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General News    H3'ed 3/24/10

So where does the state single payer movement go from here?

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A national health insurance reform has just passed and all is well on Capitol Hill.

But that doesn't mean too much for the rest of the country. Much of the country still wants more than a public-option-free, far-from-single-payer, band-aid-like bill to fix our broken health care system. One writer, from the interesting vantage point of Australia, where they do have universal health care, states:

But Australia has something that America lacks: a universal public system that provides basic medical services for all.

Here, thanks to Medicare, you can be cared for in a public hospital without going broke regardless of your health insurance status...But the political compromise [Barack Obama has] been forced to adopt fails to address the morbidity at the heart of the system.

It's taking the disease and trying to turn it into the cure.

The solution, the real health care reform that we've been asking for since Teddy Roosevelt's time, lies with the state single payer movement. And, at least here in Pennsylvania, we're moving full speed ahead. All that the health care reform bill means for us is that we'd better move fast if we want real health care reform any time soon.

For now, this health care bill seems to be the best we'll get out of our dysfunctional national government. It does expand Medicaid coverage; it does set up new health clinics; and it does expand insurance coverage in some helpful ways. But it doesn't address at all some fundamental problems in our system.

In that sense, it is like a Band-Aid. Instead of just patching up the system, though, we need to completely rework it. The idea of making profit off of someone's sickness - off of keeping other people sick instead of treating them! - is fundamentally flawed. And the bureaucracy of the insurance companies, among other factors, inflates health care costs to a ridiculous point.

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Ross Levin a young activist who also writes for,, He first became active in politics in the 2008 presidential campaign through Mike Gravel's quixotic run for the Democratic (more...)
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