Sanders's "Medicare for All" Bill Feels Like New Level of Progress, Activism

 The introduction of "Medicare for All" in the Senate Sept. 13 feels like a new stage, a new plateau, in the quest for single payer in this country, says activist Sydney Jacobs. "People are really waking up to the awful realities of our current system and coming around to the fact that SP is the ONLY sustainable way we can do healthcare in this country.  The press, mainstream politicians, and the insurance/Big Pharma goons can no longer ignore SP in conversations about healthcare - our representatives, such as Van Hollen and Cardin, can no longer NOT talk about Medicare for All."

/By Sydney Jacobs/ There has been remarkable momentum for single payer over the summer in the chaos of the Republican attempt to shut down the Affordable Care Act.  It’s really picking up and this could be an important moment in finally achieving healthcare for all.

 I was there, front row, when Bernie Sanders and his co-sponsors introduced "Medicare for All" Sept. 13.  It was very exciting - lots of very positive, hopeful energy in the room. If you didn’t watch it live, I recommend spending an hour and watch it on YouTube

 I haven’t read the bill yet - it’s supposed to get a number soon and become widely available - but the single payer activist community is strongly supportive.  What I do know: it does NOT include the financing piece - it’s focused on policy.  The strategy seems to be to get the politicians and the public to understand and buy into Medicare for All as the direction we want to pursue, then tackle the tax/financing of such a program separately (a different bill).  Bernie’s bill is considered a companion bill to HR 676 (John Conyers’ single-payer bill in the House), but would be a 4-year graduated rollout, as opposed to a more “instant’ implementation. A temporary ‘public option’ component is included, so if you’ve heard PO being discussed, that’s why.

 healthcare_not_wealthcare.jpgThe announcement Sept. 13 feels like a new stage, a new plateau, in the quest for single payer in this country. People are really waking up to the awful realities of our current system and coming around to the fact that SP is the ONLY sustainable way we can do healthcare in this country.  The press, mainstream politicians, and the insurance/Big Pharma goons can no longer ignore SP in conversations about healthcare - our representatives, such as Van Hollen and Cardin, can no longer NOT talk about Medicare for All.

 So all of us must let our Senators and Reps know we want - we demand - that the USA adopt Medicare for All.  In other words, we need to be calling/writing/ going to their public meetings and forcing them to justify why they are NOT supporting single-payer.

 This is going to be a long, bruising fight.  I’ve come to realize that the opponents of single-payer are a force unlike anything Progressives have ever faced in this country.  For those of you who are Game of Thrones fans, I think of the ‘enemy’ as the White Walker Army - it will take a very unified, organized effort to take them on and win.

 Go to the link below and then click the http://thndr.me/J81x5E link in the blue box to make your calls to the Maryland senators, Van Hollen and Cardin.  Try to do this today!


Sydney Jacobs is a co-chair of Health Care is a Human Right (HCHR) Prince George’s County.