Why is the Media Silent on Internationally Tested Single-Payer Option?

Here’s an excerpt from a recent article on the single-payer option for health care reform that appeared in the Online Journal:

As a civilized nation, we would never tolerate a system where police or fire services were treated as optional for some residents. To understand how utterly absurd our private health care system is, imagine life in America if we treated police and fire services the way we now treat most health care services.

Photo courtesy of California Nurses Association.

Photo courtesy of California Nurses Association.

In fact, we posted back in May about nurses who got arrested protesting the tabling of the single-payer option by a Senate Finance Committee. But since then, the media has been largely silent on the single-payer option, despite the fact that some version of it serves as the foundation of the health care system in most other prosperous industrialized nations. These nations are neither socialist nor communist, but their citizens have higher average life expectancies than our own. In these places, health care is viewed as an essential service rather than something each and every person may or may not be able to afford at any given time—depending on such variables as work status, marital status, health status, income level, genetic makeup, luck, place of residence, and so on.

Does it really make sense that no one is even talking about this option? Compare this silence to the amount of coverage devoted to false claims about “death panels” in the media in recent weeks. Is this imbalance in coverage serving the interests of the American people? 

Jacob Molyneux, senior editor/blog editor

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2016-11-21T13:23:31+00:00 August 20th, 2009|health care policy, nursing perspective|2 Comments

About the Author:

Senior editor/social media strategy, American Journal of Nursing, and editor of AJN Off the Charts.


  1. Peggy September 4, 2009 at 11:52 am

    I absolutely love this common sense comparison around healthcare and emergency services. I’d also like to make this point about the need for quality improvement in our healthcare system along with insurance reform. If the airlines had as many fatal errors as the healthcare system even reports, (approx. 99,000 a year) no one would even consider flying… much is broken in our system.

  2. ninjanurse August 25, 2009 at 6:49 am

    I support single-payer, and now am worried about whether even the public option will survive.
    I have attended 2 town halls in my state, Rhode Island, and the level of fear and hostility is disheartening. I think that people recognize how insecure they are in the present system, and turn their anger against proposals for change.

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