By Michael McAuliff
New York Daily News
February 23, 2010
Reps. Anthony Weiner and Peter Welch are reprising a question that proved thorny for President Obama’s last health care summit: Where’s the single-payer advocate?
Weiner and Welch — single-payer advocates who are not invited, yet — argue in a letter to the President today that someone from the single-payer side should be at the Blair House summit on Thursday.
“Dear Mr. President,” they write. “During the State of the Union address, you stated, ‘But if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know.’
“We’d like to take you up on the offer.”
Their idea is pretty easy to understand: Medicare for all.
The letter is after the jump.
Dear Mr. President:
During the State of the Union address, you stated, “But if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know.”
We’d like to take you up on the offer. The best way to advance these goals is to expand what we know already works. We and many Americans propose Medicare for All. We would urge you to make sure that someone is invited to the summit that supports this position.
Building on Medicare, which has a 1% overhead rate, would reduce costs by eliminating insurance company profits and cut administrative costs which currently consume 31%, nearly double that of other nations. A universal Medicare for All system would provide Americans with complete autonomy in choosing their health care provider without regard to provider networks or referrals from primary care doctors. Patients would no longer be responsible for premiums, deductibles or co-payments. Government safety net programs, such as Medicaid and SCHIP, as well as the State and local government portions for these programs, would no longer be needed.
Furthermore, a Medicare for All system would be easily understandable by the American public. Medicare has been an enormous success for seniors and there is no reason, we believe, to not expand Medicare coverage to all Americans.
Thank you in advance for your consideration.