Today, advocates of true health care reform were disappointed to learn that the Kucinich amendment was removed from the latest version of the health care reform bill. At the end of the day, states may be given the option to opt out, but won’t be allowed to opt into a proven system that provides all of a state’s residents with better health care.
Many states are demanding single payer. Not only does it help people stay out of poverty and provide health care for all, but it would provide major relief for states facing budget difficulties. The Lewin Group’s financial analysis of the California single payer bill that passed the legislature twice found that “the net cost of the program to state and local governments is a savings of about $900 million” in 2006 alone. There are also strong single payer movements in Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois, Colorado, and New Mexico.
If a state wants better health care than can be provided by the federal government in the health care bill we are seeing today, the federal government should not stand in their way. The removal of the Kucinich amendment constitutes yet another capitulation to the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries who are already reaping billions of dollars from the bill.
Editor's note: The Kucinich amendment had been added to HR 3200 in a 27-19 bipartisan vote in the Education and Labor Committee.
Dennis Kucinich represents Ohio's 10th district in the U.S. House of Representatives.
For 16 years, Dennis Kucinich served as a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Ohio, representing Ohio's 10th congressional district from 1997 to Jan. 2013. He currently serves as a contributor for Fox News Channel providing analysis and commentary across FNC's daytime and primetime programming.