Time to Start from Scratch

We’ve heard President Obama assert during his campaign that if he were starting from scratch he would implement a single-payer plan. He recently stated: “I want to cover everybody. Now, the truth is unless you have what’s called a single-payer system in which everyone’s automatically covered, you’re probably not going to reach every single individual.” In addition, President Obama knows that we have to get the spiraling healthcare costs under control.

The current bills before the House and Senate can neither cover everyone nor make healthcare affordable. Only Improved Medicare for All, a national single payer plan such as HR 676, can do the job.

If we don’t make serious change to our healthcare financing and delivery, the United States will continue to pay more than any other country in the world and get less. Just look at this graph from National Geographic that shows how US healthcare spending is off the charts.

Send the message to President Obama now, “It’s time to start from scratch. The people want real change – Improved Medicare for Everyone. Single-payer universal healthcare is the only way to get our health, our jobs, and our economy back on track.”

Email your message here, and easily make a call to the White House here.

Thanks for all that you do,
Healthcare-NOW! National Staff and Steering Committee


  1. Fai Borowiec on January 27, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    What part of CHANGE did you not understand about your own campaign, Mr. President. Polling numbers are in the dumper not because the “reform” proposed in Congress is too sweeping, it’s because they don’t go FAR ENOUGH. Wake up! America doesn’t want incrementalism…we want REAL CHANGE…..NOW!

  2. iBlogWestHartford on January 27, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Careful – the Insurance Industry can be ANIMALS!

    Watch the new cartoon at:

  3. John Piekarski on January 27, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    As a small-business man, I want single payer so I don’t have to worry about where health care insurance is coming from.

  4. Larry Glazer on January 27, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Doesn’t the opposition need health care?

  5. Terry on January 27, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Vote Green Party folks. http://www.gp.org We dont take any corporate money. Think about it. How people can still vote for dems/reps and then be shocked when nothing changes is really beyond me.

    So the President is going to give a speech? Big deal. He gives a lot of speeches. He just does not follow through.

  6. Ken Sandin on January 27, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    Strip away all the complications–mandates, public option, exchanges, medical loss ratios, income eligibility, surcharges on the rich, pre-existing conditions, taxing high-end plans as income, thresholds, subsidies, periods of ineligibility, opportunistic switches in and out, cherry picking, exempted entities,….. Makes my head hurt.
    Let’s get down to what’s important: health justice–quality affordable care for everyone, nobody out–and fiscal responsibility. Quoting William C. Hsiao, Director of the Program in Health Care Financing at the Harvard School of Public Health, “You can have universal coverage and good quality health care while still managing to control costs. But you have to have a single-payer system to do it.”
    Isn’t it just that simple? Medicare for All!

  7. Sarah Williams on January 28, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    Medicare for all would solve the unemployment problem — a lot of people who are working even though they are sick and old because they can’t afford health care would retire, and businesses relieved of health insurance costs would add staffing. We are sacrificing our health and our economy to a myth that “competition” in private health care produces quality.

  8. Julia hathaway on January 29, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Single payer is the only way to go. So Many people die because of lack of access to health care. This is unacceptable.

  9. bob_gutermuth on February 2, 2010 at 10:32 am

    RanknFile HEALTHCAREnotWARFARE. We have billions for Warfare, but the Republicans are whining about what Healthcare is going to cost. They would budget the VA for our troops at 125 billion.

  10. Larry MacDonald on February 7, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    It seems to me that we are missing one important aspect – that there is strength in numbers.

    If 42% of those of us under the age of 65 have inadequate or no health insurance, then, very simply, an organization which we could join which could then bargain with existing insurance companies for our business would have an incredible amount of power.

    It’s well known that larger companies, because they represent greater buying power, have lower rates than smaller companies.

    20, 30, or 40 million people purchasing insurance as a single entity would have tremendous bargaining power.

    Obviously, there would be obstacles to overcome – a major of which would be purchasing insurance across state lines. However, that many people would also have tremendous political power.

    Another obstacle might be that the needs of those 20 to 40 million consumers may vary considerably. I would offer that a number of ‘health plans’ could each be bid for by all of the insurance companies.

    Another obstacle may be those that could afford to pay little or no money would still need to be covered. This could be accommodated by
    stipulating that a certain percentage of the proceeds for each plan would go to the indigent.

    Very obviously, the “single payer” idea would be much more efficient, but it would not necessarily have to be run by the government. A non-profit organization could be put into place to take care of the payouts and billings to the insurance companies. (Unfortunately, it would probably put many who work in the accounting departments in hospitals and doctor’s offices out of work.)

    Our government has demonstrated to us that they either cannot or will not get it right – that is, to the benefit of consumers.

    There are too many special interests to which they seemingly are obligated to cater. It’s time the consumer became the special interest. We must band together and speak with one voice to our government, to the insurance companies, to the medical community, to the pharmaceutical companies.

  11. David on February 13, 2010 at 4:39 am

    As a member of this wonderful community of organizers education – specifically language – is of urgent concern. It is our role, as being opposed to that which is supported or legitimated, to introduce an alternate value system.

    The slogan such as “start from scratch” is disengenuous because we are not proposing elimination of our spectacularly advanced medical infrastructure or human capital.

    In fact, such a response to our detractors reinforces the message of fear on which they operate. An analogy is the public option. Instead of speaking about a concrete example, Healthy San Fransisco, we spoke in theoretical and abstract terms.

    That the majority of the electorate we can influence (those who earn under $40,000 do not vote 60 – 70% of the time) is interested in statistical conversations has, as of now, been totally unfounded.