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Wed Nov 14, 2012, 11:47 AM

Is the "Fiscal Cliff" really our opportunity to get Single-Payer healthcare?

There is another thread here discussing the Center for American Progress' proposal to save $385 billion. They propose to do it by impacting healthcare providers, the pharmaceutical companies, etc. They also propose some degree of means testing for higher income recipients who would in turn pay higher premiums for healthcare and drug benefits.

It seems to me it would be a lot simpler if we just scrap the entire health care system and instituted single-payer. I'm not the only one who sees things that way. If you recall the discussion from when Obama first took office and single-payer was the topic, most thinking people and many think tanks demonstrated that single-payer was the least costly option.

Back then, single-payer advocates were not invited to sit at the table. Perhaps now that can happen. But it can't happen if we hastily make some politically expedient "Grand Bargain" before January 1.

I would rather we wait and deliberate. I would rather single payer advocates get to sit at the table. I would rather single payer get serious consideration. I would rather the American People get to see real facts and real figures.

And if those figures show clearly - as they no doubt will - that hundreds of billions can be saved while at the same time extending healthcare to ALL of our citizens (and probably all of our residents) how can anyone say no?

The reasons people say no now is that the facts have been intentionally obfuscated. Show the facts clearly and single payer wins.

Now is the time.




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Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply Is the "Fiscal Cliff" really our opportunity to get Single-Payer healthcare? (Original post)
Stinky The Clown Nov 2012 OP
enlightenment Nov 2012 #1
leftstreet Nov 2012 #2
MrYikes Nov 2012 #3
RC Nov 2012 #4
OneGrassRoot Nov 2012 #9
NoOneMan Nov 2012 #5
madrchsod Nov 2012 #6
demwing Nov 2012 #7
kentuck Nov 2012 #8
OneGrassRoot Nov 2012 #10
OneGrassRoot Nov 2012 #13
MineralMan Nov 2012 #11
leftstreet Nov 2012 #15
MineralMan Nov 2012 #16
Still Sensible Nov 2012 #12
Stinky The Clown Nov 2012 #17
gravity Nov 2012 #14
Cleita Nov 2012 #18
OneGrassRoot Nov 2012 #19
Cleita Nov 2012 #20

Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 11:53 AM

1. I agree completely.

As do many others. Then there are those who apparently believe that the ACA is sufficient unto itself.

Good post, Stinky. Thank you for making it.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 11:56 AM

2. +1 and don't arrest single payer advocates this time n/t

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 11:59 AM

3. Congress shall extend Medicare to all Americans.

I wish I knew who here said this first so that I could thank them. Whoever you are, THANK YOU.
Its so simple. Gobama.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:05 PM

4. Single Payer, Universal Health Care is the only way to go.

 

Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America:
"We The People "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, PROMOTE THE GENERAL WELFARE, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Section 8.
"The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and PROVIDE FOR THE common defense and GENERAL WELFARE of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;..."

Twice in our Constitution it mentions "general welfare" What constitutes 'General Welfare'?
The old-age benefits provisions of the Social Security Act of 1935 is an example of providing for the 'general welfare'. Medicaid/Medicare are 2 more examples of providing for the 'general welfare'.
Government controlled, Single Payer, Universal health care for the people of the United States IS covered by the Constitution, because the relative health of our citizens does affect the general welfare of the Nation. 45,000 dead people a year are proof the profit driven, privately run systems we have in place now are not working to provide the necessary health care for our nation.
How can our present private health insurance system, with its many insurance companies (each with its own way of doing things), its own highly paid management, its own attention to the bottom line for its share holders, its own claims requirements, its own forms for submitting claims, each trying to maximize profits, etc., be more efficient than any government controlled single Payer system, with its single set of rules and forms?

Every other industrialized nation has a form of Universal Health Care. None of those other countries want to go back to what they had before. And for sure, absolutely none of them want what we have now for health care in this country.
So why is it so hard to go with the most obvious, the most humane course of action, which is what every other industrialized nation on the planet has already done? The hard work has already been done by these countries. All we have to do is cherry pick what works. What is so hard about that?
The United States pays twice as much for health care than any other country. (See chart below)
And yet 45,000 people a year are still dying for lack of access to basic health care. People are losing their homes, going deep into debt, going bankrupt for basic health care.

How can we be the Greatest nation on earth, if we can't/won't even take care of our own citizens?

How is it the same people that do not have a problem with however many wars we are engaged in at the moment, that are costing us, US, $16.5 trillion so far, have a problem with health care reform that will save us billions?

Health care in other countries is a social service. Here in the United States, it's big business. Your money or your life. No money? Die and get out of the way for someone with money.




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Response to RC (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:15 PM

9. Good post. Thank you. n/t

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:05 PM

5. no

 

There will probably not be another reform to the health care system for a decade at the national level

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:07 PM

6. this will happen if we reclaim the house

it`s just a matter of time before corporations realize medicare for all is going to save them money.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:11 PM

7. You ask "how can anyone say no?"

But I think you mean "how can any rational person say no?"

They can't. They'll just screech "Socialism!" and hope it goes away.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:13 PM

8. interesting

progressive thought



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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:17 PM

10. Physicians for a National Health Program

This is a good site with lots of info.

Just FYI, in case it helps.

I want to explore the site specifically for arguments showing how a single-payer system helps employers. We know the current system is killing everyone.

http://www.pnhp.org/

FAQ about Single Payer: http://www.pnhp.org/facts/single-payer-faq#insurance_companies

Physicians for a National Health Program is a non-profit research and education organization of 18,000 physicians, medical students and health professionals who support single-payer national health insurance.


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Response to OneGrassRoot (Reply #10)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:25 PM

13. Here's the sister organization for non-physician advocates:

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:18 PM

11. The real opportunity will come when Democrats control both houses

of Congress. Until then, I don't think it's in any way doable.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #11)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:32 PM

15. They did n/t

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #15)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:37 PM

16. Yes. Briefly. Let's do it again in 2014.

Whaddya say?

Unfortunately, due to Senate rules, Democrats did not actually have control in the Senate, as we saw. Let's change those rules in 2013. And then, in 2014:

61 in the Senate, and a majority in the House. We can do it if we try. If we don't try, we can't do it.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:23 PM

12. I suspect it is not enough

but, depending on what the "deal" ends up being, it could be something that turns out to be a solid next step.

As a corporate executive, it has always bothered me that it is so hard to get business behind a medicare for all type system. Especially in the last decade, health care costs to businesses have increased, most have gradually increased costs to employees, raised personal and family deductibles, and decreased specific benefits. Not to mention the incredible increase in the manpower and costs just to administer.

I realize employers would have to raise salaries and wages somewhat--including the minimum wage that would have to go to at least $10-$11 in my opinion, but those increases wouldn't in total have to be as much as the costs are now... because the implementation would save the 20%-plus profit now going to insurance companies To employees, the takeout for Medicare would probably roughly double. I know the devil is in the details, but it makes so much sense.

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Response to Still Sensible (Reply #12)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 04:10 PM

17. What?

If we total up the *entire* cost of healthcare today . . . . not just what people spend directly, but the whole system and all the peripheral costs . . . . and balance that against what a single payer system that assumes all those activities, the savings will be VERY clear,

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:30 PM

14. Scrapping the national healthcare system isn't simple

We shouldn't use the artificial deadline of the fiscal cliff to make radical long term changes in our social safety nets.

That should be done when Congress has the time to work out all the messy details of these changes without artificial constraints imposed on them.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 04:23 PM

18. Single payer, as has already been proved in the past, will always

Last edited Thu Nov 15, 2012, 01:59 PM - Edit history (1)

be blocked by the insurance and other for profit health care industries. We know that even our Democratic politicians other than a very few like Bernie Sanders are in the pockets of those industries so they don't dare upset them. Ten years ago when I first landed on DU, I posted about the Physicians for a National Health Plan and a single payer system. No one had heard about them before.

Several years later I posted that the only way to get the corporate interests out of health care was for it to not be profitable to those interests and they would get out of the business. I suggested making Medicare be available as a buy in option for people. After all, I suggested this is free market, and the righties shouldn't object. Even Elizabeth and John Edwards who were monitoring DU at the time thought it was a great idea and decided to run with it. Of course we now know what happened to the Edwards and where both single payer and the public option went during the making of the ACA.

So I'll say it again. The only way we will get a cost effective and comprehensive single payer system in this country is to make health care unprofitable for the corporate industry, but I've run out of ideas of how to run them out of the business. I believe the ACA though may be a first step if it systematically starts squeezing the profit out of that business and they start opting to drop out. It could also go the other way with more feeding at the government trough by those companies at the taxpayer's expense.

So if you've got any ideas, I'm listening.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #18)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:55 AM

19. I want to really focus on this, Cleita...

Very specifically educating the business community regarding why single payer helps THEM. Get them on board.

Ya with me?





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Response to OneGrassRoot (Reply #19)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 01:54 PM

20. I sure am. If there was any issue that I'm passionate about it's this. It seems to be

becoming my life's work.

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