Single-Payer: Nothing Less Will Do

These are frustrating times for single payer advocates. We know we have the best solution to the health care crisis – one that is simple, economical, and humane. Most of the American people, and most doctors agree.

But Congress, instead of latching on to HR 676 and moving it toward adoption, is focused on new legislation. We have yet to see it, but we hear that it will keep private insurance companies front and center. It will include an individual mandate. And it will cost a bundle. It will be what the doctors in our movement might call an expensive placebo. Prescribing it, when you know it’s expensive and won’t work, is nothing less than criminal.

There is pressure for us to slide, to support the public option as a step in the right direction. But let’s be clear – as citizen advocates, we must continue to advocate and organize on behalf of a solution that we believe in – one that will work, and one that won’t throw more of our money into the hands of private insurance companies. And we need to stay true to that course until we win single payer national health insurance. That day will come; we just don’t know when.

It could come soon. The new legislation and its heavily touted public option could look so bad when it finally is printed that not even Health Care for America Now and Obama plan supporters can stomach it. It could collapse under its own weight. Congress might have to start over, and HR 676 will still be there as an option that can move quickly, right a lot of wrongs, and clean up a big mess.

Our charge is clear — to keep advocating for HR 676 and S 703. When the new legislation comes out, we expose it for what it probably will be – an unconscionable placebo. And we expose the Congressional leaders that colluded in advancing lousy, wasteful legislation knowing full well that Americans are hurting, and will continue to die and go bankrupt because of its shortcomings. We do what it takes to get attention and make them accountable for what they have done.

Members of Congress certainly can’t argue that they have no choice. They have one, they knew about it (we made sure of that); they know most Americans want it; yet it appears they are choosing a different course.

So we do what all movements do – we keep building support for what is just and humane. We make those accountable who persist in jeopardizing our lives and our quality of life, and that of future generations.

Nothing less will do.

Thank you,
Healthcare-NOW! National Steering Committee
Healthcare-NOW! National Staff


  1. care4all on June 4, 2009 at 12:42 am

    We need to bombard the White House and Senator Kennedy’s office with CALLS, Faxes and Emails for Single Payer.

    1. ASK Obama to support Single Payer reform. Tell him it’s what the country wants and needs. We can’t afford not to have single-payer reform!



    CALL AND FAX: Phone: Comments: 202-456-1111;
Switchboard: 202-456-1414; FAX: 202-456-2461

    2. E-Mail Senator Kennedy and insist that he put SINGLE-PAYER healthcare reform on the table. Object to forcing all Americans to buy health insurance. You can email him here: and

    Fax him here:
    FAX Senator Kennedy’s Washington office: 202-224-2417
    FAX Senator Kennedy’s Massachusetts office: 617-565-3183

    3. ASK your Senators to co-sponsor S 703, The American Health Security Act.

    ASK your Representative to co-sponsor HR 676, The United States National Health Insurance Act. (75 Representatives have signed on as co-sponsors so far).

    You can find your legislators’ contact information here:
    For more information on both bills:

  2. Carla Rautenberg on June 5, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    After we lobbied her on May 13 in D.C., and held a public outreach event on Single Payer for the National Day of Action on May 30, and after members of the Nurses National Organizing Committee and Healthcare-Now! lobbied her again on June 1, my congressional representative, Marcia Fudge, signed on to HR676, becoming the 78th co-sponsor! We are very gratified to have her support.

    The Ohio Democratic delegation has ten members; so far four: Kucinich, Ryan, Kaptur and Fudge, have signed on to HR676. I hope we will concentrate on Betty Sutton next.

    • margaret on June 7, 2009 at 9:38 pm

      Congratulations-WAY TO GO!

  3. Bill Machuta on June 6, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    I still don’t understand specifically how an “incremental plan,” i.e., having some insurance companies in the mix would be a disaster. I’ve read that it would negate potential administrative savings vs. single-payer, because not enough people would opt for it?


  4. care4all on June 6, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    Carla, that’s terrific! Hard lobbying for Single Payer worked.

    Everyone, keep pushing your Representatives to sign on to HR 676, and your Senators to sign on to S 703.


    Senator Dodd asks: Is your health care working? What changes would you like to see? Add your ideas at YouTube’s Senate Hub at

    Democratic Senators are writing a major health reform bill. Rising costs are hitting families and businesses and now 46 million Americans live without health coverage. We need reform. Respond now with your ideas as the Senate writes health care legislation. You can help.

    Go To: (note: this is not the regular YouTube comment area)

    Add your ideas, and be sure to VOTE on the other ideas submitted. If you can, vote FOR the SIngle Payer comments.


  5. care4all on June 6, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Dear Everyone,

    The New York Times is asking for comments regarding mandatory health insurance.

    If you can, take a moment to say NO – we need non-profit, Single-Payer healthcare for all!

    Please add your comments at the NY Times site:

  6. Jerry Call on June 11, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    The time for emails and phone calls has passed. It is time for civil disobedience!!!

    For anyone who watched the hearings this week in the House and the Senate, you know that their members do not take SP seriously. They gave us a “token” seat and then ignored us.


    We need to perform CD at every congressional representative’s office that has not endorsed SP.

    To sign up, email:

    Jerry Call
    One of Bausus 13

  7. Theresa on June 12, 2009 at 3:26 am

    All these congressman that do not believe in government provided health care should forfeit THEIR government provided health care and be forced to pay for private insurance!!! They are provided health care FOR LIFE…from OUR government. And another thing,sometime in the ’70s congress decided to expand Medicare to include ESRD….now is the time to expand it to include ALL ILLNESSES!!!!!!

  8. BobbyG on June 12, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    See my post now in progress at

    Commentary welcome.