Yesterday this important email arrived from Healthcare-NOW! It outlines what has been going on behind closed doors to push single-payer healthcare (also known as Medicare for All) off the table. Read, pass along to friends:
"Invite everyone you know to watch the upcoming Congressional forum on the Massachusetts reform live on February 25, from 2-4 PM. This is a unique opportunity to listen to witnesses, medical professionals, union representatives, and patients from the state of Massachusetts testify against the problems of the reform to Congress. Listen this afternoon to the Congressional Forum
The New York Times reported last week that, "Since last fall, many of the leading figures in the nations long-running have been meeting secretly in a Senate hearing room."
The sentence should make us all tremble. Those whose pockets books will benefit most fromare secretly meeting. It also sounds familiar. 16 years ago, the reform was on the national agenda, the secrecy and exclusion of Congress in its development was one of the major reasons why the reform failed.
Similar clandestine strategies are at work again today. The people sitting at the table include pharmaceutical and industry lobbyists mixed with big labor unions and other special interests. The people who will be most affected by the reform have no voice at the table, and there is certainly no strong advocates for single-payer included.
The Kennedy legislation will include a mandate component to health care reform. This means any citizen not eligible for a public option - primarily Medicaid (for those with low-incomes) or Medicare (for the disabled or those over 65) - will be forced to purchase private insurance or risk being fined or otherwise punished.
The "Individual Mandate" model is currently used in Massachusetts. It is a deeply flawed plan resulting in huge profits for the insurance industry and little improvement to the and quality of the state. This is not a model for the Nation.
Here are the major flaws of the Massachusetts model for reform in a nutshell:
-The plan is bankrupting the state.
-It is not universal.
-It criminalizes the uninsured.
-It is not affordable for everyone.
Is this the model we want for national reform? NO!
If you haven't already done so, invite your representative to attend in-person on your behalf here. "
One part of me feels there's a magic moment now...for genuine equity in health care, i.e., that we can act as if healthcare in America is a right. Please, let me know your thoughts.