Iowa can lead the way: The time for Single Payer is Now

Join the team! Scroll to the bottom of this post to choose one or more actions to take to help win healthcare for all.


Can you afford the healthcare you need?

  • In the last year, have you or someone you know put off getting a recommended medical test or treatment because you could not afford it?
  • Are you  finding it hard to afford insurance or pay for treatments you need?
  • Have you seen the care of a loved one decline dramatically since Branstad privatized Iowa’s Medicare?

The US is at a moment of crisis. Healthcare is unattainable for too many people. Now is the time to fight for what we need.

“We literally spend more and get less. That’s our current healthcare system.” 

– Michael Lighty, policy director at National Nurses United, explaining healthcare in the U.S. at CCI Action’s recent healthcare teach-in. (Take a look at his slide deck if you’d like to see more information supporting Medicare for All.)

We spend more on healthcare than any other country, and we receive less care — because insurance companies make money by denying claims and care. According to The Kaiser Family Foundation:

  • 32% of Americans say they or a member of their household has put off receiving dental care in the last 12 months.
  • 29% say they have relied on home remedies instead of going to the doctor.
  • 1 in 4 people have not gotten a recommended medical test or treatment in the last 12 months because they could not afford it.


In addition, 21-43% of Americans in 2017 are having trouble affording health insurance, which is unsurprising since average annual premiums for a family have reached $19,000 annually. That doesn’t include healthcare costs — that merely covers the cost of being insured.

But insurance companies profit while Americans get sicker, spend more money, die younger, and are more likely to have multiple chronic conditions than residents of countries with universal healthcare.

Americans are dying for healthcare

We spend more and get less. In the U.S. we’re dying earlier, and living sicker. It’s time to take on insurance companies and take back our health.

If they do it, why can’t we?

The U.S. is the only very highly developed country — out of more than 50 countries — that does not have universal healthcare coverage. The UK has a national healthcare system. Canada has national health insurance. Germany has socialized health insurance.

The bottom line is that every country with universal healthcare provides better care at a lower cost than the U.S. system.

Who benefits from our healthcare system?

Insurance companies in the U.S. make money by profiting off our healthcare, and they maximize profits by denying us access to that care so they can pocket our premiums without paying for our treatment.

In 1966, Dr. King said: “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane.” As CCI Action works for reform, we know that we cannot win justice for all without winning healthcare reform.

Americans support Medicare for all:

  • 60% of the US population strongly supports expanding Medicare.
  • 40% of Trump voters favor expanding Medicare.
  • 67% of the public say lowering the amount individuals pay for healthcare should be a “top priority”.

What is Single Payer Healthcare?

A typical single-payer system expands the range of care and extends benefits to all. It uses the leverage of one coverage pool and payer to negotiate lower prices. Single payer means:

  • Everybody in, nobody out
  • Eliminate insurance company premiums, deductibles and co-pays
  • Price negotiation – Utilize streamlined  system with less bureaucracy, more efficiency with everybody in one pool to generate savings on healthcare costs
  • Go to the doctor or provider of your choice – no narrow networks
  • Public accountability in a transparent healthcare system
  • Doctors, nurses and other clinicians will make healthcare decisions
  • Comprehensive benefits with an emphasis on prevention
  • A universal standard of excellent care

Our money can be better spent. Taxpayers already pay for 60% of all healthcare costs in the U.S. Insurance companies spend 20-30% of their revenue on non-health-related expenditures. We must do better.

It takes a movement.

We aren’t waiting for the crisis to solve itself. We’re building a movement.  This year, CCI Action members stood at the doors of our elected officials, made phone calls, attended town halls, and wrote letters to demand protections for the gains made by the ACA.

But it’s not enough to take to the streets because we’re angry. If we want to challenge a system, it must happen through organization. We are using the current crisis in healthcare as an opportunity to build a bold movement to achieve guaranteed care for everybody.

If we want to challenge a system, it must happen through organization. It’s going to take a bold movement of everyday people standing up and speaking out to create the political will to guarantee healthcare for everyone. Are you in?



Join the team! Take action to win healthcare for all: 

  • Tell your story or join our Letter to the Editor team. You don’t have to do this alone — we will support you, provide edits, and connect you with opportunities to submit an LTE.
  • Attend the Medicaid meeting on December 14. Iowa DHS and representatives from the three MCO’s managing Iowa’s privatized Medicaid program will hear from the public and answer questions. Let’s pack the room to tell them private insurance has no place in our healthcare! Register here.
  • Become a CCI Action member. Pitch in to support the work — and join a network of justice fighters with more than 40 years of experience winning the right fights in Iowa.



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