WASHINGTON, D.C. — Green Party leaders said that the Republican plan to repeal Obamacare, Medicare, and Medicaid should motivate Americans to demand Single-Payer national health care (“Medicare For All”).
Greens asserted that making health care a right for all Americans — instead of saving Obamacare — should be among the demands that are front and center at the Inauguration Day protests next week.
The Green Party of the United States has endorsed Occupy Inauguration and Greens are preparing to participate in events planned for Jan. 20 and Jan. 21.
Greens will also participate in a demonstration for Health Care Justice at Trump Tower in New York City (5th Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets) on Friday, Jan. 13, at 4 p.m. The demonstration will kick off the National Single Payer Health Care Strategy Conference on Jan. 14 and 15.
“President-elect Trump and Republicans want to repeal Obamacare and privatize Medicare and Medicaid, while Democrats want to leave it as is. Despite intense differences, the two parties agree on the premise that the primary goal of health care policy is to sustain huge profits for insurance, pharmaceutical, and other health-care industries. The Green Party, along with physicians and consumer advocates across the U.S. and a majority of the public, says that health care must be a human right and that medical care must be guaranteed for everyone,” said Sanda Everette, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States.
Greens said that, while Obamacare brought some necessary reforms, the individual mandate ensures that health care will remain a wasteful cash cow for the insurance industry. Obamacare does little to control soaring medical costs and leaves millions with low-quality high-premium high-deductible coverage and millions more with no coverage at all.
“There’s widespread fear that Republicans will leave millions of Americans without coverage or with higher costs and worse coverage. But there’s also widespread dissatisfaction with Obamacare, which Republicans are exploiting in their partisan zeal to repeal the program. This is the ideal moment to demand that the U.S. make health care a right for everyone and educate every American about the benefits of Single-Payer,” said John R. Battista, M.D., long-time Green Party health care activist and founder of the Connecticut Coalition for Universal Health Care.
During the 2016 presidential race, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton rejected Single-Payer. Only Green nominee Jill Stein advocated it, along with Bernie Sanders during the primary races. Polls have consistently shown that a majority of Americans want guaranteed health care for everyone ( “Poll: Most Americans want to replace Obamacare with single-payer — including many Republicans,” Washington Post, May 16, 2016).
“In spite of the dangers posed by Donald Trump and Republican rule in the coming years, the real conflict isn’t between Democrats and Republicans. It’s the political establishment and corporate lobbies served by both major parties versus working Americans and the needy. Among developed countries, only the U.S. makes health care a privilege instead of a right,” said Aaron Renaud, co-chair of the Green Party of Texas.
Single-Payer would expand Medicare to provide universal coverage, allow full consumer choice of physician and hospital, and expand prevent efforts.
Single-Payer would drastically lower domestic health-care costs for consumers by eliminating overhead from the private insurance “middle-man” bureaucracy, which pads medical costs up to 30%, and would set price controls as well as negotiate the cost of prescription medications. It would relieve employers of the burden of providing health benefits and reduce paperwork for medical professionals.
A Single-Payer program would be funded through a tax comparable to Social Security that would be lower than private insurance. For more information about Single-Payer, see the FAQ page on the Physicians for a National Health Program web site.