Healthy California Now president Michael Lighty wrote an opinion piece for Common Dreams, asking the question why hasn’t the overwhelming popularity of Medicare for All—85% of Democrats, 66% of independents and 52% (!) of GOP support it—translated into legislative majorities.
The message environment matters, and single payer proponents are not winning the media narrative. Our slogan could be “We Care, They Scare. Better Healthcare, Not Bigger Profits.” We must educate and inoculate voters, which takes door-knocking, earned media and paid ads, funded by tens of millions of dollars over a few years. Once the industry funded TV campaign begins against a ballot initiative—and we can expect based on recent ballot fights $200 million to publicize their lies about high costs, taxes, unreliability, lost jobs and limited choice under single payer—we’ll need to be on TV, too.
We need a healthcare justice coalition guided by a strategic assessment of what it will take to win with the ability to communicate effectively against the industry’s lies. Can one bill do it all? Maybe not. But strategic organizing can.