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View Diary: The public-care option makes even more sense (30 comments)

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  •  I've reluctantly had to conclude that (0+ / 0-)

    US liberals are too bourgeois for public health care.  Latching onto single-payer preserved everything that they believe is good in US health care and eliminated the only bad they can see, health insurers.  This is so naive it makes me want to scream.      

    "Dulled conscience, irresponsibility, and ruthless self-interest already reappear. Such symptoms of prosperity may become portents of disaster!" FDR - 1937

    by Marie on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 04:33:10 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  San Francisco's healthcare doesn't threaten (0+ / 0-)

      the insurers hegemony. They like it.

      Like public option, the insurers like it because it makes them look good. Its better than nothing, but not good enough to represent any threat to insurers like the savings of real universal healthcare does, where huge amounts are saved because there isn't that huge billing nightmare, and so, anybody can go to any doctor, like people in Canada or European countries do. Canadians and Europeans, if they are sick, can just walk into a clinic. No forms, no refusals, no patient dumping. They just give them their number.

      Low quality somewhat punitive care for the poor maintains the huge gap in health outcomes and quality between the rich, the well to do, the working class and the very poor.

      People wait a very long time to be seen, and many common drugs are not covered. That makes it impractical for working people (the insurers core market)

      Americans pay the highest prices in the world, and they want to keep those big bucks rolling in, even if it kills 101,000 of us each year.

      Single payer WORKS. Its better, even Obama admits that. Its free, so NO surprises, NO adverse selection problem, no age, child or premium taxes.

      by Andiamo on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 04:46:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This isn't supposed to be cheapo quality care (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marie

        I don't know much about San Francisco's current plan. It may be uncompetitive among those who can afford better, and that may be its design, essentially as charity care.

        What I'm talking about is more like the "public HMO" model, wherein it is funded to give good care to all.  The savings are both in the overhead of insurance (negligible, as there are few bills exchanged) and in the cost savings of properly-aligned incentives (not twisted by fee-for-service payments).

        The NHS went downhill under Thatcher, who didn't like the idea, but it has improved since then.

        •  That's the standard response I've (0+ / 0-)

          gotten to suggesting a public health system.  Can Americans truly not conceive of a properly funded public health system?  $3,000 per person would do it -- less than half the $7,290 per capita cost of US health care -- if the funding is guaranteed.

          "Dulled conscience, irresponsibility, and ruthless self-interest already reappear. Such symptoms of prosperity may become portents of disaster!" FDR - 1937

          by Marie on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 05:08:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Think long-term and outside the box. (0+ / 0-)

        Do you think Detroit was threatened by Toyota in the '60s and early '70s?  Of course not.  They were filling a niche market for low income people and corporate America sees no profit in that.

        Yes, we need to make them feel good about not objecting to public health care.  Better, we offer to take all those uninsured (aka poor people) that visit their middle-class doctors and hospitals off their hands.  Point out how much money they'll save.  

        Build it and they'll come.

        "Dulled conscience, irresponsibility, and ruthless self-interest already reappear. Such symptoms of prosperity may become portents of disaster!" FDR - 1937

        by Marie on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 04:59:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think you hit the nail on the head (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marie

      Most (white) liberals would not be caught dead at "County", and they're not going to push for anything that would tend in that direction. But it's a bit of a contradiction in terms because on the one hand they want to keep their elitist system of private health care, but on the hand make it universal, which is by definition not elitist. This also ends up forcing the conflict with the tea-baggers because our proposals implicate everyone's health care, instead of just those who would use a public health care system.

      •  It also blinds them to the fact that (0+ / 0-)

        single-payer would increase the per capita cost of health care in the US.  

        "Dulled conscience, irresponsibility, and ruthless self-interest already reappear. Such symptoms of prosperity may become portents of disaster!" FDR - 1937

        by Marie on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 05:10:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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