Kucinich: Single-payer healthcare on its way regardless of how Supreme Court rules

The Supreme Court's review of President Obama's healthcare reform law is just another step on the inevitable path toward a single-payer medical system, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) said Monday.

"The cost of health care continues to grow because the costs cannot be constrained within the context of that for-profit system," Kucinich said in a statement after the high court completed the first of three days of oral arguments on the law. "Whether the Supreme Court upholds the law or strikes it down, single-payer is the only alternative that can meet our nation's needs."

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Kucinich was a crucial vote in favor of the healthcare reform law, which he thought preserved too large a role for for-profit insurers. He introduced an amendment that passed by a bipartisan 27-19 vote during the Education and Labor Committee mark-up of the House version that would have helped states to pursue single-payer reforms, in which the government is the sole source of essential health coverage, if they so chose.

The amendment was stripped from the final bill. Instead, the law calls for all states to have health insurance exchanges where residents will be able to choose among a variety of federally subsidized private health plans.

"My amendment was one of the first single-payer legislative victories in Congress," Kucinich said. "It won’t be the last."