Following are significant Single Payer news and information.

5-5-10 Sam Metz Presentation Money in Money Out Presentation 

23 pages that present the financial facts of our current health care system and how we can fix it.

Download this PowerPoint File

08-17-09 Tom Hartmann's Simple Single Payer Plan:

Dear President Obama, 

I understand you’re thinking of dumping your “public option” because of all the demagoguery by Sarah Palin and Dick Armey and Newt Gingrich and their crowd on right-wing radio and Fox. Fine. Good idea, in fact.

Instead, let’s make it simple. Please let us buy into Medicare.

It would be so easy. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel with this so-called “public option” that’s a whole new program from the ground up. Medicare already exists. It works. Some people will like it, others won’t – just like the Post Office versus FedEx analogy you’re so comfortable with.

Just pass a simple bill – it could probably be just a few lines, like when Medicare was expanded to include disabled people – that says that any American citizen can buy into the program at a rate to be set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which reflects the actual cost for us to buy into it.

So it’s revenue neutral!

To make it available to people of low income, raise the rates slightly for all currently non-eligible people (like me - under 65) to cover the cost of below-200%-of-poverty people. Revenue neutral again.

Most of us will do damn near anything to get out from under the thumbs of the multi-millionaire CEOs who are running our current insurance programs. Sign me up!

This lets you blow up all the rumors about death panels and grandma and everything else: everybody knows what Medicare is. Those who scorn it can go with Blue Cross. Those who like it can buy into it. Simplicity itself.

Of course, we’d like a few fixes, like letting Medicare negotiate drug prices and filling some of the holes Republicans and AARP and the big insurance lobbyists have drilled into Medicare so people have to buy “supplemental” insurance, but that can wait for the second round. Let’s get this done first.
Simple stuff. Medicare for anybody who wants it. Private health insurance for those who don’t. Easy message. Even Max Baucus and Chuck Grassley can understand it. Sarah Palin can buy into it, or ignore it. No death panels, no granny plugs, nothing. Just a few sentences.

Replace the “you must be disabled or 65” with “here’s what it’ll cost if you want to buy in, and here’s the sliding scale of subsidies we’ll give you if you’re poor, paid for by everybody else who’s buying in.” (You could roll back the Reagan tax cuts and make it all free, but that’s another rant.)

We elected you because we expected you to have the courage of your convictions. Here’s how. Not the “single payer Medicare for all” that many of us would prefer, but a simple, “Medicare for anybody who wants to buy in.”


Thom Hartmann (Radio show host, author)

08-17-09 "Anyway" by Kent Kieth

Submitted by P.J. Eck

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor the underdogs but follow only the top dogs.
Fight for ta few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.
People really need help but may attack you if you help them.
Help them anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the pants a few times.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

"Medicare for all is shovel ready!"

08-13-09: My quick summery

By Gretchen Randolph, Ph.D., PMHNP

Derrick's newsletter is worth joining on the site (home page).

As of Aug. 13, my quick summery:

Sen Merkley is on board, Rep Wu's coming along.

Sen Wyden is antiquated. He wants to "bail out" the "for profit" health insurance industry and escalate more cost to the taxpayer. With his plan we receive only 70 cents of service for every dollar we spend.  That doesn't even include the bloated charges by pharmaceutical, laboratories, and supply companies.  Only Single Payer is strong enough to keep the health care profits at reasonable levels.  Unfortunately, this is another greed driven industry, destroying our country.

·         Single Payer is simple,        
                                         it doesn't include insurance companies.

·         Small businesses, you and I will pay considerably less for our health care.  Businesses won't have to shop around obtaining insurance for employees and pay large premiums that never stop increasing, while benefits deteriorate.

·         You can choose your doctor.

·         Only Single Payer can stop the obscene profits being made in the health industry.

·         All people will be covered, in a Medicare type system.

You can buy supplemental insurance for extra's but this system would cover the basics. This would be a safety net for all families. You wouldn't have to fear your insurance will go up 23% in one year, like mine did last year. If your partner is diagnosed with breast cancer you won't have to loose your home to health bills denied by your current insurance.

Yes, it means change. Yes, the Single Payer system will tell me, as a nurse practitioner, what is a reasonable fee to charge for office sessions. Yes, my children and my children's children will have access to medical care if they are ill. Yes, the country will be economically stronger and our businesses can compete internationally.  Yes, I will be inconvenienced and maybe slightly scared. Yes, I will have to change, but the rewards are profound, and I'm not stupid!

Want to feel empowered?

Call, write, fax, or email Sen. Wyden--just say

 "I'm an Oregonian.  May I leave a message for Sen. Wyden?  Single Payer is the only cost effective plan for keeping our people and our businesses healthy.  Senator Wyden, will you vote for profits or for people?  Thank you."

Sen. Wyden 's numbers:

503.326.7525   Portland

202.224.5244   Washington DC

503.326.7528   Fax

202 228.2717   Fax Washington DC

Sen Ron Wyden
700 NE Multnomah St, Suite 450
Portland, OR 97232

Don't let the forces of greed deny you and your children health care.  August is critical.

Join the other millions pushing Congress, to do the right thing.

 Makes a person feel proud.

 Your Health Care Detective,


 08-11-09 Dems, You Have the Power!

By James Thindwa
August 11, 2009

Last November, at one of the most perilous moments in U.S. history, Americans gave Barack Obama and the Democrats a mandate to change the direction of the country. They wanted to turn a page from eight years of failure on almost every front.

Majorities favored a strong government hand in healthcare, more investment in infrastructure, aggressive action to combat global warming, tough measures to rein in corporate corruption, stronger enforcement of food and drug laws, protection of workers' rights, an end to wars of aggression, better race relations and a humane immigration policy.

It was an opportunity for Obama and the Democrats to deliver bold and far-reaching policy changes. Yet the Democrats continue to cede political space to Republicans, even as the GOP teeters on the brink of self-destruction.

This Republican disarray means that the policy debate in Washington is for the Democrats to lose. But first, in order to win, Democrats must acknowledge the root of the problem. For more than 30 years they have failed to defend the state in the face of conservative attacks. This failure has facilitated a dangerous expansion of corporate power and weakened public confidence in government.

First, Democrats need to respond to the GOP's anti-government message with simple, but passionate, references to day-to-day examples of positive governmental activity--local police and fire protection, Medicare, Social Security, the Veterans Administration, Air Traffic Control and groundbreaking discoveries produced by government-funded research.

Second, Obama should understand that bipartisanship is a means, not an end in itself. The president added unneeded tax cuts to the stimulus bill in the hope of winning Republican votes, but got just three in the Senate and none in the House. The cost-benefit analysis simply does not add up. If the GOP will oppose him anyway, it makes no sense for Obama to offer compromised proposals. Democrats should pursue bold and visionary ideas (like single-payer healthcare) and nominate real progressives to the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary. That would give the country a real debate about real choices.

Third, Democrats must learn that politics is as much about ideas as opportunity. When swine flu hit, Democrats never tried to connect it to healthcare reform. Rather than explain the potential dangers of millions of workers who prepare food in cafeterias, serve in restaurants and care for seniors and children going without health coverage, the president urged people to wash hands frequently and cover their coughs.

Fourth, Blue Dog Democrats must be reined in. They rode the wave of a progressive-leaning Democratic agenda and must not be allowed to frustrate progress. The president should go straight into Blue Dogs' districts and call them out, loud and clear. Their opposition to healthcare reform, he should point out, is not grounded in some high-minded ideological principle, as they claim, but a straight up quid pro quo. They have been paid by the health and insurance industries to fight against "government healthcare."

Lastly, labor and progressive movements must mobilize. History tells us, there is no substitute for movement-building to address major crises. The progressive movement must galvanize and force Democrats to deliver what the public voted for. To that end, we should consider a one-million strong march on Washington to demand jobs and healthcare.


James Thindwa is a member of In These Times’ Board of Directors and a labor and community activist.

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