Kucinich Keeps Single-Payer Alive

08/23/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The congressional health care reform bill, H.R. 3200, now contains the Kucinich amendment thus keeping hope alive for a single-payer system.

Two weeks ago, Dennis Kucinich proposed an amendment to the healthcare reform bill that keeps the single-payer option alive. Kucinich's amendment will permit states the power to introduce single-payer health care systems.

Importantly, Kucinich's amendment drew bipartisan support by uniting proponents of single-payer health care with states rights advocates, and it is now the crucial part of the landmark bill that is due to be voted on by the end of this month.

For years, Dennis Kucinich has been a leading advocate of single-payer health care. John Conyers and Dennis Kucinch co-authored the single-payer bill, H.R. 676, a landmark piece of legislation that has 85 co-sponsors.

America is the sole western democracy that does not have a single-payer system. Some nations in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America have single-payer health care systems. Over the past two decades, America's global status in terms of health care has fallen dramatically. The World Health Organization now ranks America 37th in global healthcare. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, America has fallen to 42nd in longevity in contrast to her ranking 11th only twenty years ago.

While Americans pay more for their health care than any other nation, more Americans realize that they are not getting their money's worth.

In a recent non-partisan poll, 83% of Americans support basic health care reform.

In his press conference, President Obama characterized American health care as a "crisis" that threatens to bankrupt the national economy.

In the past week, after Dennis Kucinich succeeded in forging a nonpartisan amendment to the historic health care reform bill, he released a video of his interview by the late Walter Cronkite.

The most trusted man in America interviewed Dennis Kucinich on his proposal for a Department of Peace. During the course of their discussion, Cronkite endorsed Kucinich's plan to create a Department of Peace that would enforce a new paradigm for conflict resolution from the domestic level to foreign relations.

In an interview with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, Kucinich explained his strategy with the single-payer option for the states arguing that states where the single-payer option is popular include: California, New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania. Following the health care portion of the interview, Amy Goodman asked Kucinich about the pressure that was exerted by the White House and the Democratic Party whips to support the funding bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Kucinich voted against the funding bill, and his response to Goodman was stark: "I wasn't pressured."

Kucinich reigns unchallenged as the leading Congressional heavyweight for the total spectrum of progressive issues -- and nobody in the Democratic Party dares to pressure him.