Is the Single-Payer Movement Winning?

Benjamin Day, Executive Director for Healthcare-NOW!, delivered the keynote address for the 12th Annual State Conference of Single-Payer Action Network Ohio on “The State of the Single-Payer Movement and Movement Action Planning.” The keynote provides a detailed analysis of how to evaluate social movements as opposed to campaigns, why it is that most activists in most social movements believe they are not winning – even when they are, and compares the single-payer movement with other recent social movements such as Occupy and Black Lives Matter. The answers will surprise you!

You can find the full slideshow, handouts, and other materials from the keynote on the conference wiki here.

Full video of the keynote begins at the 5 minute mark here:


  1. Wynanda Jacoby on June 8, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    It is sad that in 2015 US citizens are still in denial about their government and healthcare.
    Both are terrible. I had a stroke and can tell you the nursing,hospital care and doctors are very bad.
    Cleanliness is an issue; knowledge and care a big issue.

    Still most citizens think the USA has the best healthcare in the world even though it is well known the rating is #19!!
    The social movement is never going to work in this country where money is the most important thing and doctors have to pay fortunes to get educated.
    Single payer will only work if you have free higher education. In my country of origin the Netherlands, I also would have had great care and I would not have had a stroke!!because my doctors would have been smart enough to give me proper medication before a stroke can happen.
    The next important issue is dying with dignity!! instead of sitting in a wheelchair with tubes in different parts of the body. Why is this so?? well doctors make fortunes on those kind of living conditions. Even Alzheimer patients should be allowed to die with dignity instead of keeping them in a state of stupidity.
    It is only in Switzerland one can get a potion and leave one’s body in short time. The Netherlands is working on this as well as France and Belgium and the UK.
    The USA is far behind all of these countries because of money!!!
    I have no believe any more Single payer will ever be accomplished because the citizens here are not educated enough and there are too many poor people who have no say or future.

  2. Marian Cruz on June 9, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Single Payer is the only option that will best serve the residents of CA.

  3. Carla Skidmore on June 9, 2015 at 10:52 am

    This nation sorely needs a single payer system of medical care. For far too long, many in this nation, feel that health care is a privilege. It is not a privilege, health care is the right of all citizens of the US.
    Why are we so late in having a single payer system or a Medicare for All type of health care? The insurance companies are making money from our present system and paying off our congress to keep a single payer out of this nation.

    • John E Ogden on June 9, 2015 at 9:10 pm

      As long as we have selfish, greedy, Congress on the take from the Health Insurance Cartel single payer will be difficult to achieve.

  4. ter badger on June 9, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    i see two or three goals or perhaps a better way of putting it, paths:
    1. A public option as a choice of the ACA which could be a Medicare buy in.
    2. Do away with the ACA and expand Medicare to include everyone (paycheck deductions would go up)
    3. Come up with some other single-payer program.
    From these alternatives i think #2 is the best choice because people know what they are getting, which is the biggest argument against #3. As for choice #1, it still keeps insurance companies in play and could confuse the issue, but it might be the least difficult path.

    If we push for #2, it must be emphasized that though the paycheck deductions would be more there would be no co-pays, or deductions. Governments would also save on the insurance they pay for their workers, which means there would be more money to get things fixed.

  5. Saskia on July 9, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    I like Carla Skidmore’s post because it made me think. “Many in this national feel that health care is a privilege.”
    So soon after the Fourth of July, reading this post, I wondered how we came so far from the philosophy that “all men are created equal” and “are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights,” to today’s philosophy that only the “privileged” class in this country should have access to health care, that health care is the right of people who can afford health insurance.

  6. Sue on July 11, 2015 at 5:57 am

    We are not in an “open enrollment” period, yet I just received an insurance bill which says my premium has gone up from $101 per month to $757 dollars per month. I’m retired- I can’t afford that. I will have to drop my insurance. How can they get away with doing that? I will file an appeal, but dealing with insurance companies is frustrating. They are always “scamming” – It makes me feel dirty just talking to them on the phone even though their office is several states away. When I complained at my $9.00 an hour part time job, ( had to pay for a new furnace and septic system in the last 4 months) two other women had just recently had similar problems. One dropped her insurance, and the other was refused prescriptions for her daughter’s allergies because the insurance company said that she wasn’t insured even though she had been paying her premiums on a regular basis. These are both responsible, hard working women. We need a single payer system! We need to stop believing in this myth that somehow this system is better. The only people this system is better for are the insurance CEO’s and whoever else may be benefitting from campaign contributions or other kickbacks. When I think about all the money I’ve paid in insurance premiums over the years, it makes me sick to my stomach.

  7. bill shaver on July 15, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    single payer will come by 2017, the sect 1332 of the ACA will allow this to come to pass, new York will lead the way…know many who cannot afford the ACA supported insurance plans as well, most opt not for it & pay penalty…KEEP GETTING THE WORD OUT…A VALIANT FIGHT AS MUCH AS THE CIVIL RIGHTS FIGHT OF THE 50’S & 60’S. MUCH MORE WORK TO BE DONE.

  8. Lynn O'Connell on July 20, 2015 at 7:20 am

    Please help bombard these 16 MSNBC show hosts with requests for them to interview Congressman John Conyers about his HR676 “Expanded & Improved Medicare For All” – preferably with Bernie Sanders so a clear contrast can be made between HR676 (simple & comprehensive) vs. Bernie’s more complex Senate Bill which asks for universal health care by state. For the 14, my comment included the fact that “On Morning Joe this morning, Trump said ‘I want health care for everyone’”. For Trump, it may just be a gimmick – but let’s use him to get the Dems & MSNBC Hosts talking at length on the subject!

    1. – Rachel Maddow
    2. – All In with Chris Hayes
    3. – Chris Matthews
    4. – Al Sharpton
    5. – Lawrence O’Donnell
    6. – Joe & Mika
    7. – Jose Diaz-Balart
    8. – Thomas Roberts
    9. – Thomas Roberts
    10. – Krystal Ball et al.
    11. – Tamron Hall
    12. – Alex Wagner
    13. – Ed Schultz – link to email him is
    14. – comments by topic – my comment went under segment “GOP divided on Trump’s Comments”
    15. – Steve Kornacki
    16. – Melissa Harris-Perry

  9. bill shaver on July 31, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    You know …single payer…most in usa think its marxist…govt run heath care, but in fact all are paying into the revenue collections at state & federal level, why do they think that….so how could it be marxist….yeah education level in usa…and so many poor & trodden on…hope is not there…maby this election it will be the major issue like it should have been so long ago…Dying with dignity, witnesed it first had last year …my mother passed from pacreatic cancer…it was fast….recomendation for treatment …we were told would not pan out…so mom elected to tak her train ride…the one with no baggae required or needed on that trip…RIP…MOM…Miss you dearly & remember you…