John McCain would never endorse it, and Barack Obama’s plan carefully steered away from it, but the proponents of a single-payer national health care plan are as determined, and hopeful, as ever to bring it the U.S.
Congressman John Conyers of Michigan, who introduced HR 676, the United States National Health Insurance Act, to Congress in 2003, isn’t giving up. Under his plan, a single agency would organize health financing — cutting out the insurance companies as the middle men — but health care delivery itself would be mostly private.
On Sept. 19, single-payer advocates gathered at the 1199/SEIU building in midtown Manhattan to honor Conyers as he received a lifetime achievement award from members of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP). He concluded his speech with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane."
Conyers spoke to me that evening about how he thinks a national health care plan is inevitable – because every other plan has led the country into dead ends. Click here to listen to the interview.
The single-payer advocates gathered that evening were also celebrating the release of PNHP’s new book, "10 Excellent Reasons for National Health Care."
I spoke with the editors, Mary E. O’Brien, M.D., and Martha Livingston, PHD, about the book and their views on McCain and Obama’s health care plans. Click here to listen to Dr. O’Brien and Dr. Livingston.