Kevin Zeese reported that Dr. Margaret Flowers was thrilled by this statement in President Obama's State of the Union address:
"But, if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know."
Dr. Flowers had an answer, a national health program based on a single payer system - improved and expanded Medicare for All. She wrote a letter to President Obama [see below] and tried to deliver it on January 28. The letter was refused.
So, on January 29, Dr. Flowers & Dr. Carol
So on January 29, Dr. Margaret Flowers and Dr. Carol Paris tried to get the Medicare for All message to President Obama, while he was in
January 27, 2010
President Barack Obama
Dear President Obama,
I was overjoyed to hear you say in your State of the Union address last night:
“But if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know.”
My colleagues, fellow health advocates and I have been trying to meet with you for over a year now because we have an approach which will meet all of your goals and more.
I am a pediatrician who, like many of my primary care colleagues, left practice because it is nearly impossible to deliver high quality health care in this environment. I have been volunteering for Physicians for a National Health Program ever since. For over a year now, I have been working with the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care/ National Single Payer
I felt very optimistic when Congress took up health care reform last January because I remember when you spoke to the
"I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program." (applause) "I see no reason why the
But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House."
And that is why I was so surprised when the voices of those who support a national single payer plan/Medicare for All were excluded in place of the voices of the very health insurance and pharmaceutical industries which profit off the current health care situation.
There was an opportunity this past year to create universal and financially-sustainable health care reform rather than expensive health insurance reform.
As you well know, the
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. You said that you wanted to “keep what works” and that would be Medicare. Medicare is an American legacy of which we can feel proud. It has guaranteed health security to all who have it. Medicare has lifted senior citizens out of poverty. Health disparities, which are rising in this nation, begin to disappear as soon as patients reach 65 years of age. And patients and doctors prefer Medicare to private insurance. Why, our Medicare has even been used as a model by other nations which have developed and implemented universal health systems.
Mr. President, we wanted to meet with you because we have the solution to health care reform. The
I am asking you to meet with me because the solution is simple. Remove all of the industries who profit off of the American health care catastrophe from the table. Replace them with those who are knowledgeable in designing health systems and who are without ties to the for-profit medical industries. And then allow them to design an improved Medicare for All national health system. We can implement it within a year of designing such a system.
What are the benefits of doing this?
• It will save tens of thousands (perhaps hundreds of thousands) of American lives each year, not to mention the prevention of unnecessary suffering.
• It will relieve families of medical debt, which is the number one cause of bankruptcy and foreclosure despite the fact that most of those who experienced bankruptcy had health insurance.
• It will relieve businesses of the growing burden of skyrocketing health insurance premiums so that they can invest in innovation, hiring, increased wages and other benefits and so they can compete in the global market. For example, it is estimated to provide a major stimulus for the
• It will control health care costs in a rational way through global budgeting and negotiation for fair prices for pharmaceuticals and services.
• It will allow patients the freedom to choose wherever they want to go for health care and will allow patients and their caregivers to determine which care is best without denials by insurance administrators.
• It will restore the physician-patient relationship and bring satisfaction back to the practice of medicine so that more doctors will stay in or return to practice.
• It will allow our people in our nation to be healthy and productive and able to support themselves and their families.
• It will create a legacy for your administration that may someday elevate you to the same hero status as Tommy Douglas has in
Mr. President, there are more benefits, but I believe you get the point. I look forward to meeting with you and am so pleased that you are open to our ideas. The Medicare for All campaign is growing rapidly and is ready to support you as we move forward on health care reform that will provide
With great anticipation and deep respect,
Margaret Flowers, M.D.
Maryland chapter, Physicians for a National Health Program
Donations can be sent to the
"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs