Urgent: Call Senators Today to Support Sanders Single-Payer Amendment

The idea of a Medicare for All type, single-payer healthcare system will be heard on the Senate floor. This week, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont filed Senate Amendment No. 2837, and there are two additional original co-sponsors of this amendment, Senator Roland Burris of Illinois and Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio.

Call your Senators. Tell them you want them to vote for Senators Sanders, Burris and Brown’s amendment number 2837. Call today. Call now. To email your Senators, go here.

The idea that healthcare is a basic human right that could and should be delivered to each and every person in this nation is not a new one. Our President knows that; our Congress knows that. But this struggle to reform the broken, profit-driven system has carried us a very long way from the spot that would allow us to finally extend that basic human right to all.

We’ve drifted off to talking about excise taxes and insurance exchanges and bending the cost curves. Amendment 2837 brings us back to the basics.

What’s in a number? 45,000 people die every year in this nation without access to healthcare.

Medicare has its flaws, but overall it has provided seniors and the disabled with the best access to care that this nation could offer since the 1960s. But the rest of us have not been so lucky with our access to healthcare. Among those not covered by Medicare or the VA, the numbers of unnecessary deaths have soared; personal bankruptcies due to medical crisis have soared.

What is a number? Poverty among seniors has dropped more than 60 percent since the adoption of Medicare.

The healthcare reform effort has largely ignored the single-payer solution. Public financing and private delivery of healthcare through a Medicare for All type system would be an elegant, cost effective and proven way to fix much of what is broken while retaining that sense of personal choice over healthcare decisions that Americans value so highly. Yet, the discussion has been muted by the powerful profit-based insurance and health industry interests that stand to gain so very much by expanding and entrenching their hold over the U.S. healthcare system through this reform process.

What’s in a number? Millions of Americans file for personal bankruptcy – one every 12 seconds – because medical crisis hit them too hard. And of those bankrupt folks, two-thirds had health insurance.

The time draws short to weigh in clearly with your Senators. And with a yes vote on this amendment, Senators send us the message that they heard us, that they will keep fighting with us until the day when this nation no longer leaves the weak, the sick and the poor behind in the delivery of its most basic human rights.

Call your Senators. Tell them you want them to vote for Senators Sanders, Burris and Brown’s amendment number 2837. Call today. Call now. Insist on a vote for moral and fiscal sanity.

To call and find a script, go here. It’s easy and toll free! Or, if you know your Senators, call the Capitol Switchboard at 866-220-0044. To email your Senators, go here.

What’s in a number? Everything. Senate Amendment No. 2837. Everyone in, nobody out.


  1. Thomas L. Carroll on December 4, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    1 million people invest 1 dollar is a million $’s.
    25 million only need 25 cents for a million $’s.
    The American citizens have brains of mush, the dumbest animal of any advanced society. The rest of the world need to be scared as hell. We don’t need these corrupt politicians and government or the ruthless insurance companies, We can unite as Americans, form our own collective, and deal direct to our health care providers. They would rather deal with the patients and a collective that has the best interest of the patient. If they do not pass health care we will pass on all of them!

  2. jonathon r mason on December 4, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Single payer system is the only system to reduce costs. It will then, and only then improve the health care system.

  3. Elvena on December 4, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    Single payer is the only system that makes economic sense. The lives of Americans are at stake. We can not afford a system that will not reform no matter what laws are passed. The insurance industry will always find a way around any reform. It doesn’t matter how much you charge in fines when one American has died because of this failed system.

    It is criminal to force people barely able to pay for neccessities to purchase insurance companies that have robbed and killed citizens.

    Stop the madness!

    Elvena Pastran

  4. John Barker on December 4, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    I emailed my Senators. I tried to call them but Russ Feingold’s voice mail was “full” and Herb Kohl’s phone was not answered. Herb Kohl emailed back a mindless form letter expressing the glorious details of the current Senate reform bill, it did not mention the Sander’s amendment, and it indicated as usual that he would keep my comments in mind. That is probematical, since he in all probability he did not and will not see them. I do get the impression that these people are just not listening and probably believe that I’ll have to vote for them because if I don’t it’s a vote for their Republican opponent.

    Feingold says he is fighting corporate welfare yet he is willing to support and vote for healthcare reform that is one of the biggest corporate welfare give aways in American history. Current healthcare reform bills do have one redeeming value in this regard, they would repeal subsidies to Medicare Advantage Plans which are a sneaky attempt by Republicans to privatize Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plans are PRIVATE plans subsidized by Medicare to finance perks to entice seniors to enroll in them and 10 million seniors have enrolled in them. They are corporate welfare. Medicare Advantage Plans must be stopped and current reform bills would do that, so would HR676! If a majority of seniors were to eventually enroll in Medicare Advantate Plans, Medicare for All would be moot. Medicare would have become a private entity and in the hands of healthcare profiteers who would quickly eliminate the perks. It would not be Medicare for All that any progressive would want to impose upon the American public.

  5. Catharine London on December 5, 2009 at 3:01 am

    I am tired of fighting with the insurance companies (word) over my health care. I am I. I don’t fit a profile. Give me a break!

  6. Christine O'Brien Stenger on December 5, 2009 at 9:31 am

    Fortune 500 company Coventry Health Care, Inc of Bethesda Maryland is the defendant in an upcoming lawsuit against my former HMO, charged with discrimination and intimidation against me, a person with a disability.

    The trial is scheduled for April 2010 in Ohio County, Wheeling WV. It is only the first step in educating the public as to the egreious deeds done by for profit insurance companies against unsuspecting public. Knowledge empowers! And my fvormer HMO let me in the door for months to insvestigate their unjust business practices. Evidence will indict.

    Thank you for all your efforts to be the voices of the most vulnerable, the mentally ill and the elderly.

    • Katie Robbins on December 7, 2009 at 11:55 am

      Thanks, Christine. Please keep us posted on your trial and what we can do to help.