For the first time, candidates running for U.S. Congress in our area (District 19) have clearly endorsed Medicare for all. Four of the six Democratic candidates who plan to be on the ballot in the June 26 primary — Jeff Beals, Dave Clegg, Brian Flynn and Gareth Rhodes — have endorsed a single-payer health insurance plan: the Expanded & Improved Medicare for All Act, H.R. 676. (New York’s 19th Congressional District includes Delaware, Otsego, and Sullivan counties and runs east to New England.)
This plan provides public health insurance (including vision and dental) for everyone — with no premiums, co-pays or deductibles. As in the many other countries with a single-payer system, we would be able to afford this great coverage by drastically cutting the overhead that private insurers charge (17 to 20 percent compared with the 2 to 5 percent that Medicare pays) and by eliminating the inefficiencies of having many competing insurers. Everyone would be covered by a single insurer (Medicare), and could choose almost any health care provider.
Momentum is building for single-payer. The number of Congressional co-sponsors of H.R. 676 has swelled to 121 and a similar bill in the Senate now has 17 co-sponsors. A New York State version of single-payer, the NY Health Act, has passed the Assembly multiple times and is only one vote short in the state Senate.