Press Release AUGUST 29, 2000 CONTACT: Jake Lewis or Laura Jones,(202) 265-4000
NADER CALLS FOR SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
BUFFALO, NY, August 29--Ralph Nader today called for a universal health care system in the U. S.-with public funding, private delivery, and controls against waste, profiteering and malpractice, which would be similar to the single-payer system in Canada.
Nader noted that in the U. S. 24 cents of every dollar spent on health care goes to administrative costs compared to 11 cents in Canada. He said the difference could go a long way in covering the 47 million Americans who now have no health insurance. Nader, the Green Party candidate for President, said the U. S. was ranked by the World Health Organization as 37th among nations in the world regarding the quality of health care.
"This is not only embarrassing, but also unacceptable," Nader said. "Western European countries provided for their people 40 to 50 years ago...why can't we do it now in a period of economic growth and budget surpluses."
Nader said the nation is in a "transitory period" which gives us a "real
opportunity" to recast our health care system in a nonprofit mode and implement accessible universal health care, with attention to prevention of diseases and trauma.
Nader also urged that price restraints be placed on all drugs developed with taxpayer dollars including most AIDS drugs. He said pharmaceutical companies are getting huge windfall profits from the government-developed drugs and then gouging patients mercilessly.
"Instead of giving away a monopoly on these taxpayer-funded drugs to just one company, multiple licenses should be issued to any company that wants to sell them," Nader said. "That would create competition and bring down prices."
Nader said if any company objects to the idea, the government should say to them, "if you're going to engage in profiteering, we'll make them ourselves-and more cheaply than you. The public health of the American people comes before vast profiteering."
Nader was also critical of HMOs, charging that they are "destabilizing themselves by their own greed, tying the hands of professionals in the medical and nursing areas from using their independent judgement in caring for their patients, and abusing consumers."
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************************************************* Laura Jones Deputy Press Secretary Nader 2000 p: 202-265-4000 * fax: 202-265-0183 * www.votenader.org
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