U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell says she’s done with taking “baby steps” toward universal health care in the U.S. and that it’s time for the nation to embrace a single-payer system.
During a discussion produced by civic engagement organization A Starting Point, Dingell, a Democrat who represents Michigan’s 12th District, said the coronavirus pandemic has exposed the need for such health care reform.
“I think the time is now, quite frankly. We’re coming out of a pandemic that—we’ve seen how broken the health care system is, the disparity, the disparate impact on people of color, people who didn’t have health insurance,” she said. “I think you come out of moments like this when a light has been shined on the fractures to build a momentum for change.”
She went on, “I’m not willing to take baby steps anymore. I think the American people understand how broken our system is, and you’ve got to take this opportunity to bring about meaningful change.”
Noting how many Americans’ health insurance is tied to their jobs, Dingell explained how access to health care became precarious as millions lost their jobs during the pandemic.
“A single-payer system puts the patients first,” she said. “It gives patients freedoms to choose doctors and hospitals and other providers that they want to go to, without having to worry whether a provider is in network, whether they can afford to pay for it.”