Comparing Single-Payer with the Public Option

August 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Healthcare-NOW! Updates

There has been considerable confusion about the differences between single-payer healthcare, which Healthcare-NOW! supports, and the healthcare reform options, including President Obama’s “public option,” being introduced by the House and Senate.

So we’ve collected the following resources to clarify the difference:

Report Card for Single-Payer and “Public Option” (.pdf)

More of the Same Is Not Health Care Reform, It’s a Placebo – By Leonard Rodberg, PhD

Hold out for single payer – By Nick Skala

Bait and switch: How the “public option” was sold – By Kip Sullivan

The “Public Plan Option”: Myths and Facts

Health Policy Q & A with PNHP Co-founders Drs. David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler (.pdf)

Tell them why they’re wrong when they say single-payer is not politically viable! (.pdf)

Single-Payer Teach-In
Dr. Len Rodberg, of Physicians for a National Health Program, made a great presentation on single-payer and the “public option” at a teach-in in New York City.

Download Len Rodberg’s slide show (.ppt).

Comments

61 Responses to “Comparing Single-Payer with the Public Option”
  1. Nancy says:

    I agree that anything less than single payer is a placebo. A watered-down public option or cooperatives (as my Blue Dog representative Jim Matheson supports) is a sell out to the powerful health insurance corporate lobbyist. Let’s keep pressuring our representatives and senators to not betray us. Single payer will pay for itself over time. Putting band-aids on the current private, for-profit system will NOT – and we, the consumers, will continue to suffer.

    • Kathy Bushman says:

      IMO, the insurance scam is one of the biggest & most profitable cons in America. I fail to understand why any social program helping the average American is slammed as an “entitlement program” but all forms of corporate welfare always get funded. I guess only mega corporate monopolies are the only entities which are entitled to our tax money. Why is it no one screams about all the different corporate entitlement programs: the bail outs, big agribusiness subsidies, a lot of defense programs are nothing more than giant boondoggles like star wars or for obsolete weapon systems and equipment that will never be used. Big Pharma donates to politicians big time inorder to retain the right to gauge American citizens at will.

  2. I fell Americans need to stand up for the real health care reform single payer saves the American tax payer billions of dollars.

    • Tom Fab says:

      Let me get this straight… We’re going to cover 47 million citizens – many who CAN afford to purchase their own insurance – and illegal aliens, with a system (Medicare and Medicaid) that is running huge deficits and taxpayers are going to save money? I want some of whatever you are on, Deanna.

      • Chris Palmer says:

        I worked in managed care as a case manager and spoke to many clients who were going to lose their health insurance because they were sick and could not work. They were losing their jobs because of their illness and now their coverage. I saw coverage be denied after the patient had the treatment because it did not fit criteria or bills get negotiated down so the insurance company did not have to pay as much. They will tell you that they are “saving your benefits” but really! People will tell you that they like their coverage and it is very good. But have them really understand their coverage. They pay preminums monthy, pay a co-pay, have a life time max, deductibles and out of pocket expenses. They have to use physicians, hospitals, ancillary services that are in network. If they don’t use in network providers, they will pay much more or not have coverage. It is just not working for the public, but does great for the greedy insurance companies.

        • IAMPCBOB says:

          Don’t tell me that ACA has no lifetime limits, or that you don’t have a huge copay! Not only that, but for most people they only pay 60% of your medical costs! People DO have to eat, you know!

      • Ralph Lewis says:

        I don’t understand the argument that a single payer system is too expensive. If we took all the money that we are paying to commercial health insurance companies and paid it too the government instead (this includes employer’s share of health insurance) I’ll bet we would be able to afford an excellent health care system that would cover all of us instead of just the ones fortunate to have jobs with health insurance.

      • Laurel C B Stranaghan says:

        HERE’S YOUR ANSWER, Health Care Reform 101
        Please, do your homework – for yourself, and all of us.
        HR 565 is the only truly PATRIOTIC SOLUTION to helathcare reform.

        NEWSFLASH
        -the story our Washington politicians are too scared to discuss
        -the Texas two step to Real Healthcare Reform 101

        I don’t need to tell you that healthcare has been leading news for months. Forget all those healthcare ads and all that smoke and mirrors Washington posturing stuff. Healthcare reform is way too important to play around, it is as serious as a heart attack.

        If there were a story about an AFFORDABLE healthcare plan that provided quality comprehensive medical care to every single person in our country with care providers of their choice, dental, vision, meds, no co-pays or deductibles, would that not be HEADLINE NEWS?

        Well, here’s the SCOOP! Take a look at healthcare reform Bill HR 676. It’s an easy read at only about 17 pages. You can do it! Because you may have questions, visit pnhp.org for access to all sorts of quality due diligence material.

        Then, watch the Bill Moyers’ interview with Cigna’s VP, Wendell Potter (recently retired). It provides first class background material about “the big fuss” – and we aren’t talkin’ B Roll. Story link for watching or text reading: Bill Moyers Journal . Watch & Listen | PBS , a 59 minute bulls-eye.

        Next, for goodness sake, get this amazing story on YOUR Front Page and put a STOP to the political antics and shenanigans instigated by the health insurance industry.

        Let’s STOP letting “them” chew up real healthcare reform through OUR IGNORANCE, BYTE by BYTE.

        Single Payer, HR 676, see for yourself, and all of us.

        There IS a solution – affordable, clean, straightforward, elegant.

        COPY, CUT, PASTE, FWD, PHONE and FAX, AT WILL and without delay.

        • Capt Foster says:

          Laurel,

          You wouldn’t happen to have a direct link on this HR565 (that you have seen that explains this bill) that you can paste a link too? I used Bing.com and put HR565 in it and I found very little to work with… I’d be very interested in reading on this a bit deeper.

          And please, for all who see this, if you Face Book, please consider joining my PRO Single Payer group there –> http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=119149308126296&v=wall&ref=notif

          ** I believe a few people who are a part of this group here are members of my group there **

      • Yes because Single Payer is cheaper to run. Those savings help pay for the service. Also we pay twice as much now as other countries who have Single Payer. Therefore we can have SP and still have another half to pay down the deficit.

      • Kathy Bushman says:

        A recent study found that 62 percent of all bankruptcies filed in 2007 were linked to medical expenses. Of those who filed for bankruptcy, nearly 80 percent had health insurance.9
        9. Himmelstein, D, E., et al, “Medical Bankruptcy in the United States, 2007: Results of a National Study, American Journal of Medicine, May 2009. I found that information at this link: http://www.nchc.org/facts/cost.shtml

        I hope everyone realize that of those who filed for bankruptcy nearly 80% – that’s EIGHTY PERCENT had insurance, but a patient could have paid his premiums for years but coverage can and IS denied on flimsy pretexts. In one of the worst instances I’ve read about, one cancer patient was denied coverage cause she had had acne as a teen.

        The Corporate Crime Reporter website informs us that the government knows that that health care industry fraud amounts to at least 60 billion but some experts think it probably amounts to as much as 600 billion. The government doesn’t want to piss off any of its bigger campaign contributors by allocating enough money to do a very careful or thorough investigation. http://www.corporatecrimereporter.com/sparrow091409.htm

  3. Jess Gilsen says:

    I am concerned about the wait times for a single payer system. My cousin in England went through a lot of pain as he waited months for his appointment with a specialist.

    • John Barker says:

      Jess Gilsen: Don’t equate single payer with the English system and if your cousin was in our system he might have had a much longer painful wait when an insurance company bureaucrat decided his “pain” wasn’t covered. Medicare is not the English system and there is no evidence that that single payer in the U. S. will be modeled after the British system. The web site Healthreform.gov/RealityCheck will help to dispel some rumors and disinformation currently circulating about healthcare reform.

    • ILona Anderson says:

      My good friend Dee waited for a kidney transplant while fighting with her insurance company to cover the cost. When she got notice to go in for the transplant, her insurance would not cover it. Months later, when her insurance finally agreed to cover the cost, it was too late for her, she died.

    • Larry Siegel says:

      According to the Institute of Medicine (which supports single payer healthcare), 18,000 American a year die NEEDLESSLY for lack of health insurance and that is a conservative estimate. What kind of pain do these 18,000 plus people a year go through who die for lack of health insurance?

      Meanwhile, in Canada, a new poll conducted by the Toronto-based Nanos Research points to overwhelming support — 86.2 percent — for strengthening public health care rather than expanding for-profit services.

      “With more than 8 in 10 Canadians supporting public solutions to make public health care stronger, there is compelling evidence that Canadians across all demographics would prefer a public over a for-profit health care system,” said Nik Nanos, president of Nanos Research.

      Meanwhile, as Bill Moyer reported recently on PBS, a congressional subcommittee investigated the twisted tactics used by health insurance companies to dump customers and stick them with their bills. It’s a practice known as recission.

      Over the past five years the companies — Assurant, Golden Rule and Wellpoint — had cancelled 20 thousand individual policies.

    • Laurel C B Stranaghan says:

      Wait Time Concerns –

      find answers at pnhp.org where extensive research and results info re wait times and more can be found.

      You will see why Single Payer, HR 676 is the most efficient, affordable, comprehensive, elegant and PATRIOTIC SOLUTION solution to our ‘uniquely American’ healthcare problem.

  4. Please review my video: Proposal for provision of health insurance for Americans by Americans

    http://www.youtube.com/rlstelling

  5. Bob Schmetzer says:

    Healthcare is a right. This country treats it as a commodity.The US Constitution says You have a right to life. Nothing is mentioned about a guaranteed profit.Its not like we are doing a great job . We spend more for health care than anyother country.We have poor results. We come in 14th after Slovania.Our drugs cost more.We have a high child mortality rate.The present system kills seniors by pushing them into the so called Donut hole. They have a choice to pay full price for their drugs and not eat. Or eat and not get their prescriptions. Big choice on how to die.Americans have been exploited for too long. We are smarter than that. But we don’t act it.1,000,000 Americans will file for bankruptcy this year due to health care bills.46,000,000 will be without health care, and will have to make a decision weather to go to a DR or not because of not enough money.Everyone loves Medicare, lets expand it.One payer, and a set of rules that cares about your health.

    • Tom Fab says:

      Life is a right. Healthcare is a service. We’re individually responsible for our health and I shouldn’t be forced to take economic responsibility for your life choices. If we follow your argument, wouldn’t food, shelter and clothing be more important than seeing a doctor whenever you sneeze? Maybe you are right and you should be forced to pay for MY food, shelter and clothing (and I like the best quality!)

      • Henry says:

        In a single-payer system, we ARE responsible for our healthcare by paying taxes. We currently pay more per capita for our sub-standard healthcare than all major industrialized nations. It may not come directly from your pocket (though a whole lot does, and more every year) but your employer and even the government pay, too.

        The “I shouldn’t be forced to take economic responsibility for your life choices” line of thinking is ridiculous. Part of living in a civilized society is working together. Do you resent paying for the fire department?

        The current system is based on insurance companies making money. In this system, the most successful companies are those that insure only the healthiest people. Their success is measured by how much care they deny. A single-payer system takes the insurance company profit out of the equation and puts EVERYONE into one big insurance group. The risks and costs are spread evenly and fairly. It’s the most efficient way to deliver healthcare to everyone.

        If we are as great as we tell ourselves, this should be a no-brainer.

        • curiousgeezer says:

          You’re wasting your time! Jess, Tom, and everyone else working for the insurance industry, are not interested in reason, or what is right. The idea is to stall as long as possible, so they can squeeze more profit from hard working Americans.

  6. My group is fighting for single payer, but we have to work with all the forces around us including unions. They support Obama. We need to provide people with objective information. When I look at the report card there is no grade for the current system that allows my audiences to compare single payer and Obama care to the current system. What this means tactically is you are singling out those who are possible allies as the main problem instead of the current system. That is shortsighted and sectarian. Too bad you are not looking beyond the upcoming vote because we will need the people who are supporting the Obama care position as allies against the current system and its new version if HR 3200 is passed.

  7. “WINDOW TREATMENT”
    our windows are sick- just like us
    they need HR676- just like us
    Let’s give them a LARGE dose. hang up a HUGE sign that says HR676, and on our car windows too if we can. “HEAL” our windows to HEAL US!!

  8. Robbie says:

    Are you people crazy! Look at the deficit of our country, you want the government to have something else to manage. Why should we just stop at healthcare, I think everyone should own a car and a house too. Look if you want healthcare find a job that offers it, or buy your own. Unfortunately there are crooks in every field and it seems that insurance companies have there fair share, although they are not as bad as the government. People, the role of the government is to govern, they are not the health carernment, or the employernment. Stop them from taking so much of our money, in the form of ALL taxes and with all that extra money that you’ll have, you will be able to afford health care and probably a nice vacation to boot. The people of this country need to wake up and stop thinking they are entitled to anything…even FOOD! Those interested in true change go to LP.org.

    • Ginger says:

      Are you crazy? Just look at the profits of insurance companies and you’ll learn one reason we need the government to step in. Governing involves ensuring everyone has basic human rights, including healthcare. Provision of healthcare is certainly not the responsibility of employers! Yes, there are crooks everywhere, in capitalist businesses and in government. Why keep the current crooks in business? How much did the president of your insurance company make last year? I bet it was more than you and your doctor and the president of the United States made, combined! If we stop the insurance companies from taking so much of our money, we’ll be able to afford better healthcare and probably a nice vacation to boot. We are entitled to food, safe, healthy food as well as clean air and clean water.

      • Robbie says:

        Oh Ginger, why am I crazy? What did I say that was wrong? Why are people entitled to FREE food? Don’t you get it, when people are givin things for free, they want more. Let me tell you something here toots, I believe in two things in life, hard work and common sense! If I want something, I’ll do what it takes to get it, legally, without going into debt and without someone’s help. There have been plenty of times where I took a second job to pay for things that I wanted or needed. The government is a ten headed monster and it’s only getting worse, what part of trillions and deficit don’t you get.

        Your comment about “governing involves ensuring everyone has basic human rights, including health care” is perplexing. First, do you think that the founding fathers thought this when our counrty was founded, NO they didn’t. Second, what is basic human rights? And as I stated earlier why not buy people a car and home too.

        Here’s an idea for you, go to the bank, get a loan and start your own insurance company providing health care for people at an affordable rate. Here’s another thought for you, who’s going to be using most of this free health care? I go to the doctor 1-2 times a year, the people using this service at the wealthy peoples expense are going to be those that are here illegal and shouldn’t be here in the first place and those that are poor, if we continue to help those that are poor, what is their motivation for not becoming poor. And all these people aren’t paying ANYTHING for this service. How is that fair!!! How can you open your mouth and defend the statement that those that pay nothing should be given something free in return, that is trully unbelievable!!!!!!!

        Look, capatilism is the only fair way of life, I agree with you that we need to get the crooks out, and not just out, let’s put them in prison. But making money, no matter how much you make, millions, billions, isn’t a crime. If you don’t like the salaries of the people at top, find a company that pays the top dogs less, so it that makes you happy when you pay them your premium. Or, as I mentioned earlier start your own insurance company, this is the beauty of our country Ginger, CAPATILISM.

        I’m not sure if you’ve been brain washed by education system, if your just ignorant (I don’t mean that to be insulting), or you by into the garbage on t.v., what ever your deal is, let’s try to get you straightened out. As I sais earlier go to LP.org and learn who life should be lived and governed.

        • No one has argued that healthcare should be free. We openly call for a modest 3.3% payroll tax that every worker, documented or not, would pay. It might sound like a lot, but 95% of Americans would pay less for healthcare under this system.

          Secondly your claims that people will want more care because it’s free, which we established it is not, is false. Right now we’re not getting enough care, leaving many folks waiting until it’s too late to see a doctor. Under a single-payer system, preventative care is pushed to the forefront, which will lead to reduced costs in the end. Besides, I doubt many people will be getting sick purposely because they could get care whenever they need it.

          As for the Founding Fathers–all you have to do is look at the preamble of the Constitution. It says the Union should “promote the general welfare” to ourselves and our posterity. So yes, I think proper healthcare would fall under the general well-being of its people.

          I know you want to deny that there’s a problem at all. If you think the folks depending on Remote Area Medical (free care) are all “illegals.” You’re wrong. Check out all the hard-working Americans, like yourself, who still can’t afford to see a doctor or dentist: http://www.healthcare-now.org/uninsured-travel-from-across-us-for-free-healthcare-from-relief-group-remote-area-medical-video/

          • John Barker says:

            Guess I have to repeat this—The Preamble is NOT the constitution and citing the Preamble only gives opponents a leg up. However the Constitution proper has a taxing and spending clause which should be cited. The taxing and spending clause has two components—the general welfare clause and the uniformity clause. There is a narrow and a broad interpretation of the general welfare clause. Generally, the broad intepretation has prevailed where Congress may exercise independently to benefit the general welfare such as to assist national needs as in agriculture, education or healthcare. Thus levying taxes to promote the general welfare is not unconstitutional as Libertarians and some Republicans imply.

          • His question was about the Founding Fathers overall thinking, not the Constitution specifically. So I tried to address that. Thanks for clarifying the situation further!

        • paula says:

          Robbie seems to be assuming that anyone without healthcare could get it if they wanted or just go get a job that has it! My daughter’s husband works as a millwright and makes decent money when he isn’t laid off for lack of work and he is insured, but for her, her 2 year old and 6 year old, the company wants them to pay $1350 monthly. This is a large, nationally well-known, successful manufacturing company. So, last month when his work was temporarily cut back, his monthly paycheck was $2600. They expect her to pay half his salary for health care for 3. Now, these are young adults who are always working, bought a small home and had a premature baby. What part of that is wrong, why don’t they deserve some kind of affordable healthcare. When she went to the state for CHIPS to cover the kids, her state of SC says they make too much money so she was denied. Last month her son had an allergic reaction from pollen and the emergency room charged her $500 for waiting 3 hours to be seen, then gave her a prescription for $100 worth of eyedrops. That was her mortgage payment. Next time she will be afraid to take him if he has another allergic reaction, because her husband is off work and waiting for a new contract to start.

          My question to Robbie is, if we can run up trillions of dollars in debt to fight a war over weapons of mass destruction that were never there, and to see our kids die by the thousands for it, why can’t we invest that much into keeping them and their working parents healthy? Is health only an entitlement for the rich? And why are insurance companies, who actually provide no service, getting richer while doctors and hospitals go unpaid and the working folks are getting denied by bureaucrats with no training in healthcare needs?

          England got real about a national health care service immediately after WWII when they realized how much money they had spent to kill. They decided they were ALL worthy of health care and they just passed national health care and most of them are happy, as are the other countries who outlawed health for profit.

          And finally, where is the humanity? If this is a Christian nation, what would Jesus do? What would he say if he was interviewed by conservative radio? Do you think he would say, hey, I got mine, you go try to get yours? Every CEO deserves millions, too bad about you? That is the message I am getting from the right and it’s not humane!

        • Jennifer Kemp says:

          Will you be able to take that second job to pay for your healthcare when you’re sick? Even if you take care of yourself, isn’t it possible to still get ill? Then what?

          What if there aren’t any employers in your line of work that pay for insurnace? Why should health care be linked to employment anyway?

          • Kathy Bushman says:

            I don’t know how old Robbe is but because employers who do provide health insurance need to keep the cost as low as possible, so when a company’s employees begin to age, many employers want to eliminate them from their payrolls because the older employee is more likely to begin making claims on their policies. Because of the skyrocketing cost of health insurance coverage, the age at which many companies want to begin eliminating “older” employees has declined.

    • Kathy Bushman says:

      Yes!! Please do let’s look at the deficit – a deficit created to fight the corporate wars, a deficit created by the bailouts which had bi-partisan (or the two headed uni-party’s support), huge agri-business subsidies, Big Pharma subsidies, and the many defense industry boondoggles for star wars or for obsolete weapon systems. Seems to be “entitlement programs” are just fine and dandy – peachy cool – for international corporations and what huge corp isn’t international. No one has to produce a passport in order to buy stock.

      It is only social programs which might help the lowly American taxpayer which are under-funded, and slammed as “entitlement programs” by big corporate media.

      Hey – here’s a thought maybe we Americans ought to incorporate in order to get our fair share.

  9. Jerry Smith says:

    I will support HB676 mostly as it is written. We are subsidising all of our federal,state,county,city,fire,police,teachers etc. to a tune of 70-75% of their premiums. There policies cover much,much more than the private sector can afford mostly at the taxpayers expense. Why shouldn’t we deserve the same benefits; after all most of us work many years to pay their benefits. We in the private sector(especially with pre=existing conditions)pay over $1000 per month for far less coverage benifits, with no prescription benefits, no dental or optic care. I believe in paying a fair premium for premium health care as a citizen of one of the best contries in the world. Its time we treat our citizens as good as most of the modern civilized nations and provide preventive health care as well as necessary care without the pressure of possibly losing our homes, and life savings. Like my mother who died of breast cancer because she waited too long to treat it out of fear of costing her family everything because of no health care coverage. Ironically that’s exactly what happened. What a way to treat our American Families. I also agree with Ginger that the private insurance companies have gouged and cheated us long enough. I’ll bet if you look at their employees insurance coverage(wish I was privy to this info.) you would find a program that would make envious beyond belief; not to mention the exhorbatent salaries and bonuses the management receives anually.

    • Berkeleyp says:

      Actually, people who work for insurance companies have pretty crummy coverage. I know some people who work for Cigna and they have the worst insurance of anyone I know. It figures really that they would skimp even on the very cogs that turn their profits for them.

  10. Ken says:

    Robbie, I think you are right that the founding fathers did not specify a lot of human rights. They were a philosophic bunch and generalized about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They got specific on the issues that affected their business and landed-gentry interests; and, in their political roles, they compromised, finessed, and ignored some human rights issues, such as slavery and lack of equality for women. We fixed those problems, and were still in the process of filling gaps.
    But getting back to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the subject of this forum (see at top): when insurance companies collect premiums and then refuse to pay for treatment, or when they price insurance out of the ability of people to pay for it, they are denying members of my family and other people I know from pursuing health, happiness, and, potentially, the right to life.
    Since you are a champion of “CAPATILISM,” how can you be defending the insurance companies, which are fighting against competition from a government program? I thought competition was what makes capitalism thrive. The answer is that they know they can’t compete because they have faulty product: it does a lousy job, and it’s bankrupting people and the country. But AHIP (the health insurance lobby), with its millions of dollars, won’t allow the competition of a decent public option. There’s only one solution, Robbie. Put the health insurance business out of its miserable, failed business, save us all a lot of misery and money, and move to a National Public Health Care Program.

    • Robbie says:

      Ken,

      There is no perfect system of any kind in life. Research all the countries that have a National Public Health Care Program and read about all the terrilbe things that they experience. Long waiting periods, to lack of quality care and all of the terrible stories of people dying (especially women with breast cancer) due to treatment taking way to long. If a government health care system is so great, why are there thousands of people who come to the U.S. for treatment?

      People think that they can’t receive treatment because they don’t have health insurance. This of course is WRONG, those that don’t have insurance are just going to have to pay for their treatment on their own (which I have done on more than one occasion). Granted it could be expensive, but they can get whatever treatment their after. Look at all the great government run programs now, social security is one of the best ones out there. How’s that system working out? How big is the national debt? What percentage do we already pay in taxes?

      The Government is a mess, the biggest problem out there is that our elected officials are terrible! The only person in office as far as I’m concerned that’s worth anything is Dr. Ron Paul. The bottom line is, as government keeps growing, government programs/salaries cost money and those that pay taxes are footing the bill. I totally believe in competition (being a champion of CAPATILISM) in the health care industry, but NOT government competition. As I said in my last two responses, go to LP.org click on issues then select health care and read about that! While your there read about the other issues too. If you don’t think that the LP is right, my response to you, is, there’s no hope for you! Everything in the platform of that party is FAIR and how this country should be governed!!!

      • Kathy Bushman says:

        Are you aware that America’s health care system ranks the lowest in quality of care among all the industrialized countries – 37th – America’s only distinction is the cost; our system is the most expensive. We have the lowest life expectancy which should tell you the ranking system is fact based.

  11. Brandon says:

    I see the debate as two distinct issues that IMHO should be treated separately – at least at first:
    1) How do we lower health care costs?
    2) How do we get coverage for a majority of uninsured?

    1) Nothing in the arguments are discussing this issue. Everyone is jumping ahead to #2. If you are someone who believes in supply and demand, than we have I not heard more about allowing Medicare to negotiate Drug prices. The MRI was invented in 1973 and yet it still cost anywhere from $1500 – $3800 to have one done and varies wildly. Why can I not import drugs from Canada? Why did it cost me $700 to get allergy tested? I’m sorry, God must not like me since I was born with severe allergies.

    2)Should everyone be covered? I think if we lower costs and remove corporate waste and profits more people would be able to afford basic healthcare. Worried about paying for lazy people? Perhaps we should tie the a cheaper single payer plan through employers. If you have a job for a certain amount of time you can get a health insurance tax break. Immigration is a sticky issue for me but perhaps making health insurance an incentive, more people would apply for green cards. As far as people who have poor life choices and will use more healthcare, I strongly believe in somehow coming up with a fitness test which relates to a charge. I know this is easy for me to say as I am someone who bikes 15 mi to work everyday and always works out. I am not sure but something needs to be done to address health problems related to lifestyle choices.

    I think this was an attempt to get some of my ideas down to come to some sort of conclusion so feel free to debate my thinking. I’m always searching for more points of view.

  12. Peter says:

    Hi all,

    Don’t know if this is the right place to post this but here goes anyway!

    Is anyone aware of the http://www.madashelldoctors.com setup? I became aware of them listening to AM1150 (Orange County, CA) this morning and they are a group of doctors who seem to want to promote health reform. Would be interested in hearing from others on waht they think of these guys. From their website, they plan to travel cross country from Oregon to DC in September to make their opinions known in Washington.

    A question: how do we get more doctors and healthcarfe professionals involved in the process of reform? This is THE key constituency who should be making their opinions heard, being at the cutting edge of health care – any thoughts, comments?

  13. MaineBob says:

    I took the Original Report Card: http://tr.im/SPayPDF prepared by HC-Now! and PDA and took the card itself, Added my own words and made it into a picture (jpg) so it could be read POSTCARD size: http://bit.ly/SOCsPay I use SendOutCards http://bit.ly/SOCmeBob to mail to the President and my Congress people.

    My assumption is that a glossy Color postcard with the report card on one side and my “one on one” note and a picture of me to the rep will more likely to get “Seen”. BTW, on my Card, I make four additional
    points along the side of the report card. AND also state, that the GRADE for the current Medical system is all F’s (FAIL) based on an earlier post at HC-Now!

    [Full Disclosure: http://bit.ly/SOCmeBob is my affiliate link
    for SendOutCards]

  14. Lucy says:

    ANYTHING LESS THAN SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH CARE (MEDICARE FOR ALL – H.R. 676) IS SIMPLY:

    “REARRANGING THE DECK CHAIRS ON THE SINKING SHIP OF INSURANCE COMPANIES. ”

    THEY HAVE SABOTAGED THEMSELVES WITH THEIR BLATANT GREED AND INDIFFERENCE TO HUMAN LIFE, SO LET ‘EM SINK!

    Give me a tax to pay, a ‘health care tax’ on my paycheck, and I, along with millions of others will GLADLY PAY IT.

    WE MUST CHANGE THE WAY WE CARE FOR OURSELVES AND EACH OTHER… NOW.

    SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE WILL CHANGE LIFE IN AMERICA AS WE KNOW IT:

    It will take the financial burden off of employers, making them more competitive with the slave markets offshore!! It will take off the stress and sadness they feel when their employees are suffering and stressed out. They will have workers who WANT to be there, and they will be HEALTHIER! It will end the workplace acrimony we all go through – maybe even increase wages.

    MOBILITY: SINGLE-PAYER will release us from being captive employees, unable to change jobs, return to college to further our education, or retire, for fear of losing health care for our families.

    ELDERLY: EVER TRY TO FIND NURSING HOME CARE FOR A MOM OR DAD, OR OTHER LOVED ONE! That’s a nightmare no one should have to go through!

    COLLEGE STUDENTS: If they are going to school part time, and working part time, they have NO HEALTH INSURANCE – especially if their parents can’t provide it, personally, or through their employer, if they have one. Scarey!

    This system DOES NOT WORK!

    A COMPLETE CHANGE IS NECESSARY. KEEP YOUR INSURANCE IF YOU WANT TO, BUT THE REST OF US ARE TIRED OF THE SUFFERING, THE STRESS AND THE DYING!!!

  15. Non-partisan says:

    This is so ridiculous. Where are the arguments for tort reform, for capping costs?

    I can remember before there were any health “insurance” companies (a thing, btw, which NEVER should have been allowed to get off the ground), when medical care was generally affordable as an out-of-pocket expense (yes, I’m that old, lol). Of course, this was before Americans realized that the real American “dream” was dependent upon ridiculously huge litigation awards, which has since driven up costs for malpractice insurance.

    We already have a “public” system – Medicare/Medicaid – which is failing miserably on all counts (I have family members who are dependent upon that and it’s absolutely horrible). We also have a for-profit “insurance” based system which is elitist and costly and has nothing to do with patient “care”.

    Why aren’t those idiots in DC proposing instead that we FIX the existing public system while increasing the number of people who qualify for coverage, AND eliminate health “insurance” altogether, AND cap litigation awards at a much smaller number than is typical, AND require lower malpractice insurance rates concurrent with lowering doctor’s visit fees (not to mention lowering hospital costs – why is a single aspirin so expensive when you’re in the hospital?)?

    I guess that would put them on the same side – i.e., doing what’s best for Americans – and then what would they fight about?

    Besides, Dems aren’t going to do it, they’re owned by litigation attorneys, and Reps aren’t going to do it, they’re owned by the insurance companies.

    I suggest we stop electing both Dems AND Reps and try looking for public servants whose agendas are actually about serving the public, not themselves.

  16. william falcone says:

    For those who are so concerned about keeping the staus quo in place I suggest they decline their medicare when they turn 65. You don’t have to take it. After all it is a socialist program and full of governement waste.
    Please pay for your own insurance. You tea baggers and pro-corporate apologists really need to put up or shut up. As you say healthcare is not a right but a priviledge. Please don’t take medicare !

  17. Ron in Albuquerque says:

    MEDICARE FOR ALL should be the message. The system is already in place.

  18. Yavuz Yasar says:

    I do not know any other nation that speaks of ‘community’ so much but does not do anything about it other than undermining the foundations of ‘community’ by defending so-called free market solutions in social policy issues. If this nation is sincere about ‘community’ single-payer is the most genuine and real ‘community’ solution that will not only improve the health of ‘community’ but also strengthen the solidarity among its members. We are always taught that our (political) freedom is possible only in a free market which is about [illusion of] freedom of choice. Let’s not forget that as George Carlin once said the real choice we have is all about “paper or plastic?” or “smoking or non-smoking?.” When it comes to health, free markets fail miserably. The real and most genuine solution, not the the illusion of it, is the single-payer.

  19. Dee Ann Royce says:

    I am a disabled Speech/ Language Pathologist who has Post-Polio w/MA ahd have fought for the rights of the Life Challanges now including my self, I attended the demo for 676 in July and I WANT TO HELP! WHAT CAN I DO ? HOW< WHEN

  20. Ryan says:

    Robbie is a lost cause. im kind of confused why he is on here other then b/c he enjoys arguing for the sake of argument. His facts are right off of Glenn Becks show. im assuming he would actually consider that guy a journalist even though he admits he’s only a commentator on life.

    anyway, single payer. its explained on here. its explained on pnhp.org (physicians for a national healthcare program, greatest FAQ section for anyone who has questions about single pay, highly suggested reading for Robbie), apha.org. all together thats almost 50,000k doctors strong so i guess they must all be idiots for believing in a single payer system even though they work in medicine. Lets get HR3200 w/ anthony weiners’ amendment adding HR676 passed when its voted on the floor people! WRITE/CALL/SHOWUP TO SPEAK WITH YOUR REPRESENTATIVES!!

  21. Doc says:

    I spent almost a year training and working in the UK medical
    system. Never a day went by that there wasn’t some news
    article complaining about it. Tony Blair was trying to privatse as
    many government services as he could at the time. A lot of lawyers
    were getting into the act, and I see a lot of similarities to what is
    happening in our conservative media now in the USA.
    I went to England a staunch conservative and returned to the US
    a changed man. Their system worked so much better than ours!
    Everything I saw was better or at worst equal to our system. My
    experience with the medical system had been in Texas (I helped
    establish a rural med center), Fla, Louisiana, and New Jersey (med school). I expected to see sub standard facilities, poorly trained
    and over worked docs. Everthing I had been told in the US was
    wrong. It’s true, if you hear the same thing loud enough and long
    enough you begin to believe it. That is what we are up against.
    Years and years of propaganda about our system being the best.
    Maybe if one were very wealthy and needed robotic surgery…
    But their are really top facilities in Hong Kong and Japan for robotics.
    I tell people all the time about my experience with socialized medicine
    and often they believe the propagandist instead of someone
    with first hand experience. We need to talk louder, many of our neighbors
    have been made deaf by talk radio.

  22. Shahidah Musawwir says:

    HEALTH CARE- NOW! – HR 676

    TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC, I think we should be proud to compare Single-Payer, Health Care Now – HR 676 under the proposed American government health care option to the United Kingdom and/or Great Britian’s and France’s health care systems, regardless of what title is given to the system of health care they are under. THESE ARE THE FACTS ABOUT WHAT BOTH ARE, ALONG WITH THE PROPOSED SINGLE-PAYER, HR 676, U.S. GOVERNMENT HEALTH CARE OPTION – AS FOLLOWS:

    1.) EVERYONE HAS A RIGHT TO COMPETENT HEALTH CARE

    2.) BRITISH & FRENCH HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS ARE HUMANE AND SO WILL BE THE SINGLE – PAYER, HEALTH CARE SYSTEM UNDER THE PROPOSED HEALTH CARE – NOW! – HR 676 U.S. HEALTH CARE OPTION.

    3.) THE BRITISH & FRENCH GOVERNMENTS DO NOT ALLOW PRIVITIZED INSURERS TO EXPLOIT THE BODIES OF THE SICK, DISABLED AND PUBLIC FOR INSURER AND OTHER PRIVATE PROFITEERING INTERESTS UNDER THE DISGUISE OF HEALTH CARE.

    4.) NO ONE CAN BE DENIED HEALTH CARE THEY NEED BECAUSE THEY CANNOT AFFORD TO BE EXPLOITED BY PRIVITIZED INSURER PRIORITIES OF MAKING EXORBITANT PROFITS VS. PROVIDING COMPETENT HEALTH CARE FOR THE SICK, DISABLED AND THE PUBLIC.

    5.) UNDER THE SINGLE-PAYER, HEALTH CARE-NOW! HR 676, THE U.S. GOVERNMENT WILL JOIN FORCES WITH BRITIAN AND FRANCE IN BEING ACCOUNTABLE TO THE PEOPLE, THUS BY ENSURING HUMANE, COMPETENT HEALTH CARE FOR ALL & END THE EXPLOITATIVE PROFITEERING OF THE SICK, DISABLED, AND PUBLIC WHO ARE PRESENTLY SUBJUGATED UNDER THE INHUMANE, FASCIST PRIVATIZED INSURER SYSTEMS WE HAVE NOW.

    SUPPORT HEALTH CARE, NOW! HR 676
    AND ABOLISH, INHUMANE, FASCIST PRIVATE
    INSURER PROFITEERING UNDER THE DISGUISE OF HEALTH CARE.

    Sincerely,

    Shahidah Musawwir

  23. Brandi Abele says:

    Dear Neighbors,

    I am a Canadian Health Care worker. I have the privilege of providing the best care available to the poorest citizens of my country, when and as they require it, whether they are street people or CEO’s, they are given the advanced care they need, with respect and dignity.

    I have seen many of my co-workers go the the USA and return, heartbroken, at having to deny care or provide second rate care because the treatment of choice is ‘too expensive’ or ‘not covered’.

    Americans are deeply proud of their country, and have a right to be. You are the first nation on Earth which made it’s whole founding principles LIBERTY, JUSTICE, EQUALITY, AND FREEDOM. These ideas are incompatible with a system in which people are left to die when they become sick without insurance, or when they get too sick, and insurance is cancelled.

    The USA is the ONLY WESTERN, CIVILIZED nation which does not have free health care for all people, all the time. This is no more ‘communism’ than the mail service or public schools. What would the founding fathers have done, had they lived to see the day when America was one of the only democratic nations which fails it’s citizens in such a basic way, while the world looks on in pity and horror? You deserve better. America deserves better.

  24. Anthony says:

    Why do we always have some moron talk about the country is in debt, where the hell where you when we wanted to invade Iraq? I bet you didn’t support base closures after the cold war was over either.

    Just pulling the plug on Iraq will pay for health care for everybody. So basically your trying to tell me and everybody here, that where right (Americans) and Europeans, Japanese, South Americans, Chinese and Canadians all have it WRONG?

    That’s pretty incredible actually

    We have Health Care WRONG, it doesn’t have to be free (and its not some form of tax will get an increase big deal) but it doesn’t need to cause Bankruptcies either and should be affordable. The problem isn’t so much the poor getting help, its the working poor, families with combined incomes of $50K a year and less, that’s who’s getting hit over the head with health care cost.

    Some employers pay so little that you can’t afford them to deduct $40 a week from your paycheck to pay for health care. My companies annual health care bill is $1.5 Million dollars. Don’t you think they could do something better with that?

    This Robbie and the other guy are either really that stupid, getting paid to post here by Freedom Works or lack Common Sense.

    As I called for in another thread if the Republicans say that won’t vote for something and basically DARE us to pass what we want because we have control of the house and the senate then buy Joesph we need to pay Single Payer!

    I also agree who said we would copy Britain’s or the Canadian Single Payer system? Seems France’s and Denmark’s work the best since nobody talks negative about them, they are also among the most socially progressive countries.

    Next thing you’ll tell me is Energy Reform will put you out of a job in the Coal or Oil Industry or your prices will go up for energy….

  25. One piece of the issue that seems to be missing from the(great) discussion here and elsewhere (that I have seen, at least) is the idea of liability. If industry and the lack of government oversight impose and allow conditions that puts us at risk, then those two omnipresent entities should largely shoulder the costs. The government role should at least be to mandate and facilitate payment. Government sponsored aggressive war as an industry of destruction bears liability in and of itself, and the dimensions of the liability are huge. As William Kunstler, the god-father of the civil liberties movement believed as central to his credo, “All crime is a crime of the state.” We have heard steady drumbeat the conservative mantra, implied or stated plainly, of personal responsibility in what we put into our mouths, etc. But responsibility and accountability must not begin and end with individuals or even rest equally on the backs of plain folks. Holding the big players to the higher standard─the model of what health should look like─will replace the need for TORT reform as will the reform of healthcare in general: from sick-care to healthcare─wellness as a shared right and a shared obligation to ourselves and everyone else.

  26. john says:

    Hi was all for single payer except for a major reason.Canadian heathcare has a major flaw. It has a board set up to handle malpractce and it is very powerful. So Much that fewer of 2% that suffer errors even bother to apply.Applying is almost useless. We need good quality care. If the goverment did its job and was serious of stopping these unwarnnted deaths and injuries healthcare would be alot better and csafer before going into something new and untested.

  27. Alpha Quincy says:

    Health Care is getting too complicated. People vote NO when presented with ideas that are complicated. Medicare is understood and liked. So let’s have Medicare for everybody… Just change the elegibility age from 65 to 0, zero!… Simple, vote YES!

  28. My friend sent this to me:
    Terri made a comment about your link on Kevin Zeese’s Wall:

    “What a change Obama has made?

    Aug 21, 2008 – “I’m going to have all the negotiations around a big table. We’ll have doctors and nurses and hospital administrators. Insurance companies, drug companies — they’ll get a seat at the table, they just won’t be able to buy every chair. But what we will do is, we’ll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies.”

    Sept 9, 2009 – Obama refuses to meet with any advocates of Single Payer even though it is supported by the majority of American Doctors and Nurses. It is also the only plan that would cover everyone AND save money.

    What’s wrong with this picture?”

  29. Chock says:

    There are estimates (900 billion per year) that are even higher than that for the savings it would generate the problem with this government is they would just spend it on some other bonehead idea. Applied properly you could wipe out the national debt with this.

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