Single Payer: What Will It Take to Pass It?

Stanfield, Lee

Publisher:  Against the Current
Date Written:  01/03/2018
Year Published:  2018  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX23287

Single payer healthcare needs to be implemented in a universal, sweeping move. Incremental changes will only impede progress.



President Truman proposed universal health care for the United States in 1945.Health care for everyone, covering every medical necessity and costing less than we now pay, has always been the goal of the single-payer movement. So why is it that 73 years later, we still don’t have it?

The short answer is that we keep being suckered into believing that we must settle for a compromise with the for-profit health insurance and pharmaceutical industries, the only entities that will not greatly benefit from its passage. (Ironically, their own employees would benefit from having 100% comprehensive portable coverage, and HR-676 will fund their retraining and pay them generous unemployment until they are re-employed.)

Many universal single-payer health care advocates have been led to believe that the only way to achieve our goal is via an incremental approach. The two most popular forms of this approach are state-by-state single payer, and surprisingly (at least in its current form) Senator Bernie Sanders' "Medicare for All" plan S-1804.

While desirable for some things, unfortunately, in the case of sweeping changes such as universal health care, an incremental approach is a blind alley that will delay our success - likely by decades.

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