Conyers: Obamacare Is ‘Platform’ for Creating Single-Payer System

By Nicholas Ballasy | March 14, 2011 | 3:08pm EDT

( - Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, told today that the health-care law that President Barack Obama signed last March is a “platform” for building a single-payer health care system in the United States.

During a newsmakers program at the National Press Club on Monday, Conyers said that after discussing the issue with Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D.-Ohio) he voted for the health-care law because he saw it as a necessary "platform" for building toward a single-payer health-care system in the United States.

Speaking with after the event at the National Press Club, Conyers said,  “What we’re trying to do is insure everybody, right? We’re trying to insure more people, not less and so it’s my feeling that the rising costs that are going on will not be solved by getting rid of people’s health insurance--that throws them into emergency rooms and charity and other things. That’s why HR 676 is our ultimate solution--is that everybody’s insured from birth on and that’s what we’re still fighting for.” then asked Conyers, “Do you see a single-payer health care system ultimately in the United States?”

“Of course," he said. "Universal health care--well, every industrial country on the planet already has a universal system of health care.”

Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) ( Starr)

When asked if he thinks President Obama's health-care law will lead to a single-payer health-care system in the U.S., Conyers said: “Well it’s a platform. I don’t think they flow smoothly but without that, if we didn’t have this then health care, universal health care would be an even more difficult legislative objective,” he said.

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