The idea of a single-payer healthcare system has been gaining steam over the past few months, sparked in part by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ historic campaign in the 2016 Democratic primaries. Still, it seems that it’s not just more left-leaning voters that support the idea of a government-run universal healthcare system, as recent polls have shown that 58 percent of eligible American voters believe it is the government’s responsibility to provide quality healthcare.
Unfortunately, not all leading Democrats seem to agree with their constituents due to the huge donations they receive from the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. One of the worst offenders in this regard is current Senate Minority Leader Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who recently spoke of her opposition to single-payer healthcare at a town hall event in San Francisco.
During the event, Sen. Feinstein stated that she opposed single-payer if it meant that the government would completely take over control of healthcare. While she didn’t elaborate further on her reasons for opposition during the town hall, the reasons nonetheless became immediately clear about a week later at a fundraising event in Washington, D.C.
The event in question was designed to raise money for Feinstein’s upcoming bid to be re-elected for a fifth term, and attendees were expected to chip in anywhere between $1,000 and $5,000 to support her campaign. The problem is that the event was held by Avenue Solutions, which happens to be a major lobbying firm that represents the main doctors’ trade association as well as many of the top pharmaceutical companies and health insurers.
This obviously represents a huge conflict of interest, showing that Sen. Feinstein seems to be more beholden to the healthcare industry than to her own constituents in California. While Feinstein may not support universal healthcare at the national level, it hasn’t stopped state lawmakers from looking into passing legislation to make single-payer a reality in California.
Progressives and more-moderate Democrats around the country are continually to make their calls for universal healthcare heard, and in Washington, allies of Sen. Bernie Sanders are putting more pressure on their Democratic colleagues to support single-payer and reject the interests of the lobbying groups.
While it seems that many Democrats in the House and Senate are beginning to listen, Sen. Feinstein is still horribly behind the times. Of course, this only makes sense if one looks at the fact that lobbyists and special interest groups have donated nearly $600,000 to the senator since she started her fourth term in 2013.
Some of those who have recently contributed to Sen. Feinstein include lobbyists for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the Federation of American Hospitals, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. In addition, she has also received money from political action committees directed by Merck & Co., AbbVie, Amgen and other major pharmaceutical companies.
Although Obamacare resulted in millions more Americans getting health insurance, the fact remains that the United States is the only major nation in the world that doesn’t offer universal healthcare. Instituting a single-payer system would go a long way towards alleviating many of the problems faced by average Americans and the country as a whole, which is obviously why so many people now support the idea. Unfortunately, we still have people like Sen. Feinstein in the government who are more concerned with campaign donations than they are with following the will of the people.
Whats the point of Dem. party existing if they support Republican ideas?