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Am I a Single Payer Zealot?

Summary: Yes, proudly.

Health Care Unions Defending Newsom From Recall Will Want Single-Payer Payback
KHN (Kaiser Health News)
September 13, 2021
By Angela Hart

Bob Ross, president and CEO of the California Endowment, a nonprofit that works to expand health care access, is on Newsom’s single-payer commission. He said it will work through “tension” in the coming months before issuing a recommendation to the governor on the feasibility of single-payer.

“We have a camp of single-payer zealots who want the bold stroke of getting to single-payer tomorrow, and the other approach that I call bold incrementalism,” Ross said. “I’m not ruling out any bold stroke on single-payer; I would just want to know how we get it done.”

Comment by: Jim Kahn

If believing that we should jettison $800 billion in administrative bloat and transfer the savings to health care makes me a zealot, I accept the label.

If favoring full health care equity is zealotry, I’m on board.

If removing financial barriers to care and thereby avoiding 80,000 deaths per year is zealous, that’s me.

If patient choice of doctor is a zealot’s errand, where do I sign up?

If reducing physicians’ billing burden so they can focus on clinical care is zealotry untrammeled, count me in.

If rejecting “incremental approaches” that end with tens of millions uninsured or underinsured, and trillions of healthcare dollars diverted to profits for shareholders brand me a zealot, I’ll wear that insignia with pride.

If saying, “enough already, it’s time for the US to join the global consensus on health care as a human right” leads to whispers of out-of-control zeal, I’ll shout it from the mountain tops.

Am I a single payer zealot? Guilty as charged.

(p.s., the KHN article mistakenly asserts that creating single payer in California will cost $400 billion / year. Instead, it will *reduce* spending from the current level of about $400 billion …)

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