"Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act" Provides Renewal For The Movement

Don McCanne | Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) | February 15, 2013

Congressman John Conyers has reintroduced his bill for a single payer national health program: H.R. 676, "Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act." Some perspective is warranted. Our government stewards are intensely involved in implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and thus tend to dismiss any consideration of single payer reform as being irrelevant in today's political climate. Such an attitude is decidedly unwise.

We know that a decade from now 30 million people will still be without any health insurance, and tens of millions more may be exposed to excessive medical debt because of the inadequate coverage of the health plans - the standard silver plan having an actuarial value of only 70 percent. We also know that the ACA model of reform will not be capable of adequately controlling costs and will fail to provide much needed reform such as the reduction or elimination of profound administrative waste.

Many understandably do not want to wait the years it will take to see that ACA is a failure. They are turning to their states to try to achieve single payer reform. But state efforts not only face the "political feasibility" hurdle, they also face the federal gridlock of existing programs, laws and regulations that place barriers in the way of state reform...