FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Jon Walker and Dr. Margaret Flowers Debate the Road to Single Payer

Even if you are agree that single payer is the goal, there will be disagreements as to how to get there.

Let the debate begin.

Tensions flared in the single payer community last week as details of Senator Bernie Sanders still not public single bill leaked out.

Single payer doctors said the Sanders’ bill isn’t single payer — because it allowed the private health insurance industry to stay in the game.

Physicians for a National Health Program, the leading single payer doctors group, said they couldn’t support the Sanders bill if it included co-pays or other cost sharing measures.

Jon Walker and Dr. Margaret Flowers have both been active in the movement to bring single payer to the United States.

But they disagree on how to get there.

For an hour, Walker and Flowers debated the Road to Single Payer in the inaugural Single Payer Action podcast hosted by Russell Mokhiber.

Walker has put forth a detailed proposal called the Medical Insurance and Care for All Program (MICA).

Under Walker’s plan, if you are employed, then your employer is required to sign you up for MICA or a better plan.

If you are not employed, then you are automatically signed onto MICA and you pay for it through taxes.

The rich can opt out of MICA for private insurance. There are still multiple payers, but Walker believes that the public Medicare like payer — MICA — will dominate the field. People on the current Medicare can stay with it if they like, but Walker says most would go with MICA because it will be better.

Flowers supports HR 676, the single payer bill in the House. It’s one payer, based on the current Medicare, but better, with no co-pays and no deductibles.

Flowers has recently been critical of Sander’s watered down single payer bill.

“Sanders has it backwards,” Flowers said. “Rather than starting from a position of strong legislation and building support for it, he is starting from a position of weak legislation that he considers to be more politically feasible. By doing so, he is losing the support of the movement that he needs to pass expanded and improved Medicare for all.”

Walker’s plan is based on plans put forth by Jacob Hacker and former Congressman Pete Stark.

Walker says he would support HR 676 if it can be passed. But he doesn’t believe it can be passed. He says he crafted his proposal as a way to get to single payer without generating additional opposition.

Walker says that if you are going to do something as big as single payer, there are going to be people who are automatically opposed to it — the insurers, the hospitals, the drugmakers. They are going to oppose any plan, he says.

But there is another set of people who don’t like change or who might lose out if you change the tax structure of how you’re paying for different things, Walker says. “Those people you can win over if you do it right or you can lose if you do it wrong,” he says.

“My bill is aimed at those people,” Walker said.

More articles by:

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

April 24, 2018
Carl Boggs
Russia and the War Party
William A. Cohn
Carnage Unleashed: the Pentagon and the AUMF
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
The Racist Culture of Canadian Hockey
María Julia Bertomeu
On Angers, Disgusts and Nauseas
Nick Pemberton
How To Buy A Seat In Congress 101
Ron Jacobs
Resisting the Military-Now More Than Ever
Sonali Kolhatkar
The Left, Syria and Fake News
Manuel E. Yepe
The Confirmation of Democracy in Cuba
Peter Montgomery
Christian Nationalism: Good for Politicians, Bad for America and the World
Ted Rall
Bad Drones
Jill Richardson
The Latest Attack on Food Stamps
Andrew Stewart
What Kind of Unionism is This?
Ellen Brown
Fox in the Hen House: Why Interest Rates Are Rising
April 23, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
In Middle East Wars It Pays to be Skeptical
Thomas Knapp
Just When You Thought “Russiagate” Couldn’t Get Any Sillier …
Gregory Barrett
The Moral Mask
Robert Hunziker
Chemical Madness!
David Swanson
Senator Tim Kaine’s Brief Run-In With the Law
Dave Lindorff
Starbucks Has a Racism Problem
Uri Avnery
The Great Day
Nyla Ali Khan
Girls Reduced to Being Repositories of Communal and Religious Identities in Kashmir
Ted Rall
Stop Letting Trump Distract You From Your Wants and Needs
Steve Klinger
The Cautionary Tale of Donald J. Trump
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Conflict Over the Future of the Planet
Cesar Chelala
Gideon Levy: A Voice of Sanity from Israel
Weekend Edition
April 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Ruling Class Operatives Say the Darndest Things: On Devils Known and Not
Conn Hallinan
The Great Game Comes to Syria
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Mother of War
Andrew Levine
“How Come?” Questions
Doug Noble
A Tale of Two Atrocities: Douma and Gaza
Kenneth Surin
The Blight of Ukania
Howard Lisnoff
How James Comey Became the Strange New Hero of the Liberals
William Blum
Anti-Empire Report: Unseen Persons
Lawrence Davidson
Missiles Over Damascus
Patrick Cockburn
The Plight of the Yazidi of Afrin
Pete Dolack
Fooled Again? Trump Trade Policy Elevates Corporate Power
Stan Cox
For Climate Mobilization, Look to 1960s Vietnam Before Turning to 1940s America
William Hawes
Global Weirding
Dan Glazebrook
World War is Still in the Cards
Nick Pemberton
In Defense of Cardi B: Beyond Bourgeois PC Culture
Ishmael Reed
Hollywood’s Last Days?
Peter Certo
There Was Nothing Humanitarian About Our Strikes on Syria
Dean Baker
China’s “Currency Devaluation Game”
Ann Garrison
Why Don’t We All Vote to Commit International Crimes?
LEJ Rachell
The Baddest Black Power Artist You Never Heard Of
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail