Thursday, March 5, 2009

A video retrospective: Obama on Single Payer

The following three clips were posted on yesterday, as part of a call to include single payer advocates in the health care summit that took place today at the White House.

As you may know, thanks to a flood of phone calls and emails from people across the country, the White House did send 11th-hour invitations to Dr. Oliver Fein, president of Physicians for a National Health Program, and Rep. John Conyers, whose bill, HR 676, would create a single-payer system here in the US, similar to systems enjoyed by healthier, longer-living, and less economically-pinched people of all ages and backgrounds elsewhere in the industrialized world.

Thanks to all who called--action does get results! Now we need to keep the pressure on and give President Obama and Congress a mandate to institute a plan that saves lives and money.

In 2003, Barack Obama addressed an audience of AFL-CIO members and spoke firmly about the health care problems of Americans. "I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health-care plan," he said to applause. "I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its Gross National Product on health care, cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody."

Here's the clip:

During the 2008 Presidential campaign Obama was confronted with this same issue and responded with the following qualification of his stance on a single payer, universal system:

And when subsequently interviewed on the Today Show, he reiterated this qualification:

So we must ask, on the eve of the Health Care Summit in Washington, why has Obama - now President of the United States - not only fallen silent on the single payer solution, but actively blocked participation for those who would advocate for a solution he once lauded as ideal?

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