Rhode Island Greens building Single Payer movement
We are reaching out to you today based on your previous support for the Green Party of Rhode Island and our efforts.
If you have not heard already, we are in the midst of a petition drive that is meant to pressure Senators Reed and Whitehouse to put a single-payer Medicare for All bill on the floor of the Senate to parallel the one entered in the House by Rep. John Conyers, HR 676, and co-sponsored already by David Cicilline.
And we need your help!
There are many decent progressives already in the Congress who want to see this become law. But the simple truth of passing laws in America is they need to be put through by a large coalition of supporters across the ideological spectrum who realize that their constituents who want to see the bill supported. It is just the way politics in Washington works.
Many local progressives in Rhode Island have said recently that they want to wait for Sen. Sanders to see what he does first. We respect him for his progressive accomplishments and what his campaign for president. But the problem with that logic is simply that he is someone who needs a coalition of supporters to be built up around him first before he can make a move. In a direct practical sense, it means he needs people like Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed to step forward and make clear to him that they are willing to co-sponsor the bill with him. And that in turn means we as the constituents of Whitehouse and Reed need to pressure them to express support for Sen. Sanders' efforts.
Let's not kid ourselves, this is a tremendous challenge. The private medical insurance industry generates a massive sum of money that has been spent for decades to keep a Medicare for All system from being implemented. Furthermore, they and the other elements of the medical-industrial complex, such as Big Pharma, are major Democratic Party donors that exert significant influence on lawmakers through a network of lobbyists, campaign donors, think tanks, and other shadowy avenues.
But we as the voters and constituents have several advantages here. First, the April 2016 primary where Sen. Sanders swept Secretary Clinton came about in no small part because of his support for a Medicare for All system becoming law. Second, surveys continue to show overwhelmingly that the majority of Americans support a single payer system, as reflected in this May 2016 Gallup poll and, more importantly, 41 percent of Republicans and leaners favored replacing the ACA with single-payer!
That means this is not just a 'progressive' issue, it is an American issue that has support across party lines and includes those who might not call themselves progressives. Third, as healthcare scholar and expert John Geyman has shown in recent works, there is nothing left to be done in healthcare except for a single payer plan. We have seen every avenue exhausted and fail to deliver a solution equitable to what every other industrialized nation has previously put into practice.
And so here is what we need you to do.
First, if you have not done so already, sign our petition by clicking here.
Second, share this link on your Facebook page so others can get involved.
Third, think about people you know in your family and social network who might not agree with you on every progressive cause you are passionate about but who might or is interested in seeing a fair and just healthcare system be implemented in Rhode Island and America. Forward this email to them or share that Facebook link with them. You would be surprised how many faith leaders and civically-engaged folks you disagree with on many issues are actually on the same side as you with regards to this matter. Have a community conversation with your neighbors and urge them to sign our petition. This will build momentum and show our Senators that it is time to implement this law.
Thank you for your time today and here's to a Green future!
Green Party of Rhode Island