233383 A single payer perspective on what happened this year and where we need to go from here

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 2:30 PM - 2:50 PM

Martha Livingston, PhD , Health and Society, Associate Professor of Health and Society, Old Westbury, NY
I'll be speaking as a longtime single-payer and women's health activist and a socialist. Briefly, single payer national health insurance is actually a modest reform, not the "end point," as many in the health-care reform movement portray it. Whether or not single payer national health insurance was "winnable" in this round, certainly compromising with that position in favor of a "public option" was a tactical mistake. PPACA, the current health-care law, will not solve our health-care mess.

Many of us in the campaign for national health insurance, especially those of us who identify as socialists, recognize that national health insurance is only a small step in the direction of health-care justice, levelling the playing field so that working-class Americans, Americans of color, immigrants, women, members of the LGBT community and all who struggle to find competent, compassionate medical care can begin to do so. What this campaign doesn't even begin to address is the content, quality and hierarchical nature of the medical system, nor the far broader issue of the social determinants of health, of which just health care is but a small part.

The Socialist Caucus will have a session on this issue directly following this one, and we invite you to continue the discussion there!

Learning Areas:
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related public policy
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Define single payer health care systems Discuss the role of national health insurance in achieving health care justice Consider the shortcomings of the recent U.S. health reform law

Keywords: Health Reform, Social Justice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I teach courses on universal health acre
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.