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Secretary Sebelius, Put Single Payer on the Table

Monday, June 22, 2009
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Event Type:
Don Bechler
Location Details:
outside the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco

At 11 A.M today, Monday, June 22, members of Single Payer Now and other organizations advocating for a single payer national health program will rally outside the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, where Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is scheduled to speak at a fundraising luncheon.

In a June 16 interview on National Public Radio, Secretary Sebelius vowed that the health care reform legislation now being drafted in Congress would be written specifically to bar single payer, both now and in the future. She instead urged support for a so-called "public option," a government subsidized health care fund that would coexist with private insurance.

President Obama and leading congressional Democrats favor the public option, although a recent CBO report indicated that it would cost at least $1 trillion and cover only a fraction of those currently uninsured.

Sebelius’ remarks were intended to reassure critics of the public option that the plan would not function as a backdoor way of introducing a single payer system. Single payer, also known as "Medicare for All", would create a unified public fund that would cover everyone and save billions of dollars by removing private, for-profit insurance from healthcare. Under this system, patients would have free choice of doctors and hospitals.

In response to Sebelius’ comment, Don Bechler, Chair of Single Payer Now, stated,
“Any so-called reform program that keeps the private insurance companies in the picture will waste billions while leaving millions of Americans out in the cold. People don’t need a choice of insurance plans; they need high-quality, affordable healthcare. The only way that can happen is through a single payer system as provided for in HR 676, the United States National Health Care Act”

At Monday’s demonstration, Single Payer Now will join the California Nurses Association, California, Alliance for Retired Americans, California Physicians Alliance, and San Francisco Gray Panthers in picketing the $500-per-plate function at 950 Mason Street.

Like hundreds of other groups throughout the country, they are calling for Congress to pass HR 676 (Conyers) and its companion bill, S 703 (Sanders), which would expand Medicare to cover all Americans.

# # # #

Single Payer Now (SPN) works to organize 50,000 precinct activists to win universal healthcare without the private health insurance industry. In California, SPN supports SB 810, the California Universal Healthcare Act; on the national level, it supports companion bills HR 676 (Conyers- the U.S. National Healthcare Act) and S 703 (Sanders- the American Health Security Act).

For more info, contact SPN chair Don Bechler at (415) 810-5826 or dbechler [at] or log on to
Added to the calendar on Mon, Jun 22, 2009 6:25AM
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