Margaret Flowers: End Shutdown Threats With Universal Single-Payer Health Care

Dr. Margaret Flowers is calling on Congress to end the threats of a government shutdown over funding for Planned Parenthood in the new budget by passing a universal, single-payer health care plan.

Flowers is a pediatrician and former Congressional Fellow for Physicians for a National Health Program. She currently serves as an advisor to the board of PNHP and on the coordinating committee of Health Care is a Human Right - Maryland. She is seeking the Green Party's nomination for U.S. Senate from Maryland.

"Passing a universal, single-payer plan which takes a public health approach instead of an ideological one would eliminate repeated and costly gamesmanship over budget negotiations," Flowers said. “And a single-payer plan would control our healthcare spending while providing comprehensive services to everyone. The administrative savings alone would be hundreds of billions of dollars a year."

"H.R. 676 - the Expanded and Improved Medicare For All Act - would provide a health safety net for all people living in the United States," Flowers said. "This is important because every person must be covered if we are to improve our health outcomes. It is also important to remove the opportunity to threaten the legislative process over funding for private organizations like Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood shouldn't have to fight for funding to provide health services for women. All women should be covered for any services they seek from any qualified provider. Health decisions are between a woman and her health professional."

"Planned Parenthood receives $500 million per year in federal, state and local funds to provide a wide variety of women's health services," said Flowers. "This is a drop in the bucket compared to the almost $900 billion allocated for Medicaid and Medicare services in 2015. Congress is playing political chess with pawns while the American people are clamoring for quality medical care for people of all genders, all races, and all incomes. The way out of these repeated political quagmires is universal, single-payer health care."

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