Single-Payer "Elevator speech"


Street/Train/Plane/Bus/Elevator Speech for Soliciting Support for
Single-Payer Health Care

(One way to approach someone on the street is something like this: “Good morning. Do you think everyone in the US should have a right to the health care they need?” Then say you’re with a group that’s advocating a single-payer health care system, and ask if they’re familiar with the idea. Be sure to pronounce “single payer” clearly and distinctly; people unfamiliar with the term will mis-hear it.)

A single-payer health care system is a kind of improved, expended Medicare that would cover you and me and everyone else in the country. It works like this:

  • You get a health care card—everyone gets one, automatically.

  • You bring that card to any licensed provider you choose.

  • You get the care you need.  

You’ll be completely covered for all medically necessary care. There are no premiums, no deductibles, no co-pays or co-insurance, no caps. You have no out-of-pocket expenses.



But there’s more. This is not only the most just and humane health care system, it’s also the most economical. It does away with for-profit health care corporations and insurance companies. These companies take billions of dollars for profits, dividends, and administrative costs but provide no health care. When we eliminate that waste, we can cover everyone—and with much better benefits.

Canada and most European countries cover everyone, spend much less than we do, and get better health outcomes. We can do this, too.

[Some people will ask how it will be paid for. Here’s one version.]

By cutting out corporate profits and bureaucratic waste, it’s possible to extend care to everyone, even without raising taxes. But if the government did decide to raise taxes to support the system, people and businesses would still pay much, much less than we’re paying now in out-of-pocket costs. People wouldn’t be afraid to get the health care they need. And American businesses would be much more competitive.

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