Letter to The Gazette Times
January 13, 2016
by Jo Alexander, Corvallis
While 58 percent of Americans and 81 percent of Democrats support single-payer health care (improved Medicare for all), according to a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, only 5 percent of Democrats say it would be the most important factor for them when voting.
But I think it is one of the major reasons that Bernie Sanders has the support, financial as well as vocal, of so many ordinary Democrats. Hillary Clinton still supports an incremental approach to reform.
I do not believe that any incremental approach to health care reform that leaves us chained to the private health insurance companies can succeed in achieving universal access to health care. The Affordable Care Act implemented an incremental approach, and 33 million Americans still remain uninsured. People with insurance are still facing bankruptcy because their out-of-pocket costs are so high; others with insurance can't afford to go to a doctor because their deductibles are several thousand dollars.
Should we ignore any idea that cannot be realistically achieved soon? Should abolitionists have been told to forget about abolition of slavery and try a more realistic and incremental approach? I don't think so. That's why I am an active member of Health Care for All-Oregon (hcao.org) and a supporter of Sanders for president.