Speaking Out for Single-Payer Health Care

By Erin Matson, NOW Action Vice President

NOW has long argued that single-payer health care is the best way to achieve the goal of universal, comprehensive and affordable care for everyone.

As the health care debate continues, I wanted to be sure you saw Pennsylvania NOW President Joanne Tosti-Vasey’s remarks at a recent rally in Harrisburg.

Many people, including members of Congress are calling for Health Insurance Reform. On this note, a friend of mine received an email the other day that had the subject line, “Women must have real health insurance reform now.” She forwarded it to me with a comment. She said, and I agree, “Insurance Reform? Who is drinking the Insurance Company’s Kool Aid? Health insurance reform is another name for a gigantic taxpayer donation to the health care insurance corporations like the taxpayer donation to the too-big-to-fail financial institutions.”

NOW says in response “NO! What women need is Health Care Reform NOW!” And that reform is Single Payer Health Care. Which is what we’ve been saying and advocating for since 1993 when we passed a national policy resolution supporting single-payer health care.

I like many people in this Capital and around the state and country are victims and survivors of our broken health care system. In my case, I had to fight with my insurance company along with my twin sister’s insurance company to reverse a denial of transplant donor coverage in order for me to have a bone marrow transplant. I was given less than a year to live without the transplant. It took almost three months of fighting to get this decision reversed. Then I had to deal with 30 insurance companies rejecting me for health insurance coverage for a preexisting condition. And now every time we refill my son’s asthma medication, the pharmacist has to fight with coordinating two health insurance companies to get them to fill the his Rx because one requires the medication to be generic and the other requires it to be a brand name.

This is not health care. This is the Kool-Aid that the insurance companies are feeding us. Let’s get rid of the Kool-Aid right here, right now, here in PA and in the US. Pass HB 1660/SB 400 in PA and HR 676 in Congress so that we can have comprehensive single payer health care coverage for all!

Thank you!

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