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Simplify the Health Care Debate -- Pass a Single Payer Bill

Category: Single Payer Health
Posted: 06/25/09 00:26

by Dave Mindeman

I have difficulty understanding the arguments being used in the current health care debate...and remember this debate is about a weak "government" option rather than single payer.

Private insurers have complained about the costly bureacracy that would, they say, inevitably happen with a government run system. Even though their own administrative costs rocket upwards of 17 to 20%. Medicare's costs, which is government operated, runs about 3%.

Now, the private insurers are concerned about competing with a government insurance option because it would run them out of business. In theory because costs would be low and coverages broadened. Afraid of the competition?

The Chamber of Commerce is complaining that a public option will force mandates on employers and penalize them with some "mysterious" fine that so far has no basis in fact. And how these mandates can be forced on employers when a public option is available is also quite mysterious.

Republicans complain that the public doesn't want government run health care....even though a recent poll claims that 72% of the American public say the opposite.

Democrats seem to be afraid of their own shadows; because they are worried about a government run option even though they hold majorities in both Houses to pass it and have a President who is eager to sign it.

And still.....nobody is dealing with real, honest to goodness, single payer health care. What we have been debating is a weak ghost of the real thing....a usurper that claims to have all the same advantages, yet it adds too many of the old private insurance problems.

Single payer would be a complete change from what we have now. It apparently worries the people who profit from the status quo. And it should, because it can fix the burdensome problems that are dragging down the budgets and the economy.

It is the solution that requires leadership and courage to bring it out of the shadows. The people are ready -- but the leadership and courage is in short supply.
comments (1) permalink
06/25/09 12:23

Do you want Health Insurance ? or Improved Health Care ?

The debate seems to be on Health Insurance which makes no sense to me. This will lead to more people have inadequate health insurance. Insurance companies will still work to deny benefits. At a Senate Commerce Committee hearing yesterday, three health care specialists testified that insurers go to great lengths to avoid responsibility for sick people, use deliberately incomprehensible documents to mislead consumers about their benefits, and sell "junk" policies that fail to cover needed care. The star witness at the hearing was a former public relations executive for major health insurers whose testimony boiled down to this: Don't trust the insurers.
In 2006, the six largest insurance companies made $11 billion in profits even after paying for direct health care costs, administrative costs and marketing costs.
The number of health insurance industry bureaucrats has grown at 25 times the growth of physicians in the past 30 years.
How many people are satisfied with their Auto or HomeOwners Insurance carrieer BEFORE they have a claim versus satisfaction levels AFTER they have an accident ? Ignorance is bliss.

Does it do any good to have Health Insurance once the patient has exceeded the policy limits ? it still falls onto the ?public? ? either in forms of government programs or to the hospital for ?charity? cases. Doctor bills are inflated as they offer ?discounts? to those that cannot afford to pay the regular fee ? which really means that those of us that have the monies (or participate in existing insurance programs) pay a higher amount because of those that cannot.

Universal participation is the key ? encouraging (or requiring) people to obtain minimum levels of insurance will not resolve that.

 

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