An article I wrote, titled “Passing On Single-Payer,” was published in the latest issue of Dollars and Sense magazine. It’s about how the leadership of unions like AFSCME and SEIU have ignored the popularity of single-payer healthcare in order to pursue a public-private health insurance system in the US.
Both AFSCME and SEIU were instrumental in creating Health Care for America Now (HCAN), a lobbying group whose chief objective is to support Barak Obama’s healthcare plan. HCAN is critical of private health insurance companies for their desire to put profit over the lives of their customers. But they won’t go as far as removing private insurance, as single-payer would, from the system completely.
Richard Kirsch, HCAN’s National Campaign Director writes, “One point of this approach [giving people the choice of private insurance or Medicare] was not to scare people away from reform or to make it easier for the opponents of reform to panic the public,” in his blog post “Why Not Single-Payer?“
Sadly, Richard Kirsch is wrong–Americans are ready for reform. 59% of the nation’s physicians and 65% of people nationwide believe that: “The United States should adopt a universal health insurance program in which everyone is covered under a program like Medicare that is run by the government and financed by taxpayers.” Even the rank and file members of AFSCME and SEIU voted to endorse the most widely supported single-payer healthcare legislation, HR 676.
The labor issue of Dollars and Sense should be on newsstands soon. Please check it out.