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Carol Moseley-Braun on Health Care

Former IL Senator; Democratic Candidate for President


Single-payer system is the only answer

Q: Do you support a universal single-payer health care?

A: I do. The only answer for our health-care system in this country is single-payer. If we go to a single-payer system, we will create jobs; we will give a boost to our economy. In fact, based on the numbers for other countries that have single-payer, they are right now spending about $4,000 a year per capita on health care. We spend much, much more than that, and we get a lot less back because of all of the waste in the system.

Source: Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum Jan 11, 2004

Private & public healthcare are not reconcilable

Q: What was wrong with the ambitious Clinton health care proposal?

MOSELEY BRAUN: There's no question in my mind but that every American wants to have universal coverage. But the only way we can get there is with, in my opinion, a single-payer system that is decoupled from employment.

The Clinton plan attempted to reconcile the public and private systems that we have now. They are simply irreconcilable. You cannot bring it together and make it make any sense without a whole lot of bureaucracies.

So if we go to a single-payer system, we will give our export sector, our multinationals, a competitive boost in the international markets, because right now they're carrying the cost of health care. We will give the middle class -and working people a boost in terms of their paychecks. We will give small businesses a real boost because they can't afford it. And we can do it without spending a dime more than we are presently paying at the highest level of any industrialized country in the world.

Source: Debate at Pace University in Lower Manhattan Sep 25, 2003

Single payer is only way to universal coverage

The way that you get universal coverage is that you have a single-payer system. And if you have a single-payer system, then you will be able to cover everybody. Everybody in this country already gets health care. If you don't have insurance, you will be cared for, probably in an emergency room, the most expensive care you can get. And the cost will just get shifted throughout the system to other payers.

What I've proposed is a single-payer system that will take advantage of the fact that we are already paying 15% of our gross domestic product on health care, de-couple it from employment so that it's not a burden on job creation, it's not a burden on small businesses, it doesn't come out of the payroll tax, which is the most regressive tax, to begin with. With the revenue from that 15%, we can then afford a system much like the federal employees' system in which you have a single payer but the administration takes place by the companies that individuals choose.

Source: Democratic Primary Debate, Albuquerque New Mexico Sep 4, 2003

Replace profit-driven system with rationalized quality care

The physician or the provider and patient relationship has to be central to the health care system. Then you will have a dynamic in favor of quality of care, that the current profit-driven system does not have. We are wasting an awful lot of money on profit on the one hand and disconnects between the public and private system. We're wasting an awful lot of money that could be better put to provide us with a rationalized system, a single-payer system of health care for everybody.
Source: Democratic Primary Debate, Albuquerque New Mexico Sep 4, 2003

We can fund health care with no tax increase

LIEBERMAN: I disagree with Dean and Moseley-Braun who would adopt so large a program that it would force an increase in middle-class taxes. That's not fair.

BRAUN: I want to take issue. A single-payer system will not raise taxes on the middle class. And indeed, the plan I've proposed will free up middle-class incomes because it'll take some of the pressure off of the payroll tax. We can fund this within current spending without raising taxes, with no new tax burden on anybody.

Source: Democratic Primary Debate, Albuquerque New Mexico Sep 4, 2003

Break link between healthcare and employment

Is there any rational reason why payment for our health care system is tied to our employment? There really isn't. It is not health care that needs to be reformed; we have the best health care in the world. What we don't have is a rational system for paying for it. All of the industrialized nations manage to provide health care to their citizens for less than the 15% of GDP that it costs here in the US. Are Americans that much sicker? There's just a problem with the way that we pay for it.
Source: Speech at Iowa Health Care Forum, Drake University Aug 14, 2003

Pay for universal care with money already in system

I believe we have the capacity to pay for a universal system modeled on the way that Medicare is handled. We right now spend more as a percentage of our GDP than any other nation in the world. With the money that is already in the system, we can pay for universal coverage that preserves quality, and patient and provider relationships.
Source: AFSCME union debate in Iowa May 17, 2003

Replace patchwork system with Medicare-modeled system

The answer lies in moving away from an employment- based system. One of the reasons we have 41 million Americans with no coverage is because those people either work for themselves, or are in businesses that don't provide them with coverage. We try to patchwork this system with Medicare, Medicaid, CHIPs, all of these different acronyms. The fact is, the only way we're going to address the payment issues is to have a universal system modeled on the way that Medicare is handled but a universal coverage so that all Americans are covered.

We have to restore the relationship between providers and patients so that the insurance companies don't become gatekeepers to the system and get in the middle of care decisions. We have to make certain that we maintain the quality of care that American people expect.

Source: AFSCME union debate in Iowa May 17, 2003

Voted YES on increasing tobacco restrictions.

This cloture motion was on a bill which would have increased tobacco restrictions. [YES is an anti-smoking vote].
Status: Cloture Motion Rejected Y)57; N)42; NV)1
Reference: Motion to invoke cloture on a modified committee substitute to S. 1415; Bill S. 1415 ; vote number 1998-161 on Jun 17, 1998

Voted NO on banning human cloning.

This cloture motion was in order to end debate and move to consideration of legislation banning human cloning. [A YES vote opposes human cloning].
Status: Cloture Motion Rejected Y)42; N)54; NV)4
Reference: Motion to invoke cloture on motion to proceed to S. 1601; Bill S. 1601 ; vote number 1998-10 on Feb 11, 1998

Voted NO on Medicare means-testing.

Approval of means-based testing for Medicare insurance premiums.
Status: Motion to Table Agreed to Y)70; N)20
Reference: Motion to table the Kennedy Amdt #440; Bill S. 947 ; vote number 1997-113 on Jun 24, 1997

Voted YES on medical savings acounts.

Vote to block a plan which would allow tax-deductible medical savings accounts.
Status: Amdt Agreed to Y)52; N)46; NV)2
Reference: Kassebaum Amdt #3677; Bill S. 1028 ; vote number 1996-72 on Apr 18, 1996

Collect data on birth defects and present to the public.

Moseley-Braun sponsored the Birth Defects Prevention Act

Corresponding House bill is H.R.1114. Became Public Law No: 105-168.
Source: Bill sponsored by 35 Senators and 164 Reps 97-S419 on Mar 11, 1997

Other candidates on Health Care: Carol Moseley-Braun 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