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10 Awesome Reasons to Pass Health Reform

Posted on Aug 16, 2009

By Joshua Holland, AlterNet

(Page 2)

3. Medical Bankruptcies Would Plummet

One of the most significant of these regulations is in the House bill: a cap on out-of-pocket expenses. If the measure passes, individuals would face a maximum of $5,000 in out-of-pocket expenses a year, and families no more than $10,000. For poorer families, the limits would be much lower:  $500 per year, for example, for a family making less than 1.33 times the poverty rate.

In 2007, Harvard researchers studied thousands of bankruptcy filings and found that medical causes played a role in more than 6 in 10.

4. People Who Could Never Get Decent Coverage Will Finally Be Able To


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So far, one of the great victories for the anti-reform movement has been convincing many small-business owners that health reform will put them under.

The reality is that small-business people, their employees, independent contractors, freelancers, entrepreneurs, part-timers and the "marginally employed" would be the biggest winners from the legislation if it passed as currently drafted. Small business owners and their employees—as well as those other groups—would, for the first time, be able to get decent coverage at a fair price, and if eligible, both employer and worker would be able to get extra help paying for it.

Under the current system, most of the largest employers in the country self-insure—they pay their employees’ claims directly and cut out the middleman.

Big firms that don’t self-insure buy insurance on the large-group market, where risk is spread out over a large pool. Large-group plans tend to be more or less comprehensive and, relatively speaking, affordable.

But those forced to purchase coverage on the individual or small-group markets have little buying power and are routinely forced to pay budget-busting premiums for the worst possible coverage—plans with high deductibles, caps on benefits and strict limits on what is and isn’t covered.

This gets to the heart of the "public insurance option"—the most contentious point of debate in the reform battle. It would work like this: The government would establish regional exchanges, or "gateways," that would be open to those who would otherwise be forced into the individual and small-group markets. These gateways would have relatively large insurance pools just like large employers—and public programs like Medicare—have now.

Within these large purchasing pools, people would be able to choose from among different insurance plans—one a government-run "public option" and the rest offered by private insurers.

In order for private insurers to sell plans through the exchanges, they would be required to offer a standard set of benefits (which the public option would have to offer as well). They’d also be permitted to offer plans with more bells and whistles at a premium price.

For those enrolled in the public exchanges, the process would be quite similar to what employees in many large companies experience—they would simply choose from among a variety of plans, with slightly different levels of coverage and costs.

Compared to the plans now available in the individual and small-group markets, they would pay a lot less for significantly better insurance (which, in reality, is what those "teabaggers" are protesting).

Because of pressure from Republicans and conservative Blue Dog Democrats, the public exchanges will phase in slowly, over a period of four to six years.

5. (Almost) Everyone Gets Covered

That brings us to another "controversial"—but ultimately commonsense—piece of the puzzle, the "individual mandate."  It  means that (almost) everyone would either have to buy health insurance or pay a modest penalty that would contribute to the system. In the House bill, the penalty would max out at 2.5 percent of income. Waivers would be available in the cases of economic hardship or for those who have religious objections.

There will be those who get those waivers; others will be left behind—it’s not a truly universal system. But according to preliminary projections, the result would be an uninsured rate of 3-5 percent, rather than the 16 or so percent who lack insurance today, reducing the rolls of the uninsured by some 20 million-30 million.

6. Those Who Can’t Afford the Premiums Will Get Help Paying

Ultimately, even if the public exchanges were to succeed in bringing the price of health insurance back to earth, a lot of people would still be priced out of the market.

All of the Democratic plans come with subsidies to help those at the lower end of the economic ladder get access to decent health care. The most generous are in the House bill, and how extensive the subsidies will be in the final legislation will be a point of heated debate.

In the House bill, individuals making less than 400 percent of the poverty line—$43k per year and families earning under $88k—will be eligible for subsidized coverage on a sliding scale.

Those at the lowest income levels (but who earn too much to get Medicaid) will be required to pay no more than 1.5 percent of their total income for health coverage.

Subsidies would also be available for co-pays—also for people earning up to 400 percent of the poverty line.

Finally, many small businesses would be eligible for tax credits for insuring their employees.

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By Sandra Daniels, August 4, 2011 at 1:46 am Link to this comment

Many may and do agree with the principles of health care reform, however it may be approved through congress, it will not survive as big business and big money will ensure it fails over time. Unless there is a fundamental shift in beliefs and a balance of power between values and money we, the US will continue to fall behind, with what is known to be a reasonable and a human right that is,  adequate health care.

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By luther, May 22, 2010 at 10:58 pm Link to this comment

In my opinion government should take up the health care domain. Infact I always dream that healthcare, education and transport systems must be run by government. This is because the risk is involved and the risk will directly cater to the risk of the nations’s future. Just my 2 cents.

Teeth whitening tips | Get white teeth

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By Dahlia, October 13, 2009 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment

I suggest that any Congressperson receiving a penny from Big Insurance and/or Big Pharma should recuse him/herself from this debate.  The rest (if any are left) should do what’s right:

Pass Medicare for all.  (I can dream , can’t I?)

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By Laura Nason, August 19, 2009 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sabagio Mauraeno

Yes I do understand that. But you have to understand that it is traumatic for a child to have to go to the dentist at all and using “temporary” fillings just means more trips to the dentist to have it done over again and each time the underlying structure could be affected. I can understand complaining about adults running to the emergency room for the sniffles, but you are just using a bad example. Unless you have a very bad dentist, they will do what’s best for the child. Honestly, you would pay a lot more to have a new filling 3 or more times than getting the permanent one in the first place, in extra office visits, extra exams and all that goes along.
Anyway, that’s just my opinion and I apologize if I was rude.

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By Sabagio Mauraeno, August 19, 2009 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment

to Laura:  according to the Indiana School of Dentistry there were/are such things as “temporary” and permanent fillings. RIP

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By Laura Nason, August 19, 2009 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Putting fillings in baby teeth, contrary to some’s “opinion” that they are an unnecessary “rip-off” of services for profit, ARE necessary. Until those baby teeth loosen up and are READY to fall out, that child’s permanent teeth are forming underneath AND if the baby teeth are left to ROT, the permanent teeth WILL be affected.
People should REALLY research their “beliefs” and find out the truth before deciding, in their uninformed OPINION that a medical procedure is or is not necessary. I HOPE you have no children because I’d hate to think anyone would allow a child’s teeth to rot and the child to suffer in the mistaken belief the dentist was RIPPING YOU OFF!

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By Sylvia Barksdale, August 19, 2009 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have a bipolar son who is on the government program, Medicare.  He is a heavy drug abuser and has recently returned from detoxing.  The insurance only pays for ONE day per week aftercare.  Thus, if there is no change in present government health care programs, many unfortunate individuals will be left to swim or sink.  My son is one of them and it makes me furious that there is no health care available to him.  If I were wealthy, I would have no worries in a life’s situation such as this.  I could purchase the most expensive insurance that is offered.

I truly believe that this part of Medicare should be reorganized so that everyone who needs it may be helped by it.

Mr. Holland has written a comprehensive essay on the benefits of President Obama’s health plan but the problems I find with it hits directly home.

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By weslen1, August 19, 2009 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

On December 10, 1948 our leaders signed The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 25 reads,
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and wellbeing of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

To this day, when a disaster strikes, anywhere in the world, representatives of the United States are the first ones there to offer assistance and to help in any way possible. Yet, when the most recent disasters occurred here at home, our government was MIA. And now that so many millions of jobs have been lost on Republican watch, their solution is to cut benefits for the unemployed, cut free school lunch programs to motivate hungry children, to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. They pray for another 9/11 on a much grander scale to “Save the Republican Party”, they pray for the destruction of millions of people’s lives and call themselves the party of “morals”. Give me a break. They accuse the unemployed of being out of work “because they don’t understand the need to work or even why there is a need to work”. When it comes to helping Americans who are in trouble, our government is AWOL.

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By Ivan hentschel, August 19, 2009 at 7:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We don’t need ten reasons, Joshua. We only need adhere to the demands of one: help people be healthy and stay that way enough to prevent unnecessary death and meaningless medical misery and suffering. Everything else follows. Stop making everything so complicated.

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By Sabagio Mauraeno, August 19, 2009 at 7:15 am Link to this comment

Old Dog! Doesn’t it strike you that the shrill anti health care reform protestestors who show up at the town meetings seem like plants, folks coached to disinform not so much for the benefit of the other attendees as to captudre the attention of the tv audience who later will get edited sound bites from national broadcast news editors. I think in past times they were called “shills”, people who were paid to induce an audience to buy in to worthless term life insurance or empty political promises that things are OK and don’t need fixing. Ed McMann and Dick Clark were two of the most outrageorus of the original tv hucksters, their progeny now personified with the ubiquitous hucksters on infomercials 24/7. They are perfect examples of the Bush-era philosophy of how to get elected without promising anything: “Tis the Squeaking Wheel that gets the Grease.” Karl Rove, August, 2000 on the Sean Hanritty Show.

Sabagio Mauraeno watching Hoda and Kathy Less shill for a version of the American Way that never was and never will be for the most of us.

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By oldog, August 19, 2009 at 5:55 am Link to this comment

Nice article, Joshua. However, truth is unlikely to make much difference as long as mainstream media is owned by corporations that are heavily invested in the status quo.

Where they can’t outright lie, they distract.

No mention is made of 70% approval ratings in public opinion poles, while a few hundred misguided protesters are claimed as ‘overwhelming rejection’ of health reform.

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By Sabagio Mauraeno, August 19, 2009 at 5:42 am Link to this comment

Dental health! Tis important to the health of the rest of the body’s systems, but…medicare doesn’t cover it, and if you rely on medicare for your heath needs, it is a very expensive.  Anyone with a toothache that won’t go away knows that expense, even if you don’t have the money, is no obstacle when the pain overwhelms everything else. So, where is the dental plan in the health reform plans? When the health plans of the 1960’s came on the scene, dentists (and lawyers) were pissed off arguing that the AMA lobby was being given a license to steal and they weren’t being allowed access to feed at the public trough.  Result?  Unnessary dental procedures,(like permanent fillings for children who still have their baby teeth) and the enormous expansion of malpractice suits.

Recommendation: this time toss a bone to the teeth pullers and ambulance chasers.

Sabagio Mauraeno, on my way to the chiropractor(in Georgia they get medicare payoffs) for a shoulder adjustment.

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By Hulk2008, August 18, 2009 at 7:16 am Link to this comment

Have the opponents of health care reform proposed any CONCRETE plans yet?  So far I have heard that Ryan of Wisconsin “has some pretty good ideas”, and various Republican politicians have said it’s OK to carry a gun to a Presidential speech. Supposedly, within the existing House proposals, Dems have incorporated over 160 Republican amendments.  Other than that, they have been basically silent.  Oops, I almost forgot that the Republicans were FOR end-of-life counseling before they were Against it (original co-sponsor was a lady Repub). 
  And so far, Republicans have yet to say they would accept ANY reforms, concessions, ideas etc.  They have just sat back and let Faux Snooze, Rush-Druggie, Hannity-Holler, Herr Beck , Americans For Prosperity,, and the Town Squabblers handle the shout-downs. 
  C-SPAN has been very revealing lately.  John Pinkerton addressed the righties blog festers recently, televised on C-SPAN.  Mr. Pinkerton is already congratulating the noise makers and the right wing bloggers for having defeated Obama .... not just on health reform but also on cap-and-trade and the stimulus plan.
  Basically, all “progress” is gone - drowned out by ignoramus screamers and crafty media types. 
  My idea is as follows:  the Dems insert all the proper verbage for a good public plan into the bills - but write them into the blank spaces at the bottom of each page using lemon juice.  Then they can visually “omit” the public plan and get it passed (after all NObody reads the bills).  Then get the Pres to sign and then apply heat to the bills - the lemon juice writing will then re-appear. Presto !  Just like the 4th grade magic show !!

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By KDelphi, August 17, 2009 at 11:23 pm Link to this comment

“Then there are the Democrats.  Obama stood for the single payer option and for drastic reforms during his campaign but conveniently decided single payer was not viable once he was elected.”

Did you listen?? He only supported universal in 2003—he said that the Dems needed the House, Senate a nd presidency to pass single payer—he never said that he backed it in the campaign. (one reason I didnt vote for him!)

As long as it is for profit—-people will die needlessly. Its bullshit.

They are going to make MORE people eligible for medicaid, yet cut funding—hmm..what do you think will happen with that??

Historic opportunity, smashed by sell out Democrats.

Still not ready for a alternative party? Masochists.

Every civilized country on the planet offers some form of universal coverage, but us—why do you think that that is?? Think real hard, privately financed Capitalists.

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By ecotech, August 17, 2009 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oh my! These are really awesome reasons… i really like #s 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8. I hope these can be acted upon a.s.a.p. (as soon as possible). I find #7, funny, but can be, why not? Thanks Joshua for sharing all these!

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By Big B, August 17, 2009 at 2:53 pm Link to this comment

It’s too late, Pres Barry has caved(again). The healthcare system as it is, will continue. By the time the public clamors once again for healthcare reform there will be over 100 million un-insured, over 100 million underinsured, and not enough money left to pay for the change that we will, by then, desperately need, for the poor will outnumber the middle class, and their Wal-Mart wages won’t be enough to pay the taxes that will be needed. The rich will have private hospitals, and the poor will cause pandemics.

I was always a fan of post apocolyptic films and books when I was growing up, looks like I’ll get the chance to live one.

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By glider, August 17, 2009 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment

For individuals looking for a reasonable out to the healthcare problem here in the greatest nation in the country you might want to look into a couple of books that show how to get quality medical care for 20% of our costs.

1. Patients Without Borders
2. Medical Tourism Travel Guide

Obviously this is not a total solution since it is not practical for emergency situations like strokes and heart attacks.  But it is an option to be aware of and it should work well for situations where there is some time to act.

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By Kay Johnson, August 17, 2009 at 2:01 pm Link to this comment

“We tax payers pay 75% of the health insurance costs (referred to as the ‘Rolls Royce’ of health care plans) for House and Senate members (and retired members) which includes total drug coverage.

“A House member’s salary is $12,500/month (not to mention perks, bribes and payoffs.) It’s estimated that health insurance costs are running about $8,000/yr for the average American.  Surely someone earning $150,000/year could afford to pay $8,000/year for health insurance.”—Felicity

“We the People” also provide our elected officials with pensions, etc. Of course, our elected officials vote their own salary increases, etc.

But, of course, we get the crumbs, if even that.

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By Bldng4Jstc, August 17, 2009 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

What about charging people with a high BMI a little more?  Aren’t they going to use health services more just like smokers?

What about cutting costs?!  NONE OF THE ARGUMENTS ARE ABOUT CUTTING COSTS!  I just spend $1100 to try to get my allergies under control.  The sad part is that that price is reduced, if I didn’t have insurance that bill would have been $1700.  I am a 22 yr old college kid and I am supposed to be able to pay that?

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By glider, August 17, 2009 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment

Watch for the Obama sellout.  He is definitely telegraphing that the public option can be taken off the table.  If we see a final bill that has the very few moral progressives bailing out of the bill but being more than made up for by republicans hopping on board you can be absolutely assured the public is getting completely screwed by backroom deals with the insurance companies.  That would be the Obama “bipartisan” success.

In that case how about a class action suit to get our Obama campaign donations back?

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By Jim Yell, August 17, 2009 at 11:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is clear that the bipartisan solution is a complete cave to the pharmacy and insurance corporations. Not reform here just mandatory insurance coverage as a great big funnel to divert what is left of peoples incomes into the bloated and malignant leeches of corporate America. Add this to the discounting of wages and benifits and the disregard of the Bill of Rights and we won’t even be as well off as the old citizens of the Soviet Union and they at lest had guaranteed health care.

This whole collapse of the American Nation did not need to happen. The deck of cards have been stacked for decades by busnesses and bank and the stock market (aka the shell game)thousands will benifit and 100s of millions will live in abject poverty.

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By glider, August 17, 2009 at 11:41 am Link to this comment

“the bills allow an insurer to charge the 60-65 year old up to seven-and-a-half times the premium for a 20-25 year old”

Can you point me to a source for this point?  This is exactly what I am looking for as the talking point “they will not be able to DENY you coverage for pre-existing conditions” sounds like misleading political double-talk.  Obviously the problem is not denial of coverage so much as monetizing individual risk.  Sure if you pay an insurance company enough they will insure anyone, that is the status quo.  I have never heard any politician say they will not be able to charge you more for pre-existing conditions.  So if what you say is true the insurance companies may shift all pre-existing condition charges over to age charges.  Then the bill is just a shell-game.  The Dems and Obama getting tough on health care profiteers by mandating outrageously expensive health care purchases for all.  Thanks guys 3rd party here I come.

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By Rodger Lemonde, August 17, 2009 at 10:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We can keep emasculating reform based on guesses as to what will make the Republicans sit down and shut up.
All that’s coming from that quarter is their appeal for death panels. They will be so disappointed they wanted to be on the panels so they could kill of liberals.

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By Kay Johnson, August 17, 2009 at 10:32 am Link to this comment

On Yahoo, I noticed that, today, stocks are tumbling. However, health-care stocks are NOT losing ground. The CEOs and other executives must be salivating that Obama is about to GROW their market with his plan for mandatory health insurance, tucked inside his “health insurance reform” bill.


Health insurers escape broad selloff- MarketWatch

U.S. stock-market investors are following in the footsteps of billionaire investor Warren Buffett by rotating into health-care stocks, with that defensive sector the sole industry group not losing ground to Monday’s sharp equity-market decline.

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By felicity, August 17, 2009 at 9:29 am Link to this comment

We tax payers pay 75% of the health insurance costs (referred to as the ‘Rolls Royce’ of health care plans) for House and Senate members (and retired members) which includes total drug coverage.

A House member’s salary is $12,500/month (not to mention perks, bribes and payoffs.) It’s estimated that health insurance costs are running about $8,000/yr for the average American.  Surely someone earning $150,000/year could afford to pay $8,000/year for health insurance.

Apparently he can’t while, according to him, we can on an average income of about $30,000/year. Sickening isn’t it.

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By herewegoagain, August 17, 2009 at 8:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am glad that for poor families the limit on out of pocket expenses a year would be $500. But a $10K cap on every other family is not only a “reform,” it’s a green light to insurance companies to charge even more than they do now with high deductible plans!

What average American family has a spare $10K laying around to pay for healthcare, in addition to forking out their monthly premiums? Does the author of this article seriously think a family that hit a medical emergency couldn’t go bankrupt within two or three years if they had to somehow come up with $10K of their own money each year to pay for treatment?

This so-called reform bill has about as much teeth as the industry giveaway credit card reform bill.

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By pt109, August 17, 2009 at 6:57 am Link to this comment

Number 7 will be the great equalizer. Walmart will no longer use the Medicaid to escape their moral responsability to the people that work for them.

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By rob bilderberg greenaway (facebook name), August 17, 2009 at 6:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just kill this bill.

Obama - you lost this one.

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By Nupek, August 17, 2009 at 5:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

health benefits offered by morning walk
The secret of longevity for a major section of people who are ‘ octogenarians ‘ – That is People who are in their eighties would be morning walk which was done for decades.  People have nowadays gradually started realizing the importance of morning walk in shaping the health of human body. But still there are umpteen number of people who do not unwind themselves from their mechanical lives.  Technological advancements have made life more simpler in all respects but we humans must also pay the price for it if we do not allocate time in our hectic schedule for some physical work like walking or visiting Gym’s. Around fifteen years ago, TV remotes were rarely found in houses and hence we used to walk at least for changing channels. But now ? Sitting hours together in front of the idiot box, continuously feeding the stomach with snacks or sweets, leading to obesity. If you question a doctor on the health benefits offered by walking he would give you a long lecture. Let us see some of the benefits.
1)  It is a stress buster which instills a feeling of freshness to the body as well as mind.
2)  blood circulation is promoted, reducing greatly the chances of high blood pressure.
3)  Checks obesity by burning unnecessary calories of fat in the body.
4)    It makes the joints more strong and hence people would be less susceptible to Orthopedic troubles associated with old age.
5)  Chases away neck pain and back pains.
6)  If you go walk in a park surrounded by trees, you will inhale more fresh air, containing higher concentration of oxygen, thereby bringing down breathing problems too.
7) Keeps sugar levels under control.

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By C. Curtis Dillon, August 17, 2009 at 4:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What do climate change, health care and energy have in common?  They all involve massive amounts of money and contentious debate about their futures.  From a political standpoint, they are perfect issues.  On one hand, we have entrenched interests which are fighting to keep or expand their control over the money generated by the activity.  On the other, there is no clear consensus for a solution which offers political cover for any attempt to find a solution.  For a politician, this is ideal.

If we consider health care, this is absolutely the situation.  16% of our GDP goes to health care expenses and is growing rapidly.  Entrenched interests fight for their share of this pot and are prepared to spend a fortune to influence the debate.  And there is a broad range of contentious opinions about how to fix the system.  This is a perfect storm for our political leaders.

On the one hand, we have the Republicans who are so deeply embedded with big money that they have essentially removed themselves from the process.  They stand for the status quo.  This provides the perfect backstop for whatever the other party wishes to do.

Then there are the Democrats.  Obama stood for the single payer option and for drastic reforms during his campaign but conveniently decided single payer was not viable once he was elected.  So the “public option” was put forth as an acceptable alternative.  The Democrats floated this option because it still makes the insurance companies nervous.  They respond with massive contributions to both Dems and Repubs as a way of stopping the debate.  The Dems continue their campaign but are assured it will fail because of the brick wall in the Senate finance committee.  6 conservative senators (3 Dems and 3 Repubs) assure congress that no public option will ever get to the senate floor.  So the Dems can appear to be strong and resolute in fixing the system while assured that the solution will be gutless.  In a few weeks, they will pass this worthless overhaul and Obama will sign it with great fanfare.  But nothing substantial will have been accomplished, keeping health care, like the other hot button issues, in play for another round at some later date.

By never actually solving health care issues, the political parties can play the monied interests for more cash and keep replaying the same battles over and over for their constituents.  This provides a continuous stream of cash for their political coffers and keeps the issue before the electorate where it can be used in one campaign after another.  The short attention span of the voter is what makes this all work.

So, don’t be surprised about this.  It was all preordained long ago.  As long as corporate money funds our political parties, this game will go on and on and on ... forever.

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By ardee, August 17, 2009 at 2:58 am Link to this comment

The article makes a case that the White house is unable to make itself. This plan, contrary to the gist of the article, is only a panacea and not a cure for what ails our health care system.

The President demonstrates an abysmal lack of leadership on this issue and our Congress ,in turn, shows how wedded it is to the corporate paycheck. For profit health care is not the solution, and never will be. We need single payer care, but in order to get it we will have to learn to vote for the right people first.

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By JenniferBedingfield, August 17, 2009 at 1:01 am Link to this comment

And more bad news in case anybody missed it:

White House Appears Ready to Drop ‘Public Option’

by Phillip Elliott

I didn’t expect much out of “public option” and would have preferred single payer straight up but oh what’s the use? Sigh… :.(

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By M Currey, August 16, 2009 at 10:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Things can get worse, and then the Bush change in Medicare and the donut hole that was a problem that took some time to sort out.  Some people are paying for an extra Medicare program that they don’t need.

It seems that the more some people make the less taxes they want to pay and that is what the Republicians are really concerned about.

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By Linda, August 16, 2009 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Excellent article, but I have some legitimate concerns regarding the current proposals. The provision that premiums can vary per age leave a big loophole for the insurers.  Apparently, the bills allow an insurer to charge the 60-65 year old up to seven-and-a-half times the premium for a 20-25 year old.  In my current health plan, the “upcharge” for the oldster is less than two-and-a-half times the younger person.  Older people will be forced to either drain thir retirement accounts to pay for MANDATED health insurance, or the government will be forced to subsidise them.  Either way, even more money will go into the pockets of the healthcare industry.  As a nation, we pay too high a percentage of our wealth enriching this industry, and the “reforms” do nothing to change that.

#5 The mandate - We’re only required to pay 2.5% of our income for healthcare?  Are they kidding?  We currently pay a lot more than that, and since there appears to be no reduction of health insurers profits, that 2.5% figure is unrealistic and will likely be increased if a healthcare bill passes.

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By JenniferBedingfield, August 16, 2009 at 7:38 pm Link to this comment

Hi Kay,

Thank you as well. I remember this article from a few days ago on Alternet. There was a storm of a debate between those of us who supported single payer straight and those who supported that twisted legislation. The apologists for HR3200 tried to talk about “compromise” but even JH had to admit the flaws.

By the way, I’m happy to see you here as well. This site is indeed overwhelming. I was a bit shy to post here but I thought I’d go for it just like I eventually did on CD. I notice that some people here are familiar and even those I don’t see on CD anymoremy older remote friend (JWVerez on CD) told me lots of wonderful things about them.

This site looks promising.

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By weightman, August 16, 2009 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You changed the title from the AlterNet post, Mr. Holland. It’s not pure conjecture anymore. But it’s still bullshit.

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By Kay Johnson, August 16, 2009 at 6:10 pm Link to this comment


Great post!

Thanks for taking the time to be so detailed.

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By ChaoticGood, August 16, 2009 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment

The best solution is usually the simplest solution.  That solution is “Medicare for all”.  The problem with this convoluted, hybrid system is that it will die the death of the thousand cuts.  The loopholes abound, it is, in the end a bonanza for lawyers and big pharma.
Obama says, don’t let the perfect become the enemy of the good.  If all we are doing is trading a horrible and unfair system for a complex unwieldy system that makes our lives more difficult, then I ask if that is the “good” we are waiting for.
If we cannot have Medicare for all because the ignorant and fearful people,want to vote against their own best interests, then there is nothing we can do about it.
The next best thing is to make changes to the laws concerning health insurance nationwide. The following simple changes can be done immediately.

1. No pre-existing conditions can be considered.

2. All persons must be offered a “basic” uniform policy that all insurance companies must offer.

3. Anyone who cannot afford the “basic” policy will be assisted by public funds.

4. All citizens must have health insurance.

I think most people will agree with the first three items. 

Number 4 is necessary because those who believe they are “immortal” cannot project those fantasies on the rest of us.  They cannot opt out of paying for health insurance, then when they get hurt or sick, expect us to pay for them.  This is unfair and must be outlawed.  Sorry Republicans, there is no choice here and you know it.

So if we have not evolved enough to accept health care as a right, then at least we can see it as an obligation.

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By JenniferBedingfield, August 16, 2009 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Holland, thanks but no thanks. The final version is likely to get further watered down. Here’s my take on the 10 awesome things you mentioned:

“1: The First Thing That Will Happen Is Absolutely Nothing”

So we have to wait until 2013 for this bill to take effect? That is NOT change one can believe in but aside from that, it seems that when it comes to bailing out the war machines and Wall $treet, it’s hurry up or else and yet when it comes to assisting the working class who really need the bailout, it’s hang dry. There is nothing awesome about this !

“2. New Protections for Consumers”

Having seen the points within, I’m willing to bet you all the money in the world that at least half of those sub points Big Insurance will see to it that Congress strips before the bill finally passes.

“3. Medical Bankruptcies Would Plummet”

I doubt it. In our current disaster capitalist climate, what with unemployment and underemployment rising and wages falling not to mention Joe Biden’s 2005 Bankruptcy Overhaul bill still in effect, the bankruptcies will continue.

“4. People Who Could Never Get Decent Coverage Will Finally Be Able To”

And what about the growing number of unemployed who don’t? In any case, Big Insurance is still the middle man unlike single payer where Big Insurance would be limited to supplemental insurance. So the American people are still at the mercy of Big Insurance.

“5. (Almost) Everyone Gets Covered”

Nice try but the details clearly spell Massachusetts Care aka Mandatory Care ! You want to bet that government will go it easy on mandatory purchasing from Big Insurance or for that matter the penalty fees?

“6. Those Who Can’t Afford the Premiums Will Get Help Paying “

Um, all these minor subsidizations and small tax credits won’t cover the huge costs from Big Insurance and they can price gouge as they wish.

“7. No Free Lunch for Businesses”

This is what I hate about this bill. Why should employers be forced to carry the burden of overhead costs of Big Insurance just to cover their employees? Single payer would eliminate all this complicated nonsense.

“8. More Low-Income Workers Eligible for Medicaid”

And it will still remain a privilege. Sigh…

“9. Some Things Will Change, but You’ll Never Notice”

Oh sure, some things will change FOR THE WORSE, but we’ll never notice. So since not-so-rich doctors will likely get economically persecuted and ordinary people won’t notice any difference in their attempt to look, you think that makes it better? All I see is drip drip drip for the worse ! :(

“10. Over Time, the System Will Become Healthier”

What ?!? With the way the economy is getting worse and the current health care system getting costlier and no true reform package in the works and nothing to rein in Big Insurance/Pharma, the system will only get worse to the point that it will have to be scrapped entirely. And then when everyone’s finally bankrupted and brokenhearted, we’ll get a single payer system for a change.

I’m sorry Joshua but you’re being way too optimistic here.

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