Institute for Public Accuracy
980 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
(202) 347-0020 * *

During last night's State of the Union address, President Obama stated: 
"But if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring 
down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen 
Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know. 
Let me know. Let me know. I'm eager to see it."

     Flowers is a pediatrician with Physicians for a National Health 
Program. She has written an open letter to Obama that she is delivering 
to the White House today, stating that a single-payer, or expanded 
Medicare-for-all, plan would fulfill the criteria laid out by Obama.

     Her letter states: "There was an opportunity this past year to 
create universal and financially-sustainable health care reform rather 
than expensive health insurance reform.

     "As you well know, the United States spends the most per capita on 
health care in the world yet leaves millions of people out and receives 
poor return on those health care dollars in terms of health outcomes and 
efficiency. This poor value for our health care dollar is due to the 
waste of having so many insurance companies. At least a third of our 
health care dollars go towards activities that have nothing to do with 
health care such as marketing, administration and high executive 
salaries and bonuses. This represents over $400 billion per year which 
could be used to pay for health care for all of those Americans who are 
suffering and dying from preventable causes."

In 2003, Obama stated: "I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer 
universal health care program. [applause] I see no reason why the United 
States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, 
spending 14 percent of its gross national product on health care cannot 
provide basic health insurance to everybody. And that's what Jim is 
talking about when he says everybody in, nobody out. A single payer 
health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that's what I'd like 
to see." See video:

When questioned at a town hall meeting on May 14, 2009, Obama stated in 
response to a question: "For those of you who don't know ... Medicare is 
sort of like a single-payer system, but only for people over 65. And the 
way it works is that you don't have insurance companies as middlemen; 
the government goes directly and pays doctors or nurses. If I were 
starting a system from scratch, I think the idea of moving to a 
single-payer system could very well make sense, that's the type of 
system you have in most industrialized countries around the world. The 
only problem is that we're not starting from scratch." See video:

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167