Single-Payer Marginalized at Obama Health Care Reform Summit
Interview with Dr. Oliver Fein, president of Physicians for a National Health Program, conducted by Melinda Tuhus
On March 5, President Obama invited over 100 health care experts to the White House to consider solutions for repairing the broken U.S. health insurance system. About 40 million Americans are currently uninsured, which is actually a drop of several million since federal coverage was recently extended to low-income children under the SCHIP bill, which had been vetoed twice by former President Bush. However, several million Americans remain under-insured.
Of all the experts invited, not one was a supporter of single-payer health care, also known as "Medicare for All." Labeled incorrectly by critics as "socialized medicine," single-payer has been targeted by health insurance companies who have an enormous financial interest in discouraging support among the American people. However, polls show a majority of Americans do support the concept of government-provided health insurance.
After protests over the exclusion of single-payer advocates from the Obama health care summit, the guest list was expanded to include Michigan Rep. John Conyers, who has introduced single-payer legislation -- HR676, which now has almost 100 co-sponsors -- and Dr. Oliver Fein, president of Physicians for a National Health Program. Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Dr. Fein, a practicing internist at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, about support for single-payer among consumers and health providers, and its chances of success in this year of economic free fall.
For more information, call (312) 782-6006 or visit the group's website at www.pnhp.org
Public Opinion Polls on Single Payer Healthcare http://www.wpasinglepayer.org/PollResults.html
Like Pelosi's Congress with Bush Impeachment, Obama White House Declares Single-Payer Universal Healthcare 'Off the Table', by Green Party activists Kimberly and Ian Wilder, The Wilder Side blog http://wilderside.wordpress.com/2009/03/04/like-bush-impeachment-obama-white-house-declares-single-payer-universal-healthcare-off-the-table
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