In NJ’s 2nd district there’s a contested primary next week with me, a long time Republican, recently converted to Democrat, challenging the two handpicked Democratic candidates. I’m for Single Payer and I’m wondering why isn’t everyone, more specifically, the other two Democrats in this race? My opponents have said little or nothing for two months. But when questioned about their stances for an article in a weekly newspaper ( which I initiated by calling the papers main office and getting hold of a reporter) they, as opposed to me, chose to talk about schools. Schools? Is that what voters really want to hear about this fall?
So back to the issue at hand, Single Payer. The daily newspaper down here in S. Jersey hasn’t quite reported my Single Payer stance accurately so I requested one more opportunity to detail it before the paper’s snap shot reviews of the candidates this weekend. I was driving my truck down my street when the political reporter returned my phone call. After several minutes talking about the crisis in health care- and about the potential of this issue for Democrats- she asked if I’d turn around and write a short email detailing my thoughts. This is my hastily written email…..
“I believe New Jersey could do what the Federal Gov’t missed an opportunity doing, that is implement Single Payer Health Insurance (elimination of insurance companies and have a complete NJ gov’t take over of reimbursements) the same as Vermont has done, that is pass Single Payer legislation which has now gone to the Governor to be signed, BUT do it better in New Jersey than Vermont has done. I don’t believe in adding this enormous new bureaucracy without first eliminating substantial numbers of agencies and several cabinet depts. as a way of showing good faith to overburdened NJ taxpayers, but also as way to get Republican lawmakers on board. I support raising the sales tax one percent if, and only if, it was dedicated to help pay for Single Payer. The sales tax revenue would come from the poorest residents as well, eliminating the argument they get free health coverage at expense of everybody else. I’d hope there could be a medical savings account aspect to this and Tort Reform as well. Vermont has none of this! Their program is probably doomed to failure.
Raising sales tax 1% would be offset by an economic boon caused by new business relocating to NJ, now that medical insurance is provided by the state and not the private sector. FINALLY, I’d rally the Democratic party in Trenton by we Democrats cleverly asking Republicans for their wish list of departments and agencies to be axed in exchange for Single Payer, thereby putting the onus on them for not delivering what every New Jersey citizen is entitled to, adequate and guaranteed health coverage. Finally, I for one, would know how serious Democrats, my new party, are about compromise, in other words can we Democrats bear to sacrifice our other sacred cows if Single Payer was on the line?”
Thanks for reading and thanks Blue Jersey for the space to go “on the record.” I don’t think any one legislator can single-handedly change anything so important, never mind a newbie like me, and I explained this to the reporter. On the other hand my candidacy is an uphill battle, and assuming I win next week and face very popular Republican challengers, that alone would be newsworthy and the Single Payer Issue could take off….. or not. “Not” meaning more gridlock. That’s bad.