The call for universal, single-payer health care |

The call for universal, single-payer health care

Kathryn Corazzelli
Summit Daily News
Dr. Margaret Flowers

Amid the heated debates for and against “Obamacare,” and promises from members of the House of Representatives to block funding for health care reform, there are those urging another option: a single-payer, national model for health care.

This Thursday, nationally known health care expert Dr. Margaret Flowers will present a speech titled “The Real Path to Health Care Reform” at the Summit County Community and Senior Center in Frisco. Flowers’ Summit County stop is one on a tour of the state, sponsored by Health Care for All Colorado, a Colorado-based nonprofit working for universal, single-payer health care. Locally, the presentation is sponsored by Our Future Summit, a local, non-partisan group dedicated to improving life in the county by providing a voice for ordinary citizens.

Flowers, a Maryland pediatrician, is a Congressional fellow for Physicians for a National Health Plan, a nonprofit research and education organization consisting of health professionals and students who support a single-payer national health insurance model. The former director of the pediatric hospitalist program and chief of pediatrics at a rural Maryland hospital, she left practice in 2007 to work full-time on health care reform. Flowers coordinates meetings between single-payer advocates and congressional members, and is a national board member of HealthCare-Now!, an organization advocating a national single-payer health care system. She was arrested at a U.S. Congress committee hearing in 2009 after demanding Congress include a single-payer system in the health care reform debate. She was arrested a second time attempting to deliver a letter on “Medicare for all” to President Obama in 2010.

Dr. Don Parsons, an Our Future Summit board member, said the evening will begin with a presentation analyzing what lies ahead in health care reform, including judicial challenges presented to the Affordable Care Act.

“The future of health care reform, as it was passed last year, is a little bit tenuous,” Parsons said. “Dr. Flowers will address the broader concept of health reform. Why – even if it were implemented – the Affordable Care Act would probably not solve all of our problems with health care access and costs, and why we should be looking at some alternatives.”

Parsons said everyone – on any side of the health care reform conversation – is welcome and encouraged to come.

“My hope is that it will become an opportunity for interaction and community conversation,” he said. “I hope (those with differing views) take the time to, not just listen to the conversation, but get into the dialogue. It’s very important that we have open minds and challenge every proposal.”

The presentation takes place from 5-7 p.m. Thursday at the Summit County Community and Senior Center in the Frisco Commons. For more information about the event, go to, or call Dr. Don Parsons at (970) 406-1341.

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