Health Care Group Battles Insurance Companies to Include Single-Payer Bill in National Debate
Interview with Katie Robbins, assistant national coordinator, Health-Care Now! conducted by Scott Harris
During his campaign for the White House, Barack Obama was an advocate of national healthcare reform with the goal of universal medical coverage for all Americans, of whom 47 million are without coverage. On the campaign trail Obama was often quoted as saying, if he were starting from scratch, he would probably support a government-run single payer system, but went on to say, that because of the existing infrastructure, he would settle for improvements to the current privatized insurance system.
The group, Healthcare-Now!, doesn't accept President Obama's concession to the current system. Believing that healthcare is a human right, not a privilege tied to the ability to pay, Healthcare-Now is spearheading a national campaign to push for the passage of single-payer healthcare legislation known as the National Health Insurance Act (HR 676), sponsored by Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan. The bill would in essence extend the current Medicare system to all citizens regardless of their age.
A coalition comprised of healthcare activists, small businesses, faith organizations, labor unions, doctors and nurses, HealthCare Now! has organized demonstrations, public forums and lobbying to overcome the private insurance industry's well financed effort to exclude the single payer option from the national debate on healthcare reform. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Katie Robbins, assistant national coordinator for Health Care-Now! She talks about the advantages of single payer, and the obstacles that stand in the way of getting a fair hearing for the model used for the provision of health care in most industrialized nations of the world.
Contact Health Care-Now at 1-800-453-1305 or visit their website at www.healthcare-now.org
* Physicians for a National Health Plan at www.pnhp.org
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