By Jake Johnson
Common Dreams, May 12, 2018
As momentum in the fight for Medicare for All continues to grow nationwide thanks to persistent grassroots organizing by nurses, democratic socialists, and progressive activists, a group of California doctors placed an unprecedented eight-page ad in a major Sacramento newspaper on Thursday in an effort to combat corporate lies about single-payer and provide “patients and physicians with the tools they need to be effective advocates for a system that provides high quality care, but doesn’t bankrupt the sick or the U.S. economy.”
“We don’t have the deep pockets of the insurance industry or the pharmaceutical industry, which Californians may recall spent $109 million two years ago to defeat a ballot measure to reduce drug prices, but we are determined to get the facts about single-payer out in Sacramento and across the country,” Dr. Paul Song, a radiation oncologist and president of the California chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), said in a statement.
The full eight-page publication—which features articles from doctors explaining how a single-payer system would be more cost-effective and provide far better care than the for-profit status quo—can be read here.
Funded by local PNHP members, the ad campaign ran in 100,000 copies of the Sacramento News and Review, and copies of the insert were given to every member of the California state legislature before the publication ran this week.
“There’s a lack of informative, accurate coverage of single payer in the mainstream media,” Dr. Bill Bronston, chair of the Sacramento Chapter of PNHP, said in a statement.
In addition to pressuring lawmakers in California and nationwide to get behind Medicare for All—which has been surging in popularity over the past year and now has the support of the majority of the American public—the ad insert is also aimed at urging “patients to talk to their doctors about how single payer could dramatically reduce drug costs and allow patients to choose their physicians without co-pays, deductibles, and outrageous out-of-network bills,” Dr. Song said.