"Single-payer on its merits can win. But we've been cut out by the doctors, the insurance companies and other special interests."
-- Tim Carpenter, Progressive Democrats of America
The Senate Finance Committee had numerous round-table discussions and hearings where the perspectives of doctors, nurses, unions, hospitals, private insurance, not-for-profit insurance, progressive and conservative economists were taken into account. But the only time that single-payer was mentioned was when doctors and nurses protested and were dragged from the chamber.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who has sponsored single-payer legislation in the Senate and sits on the important Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP), has said, "I think we will try to get a hearing in the HELP Committee. I think the importance of the hearing is not that it will change minds but that the American people -- and Congress -- should hear the facts about the enormous waste and bureaucracy and profiteering associated with private health insurance. Not to deal with that is mind-blowing."
Ignoring the perspectives of those who believe that a single-payer system based on American Medicare, providing equal benefits and health coverage regardless of an individual's job or income, makes the debate we see in Congress one-sided and unfair.
Write to the Democratic members of the HELP Committee and urge them to follow through on their pledge of an open, frank, and honest debate.