Honk for Single-Payer

by Linda Riewe on behalf of LMNOP
June 2009

We of the Lake Merritt Neighbors Organized for Peace favor a single-payer plan because it is the most cost-effective option to provide health care for everyone.

The US is the only large, industrialized country without a national health system, and our current health insurance system is the most wasteful among all of these countries. We pay more, yet receive less health care, and our life span is shorter than in most industrialized nations. The advantages reaped by a single-payer plan include cutting the private profits, lobbyists, advertising, duplicated functions, and overhead that is not patient care. The savings from decreasing administrative waste would cover all uninsured Americans. We oppose a continuation of the status quo which is equivalent to an insurance industry bailout.

We believe that health care is a right, not a privilege. We regard it as equal to the right to education and a clean environment. When international students come to our community, one of the things that surprises them is the lack of a national health service. In Canada, the single-payer plan has worked well. The cost per person in the US, even if in the form of taxes, would be less than the premiums we now pay. Rather than mortgage our children's and grandchildren's future to insurance industry profits, we at LMNOP call for a single-payer health care plan.


(1) Woolhandler et al. (2003) Costs of health care administration in the United States and Canada, New England Journal of Medicine, 349:8, p. 768-775.

(2) Himmelstein et al. (2004) Administrative waste in the U.S. health care system in 2003: the cost to the nation, the states, and the District of Columbia, with state-specific estimates of potential savings, International Journal of Health Services, 34:1, p. 79-86.

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