News Release

Beyond “Both Sides” — Doctors Against Mandate and for Universal Coverage

In a recent letter published by the New York Times, the former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Arnold Relman, notes that their coverage of the debate about a health insurance mandate didn’t “mention an important new argument against the Affordable Care Act’s mandated purchase of private insurance, the key issue before the Supreme Court.

“Last month, an amicus brief was filed by 50 doctors and two nonprofit organizations arguing that Congress could avoid a mandate by legislating a national single-payer system that provides nearly universal insurance coverage.

“Congress has already created two limited single-payer systems — Medicare and the veterans’ health system — and no legal barriers prevent doing more. Since a mandate isn’t necessary for Congress to exercise its legitimate role in regulating health insurance, there is no justification under the Constitution’s ‘necessary and proper’ clause for such a legislative requirement.”

The following are signatories to this Supreme Court brief and are available for interviews; those in D.C. will be at the Court on Tuesday. See: “Single Payer Doctors to Rally at Supreme Court,” which links to a PDF of the brief.

MARGARET FLOWERS, M.D., mdpnhp at gmail.com
Flowers an organizer with the National Occupation of Washington, D.C.

RUSSELL MOKHIBER, russellmokhiber at gmail.com
Mokhiber is founder of Single Payer Action and editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter. He said today: “The Obama people say: uphold the law. The right wing says: strike down the law and go back to how things were. We say: strike down the Obama mandate — it’s unconstitutional and pass single payer — everybody in, nobody out.”

CLARK NEWHALL, clark.newhall at health-justice.org
Executive director of Health Justice, Newhall is a doctor and a lawyer. He said today: “The divide is not between liberal and conservative so much as it is between corporatists and everyone else. The current system is in effect a subsidy to the heath insurance industry. We should instead move to get rid of that industry, it is simply not sustainable.”