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Home Main Forums Universal Healthcare/Medicare For All The Feminist Case For Single Payer

  • eridani (4569 posts)
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    The Feminist Case For Single Payer

    http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/47270-the-feminist-case-for-single-payer

    While Our Bodies, Ourselves is remembered for its role in the history of women’s health and culture, less attention is paid to its political context. In the 1970s, the small collective became one of the first feminist organizations to demand a single-payer health-care system: “Suffice it to say that capitalism is incapable of providing good health care, both curative and preventive, for all people,” one entry read. “Cost-benefit analysis trades off the benefit to the people of collective public health in favor of the cost to the people of private, patch-up medical care. The capitalist medical care system can be no more dedicated to improving the people’s health than can General Motors become dedicated to improving the people’s public transportation.” In a subsequent edition, they expounded: “We believe that health care is a human right and that a society should provide free health care for itself . . . Health care cannot be adequate as long as it is conceived of as insurance.”

    If the book’s then-radical content has so permeated mainstream culture that it would strike readers as obvious today, the same is not the case for its authors’ critique of American health care. In fact, nearly fifty years after the collective articulated its vision for a universal system, “feminist” arguments against single-payer pepper politics and the media.

    In June, Planned Parenthood of California refused to endorse a bill for a statewide single-payer system, contending that it was critical to focus on defending the Affordable Care Act (ACA) against GOP attacks instead. Vice cast it as a job-crusher for the mostly women of color who work in healthcare administration. In 2016, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton — whose campaign foregrounded her feminist credentials — famously declared single-payer would “never, ever come to pass.” More recently, Senator Bernie Sanders’s release of an expansive Medicare for All bill has been met with skepticism by media personalities who backed Clinton for her feminist credentials. At the very least, it seems clear that single-payer health care is rarely framed as a feminist issue.

    Some mainstream feminists knock single payer as a distraction from the fight to defend the ACA. But while the Affordable Care Act undeniably improved some women’s lives, it could not dismantle gendered barriers to care.

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  • CalGoldenBear (1581 posts)
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    1. What a crock, more wrong-track-as-usual from Shrillary and her best buds,

    in this case, her pal, Cecile Richards, daughter of the late TX governor, Ann Richards, and also  president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund since 2006.

    It just happens, quite coincidentally you understand, that during the 2016 campaign, Cecile’s daughter, Lily Adams, worked on Shrillary’s IA campaign as communications director and has apparently done similar work for Tim Kaine and perhaps other “Dem” politicos.  (I don’t give a fig for Lilly’s C.V. and Grandma Ann must be spinning in her grave with her offspring supporting the faux feminist in a pantsuit).

    Word — or marching orders — must have gone out from PPFA in Manhattan to Planned Parenthood in CA that the “company line” is tweaking Obamacare, never mind Medicare for All, especially if it includes single-payer.  Digging your high heels in for the problematic ACA, are you?

     

  • amylsacks (332 posts)
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    2. See Also…

    …the hostility of U.S. feminist groups to Green Party candidates, even though the party supports single-payer.

    In 2016, Dr. Jill Stein did an online Q&A with potential voters. I actually asked her about her stance on reproductive health. She reiterated the GP’s pro-choice stance, and made the connection between sound reproductive health and universal care. Some other contributors to the discussion mentioned the reliance of P.P. on corporate donors and on the good will of Neoliberal Democrats.

    With four female candidates in the 2016 race (others were Moorehead, LaRiva, and V.P. candidate Walker), I hoped that somebody would bring this conundrum more to the forefront. But it never happened. I’m cynical enough to understand why. If any of these women had done so, the radical pro-life movement and the press would have joined up to make targets of them. Groups like P.P. would either have joined the attack outright or stood back quietly and let it go on. Such is the state of modern U.S. “feminism.”

    It’s an ugly, painful dilemma, but I don’t see how it can be overcome until it’s aggressively dragged out into the light of day.