Former Vice President Gore Endorses Single-Payer Health Care System To Address Uninsured
On a book tour in New York City this week, former Vice President Al Gore, a potential Democratic presidential candidate in 2004, said that he has "reluctantly come to the conclusion" that a "single-payer" health system would be the best way to insure all people in the United States, the AP/Las Vegas Sun reports. He added that the U.S. health care system "is in impending crisis" (Lester, AP/Las Vegas Sun, 11/15). Gore said, "We spend so much per person on health care, if we spent it in a different way, we could have not only the best health care system in the world, but we could have everyone covered" (Page, USA Today, 11/15). He did not offer any details about what kind of system he would favor or how he thought the United States should implement such a system, ABC News.com reports. According to a Gore spokesperson, the former vice president will outline specifics at a future date (Halperin et al., ABC News.com, 11/15). Under a typical single-payer system, one agency would collect the necessary funds and then would provide health coverage for all people in the United States. Depending on the specifics, Gore's endorsement of a single-payer system could represent a "very dramatic step" because in the past he has said that such universal coverage is too costly, the AP/Sun reports (AP/Las Vegas Sun, 11/15).
The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday approved by voice vote a nonbinding resolution (S. Con. Res. 94) that would create a "National Importance of Health Care Coverage Month," CongressDaily reports. The resolution, which now goes to the full Senate, also asks President Bush to "issue a proclamation calling on all levels of government and business to conduct appropriate programs and other events to promote an educational effort for health insurance coverage" (Posner, CongressDaily, 11/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.