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Commentary :: Human Rights
BTL:Health Care Group Battles Insurance Companies to Include Single-Payer Bill in National Debate
18 Apr 2009
BETWEEN THE LINES Syndicated Radio Newsmagazine
Health Care Group Battles Insurance Companies to Include Single-Payer Bill in National Debate

Interview with Katie Robbins, assistant national coordinator, Health-Care Now! conducted by Scott Harris

During his campaign for the White House, Barack Obama was an advocate of national healthcare reform with the goal of universal medical coverage for all Americans, of whom 47 million are without coverage. On the campaign trail Obama was often quoted as saying, if he were starting from scratch, he would probably support a government-run single payer system, but went on to say, that because of the existing infrastructure, he would settle for improvements to the current privatized insurance system.

The group, Healthcare-Now!, doesn't accept President Obama's concession to the current system. Believing that healthcare is a human right, not a privilege tied to the ability to pay, Healthcare-Now is spearheading a national campaign to push for the passage of single-payer healthcare legislation known as the National Health Insurance Act (HR 676), sponsored by Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan. The bill would in essence extend the current Medicare system to all citizens regardless of their age.

A coalition comprised of healthcare activists, small businesses, faith organizations, labor unions, doctors and nurses, HealthCare Now! has organized demonstrations, public forums and lobbying to overcome the private insurance industry's well financed effort to exclude the single payer option from the national debate on healthcare reform. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Katie Robbins, assistant national coordinator for Health Care-Now! She talks about the advantages of single payer, and the obstacles that stand in the way of getting a fair hearing for the model used for the provision of health care in most industrialized nations of the world.

Contact Health Care-Now at 1-800-453-1305 or visit their website at

Related links:

* Physicians for a National Health Plan at



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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)
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Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions
©2009 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.
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