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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 01:40 PM
Original message
I oppose Hillarycare from the Left
It was a bad idea in 1994, and it's an even worse idea now. Should she become president, will this be the kind of health care plan she introduces? She could not push it through a Democratic controlled Congress, and her health care task force--made up of Ivy League technocrats--could not succinctly explain it to the American people. I remember when Michael Dukakis came to my university to give a talk. He said he was so baffled by the complexity of the Clinton health care plan that he could not explain it to his graduate students in public policy.The Clintons plan maintained private insurance as the primary mechanism of coverage for most Americans, through an employer mandate, the costs of which would hurt small business, to the benefit of large corporations. Under Hillarycare, the insurance companies and HMO's would have found creative new ways to manipulate the system to their benefit once again, at the expense of customers. They have good lawyers, accountants and MBA's who know how to do this stuff for a living.

I oppose Hillarycare from the Left. I favor a single payer, Canadian style health care system that would make private insurance obsolete (though if the companies want to continue to provide an obsolete product, I certainly won't stop them). Just delete the section of Medicare that says you have to be 65 to be a beneficiary, phase in an increase over several years of the Medicare payroll tax, lift the $90,000 income limit on payroll taxes, allow everyone to pay into Medicare part B, import drugs from Canada, put price controls on drugs, but provide government grants to pharmaceutical companies to do research of new drugs. Oh, and as part of any health care reform, the government should forgive all student loan debt accrued by medical students
(or compensate private lenders who made the loans).

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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. I agree with you, but for personal reasons
I'm from Arkansas, and I know that Hillary wouldn't even take the time to listen or respond to not only my letters but to my doctor. We were both talking about stressing wellness in any health care plan, and how vitamins and supplements have been shown to be very helpful in maintaining health and in some cases of curing diseases. The thing that got me most about this was that I never got even a "thank you, I'll think about that" response, and I don't believe my doc, who has been on the board of directors of medical organizations, got much of a response, if anything, either.
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Poppyseedman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
2. Better solution
First do SERIOUS tort reform to drive down the cost of medical liabilities. Yes, the lawyers will have to find other people and companies to suck dry, but someone has to reign in the costs of suing your doctor because you eat 75,000 whoppers and had a heart attack. The doc for some reason can't make you whole again.

Have the states set up medical coverages for those people who really cannot afford comprehensive medical coverage, which the citizen pays for on a rolling scale based on the ability to pay. Every adult who is not self employed who does not have medical insurance must sign up for state coverage at minimum levels to cover the cost of uninsured hospital incidents. Self employed must have a medical saving plan set up to be a business or join the state plan or private insurance.

The states can control the costs and quality of care much better than the federal government, plus we don't eat up expenses paying people in DC to sit on their ass checking over our shoulder to make sure they have a job in the next ten years.

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liberalpragmatist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Well medical liability is a two-way street
There are a lot of frivolous lawsuits, but it's also true that a lot of medical malpractice is avoidable; better hospital administration and greater communication with patients would drive down costs a lot as well.
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Poppyseedman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. Until you fix the legal end of the cost of medical care,
any system will be doomed to fail.




Americas patients are losing access to care because the nations out-of-control legal system is forcing physicians in some areas of the country to retire early, relocate or give up performing high-risk medical procedures. There are now 20 states in a full-blown medical liability crisis -- up from 12 in 2002. In crisis states, patients continue to lose access to care. In some states, obstetricians and rural family physicians no longer deliver babies. Meanwhile, high-risk specialists no longer provide trauma care or perform complicated surgical procedures. That is why medical liability reform is the AMAs top legislative priority.

http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/noindex/category/11871.html
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. Highly overrated...
According to the CBO, liability costs amount to a total of 2% of medical expendatures. Try again.

http://www.kaiseredu.org/topics_im.asp?imID=1&parentID=...
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. Good answer. Liability costs are a red herring. Thanks for the link.
From what I see, on the ground, is the rising costs of premiums for private insurance forcing people out of health care plans, forcing companies to limit shared costs and pushing some people to the least efficient and least appropriate form of regular, long term health care, the Emergency Room.
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Yep, and that increase is driven by two things...
administration costs and the slowing of the stock market. Insurance companies do NOT make money on the premiums themselves. They use what they have from premiums and invest in the stock market. When the market goes down, premiums go up to make up the difference, when the stocks are good, the premiums are low. Simple really, it also doesn't help that the administration costs for health care industry are increasing lately, sometimes dramatically, but thems the breaks when it comes to the greed of CEOs and the increase in "Managed" care.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #20
34. Almost
When the stocks are good, the leisure class makes a bundle. When the stocks aren't so good, they raise the premiums. Just ask anybody who got their Safeco car insurance raised because Safeco lost a bundle on corporate scandal losses.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #11
43. Oh yes by all means lets do what the AMA says. What a crock.
You want fewer lawsuits how about policing your own? The AMA has this much in common with the Catholic Church. The club mindset in the US medical profession is just disgusting, and until they start kicking out the grossly incompetent practitioners, I'll be backing the lawyers to the hilt.
BTW why did you get into the profession in the first place? Was it to do the bidding of a clerk at the insurance company? And why is it that every time this issue comes up 'tort reform' always means limiting the victims recourse?
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PBass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #4
55. There is NOT a lot of frivolous malpractice lawsuits!!!
Edited on Sat Feb-11-06 04:37 PM by PBass
(To Poppyseed man)
That's the right wing spin talking. Please educate yourself on malpractice lawsuits, and don't spread misinformation.

It costs something like 60 thousand dollars to launch a malpractice lawsuit (with no guarantee of winning). How many people will spend 60k on a bogus lawsuit, just for kicks?

Also, the number of malpractice lawsuits has gone down, while health care costs have gone up. What does that tell you?

Look here:
http://www.citizen.org/congress/civjus/medmal /

There is a LOT of misinformation and spin about health care, please get the facts!!!
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Faygo Kid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. "Tort reform" is a sideshow. Kindest way to address this post.
Talk to me about it when some powerful individuals or groups say they are happy to give up their rights to access our justice system, instead of crying out for OTHERS to give up their rights. What's with your last sentence? Social Security is efficient and effective, and that was patently unfair to government workers (no, I am not one). Given your tone in this post, I expect you to unload on me. Be my guest.
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Poppyseedman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #6
16. Get ready to be unloaded on...............you asked for it.
OK, I grant you. SS is a program the government does well.

You obviously don't understand how DC works. There are LITERALLY thousands of government programs currently being funded by you and me that LONG AGO outlived there usefulness costing us taxpayers billions of dollars every year. The reason the programs are still funded is because people work at the jobs that sometimes are redundant several times over. Nobody in DC has the political will to cut this waste out of the budgets for fear of stepping on the most powerful set of lobbyist in DC: The bureaucrats and their unions.

I'm all for the federal government to do what functions it supposed to do, just not multiple people being paid to do the same job ten different ways to come to the same conclusion. I never said government workers were lazy or bad, just way too many of them doing jobs that should have long ago be eliminated. Why do I need someone in DC to quality me for a program someone in Florida can qualify me for. Most of the money that comes from DC is in grant form anyway.

As for tort reform, nobody is asking you to give up you rights to access the judicial system, but there has to be a balance. If you lose a leg because a doctor made a bad decision and you win 100 million dollars though litigation, Do you really think 40 million of that should go to the lawyer?

Tort reform is not a sideshow. If you want decent affordable health care, tort reform is the place to start.
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #16
21. debunked...post 14 n/t
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Poppyseedman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. My comment about government largesse
was debunked?

You said I was unfair to government workers by my comments. Care to take that back?
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. Actually I didn't say that...
Also, you do exhaggerate on the government largess to a large extent, take Medicare for example, before privatization schemes were set into place, it had administrative costs of about 2%, with HMOs is closer to 10%. Now Canada's system has the same cost set around 5%, private carrier around about 20 to 30%. If you want to look at government overspending, look no further than the military, they recieve the largest single block of money of any program, with few results, as we can see with the Osprey, F-22, phantom programs(Star Wars). Think about that.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #27
47. I think you're going to have to wait a long time for an answer. n/t
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #16
22. "tort reform is the place to start"
"If you want decent affordable health care, tort reform is the place to start"

Why is that?

"The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office finds that the costs associated with malpractice--buying insurance and paying out damage awards--amounts to less than two percent of America's skyrocketing healthcare expenses. "Even a reduction of 25 percent to 30 percent in malpractice costs would lower healthcare costs by only about 0.4 percent to 0.5 percent, and the likely effect on health insurance premiums would be comparably small," the CBO determined. That's chump change--a mere five bucks out of the $900 I blow on health insurance each month."

http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0126-27.htm

If you want decent affordable health care, tort reform is an irrelevant sideshow.

"As for tort reform, nobody is asking you to give up you rights to access the judicial system, but there has to be a balance. If you lose a leg because a doctor made a bad decision and you win 100 million dollars though litigation, Do you really think 40 million of that should go to the lawyer? "

Actually yes I do. First of all $100M awards are massively rare. Second, unless the rewards are there lawyers will not take on the risk of fronting the huge expenses involved in a litigation suit. Normal working people will have no access to the civil courts if the rightwing 'tort reform' nonsense is enacted.
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Poppyseedman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #22
26. Care to back that assertion up with a source? .
Edited on Sat Feb-11-06 03:20 PM by Poppyseedman
Normal working people will have no access to the civil courts if the rightwing 'tort reform' nonsense is enacted.


I seriously doubt the trial lawyers will let "rightwing tort reform" dig too deep into their pockets
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #26
30. As soon as you address the numerous posts here
pointing out that liability costs represent 2% of healthcare costs, I'll be happy to defend my side point regarding the merits of the rightwing campaign to lock common people out of the civil court system.
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #22
33. tort reform is a strategic RW intiative--don't take the bait!
Anyone who doesn't understand this comment, please read George Lakoff's Don't Think of an Elephant.

Tort reform has 0 to do with lowering the cost of anything except the cost corporations will have to pay out for breaking the law.
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Faygo Kid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #16
23. I think others are addressing your contention well.
To say that "tort reform is the place to start" about affordable health care says more about an agenda than a solution. Care to share what this is all about?

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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #16
24. Think about this practically...
Edited on Sat Feb-11-06 03:15 PM by Solon
Which is cheaper to run?

A private/public system which covers some people, if they qualify, having to sift through whether they have a pre-existing condition, the insurance will cover it, what the deductible is, co-pay, what percentage will private cover versus public, etc. etc. ad infinitum.

A totally public system, no deducts, no co-pays, everybody pays on a progressive scale, single payer, all medically necessary procedures as determined by doctors themselves, no regards to costs.

Now, which will require more bean counters(bureaucrats)?
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Nite Owl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #16
29. If tort reform is going to lower costs
than any bill should say that as soon as it goes into effect the costs of premiums must drop by let's say 25%. Will that happen? No, because the effect of tort reform will be minimal at best. The insurance companies are a powerful lobby and so is the AMA. We have the right to sue someone who does us wrong and if a doctor is incompetent they should not be practicing medicine.
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #29
45. AMA are suckers
they're incredibly gullible when it comes to this issue, constantly being duped by the insurance companies.
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #16
44. Red herring, no it isn't
Studies have shown time and again that enacting tort reform has had no positive impact on the cost of malpractice insurance. Tort reform only brings more profits for insurance companies, makes no difference in the cost of health care.
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Nite Owl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #44
68. Which is why the dems
should insist on this being in their legislation. People really think it's the other guy making their premiums go skyhigh. It isn't all so make them put their legislation where their talk is and it can't happen. The GOP is using lawyers as their scapegoat, they always have one of those. People hate lawyers because they 'hear' how bad they must be, just like liberals aren't patriotic they come to believe all their crap. The GOP knows full well it won't reduce costs for the average person make them insure that it will and they will cry like babies.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #16
46. Wrong! More RW corporate BS.
First, the 100 million award will be knocked down to a tiny fraction by the re :puke: packed court of appeals.
Second the attorneys never get 40% of a substantial judgment, the presiding judge will determine the exact amount that the firm receives from the judgment, it usually works out to about 18%.
Just put that propaganda where it belongs.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #2
19. Tort reform is a strawman...
Edited on Sat Feb-11-06 03:03 PM by SoCalDem
MOST people do NOT sue doctors..

Nationalized healthcare would also prove the doctors with a larger pool of physicians, regarding coverage for them too, so their costs should drop..

Part of any plan would have to be elimination of the "good-ole-boy" cover-each-other's ass regimen that's in use now..

Any viable plan would be about redistribution of risk, over the largest possbible array of people/and doctors..



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ptolle Donating Member (423 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #2
39. a recommendation
I heartily recommend that you read this,http://ezraklein.typepad.com/blog/2005/07/malpractice_i... and do the followup.Generally, though I'd endorse your plan being of the belief that the closer you can get an organization to the people it's supposed to serve the better off everyone is.No matter how this comes about the feds are going to have to have a role.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-12-06 09:18 AM
Response to Reply #2
88. HSAs are a rip-off. I'm a self-employed person who has done the math
Twice as much money for less coverage.

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radio4progressives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:20 PM
Response to Original message
3. Conservative Analysis says Single Payer the most Economically Sound
Edited on Sat Feb-11-06 02:21 PM by radio4progressives
for the State of California - (ergo the nation) it would be far more cost effective for all tax payers, if everyone had medicare/medicaid than any other scheme or plan in existence.

Conservative analysts came up with savings into the Hundreds of Billions of dollars.

I don't have the link right now... i'll dig around for it at a later time and post the links..
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savemefromdumbya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #3
63. yes
each state could macro-manage
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ingac70 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:25 PM
Response to Original message
5. I totally agree.....
If Hillary is the '08 choice, I'll be staying home.

I liked her husband.. he truly was the best Republican President we ever had.... but dammit.. I want a real DEM!!!
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Faygo Kid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:28 PM
Response to Original message
7. I agree, too. Single payer is the way to go.
Keep it simple, and fair.


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liberalpragmatist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:30 PM
Response to Original message
8. I doubt Hillary would revive the Hillarycare approach
She's not stupid and she knows that that plan is dead.

I also favor a single-payer system. That said, the chances of it passing are extremely slim. Maybe it'll be worth pushing depending on the political environment, but the chances may be quite slim and we may have to settle for something else.
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AtomicKitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
9. Her proposal may not have been up to snuff in your opinion,
but at least she tried. Whether people here at DU agree or not, the Clintons deserve recognition and some damn respect for the effort.
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
10. Sounds like you don't know much
about her plan.

Perhaps your efforts would be more worthwhile if you focused on promoting the style of health care plan you prefer.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. The Clinton proposal was corrupt
and deserved to die. It built in payola for the health insurance industry. It was ridiculously complicated.

Expand medicare to everyone. Add a serious prescription benefit. Fund it 50-50 employer/employee. Anyone not working is automatically covered. Everyone is in the same program.
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #17
35. I agree with expanding Medicaid/Medicare
I'm just not so sure that Hillary's plan was much different.
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WePurrsevere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
12. Your idea sounds good... a bit like the one Ted Kennedy proposes
Edited on Sat Feb-11-06 02:46 PM by WePurrsevere
that someone mentioned on DU about a week or two ago. I meant to look further into it and your post reminded me. Unfortunately I don't have time to read his "A Democratic Blueprint for America's Future" as well as I'd like right now but here's the link if you're interested: http://tinyurl.com/8e5n5 B-) From what I've read so far it sounds like some excellent ideas but I've always had a fondess and respect for the Kennedy's and Ted is no exception.

As a Medicare recipient who's disabled I can tell you that although Medicare has much to be desired it's not a horrible plan compared to some and certainly when compared to none. It's very similar to what my husband and I had with his company except no Dental or Eye coverage which is something I've long felt should be covered by Medicare since both are extremely important to a person's over all health and well being.

As for Hillary's idea back then... I don't remember a lot of the details but since no one else had a plan that I had heard about I gave and still do give her credit for at least trying to come up with a solution to a serious and ever increasing problem. So many other politicians seem to prefer to just complain about and give vague promises in response to problems but then when push comes to shove they do nothing about it... they don't even try... heck some even try to sabotage it... like BushCo with Medicare and Medicaid currently.
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:48 PM
Response to Original message
13. I'm a strong supporter of single payer health care system, too. People who
Edited on Sat Feb-11-06 02:56 PM by pinto
are concerned with the costs in such a large program - while overlooking the obvious cost benefits of providing coverage for a large pool of insureds - ought to take a look at the private insurance billing/payment process.

There are multiple layers of entities, middle men, insurance clearinghouses, etc. between the provider/patient and the "insurer". And they all take a fee for their service which comes out of the billable amount before any payment actually gets to a provider. Look at the rising cost of premiums happening in the private sector right now. That's not theory, that's just plain fact.

The Republican mantra that the private sector is more efficient in providing for health care is just plain wrong, but folks eat it up as a corollary of the mistrust big government mantra it relies on.

I agree, the best - and yes, simplest - process would be to open up Medicare coverage, Part A & B, to all Americans. And can the Part D drug plan...negotiate pricing with drug companies using the leverage of size and pass the savings on to the drug consumer.

Would there be overhead? Of course. Would there be a need for effective and vigilant oversight? Yes. Would those both be feasible and cost effective? Yes.

Additionally, national health care is also an appropriate and fundamental role for the federal government in our society...imho. It's the right thing to do as a society.

(on edit) Just wanted to note that I don't think Hillarycare is a real apt tag for that attempt at expanding health coverage. The effort was mired in a full frontal attack from the insurance companies, the Republicans and other interested parties from the git go and died a death of a thousand cuts. The notion that it was Hillary's alone to make or break is a gross oversimplification, imo, but makes for a good headline. She got a bad rap on it.

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savemefromdumbya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #13
58. I think states should have a role in healthcare rather than fed. burden
I think the federal government should have an overall monitoring role but should not run the healthcare system. The health system can be micromanaged by state governments and healthtrusts. (see post below)
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-12-06 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #58
89. Then you have uneven benefits from state to state
Not good.

Conservatives in wealthy states will then moan about people from poor states coming for medical care, just as they did with AFDC decades ago.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 02:56 PM
Response to Original message
15. Corporate Party Democrats won't propose UHC.
It is a defining issue for them. If they can't go for universal healthcare, supported by a large majority of the population, they are Corporate Whore Democrats.
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #15
36. My congressman - Sherrod Brown - supports it
He's been talking about single payer health care for at least the last 10 years. Lots of other Dems in Congress support it also.

Kerry shocked me with the terrible plan he came up with, it was awful. Convoluted, complicated, full of holes and pandering to voters while covering very few people. Of course, the DLC came up with it, probably the same advisors who developed Medicare Part D.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #15
52. They ALL support universal health coverage
It's just that many of them know single payer isn't the route America has chosen to go. There are several universal health coverage ideas, don't confuse the issue by mixing up the two terms.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-12-06 07:33 AM
Response to Reply #52
83. Actually they don't.
The corporate line is incremental reform of the current system, which is not universal health care and won't be no matter how much lipstick you put on that pig. The corporate line 'bakes in' profits for Big Health and by doing so makes universal coverage unaffordable.

"many of them know single payer isn't the route America has chosen to go" and yet when asked, americans routinely indicate that a single payer universal system is exactly what they want. This is not "the route America has chosen to go" if you define "America" as our corporate masters and their compliant propaganda machine.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-12-06 09:24 AM
Response to Reply #52
90. Americans have never been given the option of "choosing" single payer
The one initiative I know of (Oregon's--I was living there when it came up for a vote) had two problems:

1. Some unions were against it, because the benefits were less generous than theirs

2. It had no residence requirement, so the righties went on and on with scare stories about poor people from everywhere sponging off Oregon taxpayers' money. Even people who favored single payer voted against it for that reason.
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Rosco T. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
28. There is a very, very simple solution to "Universal Health Care".
- FULLY fund the Medicare program, including competative pricing for all perscription drugs and all procdeures.

- lower the age for being eligable for Medicare to 'birth'.

viola.

Universal Health Care.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
31. I support free housing for all
Everybody has the right to a home and to not live in the cold. You can support all sorts of things, but if nobody else does, you may as well stand outside and talk to your tree.

I've been to a doctor once in the last 14 years and that was only because I wanted to make sure I don't have a cancerous tumor growing in my head because I went deaf in my right ear. Do you think you could get behind a program that will PASS so that people like me can go to the damned doctor??

Or is it more important to keep shoving single payer down people's throats just for the sake of being ideologically superior.



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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. How about because it will help millions of people get needed medical...
care? Isn't that more important than your attitude?
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #32
38. An idea isn't medical care
People have been talking about single payer for decades. Talk talk talk and real people continue to die. Get behind something that people understand and that doesn't do any harm to the "free market"; subsidized health insurance. So simple and with everybody invested, there won't be any more finger pointing, except at the insurance companies where it belongs. It's the obvious stepping stone to single payer, but like most other good Dem ideas, it can't succeed when it gets attacked from the left and the right.
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #38
41. Why do you need to protect "free market" private insurance?
Its obviously a system that doesn't work. Put in a system that does work for people and if the "free market" can't handle it, well, that's why its called a free market. Let it fail. If you want to buy private insurance, go ahead and buy it.

Taxpayers are under no obligation to subsidize a failed health insurance system that lets people die needlessly to protect profits.

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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #41
48. *I* don't, but that's where America is at
Trying to sell single payer health care is as dumb as trying to sell the vegan diet. It just isn't where this country is at and denying it in order to continue pushing single payer is a waste of time. And real live people are suffering.
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #48
56. I don't see how that is possible...
Most Americans(65%) want a universal plan, even with higher taxes on the table to fund it. Not to mention the general hatred Americans hold for the Health Insurance industry at large.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #56
59. Words mean something
A universal plan does not equate to single payer and only single payer. Just like "consider impeachment" does not mean support impeachment tomorrow. My state voted on single payer, blue Oregon, and it went down in flames. Hillary's plan wasn't even full single payer, went down in flames. People want a universal plan that offers choice and traditional medical delivery, not a plan meted out by the federal government. They want to be able to choose their insurance plan from their choice of providers with federal assistance to those who need it. That's what they want. Most of them don't even know the option is on the table because all they hear is crap from Bush and single payer.
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #59
65. How the hell do you sell a Universal plan while telling the middle class..
and small business owners that they still will have to pay for private carriers as well? There is no way to fully fund a Universal plan with only partial taxation to fund it, that leads to failure, and also, would it be an opt in plan, or an opt out plan? Is there what are the limits, is it only for catastrophic care, scheduled doctor visits, prescriptions, what? What would be its deducts or co-pays, by state, set at federal, what about that? Would it only cover those at certain income levels or not? For example, let's say a guy making 50,000 dollars a year already pays 2-300 a month with employer based insurance plan, now, if the system doesn't have an income level cutoff, and the taxes on it equal, let's say, 50 bucks a month, why would he stay with a private carrier at all? Note that in most cases, those on private plans are MORE limited in choice of doctors than they would on private plans.

Now, if there is a income cutoff and he is above it, and can't get covered, then will he still have to pay for it regardless, if that's the case, then why approve and vote on such a plan at all?
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #65
66. Pssst, NO he wouldn't stay with the private carrier
That small business owner and middle income workers would buy into a cheaper FEDERAL plan, with various choices based on individual need. As would more and more people, and eventually you'd have, tada, single payer. But you have to start with something the majority of people can get on board with, subsidized health insurance for buying into one of the already existing federal employee plans.
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #66
70. OK, so instead of eliminating the Insurance companies by law...
eliminate them by competition, that's easy enough for the government to do. Though I wonder how badly they would lobby against it, they are the ones that will buy the most airtime against such a plan to begin with. But then again, all that is is Single Payer with the Private Insurance still around, but only relegated, within a few months I would think, to only covering elective procedures like plastic surgery for looks. Reconstructive surgery and breast reductions for back problems covered under the public plan after all.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #70
72. That's how most countries are
Most countries don't have a single payer ONLY system. They have public/private systems, the basics are covered through single payer and extras through either private insurance or out of pocket. Some countries don't cover dental or optical, for example. Others don't cover prescriptions. Some have co-pays, some don't. Some pay strictly out of taxes, some mix their health care with their social security and unemployment taxes, some pay a monthly premium too. There are alot of ways to go about this and we're really missing the boat by not discussing all of them. I see it as an ideological adherance to "single payer" or "free health care" and like with so many things from the left, I don't know why there is no opportunity to talk about the array of options available.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #70
76. Oh, and one more thing
Some countries that purport to have free medical care, weell, not quite. Sometimes there isn't enough to go around, and human nature being what it is, the only way you end up being able to get health care is to bribe the doctor, in other words, the poor still don't get treated.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-12-06 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #59
92. See my post #90, re: Oregon single payer initiative
You're not telling the whole story.
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tkmorris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #48
67. There's the rub
You keep saying that the country doesn't want single payer health care. I disagree with that contention. Convince me that this is the case. Show me what you see.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 05:11 PM
Response to Reply #67
71. I see we don't have it
That's what I see. I see it went down 60/40 in my own state.

I think when we talk about health care we should talk about there being more than one solution. We could go single payer OR pro-rated buy-ins into federal insurance. Let people know there are many options being discussed and it isn't the VA or what we've got now. That's what I think people are afraid of and we need to move them away from that fear, single payer moves them towards it. Once we remove the fear by talking about various solutions, they may well come to the conclusion single payer is the answer themselves. But we have to get them listening first.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-12-06 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #48
86. Back that assertion up with some data.
You have now asserted several times in this thread that the american people don't want a single payer universal healthcare system. Every polling result I have seen shows something like 60% support for exactly that kind of system. So back up your claims.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-14-06 01:27 AM
Response to Reply #38
97. Because it's just about as stupid as a "free market" in fire departments
Markets in health care insurance have NO PURPOSE WHATSOEVER, other than ripping off money which in a sane system would be used for the provision of health care. The purpose of insurance is to spread risk, and markets in insurance work to eliminate risky people from the insurance pool. This is just as stupid as a fire department that analyzed census tracts and refuses to put out fires in precisely those tracts which are more likely to have fires.
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #31
40. You missed the point, again
No one said health care should be free to everyone. Single payer health care that covers everyone makes overall costs lower because it shares risk over a larger group of people. No one has a problem with employers and individuals buying into the system or paying higher taxes or copays, as long as its based on ability to pay.

Believe me, the time will come when you'll want good health care coverage, too. Developing good health care policy takes more than just figuring out what works best for you and expecting everyone else to live with it.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #40
49. No, I face reality
And the reality is "the time will come" has come and went for alot of folks who are DEAD. You obviously didn't read my post or you'd recognize that somebody who hasn't been able to see a doctor for most of their adult life is interested in good health CARE right now. Blathering on about single payer at the expense of good health care solutions that are on the table right NOW is a distraction and is costing people their lives. I DO get the point, because I AM the point.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #49
51. I'd like to know about these "good health care solutions that are on the
table right NOW" All I've heard are various corporate giveaways and schemes to dump the sick on the taxpayer while the "health care" companies get to steal more money from healthy working people.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #51
53. Exactly
Let people die because a corporation might get some money. Thank you oh so much. I love this shit from people who are generally already covered or too young to know what it's like to really NEED to see a doctor.
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #53
57. You make it too convoluted and no American will support it...
that's the problem, most Americans don't really give a shit about the free market if it stands in the way of them seeing a doctor, they just want that care, and saying, "Hey let's expand Medicare to include EVERYBODY." is a pretty strong selling point.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #57
62. No they won't
You really think they don't know the difference between single payer and Medicare??? Keep dreaming. If it's what people wanted, we'd have it. And people understand the difference between free market health care and the VA and they are willing to sacrifice "those people" to avoid everybody ending up at the VA.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #53
60. You know nothing about me or my situation. I asked a simple
straightforward question. You respond with baseless accusations and false assumptions.
I haven't been able to afford health care for over six years now, I'm well into middle age (unless I get to live to 120 or so) and if I do get sick or am injured I get to go to the emergency room 45 miles away. If you are currently in need of care, what on earth makes you think that a "health care" corporation will even let you in the door, let alone treat you?
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #60
64. Hello??? They WON"T, that's my damned point
But that's what we're stuck with so we either get behind something that people will support NOW or keep getting locked out of health care altogether. Single Payer is blather, a complete distraction, just like HSA's or tort reform. We need to get people health insurance because that's the system we've got and the only way to do it is subsidized national health insurance.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-12-06 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #53
93. The only proposals that are on the table "right now"
are HSAs (a ripoff if I ever saw one), tort reform, and better sharing of information.

Whoopeee.
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savemefromdumbya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #40
61. healthcare should be free at the point of use
the financial aspects can be managed by each state govt and healthtrusts. This has to means-tested i.e.those with high salaries would pay more - not to health insurance companies but to healthtrusts. The burden of health payment would be also taken away from the employer.
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #31
42. The selling point is not ideological. It's cost effective to provide
single payer health care because of the large pool of insureds and the cumulative pool of premiums. As well as the decrease in overhead by eliminating the multiple middle men who take a cut of the money along the way.

While I'm vehement in my feeling that health care as a national priority is also a federal responsibility, I realize that argument often gets lost in the big government bugaboo the private sector and the Republicans run out. Medicare exists as a national health care plan right now. Opening it to all is not an idealogical leap...it's an expansion of an existing, effective program.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #42
50. National subsidized health coverage
That would be a federal responsibility, it would have a large pool of insured and uninsured, it would decrease overhead, it would do just about everything single payer does. And it's something we could get passed alot sooner than single payer. Like I keep saying, people are DIEING while the obvious solution is walked right over because of an ideological adherance to single payer.
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #50
69. By national subsidized health care, do you mean an individual Fed. subsidy
to be spent in either the public or private sector for health care?
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #69
74. Not sure what you mean
by public or private sector. Would the person's health plan cover any doctor they wanted to see? Generally yes. Although I personally don't have a problem with basic coverage and more expensive immediate care providers for the rich. We've got that anyway, without the basic coverage. I just think I should be able to choose from just about any state approved health insurance, and then have my payments based on my income, with the balance taxpayer subsidized. Let the insurance company justify their premiums to the state, let the people see the different fees different companies pay for the same services, let the market really work.
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #74
77. Medicare is what you mean, if I read you right. Premium based on income,
choice of provider, comprehensive coverage...from what I can see, the only difference is the private insurance company gets taken out of the equation.

Medicare reimbursement is accepted by most providers...from family practice, to internists, ObGyn, specialists as well as ancillary services - labs, radiology, physical therapy, etc.

Sounds like you want a private insurance policy of your choice. Makes sense. But saying that your choice of a private insurer ought to be subsidized by taxes if the premium is beyond your means is not letting the market work - it's a taxpayer subsidy. Why not cut to the chase and participate in an equitable, broad based program that offers you comprehensive coverage, choice of provider and affordable premiums? That would be an open enrollment Medicare.

Your broader point may be the political feasibility of Medicare for all. That's an uphill battle, I agree. I think the best we can do is support it as a smart, effective choice for health care across the board.

People's concerns with having some control over their health care decisions aren't, imo, about who pays for the care so much as who provides the care. People seem afraid that Medicare would dictate who you had to see for care. That's just not so. And, imo, having a bunch of plans to choose from doesn't really mean a whole hell of a lot to your health care, unless a plan limits your access to care. It always comes down to you and your provider.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #77
78. All in the perception of the people
First of all, there is no pure free market and I don't think there ever has been. But people think there is and would understand consumer pressure on insurance pay-outs when the entire population is finally covered by them. No more pitting the health care consumer against each other, we're all covered. The consumer end of the so-called free market.

Medicare has limitations, not only on what is covered, but how often it is covered. Yes you can generally choose your doctor, but you can't choose the tests and the doctor is more limited than most insurance programs. It also has premiums for the Part B coverage, it isn't free even with a 3% tax rate funding it. I don't have a personal problem with single payer or Medicare for all, I just don't think people are going to be willing to risk the medical program for the disabled and elderly for what they currently perceive as a responsiblity of the individual to pay for their own health care. I also don't think those who have good insurance or going to want to risk it for Medicare and that's what we'd be asking them to do. I don't see how we get health care for those currently uninsured or paying too much for their insurance without a separate system, and the only one that makes any sense to me is subsidized health insurance or subsidized buy-ins into federal employee plans. No government control, no risk to existing plans, plenty of room to make alterations without putting anything at risk at all. And it would eventually lead to single payer because that is the only logical conclusion in the long run. We just started with for profit health care so moving to not for profit is going to take a few hoop jumps, seems to me.
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #78
79. Yeah, I see some of your points. We'll have to agree to disagree.
I am a down the line advocate for national health care.

And, I appreciate the conversation a lot. Made me think. Gotta step out for now. Thanks.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #79
80. It IS national health care
There's more than one way to get from here to there. Help the people see that there are more choices than this monstrosity we've got today, that's the main thing right now. Later.
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #80
81. ...
:thumbsup:
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #31
73. All right
Look. If Hillary's plan came up for a vote in Congress, and it was between that or nothing, then I would support Hillary's plan. But then I would go back to working for single payer once again.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #73
75. And I'd be right there beside you
We've got to get something the people will support that will really provide health CARE, and these HSA's just aren't it.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-12-06 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #31
91. So it's all about you?
What about the people who NEED to go to the doctor because they have something like diabetes or cancer or lupus or something else that only gets worse if untreated but they put it off because they can't afford $100 or more for an office visit?

And yes, while we're at it, affordable housing is a SERIOUS problem in this country.
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NancyG Donating Member (483 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:00 PM
Response to Original message
37. Yeah, well I'd happily take either....
We pay $925/mo for 2 for very high deductible. This has got to stop. Being self-employed, I need a pool of subscribers to join. Soooooon.
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savemefromdumbya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 04:35 PM
Response to Original message
54. need a system free at the point of use
private health insurance companies will have to be amalgamated with hospital and healthcenters to form 'healthtrusts'. These would be free at the point of use for patients. Docs, nurses and other healthworkers would be paid directly by the healthtrust. Patients would have to pay a monthly tax/fee which would be deducted from their salaries. The rich would pay the most and poor less/not at all. This payment would be 'means tested' and controlled by each state government. The state government would act as an umbrella for the healthtrusts to monitor their performance and macro manage the finances of the healthtrusts.
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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 07:12 PM
Response to Original message
82. I did not follow her program then, so read your summary with interest
First, I've heard that the French and German medical systems are better than the Canadian. Don't know why but perhaps we can get some solid data.

I agree that employers should not be part of the system. This is why Dick Gephardt's plan to get employers to pay more killed him so quickly.

I don't have problems with private health insurance. I compare this to public school. Our taxes provide for public schools. If you want more, if you want to send your kids to private schools go ahead and pay for it yourself.

It is a fact that even if we close the gap of CEOs getting 400 times the income of the average workers, there will always be rich individuals and these should be able to pay for private doctors, private hospitals, etc.

If Clinton wants to keep employers and for profit medical insurance in the system then she is wrong. Our tax money should not support any for profit HMOs where CEOs are making millions, while the actual health providers - doctors, hospitals and nurses - say their reimbursements going down and down.

With the continuing reduction in Medicare disbursement, how on earth will the first of the baby boomers will get medical care?

Oh, and one correction. The $90K limit is on Social Security, not Medicare.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-14-06 01:36 AM
Response to Reply #82
98. I compare it to the fire department, myself
We don't insist that only homeowners and businesses that have fires bear the entire cost of supporting the fire department. Since 10% of really sick people account for 72% of all health care spending, neither should we be forcing them to take on the lion's share of their health care expense with the alternatives being bankruptcy or death.

The same fire truck will come to my house that would come to Bill Gates' mansion, and that's how health care should be. Now of course Gates can afford a state of the art alarm and sprinkler system that is beyond my means, but why should I care about that as long as we get the same firetruck?
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-12-06 07:44 AM
Response to Original message
84. Healthcare the most glaring discrepancy in political representation
Many repubs to want nationalized healthcare. also many don't know Repub reps oppose it.

It's easily a large majority of the population that wants nationalized ("universal") health care.

This may be the single clearest issue that can unite US citizens against their supposed representatives (with a few exceptions).
It may be worth it for the grassroots to push this issue the hardest for upcoming elections.
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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-12-06 08:02 AM
Response to Original message
85. does Hillary still push Hillarycare?
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-12-06 09:17 AM
Response to Original message
87. You have it exactly right, bluestateguy!
The first time I ever heard the term "managed care" was in talks by wonks advocating the Clinton health plan. We all know where that has led us.

I see it as a passive-aggressive ploy by the insurance companies ("Oh, here, let us help you design a plan. After all, we're the experts.") to create a plan that would be so complex and so unattractive that it would be easy to turn people against it.

Despite what the DLCers say, Americans did not reject the idea of national health care.

They rejected the Clinton plan, which was not national health care at all.

The Clintons were too scared of offending the Republicans and the powerful business interests to devise a REAL health plan.
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mtnsnake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-12-06 10:01 AM
Response to Original message
94. Name 1 other Dem who brought more attention to the health care problem
than Hillary did.

Her health care plan is better than anything we have now or you're gonna get under any Repukian regime.

"I remember when Michael Dukakis came to my university to give a talk. He said he was so baffled by the complexity of the Clinton health care plan that he could not explain it to his graduate students in public policy."

What about Dukakis? What was his health care plan? Yeah, he was real effective :eyes:
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-12-06 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #94
95. Harry Truman, for one
:-)

and in the last presidential campaign, Dennis Kucinich, not that the MSM would have ever mentioned it. You had to actually hear his speeches in person to know that.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-14-06 01:23 AM
Response to Original message
96. I agree with you. However--
-- could you pretty please with sugar on it and a cherry on top NOT use that Rethug word "Hillarycare"?
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