Democrats Hate Health Care

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There are no more excuses for the Democrats.

The Democrats now admit that they control the procedure in Congress and can pass whatever health care reform they want.

Without one Republican vote. And President Obama can sign it.

What should they do?
They should pass single payer. Everybody in. Nobody out. For prevention and treatment. For free choice of doctors and hospitals. No more premiums, deductibles, exclusions, co-pays, in-network, out-of-network rigamarole.

No more family medical bankruptcies. No more pay or die. No more pay or become sicker. Single payer is the only system that will work. It’s the most efficient. Single payer will cut out literally hundreds of billions in administrative fat, billing fraud and unconscionable profits. These savings will be used instead to insure the 50 million uninsured and the millions more under-insured. This will save lives. Starting with the more than 21,000 Americans who die every year from lack of health insurance.

According to recent polls, the majority of the American people want single payer. So do the majority of doctors, nurses, and health economists.

So, what will the Democrat leadership do? They will keep single payer off the table. Because they fear the insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry – and want their campaign money – more than they fear the American people.

Or as Speaker of the House Pelosi told reporters last week:

“Over and over again, we hear single payer, single payer, single payer. Well, it’s not going to be a single payer.”

Who is Nancy Pelosi speaking for?
Not for the American people.
Not for those who will die or get sicker month after month.

How are we to respond?
Focus our collective creative energy on Congressional offices around the country — offices of all 435 members of the House and 100 members of the Senate.

That’s why we have set up Single Payer Action. Less than two months old – and already Single Payer Action is making waves. In front of Congressional offices from Martinsburg, West Virginia to Seattle, Washington. On Capitol Hill, standing up to the corporate lobbyists and their lackeys in Congress. And on the web, challenging the corporate controlled media to put single payer back on the table of public debate.

There is support in Congress for single payer. Already, 76 House members support HR 676 – the single payer bill in the House.

But the Democratic leadership in Washington has taken single payer off the table. They meet regularly behind closed doors with insurance and drug industry lobbyists – to thwart single payer. Time to turn up the heat – and get the word out to the American people.

(Just last week, I was at the University of Colorado in Boulder where I spoke to an enthusiastic audience. Topic: Single payer, full Medicare health insurance for all.)

We need your help now. To send speakers to all four corners of this country. To fund organizing drives at Congressional offices around the country. To shake up the system for single payer.

Together, we can break the logjam in Congress – and deliver health care to all. Let’s get it done.

Onward to single payer.
Ralph Nader

insurance lobby


Update: Obama’s a Bad Boy Friend

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14 Comments

Filed under Business, Congress, Health, nader, Nature, News, obama, Politics, psychology, Science and Technology, Social Epistemology, Updates

14 responses to “Democrats Hate Health Care

  1. I don’t want no single payer! (said in a southern texas accent) Really though, I don’t want this. Leave me alone government. Please just leave me alone.

    • Then I guess you’ll just have to die, or someone close to you will.

      • Yes. I live life aware of that fact… in fact, I’m pretty sure an examined life would lead one to realize that death is quite inevitable. 40 years, 50 years, 80 years.. we are but dust in the wind my friend. People around me have died recently – it’s helped my recognize a spiritual side in myself.

        I still appreciate your opinions. If out of this imbroglio of legislation and corporatism we somehow do get universal health care foisted upon us, I suppose I would hope that it would be of the single-payer sort…. However, any type of government intervention within my personal medical decisions is not something I am looking forward to. I know that’s not what you’re advocating, but the recent history of this country seems to suggest that government would not fail to get it’s hands in between my flesh and my surgeons scalpel.

        Keep up the great work. Your blog is excellent.

    • First, your response clearly states that you didn’t read what was written by reiterating the typical often repeated none thinking knee jerk reaction by those who are more likely than not to listen to Rush Limbaugh, those peeple in essence who have potatoes for brains. I have to wonder, do sheeple who spew this tired old crapola just like to hear themselves bah?

      Second, let me remind you that the private Health Care Industry sector has their dirty little hand right now betwixt your flesh and the surgeons scalpel and they are denying you and others valuable life saving treatment in exchange for death and their profit marginS.

      You mention recognizing a more spiritual side in yourself through a cliche sung by the old 70’s band Kansas. Perhaps you need to re-examine that side a little further, any reason to deny you or any other American citizen health care in this day and age in exchange for their profit margin$ is nothing short of evil. Less, of course your spiritual revelation is to worship Satan himself then, nevermind.

  2. Hi again,

    I’m really sorry if I have upset you. I’m not really aware of why you think I’m regurgitating some nonsense and not merely forming my own opinions, but I will cede that perhaps my own self-examination is not sufficient at all times. Please reveal to me what I am missing. I would hate to be coming of as pretentious.

    I do not like Rush Limbaugh at all.. he is the essence of a demagogue and his unabashed vanity seeps through every word he spews on air. I would not listen to him for those to reasons alone, however his political views are just as terrible.

    Also, I am quite aware that the corporations that have grown up around the present health care system are rich and fat and meddlesome already. However, I believe this is a result of the already present most unholy alliance between the federal government and the corporate coffers – not the absence thereof.

    Although the existential line I quoted by Kansas may be meaningless to you, it means a great deal to me. I will elaborate. Focusing upon temporal material progress as and end-all goal, and specifically using the state in attempts to bring your wishes or dreams into reality is something which I tend to resist when it must ultimately come at the point of a gun. I believe that it is futile… Why are my fellow americans entitled to free health care any more than a poor African or Russian is? Why should I care for them more than any impoverished human being on the face of the earth? Since when does justice or as you called it “nothing short of evil” stop at arbitrary boundaries declared by men?

    Government is coercive and violent and these are the only ways it can sustain itself. Out of spiritual beliefs I could not support a single-payer system because it would ultimately rely upon these same evils to collect the funds to pay for it. Let it be known, I am not a fan of the current arrangement in this country either. I don’t think its fair of you to make snide remarks in an incredibly sardonic way – I believe my views are reflective of long periods of thought, and also that I am entitled to hold them and engage other people without enduring this type of name-calling… My brains are not potatoes… I’m not a neocon, I’m an anarchist…. And I do not worship Satan or think that I”m evil bc I don’t think government healthcare (single-payer or any other system – including our present!) are a good idea. I also don’t believe that Americans should be denied healthcare… I believe they should either receive it with money/resources they have developed themselves, or they should receive it via charity – a mechanism by which people can contribute altruistically out of their own volition and with incisive injections of money/capital.

    • In short, read or listen to Ralph Nader
      http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=4B6F6E30F054CA82

      This is the US the example to the world, the shinning city on the hill and we are the great experiment, the progressives.

      People want dignity not charity and men are not angels. Please keep your spiritual and/or religious beliefs to yourself.

      The danger here is Corporatism not government or the private sector, but what we have now, the combination of the two by the few.

      • Hello again jschlinger-

        I watched the Nader videos. I appreciate this man very much, however, I have fundamentally different views than him and you on this particular issue. One thing which I see that we adamantly agree upon is the rise in Corporatism. I believe that this trend is one of the greatest blights upon the “classically liberal” society that our founders sought to create.

        From this fundamental view, we diverge. My understanding, albeit limited, is that the progressives are seeking to change the current situation by introducing a more vigorous accountable government which seeks to dislodge the Corporatism which has grown up all around us and provide people with many of the fundamental things we all desire – i.e. housing, education, healthcare.

        My view is that this is not realistically possible, and that in fact, the growth in government (which was at least originally lauded as accomplishing the very same things the progressives seek) is what created an opening for the corporations to plunge their parasitic forceps into the meat of government. I believe this is the trend that has brought down all great governments of history. I also believe that this would not be possible in an anarcho-capitalist society that I would advocate. The smaller the government, the less possible it is for corporations to commandeer the government, or even if they did, they would powerless to do anything with an extremely limited government. Their first order of business for these corporations would be to grow government so that they would gain more control. I do not see it is a possibility that any type of government institution, regardless of whatever great intentions motivated its creation, would not be eventually bought out – only to become the forearm of whatever oligarchical monopolistic corporations that control things from the shadows. Why? Because unlike corporations – government has a monopoly on force… this is what makes it so dangerous.

        I do not believe men are angels… and my entire philosphy is based upon this very fact. Men are broken, all of us, and in the words of Lord Acton, “absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

        I will not keep my spiritual views to myself either. My spiritual freedom and the expression thereof will be the very last thing I would ever give up. Feel free to express whatever you want to me during this discussion, for your underlying convictions and beliefs will ultimately influence your opinions regardless of whether you keep them internalized or in the light of day. I hope that statement does not appear crass. I’m not implying that you are keeping things internalized, I’m only defending my right to speak openly about my spiritual philosophy.

        We share a common underlying belief. That the mix of government and the public sector is one of the worst abominations known to man. I do not believe that the government institutions you and Nader advocate would be able to maintain their anonymity from this beast. Until history shows me any example of anything other than this happening, I will continue to remain an anarchist and fight against centralized coercive power with my mind, prayers, conversations and keyboard.

  3. “From this fundamental view, we diverge. My understanding, albeit limited, is that the progressives are seeking to change the current situation by introducing a more vigorous accountable government which seeks to dislodge the Corporatism which has grown up all around us and provide people with many of the fundamental things we all desire – i.e. housing, education, healthcare.”

    You have it backwards, WE THE PEOPLE ALLOW the private sector to operate. Until you come to grips with that fact you will never be free and a slave to the Corporate Masters.

    Government requires citizens taking on responsibility not handing it over to corporations.

    “Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes her laws.”

    A good and common start
    http://jischinger.wordpress.com/2009/04/23/tarp-money-being-stolen

    • i saw that previous post and i loved it. i truly appreciate your insights upon the effects of corporatism – especially within the banking system. i believe you have tact in aggregate good sources and i truly do appreciate your blog.

      i minored in econ in college, and since i graduated i’ve been enraptured by the mystery of central banking and monetary policy. the amount of fraud emanating from the federal reserve and the bank holding companies which it represents is gargantuan. no other institution, private or public, can compare to the amount of power wielded there. i definitely agree with your assertion that this is a good and common start. great rothschild quote too.

      i still don’t quite understand your comment about me having it backwards… i do agree that we the people allow the markets to operate, but simultaneously, we the people make up the markets. although markets are seriously obstructed at this point in time (and definitely not lasseiz-faire) there is still a fundamental free exchange in many situations. this is how the world has always worked. people barter for goods that they want – in todays world we use an intermediary medium of the dollar bill. since i have a feeling you understand the problems with fiat currency and central banking i won’t go into too much detail here.

      every day, people in america choose what companies survive and what companies fail by casting their vote through the form of purchases. the companies that make shit fail. the companies that provide people what the want at a price which allows for net profit succeed. there is no greater mechanism of democracy than a free market. everything becomes obfuscated as soon as the government steps in, whether it being in the form of bailouts, or more basically in the form of “regulations” which obstruct new competition in the market by increasing costly entry-barriers. in the absence of any government intervention, people would be the ones alone, on an individual basis, choosing to decide what they want.

      i don’t believe i’m a slave. i dont’ support many major corporations – that is how i cast my real vote.

      i also have a slightly different opinion of your statement “government requires citizens taking on responsibility not handing it over to corporations”. i believe a more correct version would be: freedom requires citizens taking on responsibility, not handing it over to ANYONE. for government can only operate when individuals hand over their freedom and responsibilities to it.

      i don’t have any videos to recommend, but i would highly recommend reading F.A. Hayeks – The Road to Serfdom. It makes an elegant and very compelling case against collectivism of any kind.

  4. Elaina George

    Universal Healthcare: Are We Missing The Real Debate?
    Elaina F. George, MD

    The debate in Washington between those who believe universal healthcare equals socialized medicine and the end of the world vs. those who believe that single payer, government mandated health insurance is the only way to stop the selfish evil insurance companies has begun and is gaining steam.

    I believe that single payer universal healthcare is a worthy goal, since I fundamentally believe that good health should be a right and not a privilege. Unfortunately, implementation of it will likely prove to be hard when the reality of the power of the healthcare and pharmaceutical lobbies in Washington are taken into account. They have spent a lot of money and have the ear of key members of congress. I am concerned that there is no appetite for real change, and that fear will instead lead to a doubling down on the status quo.

    I have hope that President Obama will walk the walk. However, his actions say otherwise. His willingness to take single payer off the table with out vigorous debate, and his choice of Tom Daschle as HHS secretary and Sanjay Gupta as the surgeon general both speak to his willingness to pay lip service to change while putting in folks who are friendly to the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries respectively. Furthermore, his health advisory team consists of people like Ezekiel Emmanuel who has ties to Humana. I am concerned that health insurance overhaul will mean a further power grab by the insurance companies. If nothing fundamentally changes about how health insurance is delivered, what will stop them from continuing their same practices? They will simply benefit from having more patients to pay premiums. History tells us this is a recipe for disaster for both patients and physicians and a pay day for the insurance companies under the guise of healthcare for all.

    I believe the first step should involve a government based public option. This is the only real way to gain the necessary leverage to make the changes needed to improve our health care system. Republicans argue that free market pressure will help patients obtain lower premiums if they are allowed to shop for cheaper health insurance in another state. They neglect to take into account the fact that Blue Cross in Georgia is the same as Blue Cross in Nevada – it is Blue Cross and the company will still shift the cost to the patient in deductibles and rationing of care. Moreover, the insurance companies all operate the same way. I submit that dealing with Aetna or United Healthcare or Blue Cross is the same. They are for profit corporations and their goal is to make as much money for their shareholders as possible. In order to do that they must collect more premiums and pay out as little as possible. There is nothing altruistic about these behemoths.

    There is so much wrong with the current system that it needs to be overhauled in order to make it viable. At the current rate we are not training enough primary care physicians, the best and the brightest are choosing not to go into medicine and those who have gone into it because they wanted to care for their patients are leaving the profession because they lack the autonomy to be true advocates for their patient’s health and/or they can’t afford the cost of doing business.

    I am an ear, nose and throat physician in solo private practice. Like physicians practicing today, I have been on the front line and have seen the quality of medicine drop, the cost of medicine increase, and the doctor patient relationship erode. It makes no sense to me that Americans pay more for health care than any other industrial country, but live shorter less healthy lives.

    I have come to the conclusion that this down hill slide began to occur in the 90’s with the Clinton health care reform fiasco. With Hillary Clinton’s acquiescence to the health insurance companies and under the guidance of Ted Kennedy the power of health insurance companies increased. They initiated the model of rationed healthcare under the name ‘HMO’ now known as managed care. As a physician and particularly as a specialist, that was manifested as a ‘gate keeper’ model that restricted the patient’s access to specialty care. I found that patients were kept in the primary care system longer than necessary before referral. For example, they were managed with antibiotics for 6 months before a CT scan was performed when it was obvious that the antibiotics were not working since the symptoms had not resolved. It may have cost the insurance company less in the cost of the antibiotics, but what was the cost to the patient in lost productivity and pain?

    When it was obvious that the managed care model was creating a growing number of unhappy patients because of difficulty with timely access to physicians, patient dissatisfaction with the subsequent care, and lack of cost savings because of the need to pay to treat more advanced disease, the model changed to capitation.

    Under this arrangement a physician or group was given a certain amount of money per number of patients (covered lives) seen by that the practice. If the cost of caring for those patients was below the amount given by the insurance company then the practice made money. It did not take into account the rising cost of doing business – i.e., supplies, malpractice insurance premiums, salaries for employees or health insurance for employees). This ended because of the untenable pressure on the physician between practicing ethical medicine and bankruptcy.

    Now we have evolved to our present situation. The insurance companies have been relentless in shifting the cost of medicine to the patient and the physician. Over the past 10 years I have seen my reimbursements drop every year. Insurance companies have instituted clever ways of cutting reimbursements by instituting: 1) Global days. i.e., the physician cannot charge a patient for up to 90 days after a surgical procedure even though the post operative care may be complete in as little as 10 days. 2) Multiple procedure discounts. In surgical procedures that have more than one step, like an endoscopic sinus surgery, the surgeon will be paid 100% of the discounted amount for the 1st step in the procedure, 50% for the second, 25% for the 3-5 and then nothing after that. In essence this works out to an 80-90% discount; and 3) denial of payment after pre-authorization has been obtained. This means that an in network physician will not get paid for the procedure even though it was pre-authorized. Because of the contract, if the physician losses the appeal the patient cannot be billed because the insurance company has the last say. The patient and employer have also seen a steady increase in premiums and out of pocket deductibles along with less covered services.

    It seems obvious that the cost of medicine is driven by the insurance companies. Currently, 30% of the healthcare dollar goes directly to the maintenance of the insurance company. After all it takes money to – hire physicians to deny care, auditors to recoup ‘overpayments’ to physicians, to purchase new software to edit the medical codes in a way that produce more denials and increases the time that it takes physicians to get paid, and to pay for the feel good commercials that make patients believe that the insurance company is on their side.

    The only way to break this cycle is to offer real competition. A non profit government based system will be able to up the ante. Unless the insurance companies compete by both decreasing their premiums and offering more services they will lose patients. This in addition to an emphasis on prevention and wellness is the only REAL way to change our healthcare system to one that is more affordable and of higher quality.

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