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Speech: Kerry Calls for Universal Health Care Coverage by 2012

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kerrygoddess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-31-06 01:41 PM
Original message
Speech: Kerry Calls for Universal Health Care Coverage by 2012
John Kerry Lays Out Health Care Plan, Calls for Universal Health Care Coverage by 2012
July 31st, 2006 @ 10:29 am

In a speech today at Bostons Faneuil Hall, Senator John Kerry put forth his comprehensive health care plan, which lowers the cost of and improves quality of health care, covers every child in America, and ensures that every American has access to the same type of health care that members of Congress give themselves.

Kerrys plan will guarantee that every American has health insurance by 2012.

A fact sheet on Kerrys plan is available here. Below are John Kerrys remarks as prepared for delivery:

Health Care for All Americans
Senator John Kerry
July 31, 2006
Faneuil Hall, Boston, Massachusetts

Faneuil Hall, as you know, is more than an historic building. This birthplace of American freedom has also been a keeper of the American conscience. Here, where we gather today, abolitionists dreamed of and demanded a nation that would live out its founding ideal that all are created equal. From the fight for womens suffrage to the fight against Fascism, from McCarthyism to civil rights to Vietnam, these walls have rung with words of honor, dissent, courage, and principle.

We strive to live up to that heritage even if we sometimes fall short. Each time I come here, I feel that obligation and that privilege.

This is the place where I began my presidential campaignand the place where I ended it almost two years ago. But I said then that we had to make a difference to stand true to our best hopes and ideals.

And since then I have returned to Faneuil Hall to speak the truth that the Iraq War was rooted in deception and waged with self-deceptionthat saving lives is more important than saving facethat we must offer the leadership that makes America more secure and brings our forces home from the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I have returned here also to bear witness to the ideal that dissent is not a threat to but the very safeguard of democracythat it is right to stand up to a President who ignores the Constitution and Vice President who acts as if he had never read itto insist that our leaders are strongest when they believe the future belongs not to fear but to freedom; and that America is strongest when we dont just permit free speech, but we listen to it.

Last month here in the cradle of American independence, I joined you to set out a strategy to make America energy independent to propose specific steps for an energy revolution as far-reaching as the industrial revolution. And to oppose the procrastination, the Washington evasion and the Cheney-run secret task forces by and for big oil.

Now, today, I return to discuss health carewhich is not only the great unfinished business of half a century, but a matter of fundamental moral values. I would remind those who invoke values for their own narrow political purposes that the Scriptures do not command us to heal the sick only if they have the money to pay for it.


MORE & LINK TO FACT SHEET - http://blog.thedemocraticdaily.com/?p=3759
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-31-06 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
1. This paragraph made my heart skip a beat:
I have returned here also to bear witness to the ideal that dissent is not a threat to but the very safeguard of democracythat it is right to stand up to a President who ignores the Constitution and Vice President who acts as if he had never read itto insist that our leaders are strongest when they believe the future belongs not to fear but to freedom; and that America is strongest when we dont just permit free speech, but we listen to it.

Thank you, Senator Kerry! :patriot:
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Subdivisions Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-31-06 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. I agree, although...
I tend to see it as just more political rhetoric.
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-31-06 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. We need more talk like this
not less. Calling it political is like pointing out that their is oxygen in the air we breath. Of course it's political. The speaker of those words is a US Senator. The problems he addresses and speaks to are political problems that require political solutions. That's what he was elected by the good people of MAssachusetts to address in Washington: political problems.

Calling out Bush and Cheney as frauds and as elected officials who treat their Constitutional duties as obstacles rather than sacred obligations is the right thing to do. And we need more dissent and we need to get more people to the ballot box in Nov who want to make Bush and Cheney obey the law and follow their oaths to uphold the Constitution. Pointing this out is the proper role of a US Senator, or at least it should be.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-31-06 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #3
16. Well, Kerry was able to help craft SCHIP into a success - I'm sure he will
continue to hammer on this and not get discouraged because SOME people think Dems should shut up and go away.

He's put up billboards in GOP districts for over a year for his Kid's First universal healthcare plan. He crafted it in a way that should discourage any GOP from voting against it.

We'll see. BTW - if it was just rhetoric, why did Kerry have those billboards up over a year ago? Sounds to me like he has planned ahead and assessed the effectiveness in advance.
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #3
27. the intellectual side of me loves the speech BUT
the practical side of me says WTF?

If you want to campaign on healthcare, cut out the glory speech and all the other flowery decorous stuff. Speak directly Kerry, using simple words and short sentences. Stop oratin', fer cryin' out loud; most of America doesn't get it unless you get them to say Hey and Throw Their Hands In the Air, so to speak.

We need universal healthcare with optional private coverage to encourage preventative healthcare, regular checkups, dental health and vision, but you have to have doctors and medical facilities who are willing to take a large percentage of their patients on universal. It doesn't help if you can't get a hernia operation for four years because of a waiting list for the two surgeons in your state who do universal work.

So we need crystal clear vision, speech, and a pep squad presentation to get people excited. It may excite Kerry to give a historical superbly crafted oration, but we need to excite the people who are going to vote for a candidate based on that idea.

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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #27
32. The crowd yesterday understood it very well
The lunch time crowd was composed of working people, union folks and ordinary Democrats. Kerry made his points and was completely understood.

You don't have to dumb everything down to meaninglessness to get a point across. The speech, and the two speeches that preceeded it were made in every day English and the crowd understood it perfectly.

Kerry made a great speech. I think ordinary Americans would have no problem understanding it, just as that crowd had no problem understanding it.
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. that's why we won by a landslide last time isn't it.
:shrug:

Not talking about dumbing anything down. Talking about presentation to people who don't volunteer to go to Kerry speeches.

How do you reach them?

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ProudDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #27
62. Oh, you can get them on board
just tax their non-universal "earnings" at 90%
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baldguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #3
44. If you dismiss anything a Democrat says as mere "political rhetoric"
Simply because the GOP has diminished your expectations of all politicians, then you fall into the trap laid by those very same Republicans.

At some point you still have to make a choice.
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Subdivisions Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-31-06 01:45 PM
Response to Original message
2. Another health care proposal..
Edited on Mon Jul-31-06 01:46 PM by Texas Explorer
another failure in the making.

Don't get me wrong, Kerry has good ideas but I am not going to hold my breath.

Besides, isn't there a war or something going on? It's good to see that life hasn't stopped totally.
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MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-31-06 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I spoke to someone who works in a rural doctor's office in WV
Turns out a lot of people they know tend to be more interested in how they'll afford their kids' (or parents') medical care than what's going on between Israel and Lebanon. (those people over there are always fightin.' Tell me how I'm gonna feed my kids.)
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-31-06 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Can you be any more negative?
Has Kerry made any statements on the war in Iraq? Yes, though it hasn't gotten him or the Dems anywhere.
Has dimson tried to do anything about universal healthcare? No, not that I'm aware of.
I find it refreshing that someone is at least willing to address this crucial issue that could be of benefit to every American.
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-31-06 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. This was a specific point of the speech
The Republicans have been in control of Congress now for 12 years. They won't even give the Democratic proposals on health care coverage a hearing. (Not Kerry's proposals or the proposals of any other Democrats.)

Kerry made a point of saying that the Dems have to put health care 'on the ballot' this fall. We have to make it a voting issue, right along side Iraq. These are two of the most important issues that are before the nation and we should be making our elected officials address these points or face the wrath of the voters in Nov.

BTW, I have at least 5 speeches by Sen. Kerry on Iraq since April. I can send them too you. (I can probably find more.) Ahm, he has been one of the most vocal Senators on this issue. There are other problems that face that nation besides Iraq.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-31-06 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Then they have to keep making proposals AND (this is the important part)
telling their constituents at every opportunity that it's the Republicans who aren't allowing these proposals to be heared.

Every Congresscritter and Senator has nearly automatic access to his/her local media. The Dems need to milk this advantage for all it's worht.

Basic PR, people. None of this helpless wimpering about how the big bad Republicans won't let us play.
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cadmium Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #12
30. I think they do have to mention the obstructionism
In context of the congressional elections coming up the reality is that the only issues that can get hearing are the issues that the Republican leadership wants. In his speech Kerry mentioned the 2006 elections as the first step in making progress.

Think about the issue in context. We (liberals/dems) were incessantly accused of obstructionism when their issues were at all hindered in Congress. It was extremely effective for them. I agree that whining is basically lousy PR. My senators and congressman in MA work the local media like crazy (the local media by the way is often adversarial).

Speaking for myself, I don't buy into the right-wing frame that addressing the realities of congress is whining. When they did it they called it telling the truth--when we do it - it is called whining.

I'll say it grates on my nerves too and sounds like whining when our folks complain. Hopefully with repitition the public will realize talking about Republican obstructionism is stating a reality.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #30
71. yes, there is a difference between constructive critque and whinning
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #12
31. This is not true
"Every ... Senator has nearly automatic access to his/her local media"

Go read Media Matters, this is demonstrably not true. The RW media distorts and changes the context of how things are said.

I agree that these drums have to be beaten repeatedly, but I am under no illusions that the RW media will pay attention.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #2
18. Yeah - damn Kerry for his healthcare proposals and Iraq withdrawal plans
doesn't he know he's wasting his breath?

How dare he try and shine any light of guidance into the dark minds of the Republican administration.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #2
20. Well, thank you for your concern.
We know exactly who you are now.
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dwahzon Donating Member (338 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-31-06 02:25 PM
Response to Original message
6. Thanks for posting this
Jibsail just put up a good summary of Kerry's speech at dailykos. Go give it a rec if you can so it gains some visibility there.
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Jeffersons Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-31-06 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. thanks for the link dwahzon... that was a good idea of yours K&R @ both...
thank you too KerryGoddess. I already voted for you, now I'll kick!

I also gave it a vote at KOS too dwahzon, do kicks help it there, as well? I recently started posting at KOS. A few pointers would be helpful.
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MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #7
37. Hi JG
"Kicks" at dailykos don't work like they do here, but it can help get more people to read the diary - if people see a relatively high number of comments, they are more likely to read the diary.

The best hope of getting a good diary seen at dailykos is getting it on the recommended list (which is automatic and uses an algorithm based on, I believe, a combination of recs and "activity" - comments and comment ratings). That seems to be very difficult these days unless it's yet another angle on the CT Senate race, or a certain poster that everyone automatically recommends. But it's always worth a shot.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-31-06 04:48 PM
Response to Original message
10. Another un-passable giveaway to the insurance industry, that
coincidentally, doesn't come into being for another six years.

You want make health-care available and affordable? Get the insurance industry out of it.

There are several models available that work far better than the shit system we have now, how come none of the politiwhores ever propose them (except Dennis K)?
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-31-06 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Because they won't pass the Congress
How far has Dennis Kucinich gotten with his plan? How many people has he gotten to sign on?

There are a lot of things that we can do to lower the cost of health care and make it more accessible to the average American. Until the American voter makes their preference for universal health care known at the ballot box, where it counts, there will be no pressure for it in Congress.

That is just reality.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-31-06 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Well, if more people actually RAN on single-payer, it might get somewhere
We have a candidate in Minnesota-5 (Keith Ellison) who received the party endorsement and is an advocate for single payer.

(Wouldn't you know, he's getting primary challenges from establishment types and is being bad-mouthed by the local paper.)
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-31-06 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. It is only "reality" because we accept it. Jamming millions more
people into Human Murdering Organizations for corporate profits only serves as a veneer for the politiwhores to say "more people have access to medical care than ever before".

But I fully expect that the amerikan sheeple will go along with this or some similar perversion. :shrug:
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-31-06 05:36 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. No the reality is that this
plan was introduced in 2003 by John Conyers and it was billed as Medicare For All. A lot of people think that system isn't all that great.

Brief Summary of HR 676

* The United States National Health Insurance Act establishes an American national health insurance program. The bill would create a publicly financed, privately delivered health care system that uses the already existing Medicare program by expanding and improving it to all U.S. residents, and all residents living in U.S. territories. The goal of the legislation is to ensure that all Americans will have access, guaranteed by law, to the highest quality and most cost effective health care services regardless of their employment, income, or health care status.

# With over 45-75 million uninsured Americans, and another 50 million who are under- insured, the time has come to change our inefficient and costly fragmented non health care system.

# Physicians For A National Health Program reports that under a Medicare For All plan, we could save over $286 billion dollars a year in total health care costs. Previous Medicare For All studies concluded that an average family of three would pay a total of $739.00 annually in total health care costs. Under HR 676, a family of three making $40,000 per year would spend approximately $1600 per year for health care coverage. Annual family premiums have increased upwards to $9,068 this year.

http://www.house.gov/conyers/news_hr676_2.htm



Then there is the other drawback with single-payer: Consensus! One of the problems is going to be finding consensus on financing single-payer, which will require a 5% tax increase for top 5% of income earners:

Proposed Funding For USNHI Program:

Maintaining current federal and state funding of existing health care programs. A modest payroll tax on all employers of 3.3%. A 5% health tax on the top 5% of income earners. A small tax on stock and bond transfers. Closing corporate tax loop-holes, repealing the Bush tax cut.

http://www.house.gov/conyers/news_hr676_2.htm


Good luck with passing that anytime soon.


Also, single-payer isn't synonymous with universal health care:

Krugman and Wells are persuasiveit's not a hard sellabout the nightmarish complexity and administrative costs of the current fragmented system. But they don't do much more than simply assert that a single, government-run insurance program would be more efficient. Even the most competitive industry can seem wasteful and inefficient when described on paper. Dozens of computer companies making hundreds of different, incompatible models, millions spent on advertising: Wouldn't a single, government-run computer agency producing a few standard models be more efficient? No, it wouldn't. Krugman and Wells duck the issue of rationingsaving money by simply not providing effective treatments that cost too much. They say let's try single-payer first. So, I say let's try some more modest reforms before plunging into single-payer.

Snip...

What's different about health insurance is the opposite: Much of it isn't insurance at all but a subsidy. The value of the subsidy is the difference between what the individual pays and what the insurance would cost in the free market. If people were buying health care or insurance with their own money, they might or might not spend too muchwhatever "too much" isbut no one else would need to care if they did.

A subsidy has to take from someone and give to someone else. Everybody can't subsidize everybody. Or, to put it another way, society cannot give the average citizen better health care than the average citizen would choose to buy on his or her own. And this is what people want. Krugman and Wells believe that the average citizen will be sated by whatever bonus comes out of single-payer efficiencies. In this day of $100,000-a-year pills, I doubt it.

Even though we don't do it, most Americans surely think we ought to guarantee decent health care to everyone. In fact, most would probably be uncomfortable saying it's OK to have anything less than equal health care for everybody. Should a poor child die because her family can't afford a medicine that an insured, middle-class parent can pick up at the drugstore? Current government programs don't protect poor people very well against the cost of becoming sick. They do much better at protecting sick people against the risk of becoming poor. People who can afford insurance ought to protect themselves against a catastrophic health expense. But subsidizing this insurance for them is not only unnecessary, it is futile and unfair. No one is better able to afford health care for people of average means or above than they are themselves.

Krugman and Wells say that private insurance is flawed by "adverse selection": Insurance companies will avoid riskier customers. Only a single payer (that is, an insurance monopoly) can insure everybody and spread the risk. But anyone is insurable at some pricea price that reflects the cost they are likely to impose on the insurer. Adverse selection is only a problem to the extent that insurance is not really insurance, but rather a subsidy.

If you're not as hopeful as Krugman and Wells about being able to avoid rationing, you face the question: Should people be allowed to opt out of rationing if they can afford it? That is, if the system (private or single-payer) won't pay for the $100,000 pill, should you be able to pay for it yourself? Fear that this would not be allowed helped to kill the Clinton health-care reform 13 years ago. But explicitly granting some people life and health while denying these things to others is hard, even though this disparity has existed throughout history and is probably unavoidable. In fact, a serious defect of single-payer is that it makes all sorts of unbearable trade-offs explicit government policy, rather than obscuring them in complexities.

more...

http://www.slate.com/id/2138174

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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #15
19. The REALITY is that we already have rationing,
Edited on Tue Aug-01-06 10:29 AM by Lydia Leftcoast
rationing in the sense that people who are uninsured or under-insured can't get non-emergency treatment AT ALL.

Now, if you're wealthy or well-insured and need a knee replacement to help you walk, you have doctors practically begging to help you. If you aren't insured, all you can do is buy a cane.

How is that fair?

Another REALITY is that insurance companies are major contributors to our Congresscritters.

That not only buys "access," it buys implied threats, namely that the contributions will go bye-bye if the Congresscritter votes for single payer.

And really, quoting Michael Kinsley as an authority? That man was one of Ronald Reagan's biggest cheerleaders.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. In the meantime, Americans are dying, slowly.
And many more are unable to work who could work with adequate care.

And our businesses are being crippled by rising healthcare costs when that shouldn't be an issue. ALL Americans should be covered because it is in the interest of national security to have a healthy, productive population.
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cadmium Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #21
36. You are right but
Edited on Tue Aug-01-06 12:56 PM by cadmium
The current balance of power is on the opposite side of the issue. Even the late Paul Wellstone (Conscience of a Liberal) ran up against a wall --and realized that it isn't that simple. He quotes Ted Kennedy who, although he has dedicated his whole public life to universal health care, came to realize that the insurance industry is just far to powerful to let this happen in a big way. Look at he way the Clinton plan crashed when it could well have been modifyed with some compromise. The insurance companies wouldn't stand for it.

In fact, the corporatists are working like hell to change public health systems across the world to proprietary systems. I believe the Netherlands has fallen for this and they are about to scrap their successful national system for a more private system -- based on the rationale that it will be less costly.

My own opinion is when a leader wants to move us in the right direction (Kerry in this instance) I support them.

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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #36
38. I don't understand why the Dems don't do a Reagan
in the sense of going on TV and asking the American people to pressure their Congress critters.

And the Dems need to put forth more people who will actually RUN on the issue of single payer health care. There are a few now, but voters in most districts have never heard of single payer.

Some posters are acting as if "difficult" is the same as "impossible."

The Dems need to unify behind this issue and keep introducing single payer again and again, and railing against the Repubicans (in their local media, where they have access) each time it's voted down.

They need to adopt the slogan, "Never deal with an insurance company again." That will win over a lot of doctors as well as patients.
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cadmium Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #38
48. maybe you're right
At present I do think getting the insurance behemoths to give up their franchise would be impossible.

I think you are right that some politicians should hammer away at Universal Hlth care --exactly as you say. This would be like the way the Republicans hammered home the idea of the "left wing media". This would have to be a long-term campaign to work on the sentiment and understanding that we have that the system as it stands is a mess.

If nothing else it would move the ball in the right direction and make Kerry's plan seem less threatening. Now Kerry is proposing a plan that would be a helluva lot better than what we have and it is a doable plan. It would really be gross pandering to propose a plan that is doomed.

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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #48
49. A prime principal of negotiating is:
"Always start by asking for more than you realistically think you can get. Let the other side say no."

If you start out by doing the other side's naysaying for them, you'll end up with a lot less than you find acceptable.
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cadmium Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #49
59. obviously a basic point
That is what the grassroots campaign is for so that when you negotiate -- demanding more than you can get--you can do it from a postion of strength.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #48
65. "...getting the insurance behemoths to give up their...
...franchise would be impossible".

This is factually incorrect. What is impossible, or at least very difficult, is getting the legislative will together. The insurance industry operates at our (the sheeple) pleasure and their charters can be revoked at any time, for any reason. This is the only reason they shower the politiwhores with so much money every cycle, and why it is so difficult to find out that they are at our mercy.

Lydia has the idea, a raygunesque appeal directly to the public is the way to go. If properly crafted, it will preemptively eliminate all of the fear mongering media blitz that the insurance companies will attack with. Single payer is just that, not a government insurance program, a clean, clear system to pay predefined fees for services rendered. All of the other "single payer models", such as the straw man the Kinsley was talking about, are manufactured lies created by, guess who? Yes, if the government ran it the same way the insurance industry does, it would be costly and largely ineffective, but that's not the plan that has been proposed.

Why is it, do you think, that we spend more $$ on health coverage here than anywhere else on the planet, and still get substandard care, and nothing for the 50 - 60 million people with no access to any (non-ER) health care? Ask any Doctor (that doesn't own part of his/her own insurance scam practice) how much it would be worth to them if they didn't have to spend so much of their time fighting with some adjuster type to get approval for the care his patient needs.

The benefits of a foundational change in our delivery and payment system could, and have, filled several books, so I'm not going to go into it here. The bottom line is that everybody wins except the insurance companies, and in the current system the only winners are the insurance companies.
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #65
75. The "people" are already sold on "Universal HealthCare"
65 percent (of ALL Americans, Democrat AND Republican) say the government should guarantee health insurance for everyone -- even if it means raising taxes.
http://alternet.org/story/29788 /

The resistance in NOT from the people.
The resistance is in the Political Establishment, sadly both Republican AND Democrat.

The Democratic Party is a BIG TENT, but there is NO ROOM for those
who advance the agenda of THE RICH (Corporate Owners) at the EXPENSE of LABOR and the POOR.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-02-06 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #75
91. This is true, the political establishment, however, is not Democratic
nor Re :puke:, it is corporate. We only have one viable party in this country, The Corporate Party.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #36
69. The Clinton plan crashed because there was too much compromise
At least that was Wellstone's thesis. The first thing that the Democrats threw out the window was single payer because they didn't want to stand up to the insurance industry for fear of losing. Wellstone suggested that they could make a direct appeal to the American people but nobody believed him. They compromised at every corner and ultimately dropped the price controls. Once those were out, the plan was simply unaffordable and that's why it couldn't pass congress. Not only that, but the plan lost a lot of popular support because it was so complicated, that people couldn't even begin to understand it.
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erknm Donating Member (86 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #19
60. Such a complicated issue, , , ,
but a great political soundbite. Every major presidential candidate since Eisenhower has had health care reform on his platform. It is a complicated problem but we can learn from the mistakes that other nations have made. Frankly there is talk in other nations (like Canada) of moving toward a private system. Each year Britain has effectively gone more private because of a lack of government funds for their health service. Other nations have either completely gone private or are looking into it. Suffice it to say that the objective lense does not completely fill my eyes with optimism about going to a single payer (or worse a single provider) system.

Here are just some of the issues:

Rationing. Currently the price system rations health care in the US. Some people call this inequitable. Under a socialized system, queueing will occur due to the inability to ration by price. Better in this case to mimick the British system (as bad as it is) where you can opt out by choice than the Canadian system where the wealthy opt out by flying to the US for treatment. (This included provincial ministers from Quebec) You just have to allow people to opt out of the queue.

Efficiency. Hate to bag on Canada, but the average stay in the hospital is longer and the average condition for hospitalization is milder than in the US. Canadian hospitals get paid a fixed amount and must stay in budget, so they have an incentive to admit lower cost patients. They cannot turn a patient away if they have capacity, so they keep their lower cost patients longer so that they are less likely to be forced to take a higher cost patient. This is the only way they can stay in budget. A national system must allow a pay as you go type system so that we do not see the perverse inefficiencies.

Queueing triage. Without a price system to ration care, there will be queueing, people waiting for treatment. This can be incredibly inefficient. Worse, people can die while on line. Depending on who you believe, (government vs private researchers), the numbers are incredibly high. Like those in the US who do not get care and then die, these numbers are not easily obtained, thus it is a largely hidden problem. If there is to be a system of queueing, where we do not get the care we want immediately, then the triage system must be more advanced to make sure that people are not falling dead while waiting for treatment. This is a problem that we see now in the US in the transplant business and the experience I have observed there does not fill me with confidence about doing something more systematic.

Research. Far less medical research in Canada and Britain, only France gets close to the US in per capita research spending. A national system must allow for expenditures to increase knowledge.

There is more, but I have already typed too much.

FH
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #19
70. Michael Kinsley made a point.
You can debate whether it's right or wrong, bu there are a lot of issues with single-payer and countries like Canada are experiencing problems with their own systems.

Canadian Healthcare System Fact Sheet
American Medical Student Association
Prepared by Kao-Ping Chua, AMSA Jack Rutledge Fellow 2005-2006


Snip...

Cost of care: an international perspective
In 2001, Canada spent $2,792 per capita on healthcare, whereas the U.S. spent $4,887
capita on healthcare. That is, Canada spent about 57% of what the U.S. spent per capita
Despite this, Canadian healthcare is expensive by world standards (in 2001, 9.3% of
Canadas GDP was spent on healthcare, compared with a median of 8.0% in other
industrialized countries). Provinces pay for most health expenses <1,4>.
Problems
Budgetary shortfalls in the early 1980s prompted the federal government to reduce
payments to provincial governments, which in turn decreased hospital budgets and
reimbursements to physicians <2>.
The current push for privatization in Canada stems from the idea that private insurance
companies may be able to restore some of the funding to the healthcare system <2>.
this idea is extremely controversial, as many are concerned that privatization will result
inequities in the system.< BR> There are coverage gaps in the healthcare system, particularly for outpatient prescription
drugs and home care <2>.
There is significant tension between the federal and provincial governments over both
financing and jurisdiction, which has resulted in several heated battles in recent years
Waiting lists for certain elective procedures is a problem for some Canadians <1>.



SINGLE PAYER 101
Written by Kao-Ping Chua
AMSA Jack Rutledge Fellow 2005-2006
February 10, 2006


Snip...

THE POTENTIAL DISADVANTAGES OF SINGLE PAYER

The vitality of any public program lies in its funding levels, and the biggest potential disadvantage to a single payer system is the threat of underfunding. There are several ways in which this might occur:

Underfunding by a hostile government: a government that favors privatization might take measures to undermine the public system. In America, the strength of private special interests makes this possibility especially worrisome.
Mismanagement: an inept or corrupt government could misallocate funds in a single payer system, taking away money from vital services and decreasing quality.
Recession: public systems rely on tax dollars, which decrease during recessions.

Another potential disadvantage of single payer relates to one of its strengths: the ability to control costs. As noted above, all cost control mechanisms have downsides, and overly aggressive cost control could result in decreases in quality. For instance, inappropriately strict limits on the diffusion of technology might stifle positive innovation in technology. Along with underfunding, this can be avoided through prudent management of the health care system, but it remains a potential concern.

The transition from the current system to a single payer would undoubtedly be very difficult. Thousands of people who work for private insurance companies would need to be shifted to other sectors of the economy. Even though these individuals could be trained to work in the new public system, they would still experience a significant change in their lives. Because of these considerations, most single payer advocates and policy analysts believe that any transition to a single payer system would necessarily be gradual, taking place over the course of many years.

Finally, there are some important tradeoffs that Americans will have to make in a single payer system. The first is that technology-hungry Americans will have to accept limits on ineffective, questionable, or medically unnecessary interventions that would not be covered by the single payer system. Such interventions could be likely be covered by supplemental private insurance, as is the case in other countries with single payer. The second major tradeoff is that Americans will have to accept less choice in insurance plans. Some Americans want to choose the health insurance plan that is tailored to their individual needs, but a single payer system would give everyone the same insurance plan. The last major tradeoff is that Americans will have to accept more government control and less private control of the health care system. Neither the government nor the private insurance industry can currently claim great popularity with Americans, and the question is which entity Americans w ill trust more to manage the health care system.

CONCLUSION

This primer has endeavored to articulate the nature and advantages of a single payer system. Solutions that achieve universal health care through mechanisms that build on the current system of for-profit employer-based insurance, while potentially beneficial,do not achieve the philosophical purity, administrative simplification, or cost control potential that a single payer system achieves.

Single payer, however, has significant potential disadvantages that must be addressed. Although many of the disadvantages can be avoided through proper management of the system (e.g. funding the system at a very high level and insuring adequate capacity), others represent true tradeoffs that the American public must debate in its mind. The time for such debates is now. In the current system, insurance companies have a financial incentive to avoid insuring the people who need it the most, which means that more and more Americans suffer every year. It is only a matter of time before some type of reform takes place, and single payer should be a reform option that should be seriously considered.



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pelagius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #15
72. I think any employer would be THRILLED to pay only 3.8%...
...of payroll to fund their employees health care. It seems like a real bargain.
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erknm Donating Member (86 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-02-06 05:36 PM
Response to Reply #72
99. Of course, why wouldn't a corporate leader want to
spread his company's health care expenses across the entire population instead of his shareholders alone footing the bill.

Years ago Lee Iacocca tried to make the case for national health insurance and most taxpayer and union groups saw it for what it was, nothing more than an attempt to displace Chrysler's obligation to its employees (largely union) on to the shoulders of the general public. It was a blatant attempt to save his shareholders money.

Corporate welfare by another name.


FH
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #11
45. 75 co-sponsors in the House
Health care reform is one of those issues the legislators need to hear about from the grassroots Dems.

They need to develop and implement their health care policy with guidance from us.
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cadmium Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #45
52. got to keep working it
I think Kerry's proposal moves this along
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nealmhughes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #11
78. How about Bernie Sanders, the next senator from Vermont?
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-02-06 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #11
92. It is only reality because he gets no support from his own party.
If there were no support for his ideas he wouldn't be re-elected. Even your statement, "There are a lot of things that we can do to lower the cost of health care and make it more accessible to the average American" reflects the reason for this perceived lack of support. Don't you see that this very sentence indicates that you have bought the corporate line?

It's not a matter of lowering costs, we already spend far more than everybody else to provide sub-standard, even negligent, care to those unfortunate enough not to have a good (read really really expensive) plan. Making it more accessible, is not making it universal, which is what the majority of people want. It is the 25% - 40% that the corporations take out of every health care dollar, that has fucked the system up.
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #10
39. Kucinich has a good plan
Its actually one of the most workable plans out there that deals with coverage and cost control for the long term.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-02-06 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #39
85. Yes,
and he's certainly talked a lot about it for several years. Democrats are really good at "ignoring" work on issues unless it comes from the well-heeled mainstream party power brokers.
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kerrygoddess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 01:15 AM
Response to Original message
17. Some photos from the speech






And a great post from DU's own Tay Tay:

Senator Kerry Stakes Out Ground As a D-E-M-O-C-R-A-T
http://blog.thedemocraticdaily.com/?p=3762
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silvertip Donating Member (95 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #17
23. Universal health care
   What would be wrong with a health care that covers every
man, woman, and child from birth to grave paid for with our
tax dollars?
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filer Donating Member (444 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 10:57 AM
Response to Original message
22. Universal Health Care
Will I still be alive to see to see universal health care? Today, approaching my 57th birthday, I can see my options running out. Having survived 18 years with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, the only insurance available to me is through Oklahoma's high risk pool. That insurance is costing me $7200 per year with a $5000 annual deductible. I have already used up half of my $500,000 policy limit and I still have eight years left before I become eligible for Medicare. When my insurance runs out I will be forced to spend down the rest of my retirement savings before state Medicaid coverage will determine what treatments and medical course of action they deem appropriate. By then, I'll be destitute and it won't matter much.

From where I sit, this country doesn't consider health care a "fundamental moral value". The other party's position on this is absolutely clear. That the Democrats, my party, are testing the waters offers a least a glimmer of hope, but only a glimmer. Universal health care by 2012? I'll believe it if I live to see it.

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wisteria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 11:37 AM
Response to Original message
24. A plan that addresses the needs of the people and not just
the medical and drug establishments. I like this and I like that kids come first. There are other plans out there, but Kerry's is detailed and when it is infused with his "Kids First" program I feel it is one of the best and workable out there.
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cyclezealot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 11:39 AM
Response to Original message
25. The devil is in the details.
Yes, I agree; health care is the real debate of the century. Began by Harry Truman. Should Kerry's plans allow private insurance companies to be in the drivers' seat; we are not interested.
Regarding Kerry's second point , Iraq. Kerry comes around and acknowleges being conned by the Bushmen in 2003. Being lied to should all make us furious. Even if Liebermann did not support the unaccountable executive, Liebermann would not be so unacceptable.
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cadmium Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #25
41. Insurance so totally own this issue
Edited on Tue Aug-01-06 01:07 PM by cadmium
that it is impossible not to keep them in the drivers seat with a new proposal--especially from a total minority position. It isnt what we would like but it's reality. As it is they are looking to gobble up chunks of the VA and foreign national health programs. Any proposal that starts with the premise of taking that control away totally is doomed from the start I think
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cyclezealot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. Then I favor just letting it all self-destruct
It is not that many years away anyway. Anyone think let such wasteful , manipulating gatekeepers provide coverage will be an improvment is dreaming. I will have none of a program where gatekeepers deny us needed coverage.
Letting them control a system will destroy it anyway, it just will delay the process. And to put proper protections between them and the American consumer would cause them to not want the job anyway.
When the whole thing is in in ruins and Hartford sees no way to suck you dry, then we can begin anew.
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cadmium Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #42
51. maybe.
I hope you are not thinking that I support the system as it stands now.

The more it collapses as the public health infrastructure also deteriorates the greater the divide in suffering will be between the rich, middle and poor. I certainly don't want to see collapse because that will not be good for anyone but the most wealthy.
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cyclezealot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #51
66. Collapse will be a temporary thing.
Millions are suffering already. The system is imploding from it's outrageous costs. It can't sustain itself. I recall surveys, the rate medical costs are inflating, it will soon consume 100% of the GDP.
Not all that much more misery, will bring about true reform. INsurance companies have already shown they do not want to cover certain people. They red tag some zip codes and withdraw from certain age groups.
something like 50 million have no coverage & who knows how many have lousy coverage.
When millions face lousy diagnosis' because gatekeeprs deny them needed services, destruction might be the best cure.
Maybe Michael Moore's new movie "Sicko" might be some kind of catalyst for change. ?
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rrasile Donating Member (214 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 12:12 PM
Response to Original message
26. HEALTH CARE
I've yet to see a news coverage about China requiring our favorite Wal Mart to provide health care for it's workers.
It strikes me funny how a communist country can order a neo con like Wal Mart to either provide health care or get the hell out.
Are we doing something wrong? Something sure is all F----- up. Are our working people and unions the bad guys in our society?
Im waiting for the day when our country doesnt have the skill people to make a product that we suddenly discover we cant buy from our phoney friends.
Always remember how the Labor Unions insisted years ago that the companies had to share in the cost of training a young worker. There is little of this today. Even High Schools have phased out the Trade classes.
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confludemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 12:14 PM
Response to Original message
28. Why such a deceptive headline to the post? Most is a political speech
and the healthcare part mentioned only at the end. Wierd.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #28
33. The whole speech is about his healthcare plan and the false choices Bush
and the GOP give.

I think it's weird that you couldn't comprehend that given that his entire speech was about an hour of discussing healthcare's import and the GOP's failure to meet the needs of the greater public.
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #28
34. IT was about healthcare
I was there, I saw it delivered. Right at the very beginning, Kerry lays out the goals that the program should aim for.

Weird that you couldn't see that.
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confludemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #34
61. Yeah, but no mention of the essentials of the plan anywhere in the post
Edited on Tue Aug-01-06 03:53 PM by confludemocrat
and even wierder that you two would not see the basic flaw there or refuse to acknowledge it. Misleading, no?
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-02-06 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #61
83. The essentials are in the link and in the plans themselves - people here
know how to access a link, no?
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confludemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:41 AM
Response to Reply #83
102. Again misleading headline no substance in the posted item. Anyway,
there's another thread about this with a straighter post (with no attempt to bait the unsuspecting to go to the fawning Kerry propaganda site) leading to the milquetoast plan being being roundly criticized, rightly.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:55 AM
Response to Reply #102
103. It's the best plan out there. Period. Post a better plan!
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 01:11 AM by ProSense
And prove that it has more support! Easy for people to be constant critics.

HEALTH CARE REFORM THAT LOWERS COSTS, IMPROVES QUALITY AND EXPANDS COVERAGE TO ALL AMERICANS JOHN KERRYS HEALTH CARE PRINCIPLES:

We need a health care system that ensures quality, affordable health care for every American man, woman, and child. And its our moral responsibility to help those who need it most.
Were stuck with a twentieth century health care system that just doesnt work for a twenty first century economy. The traditional employer-based health care system can no longer meet all our needs. Costs are too high and businesses overseas are operating on a whole different playing field.
A one-size-fits-all program just wont work in America. People want and deserve more options and more choices ones they can actually afford.
Health care in America works, just not for enough people. We dont need to scrap the entire system and replace it with something new and unknown. John Kerry wants to build on whats already working and make it work for everybody.
We must strengthen what works now, reward whats right, and fix whats wrong.
We must not add bureaucracy we must slash it.
We must invest in American ingenuity to modernize our systems, improve quality and lower costs.

JOHN KERRYS HEALTH CARE PLAN:
Gives every American access to the same type of health care plan that Members of Congress get today and providing tax credits to make it affordable for the middle class, small businesses, near retirees, and people between jobs.
Lower costs for employers and employees: The federal government will reimburse a percentage of the highest cost cases if employers include disease management and health promotion benefits in their employee health plans and implement evidenced-based practices those that are proven to provide the best care, including preventative care to help make care more affordable. Right now the most expensive 0.4% of insurance claims account for 20% of all health care costs. Direct financial relief to employers and their workers will bring down premiums for everyone.
Covers ALL children. We could cover every child in America next year with federal-state coverage expansions. John Kerrys plan will provide health care coverage for every child in America. KidsFirst will cover all children up to three times the poverty level, through age 21.
Improves quality and contains costs of health care overall through better care coordination, physician payment incentives, implementing evidence-based practices, and investing in health information technology, such as electronic medical records.
Experts agree Kerrys plan will cover all Americans. A mandate will go into effect in 2012 to cover any remaining uninsured.
Kerrys health plan is paid for by repealing the Bush tax cuts for those earning over $200,000.

HEALTH CARE FACTS:
There are 11 million uninsured children and 35 million uninsured adults in America.
Since President Bush took office, the number of uninsured Americans has grown by six million and premiums are up 73%.
Health care for a family of four now costs more than a minimum wage worker earns in a year.
Health care affects the competitiveness of American companies in the global marketplace. For example, General Motors pays $1500 in health care costs on every vehicle they manufacture. Toyota pays only $500.
African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asians and Pacific Islanders comprise only one-third of the population but account for half of the nations uninsured, though they are just as likely as whites to belong to working families.
America ranks 37th in overall performance of our health system. Cyprus, Morocco and Costa Rica outrank us.

http://www.johnkerry.com/features/health/facts.html



The Impact of Sen. John Kerrys Health Care Proposalon Health Care Costs
http://www.sph.emory.edu/hpm/thorpe/nobugthorpe2.pdf
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 01:07 AM
Response to Reply #102
105. Then there is this plan:
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 01:15 AM by ProSense
Conyers introduced this plan back in 2003 (The other drawback with single-payer is Consensus! One of the problems is going to be finding consensus on financing single-payer, which will require a 5% tax increase for top 5% of income earners.):

Proposed Funding For USNHI Program:

Maintaining current federal and state funding of existing health care programs. A modest payroll tax on all employers of 3.3%. A 5% health tax on the top 5% of income earners. A small tax on stock and bond transfers. Closing corporate tax loop-holes, repealing the Bush tax cut.

http://www.house.gov/conyers/news_hr676_2.htm



Good luck with passing that anytime soon! Also, single-payer isn't synonymous with universal health care, and there are also problems inherent in that system too:


Canadian Healthcare System Fact Sheet
American Medical Student Association
Prepared by Kao-Ping Chua, AMSA Jack Rutledge Fellow 2005-2006

Snip...

Cost of care: an international perspective
In 2001, Canada spent $2,792 per capita on healthcare, whereas the U.S. spent $4,887
capita on healthcare. That is, Canada spent about 57% of what the U.S. spent per capita
Despite this, Canadian healthcare is expensive by world standards (in 2001, 9.3% of
Canadas GDP was spent on healthcare, compared with a median of 8.0% in other
industrialized countries). Provinces pay for most health expenses <1,4>.
Problems
Budgetary shortfalls in the early 1980s prompted the federal government to reduce
payments to provincial governments, which in turn decreased hospital budgets and
reimbursements to physicians <2>.
The current push for privatization in Canada stems from the idea that private insurance
companies may be able to restore some of the funding to the healthcare system <2>.
this idea is extremely controversial, as many are concerned that privatization will result
inequities in the system.< BR> There are coverage gaps in the healthcare system, particularly for outpatient prescription
drugs and home care <2>.
There is significant tension between the federal and provincial governments over both
financing and jurisdiction, which has resulted in several heated battles in recent years
Waiting lists for certain elective procedures is a problem for some Canadians <1>.


SINGLE PAYER 101
Written by Kao-Ping Chua
AMSA Jack Rutledge Fellow 2005-2006
February 10, 2006

Snip...

THE POTENTIAL DISADVANTAGES OF SINGLE PAYER

The vitality of any public program lies in its funding levels, and the biggest potential disadvantage to a single payer system is the threat of underfunding. There are several ways in which this might occur:

Underfunding by a hostile government: a government that favors privatization might take measures to undermine the public system. In America, the strength of private special interests makes this possibility especially worrisome.
Mismanagement: an inept or corrupt government could misallocate funds in a single payer system, taking away money from vital services and decreasing quality.
Recession: public systems rely on tax dollars, which decrease during recessions.

Another potential disadvantage of single payer relates to one of its strengths: the ability to control costs. As noted above, all cost control mechanisms have downsides, and overly aggressive cost control could result in decreases in quality. For instance, inappropriately strict limits on the diffusion of technology might stifle positive innovation in technology. Along with underfunding, this can be avoided through prudent management of the health care system, but it remains a potential concern.

The transition from the current system to a single payer would undoubtedly be very difficult. Thousands of people who work for private insurance companies would need to be shifted to other sectors of the economy. Even though these individuals could be trained to work in the new public system, they would still experience a significant change in their lives. Because of these considerations, most single payer advocates and policy analysts believe that any transition to a single payer system would necessarily be gradual, taking place over the course of many years.

Finally, there are some important tradeoffs that Americans will have to make in a single payer system. The first is that technology-hungry Americans will have to accept limits on ineffective, questionable, or medically unnecessary interventions that would not be covered by the single payer system. Such interventions could be likely be covered by supplemental private insurance, as is the case in other countries with single payer. The second major tradeoff is that Americans will have to accept less choice in insurance plans. Some Americans want to choose the health insurance plan that is tailored to their individual needs, but a single payer system would give everyone the same insurance plan. The last major tradeoff is that Americans will have to accept more government control and less private control of the health care system. Neither the government nor the private insurance industry can currently claim great popularity with Americans, and the question is which entity Americans w ill trust more to manage the health care system.

CONCLUSION

This primer has endeavored to articulate the nature and advantages of a single payer system. Solutions that achieve universal health care through mechanisms that build on the current system of for-profit employer-based insurance, while potentially beneficial,do not achieve the philosophical purity, administrative simplification, or cost control potential that a single payer system achieves.

Single payer, however, has significant potential disadvantages that must be addressed. Although many of the disadvantages can be avoided through proper management of the system (e.g. funding the system at a very high level and insuring adequate capacity), others represent true tradeoffs that the American public must debate in its mind. The time for such debates is now. In the current system, insurance companies have a financial incentive to avoid insuring the people who need it the most, which means that more and more Americans suffer every year. It is only a matter of time before some type of reform takes place, and single payer should be a reform option that should be seriously considered.




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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #102
106. Go attack Dems who do NOTHING instead of spewing against Kerry EVERY TIME
he presents a doable plan for Iraq withdrawal, a doable healthcare plan,oand whenevr he filibusters a fascist nominee.

It is noticed that you have a tendency to pop into every thread where he presents a progressive action and attack him for it. Gee - what were you doing when he was investigating IranContra and BCCI? Picketing his office?
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 12:33 PM
Response to Original message
29. Private Insurance No Longer A Viable Solution for Universal HC
After watching the machinations of various health insurance companies at the federal and state level I'm convinced they've already come up with a way to "game the system" for any universal health care plan that includes them.

From pushing legislation to weaken or eliminate many consumer protections at the state and federal level to finding more and more ways to skirt existing consumer protections and avoid paying medical bills for years at a time, its obvious leaders of private insurance companies have spent a great deal of time and money to develop a systemic and multi-facted strategy. They've developed ways to deny more claims and provide less coverage to those who buy their plans and force more of the cost of health care onto health care providers, taxpayers and uninsured patients.

Bottom line, the private insurance industry will soon surpass pharmaceutical companies as the biggest drivers behind skyrocketing health care costs and the combination of the two of them putting such pressure on our health care system will bring it close to collapse very soon.

I used to support including private health insurance coverage in developing a system for universal health care coverage, but in the last few months I've changed my mind.

BTW, Kerry's plan sounds much like the same one he proposed in 2004, not bad overall, but it has a lot of holes in it.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #29
40. Ask doctors in private practice how the private insurance companies
screw them over and drive up their costs by requiring them to hire either an employee just to manage the requirements of the various companies or to contract an outside billing service.

Ask doctors how insurance companies do backward somersaults and twist words as cynically as Karl Rove in their efforts to avoid paying for legitimate procedures.

Ask patients how they keep getting higher premiums for less service.
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cadmium Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #40
43. Agreed-- I work in the midst of it
Our system blows basically. No one is arguing that it is a good system. It is just to think that minority politicians can reboot it and start over is so unrealistic that it would be dead in the water. Think about it - it's even hard to get a national conversation going because people want to talk about war. The insurance companies have so many billions in the game they would not give up their hegemony.
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #43
46. We have to force them to do it
Grassroots Dems are the only ones who can make the change happen - we have to force them to develop solutions and focus the national dialogue on health care issues.

There will always be a war, terrorism, etc, etc, etc, we can't let them use that as an excuse.

They're spending our tax dollars and we have a right and an obligation to tell them how to do it.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #43
47. That does not mean it's hopeless
Every step forward has been considered "hopeless."

If the standard tactics don't work, you have to be creative.

And I disagree that people "want to" talk about war. I get around the city quite a bit, and I hear more people complaining about their health care than I do talking about the war. It's hard to care about a faraway war when you need medical care and can't get it or can't get your insurance company to cover it.
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cadmium Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #47
50. Yes and as Ozark notes that grassroots tactics are needed
Edited on Tue Aug-01-06 01:51 PM by cadmium
I never said it was hopeless. I didn't read any posts that anyone said working for national health care is hopeless. I will say that getting it out of the hands of the insurance companies in a fell-swoop is indeed hopeless.

Grassroots is the key IMHO but it will be taking time to develop and organize. People on the street want to talk about health care to each other, but getting a national conversation is a different animal. What people want from their daily lives and what they want to hear about in the news are not always the same thing. (I dont mean to sound pedantic-It's just my opinion). There is a disconnect at present. Even on these topic-orientated on-line communities posters interrupt to say that politicians should be talking about the war. Proposals like Kerry's now and Clinton's before it get the conversation in the news.

Do you think this plan that John Kerry put forth is a step in the right direction or do you think it should wait until there is a grassroots revolution for universal health care?
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #50
53. I'd say he's asking for too little
If you ask for too little, you get even less. The Republicans will chisel away at ANY proposal, no matter how little and timid it is.

That's why the Dems need to be as bold as possible.
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cadmium Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #53
55. OK we half disagree
I disagree that this is too little to ask in the senate because it actually does fall within the realm of possiblity.

I agree that this is how the Republicans operate and that there should be a national conversation demanding better.

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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #50
57. Here are some good grassroots groups working on health care
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cadmium Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #57
58. Thanks
I was unaware of Families USA.

Everyone needs to know what a SCAM the current Medicare prescription drug bill is.

Funny story on the opposite side of the issue: i knew a guy who couldn't get Viagra on Medicaid. He flipped out praising Bush when he found out now he can get Viagra on his new Medicare plan.

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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
54. . never mind
Edited on Tue Aug-01-06 01:59 PM by Deep13
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
56. That's nice.
I'm glad Senator Kerry has finally realized the need and begun a conversation about universal health care. I'm sure he's anxious to work with those who've been out in front for several years.
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nxylas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 04:21 PM
Response to Original message
63. Wish he'd been as bold before the election n/t
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #63
80. This is his 2004 plan - with very little modification
and he spoke of it EVERY DAY for over a year. The media preferred to cover the SBVT - never asking some of them exactly why they wrote fitness reports for Kerry that were full of praise and scored him high on everything.
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ProudDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 04:24 PM
Response to Original message
64. If it's anything like the Mass. "plan"
Edited on Tue Aug-01-06 04:26 PM by ProudDad
it's bullshit.

It's still a giveaway to the insurance corporations (who contribute heavily to both pukes and dems).

SINGLE PAYER is the ONLY way to go!!!

on Edit:

"Under Romney's plan, which the federal government is assisting with $385 million annually, Medicaid will be expanded for 100,000 people, the government will cover premium costs for another 200,000 who buy private programs, while an additional 200,000 will be required to buy insurance from low-cost policies offered by private companies working in tandem with the government."

It's still taking tax-payer dollars and giving them away to the insurance Corporations with their 27% overhead (compared to Medicare's 3% overhead -- when you hear Medicare think, SINGLE PAYER).

It can be done. Expand Medicare coverage to EVERYONE and tax the SHIT out of insurance company profits!!!
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tomreedtoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 04:47 PM
Response to Original message
67. Kerry "calls," but gets an answering machine.
"I'm sorry, the support you were calling for is not here. Leave a message and we'll get back to you. Not."

Does anybody realize how many people are AGAINST some sensible national health care? I quit following the advice of the "Motley Fool" stock advice people when they mocked Clinton for even having the idea that health care could ever be nationalized. And they weren't alone.

The medical industry wants their profits. So do the insurance companies. They have no real-world alternative sources - the only thing that replaces insurance is wads of cash, and the only replacement for authorized doctors are the health-food witch doctors. They have monopolies, they know it, and they're going to screw us for all they're worth.

Against these rich people, I'm certain Kerry will cave, just as he caved before Bush and the rich Republicans. He'll "modify" his demands for health care, then he'll just bury it and try to look innocent.
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #67
68. in larger terms though
it's a call to the values of our nation. Do we honestly believe the boomers who have had EVERYTHING handed to them and are paying off 50 year mortgages or else burning off their reverse mortgages, working until 90, eating cat food and splitting kidney and blood thinner pills are going to just go quietly into the sunset?

No, those greedy bastids ( :P) are going to do what should have been done decades ago - make our healthcare system work for EVERYONE, since uninsured (uncovered) aging healthcare will consume almost every penny of retirement for most.

And if they don't, you can bet their kids will since the alternative to paying for your parents' medicine, housing, food and Depends is to have them live with you, and live a long long time.

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WildEyedLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #67
73. Oh bullshit
This is the plan he had in 2004. He didn't "bury it and try to look innocent," did he? If he wanted to wash his hands of it, WHY WOULD HE HAVE BOTHERED TO GIVE A SPEECH AND REINTRODUCE IT?

You clearly were not at Fanueil Hall to hear his speech, to hear the passion in his voice and the conviction behind his words. Some of us were. Derogatory, unproductive comments like the one you ended your post with do NOTHING to raise the leve of discourse at DU and just contribute to the culture of namecalling and dishonesty.
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tomreedtoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #73
76. Okay, here's honesty!
Edited on Tue Aug-01-06 08:44 PM by tomreedtoon

"Here's our Health Care Dance for our wonderful Daddy W!"

Kerry caved in 2004, he's making noise about health care now because he wants to be the Democrat to cave in to the Republicans in 2008.

It would be nice if we had some courageous candidate for 2008, someone who really wants to win, but I haven't seen one yet.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #76
77. The most appropriate response to that is:



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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-02-06 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #76
84. You're proving that YOU and people like you didn't do YOUR JOB in 2004.
You didn't even KNOW about Kerry's health plan then, so how could you share it with your neighbors, family and friends?

Thanks for staying uninformed about the Dem nominee in an election year - you proved that the GOPs tactic of controlling the broadcast media is working.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-02-06 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #84
93. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-02-06 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #93
94. Hannity and O'Reilly work in TV too! n/t
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-02-06 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #93
95. And btw, you must not have been paying attention!
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-02-06 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #93
96. HAHAHAH - - Talk to MediaMatters and Eric Boehlert - if you don't know
Edited on Wed Aug-02-06 04:48 PM by blm
much about Lapdogs then maybe you're just a bit too close to be a fair judge of your industry.

You are an industry of ultimate LIARS - Bush didn't lift a FINGER to defend himself because he had all of you trained to do it for him. And thanks for not showing up and covering Kerry's speech to the Firefighters Convention when he counterattacked the swifts - It was obvious Rove had YOUR industry ignore that event. No camera bothered to air the event and few even reported that it happened,

Or was that YOU who made the decision?

I did volunteer work for FAIR for a number of years and my spouse works in a newsroom - you assumed something untrue - how typical of someone from the broadcast media.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-02-06 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #93
101. HAHAH...rudeness from a TV person...hmm...ever hear of MediaWhoresOnline?
.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 11:18 PM
Response to Reply #67
79. This is the plan he has been behind since at least 2003
Kerry has been a strong voice against Bush since he took office - there was no "cave". If you mean he conceded when less of the votes actually cast in Ohio were for Bush, one question is what proof do you have EVEN NOW that Kerry got more votes.
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flaminbats Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-02-06 02:15 AM
Response to Reply #79
82. I think "cave" meant his Senate votes..like for the war in Iraq
but unlike other Democrats, such as Hillary and Lieberman, Kerry has shown the courage to admit that war resolution was a mistake. I think it was his positions on healthcare reform and his consistant outspokenness against Bush which brought him so close to defeating him in the last election. When compared to candidates like Dukakis and Mondale, Kerry demonstrated in 2004 that he has what it takes for a Democrat to win elections.

http://www.uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/national.php?yea...

"The Democratic Party must stand for health care for all Americansor we dont stand for anything at all."

John Kerry is 100% correct on this, and Democrats better be listening to this if they want to win back Congress this year! The only thing he didn't include that I think is essential for Democrats to win this year..holding this criminal President accountable to the law with impeachment. But Kerry deserves some credit, as Bush's last opponent, for not being a sore loser.
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politicasista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-02-06 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #82
98. Some people are just looking to pick a fight
But I agree with you about Kerry deserving some credit on this.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #67
81. You don't know the first thing about Kerry - after Hillary bombed, he and
Edited on Tue Aug-01-06 11:36 PM by blm
Kennedy took the parts of the bill that they thought they could rescue and tweaked it into SCHIP bill that extended health coverage for most children. It passed.

He never stopped fighting for the healthcare plan he crafted during his campaign, and submitted his Kid's First health plan and has been going around the country for over a year to sell it directly to the people first, and also has put up billboards promoting the plan in GOP districts targeting GOP congressional leaders.

He hasn't stopped, and instead he keeps raising the volume - he's not backing down - if you knew Kerry you would know he doesn't "back down for rich people" as you claim.

Kerry at HuffPo:

>>>
Hearing both of them today reminded me why -- as long I'm in public service myself -- I'm determined to get health care right for our country. I fought hard for a health care plan I believed in when I ran for President. One of my biggest disappointments about losing the election was that we couldn't send our health care plan to Congress in the first 100 Days of a Democratic Administration. The learning gained from getting knocked on your ass in defeat is not my favorite way to gain insight and knowledge but it is an event in life that sticks with you. You are forced to confront your shortcomings, you have to figure out what you did wrong, you have to listen and you have to commit yourself to change. In defeat you also learn what really matters to you. And in defeat I was reminded that as lousy as it felt to lose, life's a hell of a lot harder for the working father who wakes up every day without health care for his kids. Life's a lot harder for the mom who is afraid to let her kids go outside to play in case they get hurt and she ends up with a medical bill she can't handle. So no matter what anyone thinks, I thought I had an obligation to dust myself off and fight for those families again.
>>>
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-02-06 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #81
86. Thanks for posting that Kerry comment, BLM
It really shows so much about who he is and expains the early email that spoke of continuing to fight for what we believed in and asking people to stay involved.

He is fighting for people who don't have what he was given at birth. That these are not just words, can be seen by Vanessa Kerry's comments. After the election, she and her sister were on Larry King. She spoke of how much seeing people who needed the help he represented affected him and others in her family. Her own choices in life to be a doctor and to take an extra year on public health policy echo her dad's comments on public service. On the King show, she was speaking about how much she learned about so many things campaigning with her dad. The love, pride, and respect she expressed for her dad was overwhelming - and from the comments at Boston, it is clear they are mutual as he is obviously instensely proud of her.

In 2004, he mentioned that people need not worry about him not pushing health issues because he had his own "kitchen cabinet" on those issues in Vanessa and Teresa.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-02-06 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #86
88. How many DUers who attack them would have spent their formative years
Edited on Wed Aug-02-06 12:34 PM by blm
attending to the poor African villages who needed healthcare so desperately and at such great risk as Teresa? Or how many of the wealthy would even take the time to become a doctor dealing with PUBLIC HEALTH the way Vanessa is?
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-02-06 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #67
89. SCHIP is based on his plan
You know, the plan that has enabled most states to cover over 95% of their kids. You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.
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LittleClarkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-02-06 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #67
100. He's been calling for this since his campaign in 2004
If he was going to "cave" I'm sure he'd have done it by now.

And I support him.

So there.
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Clarkie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 07:38 PM
Response to Original message
74. Why wait until 2012?
Not putting Kerry down for proposing this, just wondering why the date of 2012?
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-02-06 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
87. OT but what the hell ...
kudos to Kerry for riding in the Pan Mass Challenge ... that's a noble thing to do ...
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DollyM Donating Member (837 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-02-06 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
90. In the last month,
I have went to two spaghetti dinners and one pancake breakfast, all to raise money for people who are unisured or underinsured. A baby born almost two months premature (his Dad is a firefighter) who is underinsured and will be in Children's hospital at least three months, a set of twins born premature (their Dad is a police officer), now home from Children's hospital but facing weekly trips (70 miles) to children's hospital for continuing treatment and the bills keep coming. Another, a lady with colon cancer, head of our local Chamber of Commerce, who has no insurance. The benefit for the baby still in the hospital raised only $1000.00. How far will that go on a medical bill for a three month hospital stay. We live in a county of less than 25 thousand people, there is just only so much charity money to go around as anyone of us could be the next, "unable to pay our medical bills" victim. My family is uninsured, my husband's employer doesn't provide it and he is considered "uninsurable" because he has diabetes. VA has helped some but has put us through hell, begging for medical care because we simply can't afford what it would cost for him to get the care that he needs. I tore a ligament in my knee three months ago and am barely able to walk but I know an MRI is, at minimum, $1600 dollars which I simply don't have the money to pay. So, I don't get medical care.
The light on the horizon is though, we found out we may qualify for "Family Care" which is health insurance through the state (Illinois) until our son turns 18. He is 16 now. For $40.00 a month, our whole family can be covered with real insurance that allows us to use local Doctors of our choice. (Still waiting to hear back from the state on that but I am hopeful.) I don't expect a handout for medical care coverage, I just want something affordable for coverage, something that doesn't make me choose between buying groceries and paying for insurance. Since our teenage son eats like there is no tomorrow, he wouldn't appreciate it if we bought insurance instead of groceries.
I really don't care if it political posturing or rhetoric or who does what, just give all Americans the opportunity to be covered for medical care at a reasonable cost. Don't make us choose between getting health care and covering lives other essentials like groceries. (Although I have learned that top Ramen noodles go along way to filling a teenage boys stomach, I would still like to be able to afford some meat and vegetables for him along the way!)
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-02-06 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #90
97. You should send this post to Kerry's office.
Tell him how much of a difference it would make in your life.
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PretzelzRule Donating Member (402 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:59 AM
Response to Original message
104. Gee, I hope it's universal SINGLE PAYER coverage
...and I hope I live that long.
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