Hawkins and Voters Agree: Congressional Health Care Reform Did Not Go Far Enough

Hawkins Wants a  State Single Payer Health Care System, State Takeover of Medicaid Costs

Demand Single Payer Universal Healthcare" src="http://www.hermes-press.com/SP1.jpg" alt="" width="100px" height="100px">Howie Hawkins, the Green Party nominee for Governor, said  that he agreed with American voters that the recent Congressional health care  reform did not go far enough in solving the nation's health care crisis. Hawkins  said that he wants New York to be the first state in the country to implement a single payer Medicare for All program that would save New Yorkers $28 billion annually by 2019 according to a recent state-funded study.
Hawkins  also said he supported a state takeover of the Medicaid contributions from local  governments, a major factor in New York's high property tax rates.

A new  poll finds that Americans who think the law  should have done more outnumber those who think the government should stay out  of health care by 2-to-1. The poll, by Stanford University, found that overall  30 percent favored the legislation, while 40 percent opposed it, and another 30  percent remained neutral.

More  than 30 million people would gain coverage in 2019 when the law is fully phased  in, but another 20 million or so would remain uninsured. Only 25 percent in the  poll said minimal tinkering would suffice for the health care  system.

"If you listen to the media reports, you would think most  Americans oppose the recent Congressional health care bill due because they  oppose government provided health care. The reality is that most Americans want  health care to be a right for all and they want a single payer system - which  the Democrats ruled 'off the table.' The reform they passed last March also  fails to control costs. The Democrats' reform left out tens of millions of people. Instead of saving $400 billion by eliminating the waste of private  health insurance companies, they went in the opposite direction and mandated  that everyone buy private health insurance if they don't get covered by their employer or government. Americans will end up spending more money on an inadequate health care system," noted Hawkins.

Hawkins added that  his position on making health care a right was fundamentally different from that  of Cuomo and Paladino. "We need candidates in the Gubernatorial debate that  reflect the positions of the majority of New Yorkers, not just economic  conservatism of big business interests," said Hawkins. Hawkins added that having  New York as the first state with single payer would attract employers that  wanted to lower their health care costs. The Canadian national health care  system first started at the province level.

Hawkins has made a  state expanded and improved Medicare for All program a part of his Green New  Deal, which includes a government funded job for everyone who can't find work in  the private section. Hawkins noted that health care for all was part of the  program of New Deal Democrats in the 1930s, 1940s, and again in the  1970s.

"Over the years the Democrats have continually moved to the  right on health care reform as with their campaign funds have swollen with  massive contributions from private insurance companies, drug companies, and  for-profit hospital chains. They moved from a national health insurance program  to an employer mandate to an individual mandate. They ended up to the right of where Richard Nixon's employer mandate was and then declared it a historic success when is really a historic defeat for effective health care reform. It is  clear that the American people have not been fooled. But while we hear a lot of  media coverage about the small percentage of Americans who believe government  should stay out of health care, it is time to hear the voices of the vast  majority who want our government to make health care a right, while lowering  costs and giving more control to doctors and patients, rather than drug,  insurance, and hospital companies," added Hawkins.

Hawkins was  arrested last year for criminal trespass when executives at the Syracuse office  of WellPoint, the nation's largest private health insurer, refused to accept a  letter from single payer protesters demanding that WellPoint stop denying care  to policyholders and spend their premiums on health care instead of exorbitant  executive salaries and profits.

For more on Howie Hawkins' health  care platform: