Green Party To Congress: Pass The Sanders Bill and HR 676, Enact Single-Payer Now

For Immediate Release

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Scott McLarty, 202-904-7614scott@gp.org

Green Party To Congress: Pass The Sanders Bill and HR 676, Enact Single-Payer Now

WASHINGTON - The Green Party is calling for swift passage of Single-Payer national health care, which now has Sen. Bernie Sanders' legislation in the U.S. Senate (Medicare for All Act of 2017) along with House bill 676 to make conversion to a universal health care system possible.

The Green Party of the United States supports a National Improved Medicare for All system that includes everyone living in the country, provides comprehensive benefits and eliminates cost-sharing such as co-pays and deductibles. The party has endorsed Single-Payer / Medicare For All ever since the party was founded.

On preliminary analysis, the Sanders bill has strengths, such as strong protections for full reproductive services, but also has weaknesses that should be amended before a Senate vote: it excludes long term care and allows investor-owned health facilities to operate in the system.

"Establishment Democrats and Republicans measure the value of health care and other policies according to the Dow, GDP, and bottom lines of corporations -- especially those with powerful lobbies and generous campaign contributions. The Green Party judges policies and legislation according to how they benefit working people and the poor," said Jody Grage, Secretary of the Green Party of the United States and Green Party of Washington Chapter Coordinator.

Greens said that the greatest benefit of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was expanding Medicaid to millions of Americans. At the same time, tens of millions of people in the U.S. have expensive but inadequate coverage or no coverage at all. The ACA has boosted the profits of health insurers, private hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies.

The Green Party recognizes that one hundred years of failed incremental reforms has left us with only one choice that is acceptable to the public, a Single-Payer system such as National Improved Medicare for All or a National Health Service.

"Every other developed country in the world guarantees its citizens health care. We don't have universal health care yet in the U.S. because too many Democrats and Republicans are either loyal to private insurance, pharmaceutical, and other medical industries or they buy into a fraudulent ideology that elevates the free market over human needs, or both," said Dr. Margaret Flowers, former Green candidate for the U.S. Senate in Maryland.

"Congress now has the chance to make health care a human right. The Green Party urges all people who believe in that right to continue to build the movement for Single-Payer and push members of Congress to support strong legislation that ends the commodification of health care. We will have to guard against efforts to weaken Medicare for All legislation," said Dr. Flowers.

See also:

GreenStream on Aug. 23: Green Party livestream interview with Single-Payer organizer Ursula Rozum
News advisory: Green Party of the United States, August 17, 2017
Watch the interview

Green Party to Sen. Bernie Sanders: Introduce Single-Payer / Medicare For All in your Senate bill
Press release: Green Party of the United States, March 29, 2017

"The Green Party supports single-payer universal health care and preventive care for all"
http://www.gp.org/we_support_single_payer
http://www.gp.org/social_justice_2016#sjHealthCare

Senate Debates Billions for Insurers while Public Demands Medicare for All
By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Health Over Profit for Everyone, September 8, 2017

Sanders' Single-Payer Plan: "Politicians Must Take a Stand"
Institute for Public Accuracy, September 13, 2017

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