For Immediate Release


Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Cut Out Insurers, Save $400 Billion on Healthcare?

National coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program, Young will be testifying before the House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), on Wednesday. Young is past president of the American Public Health Association and is a master in the American College of Physicians. A longtime friend of Barack Obama, he was the Rev. Martin Luther King's doctor when King was organizing in Chicago.

Young said today: "The health reform bills emerging from the House and Senate are deeply flawed. The crisis in health care is due to one big thing: our multi-payer system of private insurance companies. Everybody knows that. Obama knows that. He said he was for single payer not that many years ago, and has said if he were starting from scratch, he would go with it. He also said we'd first have to take back the White House, the Senate and the House. ...

"Private insurance bureaucracy and paperwork consume nearly one-third of every health care dollar. Streamlining payment through a single, nonprofit payer would save more than $400 billion per year, enough to provide comprehensive, high-quality coverage for all Americans.

"The system, as Obama aptly notes, is running amuck, and it's costing our nation up to $2.5 trillion annually, rising at a rate two or three times the rate of inflation. And he’s right in saying the economy can’t tolerate it.

“A so-called public plan option won't touch the foundations of this dysfunctional, wasteful, multi-payer system of insurers. It will not provide cost control."


"I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program." [applause] "I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its Gross National Product on health care, cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. And that's what Jim is talking about when he says everybody in, nobody out. A single payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that's what I'd like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House."

-- Illinois State Sen. Barack Obama, 2003

Videos and background here and here.


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