Hawkins Agrees with Voters that Congressional Health Care Reform Did Not Go Far Enough

Howie Hawkins for Governor - Green Party

September 27, 2010
For Immediate Release

Howie Hawkins, 315 425-1019
Mark Dunlea, 518 860-3725

Wants a State Single Payer Health Care System, State Takeover of Medicaid Costs


Howie Hawkins, the Green Party nominee for Governor, said that he agreed with American voters that the recent Congressional health care reform did not go far enough in solving the nation's health care crisis. Hawkins said that he wants New York to be the first state in the country to implement a single payer Medicare for All program that would save New Yorkers $28 billion annually by 2019 according to a recent state-funded study.


Hawkins also said he supported a state takeover of the Medicaid contributions from local governments, a major factor in New York's high property tax rates.


A new poll finds that Americans who think the law should have done more outnumber those who think the government should stay out of health care by 2-to-1. The poll, by Stanford University, found that overall 30 percent favored the legislation, while 40 percent opposed it, and another 30 percent remained neutral. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/09/25/ap/politics/main6899946.shtml


More than 30 million people would gain coverage in 2019 when the law is fully phased in, but another 20 million or so would remain uninsured. Only 25 percent in the poll said minimal tinkering would suffice for the health care system.


"If you listen to the media reports, you would think most Americans oppose the recent Congressional health care bill due because they oppose government provided health care. The reality is that most Americans want health care to be a right for all and they want a single payer system - which the Democrats ruled 'off the table.' The reform they passed last March also fails to control costs. The Democrats' reform left out tens of millions of people. Instead of saving $400 billion by eliminating the waste of private health insurance companies, they went in the opposite direction and mandated that everyone buy private health insurance if they don't get covered by their employer or government. Americans will end up spending more money on an inadequate health care system," noted Hawkins.


Hawkins added that his position on making health care a right was fundamentally different from that of Cuomo and Paladino. "We need candidates in the Gubernatorial debate that reflect the positions of the majority of New Yorkers, not just economic conservatism of big business interests," said Hawkins. Hawkins added that having New York as the first state with single payer would attract employers that wanted to lower their health care costs. The Canadian national health care system first started at the province level.


Hawkins has made a state expanded and improved Medicare for All program a part of his Green New Deal, which includes a government funded job for everyone who can't find work in the private section. Hawkins noted that health care for all was part of the program of New Deal Democrats in the 1930s, 1940s, and again in the 1970s.


"Over the years the Democrats have continually moved to the right on health care reform as with their campaign funds have swollen with massive contributions from private insurance companies, drug companies, and for-profit hospital chains. They moved from a national health insurance program to an employer mandate to an individual mandate. They ended up to the right of where Richard Nixon's employer mandate was and then declared it a historic success when is really a historic defeat for effective health care reform. It is clear that the American people have not been fooled. But while we hear a lot of media coverage about the small percentage of Americans who believe government should stay out of health care, it is time to hear the voices of the vast majority who want our government to make health care a right, while lowering costs and giving more control to doctors and patients, rather than drug, insurance, and hospital companies," added Hawkins.


Hawkins was arrested last year for criminal trespass when executives at the Syracuse office of WellPoint, the nation's largest private health insurer, refused to accept a letter from single payer protesters demanding that WellPoint stop denying care to policyholders and spend their premiums on health care instead of exorbitant executive salaries and profits.


Additional information on Howie Hawkins' health care platform can be seen here and here.


Additional information