Rose Ann DeMoro is the executive director of the California Nurses Association and a National V.P. of the AFL-CIO. On June 3, 2009, she spoke at a Capitol Hill press conference called by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), on the issue of a Single Payer Healthcare System.

Ms. DeMoro said: “There is a conspiracy of silence” against Single Payer in the Congress. “We’re going to have to turn up the heat” if we want to get anything done. She added that Single Payer “has been kept off the agenda” and that there was a lack of “political will” in the Congress about doing the right thing with respect to the current crisis in health care. The press conference took place in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. The healthcare activists are supporting HR 676 and S 703, now pending before the Congress.

13 Comments

  1. Denice L. on June 4, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    Only someone who has great insurance or has not tried to use their insurance for something other than a doctor’s visit or Rx could possibly believe we don’t need single payer health care NOW. The people in Washington who are deciding our fate will not be touched in any way by the choices they make for the rest of us. Their families will have any and all health issues taken care of with no questions ask, no matter how expensive they might be. Some of us, with so called good health insurance that we pay dearly for, cannot even have a simple CT Scan done. Since we would have to pay the first $1,000.00 upfront and then if the insurance company CHOOSES TO, they will pay 80%. If not we have to pay the remainder and no one (hospital, doctor or insurance company) will tell you what that might be. It is “Well, it depends on the outcome.” WHAT??? I’m sorry. I,like most of the working people in this country, with insurance, have had enough! Choice of insurance! BULL, What we need is choice of doctors and choice of care, NOT CHOICE OF INSURANCE.



  2. care4all on June 6, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    Health Care Reform – Your Ideas?

    Senator Dodd asks: Is your health care working? What changes would you like to see? Add your ideas at YouTube’s Senate Hub at http://youtube.com/senatehub

    Democratic Senators are writing a major health reform bill. Rising costs are hitting families and businesses and now 46 million Americans live without health coverage. We need reform. Respond now with your ideas as the Senate writes health care legislation. You can help.

    Go To: http://www.youtube.com/senatehub (note: this is not the regular YouTube comment area)

    Add your ideas, and be sure to VOTE on the other ideas submitted. If you can, vote FOR the SIngle Payer comments.

    Thanks!



  3. care4all on June 6, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Dear Everyone,

    The New York Times is asking for comments regarding mandatory health insurance.

    If you can, take a moment to say NO – we need non-profit, Single-Payer healthcare for all!

    Please add your comments at the NY Times site:

    http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/04/should-health-insurance-be-mandatory/?apage=6#comments



  4. Rolf on June 7, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    I am very concerned about the plans Obama has for seniors, read below. Now we know why he wants a national database: so bureaucrats can decide our fates.

    Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) — Republican Senators are questioning whether President Barack Obama’s stimulus bill contains the right mix of tax breaks and cash infusions to jump-start the economy.

    Tragically, no one from either party is objecting to the health provisions slipped in without discussion. These provisions reflect the handiwork of Tom Daschle, until recently the nominee to head the Health and Human Services Department.

    Senators should read these provisions and vote against them because they are dangerous to your health. (Page numbers refer to H.R. 1 EH, pdf version).

    The bill’s health rules will affect “every individual in the United States” (445, 454, 479). Your medical treatments will be tracked electronically by a federal system. Having electronic medical records at your fingertips, easily transferred to a hospital, is beneficial. It will help avoid duplicate tests and errors.

    But the bill goes further. One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and “guide” your doctor’s decisions (442, 446). These provisions in the stimulus bill are virtually identical to what Daschle prescribed in his 2008 book, “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.” According to Daschle, doctors have to give up autonomy and “learn to operate less like solo practitioners.”

    Keeping doctors informed of the newest medical findings is important, but enforcing uniformity goes too far.

    New Penalties

    Hospitals and doctors that are not “meaningful users” of the new system will face penalties. “Meaningful user” isn’t defined in the bill. That will be left to the HHS secretary, who will be empowered to impose “more stringent measures of meaningful use over time” (511, 518, 540-541)

    What penalties will deter your doctor from going beyond the electronically delivered protocols when your condition is atypical or you need an experimental treatment? The vagueness is intentional. In his book, Daschle proposed an appointed body with vast powers to make the “tough” decisions elected politicians won’t make.

    The stimulus bill does that, and calls it the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (190-192). The goal, Daschle’s book explained, is to slow the development and use of new medications and technologies because they are driving up costs. He praises Europeans for being more willing to accept “hopeless diagnoses” and “forgo experimental treatments,” and he chastises Americans for expecting too much from the health-care system.

    Elderly Hardest Hit

    Daschle says health-care reform “will not be pain free.” Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them. That means the elderly will bear the brunt.



    • MOCKBADOC on June 9, 2009 at 11:18 pm

      I can’t believe you guys are surprised by this. Reducing costs can only come in two ways: cut costs or cut services. A single-payer plan does both.

      After the initial savings in administrative costs (and if you believe that will happen, you’re crazy – they specialize in enormous unproductive bureaucracies), they will reduce reimbursements to physicians. Physicians will have little or no say in this. With their costs increasing and their pay decreasing, physicians would have no choice but to opt out of the program. But not so fast. Physicians will be forced to see the patients at a loss against their will. How you are able to rationalize that this is not involuntary servitude is beyond my capacity.

      Next, services will be reduced to the elderly and infirm. This amounts to a new form of eugenics. What you advocate will result in nothing less than the deaths of those who are less productive. The alternative is a plan that will grow in size, scope, and cost in a vain attempt to ensure the unensurable – health – to all citizens. Eventually, like all the single-payer plans in Europe, we will find that we require the help of the private sector to reduce wait times and deal with the burden of patients who place no value on the service you provide “for free”.

      Want to fix primary care? Get out of the way and let us doctors see patients without your interference or that of the insurance companies. 90% of medicine happens in offices like mine. And I will not be forced to see patients at a loss just so that we can be like Cuba.



      • MaineBob on June 10, 2009 at 1:51 pm

        Hi MOCBADOC,

        There is another aspect of this from a Doctor’s point of view in the NewYorker article “The Cost Conundrum” I did not realize that medicare varies the amount paid. Not only do I want single payer to save the 30% admin overhead if Private Insurance (vs 3% with Medicare), I want medical care like they get at Mayo Clinic and other “patient centric” practices.

        http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/06/01/090601fa_fact_gawande

        Where does that fit in with your solution for US medical care?



        • MOCKBADOC on June 11, 2009 at 10:05 pm

          Outstanding article, MaineBob. Thanks for the link. Sadly, it’s not just Medicare that ends up footing the bill for a bunch of unnecessary stuff. Insurance companies, too, have a baffling way of making decisions about procedures, etc. I have personally fought for 30 minutes with an insurance “company man” doctor just to get permission for a clearly necessary MRI for a patient in excruciating pain. Simultaneously, I know of literally dozens of cases of heart catheterizations being performed on otherwise healthy patients before they’d even received cheaper preliminary tests like stress tests that could have made the cath unnecessary.

          Why does this happen? Why do people get caths and surgeries and procedures they don’t need? One big reason is that they aren’t paying for them (or at least they don’t THINK they are.

          If primary care was allowed to operate free of interference from massive loads of bureaucratic paperwork from the government and free from the mindless, non-goal-directed price squeezing from private insurers, we could provide a service that was cheap, fast, patient-centered, and the absolute best in the world.

          Instead, our current system disproportionately rewards specialists for performing procedures with little or no oversight.

          The socialization of medicine will hit primary care the hardest. Our reimbursements from Medicare (the model that will surely be used as a template for a single-payer plan) are already so pitifully insufficient that many of us have had to start refusing to see new Medicare patients. It costs more to see them than it pays. When government then forces us to see these patients, we will have no choice but to leave medicine. The loss of the primary care community will cripple any chance for American Medicine to survive, no matter who is paying for it.

          My solution? Leave primary care alone. Let us charge fee-for-service. Stop crippling us with regulations and paperwork. That alone would solve at least 75% of the problems, because offices like mine are the place that 75% of medicine happens. As to the other 25%, there are a variety of solutions available, of which socialization seems to me to be the absolute worst.

          Thanks for your insightful comments. Enjoyable as always.



  5. Eliza Jane Dodd on June 8, 2009 at 12:10 am

    Walmart employee’s have to pay $5 grand to use their Health Care everyone who works there I know says they might as well not even have any ..and they still take money out of thier pay-checks for it …how do you like that ? I paid 17 years $7500 only used it once BCBS “cobra” and was told they would never cover cancer in me again ..after that I was refused emergency room care @ a county after workmans comp gave me steriods for HBV trying to kill me I was later told by a Duke Dr. Forensic …I did a natural cure I found online as I was searching for a Healer …to pray for me ….Now I am sick again because I was sprayed with Malithion for 7 years …and the Dept .of Human Services has told me in 2 states I do not Qualify for anything ….but Death @ 46



  6. care4all on June 8, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    Roff, your comments are well-taken. Thank you. Can you send them to the media and press, and post them throughout the Internet? The public needs to know what’s going on!



  7. care4all on June 9, 2009 at 12:01 am

    More information people need to know:

    What about the money Grassley has received from the pharmaceutical industry and the health insurance industry over the years? Pot calling the kettle black? Is this why he is blocking single-payer healthcare reform from even being on the table—because he’s in the pockets of the industry?

    According to OpenSecrets.org from 2003 – 2008 alone, Senator Grassley has taken donations from:
    The Insurance Industry: $643,643
    Health Professionals $812,077
    Pharmaceuticals/Health Products Industry $352,222
    Hospitals/Nursing Homes $288,895
    Health Services/HMOs $245,416
    That’s a grand total of $2,342,253. Grassley’s 2nd highest contributor is Blue Cross / Blue Shield.

    Can we trust Grassley to put aside the profits of the industries that have kept him in the senate? Will he put Americans’ necessities ahead of the profits of his contributors?



  8. MOCKBADOC on June 9, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Another question along the same lines:

    If we have to question the impartiality of these Congressional clowns and professional politicians while we are simply contemplating a single-payer solution, what makes any of you think they’ll be more malleable once it’s in place?

    Want to see something worse than being ignored when we’re talking theoretics with Grassley? Try getting people just like him to listen when time counts and a family member’s life is on the line.

    Allowing these self-absorbed, “bought-and-payed-for” politicians to run something as important as health care is beyond irresponsible.



  9. Eliza Jane Dodd on June 10, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    if we open up the boarders we will get more and more doctors ..if we takes away all the red tape …I know a Doctor from Posen Poland who taught at the UNIV. also and ya know what kind of job she was doing in America ?????Cleaning Houses !@!!! Because of all the Red Tape ! We need to do away with the RED TAPE …and we will get Better Dcotors and Nurses ! And we also need more incentives for Americans to go to med schools Like Free Tuition ….Universal Education like the rest of the civilized world ….When I got sick in Tenn. after the workmans comp gave me Steriods and I found the DUKE Dr .He told me ALL The DOCTORS in WEST TENN were UNEDUCATED !@ ! Since then I have moved far away …to another state …near many educational hospitals …



  10. Ren on July 27, 2009 at 11:28 am

    Hello,

    I have a lot to say but unfortunately I don’t have the words. I only will say that I support a health care system that is accesible to the whole of society and not just to the uper classes that can afford high medical costs if necessary. It’s time to push harder and us, the society, will have to find the means to attain a better outcome than the one proposed by the offical politics. Thank you all for creating spaces for breathing free.

    R