Americans To Rally In D.C. For A Single Payer Healthcare System
Thousands of people from across the nation will gather in Washington, D.C. on Thursday for a rally calling on Congress to pass legislation that includes a single payer health care system. Neither the House nor the Senate have taken a vote on a final health care reform bill.
The event is being organized by Healthcare NOW. Numerous community leaders will be at the rally and a few of the most progressive member of congress will be there too, including Congressman John Conyers, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, and Senator Bernie Sanders. Also attending will be President Obama’s former personal physician, Dr. David Scheiner, who received the cold shoulder from the White House last week after his invitation to a health care forum there was cancelled last minute. He claims that the White House didn’t want him to attend because he was going to ask about a single-payer plan.
Progressive democrats in Congress have pushed for the last two years to pass a single payer health care system, H.R. 676 - the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act. But the attempts to take the bill to the floor have always failed.
A single payer health care system, also referred to as “universal health care,” is what most industrialized countries have in place to provide health coverage to their citizens. It’s a system that allows the government to fund health care directly from patient to doctors and hospitals.
On July 17, Congressman Kucinich was able to introduce an amendment for a single payer option in the House’s version of the health care reform legislation being debated in Congress. The Kennedy-Dodd version in the Senate also includes such an option.
But Republicans continue to fiercely oppose the legislation and for-profit insurance companies have lobbied intensively to prevent lawmakers from adopting such a system because they would be put out of business. Many “Blue Dog” democrats such as Senator Max Baucus have also come against the single payer plan. Baucus is well-known in this debate for his deep ties to pharmaceutical companies and to for-profit health insurance interest.
President Barack Obama has expressed support for the single payer system, but only as “ideological.” He has been compromising more with CEOs of for-profit health care insurance companies and has not met with any other public health care advocates, except with an adviser or two from the Center for American Progress.
Over 80 percent of Americans have given a single payer health care plan their blessing, according to a recent poll. This has motivated members of congress such as Kucinich and Conyers to continue pushing for it.
The rally on Thursday will also include a lobby day for people to visit with their representatives and demand that they vote for legislation that includes the single payer option.
For more information on the rally and lobby day, click here.Source: Dolores M Bernal Read in full