Missouri moves for single-payer

UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. — “Currently 33 percent of every health insurance dollar goes to administration,” said Julia Lamborn, president of Missourians for Single Payer Health Care (MOSP) at a June 7 press conference here. Lamborn announced the passage by University City’s Council of a resolution in support of HR 676, the “Medicare for All” bill. University City is the first city in Missouri to pass a resolution supporting the bill.

“Medicare for All is the only fiscally responsible plan. Medicare currently spends about 2-3 percent on administration. Expanding Medicare would save all of us money,” continued Lamborn. “We are spending enough to provide health care for everyone.”

The United States spends more on health care than any other nation in the world. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, bureaucracy in health care costs the average American $1,059 a year, compared to $307 in Canada, where they have a single-payer system.

HR 676, introduced by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), has also been endorsed by the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council, which represents 40,000 union members.

MOSP is campaigning to convince other Missouri cities to endorse HR 676 and to “declare our independence from the insurance companies this July 4, Independence Day.”

“We can bring universal, single-payer health care to Americans city by city,” said Lamborn. “An estimated 46 million Americans are uninsured, including over 600,000 Missourians. Hundreds of thousands are underinsured. Our rates go up, while our benefits go down,” Lamborn told the World. “This system is broken.”

“We need a modern Boston Tea Party to inspire citizens to dump for-profit insurance,” said Mimi Signor, a registered nurse and resident of University City. “What could be more patriotic than health care for all Americans?”

Similar press conferences were held across the country as part of the HR 676 Health Care Action Week.