Press release from the Green Party, July 7th, 2016:
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Green Party is urging supporters of Single-Payer national health care (Medicare For All) to “Go Green in 2016,” in an open letter written by Margaret Flowers and James Lane, Honorary Co-chairs of the 2016 Green Party Presidential Nominating Convention.
Excerpts from the letter are appended below. The full text is online here:http://www.gp.org/open_letter_single_payer_movement
For Immediate Release:
Thursday, July 7, 2016
According to a May 16 Gallup poll, 58% of U.S. adults (including 41% of Republicans) say they favor replacing Obamacare with a federally funded health-care system that covers all Americans (http://www.gallup.com/poll/191504/majority-support-idea-fed-funded-healthcare-system.aspx ).
After Hillary Clinton’s likely nomination at the Democratic National Convention, the Green Party and Green nominee will be the sole national advocates for Single-Payer in the 2016 election.
Green Party leaders are stressing the importance of having the Green nominee in the fall presidential debates, to argue for Single-Payer and other urgent ideas.
In January, Ms. Clinton said that a Single-Payer system “will never, ever come to pass.” Her appointees to the Democratic Party’s platform panel blocked endorsement of Single-Payer. As of January 2016, Ms. Clinton received $13 million from insurance and other health-care industries ( http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/hillary-clinton-gets-13-million-health-industry-now-says-single-payer-will-never ).
Greens compare achieving a Single-Payer system with the enactment of laws for an eight-hour workday, workers’ benefits, unemployment compensation, minimum wages, child labor prohibitions, Social Security, and Medicare. All of these ideas were introduced by alternative parties and realized under alternative-party influence after initial opposition from the two major parties.
The effort to enact Canada’s successful Single-Payer system was led by Tommy Douglas of the New Democratic Party, an alternative party, during the 1960s. U.S. Green Party leaders said that winning universal health care here will require strong Green Party influence and the election of Greens to legislative seats in statehouses and Congress. The Green Party and its candidates accept no money from corporate PACs.
Every developed country in the world except the U.S. guarantees its citizens medical care. For more information about Single-Payer and how it covers everyone and provides quality care while drastically reducing costs, seehttp://www.pnhp.org/facts/single-payer-faq
The letter follows earlier letters appeals to supporters of Black Lives Matter and Bernie Sanders supporters, also from Dr. Flowers and Mr. Lane. Mr. Sanders has promoted Single-Payer throughout his campaign, one of many reasons for his supporters to go Green in 2016 after the Democratic convention.
The Green Party’s Presidential Nominating Convention will take place August 4-7 on the campus of the University of Houston in Texas. Members of the media may register for credentials here as well as on site during the convention.
For more details about the convention, including a schedule of events, see this news advisory.
We applaud your efforts to push for the health care system that we so desperately need, a national improved Medicare for All. It is outrageous that in the wealthiest country in the world we treat health care as a commodity instead of a public good and that so many people are suffering and dying of preventable causes as a result.
When President Obama was a state senator, he said that he supported single payer health care but that we would need a Democratic White House and Congress in order to pass it. Yet, when Obama was elected president and had a Democratic majority in the House and Senate, single payer was off the table no matter how hard we pushed for it.
And now, the Democratic Platform Committee once again refuses to add improved Medicare for All as the solution to our healthcare crisis even though the platform is aspirational rather than binding. Progressive Democratic Party groups have tried numerous times to pressure the party to add improved Medicare for All to the platform, but each time single payer was rejected.
At some point when our efforts are not working, it makes sense to change tactics. The Democrats as a party are funded by health insurance corporations, pharmaceutical companies, hospital corporations and investors who make money off the current market-based healthcare system. And the reality is that Democrats represent the interests of industry and take their voters for granted because they know that at the end of the day, they can scare their constituents into voting for them to avoid the perceived “greater evil”.
Imagine what it would be like if Democrats couldn’t take voters for granted, if voters could choose a political party that supported and fought for single payer health care. That would certainly change the political dynamic. Legislators would have to earn the support of voters, and the stronger the single payer party was, the stronger the single payer movement would be.
The Green Party has supported single payer health care since its beginning. In fact, improved Medicare for All is a fundamental policy for the Green Party because it satisfies the party’s values of equality, justice and reducing the wealth divide. The Green Party platform is based on the four pillars of nonviolence, social justice, sustainability and grassroots democracy and ten key values. Read about them here.
As honorary co-chairs of the Green Party Presidential Nominating Convention, we invite you to consider the Green Party as the political home for the single payer movement. You are welcome to attend this year’s Annual Meeting in Houston from August 4 to 7. In addition to choosing the presidential nominee, we will meet with Greens from other countries, hold workshops, share our talents at open mic night and close with a celebration.
We also encourage you to participate in your state Green Party by considering roles in leadership or running for office. There are more than 150 Green Party candidates running for office at all levels this year. Please fill out the form below if you are interested.
The Green Party has been quietly building political infrastructure in the United States for the past twenty years. Now that more people are leaving the major parties and public opinion supports third parties, we believe this is the time that our work will make it possible to build a strong party of the people. Together we can build power to take on the elites and create a world that works for all of us.
Honorary Co-chairs of the 2016 Green Party Presidential Nominating Convention