issues2000

Topics in the News: Single Payer


Bernie Sanders on Single Payer: (Health Care Jul 30, 2019)
Healthcare as a human right includes immigrants

Rep. Tim Ryan: Everyone else in America is paying for their healthcare. I don't think it's a stretch for us to ask undocumented people in the country to also pay for healthcare.

SANDERS: I happen to believe that when I talk about healthcare as a human right that applies to all people in this country, and under a Medicare for All single payer system, we could afford to do that.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: July Democratic Primary debate (first night in Detroit)

Joe Sestak on Single Payer: (Health Care Jul 9, 2019)
For public option as path to single payer

Sestak wants to restore the Affordable Care Act and include a public option to "expand access to health insurance." He wants the success of his public option to engender the transition to a national healthcare system based off the Veterans Health Administration. He advocates for allowing Medicare to bargain for the drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry. Sestak also wishes to import less expensive drugs from Canada.
Click for Joe Sestak on other issues.   Source: Townhall.com on 2020 Democratic primary

Kirsten Gillibrand on Single Payer: (Health Care Jun 27, 2019)
Keep private insurance in transition; goal is single payer

We need to get to universal health care as a right and not a privilege. The quickest way is you create competition with the insurers. If they want to compete, they can certainly try, but they've never put people over their profits, and I doubt they ever will. People will choose Medicare, then your step to single-payer is short. I would make it an earned benefit, just like Social Security, so that you buy in your whole life, it is always there for you, and it's permanent and it's universal.
Click for Kirsten Gillibrand on other issues.   Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami)

Pete Buttigieg on Single Payer: (Health Care Jun 27, 2019)
How do we get to single payer? Need a glide path

I would call it Medicare for all who want it. You make it available on the exchanges, people can buy in. If people like us are right, that will be not only a more inclusive plan, but a more efficient plan, then it will be a very natural glide path to the single-payer environment.

But let's remember, even in countries that have socialized medicine there's still a private sector. It's just that for our primary care, we can't be relying on the tender mercies of the corporate system.

This one is very personal for me. I started out this year dealing with the terminal illness of my father. I make decisions for a living, and nothing could have prepared me for the kind of decisions our family faced. The thing we had going for us was that we never had to make those decisions based on whether it was going to bankrupt our family, because of Medicare. And I want every family to have that same freedom to do what is medically right, not live in financial fear.

Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami)

Steve Bullock on Single Payer: (Health Care Jun 18, 2019)
Build on ObamaCare but don't replace with single-payer

Q: Would your focus be improving the Affordable Care Act or replacing it with single payer?

A: "My focus would be building off of the Affordable Care Act and improving it."

Click for Steve Bullock on other issues.   Source: 2019 "Meet the Candidates" (NY Times.com)

Seth Moulton on Single Payer: (Health Care Jun 18, 2019)
Don't force people to get rid of their private health plans

Q: Would your focus be improving the Affordable Care Act or replacing it with single payer?

A: "I'm not going to force people to get rid of their private health care plans if they like them."

Click for Seth Moulton on other issues.   Source: 2019 "Meet the Candidates" (NY Times.com)

Bernie Sanders on Single Payer: (Health Care Apr 22, 2019)
Single payer will transform health care for the better

Over a four-year period we're going to transform our health care system. First year, we go from 65 years of age for eligibility to Medicare down to 55, and we cover all of the kids in the country. And, despite what President Trump says, we expand benefits for senior citizens. Medicare doesn't cover dental care. It doesn't cover eyeglasses. It doesn't cover hearing aids. We do that. Health care is a human right, not a privilege, and the best way is through a single-payer program.
Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: CNN Town Hall 2020: 5 candidates back-to-back

Kamala Harris on Single Payer: (Health Care Apr 22, 2019)
Private insurance not victims under single payer

I support Medicare for all. And I support it for a number of reasons. That include the fact that there are a lot of people in our country who simply do not have access to health care because they cannot afford it. And that's unconscionable. On the issue of access to private insurance, you can get supplemental insurance. But let's not be duped by a messaging campaign by the insurance companies to have you into believing that you need to defend them. You need to defend yourself.
Click for Kamala Harris on other issues.   Source: CNN Town Hall 2020: 5 candidates back-to-back

Kirsten Gillibrand on Single Payer: (Health Care Apr 9, 2019)
Transition to Medicare for all through public option

Healthcare is a right and not a privilege. That's why I am for Medicare for all and I believe that the best way to get there is let people buy in and that is how we get the single payer over a very short transition period. I don't think you can actually get to universal coverage unless you have a not for profit public option that is focused solely on human health. The reason why we have a transition plan is because you're going to let Americans choose. If you let America choose basic care through Medicare which is higher quality and far more affordable, I can't imagine that most Americans won't choose it.
Click for Kirsten Gillibrand on other issues.   Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls

Tim Ryan on Single Payer: (Health Care Apr 7, 2019)
Has supported Obamacare & single payer

Ryan has supported single-payer health care and the Affordable Care Act, he said in a Face the Nation interview.
Click for Tim Ryan on other issues.   Source: Axios.com "What you need to know about 2020"

John Hickenlooper on Single Payer: (Health Care Mar 20, 2019)
Against single payer; supports public option

We're at almost universal coverage in Colorado. We're about 95 percent coverage. And we did that by expanding Medicaid, by creating one of the most innovate and successful health care exchanges in the country.

I don't agree with the single-payer approach. I understand that we need a public option. Health care should be a right, not a privilege.

I want to support any way we can get to universal coverage. That should be our first and primary goal. But I also recognize that there are north of 150 million people that have insurance through your place of business. I am more focused on how we make sure that we get to universal coverage, but at the same time, maintain and improve quality and controlling costs.

Click for John Hickenlooper on other issues.   Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls

Pete Buttigieg on Single Payer: (Health Care Mar 19, 2019)
Single payer option can lead to Medicare for all

A single-payer environment is probably the right answer in the long term, but I think any politician who throws around phrases like Medicare for all has to explain how we would get there. What you want to do is you take something like Medicare, you put it on the exchanges as a public option, and if people like me are right that that is both good coverage and more cost efficient, then more and more people will buy in and it will be a very natural glide path towards the single-payer environment.
Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: Fox News Sunday 2019 interviews for 2020 Democratic primary

Elizabeth Warren on Single Payer: (Health Care Mar 18, 2019)
Start with prescription drugs, then negotiate single payer

When we're talking about health care in America right now, the first thing we need to be talking about is defend the Affordable Care Act. Let's bring down the cost of prescription drugs all across this country. We can import drugs from Canada where the safety standards are the same. We can negotiate the prices under Medicare. I've got a proposal to help bring down the cost on generic drugs, which could be about 90 percent of all prescriptions. What's key is we get everybody at the table on this and we figure out how to do Medicare for all in a way that makes sure that we're going to get 100 percent coverage in this country at the lowest possible cost for everyone.
Click for Elizabeth Warren on other issues.   Source: CNN Town Hall on 2020 Democratic presidential primary

Pete Buttigieg on Single Payer: (Health Care Feb 15, 2019)
Single rate for healthcare before single payer

Buttigieg says he's "all for" a single-payer health care system. But he has said he wouldn't immediately jump to single-payer from the current system. Instead, Buttigieg would first implement an all-payer rate setting--a system that would not eliminate private insurance companies.
Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: PBS Newshour on 2020 Democratic primary

Pete Buttigieg on Single Payer: (Health Care Feb 3, 2019)
Single payer can still allow role for private insurance

If the framework we're using is Medicare, a lot of people who have Medicare also have Medicare supplements, Medicare Advantage, something like that. There can be a role for the private sector.

I just don't believe that leaving Americans to the tender mercies of corporations is the best way to organize the health sector in this country. The bottom line is most citizens in most developed countries, enjoy access to this kind of health care and Americans don't. It's wrong.

Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: ABC This Week 2019 interviews for 2020 Democratic primary

John Hickenlooper on Single Payer: (Health Care Mar 29, 2017)
Too soon to make changes in Obamacare

[Some Democrats oppose single-payer plans]. Nancy Pelosi recently told frustrated town hall attendees that "if you want to move to single payer, what you should do is support state options," referring to state-level campaigns for single payer.

Democratic governor John Hickenlooper said that "it would be premature to dramatically remake our health-care system at this time" while existing reforms were "just beginning to bear fruit." He complained behind closed doors to a powerful lobby of business leaders and political operatives that the "cost [is] going to be huge."

As California considered instituting a state-wide single-payer system on the eve of a possible GOP repeal of Obamacare, the state's Democratic governor Jerry Brown rubbished the idea, asking: "Where do you get the extra money? How do you do that?" He compared it to solving a problem "by something that's a bigger problem," which "makes no sense."

Click for John Hickenlooper on other issues.   Source: Jacobin Magazine, "Single Payer," on 2020 Democratic primary

Michael Bennet on Single Payer: (Health Care Mar 29, 2017)
Single payer would lead to massive tax increase

[Some Democrats oppose single-payer plans]. Nancy Pelosi recently told frustrated town hall attendees that "if you want to move to single payer, what you should do is support state options," referring to state-level campaigns for single payer.

Democratic senator Michael Bennett told a local paper that single payer wasn't "the right approach to solving our health-care problems," partly due to the "massive tax increase" involved.

Click for Michael Bennet on other issues.   Source: Jacobin Magazine, "Single Payer," on 2020 Democratic primary

Donald Trump on Single Payer: (Health Care Feb 18, 2016)
Taking care of poor sick people isn't single-payer

Q: If Obamacare is repealed & there's no mandate for everybody to have insurance, why would insurance companies insure somebody who has a pre-existing condition?

TRUMP: Well, I like the mandate. I don't want people dying on the streets. The Republican people, they don't want people dying on the streets, but sometimes they'll say "Donald Trump wants single payer."

Q: Will people with pre-existing conditions be able to get insurance?

TRUMP: Yes. Now, the new plan is good. It's going to be inexpensive. It's going to be much better for the people at the bottom, people that don't have any money. We're going to take care of them through maybe concepts of Medicare. Now, some people would say, "that's not a very Republican thing to say." That's not single payer, by the way. That's called heart. We gotta take care of people that can't take care of themselves.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: 2016 CNN GOP Town Hall in South Carolina

Hillary Clinton on Single Payer: (Principles & Values Feb 4, 2016)
I am a progressive who gets things done

Q: Senator Sanders is arguing that you are not progressive enough to be the Democratic nominee. He has said that if you voted for the Iraq war, if you are in favor of the death penalty, if you wobbled on things like the Keystone Pipeline or TPP, if you said single payer health care could never happen, then you're too far to the right of the Democratic Party. Why should liberal Democrats support you?

CLINTON: Because I am a progressive who gets things done. The root of that word, progressive, is progress. I've heard Senator Sanders' comments, and it's caused me to wonder who's left in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Under his definition, President Obama is not progressive because he took donations from Wall Street; Vice President Biden is not progressive because he supported Keystone; Senator Shaheen is not progressive because she supports the trade pact.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: MSNBC Democratic primary debate in New Hampshire

Bernie Sanders on Single Payer: (Health Care Jan 25, 2016)
Medicare for All: insure 29M people beyond ObamaCare

Q: You have branded your single payer health program as "Medicare for All", Why would people support your program with ongoing Medicare problems?

SANDERS: I think people will support my Medicare-for-All program because the United States today is the only major country on Earth that doesn't guarantee health care to all people as a right. I think the Affordable Care Act has done a lot of good things. But yet we have 29 million people without any health insurance. There are seniors today who cannot afford the outrageously high cost of prescription drugs because in America, we pay, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. Last year, while one out of five Americans cannot afford the prescriptions their doctors write, the three major drug companies made $45 billion in profit because they spent hundreds of millions of dollars on lobbying and campaign contributions. I believe, as a principle, everybody should be entitled to health care as a right, comprehensive health care.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2016 CNN Town Hall Democratic presidential primary debate

Bernie Sanders on Single Payer: (Health Care Jan 25, 2016)
Single payer: Increased taxes offset by insurance cuts

Q: The criticism is that to pay for your single-payer healthcare, you're asking for one of the biggest tax hikes in history.

SANDERS: But that is an unfair criticism for the following reason. If you are paying now $10,000 a year to a private health insurance company and I say to you, hypothetically, you're going to pay $5,000 more in taxes, but you're not going to pay any more private health insurance, are you going to be complaining about the fact that I've saved you $5,000 in your total bills? So it's demagogic to say "oh, you're paying more in taxes." We are going to eliminate private health insurance premiums and payments not only for individuals, but for businesses, as well. We are the only country on Earth that allows private insurance companies to rip us off. We spend three times more than the British. We can do better than we're doing right now.

Q: But just to be clear, you are going to raise taxes to do this?

SANDERS: Yes, we will raise taxes, yes, we will.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2016 CNN Town Hall Democratic presidential primary debate

Bernie Sanders on Single Payer: (Health Care Dec 19, 2015)
The middle class will pay less with single payer health plan

CLINTON; Senator Sanders' commitment to really changing systems: free college, a single payer system for health, and it's been estimated we're looking at 18 to $20 trillion, about a 40 percent increase in the federal budget. I have looked at his plans for health care, and it really does transfer every bit of our health care system including private health care, to the states. I think we've got to be really thoughtful about how we're going to afford what he proposed.

SANDERS: Secretary Clinton is wrong. You know that the US per capita pays far more than other country. It is unfair simply to say how much more the program will cost without making sure that people know that we are doing away with cost of private insurance and that the middle class will be paying substantially less for health care on the single payer.

CLINTON: Your proposal is to go and send the health care system to the state. And my analysis is that you are going to get more taxes out of middle class families.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H.

Bernie Sanders on Single Payer: (Health Care Dec 19, 2015)
We spend more on care than countries with single-payer

Not only are deductibles rising, 29 million still have no health insurance and millions can't afford to go to the doctor.. Why is it that the US is the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care to all people? This ties into campaign finance reform. The insurance companies, the drug companies are bribing the s Congress. We need to pass a Medicare for all single payer system. It will lower the cost of health care for a middle-class family by thousands of dollars a year.
Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H.

Hillary Clinton on Single Payer: (Tax Reform Dec 19, 2015)
Single-payer care & free college will mean high taxes

CLINTON; Senator Sanders' commitment to really changing systems: free college, a single payer system for health, and it's been estimated we're looking at 18 to $20 trillion, about a 40 percent increase in the federal budget. I have looked at his plans for health care, and it really does transfer every bit of our health care system including private health care, to the states. I think we've got to be really thoughtful about how we're going to afford what he proposed.

SANDERS: Secretary Clinton is wrong. You know that the US per capita pays far more than other country. It is unfair simply to say how much more the program will cost without making sure that people know that we are doing away with cost of private insurance and that the middle class will be paying substantially less for health care on the single payer.

CLINTON: Your proposal is to go and send the health care system to the state. And my analysis is that you are going to get more taxes out of middle class families.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H.

Donald Trump on Single Payer: (Principles & Values Aug 9, 2015)
My old liberal political views evolved like Reagan's did

Q: Back in 1999, you were for the wealth tax. You were for single payer. You're not for it now. How can conservatives trust that you're not going to change again?

TRUMP: Ronald Reagan himself was a Democrat at one point. And I worked with him, and he liked me a lot, and I liked [him] a lot. And he was a terrific guy, but he was a liberal Democrat, and he changed. And I have evolved very strongly in the same way. I'm a conservative and I have tremendous support, but I also have a lot of support among Democrats. You know, when you look at our polls, I have support from all over the place, and people are actually shocked by it: "Mr. Trump, you're leading in every poll."

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: ABC This Week 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Donald Trump on Single Payer: (Health Care Aug 6, 2015)
The insurance companies have total control over politicians

Q: ObamaCare is one of the things you call a disaster.

TRUMP: A complete disaster, yes.

Q: Saying it needs to be repealed & replaced.

TRUMP: Correct.

Q: Now, 15 years ago, you called yourself a liberal on health care. You were for a single-payer system, a Canadian-style system. Why were you for that then and why aren't you for it now?

TRUMP: As far as single payer, it works in Canada. It could have worked in a different age. What I'd like to see is a private system without the artificial lines around every state. I have a big company with thousands of employees. And if I'm negotiating in BY or NJ or CA, I have like one bidder. Nobody can bid. You know why? Because the insurance companies are making a fortune because they have control of the politicians. They're making a fortune. Get rid of the artificial lines and you will have yourself great plans. And then we have to take care of the people that can't take care of themselves. And I will do that through a different system.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript

Rand Paul on Single Payer: (Health Care Aug 6, 2015)
GOP has been fighting single-payer for a decade

Q [to Donald Trump]: 15 years ago, you were for a single-payer system, a Canadian-style system.

TRUMP: As far as single payer, it works in Canada. It works incredibly well in Scotland. It could have worked in a different age. What I'd like to see is a private system without the artificial lines around every state.

PAUL: I've got a news flash: the Republican Party's been fighting against a single-payer system for a decade. So I think you're on the wrong side of this if you're still arguing for a single-payer system.

TRUMP: I don't think you heard me. You're having a hard time tonight.

Q: Mr. Trump, it's not just your past support for single-payer health care. You've also supported a host of other liberal policies. Use--you've also donated to several Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton included, Nancy Pelosi.

TRUMP: Most of the people on this stage I've given to, just so you understand, a lot of money.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript

Barack Obama on Single Payer: (Health Care Jan 21, 2008)
Subsidies to people who canít afford care--not single payer

If, in fact, we are not making healthcare affordable enough, which is whatís happening right now, and you mandate on families to buy health insurance that they canít afford and if they donít buy it you fine them or in some other way take money for them. What is happening in Massachusetts right now, which is that folks are having to pay fines and they donít have health care. Theyíd rather go ahead and take the fine because they canít afford the coverage. My core belief is that people desperately want coverage, and my plan provides those same subsidies. If they are provided those subsidies and they have good, quality care thatís available, then they will purchase it. That is my belief. I never said that we should try to go ahead and get single payer. What I said was that if I were starting from scratch, if we didnít have a system in which employers had typically provided health care, I would probably go with a single-payer system.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2008 Congressional Black Caucus Democratic debate

Mike Gravel on Single Payer: (Social Security Dec 25, 2006)
Put real money in the Trust Fund & invest it properly

Click for Mike Gravel on other issues.   Source: 2008 Presidential campaign website, gravel2008.us, ďIssuesĒ

Hillary Clinton on Single Payer: (Health Care Nov 1, 2003)
Recommended "managed competition"; not single-payer system

[On the 1994 healthcare taskforce], some proposed a "single payer" approach, modeled on the European and Canadian health care systems. The federal government, through tax payments, would become the sole financier--or single payer--of most medical care. A few favored a gradual expansion of Medicare what would eventually cover all uninsured Americans, starting first with those aged 55 to 65.

Bill and other Democrats rejected the single-payer and Medicare models, preferring a quasi-private system called "managed competition" that relied on private market forces to drive down costs through competition. The government would have a smaller role, including setting standards for benefit packages and helping to organize purchasing cooperatives. The cooperatives were groups of individuals and businesses forget for the purpose of purchasing insurance. Together, they could bargain with insurance companies for better benefits and prices and use their leverage to assure high-quality care.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton, p.150

  • Additional quotations related to Single Payer issues can be found under Health Care.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Health Care.
Candidates on Health Care:
 Related issues:
Coronavirus
COVID
Ebola
Entitlement Reform
HIV-AIDS
Medicaid
Medicare-for-All
ObamaCare
Privatization
Stem Cells
Tort Reform
Vaccinations

2020 Presidential primary contenders:
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Gov.Bill Weld (R-MA&L-NY)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)
2020 Presidential Nominees:
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE for President)
CEO Don Blankenship (Constitution Party)
Rocky De La Fuente (Alliance/Reform Party)
Howie Hawkins (Green Party)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA for V.P.)
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian Party)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN for re-election)
Gloria La Riva (Socialism and Liberation)
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY for re-election)
Kanye West (Birthday Party)
Other Topics in the News:
Black Lives Matter
China
Coronavirus Pandemic
Energy Independence
Gay Rights
Global Warming
Illegal Immigrants
Iranian Nukes
Israel/Palestine
North Korea
ObamaCare
Russia
Second Amendment
Supreme Court Bailout_+_Stimulus
Please consider volunteering for OnTheIssues!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
E-mail: submit@OnTheIssues.org
(We rely on your support!)

Page last updated: Mar 02, 2022