In Des Moines today, at the third White House Regional Forum on Health Reform:
Greetings everybody and thanks for hosting this. I’m delighted that we’re talking about these issues.
My name is Jess Fiedorowicz. I’m a physician and faculty member at the University of Iowa. And I’m here representing Physicians for a National Health Program. [applause]
[Iowa State Senator] Jack Hatch had mentioned that he thought that health care was a human right. I agree. But if it is a human right then why are we settling short of not covering every Iowan? This plan does not cover every Iowan.
The majority of Americans, and the majority physicians, support single payer national health insurance. Single payer national health insurance is the only true path to universal care.
Governor Culver, you mentioned “pooling.” How about this for a pool? Everybody In! How is that for a pool?
Nancy-Ann DeParle, I have a question for you.
With the majority of Americans and the majority of physicians supporting single payer national health insurance, can we put it on the table for discussion?
Can we discuss, can we study costing? Can we study the feasibility of this socially just, truly universal and fiscally responsible alternative to our currently unjust and woefully inefficient system?
Governor Culver’s reply:
Thank you. [pause] It’s on the table now! [laughter and applause] Which is the purpose of this meeting, to hear from everyone that’s willing to try to help us solve this national crisis, this national challenge.
(Video available at the Des Moines Register, Dr. Fiedorowicz’s remarks begin at 54:12.)
When President Obama announced regional forums to discuss health reform, single payer advocates rejoiced. The weight of evidence and the momentum of popular opinion – and the fact that people are fed up with the insurance they have! – can indeed carry the democratic process in favor of single-payer health reform, as Dr. Fiedorowicz proposes. Yet it remains up to us to put single payer “on the table.”
This beautiful sense of responsibility, yearning to help others, with its rejection of healthcare injustice, has come across from all who have protested and participated on behalf of single payer reform at the White House forums, in Washington, DC, Dearborn, Burlington and Des Moines. There should be little doubt that together we can achieve reform that is “socially just, truly universal and fiscally responsible.”