In the spirit of transparency and accountability, the national health care debate must include an open and honest analysis of Single-Payer Health Care. We need a thorough analysis of Single-Payer and how it would affect the quality and costs of our health care system, compared to other proposals being discussed.
In 2003, Barack Obama stated: "I happen to be a proponent of a Single-Payer universal health care plan. We may not get there immediately, because first we've got to take back the White House, and we've got to take back the Senate, and we've got to take back the House."
But today, now that "we" have in fact taken over the White House, Senate, and House, Single-Payer advocates are being shut out of the discussion. Only two Single-Payer advocates were invited (reluctantly) to the recent White House forums on health care reform, and they were not allowed to speak. The recent Senate Finance Committee hearings chaired by Senator Baucus did not include *any* representative for Single-Payer, and advocates who attended this hearing were arrested.
Congressman John Conyers supports Single-Payer, and his bill HR 676 has 93 co-sponsors. Bernie Sanders has introduced his own Single-Payer bill, S 703, in the Senate. Polls have shown that many Americans, including doctors and nurses, support Single-Payer health care.
Nurse Donna Smith describes Single-Payer as public financing and private delivery, combined "together in one system that takes out the waste and the abuse that's really happening, which is where all the money goes into the health insurance. Up to 30 percent of the [current health care] costs have nothing to do with health care at all and everything to do with fueling the health insurance [companies]."