Republicans vote for Single Payer?

June 11, 2011

Election in New York State a Vote for Single-Payer


The improbable May 24, 2011 election victory of underdog Democrat Kathy Hochul in a staunchly Republican district in western New York was widely viewed as a vote against the Congressional Republican’s proposal to transform the Medicare program into an open market voucher program.


In truth, it was a referendum on the US’s only single-payer program- Medicare. Think about the improbability of the vote.  Single-payer health care is often referred to as “Medicare for All.”  It has been derided as a solution to the country’s healthcare problems despite evidence that it the most economical solution to the health care crisis in the US.


 Republican’s faced with a choice of turning Medicare into a free-market program or keeping Medicare as an egalitarian single-payer program switched parties in enough numbers to push Hochul over the top.  Republicans for single-payer? Why not?  In the other western countries with single-payer programs they generally are well received by the population regardless of political party or persuasion.  And as this vote in New York demonstrated, Medicare is popular across the population, regardless of party. Medicare-for-All would be equally popular, if given a chance.

Comments (1)

  1. mary crangle:
    Jun, 22, 2011

    I heard your interview on Fresh Air and was delighted to see that you have a blog. I was wondering how to get in touch with you. I am part of a group in Albany, NY called the Capital District Alliance for Universal Healthcare which is working on educating and advocating for a single payer system. Many of our members are also active in PNHP. We were looking for a fresh, hands on, perspective on our current health care system's issues and wonder if you accept speaking engagements? Please let me know at Thanks, Mary Crangle

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