Friday, December 16, 2011

Health Coverage - Painfully State by State

Last night here in Oregon, we heard two women speak from the campaign that brought single-payer medical coverage to Vermont. A group of people from Vermont are traveling to educate and encourage other states to start campaigns to pass legislation that defines health care a basic right, and therefore available equitably to all.

We are looking forward to the campaign in Oregon, but at the same time, are feeling overwhelmed with the huge effort and expense it is going to take to mobilize these campaigns state by state.

The people from Vermont described that even now that their legislation is passed mandating a single-payer system, insurance companies with huge amounts of money are still putting their profits before the people, pumping massive amounts of resources into turning back the legislation.

Looking ahead at what it will take to implement single payer health insurance state by state, we can clearly see just how expensive hierarchies are, not only in money but in human effort. Our health care is a typical hierarchy. The people at the bottom have to scramble to make it work for them, since the priority of the US Congress is to support sending resources to the top - the insurance companies - while not taking care of the bottom – the people of the United States.