Greens to attend ‘Medicare: Made In America’ rally on July 30, call for Single-Payer and an end to the insurance industry’s ‘death grip’ on health care
GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES
For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, July 30, 2009
Green Party presses demand for GAO study of health care costs under single-payer and for a nationally televised debate on the merits of Single-Payer; Greens call insurance companies the only winners under the Democratic Party plans
It’s time for an angry voters revolt against politicians who reject single-payer and defend insurance industry power and profits, say Greens
WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party members will turn out for the ‘Medicare: Made in America’ Lobby Day and Rally (http://www.healthcare-now.org/campaigns/single-payer-rally) to take place in Washington, DC, on Thursday, July 30, joining thousands of other advocates of the single-payer plan to bring universal health care to the United States.
“We demand an end to the private insurance industry’s death grip on health care. The only solution is a single-payer system that covers every American regardless of ability to pay, age, or prior medical condition,” said Dr. Justine McCabe, Connecticut Green, clinical psychologist and co-author of a Connecticut statewide single-payer bill in 1999-2000 (http://www.gp.org/speakers/detail.php?ID=35).
Dr. McCabe spoke at a public forum on health care reform last week that was part of the Green Party’s 2009 Annual National Meeting in Durham, North Carolina (http://www.ncgreenparty.org/2009-ANM%20FORUM.html). Video of the forum has been posted online (http://www.gp.org/video/durham.shtml).
“We’re witnessing a conspiracy to prevent all Americans from getting the quality health care that we all deserve and from knowing that such a plan is within our reach. We demand a televised national debate between advocates and opponents of single-payer, so Americans can hear the truth about universal health care. We demand new studies by the GAO and Congressional Budget Office on the cost of single-payer. In the 1990s, analyses by these offices showed that single-payer would save billions of dollars in health care expenses,” said Dr. McCabe.
The July 30 event has been organized by the HealthCare-Now! coalition (http://www.healthcare-now.org) and will mark the 44th anniversary of Medicare. Under a single-payer system (HR 676), Medicare will be expanded to cover all Americans, with a dramatic reduction in medical costs because of the elimination of for-profit insurance overhead.
“Insurance firms don’t make money by providing health care. On the contrary, they make their profits by not providing health care — by refusing to cover millions of people, by restricting treatment for those with coverage, by denying claims, by canceling coverage when people need health care most. The result is that 50 million Americans have no health coverage at all, millions more have inadequate coverage, and hundreds of thousands go into financial ruin and suffer needlessly so that insurance company CEOs and shareholders can reap huge profits. This system stays in place because too many Republican and Democratic politicians care more about corporate campaign contributions than they do about the well-being of their constituents,” said Rich Whitney, who received 10% of the vote in his Green campaign for Governor of Illinois in 2006 and will run again in 2010 (http://www.whitneyforgov.org).
Green leaders had sharp criticism for the retreat of Democrats from universal health care, for Senate Finance Committee chair Max Baucus’s assertion that single-payer is off the table, and for bad ideas like the ‘public option’ and mandates. Greens called insurance firms the only real winners under the Democratic Party proposals, noting that Democrats want Americans to spend billions of dollars extra every year for health care, rather than just eliminate the waste, paperwork, and bureaucracy of for-profit insurance. The Democrats’ proposed insurance mandate would mean massive taxpayer subsidies for the health insurance industry.
“Barney Frank says Democrats like himself won’t fight for single-payer because it has no chance of passage. In fact, it has little chance right now because Democrats like Rep. Frank won’t fight for it. With a few exceptions, like Reps. John Conyers and Dennis Kucinich, liberal Democrats won’t challenge the lies that Republicans and blue-dog Dems are spewing daily in their effort to block reform. President Obama has tried to appease Republicans whose only goal is to see him fail,” said Holly Hart, secretary of the Green Party of the United States and a member of Iowans for Health Care for All.
President Obama admitted this week that the only way to cover all Americans was through a single-payer system: “Now, the truth is that unless you have a what’s called a single-payer system, in which everybody’s automatically covered, then you’re probably not going to reach every single individual.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/22/us/politics/22obama.transcript.html)
Greens faulted the media for not debunking the aggressive misinformation campaign led by single-payer opponents and groups like Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, and for paying little attention to the movement for single-payer, despite support for universal coverage by a majority of Americans.
“In 2004, Canadians voted Tommy Douglas, the Baptist minister who led the battle for their country’s single-payer system, as the ‘Greatest Canadian’ of all time in a CBC poll. Americans deserve to know how well the Canadian system works and how popular it is among Canadians. Americans deserve to know that, contrary to claims from Republicans and anti-reform TV ads, single-payer means less bureaucratic interference. Single-payer means full choice of physician and hospital and it means that decisions about health care are made between doctor and patient, just like in Canada,” said David Doonan, Green mayor of the Village of Greenwich in New York.
“If all Americans knew how we’re getting cheated by our private insurance system and its defenders in Congress and the White House, we’d see an angry revolt. That’s what we need right now — enraged visits and messages to Congress and the White House, protests in the streets, and a pledge by voters never to vote for another politician who does not support single-payer health care,” Mr. Doonan added.
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Green Party Speakers Bureau http://www.gp.org/speakers
Green Party ballot access page http://www.gp.org/2008-elections
International Committee of the Green Party: http://www.gp.org/committees/intl
Recent Green Party press releases:
“Greens call for new GAO, Congressional Budget Office studies on Single-Payer health care” (June 18, 2009)
“Green Party leaders challenge Sen. Baucus and defenders of private insurance to debate Single-Payer advocates” (June 4, 2009)
“Public Option Advocates: Time to Come Home to Single Payer”
By Mark Dunlea, Executive Director, Hunger Action Network of NYS; co-chair, Single Payer New York; member of the Green Party of New York State
“Why Obama’s Public Option Is Defective, and Why We Need Single-Payer”
By Drs. Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein, The Progressive, July 22, 2009
“Barney Frank: Front Door Single Payer Suicidal”
Single Payer Action, July 27, 2009
“Health Care Hypocrisy”
By Ralph Nader, Common Dreams, July 25, 2009
“Internal RNC Memo: ‘Engage In Every Activity’ To Slow Down Health Care Reform”
Huffington Post, July 21, 2009
Single-Payer Frequently Asked Questions
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