Social workers – Isn’t it time to recognize that a single-payer universal-coverage health care system is the way to go? Republicans were right to argue that the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) was and remains a deeply flawed approach to addressing Americans’ health needs. But they were badly off the mark in thinking – as their recent legislative debacle amply demonstrated – that the ACA could be rapidly “repealed and replaced” with something palatable to the American public.
We seem to have turned a big corner on accepting the single-payer concept. In part due to the robust Sanders run for the presidential nomination, in part because of sheer Republican stupidity in trying to strip millions of insurance coverage, while simultaneously capping Medicaid funding and handing the wealthy a handsome tax cut, single-payer is presently enjoying a surge in popularity. Articles acknowledging its feasibly are popping up with increasing frequency in unlikely places, including The Atlantic Monthly and Harvard Business Review.
A pro-single-payer position will not be popular with Mississippi’s political leadership. Indeed, no public program perceived to benefit the “undeserving” is likely to ever gain their support. But that is of minor consequence. Stereotypes aside, our profession’s commitment is to justice, not mealy-mouthed “niceness.” Ethically, single-payer universal coverage is far more just than the mess of a pseudo-system that we have now; pragmatically, it is the way of the future. It’s high time we take a firm stance on the right side of history.