Michael Lighty

Michael Lighty

Michael Lighty has organized, advocated and developed policy for Improved Medicare for All nationally and in California for 29 years. He is a founding Fellow of the Sanders Institute. Lighty is currently on sabbatical from the California Nurses Association/NNU where he was director of public policy. During his tenure there from 1994-2018, Lighty coordinated campaigns for an HMO patients’ bill of rights, clean money elections, Healthy California, and nationally, for a Robin Hood Tax. Lighty was the first openly LGBTQ person to lead a socialist organization as Democratic Socialists of America’s National Director in the early 90’s. In 2009 Oakland Mayor Ronald V. Dellums appointed Lighty to the Board of Port Commissioners. For NNU, Lighty coordinated the Peoples Summit in Chicago in 2016 & 2017, and the Bernie Bus campaign, an independent effort to elect Bernie Sanders for President. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Peoples Action; Progressive Democrats of America; and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Center in Oakland, CA, where he lives with his husband. Follow him on Twitter: @mlighty60

 

Articles by this author

Middle-income families save an average 9% of income; for example, a family earning $62,000 today paying $10,000 per year out of pocket would pay $930. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images) Views
Monday, April 15, 2019
Nothing Less Than Improved Medicare for All
Isn’t this a “radical transformation” of the US healthcare system? No. Medicare for All expands the role of public financing in healthcare- 60% of healthcare is already paid for by our taxes. It does so through an existing “single-payer” called the Medicare Trust Fund that already pays virtually...
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Very quickly, peace of mind will overwhelm that forgotten desire to keep your private insurance.(Photo: Joe Newman via Public Citizen/flickr/cc) Views
Monday, March 25, 2019
'Medicare for America' Will Not Get Us Where We Need to Be
With so much written about the politics and some about the policy of Medicare for All, it seems we’re having a real debate about the key issues. But appearances deceive. Instead, it’s more of a struggle over the semantics of “Medicare” – #M4A - is it for America or is it for All? Proponents of “...
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Sunday, February 03, 2019
Concerning Medicare for All, It's Not a Time for "Can't"
I have a request for the pundits , editorial boards, and especially politicians, seemingly sympathetic to Medicare for All, but who dwell on its supposed infeasibility and limitations : please take a time out. When it comes to seeking universal healthcare in the U.S. since the 1940's (decades...
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"Those looking for a silver bullet—like an individual buy-into Medicare for those 55 and over, which relieves the insurers of having to cover their most expensive patients, and undermines the social insurance model of Medicare, or the Medicare Advantage model—only highlight how much existing Medicare is already privatized," writes Lighty. (Photo: © Greg Nash ) Views
Thursday, January 03, 2019
Now That Everybody Is for Medicare for All, Opponents Say Let’s Dilute It
A strange phenomena has appeared in the US debate over universal healthcare: a big majority favors a well-known reform—Medicare for All—as the pundits, insurance and pharma lobbyists, and political insiders denied it (since 1992!), then since 2016 opposed it and all of sudden want to re-define it...
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$3.5 Trillion overall, $10,739 per person, now exceeding 18% of GDP while providing worse outcomes, lower quality and shorter life expectancy than any other industrialized country. (Photo: Michael Fleshman/flickr/cc) Views
Friday, December 07, 2018
$3.5 Trillion on Healthcare Each Year and We’re Still Uninsured, Underinsured, and Unhappy
It’s time for a reality check when it comes to universal healthcare. Usually, that means those with an idealistic vision of equity and justice must give it up in favor a more achievable program. But in this case, the reality of what’s achievable exceeds the low expectations and compromises that...
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Thursday, March 15, 2018
A Labor-Based Movement For Medicare for All
Healthcare is the crossroads where the assault on workers meets the juggernaut of “crony capitalism.” That’s the term used by the mainstream neo-classical and Nobel prize-winning economist Angus Deaton to describe the coziness between the healthcare industry and its government “regulators.” In fact...
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"Those who control capital, like the richest guy in the world, investment banks and investors, favor capital-intensive approaches to social problems." (Photo: NBC News) Views
Friday, February 02, 2018
Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss
The announcement by the CEO’s from JP Morgan Chase, Amazon and Berkshire-Hathaway that they are forming a new healthcare company signals the symbolic end of the ACA-reform era. They recognize the inefficiencies and profiteering of the private insurance companies, who add no value to businesses...
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Tuesday, August 08, 2017
Liberals Strike Back... Against Single Payer
With the explosive growth of the movement for single payer healthcare, it should not be a surprise to see the Empire Strike Back. In the name of political reality, some liberal pundits, politicians and policy wonks are scolding progressives to give up on Medicare for All . There are many ways to...
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