Saturday, June 06, 2009

Voters To Congress: What's Wrong With Single-Payer Health Care?

Give voters a voice in the debate over health care reform and they ask about the one thing most lawmakers decided from the start would not be considered: 'Why not a single-payer program?

That was by far the most popular question posed to members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Thursday night, when they took questions on the House floor that had been submitted and voted for online -- something of a first for Congress.

The question-and-answer hour was expected to focus on public health care options as part of a health care landscape that would still be dominated by private insurance companies. But online voters, who cast almost 30,000 votes at between Tuesday night and Thursday, hijacked the session, demanding to know why a single-payer program is not being considered.

Though only five of more than 750 questions were chosen to be asked at the event, some proved far more popular than others. The top questions included how much influence the insurance companies have had on the reform debate and why the public can't have a level of health care comparable to that of the assembled congressmen.

"What is it going to take for you to WAKE UP and smell the catastrophe that for-profit healthcare is?" read the fifth most popular question, the last on the list asked of the caucus members.


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