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Hundreds rally for single-payer health care

WKOW Posted: Sep 17, 2009 MADISON (WKOW) -- Hundreds of people gathered on the capitol steps Thursday in support of a single payer health care plan. A group known as the "Mad as Hell Doctors" led the rally. They want a single payer health system in America -- no more insurance companies, no more premiums, and you wouldn't be denied for pre-existing conditions. "I'm mad as hell because our for-profit, non-system thrives on illness rather than health," said Dr. Mike Huntington, a radiologist-oncologist. "Americans, believe it or not, are going bankrupt because of their medical bills," said Dr. Bob Seward, internist. Under the single payer plan, Americans would pay into a government pool. How much you pay depends on how much you make. Doctors say it would mean about a 5.75 percent tax on your income -- a plan similar to Medicare. "No compromises. Medicare for all," said John Nichols of Madison. "We should not be fighting about tinkering around the edges of a broken system. We should be repairing it." Speakers say a public option would be too expensive because insurance companies would likely keep the healthiest Americans on their plans, pushing those with health care problems over to the public option, with taxpayers footing the bill. Madison is the half-way point for the Mad as Hell Doctors tour. The campaign began in Washington state, and will end in Washington D.C., where they hope to speak with the Obama administration and other legislators about the single-payer plan. More than 5,000 emails have been sent to the white house, urging the president to meet with the group. President Obama, they say, has not responded.