06/08/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Single-Payer Advocates Protest Senate Hearing

Chair of Finance Committee takes single-payer plan off the table and calls for "more police":

Paul Jay, Senior Editor for The Real News Network, reports that on May 5, 2009 the US Senate Finance Committee held hearings on health care reform. During the session, senators asked the panel of what Washington calls "invited stakeholders" their opinions on the best ways to reform the American health-care system. Missing from the panel were advocates of a single-payer health-care system, which is a way of saying a primarily government-run insurance plan like that in Canada, Europe, and most of the industrialized world, a plan that more or less cuts out private insurance companies.

Opponents of a single-payer plan say Americans will never accept socialized medicine, which they say describes the single-payer plan. But according to a 2008 poll by the Harvard Opinion Research Program at the Harvard School of Public Health, when Americans were asked what they thought of socialized medicine, 45 percent said it would be better, and only 39 percent said it would be worse. Although Senator Baucus did not invite single-payer advocates onto his panel, several made an appearance anyway, and they demanded a seat at the table.

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