Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tommy Douglas and the Future of Single Payer in the USA

By Ralph Nader
Single Payer Action
June 7, 2011

To secure single payer here in the United States –We have to understand how Canada did it.

And to understand how Canada did it, we have to understand Tommy Douglas.

And not just that Canadians voted him The Greatest Canadian in a recent poll. Or that he’s the grandfather of the actor Kiefer Sutherland.

But we have to understand how Tommy Douglas built a political movement that toppled the two corporate parties in Saskatchewan in the mid-1940s. And what the lessons are for citizens in the USA.

Tommy Douglas was born in Scotland in 1904. His family moved to Canada when he was six.

Tommy Douglas became a Baptist minister who supported unions and a public health insurance system.

He became premier of Saskatchewan by running against Canada’s two major parties.

In a dramatic and decisive confrontation in 1962, Douglas then overcame a doctor’s strike against Medicare plan.

The Medicare for all single payer plan became law that same year in Saskatchewan.

And in 1966, his single payer program was adopted by the national government.

For a donation of $100 to Single Payer Action today, we’ll send you the acclaimed 334-page paperback biography – The Life and Political Times of Tommy Douglas by Walter Stewart.

And we’ll also send you the riveting three-hour Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) docudrama DVD – Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story.

Show it to your friends.

As you know, single payer full Medicare for all is supported by a majority of the American people, doctors and nurses.

But last year the single payer bill in Congress (HR 676) was shoved aside by the insurance and drug companies, their two toady parties and President Obama.

There was not one full Congressional hearing on this majoritarian proposal.

We need to learn from Tommy Douglas and the Canadian experience to prepare ourselves for the next round – coming soon.

So, to get both the biography and DVD, donate now.

Together, they will give you a deeper understanding of how Tommy Douglas got it done in Canada.

So that we can get it done here in the USA.prairie giant

Your donation will be supporting the good work of Single Payer Action, which has just launched a county by county pilot campaign to demand the resignation of Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito from West Virginia.

She not only opposed single payer, but in her extremism, she recently voted in the House of Representatives to put Medicare on the road to extinction.

The campaign is part of our ongoing effort to find new ways to break through the united greed and cruelty of the corporate supremacists.

Thank you for your continued support.

Onward to single payer full Medicare for all,

Ralph Nader

PS: This offer ends July 1, 2011. But supplies are limited. (The publisher of the biography informs us there are fewer than 600 copies left in print.) So please donate now to secure your book and DVD.

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