I would note that not only single-payer universal health care has been excluded from any discussions by Obama and the United States Senate; but, public health care has also been excluded.
As many of you know, I pushed hard for single-payer and led the fight to get it to the floor of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party (MNDFL) State Conventions where it finally passed and became part of the MNDFL Action Agenda.
The Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council has always viewed single-payer universal health care the same way Canada’s Tommy Douglas viewed single-payer--- as a step towards real public health care; or, as Tommy Douglas put it: socialized health care.
We should not play around here.
There will be no serious consideration of single-payer by Democrats; certainly not by Republicans.
Politically, single-payer is dead. Obama and the Democrats have killed single-payer. It was a nice thought; but, political reality is something much different. It is one thing to have polls showing overwhelming support for single-payer--- but, just like polls don’t die in wars; polls don’t mount successful campaigns for reforms--- people do. People are not going to be brought out in support of a concept that is “good” when they know something else is better and the real McCoy… public health care is better than single-payer and this is what will drive a movement capable of winning real health care reform.
Everyone knows that any country that can fight trillion dollar wars simultaneously in three countries; support, to the tune of tens-of-billions of dollars annually, the Israeli killing machine; and finance over 800 U.S. military bases on foreign soil dotting the globe--- this is a country that can afford to finance 800 public health care centers spread out across the United States providing its own citizens with free world-class health care second to none.
It is time to stop fooling ourselves; we need to bring the issue of public health care forward at this time.
Canada is a relatively poor country compared to the United States. The Canadians needed to start with single-payer; we don’t because the United States is the wealthiest country in the world. We need to go all out to fight for a public health care system.
Here in Roseau County, Minnesota; when we brought forward ALL options for health care reform… this is what passed unanimously at the Roseau County DFL Convention:
no-fee/no-premium, comprehensive, all-inclusive universal public health care from cradle-to-grave; publicly administered, publicly financed and publicly delivered
The first time single-payer universal health care passed unanimously; but, as the Party hacks dug in, in opposition to single-payer, then the people decided they had nothing to lose so they supported what they really wanted all along--- public health care; and in doing so, got a compromise: support for single-payer.
This is an important lesson and teaches us something about how to struggle for reforms. Don’t begin asking for a compromise because you will get nothing from those whose only goal is maximizing profits--- and campaign contributions.
There is nothing at all vague about what people really want when given every opportunity. Single-payer was always the begrudging second choice when public health care was included. This is supposed to be a democracy. The American people are entitled to the kind of health care system they really want.
There is a political lesson here.
Here in Minnesota, the DFL Party hacks only gave up their opposition to single-payer using all kinds of manipulations and control to allowing single-payer to be considered by state convention delegates after they became aware the popular movement was growing for public health care. The Party hacks hoped to derail the movement for public health care by allowing a vote on single-payer knowing that single-payer would meet its demise in the halls of Congress. In fact, most of Minnesota’s elected DFL politicians have refused to support single-payer mandate from the grassroots.
Now is the time to begin a discussion with the potential to drive a movement for what is really needed: a public health care system--- Everybody in… ALL profiteers out.
It will be the struggle for: no-fee/no-premium, comprehensive, all-inclusive universal public health care from cradle-to-grave; publicly administered, publicly financed and publicly delivered that drives the movement for successful health care reform in this country. Until public health care is placed on the table we will get nothing from Obama and the Democrats. Now is the time to move beyond single-payer universal health care in saying: Everyone in… all the profiteers out; public health care is the real solution.
A movement simply can’t be built fighting for part of the pie when people want, and are entitled to, the entire pie. With single-payer universal health care we only get a small slice of the population in action; not enough involvement for a winning movement.
There is a reason why doctors have come to the forefront in leading the single-payer movement… they want to protect their high incomes.
On the other hand, working people are defending their standard of living, as well as their health, by advocating public health care with: Everybody in… All profiteers--- including doctors with high incomes--- out.
Place the doctors on the public pay-roll just like teachers, professors, postal workers, municipal employees and librarians. Doctors employed by the Indian Health Service are perfectly happy being on the public pay-roll. Plus, we already have a very large Public Health Service employing many doctors… so, doctors on the public pay-roll is nothing new, not even in the United States… the great bastion of free enterprise.
There are no obstacles to public health care that can not be easily overcome--- once we exert the pressure required on the House and Senate; if they can’t be convinced to do what is right according to what the American people want, then the time has come to sweep the entire bunch right out of office with a new broom and a clean sweep.
What we need to win public health care is 800 citizen committees all over the United States clamoring for: Everybody in... profiteers out---
No-fee/no-premium, comprehensive, all-inclusive universal public health care from cradle-to-grave; publicly administered, publicly financed and publicly delivered.
Alan L. Maki
Director of Organizing,
Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council
58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763
Cell phone: 651-587-5541