Health Care

Woolsey Supports State Single-Payer Option

By David Swanson

Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey spoke to a crowd of activists from around the country at Busboys and Poets restaurant in Washington, D.C., Thursday evening at a fifth year birthday party for Progressive Democrats of America (PDA). Woolsey opened by remarking that the Out of Iraq Caucus, following the August recess, would “get on top of Afghanistan.”

We were outraged by the Iraq War, Woolsey said, but now, as war is escalated in Afghanistan “because it’s our president read more

PDA Spends Fifth Birthday on Healthcare Not Warfare

By David Swanson, PDA
July 31, 2009, Washington, DC

Progressive Democrats of America has turned five. I’ve written before about what PDA has accomplished. On Thursday night it celebrated the five-year mark with a party at the end of a long day of rallying, lobbying, and strategizing on Capitol Hill. The party was fittingly held at Busboys and Poets restaurant, whose owner Andy Shallal has been a big supporter and participant in PDA.

Shallal spoke at the event, as did Medea Benjamin, Donna read more

Single Payer Will Go to Floor

So the “leadership” avoided a vote on single-payer in the Energy and Commerce Committee in exchange for allowing one on the House floor in September, presumably prior to a vote on a public option bill. This is a good thing, as well as bad. It’s bad that we lost the chance for a committee vote today. It’s good that we can advance the cause of single-payer, and we have a month in which to work the miracle of finding 100 new supporters and/or persuading a significant caucus read more

The Joint Public-Option Single-Payer United Front

By David Swanson

If you support a healthcare bill with a public option in it, chances are many single-payer advocates don’t trust you. If you supported that same bill in exactly the same way and also advocated leaving in it the language that allows states to create single-payer, those same missing passionate advocates might not line up perfectly with you, but many of them would be willing to work together — or at least have a beer on a picnic table and talk about it.

You wouldn’t read more

Why Backing Single-Payer from the Start Would Have Helped, Still Could

Here’s a blog from Digby acknowledging the reduction of the public option from where it started to next-to-nothing. It’s not clear whether Digby thinks it would have been smarter to start with single-payer, in order to end up with a better compromise than what you get by initially proposing the weakest plan you’ll settle for. But Digby argues that proposing single-payer from the start read more

Nine More Go to Jail for Single-Payer Healthcare

By David Swanson

Following a pattern of civil resistance in Washington D.C. and around the country, citizens in Des Moines Iowa on Monday risked arrest to press for the creation of single-payer healthcare, the establishment of healthcare as a human right, and an end to the deadly practices of Iowa’s largest health insurance company, Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Dr. Margaret Flowers, who has herself gone to jail for single-payer in our nation’s capital, was on hand to speak in Des read more

CounterSpin Radio: David Swanson on healthcare reform, Harold Meyerson on California’s budget crisis

Source. Listen: [mp3] [RealAudio]

This week on CounterSpin: "Obama May Have To Wait for Health Reform" explained one July 22 headline. Leave it to corporate media to take a life-and-death issue for millions of Americans and reduce it to an item on a president’s wish list. But if they’re going to mainly cover healthcare policy as inside the Beltway politicking, how good a job are they doing even of that? We’ll hear from activist and author David Swanson about the current state of play in healthcare reform efforts and what the media may have to do with it.

Also on the show: California’s budget crisis may be coming to a close and that may be good for governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and state politicians, but what about the potential crises to come, caused by a budget that severely cuts programs serving the elderly and the young, especially in the areas of health and education? And what are the prospects of any permanent solution for the wealthiest state in the union which seems perpetually broke? We’ll read more

Healthcare and Free Press: Two Human Rights We Lack

By David Swanson

President Obama said on Tuesday night:

“Now, the truth is that, unless you have a — what’s called a single-payer system, in which everybody is automatically covered, then you’re probably not going to reach every single individual because there’s always going to be somebody out there who thinks they’re indestructible and doesn’t want to get health care, doesn’t bother getting health care, and then, unfortunately, when they get hit read more

Single-Payer Healthcare Gets a Vote

By David Swanson

Congressman Anthony Weiner (D., N.Y.) has introduced an amendment in the House Energy and Commerce Committee that would replace the convoluted please-the-public-and-the-insurance-companies-at-the-same-time healthcare bill with the single-payer plan found in HR 676 and backed by 86 members of Congress. The vote has been delayed beyond Wednesday, support for the measure is growing, people are phoning in constantly, and a whip count is being kept online.

An amendment introduced by read more

How the Washington Post Spreads Democracy

From WaPo article purportedly debunking health insurance lies:

“Private insurers have effectively engaged in rationing, so they’re doing the dirty work for everybody else,” said Jeff D. Emerson, a former health plan chief executive. “It’s a thankless job . . . but somebody has to do it or health care will be even more expensive than it is now.”

Private insurers might be better situated than the government to do the unpopular work of saying no, said Paul B. Ginsburg, read more