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View Diary: When Can We Expect Health Care Reform (Whoever Wins)? (369 comments)

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  •  When can we expect reform? (1+ / 0-)
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    When Obama delivers it!

    You gotta believe!

    Hope! Hell yeah!

    •  see below (0+ / 0-)

      it's not the promise or prospects, it's the time frame.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 05:52:49 AM PST

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      •  WTO and NAFTA agreements may prohibit changes (1+ / 0-)
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        or at least the ideas that have been floated so far by all three candidates may be prohibited under various provisions of WTO and NAFTA. At least that is what I was reading in a blog entry yesterday on

        Sens. Clinton and Obama: Can We Talk Some Truth About Trade?

        The author Jonathan Tasini comes to this conclusion, based on rules in the agreements

        "Significant changes not yet being discussed by the candidates must be made to existing U.S. trade pacts in order to implement the candidates’ priority health care and climate crises proposals. Changes to these agreements are also necessary for candidates’ domestic policy goals of creating jobs, countering wage inequality, rebuilding America’s manufacturing sector and infrastructure, and improving food and product safety and to succeed."

        also, attempts to broaden the numbers of people receiving coverage to  lower prices may run into obstacles in the agreements because:

        "...forbids "measures which restrict or require specific types of legal entity or joint venture through which a service supplier may supply a service,"  which would forbid requirements that certain health services be provided only on a not-for-profit basis."

        The author, Jonathan Tasini says: "Both the Clinton and Obama plans propose some risk-pooling scheme as a way of reducing costs. Well, that provision would be challenged by foreign health insurance providers because:"

        "...under these expansive WTO rules, a new risk pooling system that has the effect of stopping foreign insurance firms from establishing new insurance businesses – for instance, because as a start up they cannot meet the requirements set for access to a risk pool of prospective U.S. clients – qualifies as a WTO-forbidden restriction on market access, even though that is not the intent of such a policy."

        Attempts to reduce drug prices may be illegal..

        Programs that interfere with or limit the distribution of pharmaceuticals are prohibited...absent changes, GATS and other "trade" agreements would provide a new avenue and new grounds for multinational pharmaceutical firms and their allies to attack these important governmental policies, which have generated billions of dollars in taxpayer and consumer savings and could save more if nationally implemented as the Democratic candidates propose. To the extent that formularies may result in limiting the distribution of medicines by foreign pharmaceutical firms, including giant Swiss, French and German firms operating within the United States, they could be considered a GATS-prohibited "exclusive service suppliers" list"

        and so on.

        Honestly, I think we need some more debates to get all of the Presidential candidates to commit to addressing these issues by re-negotiating changes in the WTO and NAFTA agreements or moving to single payer which would sidestep these anti-discrimination provisions. (Thats the way many of the other countries manage with them.)

        •  Yes, single-payer works around it. (0+ / 0-)

          No need to pass that sort of regulation which NAFTA and the WTO regulate -- if you just make a giant government agency, which, in the 'free market', buys all or nearly-all of the health care, and being a near-monopoly, has the power to set prices.

          Incidentally I voted for Tasini in the last US Senate election in NY (he ran in the primary against Clinton).

          -5.63, -8.10 | Impeach, Convict, Remove & Bar from Office, Arrest, Indict, Convict, Imprison!

          by neroden on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 06:27:41 PM PST

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    •  Obama will deliver! Tied in OH...leading TX! (0+ / 0-)

      I hearby announce my endorsement for Barack Obama. I know Senator Obama will want to get pictures with us together like he did with Senator Kennedy. ;)

      by RA on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 10:10:19 AM PST

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