SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A small rally advocating U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ single-payer healthcare plan formed outside a local lawmaker’s office Friday afternoon.
The group was frustrated Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill doesn’t support fellow Democrat Sanders’ healthcare plan, which was introduced in the Senate earlier this week.
It was a small group of protesters with an unmistakable message Friday – “Medicare for All.”
“We need a system where all people can get the care they need to maintain and improve their health, when they need it,” Vicke Kepling, who organized the rally, said.
The group argued that Sanders’ legislation, proposed Wednesday, is the answer.
“Those who say this goal is unachievable are selling the American dream short,” Kepling said.
The rally, made up of several healthcare professionals, called on McCaskill to back Sanders’ plan, which eliminates co-pays and deductibles, boasting savings for families and businesses.
A retired doctor in the mix has served rural Missouri counties like Wright and Douglas.
“The rural area and the inner-cities are the worst areas because of the cost issue,” Hasan Choudhury said.
McCaskill’s office sent a response to KOLR10 Friday night, saying she doesn’t think it makes sense to force every American to give up their private health insurance in favor of a costly system:
“”There are real problems in our healthcare system that Missouri families deal with every day,” McCaskill said in the statement. “I’m focused on fixing those problems, with solutions that can earn enough bipartisan buy-in to make a lasting difference. That’s what’s guided my bipartisan work to tackle the cost of prescription drugs, and my bill to offer folks in counties without an individual market insurer access to the same insurance members of Congress get. I also believe we can help with costs and coverage by letting folks buy into Medicare once they turn 55. But I don’t think a bill that would force every American to give up their private health insurance in favor of a system that would be hugely expensive and have grave implications for our national debt makes sense right now.”
For those at the rally, it’s just the opposite.
“When you take away the profit-mongering and the big pharmacies and big hospital corporations, and big insurance, the cost will be much lower,” Choudhury said.
The protesters Friday said McCaskill is a conservative liberal. But, the senator doesn’t deny that, calling herself a moderate.