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Biden - why not SINGLE PAYER UNIVERSAL healthcare??

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polichick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 02:42 PM
Original message
Biden - why not SINGLE PAYER UNIVERSAL healthcare??
I've been familiarizing myself with Joe's domestic positions, and wonder about his health plan. Anyone know why he doesn't support single payer universal healthcare? (Could he be indebted to certain groups regarding this issue, or is it something else?)
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 02:52 PM
Response to Original message
1. I'll dig out info for you, but essentially here's the answer. (Need to preface this
by saying I'm SO Single Payer Universal that I was hammering his campaign asking the same question and submitted that very question to a live on-line chat with him and a SC newspaper that was soliciting questions from folks.)

I'm of the impression that he's not against it by any means, but that he views his plan as a First Step toward that goal. He feels he can accomplish his most urgent priorities more quickly by using the system as is -- not having to re-invent the wheel, so to speak, meanwhile there are those left uncovered as the machinations take place.

If you look at his campaign funding, you'll see he's not getting much funding from ANY industry, so it's not an in-their-pocket deal.

Also, in ALL of his years in the Senate he has NEVER met with a lobbyist, so it's not as though he's been influenced by that industry's lobbying, either.

Which, come to think of it, is probably why he doesn't have the big bucks backing him.

Anyway, that's the general picture, and I'm more than happy to set off and find more detailed info for you. I will present what I find with no agenda -
you may or may not agree with him and decide accordingly, but I firmly feel it's our right to know exactly where a candidate is coming from.

See you in a bit!


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polichick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks, that's very helpful...
For years I've been impressed with Biden regarding foreign relations and thought he'd be great as Sec'y of State ~ but I'm finding that, for the most part, I like him on domestic issues too. Have to read more about his "war on drugs" stuff though ~ I'm for legalization of marijuana (since alcohol is legal) and I don't believe in launching "wars" on problems.
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. And again, I'm right with you regarding marijuana and the WARS ON approach.
Even beyond decriminalizing marijuana, I'm for decriminalizing ALL drugs, although I realize there aren't all that many people that feel as I do.

How I view Biden's approach is that it is' based on fear. We are so afraid (rightfully so) of what drugs can do to our kids, that it's not hard to understand why people strike out where they think they can maybe make a difference. Kind of flailing around, but with the best of intentions.

He and I may be worlds apart on this issue, but at the current time, I'm far more concerned about the war, what's going on in the Middle East and Pakistan, our economy, our jobs, our health care, etc. The drug component is not high on my list at the moment. It's my hope, though, that soon we will begin moving toward a more sane, helpful, supportive approach regarding drugs. Beginning with medical marijuana.


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madmunchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #1
15. I've liked Biden for a while now, he should be getting more attention
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jillan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:01 PM
Response to Original message
3. Two things I'll add here
1. Biden is more of a realist. He knows that such a major change is not going to happen overnite. First we have to convince the repugs to go to #1 before we get to #2 and so on.

2. Biden's healthcare plan is based on the one they have in France, which I believe, is the #1 healthcare system in the world.
(sliding scale for cost of insurance, preventive care and everybody insured)
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polichick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Thank-you...
So the goal is eventually single payer? (France is that way, isn't it?)
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PatSeg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #3
18. We have a member here from Canada who
detailed the long, three decade journey to the healthcare that Canada now has. It did not happen overnight. It started with that first step.
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inthebrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:06 PM
Response to Original message
5. Biden is too much of a George Allen type candidate
His statements about Obama and the people working at Dunkin Donuts are too much.

I really don't see this guy as a serious candidate. He's trying too hard to appear like a guy you'd want to have a beer with and I think comes with too much baggage.
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polichick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. Yikes, ya mean we're gonna have a...
...mucaca moment??

Somehow I don't see Biden as a racist, just a bit hasty in his wording sometimes. Am I being naive?
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. Biden entered politics during the Civil Rights era as a commitment to further
the work being done. He has a 100% Positive rating from the NAACP. You're not being naive. He is not a racist. I
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inthebrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. He's already had two
A racist is someone who acts on his bigotries.

I think Biden is just a bigot.
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Jillian Donating Member (577 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. I hear people call Obama articulate all of the time. Why is that okay, but not okay when Biden said
it?
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. If the NAACP gives Biden 100% Approval Rating, and you're calling him a bigot,
what does that say about your regard/respect for the NAACP people? Surely you couldn't be indicating they're not smart enough to recognize a bigot.
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ginchinchili Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #14
20. If you're going to make a nasty charge like that...
don't you think you should back it up with specifics? I've been watching this man for years and have been reading a lot about him these last few months, and it all suggests anything but a bigot. Do you honestly think the NAACP would rate Biden 100% if he was a bigot. Come on. What are you really trying to do here? Your posts sound more bigoted than anything Biden has said.
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Froward69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 10:37 PM
Response to Reply #14
21. And I think you are
Edited on Sat Nov-17-07 10:49 PM by Froward69
A Bigot. Proove you are not! once labeled with that misnomer it is difficult to loose. Read this scroll down ad read his votes on civil rights. then tell me he is a Bigot. If he were he would not have a 100% rating from the NAACP.
http://www.issues2000.org/Senate/Joe_Biden.htm
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1corona4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #9
17. No, you're not...
Edited on Sat Nov-17-07 07:11 PM by 1corona4u
His comments were totally taken out of context. One was meant to be a joke, and the other was meant to be a compliment, but people can't just accept that. They have to find issues, and hang on every word people say these days. PC is way out of hand if you ask me. It's one of my pet peeves.

I think some people just look for something to NOT like about him.
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Louis J Sheehan Donating Member (20 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:06 PM
Response to Original message
6. Medical Malpractice "Crisis"
I apologize as this is rather off point, but generally relates to the effectiveness of the private sector vs. a governmental entity ... so I like to post it. -- Louis J Sheehan

DOCTORS AND POLITICIAN MISS MOST OBVIOUS SOLUTIONS TO MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CRISIS:
THE FORGOTTEN MEMO OF SOLUTIONS.
Herb Denenberg Column for May 05, 2003
Doctors and politicians in search of the magic bullet to solve the so-called medical malpractice crisis have focused on a pie-in-the-sky solution that wont fly politically or constitutionally the $250,000 cap on pain and suffering. That would take a constitutional amendment, which requires something close to a political consensus. That political consensus will never happen due to the determined and effective opposition of the trial lawyers and most consumer organizations, and the difficulties inherent in passing any constitutional amendment at the state or federal level. Whats worse, the public, even if half-informed, would reject the concept, of a cap on damages. It is obviously unfair and off the wall.

In the process of primary focus on a solution that will never happen these interest groups are missing the more obvious, the more practical and the more immediate solutions that may produce bigger and quicker premium reductions. To find these solutions all the doctors and politicians would have to do is to read a memo dated February 28, 2002, entitled Suggestions to Effect Immediate Premium Savings for Health Care Providers. The memo was written by John H. Reed, then the Director of the Cat Fund (now an attorney in private practice in Sellingsgrove, Pennsylvania), and his Deputy Director, Robert W. Waeger.

Here are a few of their recommendations, which should be given immediate and serious consideration, but which have been ignored by doctors and politicians and legislators and by the insurance commissioner and the insurance industry (the latter two groups being in perpetual hibernation when it comes to new ideas or basic reforms of the present system).

LET STATE PROVIDE MEDICAL MALPRACTICE COVERAGE THROUGH CAT FUND. Now doctors have to go to commercial insurers for the first $500,000 of coverage (the excess over that $500,000 primary limit is now provided by the CAT Fund).

The commercial insurance companies dont want to write the business. Fine. They should have no complaints when the state of Pennsylvania fills the vacuum. As the memo in question indicates, the Cat Fund could provide the first $500,000 coverage for 40 percent less than the commercial insurance industry. That would be possible, as the state through the Cat Fund, would have a lower expense ratio. They would not have to pay commissions to agents or support a major marketing structure. The Cat Fund would not have to earn and pay a profit to shareholders. It would not have to pay taxes. It would not have to support the corporate structure that goes with any commercial insurance operation. The CAT Fund pays out in claims 99 cents on the dollar of collected premiums; commercial insurers, in contrast, pay out 60 to 65 cents on the dollar in claims, with 35 to 40 cents going for marketing, commissions, profits, etc.

CUT REQUIREMENT OF $500,000 IN PRIMARY COVERAGE TO $200,000. Now each doctor must buy $500,000 in commercial insurance and the rest if sold by the state-operated CAT fund. If this $500,000 requirement were cut to $200,000, the Reed-Waeger Memo estimates premiums would be reduced by at least 25 to 35 percent. This would also increase the market for malpractice as commercial insurers would have to shoulder less risk, and that in turn would improve the competitive environment. It would also make it easier for doctors to use self-insurance, risk retention groups (RRGs), fronted captives and other alternatives to commercial insurance (see next reform on RRGs). This change could come about without adoption of the first recommended change.

PROMOTE USE OF RRGs. The Risk Retention Group is a self-insurance device, which involves doctors banding together in non-profit groups to self-insure their coverage. It is a min-insurance company. The reduction of the primary requirement from $500,000 to $200,000, as suggested above, would make this approach easier to undertake. Although not mentioned in the MEMO, Reed recommends that a solvency fund be created to cover RRGs for medical malpractice. This was a recommendation he did make in testifying before the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce on February 10, 2003. Now RRGs are not so covered, and this means that doctors would have a dangerous exposure if the RRG would go under. With commercial insurance companies, there is a solvency fund back-up and if this were extended to RRGs, they would become more popular and could make a larger contribution to the solution of any problems in obtaining reasonably priced medical malpractice insurance. The MEMO estimates that some specialists could cut their premiums by 60 to70 percent with RRGs.

COMPRESS RATE SCHEDULE. Now there is incredible variation in premiums between so-called high-risk specialists and lower-risk categories of doctors. Premiums are so tailored to each category of doctors that the insurance function of spreading risk does not work as effectively as it might. Compressing rate schedules means that the differences between the highest and lowest risk categories would be reduced, thus lowering the burden on the higher risk specialties and spreading risk more evenly. The Memo says, if the lowest risk groups paid $1,000 more, the higher risks groups could be cut by up to l/3rd.

CONCLUSION. The MEMO has a good summary of what these recommended changes might do: What now seems to be a looming crisis can be averted. All of the above options will immediately reduce malpractice premiums to health care providers. Most importantly, they can accomplish that result without taking money from taxpayers, without triggering the additional expense of borrowing, without burdening future generations of health care providers, and without having to bar the door of the courthouse to those individuals having legitimate claims. (c)2003 Herbert S. Denenberg All Rights Reserved.


Herb Denenberg is a former Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner, professor at the Wharton School, and Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and is a board member of the Center for Safe Medication Use. He is an adjunct professor of insurance and information science and technology at Cabrini College. You can write Herb at POB 7301,St. Davids, PA e-mail him at hdenenberg@aol.com or reach him at his two Web sites: thedenenbergreport.org or denenbergsdump.org
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Thanks for this. I'm stunned that I didn't even THINK of the malpractice
factor regarding coverage -- and it's a big one. Now you have me thinking....
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polichick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. Very interesting, thanks...
While I believe healthcare should be seen as a citizen's right in a country like the US (and that we've really been conned about this for a long time), it makes sense to look at all possible ways to bring down costs.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:11 PM
Response to Original message
7. Because of false horror stories about Canada. nt
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polichick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. Thank God for Michael Moore! nt
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Froward69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 10:45 PM
Response to Reply #12
22. Joe says it better than I can
This a short but it illustrates his point.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jilpix0_6P8

I trust you have read his health care statement at his website. www.joeBiden.com

about a 1:20 into this one Joe starts talking about health care.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhR4PyJIvoo

as these were Older he has toned it down a bit. I still think it is the objective of him to garner Universal health care for all of us.
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