Archive for June, 2009

Why Single Payer health care?
June 8, 2009

This is such a silly argument, but it is perpetuated by the for-profit insurance and health care industry and the politicians that are in their pocket, all of whom like the expensive status quo.

It is also opposed by some Americans who are concerned with too much government involvement.

There’s no hope for the politicians who are taking the bribes or have a financial stake in the industry, but we hope the others eventually see that single payer is in the best interest of the country, and especially their own families and employers who are often forced to outsource jobs because their health costs are too high in the US.

This is an ideological issue that stands between the believers and non-believers, but hopefully pragmatism will prevail.

There are essentially two ways of reaching a conclusion that is in the best interest of the country:

  1. Get the campaign contributions out of the political system so politicians can make unfettered, unbiased decisions. Without the money incentive they will unquestionably decide on a single-payer system. There is no other logical choice, except perhaps a VA-type of system where the doctors are salaried.
  2. Secondly, we could establish a non-partisan panel of retired, non-conflicted, expert doctors, economists, and health care leaders to study the system and make recommendations to Congress. They, too, will absolutely decide on a single-payer or VA-type of system. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) could also provide an unbiased study.

Congress must recuse itself because of its conflicts of interest.

Could a single-payer plan crush other “insurance” options, as special interests claim? Well, if done right, yes. That’s the point. To get rid of the waste. But if congress equivocates and we only get a public “option,” then they’ll stay alive if the insurance industry remains competitive.

“Choices” plays big today so they use it freely. But people want choices between physicians and hospitals, and do not care who administers the payments. They have that with HR676 single-payer. That the insurance industry has a lot at stake should not sway politicians.

We need a decision that makes the most sense to the economy and health of America – not to the insurance industry that has been draining business and public resources for years. Clearly, the business community must get behind single-payer health insurance.

So far the single-payer advocates have been shoved aside, because politicians know if it is given serious review it will win, hands down. And their funders do not want it to win, nor does the media, all who receive substantial income from the pharmaceutical and insurance industries (a total of $113 million to politicians).

The bills: HR676 by Rep. John Conyers and SB703 by Sen. Bernie Sanders

At least a dozen times a week I hear “How will we pay for healthcare reform?”  The answer is simple: With an increased but progressive tax structure which will result in a net decrease in public outlay.

No system is free. We can provide first class Cheney-Care to 100% of our people at a cost $400 billion less than we are currently spending on our inefficient employer-based system.  We’d pay via our tax system rather than through the inefficient system of for-profit commerce.

Jack E. Lohman