News Release

Can Single Payer Get a Fair Hearing?

DEB RICHTER
Chair of Vermont Health Care for All, Richter is a physician in rural Vermont. She said today: “Vermont Governor Jim Douglas and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick have been asked by President Obama to host a regional New England health care summit at the University of Vermont on Tuesday, March 17. We do not expect single payer to be seriously considered, despite a few last-minute invitations to single payer supporters such as myself.

“We are organizing a peaceful and respectful protest at the University of Vermont Davis Center in Burlington, Vermont, where the summit will be held. The protest is scheduled for Noon.”

“At the recent White House summit on health reform the first person to speak at the close of the forum was the head of the American Health Insurers Plans, Karen Ignani. The rest of those in attendance were mostly lobbyists from special interest groups. The single payer view was all but excluded.

“In fact, no single payer advocate was invited until thousands of messages reached the White House, including word that doctors were going to protest on the sidewalk….

“When it comes to the debate in Washington, D.C., single payer stands ignored, like the elephant in the room, in spite of all of the evidence that it saves money, contains future spending, will include everyone and will improve the economy.

“The president has promised an open, transparent process, with all proposals considered. It is time to insist that single payer be given serious consideration in this process.”

See the Burlington Free Press piece about the upcoming forum, which quotes Dr. Richter: “Forum to highlight Vt. health successes.”

Also, see Crain’s Detroit Business’ report from last week’s summit in Michigan, which notes that despite being marginalized by members of the Obama administration, single payer was repeatedly raised at the Michigan summit: “Attendees at White House forum voice health care reform ideas.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167