Economist Joseph Stiglitz A Single-Payer Supporter
Nobel Prize-Winning Economist Joseph Stiglitz told Amy Goodman on Democracy Now, after being asked if he supported single-payer healthcare, that, “I think I’ve reluctantly come to the view that it’s the only alternative. You know, we’ve tried a lot of other things. And we’ve been — you know, I was in the Clinton administration, and we debated a lot of alternatives, and I’ve watched things as they’ve emerged and, you know, evolved over the last twelve, sixteen years, and I think there’s a growing consensus that the private market exclusion is not going to work.”
See the full interview or read a transcript here.
Why does Sen. Baucus continue to push for a national version of the Massachusetts model which has been a financial windfall for private health plans and a money drain on the State coffers and on the bank accounts of Mass. citizens? Why are private plans so important that they need subsidies from taxpayers (i.e., Medicare Advantage plans get more money from us than traditional Medicare without better medical outcomes to show for the extra money. Aren’t those of us lucky enough to even have group health insurance already paying through the nose for our own health care? In Europe when private plans are included, they are heavily regulated: not allowed to make profits, not allowed to charge more for sicker people, not allowed to exclude on pre-existing conditions, not allowed to raise rates without govt. approval, etc. Why doesn’t Sen. Baucus include these regulations on private plans but only puts the burden on citizens who are mandated to buy or mandated to subsidize private health plans – with no cost control on the private health plans? This only makes sense if he thinks the health insurance industry is more important to take care of than U.S. citizens. Well, private plans may have lots of money for lobbyists, but they don’t have the same number of actual votes – if citizens would actually vote FOR their interests instead of against their interests. And the plans that propose expanding our public system is too expensive. State funds 40% of Medicaid and 30% of S-CHIPS – how will the states come up with those additional funds for more public health care coverage? The states don’t want to pay for what they pay for now. It’s time for single payer like HR 676 and we must increase our grassroots cry for single payer. The mainstream media (including NPR) ignores single payer as if it’s a fringe movement. We must get louder and louder. Write your local media and your favorite national media; write your legislators over and over again. Kick up a fuss.
I couldn’t agree more. Well said. I listen to NPR and have been getting more and more frustrated with how they miss the point on many issues but especially healthcare reform. Why does the media continue to cover things like all the newly unemployed upset about losing their healthcare or rising costs of the US system (both I saw just this week) and even mention things like how we have the most expensive system yet lag behind in quality but never talk about the elephant in the room which is that we need a single payer national health care system? It’s like everyone is afraid to say it. Do they think Senator McCarthy will drag them before some committee and call them Communists?