An email today from a progressive organization confirmed that 76% of Americans prefer single payer health care. They were asking for money to air an ad that merely told senators that the matter was urgent.
Why not put out an add that explains what single-payer is, just in case the figures are misleading?
Most people know they want health care that covers everyone and is affordable. Few people know how the single payer version of that would work: It would mean that insurance companies, which exist to make a profit for their shareholders, would no longer be involved in insuring health. The government would be responsible for paying health care bills - no profit involved. Doctors and other health professionals would negotiate their rate of remuneration with the government on a yearly or bi-yearly basis. Same for hospitals. The government would buy prescription drugs at bulk rates with citizens paying a fraction of what they pay now.
As negotiations drag on and it becomes clear that opponents of "government run health care" are doing everything they can to water down the plan and stall it in Congress, I say the real culprits are the media. They've had at least two years, since the democratic candidates declared for the presidency, knowing that health care would be high on their agenda if elected, to educate the public about the various types of health care systems that exist around the world.
Michael Moore gave them a great opening with "Sicko". Even those who recognized its relevance, didn't take up the call. I have
lived almost half my life in countries that have single-payer health care, mainly France, which, God knows, is heavy on bureaucracy. The health care system has been called the best in the world by the World Health Organization. I can testify to it being readily available, and all-encompassing. To be sure, everyone pays a hefty but progressive tax to fund health care, but it's an expense that doesn't figure on your budget after that. It would be unheard up for someone to go bankrupt because of health bills.
Even now, tune in to your favorite - or most reviled - television station. You'll seek in vain a detailed analysis of single payer - or a discussion between opponents and supporters that provides details as to the crucial difference.
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