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Green Party urges universal health care supporters to Go Green in 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Green Party is urging supporters of Single-Payer national health care (Medicare For All) to "Go Green in 2016," in an open letter written by Margaret Flowers and James Lane, Honorary Co-chairs of the 2016 Green Party Presidential Nominating Convention.

Excerpts from the letter are appended below. The full text is online here: http://www.gp.org/open_letter_single_payer_movement

According to a May 16 Gallup poll, 58% of U.S. adults (including 41% of Republicans) say they favor replacing Obamacare with a federally funded health-care system that covers all Americans ( http://www.gallup.com/poll/191504/majority-support-idea-fed-funded-healthcare-system.aspx ).

After Hillary Clinton's likely nomination at the Democratic National Convention, the Green Party and Green nominee will be the sole national advocates for Single-Payer in the 2016 election.

Green Party leaders are stressing the importance of having the Green nominee in the fall presidential debates, to argue for Single-Payer and other urgent ideas.

In January, Ms. Clinton said that a Single-Payer system "will never, ever come to pass." Her appointees to the Democratic Party's platform panel blocked endorsement of Single-Payer. As of January 2016, Ms. Clinton received $13 million from insurance and other health-care industries ( http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/hillary-clinton-gets-13-million-health-industry-now-says-single-payer-will-never ).

Greens compare achieving a Single-Payer system with the enactment of laws for an eight-hour workday, workers' benefits, unemployment compensation, minimum wages, child labor prohibitions, Social Security, and Medicare. All of these ideas were introduced by alternative parties and realized under alternative-party influence after initial opposition from the two major parties.

The effort to enact Canada's successful Single-Payer system was led by Tommy Douglas of the New Democratic Party, an alternative party, during the 1960s. U.S. Green Party leaders said that winning universal health care here will require strong Green Party influence and the election of Greens to legislative seats in statehouses and Congress. The Green Party and its candidates accept no money from corporate PACs.

Every developed country in the world except the U.S. guarantees its citizens medical care. For more information about Single-Payer and how it covers everyone and provides quality care while drastically reducing costs, see http://www.pnhp.org/facts/single-payer-faq

The letter follows earlier letters appeals to supporters of Black Lives Matter and Bernie Sanders supporters, also from Dr. Flowers and Mr. Lane. Mr. Sanders has promoted Single-Payer throughout his campaign, one of many reasons for his supporters to go Green in 2016 after the Democratic convention.

The Green Party's Presidential Nominating Convention will take place August 4-7 on the campus of the University of Houston in Texas. Members of the media may register for credentials here as well as on site during the convention.

For more details about the convention, including a schedule of events, see this news advisory.

Open Letter to the Single Payer Movement from the Honorary Co-chairs of the Green Party Presidential Nominating Convention (excerpted)

We applaud your efforts to push for the health care system that we so desperately need, a national improved Medicare for All. It is outrageous that in the wealthiest country in the world we treat health care as a commodity instead of a public good and that so many people are suffering and dying of preventable causes as a result.

We know how hard you have worked to get legislators to support single payer. The vast majority of Republican legislators are against it. Many Democrats are willing to sponsor single payer legislation when Republicans are the majority, but shy away from it when the Democrats are in power. We share your frustration with this restrictive two-party system....

Imagine what it would be like if Democrats couldn’t take voters for granted, if voters could choose a political party that supported and fought for single payer health care. That would certainly change the political dynamic. Legislators would have to earn the support of voters, and the stronger the single payer party was, the stronger the single payer movement would be.

The Green Party has supported single payer health care since its beginning. In fact, improved Medicare for All is a fundamental policy for the Green Party because it satisfies the party’s values of equality, justice and reducing the wealth divide.... As honorary co-chairs of the Green Party Presidential Nominating Convention, we invite you to consider the Green Party as the political home for the single payer movement. You are welcome to attend this year’s Annual Meeting in Houston from August 4 to 7.

In solidarity,
Margaret Flowers and James Lane
Honorary Co-chairs of the 2016 Green Party Presidential Nominating Convention