For Immediate Release
League of Women Voters Calls for 'Medicare for All'
WASHINGTON - Noting
the Obama administration's new health law falls short of providing
affordable care to all U.S. residents, the national convention of the
League of Women Voters passed a resolution Monday calling on the
group's board to "advocate strongly" for "an improved Medicare for
convention's 600 delegates, meeting in Atlanta on the group's 90th
anniversary, voted more than 2 to 1 in support of the measure. In the
run-up to the national meeting, nearly identical resolutions were
adopted by more than 50 local chapters and 11 state organizations of
the League, which claims more than 150,000 members nationwide.
many other groups, including labor unions, religious denominations and
medical associations, have gone on record in recent years in support of
a single-payer health program, or an improved Medicare for all, the
League's action is believed to be the first national endorsement of its
type since Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care
Act in March.
League's action is highly welcome and highly significant," said Dr.
Quentin Young, national coordinator of Physicians for a National Health
Program, an organization of 17,000 doctors who support a single-payer
system. "Among other things, it shows that its members are in tune with
numerous polls indicating strong majority support for a
government-sponsored, improved Medicare-for-all program.
a program is urgently needed to bring to a close the economic and
medical fiasco that is the tragic reality of our present health system
- a condition which, sadly, the newly passed health law will not cure,"
convention vote took place shortly before the arrival of Kathleen
Sebelius, President Obama's secretary of health and human services, who
was scheduled to address the gathering and to plug the administration's
new health law. When Sebelius arrived, she was greeted by delegates
holding a banner that read, "LWV Supports Improved Medicare for All."
While Sebelius was warmly received by the delegates, the Medicare-for-all message undoubtedly got through, Young said.
health care resolution (see below) was promoted across the country by
League members who built upon the group's previous declaration that a
viable health care plan should be universal, affordable, accessible and
funded by taxation rather than by insurance premiums.
resolution was introduced at the Atlanta meeting by Karen Green Stone
of Bloomington, Ind., who argued that the new law lacks effective cost
controls and does nothing to eliminate wasteful paperwork and
bureaucracy in the U.S. health system.
Stone commented after the vote, "The delegates at the meeting
understood that it has never been more important to push for a
single-payer plan, an improved Medicare for all. They loved our new
slogan in Indiana: 'Health care reform: We're still for it ... and
we're not done yet!'"
advocates say replacing the nation's multiple private health insurers
with a single streamlined, nonprofit, public insurance program would
save about $400 billion annually in administrative costs, enough to
provide all U.S. residents with comprehensive, quality care.
Health Care Resolution passed by LWVUS - June 14, 2010
the League of Women Voters of the United States believes quality health
care at an affordable cost should be available to all U.S. residents;
Whereas the current and proposed systems do not achieve the League goals of affordability and access to everyone; and
an improved Medicare for all, a publicly funded and privately delivered
national health care plan, is consistent with this goal;
be it resolved, we, the representatives of local and state Leagues
assembled at the 2010 LWVUS Convention, call upon the LWVUS Board to
advocate strongly for bills that legislate for improved Medicare for
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Physicians for a National Health Program is a single issue organization advocating a universal, comprehensive single-payer national health program. PNHP has more than 21,000 members and chapters across the United States.