FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Single-Payer Health Care and the Case Against Clicktivism

by

Obamacare, with its promise of healthcare reform, took the wind out of the sails of the single payer movement.

In the House of Representatives, the number of co-sponsors of the single payer bill, HR 676, today is at 53 — down from a high of about 100.

Under Obamacare, 30 million Americans are still uninsured and tens of millions more are underinsured.

It’s a down year for single payer and activists are asking — what to do?

What’s the next step?

Single Payer Now’s Don Bechler says we have to hit the streets.

He’s been doing it for years — building a database of about 25,000 people — mostly in California — who support HR 676.

How does he do it?

He and his fellow activists go out and ask people to sign a card calling on President Obama to support HR 676.

The card goes to the citizen’s member of Congress and then — hopefully — on to the White House.

Only about 43 percent of the people who sign the cards put down an email address.

Bechler is clear on one thing — single payer won’t be won online.

Clicktivism won’t secure single payer.

Street activism will.

We have to meet our fellow citizens face to face — and convince them — one by one.

Not everyone is online.

Almost everyone is in the streets.

“When we talk to people about single payer, they ask questions,” Bechler says.

“I say — would you like to sign a postcard for national healthcare,” Bechler says. “And I shut up and let them ask questions. And they do.”

Does single payer cover long term care?

Yes, all medically necessary services, including primary care and prevention,  inpatient care, outpatient care, emergency care, prescription drugs, durable medical equipment,  long-term care, mental health services, dental services — excluding cosmetic dentistry, substance abuse treatment services, chiropractic services, basic vision care and vision correction — excluding cosmetic laser vision correction, hearing services, including hearing aids,  palliative care and podiatric care.

What happens if I move out of state?

Benefits are completely portable and would move with you. They would continue to be available through any licensed, legally qualified, healthcare provider in the United States. (Check out Single Payer Now’s Question and Answers About HR 676.)

Bechler says that online, it’s primarily single-payer activists talking with single payer activists.

In the streets, you’re getting a good cross section of America.

“If you want the same slice of the pie, stay online,” Bechler says. “If you want to a bigger slice of the pie, you go out on the streets and find new people.”

Bechler also questions the time activists spend talking about “framing” the single payer issue.

“You go to a national single payer conference, everyone goes to the media or framing workshops,” Bechler says. “You get on these phone calls, they are always talking about the best way to say things. There is the illusion that they have will access to a microphone where if they say something this way or that, they will breakthrough. But where’s the microphone? The press hates our guts. It’s the corporate media, the only place you get a hearing is on Amy Goodman.”

“The whole framing argument is useless. There is no perfect sound bite for single payer. You can’t say something in four sentences. When you are out on the streets, talking with human beings, they ask questions about single payer and you answer. That’s it. No sound bite is going to win this thing.”

Bechler says there is a fundamental difference between communicating online and communicating face to face.

“If I’m your neighbor, I can’t lie to your face,” Bechler says. “Face to face has more legitimacy to it.”

More articles by:

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

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

July 26, 2017
John W. Whitehead
Policing for Profit: Jeff Sessions & Co.’s Thinly Veiled Plot to Rob Us Blind
Pete Dolack
Trump’s Re-Negotiation Proposal Will Make NAFTA Worse
George Capaccio
“Beauty of Our Weapons” in the War on Yemen
Ramzy Baroud
Fear and Trepidation in Tel Aviv: Is Israel Losing the Syrian War?
John McMurtry
Brexit Counter-Revolution Still in Motion
Ted Rall
The Democrats Are A Lost Cause
Tom Gill
Is Macron Already Faltering?
Ed Kemmick
Empty Charges Erode Trust in Montana Elections
Rev. William Alberts
Fake News? Or Fake Faith?
James Heddle
The Ethics and Politics of Nuclear Waste are Being Tested in Southern California
Binoy Kampmark
Slaying in Minneapolis: Justine Damond, Shooting Cultures and Race
Jeff Berg
Jonesing for Real Change
Jesse Jackson
The ‘Voter Fraud’ Commission Itself is Fraudulent
July 25, 2017
Paul Street
A Suggestion for Bernie: On Crimes Detectable and Not
David W. Pear
Venezuela on the Edge of Civil War
John Grant
Uruguay Tells US Drug War to Take a Hike
Charles Pierson
Like Climate Change? You’ll Love the Langevin Amendment
Linda Ford
Feminism Co-opted
Andrew Stewart
Any Regrets About Not Supporting Clinton Last Summer?
Aidan O'Brien
Painting the Irish Titanic Pink
Rob Seimetz
Attitudes Towards Pets vs Attitudes Towards the Natural World
Medea Benjamin
A Global Movement to Confront Drone Warfare
Norman Solomon
When Barbara Lee Doesn’t Speak for Me
William Hawes
What Divides America From the World (and Each Other)
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Was the “Russian Hack” an Inside Job?
Chandra Muzaffar
The Bilateral Relationship that Matters
Binoy Kampmark
John McCain: Cancer as Combatant
July 24, 2017
Patrick Cockburn
A Shameful Silence: Where is the Outrage Over the Slaughter of Civilians in Mosul?
Robert Hunziker
Extremely Nasty Climate Wake-Up
Ron Jacobs
Dylan and Woody: Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad
Dan Glazebrook
Quantitative Easing: the Most Opaque Transfer of Wealth in History
Ellen Brown
Saving Illinois: Getting More Bang for the State’s Bucks
Richard Hardigan
The Media is Misleading the Public on the Al-Asqa Mosque Situation
Matthew Stevenson
Travels in Trump’s America: Memphis, Little Rock, Fayetteville and Bentonville
Ruth Fowler
Fire at Grenfell
Ezra Kronfeld
The Rights of Sex Workers: Where is the Movement to Legalize Prostitution
Mark Weisbrot
What Venezuela Needs: Negotiation Not Regime Change
Binoy Kampmark
From Spicy to the Mooch: A Farewell to Sean Spicer
Wim Laven
Progress Report, Donald Trump: Failing
Weekend Edition
July 21, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Kevin Zeese
Green Party Growing Pains; Our Own Crisis of Democracy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Red State, Blue State; Green State, Deep State
Paul Street
“Inclusive Capitalism,” Nancy Pelosi, and the Dying Planet
Anthony DiMaggio
Higher Education Fallacies: What’s Behind Rising Conservative Distrust of Learning?
Andrew Levine
Why Republicans Won’t Dump Trump Anytime Soon
Michael Colby
Ben & Jerry’s Has No Clothes
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail