Single Payer Now

News & Video

Privatization Won’t Fix the VA

  • Posted: Jul 21st, 2014

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Suzanne Gordon is an award-winning journalist and distinguished writer on healthcare topics.  The author  of co-author of 11 books, Suzanne is currently writing another on the Veterans Administration healthcare system.  In this presentation to Singlepayer Now in San Francisco, she explains why the VA, even with its flaws, is still the best healthcare system in the US.

Suzanne recommends two references to learn more about the VA:

Union President Speaks at Single Payer Lobby Day

  • Posted: Jun 12th, 2014

From: Single Payer News, June 2, 2014

Washington, DC.  Gregg Junemann, a member of the AFL-CIO Executive
Council, addressed a congressional briefing on single payer health care on
Capitol Hill on May22nd.   An audience of close to 100 activists from 10
organizations were in Washington to lobby for single payer legislation.
Junemann, President of the International Federation of Professional and
Technical Engineers, praised the Central Labor Councils and local unions
at the grass roots of the union movement for pushing for the cause of
single payer health care.

Junemann spoke of the health care crisis for retirees, problems with
higher co-pays, the so-called “Cadillac tax” and much more.  “The labor
movement is dedicated more than ever to the prospect of national single
payer…” said Junemann.  His entire remarks can be seen and heard here
beginning at the one minute mark.

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Other speakers included Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) principle author
of HR 676, national single payer legislation, which he has introduced in
the House of Representatives each session since 2003 and
Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA).  #30#

Distributed by:
All Unions Committee for Single Payer Health Care–HR 676
c/o Nurses Professional Organization (NPO)
1169 Eastern Parkway, Suite 2218
Louisville, KY 40217
(502) 636 1551

Email: nursenpoataoldotcom  (nursenpoataoldotcom)

Barry Hermanson, Congressional Candidate (SF) speaks out on singlepayer and accountability

  • Posted: Jun 3rd, 2014

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Barry Hermanson, Green Party candidate for the 8th Congressional District (San Francisco) speaks at SinglepayerNow’s annual potluck about single payer healthcare and the need for political accountability.

How the singlepayer Healthy San Francisco program came about — Paul Kumar

  • Posted: May 14th, 2014

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Paul Kumar, Health Policy Consultant for the San Francisco Labor Council, explains the political machinations that led to the creation of San Francisco’s landmark, singlepayer program: Healthy San Francisco.

Supervisor David Campos: Protect Healthy San Francisco

  • Posted: May 14th, 2014

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San Francisco’s Universal Healthcare Council (UHC), in the beginning of January, released their report recommending the continuation of the City’s local Health Care Security Ordinance (HSCO) alongside the Affordable Care Act. One of the most important features of the HSCO is the health coverage for 20,000 undocumented immigrants living in San Francisco. Details of the HSCO remain to be worked out. This is a presentation of what we can do to keep San Francisco’s Health Care Plan strong.

Miners arrested in fight to end Peabody’s stealing of health benefits

  • Posted: Feb 19th, 2013

By Kay Tillow

St. Louis, MO.  February 13, 2013.  Shirley Inman was arrested for
peaceful, civil disobedience as she protested at the Peabody Energy
headquarters against the corporate threat to rob miners and their families
of the health benefits they have earned.  Inman, a member of United Mine
Workers of America Local 2286 in Madison, West Virginia, spent 18 years
driving a coal truck.  Head held high, Inman faced arrest with a
determination much greater than her petite stature.  She is serious about
this fight.

“If I can’t get my medication for my heart disease, I won’t be around much
longer,” said Inman. “I’m a breast cancer survivor and I have coronary
artery disease. Health care isn’t an option for me; it’s what I need to
survive. I’ll do whatever it takes to make these corporate executives keep
the promises they made — and if that means going to jail, so be it.”

Inman was arrested with nine of her union brothers, including UMWA
Secretary Treasurer Dan Kane.  This was the second set of arrests at
Peabody Energy, and it looks like there will be more to come.  On January
29 UMWA President Cecil Roberts was arrested with the first group, but he
was not present for this rally because of negotiations.

In 2007, Peabody Energy and Arch Coal spun off a large chunk of their
health care and retirement obligations to a new entity called Patriot
Coal.  In a financial and bankruptcy transaction that UMWA Vice President
from Alabama, Daryl Dewberry, described as “nickel slick”, Peabody Energy
and Arch Coal are trying to wash their hands of responsibility for the
health benefits for which they had signed contracts.

There was an air of militancy as more than 1,000 miners and supporters
marched to the park and rallied between the St. Louis arch and the Peabody
headquarters prior to the arrests.  There was emotion also.  Health care
hits close to the heart.  The union has challenged the theft of benefits
in court, and the case has been moved to St. Louis.  Concerned that
bankruptcy law may not be adequate to protect these benefits, the miners
say they will win this battle by appealing to a higher moral law.

Dan Kane, UMWA Secretary Treasurer explained.  “They intentionally put
Patriot in the position for bankruptcy.  They want this in the bankruptcy
court—they don’t want it in the court of public opinion.  This is about
every man and woman who works for a living.  Health care and pension are
not gifts.  You paid for it.  But these companies are using bankruptcy
more and more.  Lawyers will get paid.  Million dollar bonuses will go to
executives.  The heads of Patriot won’t suffer.  Those who did the work
walk out with nothing.  That has to stop.  We don’t want their sympathy.
What we want is justice.”

“We want what we’ve earned,” said Kane.  “They want to go to their
palatial homes—but they deserve a cell next to Bernie Madoff.  I’m tired
of an economy that walks all over the workers.  I look for a day when we
win the fight so every person who wants to can be in a union without
interference.  And next, I look for a day when each and every one drops
their tools and sits down for a day and tells the executives here’s what
it’s like without us.”  The protesters roared approval.

Dewberry said the UMWA was founded in 1890 “when it was not popular to
have all creeds and colors together, but we did it and we’ve been doing it
for over 100 years.”  He said that miners are “used to adversity and we
are all our brothers’ keepers.  Peabody left scars in Alabama.  Arch left
scars in Alabama.  They left black lung.  Miners took less benefits to
assure health care.”

“Know this, Peabody, we’re seasoned and we ain’t backing down from
nothing,” continued Dewberry.   “Our members have been shot at and burned
out and turned out since 1890 and nobody is going to turn us around.”  He
then compared the times with an earlier era when Abraham Lincoln said,
“…©orporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high
places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to
prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all
wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed.”
Dewberry declared of Peabody “They don’t know what a fight is, but we’ll
take ‘em on.”

James Gibbs, UMWA Vice President from West Virginia and a third generation
coal miner spoke.  “I think about Peabody and Arch and how they lied to
our retirees who today walk with canes and walkers and carry bottles of
oxygen after working all these years.  They were promised health care for
all their lives.  We’re not going to let Peabody get by with this.  It’s
not right.”

Reflecting the common heritage of the union with the civil rights
movement, Gibbs related the story of Rosa Parks.  Then he told of his
father who worked the last 30 years in the mine with an artificial leg,
“yet Pittston didn’t mind a bit to try to take their benefits.  But
Pittston didn’t win that fight.  We win when we are right.”  He was
referring to the 14 month struggle in 1989 when Pittston sought to
discontinue medical benefits to miners, retirees and the disabled.
Pittston was met with massive resistance when miners and their families by
the thousands engaged in non-violent civil disobedience to bring the
company to its knees and to a contract.

The ten volunteers for civil disobedience led the crowd to the street
beside the gleaming Peabody Energy headquarters where they were arrested.
The police secured their wrists with white plastic handcuffs and took them
away.  UMWA Vice President Steve Earle announced “We’ll be back in a
couple of weeks.”

The UMWA is taking on a big fight that will impact all workers and our
ability to stop crooked bankruptcies from destroying health coverage.
Please sign the petition to support the miners here:

Then ask your local union to endorse HR 676, national single payer health
care, so that we can free our health care from corporate control and
assure all medically necessary care for everyone.

Sample resolution is here:

You can watch the video of the February 13, 2013 rally and sit in here:

(The video begins with Kentucky AFL-CIO President Bill Londrigan
introducing Paul Whiteley to sing about  Peabody–lyrics by Paul and

Background on single payer:  Cecil Roberts speaks on single payer health care here:
Distributed by:
All Unions Committee for Single Payer Health Care–HR 676
c/o Nurses Professional Organization (NPO)
1169 Eastern Parkway, Suite 2218
Louisville, KY 40217
(502) 636 1551

Email: nursenpoataoldotcom  (nursenpoataoldotcom)  

Health Care Justice: Lessons from Taiwan

  • Posted: Jan 5th, 2013

Claudia Chaufan, MD, Ph.D. and professor of Nursing at UC San Francisco, describes her experience with Taiwan’s National Health Insurance program that covers 100% of Taiwanese.  This conservative, staunchly capitalistic country switched to a single payer system 18 years ago after studying the best and worst healthcare systems around the world.

The Presidents Speak Out for Single Payer Healthcare

  • Posted: Nov 5th, 2012

On Oct. 29, 2012, at a satellite session of the American Public Health Association’s annual conference in San Francisco three past, present or future presidents of physician associations explained eloquently why they support single payer healthcare.  The session was organized by Single Payer Now.  Click a video below to play it, then click on its bottom right corner to expand it.

I  Introduction

Don Bechler, Organizer, Single Payer Now     YouTube Preview Image

II  Economics of Single Payer

Walter Tsou, MD, past President of the American Public Health Association (APHA) and former Philadelphia Public Health Commissioner.  YouTube Preview Image

III  A Physician’s Perspective on Single Payer

Andy Coates, MD — President Elect, Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP)  YouTube Preview Image

IV  Audience Q&A

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V  How Hawaii is embracing Single Payer

Stephen Kemble, MD, President of the Hawaii Chapter of the American Medical Assn.  YouTube Preview Image

Health Care Myths — the Video

  • Posted: Sep 30th, 2012

Debunking the “free Market” myths of the medical-industrial complex and the healthcare insurance industry in particular. A summary of Health Care Wars: How Market Ideology and Corporate Power are Killing Americans by John Geyman, M.D.

Health Care Myths from Single Payer Now on Vimeo.

Message from Senator Leno Regarding SB 810

  • Posted: Feb 4th, 2012

January 31, 2012

Dear Friends,

Most of you have likely heard the disappointing news that our bill, SB 810, the California Universal Health Care Act, failed to move off the Senate Floor by January 31st, meaning it cannot advance further in the legislative process this year. Despite our unwavering advocacy, too few members were willing to cast votes in favor of SB 810 this year, including several members who had voted for the legislation before.  Unfortunately this means that Californians will continue to have a broken health care system in dire need of change, but that is not for lack of effort.

I want to thank and recognize the valiant efforts of the many groups and individuals who worked so hard to make our universal health care bill a reality.  First, the California School Employees Association and California Nurses Association led lobbying efforts on behalf of SB 810 all year.  Also, Campaign for a Healthy California, Health Care for All, California Physicians for a National Health Plan, California One Care, Single Payer Now, California Alliance for Retired Americans, California Health Professional Student Alliance, League of Women Voters and many other groups organized their members to advocate on behalf of the bill.

Finally, thousands of individual advocates made phone calls, attended meetings, marched and held signs at rallies, and sent letters, faxes and emails in favor of SB 810. Together, these efforts sent a strong message to legislators that the single-payer health care movement is here to stay.  I thank all of these passionate supporters from the bottom of my heart.

The single-payer movement is based on a long-term vision and strategy. This setback does not change our work to advocate for universal health care. We have always found the courage to speak out for health care for all, even when others around us told us it was not the right time. Ultimately, the powerful interests that favor doing nothing to repair our health care system can only be overcome by courage and determination – something our movement has in abundance.

I encourage you to continue building support for universal health care at the grass roots level within your communities. Reach out to your co-workers, neighbors, friends, and family members about why their elected officials should vote for Medicare for All. Help build our case to the governor, other elected officials and those who are currently seeking office so that they know the people of California support single-payer legislation.

As the author of SB 810, I share your deep commitment to this cause, this movement, and the people behind it. We will not stop fighting until we have comprehensive health care for every Californian.


Senator Mark Leno