Archive for the ‘Ralph Nader’ Category

The Drive for Single Payer

September 8, 2009


Monday, August 31. 2009

After several weeks of protests at Senate hearings and health care events by single payer advocates (visit, six physicians from Oregon, with 191 years of combined real-world medical experience, are crossing the country in a 27-foot Winnebago making stops in nearly 30 cities, to debate, educate and advance full medicare for all. Everybody in, nobody out.

Calling themselves “Mad as Hell Doctors,” these physicians are already drawing crowds and expect thousands to turn out at each city that they visit, culminating in a large arrival demonstration in front of the White House around October 1. (Visit

They have written President Obama asking for a meeting “to discuss the future of health care as well as the moral, social, and fiscal imperative of enacting a single-payer system for America at this moment in our history.”

The White House turned them down flat, not even leaving the door open for reconsideration. Mr. Obama has met countless times with the CEOs of large corporations, whose greed and callousness causes so much of this crisis. Though he believes in single payer “if we started from scratch,” he has yet to meet with any single payer delegation.

The White House has shown that it lacks smarts. The formless, waffling Obama health insurance proposal is being shattered by the Republican cluster of Limbaugh-driven lies and the Blue Dog renegades in the Democratic Party, who are busy cashing mounds of campaign checks from the so-called health business. By ignoring and excluding the majority-supported single payer approach, the White House stifles any kind of insurance reform worthy of the name.

Publicized lies are translating into fears among people who should be supporting full medicare for all. reports that “a notorious analysis of the House health care bill contains 48 claims. Twenty-six of them are false, and the rest are mostly misleading. Only four are true. For example, false are claims that the bill includes an order for end-of-life plans or health care for illegal aliens or assertions that ‘your health care will be rationed.’”

So wild are the falsehoods, fueled by runaway internet traffic, that the Republican National Committee implied in a fundraising letter that Democrats may structure the overhaul in a way to deny medical treatment to Republicans!

As with war, truth is the first casualty when it comes to the health care debate. The Democratically-controlled Congress, on its return after Labor Day, needs a wide-ranging personal, evidence-based series of public House and Senate hearings to again publicize the compelling story of avoidable suffering, fraud, waste, egregious profiteering and top executive self-enrichment – all subsidized by taxpayers.

Take the enormous and shocking information researched by Harvard Professor Malcolm Sparrow—an applied mathematician whose knowledge of health care billing schemes and regulatory deficiencies is without peer.

Mr. Sparrow is no arm-chair commentator. He has dug deeply into the enormously comprehensive frauds on medicare and consumers. He has found payments for medical services ordered by deceased doctors or huge payments in treatments for deceased patients—many gone for years.

Highlighting the widespread fraud on medicare by criminal behavior, he argues that these actions should be treated as “a crime problem” not just a “claims-processing problem.” Without criminal prosecutions, there is no deterrent stopping this massive robbery.

How massive? Read these words in recent testimony by Professor Sparrow:

The units of measure for losses due to health care fraud and abuse in this country are hundreds of billions of dollars per year. We just don’t know the first digit. It might be as low as one hundred billion. More likely two or three. Possibly four or five. But whatever that first digit is, it has eleven zeroes after it. These are staggering sums of money to waste, and the task of controlling and reducing these losses warrants a great deal of serious attention.

In the early 1990s, the Congressional Government Accounting Office estimated that billing fraud accounts for 10% of health care spending annually. That would be about $250 billion this year. In 1993, Attorney General Janet Reno declared that health care fraud was the number two crime problem, after violent crime in the country.

With someone as carefully authoritative as Malcolm Sparrow, the Democrats can make this crime spree front and center during the health care debate. People want to be assured that their health insurance dollars are protected. Instead the “license to steal,” which is the title of Mr. Sparrow’s groundbreaking book, continues. And the Republicans continue to sidetrack priorities for action with seedy prevarications.

It is a remarkable commentary on the state of the White House and Congress that the Democrats appear befuddled in dealing with the kind of coarse, cruel, fear-mongering that an FDR and Lyndon Johnson would have overwhelmed and sent packing.

Meanwhile, join the “Care-A-Van” of roadtripping Oregon physicians and their efforts to bring the message of health care for all to Washington, DC.

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“You Do Not Cut Deals with the System that Has to Be Replaced”: Ralph Nader on Secret White House Agreements with the Drug Industry

August 18, 2009



Obama For Dummies

July 12, 2009

Obama Betrayal Syndrome by Ralph Nader

July 1, 2009

“I want my money back, President Obama!”

That’s the title of Marie Marchand’s column in Common Dreams this week.

Marie Marchand says she gave $20 a week for seven months to the Obama campaign — plus $60 every once in a while for a t-shirt and sticker.

“I gave of my modest purse joyfully,” she writes. “I thought I was supporting change I could believe in, not more of the same bloodshed and war!” 

She now feels betrayed.

Millions of Americans are feeling betrayed.
They thought Obama as President meant change we can believe in.

They thought Obama as President meant withdrawal from Iraq.
They thought Obama as President meant standing up to Wall Street fat cats.

They thought Obama as President meant a living wage.

But for those of you who stood with us during the 2008 Presidential campaign, you knew the score. 

You do not feel betrayed.

You are immune to Obama Betrayal Syndrome.

Because you knew, as we pointed out repeatedly during the campaign, that Obama was the corporate Democrat.

Beholden to large campaign contributors from Wall Street.

From the military industrial complex.

And from the health insurance pharma complex.

You knew what my campaign colleague Theresa Amato has documented in her new book — Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two Party Tyranny (New Press, June 2009.)

That the Democrats and Republicans are beholden to their corporate paymasters.
You knew that the only way out was to organize from the grassroots up.

That’s why we started Single Payer Action — to put the question squarely to this corporate Congress and to the corporate Obama administration — why is single payer, everybody in, nobody out, free choice of doctor and hospital — off the table?

After all, Single Payer is supported by the majority of Americans and the majority of doctors and nurses.

In West Virginia, Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia) — why is single payer off the table?

In Florida, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida) — why is single payer off the table?

In Oregon, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) — why is single payer off the table?

In Washington, D.C., First Lady Michelle Obama, Senators Max Baucus (D-Montana) Charles Schumer (D-New York) Chris Dodd (D-Connecticut) and Kent Conrad (D-North Dakota) — why is single payer off the table?

Check out Single Payer Action TV — and watch as activists from around the country demand an answer from these politicians — why is single payer off the table?

Thanks to your generous contributions, Single Payer Action has been able to pump up a constant stream of single payer actions around the country.

Congress is now on its Independence Day recess.

Here’s what you can do to help out Single Payer Action and its summer accountability tour.

First, find out — through your Congress member’s office, from your local newspaper, or by word of mouth —  when and where your member of Congress or Senator will be holding a town hall meeting or other public event. 

And let Single Payer Action know.

Send the information along to: 

Second, Single Payer Action needs your help now to help fund its summer actions.

You donate, and Single Payer Action provides the actions and then reports back to you — through its web site — 

So, please donate now — $10, $25, $50, $100, $500 — or whatever you can afford.

If you donate $100 or more now
, Single Payer Action will send you a copy, hot off the press, of Theresa Amato’s hard cover, 379-page masterpiece — Grand Illusion.

Phil Donahue said this about Grand Illusion: “Theresa Amato takes the biggest swing — not a jab, but a roundhouse punch — at America’s corrupt electoral system.”

(Since it also includes chapters about my campaign against the corporate Republicans and Democrats — and since I wrote the foreword — I’ll autograph it.)

So, don’t delay.

donate now.
Let’s break through the corporate barriers and make single payer for all a reality.

Together, we can make the difference.

Onward to a life-saving, cost-saving single payer.


Ralph Nader                    

“Arrested Development ,” by Ralph Nader

May 17, 2009

Senator Dick Durbin said last week that the banks own Congress. 

That’s true.

But they don’t come close to the hammerlock their brothers in the health insurance and drug companies have over the place.

10 Excellent ReasonsThe drug companies and health insurance companies control every nook and cranny on the Hill.

If you doubt it, look no further than the events of the past two weeks at the Senate Finance Committee.

Committee chair Senator Max Baucus called a full 28 witnesses for two hearings on health care reform.

Senator Baucus called on the Business Roundtable.

He called on the Heritage Foundation.
He called on the lobby known as America’s Health Insurance Plans.

But not one of the 28 witnesses called by Baucus supported what the majority of the American people want.

Health Care MeltdownAnd what the majority of doctors, nurses and health economists want.

Single payer, full Medicare for all, everybody in, nobody out, free choice of doctor and hospital health care.

And so, Single Payer Action decided to act.

Last week, eight citizens – including three doctors – led by Single Payer Action – simply demanded that Baucus add a seat at the table for a single payer advocate.

Instead of adding a seat at the table, Baucus called for the police.

The eight were arrested, handcuffed, and charged with so-called “disruption of Congress.”

The police left behind undisturbed the horde of corporate lobbyists accustomed to “the purchase of Congress.”

This week, two doctors, two nurses, and a citizen from Maine – inspired by the actions of the Baucus 8 – rose and simply demanded that Baucus add a single payer advocate to the witness list.

Again, Baucus refused.

And again, Baucus called for the police.

Now it’s the Baucus 13.

Single Payer Action will not rest until America gets what every other Western industrialized country has – universal, not-for-profit, health care – everybody in, nobody out.

More efficient. 

And more humane.

Thanks to your generous help, the launch of Single Payer Action is one of the more successful launches of a citizen action organization in recent memory.

Single Payer Action has gained widespread publicity – on National Public Radio, Democracy Now, in Politico, the Associated Press, and the National Journal.

Opportunity is knocking.

Now we must open the door.

Single Payer Action will pick it’s battles wisely.

And use its resources frugally.

To defeat the insurance and drug industries.

And secure single payer national health insurance for all Americans.

Sooner rather than later. (Because at least 60 Americans die every day from lack of health insurance.)

If you have donated already, thank you for being part of this great launch.

If you have not donated, please donate now – whatever you can afford – $10, $20, $50, $100

And remember – this is the last day to take advantage of our great two-book offer.

If you give $100 or more by midnight tonight, we will send you two galvanizing books that concisely detail the case for single payer in America.  

  • Health Care Meltdown by Robert LeBow, MD, revised and updated by Dr. C. Rocky White – a Republican doctor so fed up with the needless suffering caused by the insurance industry that he became a leading advocate for single payer.


  • Ten Excellent Reasons for National Health Care, edited by Mary O’Brien and Martha Livingston.

Remember, this two-book offer ends tonight at midnight.
donate now
We’re building one million Americans strong for single payer.

Let’s get it done together – for all Americans.

And for future generations.

Onward to single payer







Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader, “Disruption of Congress?”

May 6, 2009

Yesterday morning, eight doctors, lawyers and other activists stood up to Senator Max Baucus.

And the private health insurance industry.

And the corporate liberals in Congress.

The eight activists demanded that single payer – everybody in, nobody out, free choice of doctor and hospital – be put on the table.

And as a result they were arrested.

And charged with a so-called “disruption of Congress.”

The Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, Politico, Democracy Now and National Public Radio all carried stories about the protest.

C-Span carried it live.

And it was widely disseminated on the Internet.

Baucus crafted a hearing to kick off the health care debate in the Senate yesterday where 15 witnesses would be at the table to discuss health care reform.10 Excellent Reasons for National Health Care

The insurance industry was at the table.

The Business Roundtable was at the table.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce was at the table.

Blue Cross Blue Shield was at the table.

The Heritage Foundation was at the table.

And corporate liberals like Andy Stern, Ron Pollack, and AARP were at the table.

But not one person who stood for what the majority of Americans, doctors, nurses, and health economists want – single payer – was at the table.

Not one.

When I heard about this corporate line-up last week, I called the office of Senator Baucus.

And politely asked that, as a matter of fairness, a single payer doctor be allowed to testify.

I was told –  no way, Ralph.

The deal is done.

So, yesterday, at 10 a.m., the Baucus Eight, led by Single Payer Action and other single payer groups, took to the Senate Finance Committee.

And directly and respectfully confronted a room full of corporate lobbyists.

And corporate controlled Senators.

And again asked that a group of doctors who were in the room to support Medicare for all be allowed to testify.

The answer again – no, no, and no.

Remember what Senator Richard Durbin said last week?

Durbin said that the banks “own” the Congress.

To which we might add – the health insurance industry and the drug industry own the Senate.

Faxing, writing, and e-mailing is not getting it done.

Enough is enough.

Time for action.

This is a winnable issue.

But the American people need to focus on 535 members of Congress.

And get mobilized.

Single Payer Action is at your service to get the job done.

So, donate now — $8, $18, $80, or $800.

To honor the Baucus Eight – who all wore black yesterday in memory of the more than 20,000 Americans who – according to the Institute of Medicine – die every year from lack of health insurance.

And to fuel a citizen action movement that will deliver single payer to the American people – sooner not later.

Together, we can break the corporate stranglehold on Congress.

And deliver health care for all.

Single payer.

More comprehensive. More efficient. More humane. More peace of mind.

Let’s get it done.

Onward to single payer,

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader


April 29, 2009

Good morning.

There are no more excuses for the Democrats. 
The Democrats now admit that they control the procedure in Congress and can pass whatever health care reform they want.

Withou10 Excellent Reasons For National Health Caret one Republican vote.

And President Obama can sign it.

What should they do?

They should pass single payer.

Everybody in. Nobody out.

For prevention and treatment.

For free choice of doctors and hospitals.

No more premiums, deductibles, exclusions, co-pays, in-network, out-of-network rigamarole.

Health Care MeltdownNo more family medical bankruptcies.

No more pay or die. 

No more pay or become sicker.

Single payer is the only system that will work.

It’s the most efficient.

Single payer will cut out literally hundreds of billions in administrative fat, billing fraud and unconscionable profits.

These savings will be used instead to insure the 50 million uninsured and the millions more underinsured.

This will save lives. 

Starting with the more than 21,000 Americans who die every year from lack of health insurance.

According to recent polls, the majority of the American people want single payer.

So do the majority of doctors, nurses, and health economists.

So, what will the Democrat leadership do? 

They will keep single payer off the table. 

Because they fear the insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry – and want their campaign money – more than they fear the American people.

Or as Speaker of the House Pelosi told reporters last week:

“Over and over again, we hear single payer, single payer, single payer. Well, it’s not going to be a single payer.”

Who is Nancy Pelosi speaking for? 

Not for the American people.

Not for those who will die or get sicker month after month.

How are we to respond?

Focus our collective creative energy on Congressional offices around the country — offices of all 435 members of the House and 100 members of the Senate.

That’s why we have set up Single Payer Action.

Less than two months old – and already Single Payer Action is making waves.

In front of Congressional offices from Martinsburg, West Virginia to Seattle, Washington.

On Capitol Hill, standing up to the corporate lobbyists and their lackeys in Congress.

And on the web, challenging the corporate controlled media to put single payer back on the table of public debate.

There is support in Congress for single payer.

Already, 76 House members support HR 676 – the single payer bill in the House.

But the Democratic leadership in Washington has taken single payer off the table. 

They meet regularly behind closed doors with insurance and drug industry lobbyists – to thwart single payer. 

Time to turn up the heat – and get the word out to the American people. 

(Just last week, I was at the University of Colorado in Boulder where I spoke to an enthusiastic audience. Topic: Single payer, full Medicare health insurance for all.)

We need your help now.

To send speakers to all four corners of this country.

To fund organizing drives at Congressional offices around the country.

To shake up the system for single payer.

Last week, many of you responded enthusiastically to a note from my colleague Jason Kafoury by donating $10,000 to Single Payer Action.

Thanks to you, we are a third of the way to our goal of $30,000 by May 14.

This week, we need to expand the base again

If you have not donated yet to Single Payer Action, 
please donate now whatever you can — $10, $25, $50, $100.  

And notice – if you donate $100 or more by May 14, 2009, we will send you two galvanizing books that concisely detail the case for single payer in America.   

  • Health Care Meltdown by Robert LeBow, MD, revised and updated by Dr. C. Rocky White – a Republican doctor so fed up with the needless suffering caused by the insurance industry that he has become a leading advocate for single payer..and

  • Ten Excellent Reasons for National Health Care, Edited by Mary O’Brien and Martha Livingston.

The goal: raise $30,000 by May 14th for Single Payer Action.

To make single payer a reality in America. 

Together, we can break the logjam in Congress – and deliver health care to all.

Let’s get it done.

Onward to single payer.

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader

PS: This two book offer ends 11:59 p.m. May 14, 2009.
So don’t miss out. Donate now
We’re building toward one million Americans strong for single payer.
Please share this e-mail with friends and family.

Urge them to sign up and donate at


Gotta Love Nader!

April 21, 2009


Last year, Ralph Nader ran for President.

I was Ralph’s national campaign coordinator.

During the campaign, Ralph called it as he saw it.

DC was a corporate prison.

The Democrats and Republicans were beholden to corporate America.

The corporate Obama we saw on the campaign trail in 2008 wouldn’t be much different just because he became President Obama and moved into the White House in 2009.

As usual, Ralph was right.

Exhibit A: Health insurance.

Today, fifty million Americans are uninsured.

According to the Institute of Medicine, 22,000 Americans die every year from a lack of health insurance.

Obama knows that a Canadian style single payer national health insurance system – everybody in, nobody out, free choice of doctors and hospitals – will bring these numbers down to zero.

Zero people are uninsured in Canada.

Zero people die every year in Canada due to lack of health insurance.

Yet, during the 2008 campaign, Obama took single payer off the table.

It’s still off the table in the corporate prison that is Washington, D.C.

This despite the fact that, according to the most recent polls, the majority of Americans, doctors, nurses, health economists and even small businesses want single payer.

Even a young Obama wanted single payer.

Before he became the politician that he is today.

Obama still knows what the answer is – single payer.

Yet he bows down before the ever powerful for-profit health and drug insurance industries.

That’s just the seedy reality inside the beltway today.

The burning question outside is:

What are we going to do about it?

And the answer is:

We are going to deliver single payer for the American people.

To get the job done, we have launched – Single Payer Action.

Over the past couple of months, Single Payer Action has been out for a test drive.

We’ve been kicking the tires.

And things are looking good.

Single Payer Action exposed PBS Frontline for deliberately tilting its documentary “Sick Across America” to reflect an insurance industry bias.

The one-hour documentary never once mentioned single payer.
Single Payer Action activists burned their insurance bills outside a meeting of the health insurance industry’s main lobbying group in Washington, D.C.

Single Payer Action blew open the story about how Obama tried to bar single payer advocates from the White House health care summit last month.

As a result of that reporting, Obama was forced to admit two single payer advocates inside the White House gates for the summit.

And in West Virginia last month, a group of Single Payer Action belly dancers drew widespread attention when they shook it up for single payer at the Martinsburg offices of Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).

Last year, after the campaign, we wrote to you promising action on single payer.

Action time has arrived.

Now, we need your help.

We believe that together with one million Americans working for single payer we can get it done.

Single Payer Action will be organizing outside the beltway, in Congressional districts around the country.

But right now, we need to raise $30,000 to propel Single Payer Action to the next level.

We want to organize creative, dramatic actions at congressional offices in as many districts as possible in coming weeks.

And we need your help to make that happen.

So, please donate now whatever you can – $10, $25, $50, $100 – to Single Payer Action.

If you donate $100 or more by May 14, 2009, we will send you two galvanizing books that concisely detail the case for single payer in America. 

  • Health Care Meltdown by Robert LeBow, MD, revised and updated by Dr. C. Rocky White – a Republican doctor so fed up with the needless suffering caused by the insurance industry that he become a leading advocate for single payer.
  • Ten Excellent Reasons for National Health Care, Edited by Mary O’Brien and Martha Livingston

We’re looking to raise $30,000 by May 14th.

To make single payer a reality in America.

Let’s get it done.


Jason Kafoury

PS: This two book offer ends 11:59 p.m. May 14, 2009. So don’t miss out. Donate now.

And don’t forget to sign up at

We’re building one million strong for single payer.

Please share this e-mail with friends and relatives.

Urge them to sign up and donate at

Still Hope With “Real” Change!!

January 28, 2009

Ron Paul














Cynthia McKinney












Dennis Kucinich












Ralph Nader