Judgment Day: Dr. Margaret Flowers on What Follows the Supreme Court Ruling on Healthcare

Laura Flanders | The Nation | June 27, 2012

Margaret Flowers, MD, is a pediatrician whose exasperation with the American healthcare system turned her into a single-payer activist. In 2009 she was arrested at the Senate Round Table on Health Insurance for attempting to speak on behalf of a single-payer plan when single-payer had been cut out of the conversation.

“When Obama was elected I was optimistic, like many people, because he knew what single-payer was,” she told me when we talked. “He’d been on record saying that single-payer was the best solution. It was quickly very clear that that this was a predetermined course, that it was more like a marketing campaign.”

As the nation awaited the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), Flowers sounded more upbeat than aghast at the prospect of the Supreme Court ruling striking down part or more of the Obama law. For Flowers, a single-payer plan, like Medicare for all (which would fund medical care from a single insurance pool run by the state), was always the ideal way to provide universal, affordable, quality care, and contain soaring costs and waste in the process. As for the individual mandate—forcing the public to buy from a for-profit company—she’s called it “crony capitalism on steroids.”...