Click here to listen to Dr. Margaret Flowers interviewed on Feb. 2, 2016 by KPFK journalist Sonali Kohlhatgar on the Uprising Program. Play audio from 8:35 minute mark to 25:25. Margaret discusses the Clinton campaign, recent attacks on single– payer and the Democratic parties lack of attention to the issues.
News & Video
Economist Gerald Friedman Defends Medicare for All As the Wall St. Journal and Hillary Clinton Attack Single Payer
Medicare for All is in the news.
Both the Wall St Journal and Hillary Clinton are attacking it.
Gerald Friedman, the UMass economist and Board Member of Healthcare Now has been defending single payer.
On January 21, 2016, he spoke on Pacifica radio for 25 minutes. Click here to hear the interview with KPFA host Brian Edwards Tiekert. Professor Friedman begins speaking at the 34:10 minute mark.
Below is Friedman’s September 15, 2015 response to the Wall St Journal’s attack on single-payer.
An Open Letter to the Wall Street Journal on Its Bernie Sanders Hit Piece
Gerald Friedman’s research was cited in a Wall Street Journal story about Bernie Sanders’s proposals for government spending. Friedman responds to that story below.
It is said of economists that they know the cost of everything but the value of nothing. In the case of the article “Price Tag of Bernie Sanders’s Proposals: $18 Trillion,” this accusation is a better fit for the Wall Street Journal that published it.
The Journal correctly puts the additional federal spending for health care under HR 676 (a single payer health plan) at $15 trillion over ten years. It neglects to add, however, that by spending these vast sums, we would, as a country, save nearly $5 trillion over ten years in reduced administrative waste, lower pharmaceutical and device prices, and by lowering the rate of medical inflation.
These financial savings would be felt by businesses and by state and local governments who would no longer be paying for health insurance for their employees; and by retirees and working Americans who would no longer have to pay for their health insurance or for co-payments and deductibles. Beyond these financial savings, HR 676 would also save thousands of lives a year by expanding access to health care for the uninsured and the underinsured.
The economic benefits from Senator Sander’s proposal would be even greater than these static estimates suggest because a single-payer plan would create dynamic gains by freeing American businesses to compete without the burden of an inefficient and wasteful health insurance system. As with Senator Sanders’ other proposals, the economic boom created by HR 676, including the productivity boost coming from a more efficient health care system and a healthier population, would raise economic output and provide billions of dollars in additional tax revenues to over-set some of the additional federal spending.
Summary of 10-year projections
Because of the nearly $10 trillion in savings, it is possible to fund over $4.5 trillion in additional services while still reducing national health care spending by over $5 trillion. With these net savings, the additional $14.7 trillion in federal spending brings savings to the private sector (and state and local governments) of over $19.7 trillion.
Projected 10 year impact of HR 676 in billions
10-year estimates of spending with the current system and HR 676 (in $ billions):
Starting in 2018, we will be hiring at least 4 organizers to help us win a single payer health care plan in California. And then a national plan, such as HR 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act. These are approximately 5 to 7 year organizing positions. Our goal is to win a California single payer healthcare ballot initiative. Before collecting the one million signatures to be on the ballot, we want to develop a database of 5 million people. We want to be able to communicate directly with voters as we expect corporations, the corporate media, and most politicians to oppose a single payer initiative.
The organizing job description is simple: We are asking organizers to add 100 people a week to our database and to organize 1% of the those people in your area to do something once a month.
Our best tool for talking with people about national healthcare is a postcard supporting the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, HR 676.
As an organizer, you will be asking thousands of people to sign postcards. Let us know if you would like us to send you 10 postcards to see if asking people to sign is comfortable for you.
If this job interests you, you can fill out an application form here.
Please send completed applications to:
Single Payer Now
PO Box 460622
San Francisco, CA 94146
or email to:
The Expanded & Improved for Medicare for All
Summary of HR 676
Introduced by Rep. John Conyers Jr. on February 3, 2015. HR 676 currently has 44 co-sponsors.
The Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act establishes a unique American national universal health insurance program. The bill would create a publicly financed, privately delivered healthcare system that uses the already existing Medicare program by expanding and improving it to all U.S. residents, and all residents living in U.S. territories. The goal of the legislation is to ensure that everyone will have access, guaranteed by law, to the highest quality and most cost effective healthcare services regardless of their employment, income, or healthcare status. With over 40 million uninsured in the United States, and another 50 million who are under-insured, the time has come to change our inefficient and costly fragmented non-healthcare system.
Who is Eligible?
Every person living or visiting in the United States and the U.S. Territories would receive a United States National Health Insurance Card and ID number once they enroll at the appropriate location. Social Security numbers may not be used when assigning ID cards.
Healthcare Services Covered
This program will cover all medically necessary services, including primary care, inpatient care, outpatient care, emergency care, prescription drugs, durable medical equipment, long term care, mental health services, dentistry, eye care, chiropractic, and substance abuse treatment. Patients have their choice of physicians, providers, hospitals, clinics, and practices. No co-pays or deductibles are permissible under this act.
Conversion To A Non-Profit Healthcare System
Private health insurers shall be prohibited under this act from selling coverage that duplicates the benefits of the USNHI program. Exceptions to this rule include coverage for cosmetic surgery, and other medically unnecessary treatments. Those who are displaced as the result of the transition to a non– profit healthcare system are the first to be hired and retrained under this act.
The conversion to a not-for-profit healthcare system will take place over a 15 year period, through the sale of U.S. treasury bonds.
HR 676 Would Spend Our Resources Wisely
Our fragmented current administration consumes 31.0 percent of U.S. health spending, double the proportion of Canada (16.7 percent). Average overhead among private U.S. insurers was 11.7 percent, compared with 1.3 percent for Canada’s single-payer system and 3.6 percent for Medicare. Streamlined to Canadian levels, enough administrative waste could be saved to provide compressive health insurance to all Americans.
Proposed Funding for HR 676*
Maintain current federal and state funding for existing healthcare programs; employer payroll tax of 3% on incomes less than $53,00, an employer payroll tax of 6% on incomes more than $53,000, in addition to the already existing 1.45% for Medicare; establish a 6% health tax on the top 5% of income earners with incomes > $225,000; and a 1/2 of 1% stock transaction tax,
*This proposal is put forward by single-payer advocates as one example of a funding system, though HR 676 doesn’t propose a funding program.
When: Sunday, Sept. 28th from 11 to 5pm
Where: Walnut Park, (at D St) Petaluma, CA
What: We will be asking people to sign a postcard to President Obama asking him to support HR 676, the national Medicare for All bill.
The day will be fun with entertainment, community booths, and food booths.
Please let us know if you can go to Petaluma!!
For more info., please email Don (dbechlervaluenet) or call (415) 695‑7891
Come enjoy a festive fall day with other activists and practice your “tabling” skills talking about Medicare for All. There is no better way to practice talking about single payer than to actually engage with the public! This will be a friendly environment for the cause, and a great opportunity for first timers to get out there and speak about health care justice!
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:
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.
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#
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: nursenpoaolcom (nursenpoaolcom)
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.
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.
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.