Action Alert: Write a Letter to the Editor About Senate Healthcare Hearing

On Tuesday, March 11, a Senate Subcommittee chaired by Bernie Sanders held an unprecedented hearing on what the U.S. can learn from countries with single-payer healthcare systems.

The evidence was overwhelming: expert after expert from Canada, Denmark, Taiwan, and France showed that single-payer costs less while virtually eliminating financial barriers to care for patients. Right-wing critics at the hearing pulled out every misleading myth about single-payer, only to have them debunked by the experts in real world health policy. Here are the highlights.

Can you please take a moment to write a letter to the editor at your local paper about this important Senate hearing? The rest of the country needs to know that single-payer reform, such as John Conyers’s HR676 in the House and Bernie Sanders’s S1782, is the only solution to our crisis of rising health care costs and poor access to care.

Please email us if you need help or if your letter is published.

Here’s a sample letter:

Subject: Congressional Hearing Shows Single-Payer Reform the Best Option

On Tuesday, a Senate Subcommittee – possibly for the first time in the history of Congress – hosted a long overdue hearing on “What the US Health Care System Can Learn from Other Countries.”

Health policy experts from France, Denmark, Canada, and Taiwan painted a startling picture: even after full implementation of the ACA the United States will spend more than any other developed nation, receive inferior access to care, and see similar or worse quality of care. We are the only wealthy country that does not publicly guarantee access to care through a “single-payer” system of universal coverage.

For me, this testimony highlights the tragic consequences of clinging to a for-profit health care system that the rest of the world has escaped from. Our system, despite the ACA, lets people with illness slip through the cracks with devastating consequences, and costs twice as much. It’s time to take the next step and implement guaranteed healthcare for all.


  1. HARRY on March 13, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    I no longer believe in for-profit health care.

    Health insurance corporations must go the way of the steam engine.

    The days of for-profit health insurance corporations are over.

    Slowly the truth is coming to the public consciousness and then
    it will come to the ballot box.

    We must vote for our own health care.
    Dallas Texas

  2. jacqueline Knable on March 13, 2014 at 5:50 pm


  3. Daniel Mariano, DC on March 13, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    As a recently turned 65 year old and self employed chiropractic physician, I was happy to get Medicare and save on my healthcare costs. Perhaps it is too expansive for the federal government to run a single payer system as in Medicare for all. However, if Vermont succeeds in the implementation of their single payer system, then hopefully other states may follow.

  4. Lehut on March 14, 2014 at 12:02 am

    Winston Churchill once said of we Americans, “You can always depend on the Americans to do the right thing, just as soon as all alternatives have been exhausted”.. How true!

    The ACA is a step in the right direction, but it can be what this nation will need in the coming years. We are simply whistling past the graveyard, and postponing the inevitable, Medicare For All.

    Yet, as usual, we will have to go through the failed process before we will finally accept what we should have done at the end of WWII. America at it’s finest, indeed!

  5. Esther Confino on March 14, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    Let’s stop the time wasted on futile attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and get down to the business of improving it. It does not speak well of the 50 attempta at repeal. There is much more constructive work to be done by our Congress.

    (Note: Can you preface your sample letter with this paragraph and send it to the New Hyde Park Courier addressed to, and signed Esther Confino, New Hyde Park, NY

    I am a frequent correspondent on healthcare for all, as well as on other progressive causes.

  6. John Barker on March 20, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    I couldn’t respond using your “let us know” link above but to let you know something happened however small, I wrote an op-ed on single payer for my local newspaper which was published. It wasn’t specifically about the above hearings but rather what I thought was a “teaching moment” from the Single Payer Activists Guide. I was provided an opportunity when a local yokel wrote “when that (single Payer) happens you will wish you had a choice as you do now”. I responded with and op-ed which took a look at some of the “choices” we have now in our for profit multipayer system such as rationed healthcare, bankruptcies, 45,000 deaths each year, 30 million uninsured etc. At least for a moment, single payer was the topic of “What People Say” in the local paper op-ed column.

  7. C. Sirius on March 21, 2014 at 1:27 am

    I want to encourage all single payer activists to inform ourselves on the real reason our country isn’t being allowed to have single payer and also a national scandal. The root of this entire problem is the various free trade agreements which started with NAFTA and GATS in the early and mid 90s and have continued to the present day with CAFTA, TPP and TAFTA. All of these trade agreements ban expansions of public healthcare and basically the USA – becase of our drug industry and our insurance industry, which both want to expand into the developing world, the rights and futures of the American people have been sacrificed and are being sacrificed on the altar of free trade agreements – which block the US from having single payer and their plan is to remove control of our health care policy from the control of our legislators by means of these free trade agreements. Then they will blame our inability to determine our own health care on the WTO and TPP and other free trade tribunals and the rules in these agreements are designed to be an irreversible one way street to permanent privatization. I urge all of you to learn about the horrible “investor-state” dispute resolution process that gives corporations feudal ownership rights to markets. For example, if the US allows insurers to sell one policy in the whole US (the GOP is pushing for this) that will enable these multinationals to come in and once that happens the permanent privatization of US health care will become so incredibly costly to extricate ourselves from it will be portrayed as the largest fine ever levied by a trade organization. The Canadian organization, Policy Alternatives has written the most lucid works on this subject, particularly their “Putting Health First” booklet. Also, Public Citizen had a report in 2008 which serves as a good, although too understated guide to this danger. Also, their tracking of the numerous free trade agreements is very important to follow because they all have huge unintended consequences for US health care, as they are all bilateral trade agreements which apply to us too. This is why the drug and insurance companies are spending so much money to confuse the American people as to what single payer is and isn’t. Single payer means single payer, not an option which gets the poorer sicker patients, it has to be all inclusive and it has to buy all drugs at the average cost. That saves a huge amount of money which is why the US trade agreements all ban it. A recent letter which you can read here shows the problem with the FTAs and drug pricing. Please everyone, we are dropping the ball. The US government is actually fighting health care reform and just pretending to want to lower prices when they actually want to raise them. The 2008-2012 “health care reform” is basically a scam. It becomes obvious when you look at the free trade agreements what is really going on and it stinks. We have to get on the ball and bring the nations attention to the fact that the two parties joined together to pull the wool over our eyes on health care. they are just pretending to argue and the GOP is just pretending to hate obamacare when its actually full of gifts to the right, as the saying goes methinks they doth protest too much. Its all an act. You must – you absolutely must go to a university library and find this paper: . Its by far the best explanation of what could happen. Int J Health Serv. 2009;39(2):363-87.
    The potential impact of the World Trade Organization’s general agreement on trade in services on health system reform and regulation in the United States.
    Skala N.

  8. C. S. on March 21, 2014 at 2:05 am

    Here is a new, public URL for the paper I cited above, Please read it!