Organize the single payer movement around the model proposal

Statement of Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care to the Ways and Means Committee Hearing on Pathways to Universal Health Care

We thank Chairman Neal for scheduling this hearing, boldly calling on members of the Committee and those giving testimony to propose solutions to the problems of a health care system in crisis—a system that costs far too much yet leaves millions to suffer needlessly for lack of care.

Our organization has been working since 2004 to bring Kentuckians together to push for a national health program that will solve this crisis for our state and for the nation.  We have worked since that time to educate ourselves, communities across the state, office holders, and candidates on sound health care policy that can bring high quality care to everyone.

With this testimony we share what we have learned, and we urge the Committee to act upon it to enact a national single payer health care system, an improved and expanded Medicare for All as spelled out in the plan of the Physicians’ for a National Health Program (PNHP).1

Marcia Angell, MD, former Editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, has pointed  out that that we cannot simultaneously (a) increase care and (b) cut costs unless we change to a single payer system that removes the profits and the insurance companies.2  Under our current health care system, all efforts to rein in the costs result in cuts to care.  Plans designed to cover more people and improve care end up dramatically increasing the costs.

That opposite movement of cost and care informs us that as long as the profits of the insurance companies and investor-owned facilities are involved in health care, we cannot improve and expand the care without costing us more than our already outrageously expensive annual health care bill.