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Al Sharpton on Health Care

Reverend; Civil Rights Activist; Democratic Candidate for President


Wealthy Americans should pay more for Medicare

Q: Should wealthy Americans or people who are well off pay more for their Medicare benefits?

A: I think they should pay their share, which is more. I think that when you have the present set-up that you have and you go above $80,000 and they pay nothing, I think that is absolutely ridiculous. I think that they must pay their share.

Source: Democratic 2004 primary Debate in Greenville SC Jan 29, 2004

Other plans are step in the right direction of single-payer

Q: What's your judgment about these health care plans that have been put forward during this campaign?

A: I happen to advocate and have for a long time, single-payer plan. I think that the only solution -- if we can do it in Canada and other places - is to move the nation toward that. I also think that the plans of my colleagues here -- some are more complex than others -- they're a step in the direction, but I don't think it gets us there. What gets us there is to have a single-payer plan.

Source: Democratic 2004 primary Debate in Greenville SC Jan 29, 2004

Avoid privatized health system

Q: How, if at all, would you change the new prescription drug benefit for the elderly?

A: I support a national single-payer plan. I think it will not be fixed until we have health care for all seniors. I think that we're moving on the last bill toward a privatized health system and I think the only answer is a universal single-payer plan.

Source: Associated Press policy Q&A, "Medicare" Jan 25, 2004

Forget half-a-loaf--support single-payer

Q [to Sharpton]: Gov. Dean has called this prescription drug plan that is now pending in Congress, "a political trap for Democrats." He says that it could make the Democrats look bad if they vote against a bill that they really view is a bad plan. Would no bill getting out of Congress be better for senior citizens than the prescription drug bill that is now pending?

SHARPTON: We've got to quit the compromising on the principles that the party should stand for. So in this particular case, I agree with Gov. Dean. I have supported single-payer plan. I think the only way you're going to solve these problems is you've got to have a national single-payer plan for everyone. I think that we've got to stop going with half a loaf. I would rather have no bill and fight for something real than to continue to give people something that I think is a diluted version of what we need to have. So in this case, I think he's right. We must define policy, and this is one of those areas we must define it.

Source: [X-ref Dean] Debate at Pace University in Lower Manhattan Sep 25, 2003

Right to health care, to education, and to vote

I'm running for president to make health care a constitutional right. Not only do we need universal health care, we need to give every American the right to health care, the right to education, the right to vote. We don't have those constitutional rights.
Source: AFSCME union debate in Iowa May 17, 2003

Believes in constitutional right to health care

I believe health care's a human right that should be put in the Constitution as a new amendment. That's why I support House Joint Resolution 30. Charlton Heston believes in Second Amendment constitutional gun rights. I believe in constitutional health care rights.
Source: Interview with TheState.com May 2, 2003

Guarantee health care with Constitutional amendment

I believe the practical "how do we get there" legislation should flow from a new "human right to health care" being added to our Constitution as a new amendment. I look forward to seeing if Congressman Gephardt will follow his own universal health care logic and join me in supporting House Joint Resolution 30.
Source: Comments on ABC's 'The Notepad' Apr 29, 2003

Other candidates on Health Care: Al Sharpton on other issues:
George W. Bush
Dick Cheney
John Edwards
John Kerry

Third Party Candidates:
Michael Baradnik
Peter Camejo
David Cobb
Ralph Nader
Michael Peroutka

Democratic Primaries:
Carol Moseley Braun
Wesley Clark
Howard Dean
Dick Gephardt
Bob Graham
Dennis Kucinich
Joe Lieberman
Al Sharpton
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Adv: Avi Green for State Rep Middlesex 26, Somerville & Cambridge Massachusetts