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Solidarity With Medical Students Who Demand Single Payer Now: An Open Letter

"Market-driven healthcare is leading Americans to early graves and medical bankruptcy."

"Currently, the majority of Americans and practicing physicians support single-payer health care." (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

"Currently, the majority of Americans and practicing physicians support single-payer health care." (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

We, the undersigned, stand together with medical students as they pressure organized medicine to support a single, comprehensive health care system for everyone in America.

At the American Medical Association’s annual conference in June, medical students demanded the organization end its decades-long opposition to a single-payer national health program, a system that would be publicly financed but privately delivered and is better known as “Medicare for All.” This week, members of the Student Osteopathic Medical Association will submit a resolution asking the American Osteopathic Association to support Medicare for All.

Those fortunate enough to have insurance face prohibitively expensive copays, premiums, and deductibles that limit access to care, and medical expenses remain a leading cause of bankruptcy.

Currently, the majority of Americans and practicing physicians support single-payer health care. In their resolutions, medical students from both organizations acknowledge what the rest of the country already knows: Market-driven healthcare is leading Americans to early graves and medical bankruptcy

Our health system produces some of the worst health outcomes in the industrialized world—the U.S. has the highest rate of infant mortality and the highest number of avoidable deaths—and devours an ever-increasing share of our economy with health spending accounting for a whopping 17.9 percent of the GDP. Those fortunate enough to have insurance face prohibitively expensive copays, premiums, and deductibles that limit access to care, and medical expenses remain a leading cause of bankruptcy.

Instead, Medicare for All would give health care providers more autonomy because their clinical judgement—not the financial bottom line of insurance companies—will guide patient care. Patients would have free choice of any doctor, allowing providers to compete based on quality of care. Physicians would spend less time on administrative responsibilities like paperwork and billing, and more time seeing patients, which boosts both their work satisfaction and income.

We proudly stand alongside America’s future physicians in their efforts to steer the AMA and the AOA towards a universal, single-payer health system that provides quality, equitable care for all patients.

Signed,

Students for a National Health Program (SNaHP)

Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA)

Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA)

Pre-Health Dreamers

American Medical Student Association (AMSA)

Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM)

California Health Professional Student Alliance (CaHPSA)

Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP)

California Physicians Alliance (CaPA)

White Coat Brigade

Radical Public Health

Progressive Doctors

National Health Care for the Homeless Council

Labor for Single Payer

Healthcare NOW!

Clinicians for Progressive Care

All Unions Committee for Single Payer Health Care--HR 676

National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI)

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Students for a National Health Program

Students for a National Health Program (SNaHP) is the student arm of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP). Follow the group on Twitter: @snahp_national

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