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Support Monitor

Overwhelming Support

… for improved Medicare for All: a National Health Program, financed with single-payer national health insurance, reported by the U.S. Congress’ Citizens’ Health Care Working Group (CHCWG)

The American people told the U.S. Congress’ working group,
which then reported to the President and the Congress,
that a U.S. National Health Program is preferable
to a reliance on the free market
by a ratio of 15 to 1

The Report: what we, the citizens, told the U.S. Congress

  • Introduction
    • Group initiated by the U.S. Congress by law in 2003
    • Group established and held meetings across the United States over a period of 15 months
    • Group submitted report in September 2006
  • National health program over nine other solutions,
  • A single health care system to be the top priority objective
  • Single-payer national health insurance (improved Medicare for All) as per participant representative comments
  • Reasons some citizens are outraged

Summary of Our Input and The Ridiculous Result


About the Citizens’ Health Care Working Group

The Citizens’ Health Care Working Group was created by the U.S. Congress in 2003. The groups homepage includes this statement: “For over 15 months, the Working Group engaged the American people in an open dialogue about the current state of our health care system. You shared your experiences generously, expressing your concerns, wishes, and expectations about the health care system and how you want it changed. Based on what you told us, the Citizens’ Working Group sent recommendations to the Congress and the President September 29, 2006.”

Preference by Citizens for National Health Insurance

In scheduled meetings across the country ordinary citizens – patients, doctors, business owners, workers – consistently asked for national health insurance. The group’s data from its meetings show that attendees favored a national health program over any other option. For example, 86% of the groups in 29 meetings chose the “creation of a national health program” as the #1 choice as the solution to “ensure access to affordable, high quality health care coverage and services for all Americans”. See the rest of this web page, below, for important results from the U.S. Congress working group.

National Health Program Over 9 Other Solutions

Bolding was added below.

Page 40 – A commonly expressed view was that a simpler system would result in lower administrative costs. Participants believed that a more straightforward health care system would reduce administrative costs by eliminating duplication of services. At a number of meetings throughout the country, many individuals advocated a single-payer system to eliminate the middleman, possibly one structured like Medicare or similar to the public school system. Under this type of system, everyone would pay taxes to support the system, even though, as with education, they might not use the services. Participants advocating the single payer concept said it would be the most efficient way to organize health care.

Page B-7 – Added comments, not in report: Yes, indeed it was commonly expressed! Where the CHCWG reported the detailed data the evidence is that the participants very strongly expressed their support of a national health plan. As their report states above, the participants referred to single-payer financing of health care. See the SUMMARY below for the very clear message from the meetings.

Summary of Percentage Results

Following are the averages for the 10 meetings for which the percentage votes is provided in the CHCWG report (on Appendix page B-7 … the detailed data is at the end of this web page)

7% Individual Tax Incentives
7% Expand State Medicaid, SCHIP, etc.
3% Rely on Free Market
7% Expand Medicare/FEHBP
4% Expand Employer Tax Incentives
4% Employer Insurance Mandate
3% Expand Neighborhood Health clinics
47% Create a National Health Program
15% Individual Insurance Mandate
2% Increase State Program Flexibility

The Physician’s for a National Health Program (PNHP) post about the CHCWG results accurately describes the results as follows: “When given a choice of ten reform options at public hearings held by the CHCWG, participants clearly favored a national health program by a margin of at least 3 to 1.” That 3 to 1 margin would be the 47% (above) as compared to the 15% (above).

Look in more detail, below, at a comparison to all of the 9 other options, such as the comparison of National Health Program to having a Reliance on the Free Market; that is a ratio of 15 to 1.

The PNHP press release observes that “Most supporters of a national health program favor a single-payer system, which retain the private delivery of health care by physicians and hospitals, but organizes payment under a single public agency. A 2003 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that a single-payer national health insurance program would save enough on administrative costs – more than $300 billion per year – to cover all of the uninsured and provide full benefits for everyone …”

A Single Health Care System
(Improved Medicare for All)
to be the Top Priority Objective

In the CHCWG final recommendations one can access the Dialogue with the American People. By doing a search for “we need a single-payer system” one can access Figure 11, which is also shown here:

Figure 11:

What is your single most important recommendation to make to improve health care for all Americans? As seen in the following bar chart, which is Figure 11, there is an overwhelming preference for a “Single Health Care System”. The report’s text clarifies what that is: “a single national health care system”, which is improved Medicare for All.

Graph showing responses to the question,

Single-Payer National Health Insurance, as per Participant Representative Comments

See the Dialogue with the American People. Do a search at that web page for “we need a single-payer system” to see Figure 11. From there one can see …

The working group documented what they felt to be representative examples of what they heard:
” … need a single-payer system …”
” … a system that includes everyone …”
” … Medicare for everyone …”
“Everyone pays a fair share, everyone has health care …”
“A non-profit single payer system … would be the best solution.”
” … free market …”
” … financing more fair … set up a public infrastructure (public commission) …”
” … all insurance tax deductible … community health centers …”
” … government provide catastrophic coverage …”
” … everyone in one risk pool (single-payer) …”
” … system … that assures access for all … (single-payer) …” ” … private sector is not working …”
” … single payer system of national health insurance …”
” … system like Social Security (single-payer) …”
“Medicare and VA are and have been working. (single-payer)”
” … health care program to everyone … (single-payer)”
( comment about health care providers )
” … health savings accounts … government put the $2500 into the (h.s.a.) for all … below a certain income level.”
” … Get rid of the fractured system based on the private market. It doesn’t work. (single-payer)
” … some combination of these things …”

Summary of Our Input and The Ridiculous Result

Summary of Our Input

Based on the above facts from the report:

Americans in meetings all over the country came together to discuss the details of health care and what the options are. We very clearly expressed what we want: improved Medicare for All via single-payer health care. We specifically communicated “single-payer” and “Medicare for everyone” by the representative comments, which are immediately above on this web page. There is no doubt about it from results of the U.S. Congress own working group! We want improved Medicare for All!

The Ridiculous Result

  • The above fact that we want single-payer, improved Medicare for All:
    • is NOT in the conclusion of the final report!
    • was NOT reported extensively!
      • in the news media, then or since
    • was NOT given a positive response by the U.S. Congress or the U.S. President
    • has NOT been given a positive response by most politicians.
    • needs to be known by as many of our fellow Americans as possible so that it can be a motivator for us to be communicating and providing our votes for people who will support our input. Then we can get our deserved support!

Additional Information

Detailed Data from Page B-7

From the meetings for which percentage details are reported by the working group

ITI Expand State Programs Free Mkt Expand Medicare / FEHBP Expand Employer Incentives Employer Mandate Local Clinics National Health Program Individual Insurance Mandate More State Flex
11.10% 2.50% 2.50% 3.70% 2.50% 8.60% 4.90% 56.80% 6.20% 1.20%
7.80% 11.60% 6.00% 6.60% 3.90% 4.50% 2.40% 39.70% 17.00% 0.60%
9.90% 7.70% 7.70% 5.50% 12.10% 4.40% 3.30% 34.10% 9.90% 5.50%
0.00% 3.70% 0.00% 3.70% 3.70% 3.70% 5.60% 74.10% 5.60% 0.00%
5.80% 7.20% 0.00% 8.70% 1.40% 2.90% 2.90% 44.90% 20.30% 5.80%
6.30% 5.30% 3.20% 2.10% 2.10% 8.40% 1.10% 54.70% 16.80% 0.00%
11.90% 9.90% 1.00% 11.90% 5.00% 1.00% 5.00% 25.70% 27.70% 1.00%
6.20% 6.20% 2.60% 7.20% 2.10% 4.10% 6.70% 59.50% 3.60% 1.50%
1.90% 4.90% 4.90% 5.80% 3.90% 1.90% 1.00% 54.40% 19.40% 1.90%
7.70% 11.50% 0.00% 15.40% 3.80% 3.80% 0.00% 30.80% 23.10% 3.80%

Averages of the results of the above 10 meetings:

6.86% 7.05% 2.79% 7.06% 4.05% 4.33% 3.29% 47.47% 14.96% 2.13%
7% 7% 3% 7% 4% 4% 3% 47% 15% 2%

This web page of information is based on the final, 254-page report of the working group.

A portion(s) or all of the 254 page report can be obtained at CHCWG Final Recommendations.


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