Watch here: http://www.c-span.org/Watch/C-…
Check out below the fold for more info.
Senator Sanders is speaking now. His Medicare For All bill was just read into the record. He is basically saying that the time for single payer is not now, but it WILL happen.
Sanders is talking about the huge amount of support for single payer. The California state legislature has done so, he said. So did the New York state legislature. It didn’t make it into law, though. He also cited organizations that support it, like the NAACP. He cited a poll in which 56% of Americans supported it. He talked about people that are suffering from our current system, too.
If you’re interested in really getting single payer passed in the near future, check out the effort in Pennsylvania that is supported by governor Rendell to pass statewide single payer. There was a state senate hearing on that bill today.
Several representatives of the health care industry told a Pennsylvania Senate committee that its bill to create a single-payer system in the state does not control costs or guarantee more people get health care.
Taking the first step
Before testimony began, White said the “information hearing” was designed to explore Ferlo’s bill and other reform measures, but most of the discussion focused on the single-payer proposal.
Chuck Pennacchio, head of the Healthcare for All Pennsylvania, a group with about 10,000 members, called on the state legislature to lead national reform efforts by passing the bill. No state has approved a single-payer system, and Pennacchio said Pennsylvania is uniquely poised to complete the reform because Gov. Ed Rendell has voiced support for the measure and 68% of state residents in a 2008 poll favored the approach.
“This is not only the first significant step in an evidence-based process designed not only to cure Pennsylvania’s health care system, but also to inspire the adoption, across each of America’s individual states, the only proven, uniquely American, centrist health care reform,” he said, generating applause from supporters.
And here’s some info from Bernie Sanders’ website (H/T Turkana – and there are some action item links on that page):
The Senate on Wednesday debated for the first time in American history a proposal to create a single-payer, Medicare-for-all health care system. The Sanders Amendment would provide health care and dental coverage for every American, save money, and improve health care results.”In my view, the single-payer approach is the only way we will ever have a cost-effective, comprehensive health care system in this country,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose amendment will come before the Senate. WATCH THE DEBATE LIVE
The 1,300 profit-making private insurance companies administer thousands of separate plans and waste about $400 billion a year on administrative costs, profiteering, high CEO compensation packages, and advertising. Health care providers spend another $210 billion on administrative costs, mostly to deal with insurance paperwork. As a result, the United States spends $7,129 per person on health care, almost double the amount spent by nearly any other industrialized country. Nevertheless, 46 million Americans lack health insurance, 100 million Americans cannot access dental care, and 60 million Americans do not have access to primary care.
“One of the reasons our current health care system is so expensive, so wasteful, so bureaucratic, so inefficient is that it is heavily dominated by private health insurance companies whose only goal in life is to make as much money as they can,” Sanders said.