Health care a human right?

From The Real News

A single payer rep finally testifies to Congress; insurance industry steps up attack on any public plan

June 21 – “Our decades’ reliance on the market and efforts to patch together a system to use a public and private mix has failed to carry a quality health care to all Americans. The market is the wrong model. Health care is not a commodity, it’s a human right,” Dr. Margaret Flowers spoke at Senator Kennedy’s health committee hearing.

Flowers was one of the thirteen single-payer advocates arrested at the Baucus Finance Hearing in May. She is a pediatrician in the Baltimore area and a co-chair of the Maryland chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP).

She told TRNN that President Barack Obama’s public insurance plan would still not solve the problem of inaccessible health care in the United States. “It doesn’t solve the fundamental problem that we have in this country, dealing with so many different insurers. It just adds one more insurance to the mix. It’s going to be expensive. The connector, the exchange that they want to create will add costs, their efforts to regulate private insurers is going to add costs, health care providers are still going to have to deal with a whole maze of plans, and patients are still going to have to deal with that.”

“I think that whole idea of being bipartisan from the beginning was a mistake. I mean, we have the opportunity right now, we have a Democratic president, we have a Democratic Congress. We should be able to craft legislation that serves our people,” Flower said.

Starting on May 30th and rallies have broken out across the United States in favor of a single payer healthcare system. HealthCare Now has worked with The Real News by providing citizen clips of events that took place across the United States.

One of the citizen clips was submitted from Austin Texas where Fernando Losada of the CNA/NNOC informs us of the new civil healthcare movement. “We are on the verge of something historical in our country, we are uniting all of the nurses unions; within months we will be 150,000 people strong. ”

Dr. Flowers ends the interview by encouraging people to “treat it like a civil rights movement; we need more people out rallying for single payer Healthcare.”


  1. Mili D on June 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Health care is a human right, but it’s not a legal right. Because it was not written in the U.S. Constitution, the right to health care is not part of legislation.

    • maryc on June 29, 2009 at 2:24 pm

      In response to the comment that health care is not a legal right, I believe our constitution states that we have a right to LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Our profit-driven health care industry has deprived many citizens of life…

  2. Jerry Call on June 24, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    The private insurance companies have had decades to create an affordable healthcare system and failed. For them to say it is someone else fault is very disingenuous. They can find the money to kill any change that threatens their profits, they can certainly find the money to persuade congress to fix the system.
    It is time now for a single payer system. Switzerland and Taiwan went to SP in ’95 after looking at many systems without a bias.
    It is time now to demand healthcare as a moral and constitutional right.
    Let’s stop the fear mongering and get on with it.