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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 05:38 AM
Original message
US House To Hold Hearings On Single Payer Health Care
Edited on Sun Jun-07-09 01:47 PM by Skinner
Source: Corrente

The Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee of the House Education and Labor Committee will hold a hearing titled Examining the Single Payer Health Care Option on Wednesday, June 10th at 10:30am in 2175 Rayburn House Office Building.

You may be able to watch via webcast.
Contact C-SPAN and let them know we would like them to carry it. C-SPAN's Main Number is: (202) 737-3220.

U.S. Rep. George Miller (CA-7) chairs the subcommittee that will be conducting the hearing and is a co-sponsor of HR 676, "Expanded and Improved Medicare for All."

For those of you who would like to attend in person and can make the trip to D.C., hearings are open to the public. Just make sure you get there early, so you get a seat.

Witnesses to be announced



Read more: http://edlabor.house.gov/hearings/labor/health-care /



http://www.correntewire.com/single_payer_silence_will_b...

All right, it's about time!
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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 06:00 AM
Response to Original message
1. Is this just a hearing to say "they had a hearing?"
I dunno.

As much as I am interested in single payer, I find it difficult to believe that it will get moved through this system as it stands.

What I find to be the absolutely non-negotiable element however, is a true honest to god public option. If health care "reform" comes through without a genuine public option that creates a competitive government health provision alternative to the private insurance racket, then I won't support it.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 06:20 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Nope. George Miller is a co-sponsor of The Medicare for All Act. This is how any bill gets passed.
He's a fairly powerful committee chair.

This is a very good thing.

A strong public option stands as much chance of passing as does single payer.
You don't think the insurance industry is going to allow a public option that will phase them out do you? Why would they allow that? Big pharma isn't going to allow a public option that can negotiate prices. Why would they?

Why have they been working together with the people proposing the public option? So they can be put out of business?

Don't count on it. The public option is a red herring. It will be used as a dumping ground for high risk people.

You realize that the Massachusetts health care "reform " that Mitt Romney passed though the Dem legislature has a "public option," right? And it's failing miserably. But it has been great for the private insurance companies. They love it.

Don't ask for what you don't want. It's better to ask for what you do want.
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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 08:09 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. That's just a long way of saying we're not going to get health care reform
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #8
22. No, it's a way of saying that power never concedes power with out demands placed on it. No one
is going to give us health care reform.

We are going to have to make it happen ourselves.

I believe in my ability to bring about change. How about you?

We are the ones we have been waiting for.



See, i took all the stuff Obama told us to heart.
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knixphan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #22
28. Hear, hear!
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #22
34. Yes, FDR's "Make me do it."
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Matariki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-09-09 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #22
156. Good - and what actions are you taking?
I'm asking because apart from writing and calling my congress peeps - who, at best, send me back a condescending letter then vote however they've been paid to - I have no idea how to 'make it happen'.
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sasquuatch55 Donating Member (701 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #8
85. 50000000 single payer Fans Can't Be Wrong!
nt
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YewNork Donating Member (449 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #2
29. A public option won't become a dumping ground if ....
If the private companies are not allowed to decline coverage on the basis of pre-existing condition, or to drop those who start making too high claims.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #29
33. Everyone i know working for a public option actually would prefer single payer.
In fact, the proponents have said repeatedly it is a stepping stone to single payer.

So why not just pass a single payer system? Since that's what both the public option people want and the single payer people want?

Any public option plan that functions like you or I would want it to function is unacceptable to the health care industrial complex. And just as unacceptable as a single payer system.

So there is zero political advantage to a public option over a single payer system. In fact it would be harder to pass since a lot of people who favor single payer don't want a public option system

Then their is the question of cost. We already have tons of evidence that single payer contains costs quite effectively while insuring quality care for all with complete choice of care provider. It's portable, it's easy, both for the care provider and for the patient.

The public option will raise costs significantly. It will require widespread and constant means testing to determine who is eligible for government subsidies and who isn't and how much subsidies someone is eligible for.

For example, the cost of administering Medicade is about 5% higher than the cost of administering Medicare, since virtually everyone is eligible for Medicare when they turn 65. There is no means testing, so it's much cheaper to do. With Medicade, the applicant has to go down to the county and fill out reams of paper work documenting their income, and if the income changes they have to update that in a timely fashion. And a case worker has to review and document the incomes and then has to determine what benefit the recipient gets. It's expensive, it's time consuming, if a mistake is made the recipient has to pay back any over benefits accidentally dispersed. The state has to follow up and collect.

Also, remember what happened as soon as the Medicare part D (drug benefit) went into effect and the government subsidized big pharma? Drug prices took a big jump. And why not? Free money for big pharma. The same will happen with private insurance.

Cost is why we are where we are today. If health care weren't too expensive no one would be debating anything.

But cost is why so many people are uninsured and under insured.

It's why there are less people covered by private insurance today than a year ago, and why a year ago there were less people covered by private insurance than a year before that.

The public option is actually a bail out for private insurance companies.

Why not demand what we want and what we know works to cover everyone and to bring down costs? Anything else is just screwing around.
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clear eye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #33
46. Please add this very educational post to your journal.
I often keep up w/ the best of DU by going to "My DU" and simply reading the latest entries in the journals of my "Buddies" who I keep there because they conscientiously add their good posts to their journals. Others must do as I do, and we miss things when they're not in the journals. This time I happened to bother to read the discussion of this interesting OP, but I often don't.

You've made such an excellent point here that I would love for many people to read it.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #46
54. Thanks for the suggestion; I'll do that.
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John K Donating Member (59 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #33
48. You make some great points, but...
The Republicans are looking for the perfect excuse to use the term "socialized medicine" against anyone who votes for single payer. As the Chinese saying goes " the longest journey begins with a single step." If we win the battle but then lose the next electoral war, then what have we accomplished?? It would be pretty easy for a hostile congress to reverse the gains if they wage an effective public campaign against it. We have to demonstrate to our represenatives that we are willing to put our blood sweat and tears for or against them based on what they do. That is the only language they understand.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #48
56. they are using it anyway; Have you seen the adds? And since a single payer
system is so much easier for both care providers and patients, and it actually contains costs instead of increasing costs, then why would we want to try to defend a public option that is harder to use, costs more, and doesn't solve the basic problem?

Social security is a single payer retirement insurance system. It's easy to defend. In fact some would say the attack on it was the turning point to overturning the Repo tide.

If that was doable (it was started by Montanans by the way) and defendable, why would a single payer health care funding system be any different?
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YewNork Donating Member (449 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #56
79. There's a lot more possibility of getting the public to agree to a public plan
First, keep in mind that a single payer plan was not what Obama promised.
He told the people who wanted to keep their existing coverage that they could keep it.

Second, while single payer is the ultimate goal, sometimes we do have to take baby steps.
Not because it couldn't be implemented now, in one big step.
But, because the insurance companies, not to mention the Republicans would begin a huge
scare campaign that would cause the people who are either unsure or just wary about any
type of change. It would never pass on the first go around.

But, if a public insurance plan can be established. One that people will go on voluntarily
and if enough people use it, it may become the de facto insurance plan for all US residents
over time. But, it's got to be put into place first, and the people with doubts have to
see that it works and that it isn't this big scary monster that the insurers and the
conservatives make it out to be.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #79
90. Their is a lot less possibility of getting the public to agree to a public private hybrid
Edited on Sun Jun-07-09 06:18 PM by John Q. Citizen
First keep in mind that mandatory purchase of insurance was not what Obama promised. He told the people that if they didn't want to buy insurance that they didn't have to. He also said that he would listen to all ideas based on their merit, not based on ideology. So why are proponents of the public private hybrid afraid to debate? Doesn't their plan measure up on the merits?

Second, if single payer is the ultimate goal, then the health care industrial complex will try to squish anything that gets us to that goal, whether all at once or in baby steps. They are already running the ads on tv, Repos are already attacking Max Baucus even though he kept his part of the bargain that was cut last fall to eliminate single payer from the table. Yeah, we know. The Obama transition team, the health care industrial complex, and the key senators sat down and decided that in return for the health care industrial complex "co-operating" that single payer would die in the crib.

One group who really hates the public private option and who will fight it tooth and nail are liberals who take a look at the Massachusetts plan and say, "That's a disaster. It's nothing more than a bail-out for private insurance companies. It doesn't control costs and they are cutting back on people's coverage. No wonder the insurance companies signed on to it so quick."

At my Obama health care meeting yesterday, about 3/4 of the 26 people there (not the organizers or the Dem satellite group group organizers but just regular people) couldn't understand why we weren't allowed to express a desire for single payer and to talk about it like it made sense. The paid Democrats kept attempting to steer the conversation away to other things.

If a public private hybrid is establish it will kill off reform for another generation, and we will spend more and more making the health care industrial complex rich. There is no cost control in subsidizing private insurance. There is no constituency for a public private hybrid save for professional lefties and the health care industrial complex who contribute to them.

My guess is you are an organizer or a staff person for a Democratic affiliated group. Am I right? Move on organizer? DFA staffer? SEIU person? There's nothing wrong with that, but as a result, you are out of touch with what's happening on the street.

See, on friday at noon, bunch of people decided to have a rally for single payer. There were over 200 people there. No paid organizers put it together, no financial resources, just citizen volunteers who know what we want.

On Saturday, 6 paid organizers could only turn out 26 people to an Obama health care meeting. They had the list from the campaign to work off of, and paid trained people to work those lists. When I see ten paid organizers turn out 200 people in a town this size for a public private hybrid rally, maybe I'll believe it's politically viable. But until that happens I call bullshit.


Here read this for more on why a public private hybrid was a strategic blunder:
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/John%20Q.%20C...


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YewNork Donating Member (449 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #90
104. Bzzzzst. You guess wrong..
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clear eye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 01:33 AM
Response to Reply #104
117. Self-delete
Edited on Mon Jun-08-09 01:36 AM by clear eye
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clear eye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 01:35 AM
Response to Reply #117
118. The last polls done show 60%
in favor of European-style single-payer, and that was before the doctors and nurses raised awareness with their demonstration at the Senate.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #118
137. I think Yew means that I was wrong in gusessing that
they might be an organizer/politico type person.

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YewNork Donating Member (449 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #137
140. Ding!
Edited on Mon Jun-08-09 02:17 PM by YewNork
Correct. I am not an organizer/politico type person. And in fact, I would love
a single payer system to be implemented right away. I lived for 12 years as
an American in Canada where I experienced no problems being covered under their
single payer system. In fact, I was successfully treated for skin cancer while
I was living in Canada. I didn't have to go to the US for treatment, and
I got the best of care.

To top it off, I'm now screwed back here in the US because my current employer doesn't
offer group insurance, and no insurer will cover me because of the fact that I
had skin cancer (melanoma).

So, if a single payer system could be implemented, I'd be the first to sign up.

But I'm realistic and still believe that the health insurance industry is currently too
powerful and they are not going to let themselves be legislated out of existence.
They'll ramp up their scare campaign and all the people with coverage will start
calling their sens and reps about how the government can't be allowed to control
their health coverage.

You'd need a million people to march on Washington demanding single payer to even get
their attention.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #140
141. Have you seen the Sanders bill? I ask because I agree that the health care
industrial complex won't let anything pass that threatens their gravy train - including a public option bill that has any kind of possibility of being a stepping stone to single payer.

The Sanders bill would allow five states to use fed dollars (Medicare, Schip, Medicade,) to set up their own statewide single payer pools. That's of course similar to how Canada evolved.
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YewNork Donating Member (449 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #141
151. Yes, Saskatchewan was the first province to implement single payer.
Edited on Mon Jun-08-09 09:22 PM by YewNork
If they were to try a "test run" in a few states, they'd have to find some way to
discourage the uninsured from running there for coverage. Hawaii might be a good
state to try since it is geographically isolated.

In Canada, while all provinces are required to offer a minimum level of coverage,
some provinces offer more than others. In order to prevent people from coming
to a province just to obtain coverage, they normally do not cover you until the
third month after you become resident. Your former province's insurance is
supposed to cover you during that time. If they implemented a test run of
single payer in the US they'd have to have some type of waiting period
for new residents.

Of course, keep in mind that you'll need willing participants. In Saskatchewan
on the day that their single payer plan first came into force, July 1, 1962,
90% of the doctors in that province went on strike unless the government
repealed the program. This strike was supported at the time by the
American Medical Association (although I believe that more American doctors would side
with single payer now). The strike lasted 23 days, but ultimately failed after
the government brought in doctors from other parts of Canada, the UK, and the USA.
But still, any test runs of single payer done in the US would need to have people
willing to try to use it, and you know that the private insurance companies would
be waiting to torpedo it.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #151
152. The California legislature has passed it twice but arnold vetoed it. The AMA is a shadow of
it former self though just as reactionary. It now represents not more than 15% of the physicians in the US and they are the old ones mostly.

The last poll I saw 59% of doctors would support a single payer system.

If it passed a legislature then it becomes hard to torpedo.

Have you been watching the polls on health care? People are fed up with private insurance. They figured out that their business modle is to charge as much as possible and to pay out as little as possible.
We just saw the collapse and failure of capitalism. So it's not the same as it was even 5 years ago.

Not to mention that people have been working to get a single payer system here since the 1940's in that time a lot of people have bee educated to the benefits.

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YewNork Donating Member (449 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-09-09 06:13 AM
Response to Reply #152
154. Regardless of what is implemented, public plan or single payer - one thing that will be needed is
during the period that legislation is being debated, the president and the other groups that are for reform are
going to need a SWAT team to quickly counter the negative advertisements that will hit the newspapers and
airwaves by the groups backed by the insurers, pharmacy companies, and other opponents.

They're going to have to be able to quickly respond in the same forums to point out the propaganda, lies, inaccuracies and
half truths about what health reform will really entail, that will start appearing. If the opponents start a prime time
advertisement making a false, inaccurate, or half true statement, then there needs to be an ad countering it, in prime time,
and not weeks later - within days.

All the opponents need to do is confuse the public into doing nothing, and they know it.


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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 03:19 AM
Response to Reply #48
122. Not really, as many Democratic Congresses have learned, repealing
a law is early impossible.

That is one of the reasons it is so important to forgo the distracting "intermediate public option" and go straight to a single payer system. Once passed it can't be un-passed and they are stuck with trying to cut it over a period of years, and like Social Security, once the people have it they will not let it go easily if at all.

The "public option" route is the one to fear because it follows the insurance industry's lead and they will lead it to be less and less, until they are, once again, the only option.


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clear eye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #33
51. Excellent point. Also elimination of multiple payers...
Edited on Sun Jun-07-09 01:23 PM by clear eye
in itself saves money for administrators in every hospital and every doctor's office in the country, as well as omitting the tremendous economic drag of healthcare costs from U.S. businesses. A public option in a mainly private system would retain the necessity for the costly paper pushing and leave our businesses burdened w/ the health insurance issue for employees and sometimes for pensioners as well.

Since the political opposition is the same for a public option with a mandate for equal coverage and fees from the private insurers, single-payer is what we need to demand.
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howmad1 Donating Member (959 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #33
103. Ya know, I am sick to death about "costs" for single payer:
Maybe we should start another war with some one. See how fast the money would be found for KBR/Halliburton. So how many trillions did the phony Iraq war cost? Man, it sure didn't take long to find the money for that shitty war. This is such bullshit. The Murkins are dumb as dirt if they fall for this crap.
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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #29
65. Welcome to DU!
:toast:
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avaistheone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #2
30. I think George Miller is a progressive Democrat who will pull strongly for single payer health
insurance.
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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #2
84. Kennedy's proposed bill doesn't permit it.
>>It will be used as a dumping ground for high risk people.<<

Both private and public have to take all applicants, and must price their plans without regard to health.

No guarantee the bill will get through intact, but as it is currently drafted it does address this concern. (That was one of my major concerns when all we had was lofty language).
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 05:45 PM
Response to Reply #84
91. Neither does single payer. No guareentees it will get through intact, but as
currently drafted it cost far less than the Kennedy plan and provides far more health care.
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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #91
96. No argument from me there -
I was responding to a general criticism of public option (which is the same criticism I had expressed myself when people were raving about Dean's and Obama's lofty but non-specific words) with information as to the specifics of the public option bill that is likely to be introduced.

I would much prefer single payer.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #96
98. I would prefere it too.
Public option is a major strategic mistake.

Not because we might not end up with a public option eventually, but because it started out setting the bar so low that there's little to bargain with.

Also, there is really no constituency for a public option.

There is a large constituency for single payer and there is also a constituency for doing nothing. I see paid professional organizers trying to get people excited about a public option and it isn't working. Nobody wants it - but they have this strategy. And they can't admit it's failing. It's like the Hillary campaign transformed into an issues campaign.

We know that the Obama transition and the key senstors, and the health care industrial complex including some unions decided at some meeting late last Fall to throw single payer under the bus. And we, the grassroots, don't much like that.

The paid political organizers keep telling us why we should like it but it isn't working.

No body really cares if they get to keep their current private insurance, because most people have already been shuffled around to lots of different policies as costs rise. In fact it ssems like every week the rules are changing about what's covered, what isn't and what the deductable and co-pays are. Most people can't even understand much of what their private insurance covers.

So who is in the streets? People demanding to keep their private insurance, or people demanding single payer?

And they aren't being organized by the Dems or the Obama people, they are self organizing.
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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #98
105. Actually, as it is defined in the Kennedy bill
the constituency is uninsurable adults, and adults making less than 500% of poverty level (particularly on the lower end of that scale). There is nothing available to those two groups now - or nothing that is anything close to a realistic cost.

But - those same people would also be a new constituency for private insurers under the Kennedy bill. In other words, it has nothing to do with whether the insurance is administered by a private or public entity and everything to do with guaranteed access and affordability that is not linked to health status. Hmm...sounds like single payer would be a better option than trying to gussy up a public option as real change.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #105
111. Yes, the other problem is affordabilty. We know single payer contains costs and
it's exceedingly easy to use. If your income changes you don't need to reapply and get a different amount of subsidy, there is no means tests which drive up cost and hassle.

And as cost and hassle go up, public satisfaction goes down.

I know what I want.
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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #111
133. And I agree with what you want -
and if a single payer plan arrives on the scene I will urge my rep and senators to vote for it over the Kennedy bill (assuming it doesn't do something crazy like offering catastrophic coverage only or lifetime caps).

When there is no single payer alternative on the table, though, I am not going to reject the Kennedy proposal. It is a significant improvement over the current system and it meets my minimum standards for a plan I can support over the current lousy system we have - accessibility, premiums that are not based on health, and subsidized coverage for those with inadequate resources to purchase it without subsidies.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #133
136. There's the Sanders Bill in the Senate, it's campanion in the house and
the Medicare for All Bill in the house.

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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #136
138. Do you have a link to the bill
Edited on Mon Jun-08-09 12:45 PM by Ms. Toad
(or the bill numbers? I can grab them through Thomas.gov with enough information). Just like the public health option, I need to see the details - not just lofty principles to make sure the bills themselves actually include the things I consider crucial to real reform (particularly since medicare for all is one of the tags that has been associated with a public health option).

Edited to add: Found the House version: http://conyers.house.gov/_files/HR676111th.pdf

Haven't had a chance to review it yet.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #138
144. That isn't the Sanders Bill.
Your link is to the Conyers bill in the house, which is what the House hearing in th OP will be on.

The Sanders bill is a bill to allow 5 states to implement a single payer plan based on what the state wants to come up with. It's a laboratory approach to health care reform.

It allows 5 states to use federal dollars (Medicare medicade schip )to form their own statewide single payer pool.
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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #144
145. You're right - I just followed the two links you provided
until I found a single payer bill without noticing they were talking about two different bills.

That said, I'm more interested in a 50 state program with the provisions in the Kennedy bill (or maybe even those in the Conyers program), than a 5 state program - if I have to choose. Some relief for everyone, v. a good plan for people who reside in only 10% of the states - particularly when the five state plan it does not seem adequately funded (to the extent that it only gets to use the money from three programs that do not currently cover everyone who needs care).
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #145
146. The state would use other monies as well, since states kick in considerable amounts as it is
The point of his bill is to learn what works and what doesn't.

Canada got there system one province at a time.

The Kennedy bill was called a draft of a draft. My question is what makes it different from Romney Care? (which isn't working) It's a public private hybrid with insurance mandates. Like the Romney the bill.

We have no idea what the Kennedy bill costs. Why would the Kennedy bill contan costs? I don't know. If costs go up, then is our care and services cut drastically? I wiould imagiune, that's what's happening in MA

So I like the Sanders Bill as a back up. If we can't get something through that we can live with and we pass a really crappy bill, we might be stuck with it for a really long time. We need a plan B and the Sanders bill could provide that.
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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #146
147. Unfortunately,
All the Sanders bill provides, as I read it, is the option for States to create a plan if any feel like it or can afford it - without many specifics as to how broad the coverage has to be in the plan, and I don't think too many states right now have the extra money to fund the difference for all health care for everyone in the state above and beyond those already funded with the money from the Federal Government, and I don't see a mandate that any state create such a plan even if the bill passes.

As to cost, in addition to the state pickup of emergency treatment for people who cannot afford to pay for emergency care, there are significant numbers of people in every state who currently pay for insurance out of pocket, as well as significant contributions from employers. Granted, some of the administrative costs will disappear if private insurers are out of the picture - but I don't think enough will disappear to make it feasible to work on an isolated state by state basis without fairly hefty tax restructuring to transfer the private money that used to fund insurance to the government to pay for the plan.

And frankly, even if 5 states get a plan up and running I don't think 90% of the country can afford to wait with no change while it is tested in those 10% of the states - we need something immediate to address the plight of chronically ill individuals who cannot purchase insurance (or can only do so after a long wait and at at exorbitant rates), and people who may well be relatively healthy but cannot afford health care and are not children, elderly, or disabled (and in the pot of money already paid by the Feds to the state).

As to how the Kennedy proposal is different from the Massachusetts plan:

The Kennedy plan subsidizes the premium to 500% of poverty; Mass only to 300%
The Kennedy plan has profit limitations; Mass does not.

I can't tell about the two factors below - none of the couple dozen descriptions of the Mass plan addressed them:

The Kennedy plan requires insurance companies to accept all applicants for all plans (this prevents cherry picking by the insurance companies, which would necessarily drive up the costs of the public option or selected private plans that are forced to take all applicants).

The Kennedy plan prohibits basing the premium on health condition (again, this evens out the cost so that private insurance companies cannot low ball premiums for the healthy, leaving a disproportionately unhealthy population in the public/limited private pool)

My impression (because of the lack of explicit discussion) is that either the Mass plan does not address these at all, or addresses them in a way that continues to give insurance companies an unfair advantage.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #147
148. California has passed single payer twice, The Gov hasn't signed it. One thing
opponents of single payer have said is there is no provision for states to use Federal monies. Currently about half of all health care expenditures are government expenditures, nation wide.

As you probably know, Canada spends 50% per capita what we do and they cover everyone and they beat us out in every measurement of health care well being. Canada is the 2nd most expensive system in the world after us.

So the money currently spent is about double what we need to cover everyone and to have care similar to Canada. We also have far more under utilized capacity than Canada does in terms of muti million dollar equipment.

The Kennedy bill is a draft of a draft is what they said when they released it. Where is the cost savings? I don't know.i don't know what it costs. It looks very expensive because it has none of the savings that a single payer system has. If there are subsidies, then that means there is means testing which drives costs up to document and investigate incomes, and every time someones income changes then there are more expenses related to documentation. As well as time and hassle.

What kind of profit limitations does it have, and how much is spent to audit and enforce those limitations?

Does the Kennedy plan have community rating? Or just prohibit pre-existing? The way around that is to charge differently by age, zip code, by automobile make and model there are lots of ways to cherry pick. Put all your offices up stairs for instance.

I found out the big difference in the MA plan and I was mistaken. The MA plan doesn't have a public pool. Everyone is on private insurance, but they are cutting benefits because of rapidly accelerating cast. 25% of MA insurers are not for profit which is higher than most places so again that makes some differences (should save money). Also the wait to see a primary physician is now over 36 days in MA, but they hope to ease that some in the coming year according to what I read.


here's some good up to date facts on Canada

http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_12523427
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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #148
150. Basis for premiums
Kennedy draft bill has community rating. If it didn't I wouldn't support it as a step forward from the current system. Any plan I support has to expressly reject premiums (or access to care) based on health status.

Age can be used to influence premium, I don't recall specifically about gender. Zip code - to the extent that is how communities are designated - but the "community" for the public plan and the private plan are identical so it won't help the private companies cherry pick. Automobile make and model is not permitted as a premium influencer, and putting all your offices up stairs would be a violation of the ADA. The Kennedy bill contains a list of factors that can influence premiums; nothing else can - for either private or public plans. Those restrictions are missing, as far as I can tell, from the Mass plan.

The profit is limited to a percentage over the cost of providing care; the numerical percentage is not currently in the plan.

Draft of a draft or not, it is something concrete and it gives us a place to start and insist that specific features be included (or excluded).

If we can get a 50 state single payer plan on the table (without unreasonable restrictions) I'll support it - that would be by far the best of all worlds.

With CA as broke as it is, I wouldn't count on it leading the way for a single payer system.

I probably won't spend much energy supporting a bill that allows for the possibility for individual states to create single payer options, since I don't see that as sufficient progress - or really a viable way to getting where we need to go. It will take time and money to set up the architecture for state single payer, if each one does their own it will be duplication of efforts (and cost), and the results are likely to be inconsistent with each other and require more administrative costs to merge into a unified federal system. I won't oppose it - but I don't see it as making health care more accessible to more people than Kennedy's bill, as that bill is currently drafted.
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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #136
139. Now that I have taken a quick scan of Sanders' Bill
Generally it is good, but scant on details - and the devil is in the details.

I do have a couple of strong concerns: Being the parent of a child who has an illness which is (1) costly and (2) for which no medical treatment is known, I have concerns about section 202(b)(4) and 205(b).

Section 202(b)(4) provides for salaries on a capitation basis. That basis provides an incentive to refuse access to more expensive procedures. Essentially providers are paid a lump sum to cover all medical care (including specialist care). The less that is paid out, the more they get in salary (or bonus) at the end of the year.

Section 205(b) provides for a drug formulary, with no specified means to appeal for an exception for drugs not on the formulary - or used in ways inconsistent with their formulary restrictions.

My daughter is on the cutting edge of medical care (for two separate illnesses). The standard of care for one, in particular, changed between her diagnosis 2 months ago and now. She is very costly, and I would not want her access to the top physicians who are involved in or have access to the most up to date research compromised because it cuts into the salary of the referring physician (out of whose budget specialized care is generally provided).

She is also currently in a medical trial using a drug that costs around $55,000 a year - on the pharmaceutical company's dime. It is the only drug that any research studies have shown is effective (and those studies consist of 14 patients - she is #9 in the second study - so it is hardly accepted treatment). At the end of the trial, she will likely be given the option to continue (from a medical standpoint). The drug does happen to be on the formulary for our current plan - but it is considered very short term. If it proves as effective as it has with the initial study group, she will need to be on it at a high dose, continuously, until they find a better/permanent solution. My guess is that once we go past a month on this medication on the insurance company's dime that we will have a real fight on our hands to continue it, since its standard dose is 10 days to 2 weeks (and it is not cheap; providing it costs more than double what they receive on behalf of our entire family to provide care for all of us).

Those two provisions would likely minimize access to appropriate for those most severely ill - and particularly for those with not-yet-well-understood illnesses, for whom most treatment is still considered experimental.

Probably, even with those two concerns, I can still support the bill (although I would like to see more detail).
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #139
143. This is what I was refering to
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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-09-09 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #139
157. Note: The analysis of the above was the Conyers bill
not the Sanders bill. The Sanders bill is equally scanty on details and permits 5 trial single payer balloons.
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DaLittle Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #2
106. K & R!!! How Does One Get In Touch W/ Miller?
Any inside options other than calling house operator?
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stlsaxman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 05:26 AM
Response to Reply #106
125. call YOUR representative, make him/her aware of the hearing.
Miller is going forward with this because he already knows. your congressperson needs to know your demands as their constituent.

:hi:
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DaLittle Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 10:30 AM
Response to Reply #125
135. My Rep Is A Right Wing Fascist Moron! Ginny Brown-Waite Puppet Of Insurance Extraordinaire!
That's why Russell ran against her...
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stlsaxman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #135
149. Sorry to hear that... call anyone that'll listen.
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Ginny from the Block Donating Member (43 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #1
17. This gives me confidence on the House side, but we've GOT to get it out of the Senate too......
I'm confident that Rep. Miller will give Single-Payer a fair hearing. It's the Senate side I'm worried about and getting this out of Baucus's committee, since he's sold out to Big Pharma and Big Insurance! A public option has got to be part of the equation for meaningful reform and some stiff "competition" for the for-profit industry driving this country bankrupt.

One public option that is rarely mentioned is working with County Hospital Districts and the Federally Qualified Health Care Centers (FQHCC's)in offering a monthly premium on a sliding scale basis. At a minimum, public employees could be offered this program to start driving down health care costs. For those not choosing the "public" option but still wanting a more affordable option to private insurance, physicians and hospitals could form co-operatives and collect the monthly premiums directly. The only time other entities would need to be reimbursed through "indemnity" would be if the patient were out of town from their normal service area. Let's get some of these other options on the table! HR 676 is still the best, more comprehensive option though.
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #17
20. Yes, the problem is almost always in the House of Lords.
For any meaningful change.
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clear eye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #17
55. Public employees are already insured
and mandating that the public option offer a sliding scale but the private insurers don't, will cause the public option to be an enormous taxpayer drain as all lower income people will be in the public option but everyone who is in the private plans will have to pay taxes to support it. Result--widespread resentment. Our country's healthcare costs wouldn't see the reductions of a single-payer system, and the expense of that type of public option would create a bad opinion of all gov't health programs and poison the well for single-payer.

No thanks.
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Ginny from the Block Donating Member (43 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #55
108. But not for long with double digit cost increases..........
You don't seem to understand how HR 676 works. Emergency room visits are already causing our private insurance premiums to skyrocket! Log onto www.1payer.net to learn about how the bill works.

And if it's such a bad idea for public employees, then why did the National Conference of Mayors endorse HR 676?

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clear eye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 01:19 AM
Response to Reply #108
116. I'm one of the strongest proponents of H.R 676
Edited on Mon Jun-08-09 01:25 AM by clear eye
and organized my local May 30th demonstration for it. I just don't understand how passing it for the one group of workers in the country who have traditionally had a "public plan" does anything for the rest of us.

I don't see how you inferred from my response that I am anti-single-payer, or why you flamed out on me.
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Ginny from the Block Donating Member (43 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-09-09 12:50 AM
Response to Reply #116
153. Public employees don't have a public plan, they have private insurance paid for with public dollars!
I want HR 676 too! But if it doesn't pass, local and state governments can take action absent the federal government. That would be Plan B, of course.

Local govt. entities could save millions of dollars by not purchasing private insurance for their employees. The 2 alternatives I suggested wouldn't require private insurance because either: 1) they're utilizing a public facility (hospital district clinic or FQHCC) or 2) they're paying the health care providers direct through the cooperatives. Some doctors already have patients on retainers by collecting a monthly fee. The concept could be expanded to a group of doctors & providers to provide comprehensive care.
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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-09-09 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #55
158. Kennedy's public option has sliding scale premiums
for all plans purchased through the gateway (including those from private insurers).
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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #17
66. Welcome to DU!
:toast:
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Ginny from the Block Donating Member (43 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #66
109. Thanks! It's nice to be noticed!
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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 10:51 PM
Response to Reply #109
115. I am trying to make a point of that!
:toast:
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bjobotts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #17
74. Keep in mind dems are still trying to push it through the reconciliation process in the senate-need
needs only 50 votes that way.
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bjobotts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #74
75. reconciliation process only requires 50 votes to pass.
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Ginny from the Block Donating Member (43 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #74
110. Good to know.
Keep those calls coming to CSPAN to get that hearing covered on 6/10!
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That Is Quite Enough Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #1
31. I do believe so, yes.
I seriously doubt any of the powerful players in the government want to institute single payer healthcare.
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dmosh42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 07:27 AM
Response to Original message
3. At least the concepts of single-payer will have an open forum, hopefully....
I'm hoping they get into the basics of that type system, so we all understand the ramifications. Whatever has been on the table is not feasible to the general population, and is tilted towards the 'for profit' organizations.
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tooeyeten Donating Member (441 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #3
39. Insurance companies are in charge
In charge of the American healthcare system, in charge of Congress. Don't be fooled, this hearing is a sham, only a show for people like us, the ones that don't wine and dine and fund campaigns.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. Well maybe someone will do a major sit in at the buidings of the largest insurers and
will negotiate a hostage trade;

Their building for our heath care system! :)
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tooeyeten Donating Member (441 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #40
42. we need to impact Congress
by overwhelming the switchboard.

Insurance companies are nearly impenetrable, all that money, ya know?
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tooeyeten Donating Member (441 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #40
45. sit in Offshore?
Isn't that where they send their tax-free profits?

:sarcasm:
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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #39
67. VERY Belated Welcome to DU!
:toast:
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Fluffdaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 07:36 AM
Response to Original message
4. Thanks for the heads-up
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BumRushDaShow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 07:38 AM
Response to Original message
5. A Webcast would most likely be available
via the OP's link to the Committee's webpage (upper right-hand corner in the page's banner) - as an alternate to CSPAN if they don't stream it themselves. I've often found it more consistent to stream from the Committee itself than CSPAN.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #5
23. Thanks for that info.
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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 07:46 AM
Response to Original message
6. The Progressives in the House are speaking out for comprehensive
public option if they cannot have single payer. They are our best hope. I just hope there are enough of them to stop any other plan because Obama wants his health care reform.
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jazzjunkysue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 08:09 AM
Response to Original message
7. George's email address link here and my letter (steal away)
http://georgemiller.house.gov/contactus/2007/08/post_1....

Dear Congressman Miller, Please establish a program in the US for single payer healthcare insurance. If america is still the greatest country in the world, then why do we lag so far behind europe and canada? Why are half of all bankruptcies due to medical issues, even when people have good coverage? Why are industries getting rich on our suffering? Please establish reasonable healthcare. Fight the lobbies. If we can't do it now, we never, ever will. Thankyou
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 08:15 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Thanks I sent a copy to my rep. even tho not on the committee. nm
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 10:58 AM
Response to Reply #7
27. Thanks for the link.
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tooeyeten Donating Member (441 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #7
38. Did you send a check with your request?
Congress only hears and responds to $$$$$.

:evilfrown:
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #38
41. What are you, some kind of activism buzz kill personality?
read up on George Miller.

He will scare you.
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tooeyeten Donating Member (441 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #41
44. a realist
knowing how well Congress has been bought and paid for by corporate greed. Are you serious? I'm for exposing Congress and their "open secrets", how about you?
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #44
49. Then you ought to pick your targets better. Complaining when they do what we want is stupid
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tooeyeten Donating Member (441 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #49
60. prefer a real hearing with a real response
not a dog and pony show to shut people up.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #44
52. Inchoate bitterness is largely useless.
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tooeyeten Donating Member (441 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #52
59. maybe you don't know Congress
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #59
62. Organize, don't agonize!
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tooeyeten Donating Member (441 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #62
63. only money talks in DC
and a majority in the voting booth.
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bjobotts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #63
77. People have pressured to get what they want.This will get people un-elected fast
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bjobotts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #77
78. They just can't get away with continuously.Too big and Too broken to go on.
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bjobotts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #78
80. Too obvious that reps who oppose are being bought cause people want it, would succeed
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bjobotts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #80
81. and has become the only "real" reform we badly need.Just keep the pressure on
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bjobotts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #81
83. They can no longer justify not doing it. It has become the only viable option
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tooeyeten Donating Member (441 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 07:10 AM
Response to Reply #83
129. not in the minds of reps whose campaigns are funded by insurance companies
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 08:16 AM
Response to Original message
10. Rec. and thanks for this post. We should send email to all Demo committee members. nm
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 10:51 AM
Response to Reply #10
25. Yes!
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PFunk Donating Member (687 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 08:17 AM
Response to Original message
11. All I'm hoping for is a foot in the door.
One that will pave the way for real Single-Payer sometime in the near future. And this may (and I say may) be a way of doing it.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 08:32 AM
Response to Original message
12. It should be the MEDICARE FOR ALL hearings . . .
Edited on Sun Jun-07-09 08:33 AM by defendandprotect
And it's not reinventing the wheel -- it's ready to go --

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Blandocyte Donating Member (830 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
13. Different from single prayer
which is what I'd read at first.
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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #13
69. VERy Belated Welcome to DU!
:toast:
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dixiegrrrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 08:45 AM
Response to Original message
14. That witness list is crucial to see.
Y'all DO remember the last hearing included only for profit/insurance people and single payer advocates were not even allowed to participate...remember?
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 09:26 AM
Response to Original message
15. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 09:37 AM
Response to Original message
16. Why is there an insurance company in the witness list? And faith-based proponents?
Witnesses:

* Karen Davenport Director of Health Policy Center for American Progress
http://www.americanprogress.org /
* David Himmelstein Associate Professor of Medicine Harvard University
* Michael Langan Principal Towers Perrin
http://www.towersperrin.com/tp/showhtml.jsp?url=global/...
* William Oemichen President and CEO Cooperative Network Madison, Wisc.
http://www.cooperativenetwork.coop /
* Ron Pollack Executive Director FamiliesUSA
http://www.familiesusa.org/resources/faith-based-resour... /
* Janet Trautwein Executive Vice President and CEO National Association of Health Underwriters
http://www.nahu.org /
* William Vaughan Senior Health Policy Analyst Consumers Union
http://www.consumersunion.org/
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jtrockville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. Because the sole purpose of our health care system
The sole purpose of our health care system is to subsidize the healh insurance industry. At least that's what the insurance industry seems to think.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #16
26. Where did you find that. on the website of the committee it says "witnesses to be announced"
Edited on Sun Jun-07-09 11:01 AM by John Q. Citizen
Got a link?

Or are you down the page into a different hearing?
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 10:26 PM
Response to Reply #26
112. I got it off the OP's edlabor link. But that was yesterday. I see the witnesses are gone now. nt
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stlsaxman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 05:38 AM
Response to Reply #26
126. That list is from an earlier hearing. April 23rd.
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snappyturtle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 09:57 AM
Response to Original message
18. K&R Glad to hear this as it gives me 'some' hope.
:kick:
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Honeycombe8 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 10:32 AM
Response to Original message
21. Just one day? Hmmmmm. nt
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barbtries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 10:49 AM
Response to Original message
24. great news!
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DCKit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
32. Hijacking Max Baucus' pet issue to save U.S..
If Big Insurance loses the battle over single payer, will they have the money to fund contenders for the liberal seats, or will they slink away quietly to spend their ill-gotten (how appropos is that?) gains?
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NorthCarolina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #32
102. If by some unlikely miracle Big Insurance Loses, they will undoubtedly
begin selling *supplemental* insurance. I can see no way that the insurance lobby will lose given the GOP and their Dem counterparts Blue Dog/DLC/New Dems contingent representing us. Until we as a people can learn to vote for truly progressive candidates, and not just anyone calling themselves a "Democrat", we will see little tangible *change*.
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Cherchez la Femme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
35. Seriously,
what are the odds that we'll get universal health care?

I put it with the same odds that I suddenly start living in one of my other, alternate universes

--THERE it may be possible... not here, not now. :mad:

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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. Why, the chances of America electing a black man president are about as good, wouldn't you say?
Edited on Sun Jun-07-09 12:44 PM by John Q. Citizen
And everybody know Hillary has all the money, all the name recognition and she's 40 points ahead in the polls.

Oh that it were possible...

:)
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Cherchez la Femme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #37
47. No, I wouldn't say. Not at all.
Edited on Sun Jun-07-09 01:15 PM by Cherchez la Femme
What does Hillary have to do with the topic anyhow?

& if you're trying to imply I wanted Hillary for president, well, you're dead wrong.
I WAS, however, very upset on how she was portrayed and how she was talked about,
especially here. And it must have escaped barely anyone's notice how many people either backing Hillary or upset at the abuse were driven away from here.
Ridiculous.

But since you brought it up: What are the chances of a WOMAN being elected as the President of the United States?
Don't tell me "good" -- give me viable, highly possible examples.

Let's see: How many years was it after all men got the vote that women finally achieved the right? Fifty-five or thereabouts?
Does it matter that there is equal rights for races in our Constitution & laws, yet none for women
--a set of people who outnumber the masculine gender and happen to be members of every race and creed?


And the civil rights of gays? Of any race or either gender?
Fa-gedaboutid.

Please, I'm in no mood for this kinda stuff today.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #47
53. If you aren't in the mood, then you shouldn't be making
histrionic statements like we will never get universal health care to people who are working very hard to be heard.
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tooeyeten Donating Member (441 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #53
61. being heard is not the goal
getting real results for Americans is the goal, good healthcare without costing your arm, your leg, and your first born to get it, and out of the hands of greedy insurers.

It appears President Obama is not on board the same ship as the rest of us, so until he is we will continue to have the same old same old.

I want change, real change, how about you?
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stlsaxman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 05:49 AM
Response to Reply #35
127. I'm guessing you don't want it enough to actually DO SOMETHING, huh?
"Okay- we're up to bat... but, hey why bother- we're gonna lose."

Please increase our odds and join us in doing something/anything!
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nightrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 12:35 PM
Response to Original message
36. Wonderful! There's movement in a promising committee!
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JimWis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
43. Thanks for the heads up. Would be interesting to watch.
Edited on Sun Jun-07-09 01:28 PM by JimWis
Last time I heard HR 676 had 92 sponsors from the house. And I believe it is basically single payer.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 01:19 PM
Response to Original message
50. WooHoo. This is good news! I hope they invite the PNHP doctors and
the CNA nurses who have fought so hard for this, to testify. Then when they are done, I hope they take those testimonies and shove them up Senator Baucus's ass.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #50
68. Yep. Senator "Let George do It!" Baucus
says it too late for single payer hearings. I bet he already cashed those insurance company checks.

George Miller knows it's never too late to do the right thing.
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varelse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
57. Good news
and yes, it's about time.
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zalinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
58. I just sent this link to my congressman
I don't know if it will help or not, but it was worth a shot.

The link is: http://www.pnhp.org/facts/single_payer_resources.php


zalinda
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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 03:03 PM
Response to Original message
64. http://hr676.org/
Edited on Sun Jun-07-09 03:08 PM by handmade34
we have to work to make this happen. ...we are the ones we have been waiting for.

http://conyers.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Issues.Ho...

edit addition
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andym Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #64
70. The taxes in this bill might be unpopular
The taxes in this bill might be unpopular, especially this one

Establish employer/employee payroll tax of 4.75% (includes present 1.45% Medicare tax)
A payroll tax comes usually comes out of paychecks. Many people would not agree with this, even if the program will benefit them in the end.

The other taxes might be politically palatable:

Establish a 5% health tax on the top 5% of income earners, 10% tax on top 1% of wage earners
of 1% stock transaction tax
Close corporate tax loopholes
Repeal the Bush tax cuts for the highest income earners
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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #70
71. I would like to think that people will grow up
learn the facts and act responsibly. I am discouraged by people that can't see beyond themselves, beyond today...
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DatManFromNawlins Donating Member (640 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #71
107. This is actually an excellent deal
4.75% on $4500 a month (my own pay, for example) is only $213 a month. I'm single and my insurance rate right now is about $200 a month (not counting Medicaid). So I can get married, have a wife and 3 kids, pay the rate for a single person, AND not have to pay any deductables? I'm all for that. I don't see how it's financially possible, but I'm all for it! :)
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #70
72. Employers would like it, because if they insure they are paying for more now,
Edited on Sun Jun-07-09 04:14 PM by John Q. Citizen
It would also eliminate state workmans comp medical portion and the medical on mandatory car insurance.

The insurance required on enrolling in college and the out of pocket people pay for their kids to get a sports physical.

It should help balance state and local budgets because states and cities won't be paying a fortune to insure their employees.

A 3.3 increase in payroll tax with the drop in other expenses would be awesome. It would be far cheaper than any other way to do it, including doing nothing.

The result would be a net gain for most people.
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andym Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #72
93. Of course it would benefit people in the end
Edited on Sun Jun-07-09 06:04 PM by andym
Of course it would benefit people in the end, BUT, as I stated many working class and middle class people would oppose it because of the perception that they are getting less money.

And if they can't be persuaded (with big pharma and the health insurers sponsoring messages to reinforce their pre-existing prejudices), single payer will not happen. Of course, it's up to us all to counter this message. But it's important to acknowledge this and then explain why in the end they'll be better off.

Smaller businesses (that are not providing health care) will oppose the payroll tax as well. They will have to be exempted.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 06:05 PM
Response to Reply #93
94. How about a 50% drop in basic car insurance? Easy and clear enough?
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andym Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #94
99. No, it is not clear enough
If you are saying that we can promise a 50% cut in health care premiums which is more than the increased taxes then that should be a major selling point.

I see in this analysis http://www.upte.org/lp/action/HR676QAs.pdf that people will supposedly paying 25% of their normal premiums, so I suppose that it is possible,
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clixtox Donating Member (941 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 02:30 AM
Response to Reply #99
120. A careful parsing of the post would indicate that the poster might be saying...


that because all health costs would then be borne by the government, those huge potential healthcare cost liabilities created by those accidently injured while covered by auto insurance policies would no longer need to be insured/covered at all.

In a truly competitive market the auto insurance premiums should be significantly reduced. I wouldn't be particularly shocked to see other insurance premiums, like auto and commercial policies, taxed to help fund the coming more humane, efficient and universal health-care paradigm.

I can hope...
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #70
95. The payroll tax doesn't bother me. It's probably the most efficient way to
do it at present. We need health care now. We can quibble about how it will be paid in the future down the line. Also, all the years you pay payroll tax but have to wait until you are 65 to benefit from them will now allow people to benefit from their deductions right away with no wait. People don't mind taxes that much when they are able to see a return that benefits them. This is how I got interested in the health care debate to begin with. I started wondering why we couldn't get universal health care with our tax money, instead of spending on wars and more wars.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 03:57 AM
Response to Reply #70
123. How stupid would you have to be to prefer a $450/mo "premium"
to a $100/mo "tax"?
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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-09-09 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #64
159. The capitation based salaries need to go.
They are a major disincentive to providing care (rather than denying care). If you're not familiar with that term, essentially physicians (generally the primary physician) gets a pot of money to pay for all medical care, including specialists, labs, and tests. What is left at the end of the year (or some portion thereof) is paid to the primary physician as essentially a bonus for saving money.

The formulary drug list provision needs some tweaking so that physicians can relatively easily obtain exceptions to the formulary for medical need. Some drugs are not interchangeable - even if the formulary treats them as interchangeable. In addition, with illnesses whose disease and treatment path is not well known, the physician may want to authorize an off label or experimental use (and whether off label uses are permitted for a drug on the formulary is a murky question).
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HOLOS Donating Member (390 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 04:04 PM
Response to Original message
73. yes!
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gorfle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 04:07 PM
Response to Original message
76. Call your representatives now!
Call your representatives in the House right now.

www.vote-smart.org if you don't know yours.

Now is the chance. This is how balls get rolling in our legislature. Write.
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Brigid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 04:13 PM
Response to Original message
82. This needs to be more than just a hearing.
We need to get it done this time. Can anyone really disagree with a straight face that the "system" we have now is broken beyond repair?
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tooeyeten Donating Member (441 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #82
88. we need more than a hearing
I'm telling you folks, it is a dog and pony show IF we stay where we are with private insurers continuing to take their greedy share.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #82
92. Do you know the first step of getting a bill passed in the House of Representives?
First it has to be introduced. Many many bills are introduced. Many many bills just then sit there and die for that session. But the lucky few go one to the next step. That would be getting a hearing.


Or did you want this done yesterday or by magic?

If you have a better idea than getting a hearing for a bill you want passed, I'm all ears. What would you suggest?
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Kingofalldems Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 04:49 PM
Response to Original message
86. Will the repugs along with their blue dog bffs try to sabotage this?
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tooeyeten Donating Member (441 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #86
89. count on blue dog sabotage
we don't need no stinkin' GOPers, we have our own "saboteurs" in our midst.
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Wednesdays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 05:03 PM
Response to Original message
87. K&R
:kick:
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Loge23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 06:20 PM
Response to Original message
97. Essential
Single-pay health is the most important initiative of our time.
This is a calamity waiting to happen with people losing health care benefits everyday.


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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 06:54 PM
Response to Original message
100. GOOD
Now make sure this penetrates
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grahamhgreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 07:02 PM
Response to Original message
101. I will call Obama & ask he publicly advocates for the bill (again) & my great congressman (Lewis)Etc
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 10:48 PM
Response to Original message
113. knr nt
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New Dawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-07-09 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
114. K&R
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Mind_your_head Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 02:22 AM
Response to Original message
119. Well, isn't that "special"
(said in my best "church-lady" voice). NOTHING is going to come of this "hearing". It's all a shame, a worthless show.

I WISH IT WOULD BE MORE, but it won't. It's just 'another day in the life' of the proles being 'led by the nose' that TOMORROW, YES TOMORROW WILL BE BETTER!!!! ~ poking my finger into the air!!!! (yet, "TOMORROW" never seems to come).....

How many times can US Citizens fall for this same old useless cr*p (dog & pony shows) from our "Leaders"???? Indefinitely, it appears.
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stlsaxman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 06:03 AM
Response to Reply #119
128. Wish in one hand, then. but- DO SOMETHING with the other.
we can't afford to mope.
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 02:38 AM
Response to Original message
121. k*r Great news
I remember when Schwitzer took busloads of people to Canada as part of his first Senate campaign.
He lost that one but got my attention. Gutsy move. We need some guts in Congress soon.

People are sick and unable to get care. When they do, they're sometimes unable to continue it
for any number of reasons.

If citizens were deliberately shot or maimed on purpose, there would be outrage and a lot more law enforcement.

But when citizens die or incur needless health problems, there is no response related to the death
and injury.



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stlsaxman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 05:06 AM
Response to Original message
124. keeping it kicked
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Raster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 07:41 AM
Response to Original message
130. Kick for single payer!
:kick:
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annm4peace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 08:22 AM
Response to Original message
131. They are still deciding
I just made the call 8:20 am on Monday central standard time.

I hope more people call and we can get the coverage.
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24601 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
132. We lived un the UK where our National Health Service assigned
doctor was a shrink (guess they knew us better then we thought). But this SOB didn't believe in treating fevers and it was exceptionally distressing when our 3-month old was at 103 and our 2 year old was at 104 - so we went outside their system. There are sufficient horror stories to justify not mirroring their structure. I do have some thoughts to throw into the debate:

1. Don't lawyers have to do pro bono work as a condition of their license? Why not emulate that for doctors?

2. If we can regulate the pay of auto execs and bankers, a pay overhaul may be in order for the medical profession. As long as we are going away from a supply and demand model, social engineering could be implemented. Don't Nurses tend to be underpaid - they need to make more? And why does any Doctor NEED to make over $1 Million for a standard 2080 work hours per year?

3. Ditto for lawyers, quarterbacks (even linemen), campaign managers, actors, microsoft founders. And apply the cap for total compensation, not just earned income.

4. What about the toads that don't receive earned or unearned income but live off accumulated wealth. Why would anybody NEED more than $5 Million? What's so special about Bill Gates & Warren Buffet (or even Jimmy Buffet) that they get to choose what causes to support?

4. Kill two birds with one stone and factor in environmental effects. Reduce the wealth cap by charging "double" for a private plane or boat - so a plane/boat worth $1.2M would charge $2.4 against the wealth cap. And the charge for using that jet/boat needs to go against the annual income cap - say $50,000 per hour.

5. Ditto for houses - nobody needs more than 4000 square feet, half that inside city limits. The leftover can house the homeless.

6. If we cap wealth at $5M, and income at $1M, and then apply the rest to health care, we all should be be given the USA Health Care Card, good at any medical establishment, from doctor's private office to a mega-hospital, in the USA. No deductibles, no co-pays. No insurance company deciding what's necessary or not. And if a doctor piles on unnecessary tests/costs, as determined by the USA Health Care Authority, it comes off the doctor's lifetime wealth cap. If they fail to do a necessary test or don't relieve pain & suffering, 1st offense written warning, 2nd offense death by bongo!

7. They would obviate the need for health insurance companies and their workers can retrain for another profession - "Do you want to super size the fries?"

8. If anyone tries to emigrate in order to avoid these taxes, the CIA should be able to track them down & grab their spouse/kids/dog until they pay up - enhanced interrogation authorized.

9. The health care system for those immigrating to the USA must wait until sworn in as citizens - until then their country will be billed for all costs. And if they don't pay, their Ambassador/Counsel is detained in general population in a Class 5 federal prison.

Now that ought to do it!
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 10:17 AM
Response to Original message
134. Just called C-Span they will decide by tomorrow night whether to
air the hearing, a few more requests cannot hurt, although she said they are aware of the public interest in this being broadcast.

C-SPAN's Main Number is: (202) 737-3220.



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Omar4Dems Donating Member (95 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 02:54 PM
Response to Original message
142. Thanks for this info!
I'll definitely be staying tuned.
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-09-09 08:29 AM
Response to Original message
155. Kick. nt
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-10-09 10:27 AM
Response to Original message
160. hearing has started, webcast link on top right...
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