MDs campaign in Colorado for single-payer insurance
DENVER (AP) – Colorado lawmakers joined with a coalition of doctors from Oregon to campaign for a single-payer health care system, saying Monday the current system and proposals before Congress won’t solve the problem.
Colorado Democratic state Sen. Joyce Foster of Denver said people are “mad as hell” with the lack of universal health care.
She cited a recent health fair where more than 1,000 people stood in line for dental care in Adams County as proof the system is broken and needs to be fixed.
“These people were in such pain they waited outside overnight. I’m sorry, people, this is not good enough. It’s too bad our leadership couldn’t include a single-payer option in Washington,” she told a crowd of supporters on the steps of the state Capitol.
The rally was organized by a group calling themselves the “Mad As Hell Doctors” who are on their way to Washington this month to demand that universal health care be included in the debate over health care reform.
“The time to demand single-payer in America is now. We may not get another opportunity for real change like this in our lifetime,” said Dr. Gene Uphoff, a retired family physician from Portland who is a member of the coalition.
Colorado state Rep. Daniel Kagan, D-Denver, said the single-payer option is in trouble and he urged supporters to force it to the negotiating table.
“The battle of Washington is on. It’s not going as well as we might ideally liked it to go so far,” he said.
Kagan said some opponents of universal health care can be easily dismissed because they are motivated by greed, but he said others are motivated by fears that need to be addressed.
He said one of those fears is health care rationing, which he said supporters of universal health care also would oppose. He said the other fear is that government isn’t up to the task.
Kagan said government needs to be pushed sometimes to make it work, as it did when people demanded an end to slavery and the right of women to vote.