For Immediate Release
Everything Is on the Table Except What's Not
Baucus says everything is on the table - except single payer
WASHINGTON - The chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Max Baucus, is one of the largest recipients of support from private insurance companies. At the Kaiser Family Foundation, Baucus reiterated that all options for health care reform are still on the table - save for single-payer. ""We are going to come up with a uniquely American solution, which is also going to be public and private," Baucus said to the press. "Not too far one side, and not too far the other." Everything is on the table, everything. All proposals, all ideas that groups may have are on the table and we're going to discuss them."
When confronted about the absence by single-payer on the discussion, he stuttered before saying, "it's the only thing that is not [on the table] because it cannot pass. It just cannot pass. I don't know if there are two or three members of Congress that can honestly say that it will pass."
There are currently 77 cosponsors of Representative John Conyer's HR 676, a bill that proposes national health insurance for all Americans.
"We cannot squander this opportunity, can't waste capital on something that is impossible," Baucus said of dismissing single payer from the Senate Finance schedule.
On January 28, 2009, the California Nurses Association and the National Nurses Organizing Committee presented the findings of a new study to Congressional workers, "Single Payer/Medicare for All: An Economic Stimulus Plan for the Nation."
The study demonstrated that a "comprehensive Medicare-based Single Payer system can make significant contributions to access of quality care for all US residents," but it would also create 2.6 million new jobs, generate $317 billion in business and public revenue, and add another $100 billion to wages. Adding all Americans to a Medicare-based system would only cost an additional $63 billion dollars, half the government bailout for AIG.
Russell Mokhiber, from SinglePayerAction.org, was one of the six people arrested in early May for speaking out at the Senate Finance hearing on health care reform. "The only thing that is going to work is," Mokhiber suggested to TRNN, "...[is if everyone] has a Medicare card when they are born and they can go to any doctor, any hospital, no bills, no co-pays, no deductibles, no private insurance companies, and it will relieve a lot of stress on the system and it will get rid of this business of more than half of bankruptcies being triggered by medical bills and no longer we will have 20,000 Americans a year die from lack of health insurance."
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