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State Democrats back reform with single-payer system

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Paulette Garin
December 15, 2009

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s platform contains three resolutions in regard to health care reform, and all support a single-payer system.


Single payer is the gold standard of health care reform. It is 100 percent guaranteed coverage for all Americans, regardless of job transfer or pre-existing condition. It fulfills President Obama’s three principles of cost-effectiveness, access and choice, unlike any other proposal.


Single payer is the only plan that guarantees “Everybody in, nobody out.”


Single payer will control the costs of health care for millions of Americans, as well as state and local governments. By removing private and for-profit health insurance companies from participating in American health care, there is no need for federal taxpayer subsidies to insurance companies. No one is going to be fined, treated as a tax evader or risk jail time for failing to buy health insurance under a single-payer system. A single-payer system would actually save $400 billion annually.


Single payer is the only plan where losing your job does not mean losing your health care. Single payer guarantees your choice of doctor and hospital, unlike those whose choice remains with their insurance company.


Single payer eliminates the shameful disparities in U.S. health care. The proposed expansion of Medicaid will not lessen disparities and is unsustainable as states will be forced to absorb the costs. Just because a patient has Medicaid does not guarantee a health care provider will accept that person and the low Medicaid reimbursement rate.


Single payer is not “socialized medicine.” Single payer is publicly funded, but privately driven by you and your doctor.


Single payer is quite simply “expanded and improved Medicare for all.” Have you heard of anyone wanting to give up their Medicare?


Single payer eliminates the bureaucratic middlemen of the insurance industry that take 31 percent of every health care dollar. No insurance company CEO will decide who has medical coverage under a single-payer plan.


Health care reform in the form of single payer is the real economic stimulus package. The No. 1 factor affecting an American companies’ ability to be competitive in the global economy is employee health insurance costs.


If we do not get single-payer health care passed at the federal level, momentum will continue to build nationwide to pass single-payer legislation within individual states. Please encourage members of Wisconsin’s state Legislature to support single payer.


On July 22, 2009, President Obama gave a press conference where he said, “I want to cover everybody. … Unless you have a single-payer system…, you’re probably not going to reach every single individual.”


What can we do right now? Call and/or write Sens. Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl ask them to support Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and his single-payer amendments. In addition, contact Wisconsin’s entire congressional delegation, asking them to support Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s amendment, which would allow individual states to pursue single-payer legislation.


Unlike any of the other proposals currently circulating through Congress, single payer is the most humane, cost-effective and comprehensive solution we have—the gold standard.


Paulette Garin of Kenosha is Wisconsin state coordinator, Progressive Democrats of America, a federal Political Action Committee that champions a campaign of “Health care not Warfare.” Garin also was a Democratic candidate for Congress in Wisconsin’s 1st District in 2008. She can be reached by e-mail at paulettegarin@yahoo.com or by phone at (262) 551-8515.

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