As Usual, Ralph Nader Was Right


Ralph Nader was right.

Last year, Ralph Nader ran for President.

I was Ralph’s national campaign coordinator.

During the campaign, Ralph called it as he saw it.

DC was a corporate prison.

The Democrats and Republicans were beholden to corporate America.

The corporate Obama we saw on the campaign trail in 2008 wouldn’t be much different just because he became President Obama and moved into the White House in 2009.

As usual, Ralph was right.

Exhibit A: Health insurance.

Today, fifty million Americans are uninsured.

According to the Institute of Medicine, 22,000 Americans die every year from a lack of health insurance.

Obama knows that a Canadian style single payer national health insurance system – everybody in, nobody out, free choice of doctors and hospitals – will bring these numbers down to zero.

Zero people are uninsured in Canada.

Zero people die every year in Canada due to lack of health insurance.

Yet, during the 2008 campaign, Obama took single payer off the table.

It’s still off the table in the corporate prison that is Washington, D.C.

This despite the fact that, according to the most recent polls, the majority of Americans, doctors, nurses, health economists and even small businesses want single payer.

Even a young Obama wanted single payer.

Before he became the politician that he is today.

Obama still knows what the answer is – single payer.

Yet he bows down before the ever powerful for-profit health and drug insurance industries.

That’s just the seedy reality inside the beltway today.

The burning question outside is:

What are we going to do about it?

And the answer is:

We are going to deliver single payer for the American people.

To get the job done, we have launched – Single Payer Action.

Over the past couple of months, Single Payer Action has been out for a test drive.

We’ve been kicking the tires.

And things are looking good.

Single Payer Action exposed PBS Frontline for deliberately tilting its documentary “Sick Across America” to reflect an insurance industry bias.

The one-hour documentary never once mentioned single payer.

Single Payer Action activists burned their insurance bills outside a meeting of the health insurance industry’s main lobbying group in Washington, D.C.

Single Payer Action blew open the story about how Obama tried to bar single payer advocates from the White House health care summit last month.

As a result of that reporting, Obama was forced to admit two single payer advocates inside the White House gates for the summit.

And in West Virginia last month, a group of Single Payer Action belly dancers drew widespread attention when they shook it up for single payer at the Martinsburg offices of Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).

Last year, after the campaign, we wrote to you promising action on single payer.

Action time has arrived.

Now, we need your help.

We believe that together with one million Americans working for single payer we can get it done.

Single Payer Action will be organizing outside the beltway, in Congressional districts around the country.

But right now, we need to raise $30,000 to propel Single Payer Action to the next level.

We want to organize creative, dramatic actions at congressional offices  in as many districts as possible in coming weeks.

And we need your help to make that happen.

So, please donate now whatever you can – $10, $25, $50, $100 – to Single Payer Action.

If you donate $100 or more by May 14, 2009, we will send you two galvanizing books that concisely detail the case for single payer in America.

  • Health Care Meltdown by Robert LeBow, MD, revised and updated by Dr. C. Rocky White – a Republican doctor so fed up with the needless suffering caused by the insurance industry that he become a leading advocate for single payer.
  • Ten Excellent Reasons for National Health  Care, Edited by Mary O’Brien and Martha Livingston.

We’re looking to raise $30,000 by May 14th.

To make single payer a reality in America.

Let’s get it done.


Jason Kafoury

PS: This two book offer ends 11:59 p.m. May 14 2009. So don’t miss out. Donate now.

And don’t forget to sign up at

We’re building one million strong for single payer.

Please share this e-mail with friends and relatives.

Urge them to sign up and donate at


6 thoughts on “As Usual, Ralph Nader Was Right

  1. I’d like to contribute to this noble cause but with regard to the upcoming presidential election in Panama, President Obama informed me (and all other “Permanent Resident Investors” who once held US Passports and/or citizenship) that we may not donate to either American or local or any foreign causes or candidates. Moreover, despite the lack of an extradition treaty between Panama and the USA, should the US choose, it may at will invade Panama and re-patriate me or any Panamanian citizen for any reason or no reason at all. This is US policy despite the Treaty Of Independence Of 1999, signed by President William Jefferson Clinton of the USA and President Ernest Perez-Balladares of the Republic Of Panama.

    There is single-payer health care here, but there are hospitals in the poorer districts and in the interior that need help. I imagine I am also enjoined by President Obama from giving $100 to the Children’s Hospital Of Caledonia if the mood strikes me. I am a year short of citizenship, but that doesn’t matter. The USA claims sovereignty for 15 years over anyone who was at any time a US citizen. The US claims, the US claims. All I know is my attorneys will argue it locally on my behalf. My US attorneys will argue it up there. And I’ll move it along to somewhere else if I have to. But I’m going to give that $100 to the Children’s Hospital!

    The USA doesn’t recognize the WTO or the World Court except when the rulings are favorable to the USA. President Obama has made no executive order changing any of this.

    Obama’s performance at the Americas Summit was not bad at all. He said all the right things and treated everyone with the respect due them. Presumably, a canny advisor at State briefed him about whom he’d be dealing with and he’d be better off adopting the posture he did during the Democratic Primaries (“I’ve lived all over the world and have a sense of cultural differences”), as opposed to this new Sherriff Of The Western World identity he’d been toying with.

    The advisor must also have warned Obama that the theatrics aside, he is not as well-informed on domestic, economic or foreign policy as Hugo Chavez is, and is not in the same league as a thinker. I’m guessing he also was cautioned to give President Michelle Bachelet of Chile a warm handshake and no lectures, either, for the same reasons.

    His presentation, as I wrote, was pretty strong. No real complaints. I merely find the 180 degree turnaround from the excruciatingly aggressive words of the weekend previous a little weird.

    I can’t speak for Cuba because I’ve never been there, but I know that not only does a single-payer system exist in the rest of Latin America, the coverage is very good, the personnel makes good money, and for a tiny bit extra on the order of hospital membership societies the care is BEYOND CADILLAC. I mean JOHNS HOPKINS-PAITILLA HOSPITAL with an out-of-pocket not known in the US since the 1970s.

    The income and capital gains rates are quite low here. How do they do it? Very simple. The 1999 Independence Treaty allowed INDEPENDENCE. The constitution was re-written at a constitutional convention with the peoples’ input and the military was disbanded with Panama henceforth to be neutral and its foreign policy to be a simple one: trade with everyone.

    All of this leads me back to the single-payer question. Apparently, Obama intends to guarantee health-care for all Americans without using the single-payer model. Moreover, none of the advocates of the single-payer model are participating in any discussions on the subject. I fail to see how he plans to pay for this while maintaining the supremacy of the Hippocratic Oath and the inviolability of the doctor/patient relationship given that any large scale changes to the American system will require an even more fascist model requiring the dejure partnership of the US Government with the HMOs, insurance companies, Big Pharma, and all of their trade associations (read: lobbyists).


  2. Hey Bro,

    I would give, too, but by God I don’t have it to give.

    The advisor must also have warned Obama that the theatrics aside, he is not as well-informed on domestic, economic or foreign policy as Hugo Chavez is, and is not in the same league as a thinker.

    This is interesting to me. Since I do not speak Spanish, this is very difficult for me to judge, much less the fact that I have never met either man (even though I would truly like to meet Chavez and Obama, both). Chavez moreso than Obama.

    So, Chavez is truly a thinker (for I believe that Obama is)?

    Keeping rhetoric at bay in search of truth on our “enemies” is one of the most difficult issues facing Americans. I have been listening to President Ahmadinejad’s UN speech and thus far (the first 10 minutes) I cannot find anything he has said that was untruthful. So, when I hear punditry blast him for what he says, I wonder exactly what was said that was false.

    Barack Obama has no intention, whatsoever, of implementing a Single Payer Healthcare system. That would disenfranchise and stop his money coffers who happen to be insurance agencies. It will never happen unless we get someone like Nader in as President (and then he will have to fight tooth and nail to get it passed through Congress).

    As long as the two party paradigm rules (with a complicit and ignorant citizenry) we will not have a system that remotely reminds me of what is found in South and Central America (and all over Europe).

    And the American Sheople can now say, “Amen!”


  3. It’s hard to get Chavez if you don’t understand Spanish and aren’t comfortable with reading and interpreting economic data. I hate to ask anyone to take what I write on faith and always encourage everyone to do their own homework. If you have an inkling to study just how effective a president Chavez has been, I’d recommend three totally CENTRIST sources: The World Bank,, and the CIA World Factbook.

    When he covers Venezuela, the Miami Herald Latin Affairs expert, Andres Oppenheimer, is usually on the money for someone whose specialty is not macro-economics.

    I really like Chavez’s economic team: Rodriguez at Finance, Saul at Commerce, and Sanam at Trade. I give all four a lot of credit for anticipating that the oil boom would vault Venezuela into the ranks of the world’s richer nations and used the opportunity to diversify away from natural resource production and sales into the famous “green technology” that Obama’s always on about. That’s public/private industrial policy at its best.

    Chavez is probably one of the more environmentally aware heads-of-state around. The goal of all this green automotive tech and joint ventures with the more advanced Western companies is wealth generation, of course, because rumors to the contrary notwithstanding Venezuela is a capitalist country. But Chavez is rightfully concerned about air pollution in Caracas and Maracaibo and has made a condition of the JVs a free one-for-one government subsidized swap of the lemons for the new low-and-no-emissions sedans and coupes (no SUVs) off the line.

    I have plenty of disagreements with many of Chavez’s decisions, but make no mistake about it, the show he puts on to needle the USA masks a very canny leader.

    You’d be pissed too at the architects of a coup attempt against you!


    • Kelso,

      I cannot imagine a person being elected time and time again, if they are stupid (unless you happen to vote in America). But, Bush is no idiot (using him as an example), but sure as hell seems evil or simply doesn’t care (narcissistic, perhaps).

      Chavez is loved by most everyone except those indebted and in bed with the Empire.

      His needling America has its place, but at times, it seems to make him appear cartoonish. I seriously doubt that he is cartoonish and that opinion may simply be the MSM of America (even though I try to get many other perspectives). There are times when he reminds me of me (and from a world perspective, that is not a very good light to be seen in).

      I think that America’s stance against Venezuela has been probably one of the stupidest policies we could have taken. But, you and I both know that American exceptionalism is at the root, for if we were truly a “thinking” country, we would embrace Venezuela (and all of Latin America) for many reasons.

      I hope that Mr Obama’s hand shakes make a move in this direction, but I don’t trust Mr Obama to do anything except continue the Empire.

      When I see Mr Obama smile in those interactions, it appears quite false to me. So, it appears that this is just a different look for the cameras, when Bush couldn’t have cared less about the look.

      As a matter of fact, I distrust Mr Obama far more than I do Mr Chavez.


  4. Ahh, yes, Ahmedinajad. Another straw dog to distract Americans and to raise even more money for Israel.

    Nobody has yet answered a simple question, though. If Ahmedinajad is the sworn enemy of the US and Israel and ought to be bombed into smithereens yesterday, what plans exactly have been made about the large Persian Jewish population in Teheran? Have the US and Likud government of Israel invented weaponry that can lay waste to the capital of a nation but somehow spare the Jewish citizens of that capital?

    Just asking.


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