How to Talk About Single Payer to a Conservative

It’s in the second paragraph of this book.

And it jumps out at you.

“I avoid the heartbreaking stories of human suffering because they do not work.”

There is so much human suffering.

More than 45,000 Americans who die every year from lack of health care.

And we know that single payer will drive that number down to zero.

And yet here comes a single payer advocate who tells us that he avoids telling these stories of human suffering “because they do not work.”


“Unlike most progressive individuals, I read the conservative manifesto Atlas Shrugged at the age of 14,” says Lex Tinker-Sackett author of the newly published Single Payer Solution: America’s Health Care Cure (Ixaco Press, 2010). “I was raised as an objectivist and fully understand the rhetoric and goals of the conservatives. That is why I purposely left out the heart rending stories of victims of private health insurance and our for profit health care system. They simply do not work.”

“My book deconstructs the economic foundations of the conservative argument for profiting on human suffering,” Tinker-Sackett says. “I attack the assumption of a free market in health care and expose the graft and corruption that actually limit competition. Conservatives expect justice in the free-market, if not elsewhere. This strong tendency forces them to actively listen to the arguments in my book.”

Tinker-Sackett’s father was an insurance salesman and underwriter.

In 1969, his father came up with a plan that would fix the dysfunctional health insurance system in America.

His plan – a private company that would pay 100 percent of all claims.

Dad’s point – get everyone into one program so as to spread the risk and minimize premiums.

“As an avowed Libertarian and Ayn Rand devotee, my father believed that the free market could solve the problem, and he recognized that the only business structure that could maintain such a goal was a monopoly,” Lex Tinker-Sackett writes. “This made insurance sense to an insurance expert – the largest possible pool of clients would create the minimum premium and 100 percent payment of claims would simplify administration. The fact that such a business would rightly crush all competition was only logical. That private monopolies are illegal in the United States was, to him, a problem with our government.”

“Dad recognized the problems with health insurance back in 1969, before I was born,” Lex Tinker-Sackett writes. “His single payer proposal left out the idea that a non-profit federal government should be the company.”

Lex lives in western Wisconsin with his wife and five children.

He worked in a health insurance claim processing center and in health insurance sales.

He currently owns a small business and is a computer systems analyst.

Tinker-Sackett brings a businessman’s sensibility to the single payer movement.

And of all the books about single payer – and there are many – this slim volume stands out.

It’s only 66 pages.

(With about 40 pages of appendices – most of it the text of HR 676 – the single payer bill in the House.)

But in this case, less is more.

We will win single payer in the United States.

But to win it, we must take the campaign into America’s heartland.

Single Payer Solution will help get us there.

RUSSELL MOKHIBER is editor of Single Payer Action.


Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter..