single payer

Vermont Single Payer: What It Is and What You Can Do

Originally published January 22, 2011 - 21:46

Ed. Note: The following is a diary written by Kossack DrSteveB and is reprinted with permission and without further comment from myself - CM1

Throughout 2009 and into early 2010, while the health reform we got nationally was being watered down by the corporate conservadems in the Senate, the Vermont legislature was moving forward. An important step was back in June 2010 when they decided upon the Harvard-MIT analytic group led by Prof. William S. Hsiao (who had done some of the modeling for Taiwan's transition from private insurance to single payer) and Jonathan Gruber (who did some of the modeling for the Obama-Baucus reform we got nationally).

They were charged with providing detailed policy and economic analysis of three possible proposals, two of which was to be variations of single payer. In Vermont, the least progressive proposal was the equivalent of the most progressive that the U.S. House of Representatives considered, being a relatively strong public option while leaving private insurance in place to compete. That was the charge from Vermont legislature, suggesting strong and real support for single payer. In November, Democrat Peter Shumlin won election for Governor running explicitely on a single payer platform.

They got a lot damned gaul talking like that:

It was bad enough listening to the Obama administration and Democratic party politicians, in general, talking about student loans and using all of the same arguments we were making for Single Payer as the reasoning to change that system but refusing to use the same arguments for healthcare...

But watching the GOP use the same Single Payer arguments to protect Big Oil from the high costs of insuring their own disasters?

Just way beyond the pale:

Medicare for All - February 25, 2010 Sidewalk Summit in Wasington's Lafayette Park

Video from the Medicare-For-All Sidewalk Summit came through this evening and Dr. Carol Paris is the first speaker!

She was the physician who joined Dr. Margaret Flowers under arrest, recently, when they attempted to take President Obama up on his State of the Union offer to hear fresh ideas that would address the stakes of the ongoing healthcare reform 'debate'.

Guess what Summit our single-payer heroes had received no invitation to participate in? Watch the Sidewalk Summit video here!

And tune in tomorrow when Dr. Margaret Flowers will be talking about Medicare-for-all and single-payer healthcare considerations on Friday morning's broadcast of DemocracyNow!.


Open Thread - Politics on a Plane Edition

ePluribus Media had a chance to get to a Blogger's meet up with Rep. Jim Himes in Norwalk, Connecticut, on Tuesday night and we hit on a bunch of topics. We have a couple of videos up on the topic of Healthcare Reform over here already and you can peek at these YouTube uploads for more (Six from this event edited so far).

But for those of you that might wonder "if Rep. Anthony Weiner is really pushing as hard as he can for Single Payer?" You might enjoy this short and humorous video from the interview below the fold:

Mad Doctors to call on the President with Flowers: Calling Obama's Healthcare Bluff

The single-payer and the President...should be a collaboration rather than a challenge.


Dr. Margaret Flowers has the healthcare answers (and
then some) that Barack Obama called for in his State of the Union
Speech. So why is he ignoring them? Time to put your money where your
mouth is, Mr. President.


HOMEWORK: (find it below the jump)

Single Payer in High Gear in PA

The race is on in Pennsylvania because they are seriously talking about Single Payer Healthcare. And though they are moving to try to eliminate ERISA roadblocks to get there, some are prepared to challenge the laws even if the US Congress will not act:

My state is moving closer and closer to passing single payer, as this excellent history of recent developments in the statewide movement explains.

It had been a good year for Single-Payer in Pennsylvania already.
HealthCare4ALLPA, the organization leading the fight (full disclosure:
the author is an unpaid officer of that organization and an unpaid
member of the Board of Directors) to enact single-payer healthcare in
the Keystone State. Our Bill, HB 1660 and SB 400 was picking up steam
(one blogger, in describing the scope of the bill, observed "you will
never see a more comprehensive plan."), and had been endorsed by City
Councils in Lancaster, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Reading, West Reading,
and Wilkes Barre, as well as by the Allegheny County Council. Together
those councils represent more than 3 million people, about a quarter of
the population of Pennsylvania. A study of the cost of employee
healthcare benefits paid by the combined governments and school boards
within our state had documented a savings of nearly $2.3 billion
dollars if the bill werer passed, and the study was getting noticed.
Our quest for funds to commission an Economic Impact Study that would
validate the benefits of instituting our bill were beginning to bear
fruit. In October more than a thousand people -- primarily from all
over Pennsylvania, but augmented by advocates from Rhode Island, New
York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Delaware, Ohio and even
Washingtron State who journeyed to Harrisburg in a show of solidarity
-- gathered in the Capitol Rotunda on a Tuesday workday morning to
demonstrate for the passage of our bill.

As I wrote about here,
the bill for statewide single payer had a hearing late last year.  Not
only that, but the hearing was led by Republican State Senator Don
White, and that's not even the full extent of the bipartisan support of
this.  And Governor Ed Rendell has also pledged to sign the bill!  And
all five Democratic candidates for governor have expressed support of
the bill!  And both Arlen Specter and Joe Sestak have said that they
intend to introduce bills in Congress that would end ERISA and make it
much easier for states to establish single payer systems!

As far as the ERISA laws, here is a little more from a comment sent to Rossl, author of the diary excerpt above, by the author of the original OP Ed piece, Jerry Policoff, that is revving up single payer activists:

If Dr. Flowers incorporated Single Payers United, Inc. to make "Obama the Movie," could she get the President's ear?

Darn, just realized the fatal flaw in that goofy plan.

She's an actual human citizen.  Sorry, that is, she's a non-corporate who circulates blood rather than the dollars able to buy all of the free speech needed to obtain an audience with our leaders.

Remember the Baucus caucus? I guess she didn't contribute to fund Senate Finance Committee reelection campaigns, or maybe not enough.

It seems so perverse since President Obama's SOTU specifically asked for the ideas she's trying to communicate to legislators for a year.

Healthcare Reform: There is a world beyond the Senate

And Mike Stark has been out there looking around for signs of life in the healthcare debate. He may have found some in the House because some members are as alarmed about some of the features of the Senate version of reform as the rest of the country is:

One of the members willing to speak out was Rep. Peter Defazio (D, OR).  His statement needs to be seen to be believed:

Transcript of this video and more below the fold.

This is what motivated healthcare activists look like:

For those of you confused about the lack of motivation from activists in supporting Obama's and Congress' healthcare reform, healthcare activists take to the streets in California demanding REAL Healthcare Reform.

Single Payer.


Too bad the people in charge in Washington, D.C., aren't all that interested in really motivating people like that to vote for them... The little things that can be the difference between winning and losing elections. You can read more on that rally here:

The future of healthcare reform came to Sacramento yesterday

Single Payer Activists Arrested at Lieberman's DC office

They came, they sat, they chanted:

8 Protesters backing a universal health care system briefly occupied Sen. Joe Lieberman's office this morning.

Protesters were arrested, one by one, and dragged out of his office amid chants of "Everyone in and noone out, universal healthcare now!" and "Represent Connecticut, not AETNA!"

Activists hopefully moving the Overton Window - in our case leftward - because too many Democratic party politicians were too stupid to do that on their own at the start of the healthcare debate.

National Nurses Movement Action Diary


Your calls are needed to keep single payer amendments alive in the U.S. House of Representatives. The message is simple:

"Keep the Kucinich Amendment!"

  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

    DC 202.225.4965 - SF 415.556.4862

  • Representative George Miller:

    202.225.2095 - Concord 925.602.1880

  • Representative Henry Waxman:

    202.225.3976 - LA 323.651.1040

  • Read the National Nurses Blog Post

And don't forget to rec up the dKos diary and leave a comment thanking them for all the National Nurses Movement does if you are a member there. 

Why We Chose to be Arrested, the "Baltimore Four" Explain - talking with legislators is ineffective

"The care denied by 'health insurers' is a death sentence."

On Oct. 29, 2009, four activists, who support a Medicare for All solution to our healthcare crisis, were arrested in Baltimore, MD, for trespassing. They were engaged in a "patients before profits sit-in" at a 17-story tower, which houses an office of the insurance giant, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. In this video, the four: Ms. Patty Courtney, Dr. Margaret Flowers, Dr. Eric Naumburg and Mr. Charles Loubert, explain their decision to choose arrest in order to serve a higher cause--the passage into law of a universal healthcare system that will serve all Americans.



For more details on the Single Payer issue, the arrests and the exact charges placed against each defendant, check out: