Fighting for Single Payer in the Time of Trump

Speaker Paul Ryan has prepared an agenda for slashes to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, our best programs won through generations of struggle. Trump says he will repeal the Affordable Care Act but keep the most popular provisions. That is not possible. The dangers are very real–even catastrophic. No wimpy plan can save us.

What could unite us all is a bold and brave plan to improve Medicare and expand it to all. That is what HR 676, Congressman John Conyers’ national legislation, does.

That would stop the privatization and threats to Medicare. That would end the blocking of Medicaid. That would end the soaring premiums, the mandates, the fines, the denials of care, the “Cadillac” tax, the narrow networks, the deductibles, the co-pays, the co-insurance, the drugs and the care so costly that insurance can’t help. That would end the threats to those on Medicaid and end the two-tiered system that keeps them “somewhere just below,” as Merle Haggard said.

That would end the division between those eligible for Medicaid or subsidies and those whose paychecks are bigger but not big enough to handle the gargantuan costs.

That would end the frustrations of our physicians and nurses who will be free from insurance company control. They can then concentrate on patients, not profits. That would end the threat of closure of our hospitals. That would save the health care of miners and manufacturing workers whose employers have declared bankruptcy or left the country.

That would end the fear and the stress as too many face bankruptcy on top of illness. It will be a balm to the wounds and pain of the Rust Belt and of Flint.

Frederick Douglass taught us that “Power concedes nothing without a demand.” He did not then say, that when the political forces are aligned against your demand, you declare it infeasible and change it.

Kay Tillow, Coordinator