community has the ability to provide it. Hell, there was a time in history when protection from crime was not a right, nor was public education or clean water or even the ability to vote. We’ve come a long way. Healthcare is the next step - the next basic right.

How to start: Contact our own Rick Larsen and ask him to start actively supporting Bernie’s proposal. He can speak out in favor of it right now. He can promise us he will work for it. Or, he can explain to us why he will not. Let’s ask him to clarify his position. And let’s do the same for our U.S. Senators, Cantwell and Murray.

I do not expect this little article to start any fire of political heat. But it is all I can do. And individual pleas to our representatives is all most people reading this can do. Our system has been taken over by big money, and our three representatives are no exception. Witness Cantwell and Murray just a month ago voting against our buying needed prescription drugs in Canada. Why would our liberal bleeding heart Democratic Senators vote against this? Because they each get huge reelection donations from big pharma. Tell them big pharma cannot buy your vote anymore.

About John Servais

Citizen Journalist and Editor • Fairhaven, Washington USA • Member since Feb 26, 2008

John started Northwest Citizen in 1995 to inform fellow citizens of serious local political issues that the Bellingham Herald was ignoring. With the help of donors from the beginning, he has [...]

Comments by Readers

Marian Beddill

Apr 10, 2017

I am fully in favor of Single-Payer Health Care - from many years back.
I met with the Whatcom group which was trying to get it enacted. They tried as hard as they could. 

Since my life experience is as an engineer, I tried to get a proposal formulated and locally-voted on—which would define how the funds would flow from individuals, and businesses and organizations—to eventually “pay the salaries” of the people and shops which would provide the medical services.  It would have to be (in my perception) a National structure - not local.  

But one of the BIG stumbling-blocks was:—- “who” would be the “managers” of the system, working like a single national medical-insurance program? 
Would it be a Non-Profit Organization (subject to corruption) or
would it be a Non-Profit branch of the US Government (subject to corruption) ? 

A serious challenge…

Marian B