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Green Party LogoGreens: Now it's time to work for real health reform -- Medicare For All

GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES
http://www.gp.org

For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Contacts:
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, cell 202-904-7614, mclarty@greens.org
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805, starlene@gp.org


Now it's time to work for real health care reform -- Medicare For All, say Greens

The Democratic "insurance company enrichment" bill burdens millions of Americans and imposes mandates that enrich insurance companies

Green Party Speakers Bureau: Greens available to speak on health care reform: http://www.gp.org/speakers/speakers-health-care.php


WASHINGTON, DC -- Green candidates and party leaders said today that the passage of the Democratic health care bill, with its increased financial burdens on millions of Americans, should not slow the movement for Medicare For All (single-payer national health care).

The Democratic bill "falls short on many levels, and hurts many people more than it helps," as Jane Hamsher writes in "Fact Sheet: The Truth About the Health Care Bill" (http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2010/03/19/fact-sheet-the-truth-about-the-health-care-bill).

Physicians for a National Health Program said in a statement on Monday, "Instead of eliminating the root of the problem -- the profit-driven, private health insurance industry -- this costly new legislation will enrich and further entrench these firms. The bill would require millions of Americans to buy private insurers' defective products, and turn over to them vast amounts of public money." (http://www.pnhp.org/news/2010/march/pro-single-payer-doctors-health-bill-leaves-23-million-uninsured)

Dennis Spisak, Green candidate for Governor of Ohio (http://www.votespisak.org/governor): "Now that this bill has passed, those of us who support real universal health care must keep up the demand for Medicare For All. Every American deserves the same high-quality guaranteed health coverage that Congress members enjoy. We will challenge those who insist that further health care reform is no longer on the table. The Democratic bill was mainly written to give the appearance of reform. It forces people to buy insurance or face a tax penalty. It works like a regressive tax, in which in the uninsured -- in the midst of a recession -- must pay for insurance they can't use due to the likely high co-pays and deductibles. Especially vicious is the amendment prohibiting states from enacting their own single-payer programs."

Jill Stein, physician and Green candidate for Governor of Massachusetts (http://www.jillstein.org): ""The position of most Democrats and Republicans on health care is that Americans have no right to medical treatment, but private insurance companies have every right to enrich themselves on our need for health care and to send hundreds of thousands of Americans financial ruin over medical costs. According to Physicians for a National Health Program's critique of the bill, about 23 million Americans will remain uninsured after nine years, resulting in 'an estimated 23,000 unnecessary deaths annually and an incalculable toll of suffering'. In the media coverage of health care reform, the angle was whether President Obama could prevail against the GOP and uncooperative Democrats. It was all about personalities and a horse-race competition. Whether the Democratic legislation -- or obstruction of reform by Republicans -- actually helps people became a side issue."

Rich Whitney, Green candidate for Governor of Illinois (http://www.whitneyforgov.org): "The real story of health care reform over the past year is how the insurance and other health lobbies sent millions of dollars in campaign checks to both Democrats and Republicans to make sure their interests came first. We'll get real health care reform when Americans get angry enough to stop voting for Democratic and Republican candidates who are addicted to corporate contributions, and elect Greens, who call health care a basic human right." (Visit the web site of the Center for Responsive Politics to learn how much these corporations donate to each Congress member: http://www.opensecrets.org)

Nancy Allen, farmer and long-time Green organizer from Maine: "Some of the Tea Partiers showed their true colors this past weekend, when crowds hurled racist and homophobic epithets at Rep. John Lewis, Rep. Barney Frank, and other Congress members. How much did Republican politicians, insurance companies, and other industries encourage such behavior? How did these corporations successfully convince so many Americans that their own medical care is less important than corporate profits and power?"

Rodger Jennings, Green candidate for US Congress in Illinois, District 12 (http://www.rodgerjennings.org): "The winners are the largest for-profit health insurance companies. Both Democrats and Republicans made the bottom lines of the insurance cartel the top priority, rather than every American's need for quality medical care. Private insurance adds cost to health care but provides no value -- physicians, nurses, and other professionals do the actual medical work. The administrative overhead, including CEO bonuses and salaries, of private insurance raises health care costs by up to 31%. The administrative overhead for Medicare is under 3%. By eliminating the corporate insurance middle-man, we'd reduce health care spending from over 15% to about 9% and cut the price of coverage and care dramatically, and every American would enjoy guaranteed, quality health care."


MORE INFORMATION

Green Party of the United States http://www.gp.org
202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN

Green candidate database and campaign information: http://www.gp.org/elections.shtml
Green Party News Center http://www.gp.org/newscenter.shtml
Green Party Speakers Bureau http://www.gp.org/speakers
Green Party ballot access page http://www.gp.org/2008-elections
Green Party Livestream Channel http://www.livestream.com/greenpartyus

Single-Payer Now! Green Party page on health care reform
http://www.gp.org/campaigns/health/single-payer

Physicians for a National Health Program http://www.pnhp.org
PNHP's Frequently Asked Questions page http://www.pnhp.org/facts/single-payer-faq

Healthcare-Now http://www.healthcare-now.org

Single Payer Action http://www.singlepayeraction.org

"The Sober Reality of Health Care Reform"
By Jane Hamsher, FireDogLake, March 22, 2010
http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2010/03/22/fdl-statement-on-the-passage-of-the-health-care-bill

"Deaths Rising for Lack of Insurance, Study Finds"
By Michelle Andrews, The New York Times (blog), February 26, 2010
http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/26/deaths-rising-due-to-lack-of-insurance-study-finds/#preview

"NY Times Reporter Confirms Obama Made Deal to Kill Public Option"
By Miles Mogulescu, Huffington Post, March 15, 2010
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/miles-mogulescu/ny-times-reporter-confirm_b_500999.html

Green Pages: The official publication of record of the Green Party of the United States
Winter 2010 issue now online
http://gp.org/greenpages-blog