Single-payer advocates won’t give up

Kaiser Health News has a piece on how single payer advocates just won’t give up.

(D)espite its appeal to many, single payer, as an option in the current debate in Washington, is DOA. More advocates have been arrested on Capitol Hill than have testified at congressional hearings. President Obama, who years ago said he supported the idea of single-payer, now favors bolstering the existing employer-based insurance system.

Without a seat at the bargainingtable, single-payer proponents are still looking to influence the process, if only to raise red flags about proposals they say would make the current system worse

And this just came across my desk from local single payer advocates at MassCare :

Dear Single Payer Supporters – There is draft legislation for national health reform being marked up in the House and in the Senate right now, and we need your help to have an impact. Although single payer reform would establish health care as a right, eliminate underinsurance, control costs, and it enjoys support from the vast majority of Americans, Congress is moving towards passing legislation without any of these things.

What can we do that will move the single payer agenda forward?

1) Ask your Senators and Representative to include in the legislation language that would allow individual states to experiment with single payer.

2) Ask your legislators to have the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) price out single payer legislation along-side whatever other bills are proposed.

3) If Congress introduces a “public option,” ask your Senators and Representative to make sure that it is a strong public option that will not allow the private insurance industry to cherry-pick healthier enrollees, leaving the highest-cost patients to the public plan. Congress can ensure this by making certain the public plan is actually public – like Medicare – and by including what is called “risk adjustment,” which forces insurance plans covering healthier enrollees to reimburse insurance plans covering sicker enrollees.

4) Tell your legislators you OPPOSE the individual mandate – included in all three draft bills – which legally compels uninsured people to purchase insurance plans that the public has little say over. Mandates are regressive, punitive, and health care should be a social responsibility, not an individual burden placed on low and medium income people.

The group links to a spreadsheet comparing the three draft bills proposed in Congress so far.

 

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