Should single payer advocates join health care debate?

05/06/09 Robert Lorei
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The Institute For Public Accuracy reported yesterday that: "Doctors and other advocates of a national single-payer health system -- also known as improved Medicare for All -- directly confronted senators at a Senate Finance Committee "roundtable" on health reform today.

Videos are available here and C-SPAN coverage.

One by one, single-payer advocates in the audience stood up and asked why single-payer experts were being excluded from the proceedings. They each spoke out until they were removed from the committee hearing room by Capitol police, at which point another person would speak up. Eight were arrested.

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, has stated on multiple occasions that single payer is "off the table" of health reform. As advocates spoke up today, he joked that he needed more police.

Today's roundtable, the second of three, consisted of 15 witnesses with no single-payer advocates among them. By contrast, several witnesses have direct ties to the for-profit, private health insurance industry."

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