In the face of Trumpcare, which would cause an additional 23 million to lose their coverage so that the top 2% can get over $275 billion in tax cuts, several states are now trying to implement single-payer on the local level. (Vermont had already tried in 2011 but canceled 3 years later.) Last month, it passed in the New York state assembly, and just last week it passed the state senate in California. In New Jersey, state assemblyman and candidate for governor John Wisniewski introduced single-payer legislation recently.
This means there's a chance it could happen in my lifetime, hopefully before my life is cut short by ongoing medical problems.
The rally today was held by the local chapter of Our Revolution. Among the other groups participating was the People's Organization for Progress, which is focused on civil rights. The three governor candidates, the only three who support single-payer in NJ, were speakers at the rally: Wisniewski (D), Zinna (D), and Kaper-Dale (G). Several of the speakers were part of the experts panel, and included the doctors listed on the events page above. They talked about how universal healthcare would benefit both providers and patients.
Part of the rally included a petition signing, targeting the two Democratic senators, and the members of congress who have not yet sponsored HR676 but are not opposed to it either. It's a long shot, but that's why we have to keep hammering away at them until they get the message. No, it obviously can't pass in the Republican held House and Senate, but that's not the point; by supporting HR676, you will be running on a stronger platform, and give the Democrats a better chance of retaking the majority in 2018, at which point there's no reason it shouldn't be able to pass.
After the speakers segment, Our Revolution staged a "die-in" event where people would hold tombstones labeled with preventable causes of death, preexisting conditions, and high-risk categories. Ungodly already listed some of these in another thread. Though I wasn't able to stay the whole time, so while I helped set up the stunt, I didn't see them do it.
I often hear "criticism" from right-wing pundits that universal healthcare is unfeasible and unsustainable because there's no way to pay for it. To these assholes, I have the following to say:
* A 2009 study from before Obamacare found that 45,000 people die every year from preventable causes due to lack of healthcare. That's 123 people every day. So how much money are those lives worth then?
* The US workforce loses roughly $576 billion in annual productivity due to illness. If you want to put a price tag on healthcare, then you'd damn well better compare it to numbers like this.
* Trump's proposed budget would include $54 billion in increased military spending to fund the already bloated military-industrial complex, and would cut social programs in an attempt to pay for it. So what, we can easily afford more weapons intended to kill people, but not programs intended to save lives?
* Universal healthcare would actually save a lot of money in various ways, and these are almost never factored into the arguments that single-payer would be too expensive.