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This morning a variety of single-payer healthcare advocacy organizations including
Progressive Democrats  of America, Healthcare Now, PNHP and All Unions Committee For Single Payer Health Care are petitioning MoveOn.

I've been asked to explain to Daily Kos readers what's happening and ask you to support single-payer healthcare in the United States by signing the petition to MoveOn.

Here's a link to the MoveOn petition we hope you will sign.

The Background.

You may remember that our friends at MoveOn lent their esteemed reputation to our friends at Health Care for America Now.

Healthcare for America Now "is a national grassroots campaign organizing millions of Americans to win a guarantee of quality, affordable health care for all." HCAN by its own words, would maintain the private health insurance industry.

"We're offering a bold new solution that gives you real choice and a guarantee of quality coverage you can afford: keep your current private insurance plan, pick a new private insurance plan, or join a public health insurance plan.  

We're also calling for regulation on health insurance companies. We need to set and enforce rules that quash health insurance companies' greed once and for all."

Their solution is neither bold nor new.

Before I go any further, allow me to make it clear again, both MoveOn and Healthcare for America Now are our friends, but occasionally even friends need a swift kick in the butt.

We'd like your help in a very straightforward undertaking.

We're asking for one or two minutes of your time and your signature on a petition which will be delivered to MoveOn.

We hope with enough signatures, MoveOn may re-think its position vis a vis HCAN. If enough people express disappointment with MoveOn, perhaps it will consider using its enormous influence to encourage HCAN to propose a genuine single payer option as part of its huge multi-million dollar advertising campaign. This would be an enormous victory.

Here's a link to the petition which will be presented to MoveOn.

Why are we taking this action?

Because MoveOn and Healthcare for America Now are pursuing a misguided strategy. I would say it is something akin to a policy of appeasement with the health insurance industry.

And it won't work. All these good organizations should have the brains to know this.

Because we have one more chance to get it right.

Because you don't wave the white flag of surrender before the fight has even begun.

Because with single-payer healthcare you choose your doctor, you choose your hospital, you have complete freedom of choice. The healthcare delivery system stays the same. There is only one difference, you cut out the parasitic and worthless middleman and replace this entity with a government payer. The precious healthcare dollars are spent on healthcare not insurer profits.

If you need more convincing, please keep reading.

The dirty deeds of for-profit insurance companies litter the landscape and touch all American families at their most desperate and vulnerable moments. Oversight (the HCAN solution)--the proverbial slap on the wrist--won't change the culture of greed. The U.S. health insurance industry has a long and horrific track record--they are merciless predators.

You don't bargain with criminals AHIP. You throw them in jail, then you throw away the key.

If you agree that MoveOn made a unilateral, hence undemocratic decision to align itself with Healthcare for America Now.

If you agree that Healthcare for America Now should at bare minimum, place a single-payer option on its agenda and in its advertising.

If you agree that MoveOn should have encouraged an  open debate, and asked its 3.2 million members and supporters whether we support the HCAN solution or single payer healthcare, then please sign the petition.

Please take a minute to sign the petition.

Why we fight.

These are the eloquent words of Rose Ann DeMoro, the executive director of the California Nurses Association, explaining why HCAN is way off the mark.

You can read the full text  here.

Why is Health Care for America Now giving up on real reform?
But, in search of a supposedly politically viable plan, the advocates of this approach have surrendered in advance on the only overhaul that will actually cure the disease, a single-payer, expanded and improved Medicare for all reform.

Their good intentions will leave the same failed system in place, and will not even blunt the political opposition from those on the right and corporate interests who will continue to challenge anything that looks like even modest reform.

. . .There's just one problem -- the coalition's proposal does nothing to end the actual practice of insurance companies putting their profits ahead of your health. Nor does it fix  the two central components of the health care morass -- insurance company denials of care and the financial squeeze facing American families due to ever skyrocketing healthcare costs which is exacerbated by the escalating credit crisis.

. . .How does the HCFAN coalition propose to crack down on the insurance pirates? With  a "watchdog role" on the plans "to assure that risk is fairly spread" and that "insurers do not turn people away, raise rates or drop coverage based on a person's health history or wrongly delay or deny care."  

You can watch someone rob your bank, but unless you stop them, the vaults are still going to be stripped bare. If you're looking for the hammer or any enforcement mechanism in the HCFAN proposal, don't bother, it's not there.

Now on to the petition, you can and should read the entire petition at the link.

, respectfully petition the leaders of MoveOn.Org to abide by its core democratic principles and ask the opinion of its members whether they support reform of the private health insurance system or replacement of private health insurance by universal single payer health care, before MoveOn continues to organizationally and financially support a new coalition which supports the former and excludes the latter.

And just so everyone understands what single payer is all about, I'd like you to read a piece of an editorial which was in the center right Seattle Times.

Vital signs for national health insurance

Single-payer health insurance is about who pays the bills, not who provides the medical care. Instead of having private insurance, everyone pays into a common fund. Nothing about the health-care-delivery system changes.

No one is employed by the government except the people who write the checks. Call it Medicare for everyone. Instead of waiting until age 65 for decent medical care, everyone — everyone — has access to a doctor.

The public's interest in guaranteed health insurance has been picking up in polls, but a significant change was reported this spring in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a leading medical journal. A study found 59 percent of U.S. physicians now support national health insurance, a jump of 10 percentage points in five years.

Support for national health insurance — private doctors paid by a federally administered plan — has gained support across medical specialties, according to Dr. Aaron E. Carroll, of the Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research at Indiana University's School of Medicine in Indianapolis.

Doctors have layers of frustrations with the current system of private insurers, Carroll said in a telephone conversation this week. Serving on the front lines of the medical system, they see the toll on patients without insurance and on the underinsured.

. . .So far, the presidential candidates are behind the curve on health-care reform. Dr. John P. Geyman, professor emeritus of family medicine at the University of Washington, laments that Republican John McCain offers no new ideas and Democrat Barack Obama's incremental approach falls short of a fix.

Today we add MoveOn and Healthcare for America Now to the list of those hopelessly behind the curve.

Please take a minute to sign the petition.

Originally posted to nyceve on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:47 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Can we collect thousands of signatures? (222+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    claude, Aeolus, eugene, CalifSherry, acquittal, abarefootboy, vancookie, tnichlsn, littlesky, Psyche, dsb, devtob, caliberal, opinionated, ReneInOregon, bronte17, brillig, understandinglife, KibbutzAmiad, CoolOnion, peace voter, roses, ovals49, Ignacio Magaloni, luku, Boxers, Terre, ctsteve, high uintas, dksbook, Melanchthon, SneakySnu, Oke, Joe Bacon, Kirochka, Miss Jones, Tracker, churchylafemme, PNHP Nick, lcrp, alizard, TheJohnny, bwintx, Tasini, randallt, boran2, rapala, NoMoreLies, DianeNYS, JanetT in MD, SherwoodB, Alice Marshall, judybrowni, OpherGopher, frandor55, Simplify, nytcek, karpinsky, Brooke In Seattle, Jules Beaujolais, Pam from Calif, Phil S 33, blue jersey mom, Cyber Kat, techno, Ozzie, wiscmass, oibme, ZinZen, dancewater, Asinus Asinum Fricat, Jim R, begone, martini, occams hatchet, Do Tell, testvet6778, emeraldmaiden, Themistoclea, Gorette, rl en france, fromer, Luminous Animal, dewey of the desert, kck, triv33, Lashe, InternetJunkie, joe shikspack, Dauphin, NearlyNormal, CTLiberal, bleeding heart, Preston S, AndyS In Colorado, ER Doc, quantumspin, rsie, means are the ends, Dreaming of Better Days, shaharazade, drdana, Downtowner, Hedwig, sea note, Riddle, AntKat, seabos84, AmericanRiverCanyon, bigchin, One Pissed Off Liberal, DrSteveB, YoyogiBear, Ken in MN, Cronesense, hockeyrules, Loudoun County Dem, dmh44, desertguy, Cottagerose, moodyinsavannah, ColoTim, jetskreemr, bfbenn, suburi, terryhallinan, karmsy, Liberaltarian, HeartlandLiberal, Jimdotz, ezdidit, DWG, Unbozo, mouser68, snowshoeblue, jnhobbs, Moderation, Chico David RN, LWelsch, MichiganGirl, TomP, discocarp, flowerfarmer, NYContrarian, dave1042, elwior, golconda2, lineatus, Randgrithr, minerva1157, alasmoses, IamLorax, left my heart, daddy4mak, catly, RN4MERCY, mofembot, temptxan, wavpeac, Rachel Griffiths, Spekkio, SmileySam, o the umanity, luckylizard, GWboosebag, aigeanta, DixieDishrag, BYw, MantisOahu, psilocynic, revchoppy, priceman, magicsister, CatJab, angelino, legendmn, bthespoon, Pris from LA, 1BQ, pileta, artmartin, rubyclaire, radmul, bridoc, DemocraticOz, pvlb, m4gill4, mkor7, Daily Activist, THEpersonal ISpolitical, beijingbetty, redtex, VT ConQuest, mama hearts obama, DClark4129, jemjo, MooseHB, allep10, The BBQ Chicken Madness, maxzj05, jan0080, ljfxiki, ozarkspark, ruscle, BigVegan, jcil5, Latex Solar Beef, poorwriter, ArtSchmart, Tea and Strumpets, fidellio, First Light, chrome327, wvmom, Mara Jade, melpomene1, NY brit expat, Actuary4Change, damned if you do, zegota, kathleen518, W Z Foster

    It's in your hands.

  •  Here's how I would approach health care (26+ / 0-)

    It's hard to label my position b/c I cherry pick from all the progressive proposals out there but here's how I would approach this.

    1.  Separate health care from employment.  We need govt guaranteed healthcare.  This would save employers, especially small businesses, millions.
    1.  Emphasize that govt guaranteed does not equate to govt run.  Doctors should be mostly private physicians but regulated by the industry.
    1.  get the hmos and insurance companies out of health care.  Period, no compromise, they're gone.  100%.

    I'm always willing to learn more so feel free to suggest more.

    I shall not rest until right wing conservatives are 4th party gadflies limited to offering minor corrections on legislation once or twice a year.

    by davefromqueens on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:51:42 AM PDT

    •  what you're describing (23+ / 0-)

      is essentially a single payer system.
      which is what we need.

      "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach." - Upton Sinclair

      by kathleen518 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:03:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  well if you need another reason to sign . . . (20+ / 0-)

        Take a look at this incredible story from today's New York Times.

        We Americans accept this kind of crap as normal.  Let me assure you it isn't.

        It's depraved.

        Health Benefits Inspire Rush to Marry, or Divorce

        LAKE CHARLES, La. — It was only last February that Brandy Brady met Ricky Huggins at a Mardi Gras ball here. By April, they had decided to marry.

        Marion and Michelle Moulton considered divorce so she could get subsidized insurance while waiting for a liver transplant.

        Ms. Brady says she loves Mr. Huggins, but she worries they are moving too fast. She questions how well they really know each other, and wants to better understand his mood swings.

        But Ms. Brady, 38, also finds much to admire in Mr. Huggins, who is three years older. He strikes her as trustworthy and caring. He has a stable job as a plumber and a two-bedroom house. And perhaps above all, said Ms. Brady, who received a kidney transplant last year, "He’s got great insurance."

        •  the silver lining (14+ / 0-)

          I'm sure now all the family values advocates, who are so intent on preserving marriage, will become raging single-payer advocates, no?
          snark intended...

          •  snark appreciated. n/t (7+ / 0-)

            "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach." - Upton Sinclair

            by kathleen518 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 07:21:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  healthcare 1992 vs 2008 (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gjd99, Jason Rosenbaum, josebrwn

            Prior to 1992, the traditional Democratic plan for Healthcare is identical to Healthcare for America Now's proposal.  Bill Clinton proposed what would be considered a single payer system in 1992, this is what is calling for today.

            Bill Clinton was unable to pass his plan in 1992, and it has been 16 years since the Democratic Party has been able to assemble the political power for another push for a plan to change our current healthcare system.  In that 16 years, the system has remained unchanged with the policies of Nixon and his HMO idea have continued to drive up the costs of healthcare to the situation they are now.

            Which plan is better?  

            1. Nixon's?
            1. The traditional Democratic plan, embodied by HCAN
            1. Bill Clinton's plan, embodied by 'single payer'

            I am a traditional Democrat and I support #2.  HCAN would be similar to FDR's great Social Security platform, where people can use a private pension plan, or go with the government's socialized pension plan.  With HCAN people can use a private healthcare plan, or go with the government's socialized healthcare plan.  This plan be identical to Germany's socialized medicare plan.

            Why would I not be for #3?  First it was tried, and it failed in 1992, and the result was 16 years and entire generation that lost out.   Why not try it again?  Single Payer would be identical to Canada's socialized medicare plan, Canada's plan works great.  However Germany's plan also works great.

            However I have 2 trump cards in my pocket.  Obama supports #2, and everyone should get on the bus.    Not only does HCAN provide healthcare to everyone like single payer, it also provides something #3 does not: Crazy Libertarians won't be able to complain about #2 as much as they do for #3, because they can keep their private insurance.  

            As much as I would like to twist these crazy libertarian's arms and make them cry 'single payer' its a Democracy people.

            •  The flaw in your logic (14+ / 0-)

              Is this:

              Not only does HCAN provide healthcare to everyone like single payer

              It does NO such thing. Their plan would provide insurance to everyone. But as we know from bitter, tragic experience, insurance is not health care.

              If it were, we wouldn't need this petition.

              Funny you mention FDR. He and Harry Truman both backed single-payer.

              I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day
              Neither is California High Speed Rail

              by eugene on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 08:06:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  imaginary flaw explained: (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Jason Rosenbaum

                (from the great wikipedia)
                The term 'medicare' is the unofficial name for Canada's universal publicly funded health insurance system.
                The formal terminology for the insurance system is provided by the Canada Health Act and the health insurance legislation of the individual provinces and territories.

                Medicare is Australia's publicly-funded universal health care system, operated by the government authority Medicare Australia.

                United States:
                Medicare is a social insurance program administered by the United States government, providing health insurance coverage to people who are aged 65 and over, or who meet other special criteria.

                HCAN is a social insurance program administered by the United States government, providing health insurance coverage to people who join a public health insurance plan.  

                Single payer:
                Single-payer health care is an American term describing the payment for doctors, hospitals and other providers of health care from a single fund. The Canadian health care system, the British National Health Service, Australia's Medicare, and Medicare in the U.S. for the elderly and disabled are single-payer systems.

                I think this adequatly corrects your assertation that HCAN provides insurance, while Single-Payer does not.

              •  I remember when health insurance worked. (2+ / 0-)

                Back in the day when I started working, employers provided Blue Cross/Blue Shield or some other insurance that worked pretty much like car insurance.  You got sick, you went to the doctor, you filed a claim and you got paid (or the doctor got paid) minus a reasonable deductible.  When the deductible was met, reimbursement was %100.

                The the HMO's took over and we have the mess we have now.  It's all that medical management for profit nonsense that gummed up the works.  I don't think we can go back.  I think we need to get all the greedy fingers out of the medical pie and I think that Single payer is the only way to do that.

                And stop all these pharmaceutical companies from advertising prescription drugs like they were potato chips or soft drinks.

                (Old White Woman 4 Obama)
                OWW40's Unite!

                by Cyber Kat on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 09:58:33 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Most importantly (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              We at HCAN believe our efforts, if successful, set the stage for further reforms.

              Let's face it. Single payer is a big change from current policy. Big changes are rare in this country. But, if HCAN does anything, we hope to leave the table set up for further reforms in the future.

              •  Any incremental plan (4+ / 0-)

                only strengthens the grip of private insurers.
                In the meantime, more people die, more family financial ruin.

                as to this:

                "...we hope to leave the table set up for further reforms in the future."

                -First of all, I've spent too many years in the restaurant industry
                to accept bussing the scraps you leave at that table.
                Especially because you refused to set a place at that table for single payer.
                That was your error.

                -Secondly, as to "reforms in the future",
                wasn't it FDR who first proposed universal care?

                c'mon now, you're woefully out of step with the reality on the ground.

                •  I'm not sure why you say that (0+ / 0-)

                  I mean, can you prove it? You say incremental reform is worse than nothing, as it "strengthens the grip." What evidence do you have of that assertion?

                  •  it means: "my way or the highway" (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    CatJab, Jason Rosenbaum

                    Jason Rosenbaum - the posts i have seen against HCAN are irrational.

                    Claims like "strengthens the grip of private insurers."  How is that possible, when everyone has now access to public insurance with HCAN?

                    And whats with people against HCAN claiming Canada's single payer is great and health insurance is bad when Canada employs a national health insurance plan?

                    These posts against HCAN are irrational, and we should treat them as such.  I would like to see a attempt discredit HCAN using actual facts and logic, I really would.

                    •  Well HCAN seem to not like insurance- (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Alice Marshall

                      based upon their comical, slapstick, fellow gets hit in the crotch "Insurance Company Rules" video,

                      and yet HCAN allows private for-profit insurance at their table.

                      That sounds terribly irrational to me.

                      Or perhaps it's just "private for-profit" insurance, the phrase you leave out when trying to pitch your (rather disingenuous, imo) Canada response.

                      Either way, be sure and read the paper I cited above.

                      •  Allow at the table (0+ / 0-)

                        I'm not sure what you mean by this. By my interpretation, you are saying we are allowing insurance companies at the negotiating table when we're working out eventual legislation. That is not the case.

                        •  specifically, with whom are you working out (0+ / 0-)

                          this 'eventual legislation'?

                          Does PNHP have a seat at that table?

                          If not, why not?

                          And unless you have recently succeeded in changing lobbying laws, what makes you think the legislators will be any less persuaded by the $445 million the health care industry spent on lobbying federal lawmakers last year.

                          I doubt they would continue to spend that kind of money if the payoff wasn't greater and it had previously had no effect.

                          And finally, (assuming your intent to 'reform' health insurance is genuine), had you rolled out your campaign with a single payer system integral, and private insurance removed, your power at the negotiating table would have increased exponentially.

                          And please, a request, to actively quell any and all floated or implemented stratagems to brand the single payer movement as 'irrational' or implacable, whether organizationally or through surrogate.

                          We're quite rational, and we have the numbers, if not the dollars.

                  •  How about (7+ / 0-)

                    all the states that have already passed incremental reforms nearly identical to the ones HCAN proffers as solutions? Since the 1970s, Hawaii,Minnesota, Oregon, Maine, Florida, Utah, Washington, California and Vermont have all tried the HCAN formula, and all have failed?

                    How about the privatization of Medicare, which by HCAN's logic should have proven the superiority of the public system and attracted enrollees with its lower administrative costs? In reality, private insurers found innumerable ways to game the system such that they're now getting paid 112% what their enrollees would cost in traditional Medicare.

                    How about the experience of the rest of the world, specifically that not one nation that provides comprehensive, universal health care for less than we do has found any other way to do it other than banning or regulating US-style private insurers out of existence? (I know your boss Richard Kirsch imagines that their are private insurance companies in Germany or Switzerland, but they're so different from US insurers that they might as well be from another planet - see my other post).

                    Single payer supporters don't oppose incremental reform because we're purists. We oppose it because it demonstrably doesn't work, either as health policy or as a political tool, and the rich body of both literature and experience - both domestic and foreign - confirm this. HCAN seeks to repeat the political failures of the past, and real health reform will suffer as a consequence.

                    •  France (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Jason Rosenbaum

                      France is one of the most effective systems in the world, and clearly allows private health insurance (with 92% of the population covered by some private insurance), as well as private providers.

                      Even in Germany, 18% of the population is covered by some form of private insurance. Not entirely our of existence yet.

                      Quality of care is also high, at a reasonable cost, in Switzerland (80% of population with private coverage) and the Netherlands (92%).

                      •  I've Got News For You (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Alice Marshall, Chico David RN

                        In Switzerland nearly 100% of population has "private health insurance."

                        Your problem is assuming that whether or not the insurance is "private" is the only relevant factor. Far from it. Just because you call something "private health insurance" that doesn't mean it functions like a U.S.-style profit-making insurance company. What I said is that all these systems have regulated U.S.-style private insurance out of existence, which is true. Even in the most privatized system, insurers are required to be non-profit, have their benefits and premiums dictated by the government, and must make "risk equalization" payments if one profits at the expense of another.

                        Of course private coverage exists to some extent in all systems. The Canada Health Act, for instance, doesn't cover workers comp at all, so there are whole hospitals for that. Some even have for-profit insurers, but a small minority of the wealthy buy them, and they're also regulated to an extent that is contemplated by HCAN. So its totally ridiculous to say that just because these systems allow private sickness funds that means we can keep U.S. insurers the way they are.

                        •  Many still have profits (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Jason Rosenbaum

                          Germany hasn't eliminated profits; they have put some regulation on them (some very recent not yet in effect). France and the Netherlands also allow for-profit private insurance.

                          And you seem to now be implying that US-style private insurance equates to for-profit, which is also untrue; much US private insurance is non-profit, like Blue Cross/Blue Shield companies. This applies outside of health care as well; many top auto insurers as well  (Nationwide, State Farm) are non-profit. Why do we need single payer to replace the independent non-profit insurance sector?

                          And none of those systems, France, Germany, the Netherlands, or Switzerland is single-payer. The Swiss heavily rejected a single payer ballot referendum in March 2007, with 71% voting no.

                          Further, they all pretty much got to where they are today through an incremental approach. The Swiss started in 1994 by requiring everyone to obtain coverage.

                          I agree that we need more and better regulation; simply requiring companies to accept everyone, not deny coverage or claims, and provide coverage that meets a government set standard, will remove much of the unhealthy profits, while preserving competition and choice.

                          But your argument that we need single-payer, because incremental reform demonstrably doesn't work, fails pretty badly if the best systems of the rest of the world are your models.

                          •  If you were making an even marginally cogent (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            analogy then maybe the argument would fail, but none of the nations you describe had anything even remotely close to the expansive, entrenched, permeating for-profit insurance structure that the U.S. has, ever. You can't seriously be saying that since Germany was able to develop sickness funds during the reign of Bismarck, then ergo incremental reform must be possible in the U.S. in 2008. No, the U.S. is nothing like any of those countries, does not and has never had anything like their private insurers.

                            The U.S. does have experience with two things. The first is incremental reform, which has demonstrably failed for all the reasons I gave. The second is more than 40 years with the administration of a single-payer insurance system. Moving to a European model would require the erection of a brand new, byzantine regulatory structure to administer and organize entities we have no experience with. Single-payer entails making Medicare bigger. That's it.

                            Look, like I've said to you before, you can find exceptions to the overarching rule in ALL COUNTRIES. I don't know why you expect that foreign nations' health systems should be static when we're constantly adjusting our own public programs. Countries are always experimenting with things like new user fees, premiums, economic incentives, etc. The point in the overarching rule still holds: they're nothing like the U.S. All the tiny exceptions in the world won't change that. Here, I'll give you one that apparently you weren't able to Google up: recently Australia began providing tax credits for the purchase of private insurance for people to move out of the public system. The idea was to reduce public-sector waiting times by helping people buy out of the public system. But the result was that doctors had such a perverse incentive to treat their lucrative private patients first that wait times ended up getting longer. So these changes are often for the worse and are undone. I don't know why you would expect health policymakers elsewhere in the world to be all-knowing or never try new (sometimes bad) ideas.

                            The reasons for replacing the non-profit insurance sector with a single-payer are (1) it saves way more money; and (2) we already know how to do it. Take a look at any non-profit insurer or HMO and see if it behaves like a non-profit. That's a function of existing in a for-profit system: there's a vampire effect. You could set up a purely non-profit insurance system with things equivalent to say, German sickness funds, but why would you do this when (1) its a waste of money to do it this way (Switzerland has the next highest health spending next to us); (2) we have no experience creating or regulating such a system, but we already have Medicare; (3) such a system is no more politically feasible than single-payer. There's no way that insurance companies are going to go for that kind of regulation any more than they're going to go for single-payer. So you gain exactly nothing, and lose a lot of money, by going that route.

                        •  This is a good point (0+ / 0-)

                          I think, by your definitions, HCAN would support getting rid of "US style" health insurance. We want regulation, we want a public plan, and we want choice, but we have no position on "US style" health insurance vs. other non-profit type models.

                          •  If HCAN is advocating for U.S. style insurers (0+ / 0-)

                            to convert to non-profit, I think this is news to everybody (it certainly is to me). I would immediately be curious as to why, if you're going to do something that would so obviously provoke total resistance from insurers, that you just don't go for single-payer, which is easier and saves more money. But you are correct to recognize that the U.S. style of for-profit health insurance is the root of the problem (of financing at least).

                  •  No, I say single payer is better (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    CatJab, bthespoon

                    than 'incremental reform'.

                    Perhaps the just published International Journal of Health Services article on states' experiments with health care reform including private insurers did not cross your path.

                    If so, you might want to start there, as to what including private for-profit insurers in health care reform has yielded in the states.

                    You can read it here.

                    And perhaps you can explain why you spend much time bashing insurance
                    on your site, which I find odd, as you gave them a seat at your table
                    with "keep your current private insurance plan" language,
                    while single payer, a viable plan with the support of 92 members of Congress,
                    a movement that actually sprung from the grass roots, is marginalized.  

                    Do you think no one has noticed that?
                    That alone strengthens the hand of private insurers.

                    Why are you not devoting any of your vast resources to at least educating the public on single payer?

                    Again, you're woefully out of step with the reality on the ground.

                  •  incrementalism=insurance protectionism. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Alice Marshall, Ozzie, bthespoon

                    no, the big boys in the insurance industry won't go away quietly, but they shouldn't be allowed to play doctor!
                    they are not doctors, they are businessmen, and businessmen are real good at covering their own ass.
                    i think they smell the revlolution...or maybe their ass, since that's where their head are...whatever...
                    I want a bold and brave solution like ms. kay sez,
                    not a well trodden road to failure.

              •  Why HCAN Will Fail (9+ / 0-)

                The core of HCAN's argument is that reformers should forego advocacy of a proven and effective reform – single-payer – in favor of policies which have already been demonstrated to be failures, because the latter are politically expedient. In other words, because failure is politically achievable, failure should be advocated.

                The great wealth of literature and experience – both foreign and domestic – should leave us with no doubt that Kirsch and HCAN’s proffered reforms will not only fail to achieve anything approaching universal coverage, they will almost certainly make things worse. As Dr. David Himmelstein of Harvard Medical School points out, we’ve already heard promises that strict regulation of private insurers, placed in competition with a public plan, will demonstrate the public plan’s superiority. But the experience in Medicare has been quite the opposite – private insurers still managed to game the system and attract the healthy and profitable, to the detriment of the public system. This storyline is not confined to the United States: the private health insurer BUPA recent left the Irish market after a judge determined the company had unfairly skimmed healthier patients from the public system, and ordered the company to make adjustment payments.

                The definition of insanity is to continue to repeat the same actions, expecting a different result. Yet this is exactly what Kirsch and HCAN advocate, and the results with be predictable. Their response to evidence that the medicine they peddle is nothing more than a placebo is simply to commission more pollsters to produce charts and graphs emphasizing its political feasibility.

                In contrast, single-payer national health insurance works both on paper and in practice. Kirsch purports to dispel the "myth" that all European nations have single-payer by replacing it with a new one: that these systems preserve – as he and HCAN would – a substantial role for U.S.-style private insurance. Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, all of these systems work only because they have regulated U.S.-style insurance companies out of existence. Even in the most privatized system, insurers are required to be non-profit, have their benefits and premiums dictated by the government, and must make "risk equalization" payments if one profits at the expense of another. We need not commission a poll in order to discern whether U.S. insurance companies are going to find such an arrangement more politically acceptable than single-payer.

                After many years in the darkness, there is a groundswell of popular support for single-payer. "The U.S. National Health Insurance Act" (HR 676) has 92 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives. The U.S. Conference of Mayors has just voted unanimously to endorse it. Twenty-five state labor federations and hundreds of union locals have backed single-payer through a grassroots campaign. The majority of physicians and two-thirds of the American public say they support single-payer when polled. To raise the white flag of surrender and retreat to a position more favorable to insurance industry interests at precisely the time when popular support and grassroots energy are on the side of true reform is the real political miscalculation.

                •  What polls?? (0+ / 0-)

                  "The majority of physicians and two-thirds of the American public say they support single-payer when polled."

                  I'd love to see those polls. What I see here is this:

                  "Which of the following approaches for providing health care in the United States would you prefer: replacing the current health care system with a new government run health care system, or maintaining the current system based mostly on private health insurance?" Options rotated. N=513,  MoE ± 5 (Form B).

                  Replace: 41%
                  Maintain: 48%
                  Unsure: 11%

                  Replace: 39%
                  Maintain: 51%
                  Unsure: 10%

                  •  If only this were a relevant poll. (0+ / 0-)

                    Since single-payer isn't a government-run health care system, I don't see what this poll has to do with anything. I'm actually astounded at the number of Americans who appear to prefer something like Cuban health system.

                    Seeing as its not my job to look up references for you, I'll give you the information I have: the physician poll was published in one of the last couple of issues of the Annals of Internal Medicine, by Dr. Aaron Carroll, Prof. of Pediatrics at Indiana University. The popular polls are numerous, the last labor day poll showed 2/3rds, and the CBS/Washington post poll (I'm sure you can find it on the website of either them or Physicians for a National Health Program). Also see the overwhelming supporting of the Citizens' Health Care Working Group, in their polling data, Appendix B I believe.

                    •  Universal Coverage (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Jason Rosenbaum

                      The only popular polls I see fitting the descriptions you are giving are in support of universal coverage, not single-payer.

                      Not seeing anything from CBS/WashingtonPost that says otherwise, or finding anything on the PNHP site supporting it. And I can't seem to get through to the site at the moment.

                    •  Single payer.... (0+ / 0-)

                      That poll was the closest I could find.

                      Single payer is clearly a government run insurance. But there are plenty of polls which show strong support for a government run system; the real reason for the low polling numbers here is that the question opposes this to "maintaining the current system based mostly on private health insurance".

                      Clearly the question is suggesting something like HR 676, which envisions government paid care as a mandatory replacement for private insurance.

                      (HR 676 also disallows private for-profit providers from this system.)

                •  On Medicare (0+ / 0-)

                  While it has fraud problems, it's pretty hard to argue it's worse than private insurance, which seems to be what you're arguing.

                  You are saying HCAN's approach is going to make things work, yet programs like Medicare are overwhelmingly popular and work. They aren't perfect, but they work better than the alternative. And if I'm not mistaken, HR 676 is popularly called "Medicare for all."

                  •  I'm Not Sure You're Paying Attention, Jason (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    I'll assume that by "make things work" you mean "make things worse," which is true. I am not arguing that traditional fee-for-service single-payer Medicare is worse than private insurance, I'm arguing the opposite.

                    As you should know as an HCAN employee, HCAN's plan is not to provide Medicare for all, its to place a public program in competition with private insurers, an arrangement which has failed not only in U.S. but all over the world. The experience with the privatization of Medicare is that it destroys and discredits the public program, not the other way around. To have it otherwise entails a massive amount of regulation, so much as to make such an arrangement no more politically feasible than single-payer. So essentially what you're advocating is a system already proven to fail, simply because you believe it to be politically expedient.

                    •  Proven to fail (0+ / 0-)

                      You've put forward no such proof, only conjecture. Your opinion is a regulatory approach combined with a public plan is going to fail politically. That's fine, you're entitled to your opinion, but there is no "proof" that it will fail.

                      •  Yes, Jason, it's my "opinion" (0+ / 0-)

                        that asking UnitedHealth to convert to nonprofit status, to allow the government to decide the benefits it can offer and the premiums it can charge, and that it must make risk equalization payments to other insurers if it enrolls healthier people is a political non-starter. The experience of the rest of planet Earth demonstrates that this is the only way to get regulated private insurance to work en masse.

                        You're right, that is my "opinion," but I assure you if HCAN needs to waste some more money commissioning polls to figure out that that's true, you have about as much political sense as you do policy knowledge.

                      •  And let me reassure you (0+ / 0-)

                        That's only "politically." The palliatives peddled by HCAN have failed as health policy both here in the U.S. at the state and federal levels, and in the rest of the world (I have offered ample examples of both in previous posts). The HCAN plan has nothing to offer except more of the same, and will do the country a disservice by delaying real reform. All experience and study bears this out.

              •  What HCAN principles will actually promote.. (8+ / 0-)

                The HCAN principles, like so many other failed attempts, are based on the idea that a public/private insurance mix can work when it never has before.  Defenders of that proposal say that when the private and public options compete, the advantages of the public will become obvious.
                It strains credulity to believe that the legislative process will produce a set of rules so ironclad as to actually force the insurers to compete on a level playing field with a public option.  What will end up happening under a mixed system is that the insurers will be able to cherry pick the patients they want - the well, young and wealthy - leaving the others for the public system.  Burdened by the overload of the poor and sick, the public side will be perceived as an expensive failure, giving the right an opportunity to point to it as a failure of a public program and setting back any chance of a better system.
                More to the point, single payer advocates can recognize perfectly well that the final product may contain compromises, but there is no reason to start the debate from a position of compromise.  HCAN does a great job of pointing out that the insurance companies are the problem, but then turns around and proposes including the insurance companies in the solution.  Seems to make no sense.

              •  set the STAGE, yeah, that's it.... (5+ / 0-)

                BUT for further reforms? NOT. More disappointment and preventable deaths is more like it! It's healthcare derby time, folks! Single-payer is the finish line. HCAN is offering a carrot to keep the insurers' "reform" horse in the race. You can bet on it, but why? There's a lot of money being spent to hype this proven loser.  Who's left holding the worthless ticket? Patients who are sick and injured! It's not worth the price. It's time to stop gambling with health care reform. Let's go with the one system that brings everyone in and leaves nobody out of the winners' circle of health care. Single-payer.

            •  You couldn't be more wrong (8+ / 0-)

              Bill Clinton proposed forcing all Americans into a small group of for-profit super HMOs which would then be placed into "managed competition" with each other.

              The Clintion 1992 plan had nothing to do with single-payer. It failed to gain any political support in part because it was ridiculous as a policy and - in contrast to single payer - had not been proven to work anywhere else in the world.

          •  Believe It Or Not... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            But I recently read a diatribe claiming that the goal of universal health care supporters is merely to gain taxpayer financing for abortions.

            I can't make this stuff up.

        •  This is so damn wrong... (8+ / 0-)

          Women should not have to get married to survive.

          I thought we had a whole movement to stop that shit about 60 years ago!

          McCain = Death.
          "This time it's too risky NOT to change." -- Obama

          by Pris from LA on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 07:05:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Better tell her to check (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Alice Marshall

          to see if her kidney transplant renders her uninsurable by his insurance because it's a pre-existing condition.

    •  Small Businesses? (0+ / 0-)

      One problem is that it only saves money for the small businesses who actually provide health insurance to begin with.  The little shit-holes who don't provide and don't care are probably more afraid that they'll finally have to contribute something, might even be in the form of some taxation.

      •  Sure it would save small businesses... (9+ / 0-)

        ...even those who do not currently provide insurance.  How?  Because they no longer have to compete with larger businesses who do offer insurance for top talent, and because healthy workers are more productive workers...

      •  28 of the 47 million uninsured either work or own (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ..small businesses.  Many of those uninsured are the owners themselves.  Almost all small groups, including business owners and employees who have health insurance at all, are either under or pseudo-insured. The only Americans who have any reliable health protection at all either work for or are married to someone who works for a large business (including government).

        For those of you who (rightly or wrongly) think you are protected now and are afraid of change:  Can you understand the Big Picture badness of a system that forces everyone to have to work only for large employers?  

        Also, if you think you're safe now, I think you have another think coming.  

        •  They Need to Step UP to the Plate (0+ / 0-)

          And start or increase the political pressure to move forward on single payer.  I work for a big company today and have paid into the private for profit 'system' for 27 years.  At exactly midnight of the day I'm shit-canned, that 27 years of payments is for naught.

          Been unemployed before and will again, like watching a train coming down the track and there's nowhere to run.  Think you're safe?  Think again before you vote, complacency is the enemy.

          •  We're trying but the $ is against us (0+ / 0-)

            The other side may have more money, but there should be more of us, so we should have numbers working in our favor if nothing else.  In order to become large enough for politicians to pay attention, we need people to sign up.  It's free and easy (the opposite of finding reliable health insurance).

            I also paid through the nose for health insurance for almost 30 years (the whole time we were young and healthy and didn't need or use it) before we were dropped (because we got older, therefore beame "risky").  In Illinois "risky" people are not allowed to join health insurer "risk groups".  I guess that's why they call them "risk groups" instead of "protective pools".

            Business Coalition for Single Payer

    •  Kinda agree with you.... (6+ / 0-)

      I'd like to see a government-run, not-for-profit health care plan and NO (repeat NO!) insurance, pharmaceutical, or medical corporations involved with health care in any way, shape, or form.

      I want ALL corporations OUT of our government.  Period.


      by NonnyO on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:40:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sometimes I wonder (15+ / 0-)

    Given the horrific mess our health care system is in thanks for the insurance parasites, sometimes it seems some folks are willing to settle for some progress, any progress. However, since universal, single-payer care is the only real solution to the cost and access issues, partial solutions, baby steps in the right direction, are counterproductive. We need everyone united for HR 676 or similar legislation to fight the well-funded disinformation campaign of Karen Ignagni and her AHIP thugs. I signed the petition. Thanks for keeping this issue on the front burner.

    Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by DWG on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:03:28 AM PDT

  •  "Their solution is neither bold nor new." (12+ / 0-)

    This is an accurate and pointed review of their proposals. This is a rehash of ideas that serve as pablum.

    McCain is a revolting opportunist with no moral core. So says chumley. I agree.

    by alasmoses on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:04:03 AM PDT

  •  Healthcare is Issue # 3 in this most important (13+ / 0-)

    election in US History - how is it that MOVEON needs to be cajoled into dealing with it??

    WTF is wrong with them?

    Because MoveOn and Healthcare for America Now are pursuing a misguided strategy. I would say it is something akin to a policy of appeasement with the health insurance industry


    I'm off to sign the petition.


    Why are we up to out necks in appeasement these days?

  •  Confused by MoveOn (14+ / 0-)

    Last time I gave them money, it was because they dared to say "what no one else dared to say" and dared to do "what no one else dared to do."  A half-way measure like this is unexpected from them.  We already have plenty of ineffectual center-left activist groups and think-tanks doing this kind of thing.

    "Truck Stop Women," a New Film By Phil Gramm and John McCain.

    by bink on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:05:51 AM PDT

  •  tipped, rec'd, petition signed. n/t (10+ / 0-)

    "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach." - Upton Sinclair

    by kathleen518 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:07:31 AM PDT

  •  For Health's sake (6+ / 0-)

    I have signed the petition, tipped and rec'd your diary.  Thanks so much for keeping us apprised.

    If we see further, it is because we stand on the shoulders of giants - metaphor attributed to Bernard of Chartres

    by rl en france on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:10:32 AM PDT

  •  Signed and forwarded (6+ / 0-)

    Tipped and recced!

    Anyone who fails to see the historical parallels between Blackwater & the Nazi SS, or the DHS & the Gestapo, needs a serious reality check.

    by Randgrithr on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:18:44 AM PDT

  •  Help put HCAN... (7+ / 0-) the can.  Tipped, Rec'd and signed...

  •  Signed, tipped, and rec'ced. (11+ / 0-)

    Have a great day, nyceve!

    The opposite of war is not peace, it's creation - Jonathan Larson (-6.62, -6.26)

    by AndyS In Colorado on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:20:53 AM PDT

  •  Typical problem with MoveOn (7+ / 0-)

    Since the beginning, MoveOn has arrogantly built walls to prevent communication. There was never a way to get questions answered. The organization has done some useful things, but I don't think that a petition will help much. They don't care what anyone thinks but themselves.

    I applaud your efforts and will do what I can, but I gave up on these egotistical clowns long ago.

    Don't you think John McCain looks tired?

    by MakeChessNotWar on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:26:19 AM PDT

  •  after their juvenile "General Betray-us" ad, they (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    have lost all credibility regardless...

    Support democracy at home and abroad, join the ACLU & Amnesty International and Your voice is needed!

    by tnichlsn on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:28:11 AM PDT

    •  yeah, or the ineffective... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tnichlsn, hormiguero

      "You can't take my baby" over-the top ad.

      I tend to feel that they aren't doing us any favors.

    •  The US generals in Iraq DID betray us. (10+ / 0-)

      As did the members of congress who voted for war appropriations over and over.

      •  I agree, doesn't excuse their 'cute' little ad (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IndySteve, hormiguero

        what someone's 7 year old come up with that play on words to address 100,000 deaths in Iraq?

        Support democracy at home and abroad, join the ACLU & Amnesty International and Your voice is needed!

        by tnichlsn on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 06:58:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Do you hear yourselves (5+ / 0-)

      You gleefully attack one of your own without hesitation! Do you see anyone on the other side self multilate like this? Shame on you Move-on represents MILLIONS of LIBERAL ACTIVISTS Nation wide. Why would you join the chorus of wingnuts in their faux attacks on one of the lefts strongest advocacy groups. Think about who your demeaning and the net effect of your smears on all of us!

      Disabled Viet Vet ret. My snark is worse than my bite

      by eddieb061345 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 06:41:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh Please, that ad was just stupid and childish. (0+ / 0-)

        they're addressing a war that's killed a hundred thousand Iraqis will not so clever plays on words? Grow up and show so serious outrage and act like an adult.

        Support democracy at home and abroad, join the ACLU & Amnesty International and Your voice is needed!

        by tnichlsn on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 06:57:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The add wasn't aimed at you,Genius! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cyber Kat

          Your intitled to you opinion but you shouldn't demean an entire organization and it's members in espousing it!

          Disabled Viet Vet ret. My snark is worse than my bite

          by eddieb061345 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 07:45:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  they did us all harm by taking a deadly serious (0+ / 0-)

            cause and spending lots of our money to make us look "silly'! bad leadership, poor judgement. I give them money too, but no more until they clean house.

            Support democracy at home and abroad, join the ACLU & Amnesty International and Your voice is needed!

            by tnichlsn on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 07:48:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  do they really represent millions? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I've given MoveOn money on several occasions to run effective ads during 04 election, and participated in their PhoneBanking, which was very well coordinated.

        But they don't represent me, even though I'm one of their millions.

    •  It was an excellent ad (3+ / 0-)

      MoveOn is merely in the wrong on this issue. They remain a valuable and progressive organization with more credibility than you and I put together.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day
      Neither is California High Speed Rail

      by eugene on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 08:10:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  they didn't have the forethought to see that (0+ / 0-)

        the silly flip play on words would feed the right wing noise machine for months? Bad judgement and bad leadership and the results speak for themselves. The general is more entrenched than ever with the administration for Move-ons efforts.

        Support democracy at home and abroad, join the ACLU & Amnesty International and Your voice is needed!

        by tnichlsn on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 08:57:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Gained Credibility With Me (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cyber Kat, Spekkio

      When most Democrats are cowering and won't take a stand on anything, lest they be attacked as too shrill or juvenile, MoveON stood up and told the truth. That got them credibility with me.

      You seem to confuse adult behavior with effective behavior. The Betray-Us ad hit them where it hurt. It carried an emotional message that resonated with most of the people in the country--the people who oppose the war.

      The fact that you remember this ad months after it ran makes my point.

    •  General Betray-us ad (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Sorry, but that ad was totally right on in my estimation. Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld kept firing generals in Iraq until they could find one that would be a good little lap dog for that unholy trio.
      Even Petraeus' boss (CentCom commander Adm. Fallon) reportedly called Petraeus an "ass-kissing little chickenshit" and a "sycophant".
      Of course, the repubs went batshit crazy and got all of their tradmed toadies to have a severe attack of the vapors, and scared the hell out of most of the Dems in Congress in order to bash MoveOn relentlessly. Why, how could any true American patriot say such a nasty, nasty thing about our hero? If you disagreed, you were obviously an anti-American terrorist sympathizer. Seems like almost everyone wound up with jello knees and spine.
      My reaction? I immediately sent MoveOn some more money.

  •  Get Obama elected first. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eddieb061345, TenthMuse

    then MoveOn can deal with this

    •  Sometimes folks around here get so blinded (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fayea, Jason Rosenbaum

      by the trees they miss the forest! Move-On is just being pragmatic. They see the value of a strong United Democratic party. Starting fight now could be fatal to winning in November!

      Disabled Viet Vet ret. My snark is worse than my bite

      by eddieb061345 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 06:29:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But a win in November isn't worth much (5+ / 0-)

        if we have already surrendered on all the important issues in the interest of winning.
        1 That this diary is NOT an attack on MoveOn but an appeal to change a position.

        1. That no one is demanding that Obama take a different position, nor is the diary an attack on his campaign.  The diarist and most of the commentors will work hard to get Obama elected.  AND will then work hard to force him to do the right thing and deliver real healthcare that meets the needs of Americans, not the needs of insurance companies.  

        We are just asking an advocacy organization to advocate, not preemptively surrender.  

    •  I think Obama is with MoveOn on this one (4+ / 0-) least for the general election cycle. Perhaps (wishful thinking alert) Obama will push for truly meaningful reform of our national health care disaster once he is in office.  

      At this point however I have heard nothing from Obama's lips that gives me any real hope that anything more than a half-baked reworking of our private insurance company controlled mess will be forthcoming.

      Our health care system needs a revolution, not a makeover.

      by ovals49 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 06:34:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Compared to whos plan , McInsane's ? (0+ / 0-)

        Disabled Viet Vet ret. My snark is worse than my bite

        by eddieb061345 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 06:43:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  McCain and Obama both favor for profit insurance (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eddieb061345, karmsy, ezdidit, bthespoon

          companies staying in the middle of the patient and the doctor.

          The US spends per capita twice what other countries pay for health care, but unlike them WE HAVE 50 MILLION UNINSURED.

          Most Americans are fed up with this incredibly inefficient system. We can change it.

        •  I don't see the issue (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          as necessarily choosing between two essentially similar plans.  By "essentially similar" I am referring to the continuation of a for profit intermediary (insurance companies) between patients and their doctors provision of care.  

          I can not support any plan which shelters or even expands the role of health insurance companies and their bottom line.  Our national health care crisis transcends issues of party loyalty or partisanship.  

          Just because I'm not thrilled with Obamas position does not mean in any way that I therefore prefer the "other" candidates position, and for you to suggest that it might is just plain wrong.

          Our health care system needs a revolution, not a makeover.

          by ovals49 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:54:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The we both agree (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I believe the HMO's are a plague on Americans and their health. The need for insurance managed health care is an uneccessary waste. There are plenty of Govt managed health systems in this world to examine and learn from. If these Countries can do it why can't we? American exceptionalism is a curse isn't it.

            Disabled Viet Vet ret. My snark is worse than my bite

            by eddieb061345 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 12:09:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Obama is completely separate (5+ / 0-)

        and Obama has a good excuse for his position--he has to appeal to a broad population of voters, many of whom fear "socialized medicine" or are afraid of what it would do to the federal budget. MoveOn isn't a political party, they're not part of the Obama campaign (and I expect Obama would really rather do without their "help"). In fact, they are absolutely forbidden to coordinate in any way with Obama (and just because Republicans flout the law doesn't mean Democrats should).

        MoveOn needs to face up to who they are--a progressive pressure group--and realize that their job is promote the views of their membership, not try to set up a parallel Democratic Party with all the same compromises.

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 06:55:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The other day.. (6+ / 0-)

    a guy from them AFL-CIO came to my door asking me to sign a petition to bring "awareness" of the need for health care reform. He had no idea of the deficits in HCAN and his his petition didn't push for a single payer plan. How do we get reform when people don't even know what they're asking for?

    "Mmm...Juicy Fruit."

    by triv33 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:48:08 AM PDT

  •  Easy: put JedReport on your payroll. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eugene, nyceve

    Or hire him as a free-lancer.  Whatever.  

    Jed Report's vids are simple (just using McCain's own words against him), yet high quality and impact.

    Work overtime with Digg, an quality SEO (I know a few), and all other means available to keep Jed going, and getting his vids "out there".

    Produce "Best Of" Jed Report DVD's, hundreds of thousands, millions of them, and have "Jed Report Parties" (not to be coordinated with the Obama Campaign, of course).  Get them into sympathetic hands of Rotarians, small business owners, webheads, on college (and high school) campuses, etc.

    Move On could do this.  It's a great role it could play.

    My 2 cents.


    "We in the gloam, old buddy," he said, "We definitely right in the middle of it." -Larry Brown

    by BenGoshi on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:52:40 AM PDT

    •  Sorry if OT to HealthCare, I'm just saying that.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      . . . this kind of action/role is something MoveOn could do.  And, working with JR, it could tailor this to Health Care issues, of course.


      "We in the gloam, old buddy," he said, "We definitely right in the middle of it." -Larry Brown

      by BenGoshi on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:54:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tool of the democratic party... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, karmsy, First Light

    Therefore, not necessarily in the best interests of humanity.

  •  Gladly! n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Electing conservatives is like hiring a carpenter who thinks hammers are evil.

    by bwintx on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:55:35 AM PDT

  •  Nonpartisan issue (6+ / 0-)

    I see the fight for true healthcare reform as a nonpartisan issue. It affects us all. It doesn't matter if you're Red or Blue, the healthcare insurance racket will screw you over.

    This issue has reached a groundswell. If we don't catch this wave, will we be able to catch another? I say, grab your board and paddle out.

    We've watched previous incremental "reforms" turn out to be nothing and sometimes, less than nothing. (Medicare Part D, anyone?)

    Again, let's not let this moment pass. Let's not get bogged down in the details, yet. NYCeve is right. Push now. Push hard. Let's build the momentum.

  •  MoveOn has gone the wrong way (5+ / 0-)

    MoveOn built a huge mailing list of literally millions by opposing the invasion of Iraq before the war began. People thought they were joining a principled anti war group.

    But it has never been accountable to its members, and refuses to criticize Obama's continuing votes to fund the Iraq war and his plans to escalate the war in Afghanistan.

    Its members support single payer health care, but the leaders push a "reform" plan backed by the for-profit insurance industry.

  •  Done and (5+ / 0-)

    thank you again Eve for all you do.

  •  Time to move on from MoveOn. (7+ / 0-)

    With it's genesis in the Clinton impeachment, MoveOn was always a one-issue organization.  The contested 2000 election followed quickly by the Bush/McCain Iraq war kept it on "issue life support".

    After that it just seemed to be advocacy bureaucracy looking to keep itself alive and the paycheck coming.

    As an early contributor, it was kind of democratic with email votes on issues like endorsing Obama but no discussion of issues and overtime the democratic portion has faded as the health care position shows.

    Just time to move on from MoveOn. It's outlived its purpose. Lots of specific issue advocacy groups to support on single payer health care.  We really have too many groups on the same issue, like the health care industry, a lot of money and resources get eaten up on the overhead vs. spent on the issue.

    •  So much for loyality! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      akr nyc

      Move on has and is one of the most stalwart liberal organizations we have ever had. It is truly grass roots, in every sense of the words! It saddens me to hear liberals turn on their own with such ease. with friend like you who needs repiglicans!

      Disabled Viet Vet ret. My snark is worse than my bite

      by eddieb061345 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 06:17:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually it's MoveOn who turned on us (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Alice Marshall, ludlow, First Light

        I have little patience for co-opted 'peace groups' who blatantly change agendas like changing a pair of shoes.

        What a bunch of phonies!

        Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance. - Albert Einstein

        by posse comitatus on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 07:52:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Idea anyne "owes" MoveOn is silly. (0+ / 0-)

        Loyalty to MoveOn bureacracy? How wacky is that? MoveOn used to be a grass roots, member driven point of organization to protest the impeachment of Bill Clinton by the crazed right wing Republican Congress that felt Clinton's sex life more important than protecting US from terrorists.

        MoveOn has morphed into just another advocacy bureacracy.  There's really no purpose for MoveOn that is not already being served by an existing advocacy group.  Health care being the perfect example.

  •  This seems like (5+ / 0-)

    a battle that can be won.  Obama said early on that he favors a single payer system, and if he has enough support, it could be done.  

    Going right now to sign.  Thanks

  •  Although I signed the petition (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Liberal Thinking, sluggahjells

    I think it is important to understand MOVE-ON's stand. IMHO I believe M-O is avoiding a clash with the Obama campaign. If MO came out for Single payer it would be played by the TM as a Split in the party and become grist for the wingnuts to attack Obama's plan! I wouldn't be suprised if M-O came out for a Single payer AFTER Obama wins the election!

    Disabled Viet Vet ret. My snark is worse than my bite

    by eddieb061345 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 06:12:15 AM PDT

    •  EXCELLENT POINT!!!! (0+ / 0-)

      The Low Road Express: So low, an ant would be too big for it.

      by sluggahjells on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 08:03:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think you miss the critical difference.. (6+ / 0-)

      between the role of a candidate and the role of an advocacy organization.  The role of a candidate is to win.  And that often means making compromises with his own beliefs or the beliefs of his supporters.  And we need to be grown up enough to recognize that.
      However, the role of an advocacy organization - or individual advocate - is to advocate.  And we can continue to support a candidate who takes a weak position while advocating for him to take a stronger one.  The two are not contradicory.  
      After the election, there will be a huge debate over how healthcare reform is to be achieved, as there should be.
      What HCAN - the coalition MoveOn has become part of - is trying to do is to pre-emptively take single payer out of the debate so that they can move forward a much less satisfactory solution quickly in the new year without all us inconvenient single payer advocates having a chance to speak.

    •  Is This Bad? (4+ / 0-)

      I'm not sure why this is bad. Obama will have a much stronger bargaining position if people on our side are firm about single-payer healthcare. He can point to us and say, "Look, I'd love to give you what you want, but there are millions of people who won't put up with it."

      We should not be afraid to disagree with the Obama campaign over anything where they are more middle-of-the-road than we are.

  •  thank you for the update (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, First Light

    signed and will email out to list

    Why is Health Care for America Now giving up on real reform. - CA Nurses Association

    by goodacre on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 06:13:00 AM PDT

  •  Single payer (5+ / 0-)


    Knowledge is a deadly friend, if no one sets the rules, The fate of all mankind, I see, is in the hands of fools....

    by minerva1157 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 06:13:49 AM PDT

  •  I have a few questions.. (3+ / 0-)

    This seems like a good place to ask them.

    Why is MoveOn/HCAN's solution bad?

    If I understand the basics right, the government gives people the option of buying the same coverage as government employees have. They regulate the health care industry so that they can't deny coverage for many of the things they do now.  They give discounts / credits / rebates to low income people to purchase insurance.  Doesn't that basically accomplish the same thing as single payer without forcing current insurance companies out of the country?  The "culture of greed" will hopefully be fixed by the regulations.  Insurance companies will either make lower profits or raise prices.  If a person's insurance rises to be higher than the government plan, they'll switch.

    Is there anything in place to keep the government from legislating the health of people?

    I'm afraid that under any plan that the government will begin to look for ways to lower their costs.  One obvious alternative is to force the population to be healthier.  What's to keep them from doing things like banning/regulating certain foods or setting up something like a cholesterol tax?

    "There are few wars between good and evil; most are between one good and another good." - Yang Wen-li

    by MelloY on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 06:15:25 AM PDT

    •  Thank you for asking those questions Mello Y (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MelloY, addisnana, Jason Rosenbaum

      I am also looking for answers that will help me to make the right decision for myself, my family and the greater good for all of us.

      I really want to understand the positive and negative aspects of every plan.  I'm tired of being given only the positive aspects of a plan and then being asked to support said plan.

      I want to be treated like an adult.  I want to be told what (if any) sacrifices will be necessary to reach the best possible solution for everyone.

      I adore nyceve.  I know that she and others are working their hearts out to change a system that at best is responsible for far too much suffering and unecessary death.  

      I want to be on the right team.  I want to make the right decision.  I want to help change what we currently have into something much better, but I need a better understanding of the pro's and con's of each proposal to feel like I'm making an informed decision.

    •  Funny, you worry what the Govt might do! (4+ / 0-)

      If you compare all the short comingings of Single payer Health care systems around the world they are pure marvels of pure efficiency compared to our present Capitalist owned and run American system. The horrors and unneccessary suffering and sky high costs are destroying our country! One of the wingnuts favorite tactics is to infer any Govt program will lead to a Communist like result. TOTALLY FALSE. Go see Mike moore's "SICKO" and you will get a true picture of what a single payer program will get you!

      Disabled Viet Vet ret. My snark is worse than my bite

      by eddieb061345 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 07:03:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not doubting that single payer is a better (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cyber Kat, bperk

        solution to what we have now.  If I had to make the choice between only those two options right now, I'd choose single payer in a heartbeat.  Nothing's been put into law yet which means there's an unlimited number of solutions that are possible.

        "There are few wars between good and evil; most are between one good and another good." - Yang Wen-li

        by MelloY on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 07:24:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  None of those are run by our govt! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Liberal Thinking

        I worry about single payer for a couple of reasons.  The first being that our government has not found an effective way to reimburse doctors.  Currently doctors are reimbursed for services provided and at a set amount.  The result is that doctors are paid more when their patients are sicker.  It creates a terrible disincentive for doctors to focus on the wellness of their patients.  They don't get money for talking to patients about cutting out sugar and exercising more.  

        Second, I worry about access.  Our government has not been very good at making sure (through reimbursement) that there are enough doctors of needed specialties in certain areas.  It makes things very difficult for those in rural areas or those who can't travel long distances.  Plus, waiting long period of time to see a doctor can be deadly.  

        Finally, I worry about politics getting in the way of people's health.  There have been so many efforts on the part of this administration to get involved in this area.  And, it becomes even easier when all the Administration has to do is pass a rule or change their interpretation, and it alters health care for everyone.  

        Those are my main reservations about single payer.  I'm certainly not advocating for continuing the current non-system.  I could also go into detail about why I have problems with Obama/Clinton model of forced health insurance instead of health care.

        •  It all boils down to whom do you trust! (0+ / 0-)

          If you are happy with the idea that capitalism for profit can provide you and all americans the best of care verses a system managed to some degree by your duly elected officials. for example HMOs vs Medicare. The former is the McInsane/Repiglican choice!

          Disabled Viet Vet ret. My snark is worse than my bite

          by eddieb061345 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:29:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't trust either of them. (0+ / 0-)

            It is a false dichotomy.  Even if we add government payer, it is still capitalism.  Doctors are only available to the extent that it is profitable.  Further, single payer is managed completely and utterly by the President and whoever he appoints.  Congress can try to pass laws to overrule the President, but do you know how hard it is to get a veto-proof majority in Congress?

    •  How about lead, should we ban it in our food? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brooke In Seattle, Cyber Kat, MelloY

      do you think a Gov't run program shouldn't insist we have a preventative medicine program because it might insist we not poison ourselves? Just because healthy citizens will lead to lower health care costs. The system we have now incourages Americans to become Un-healthy. Obesity leads to terrible deseases, correct. Shouldnt we as society address these kinds of health problems with prevention? Our Govt has been providing subsidies to corn farmers for decades. Corn syrup contributes to Obesity. So you see our Govt is presently in cahoots with big business to make people UN-healthy.  At least with a Govt run program the people have some control over who make those health decisions. Our present system does not.

      Disabled Viet Vet ret. My snark is worse than my bite

      by eddieb061345 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 07:26:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obviously your taking it to the extreme but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Liberal Thinking

        I'll play.  I personally wouldn't have a problem if lead was not banned.  I think government regulation should be in place to make sure that the ingredients are clearly labeled.  They should also make sure companies can't do something like call the lead something else to trick them.  

        Should we as a society address these kinds of health problems?  Yes, but through educating our youth.  Not by government force.

        Now I do have a problem with the government providing subsidies that promote unhealthy foods.  If that's what the subsidies are primarily there for (corn by itself isn't unhealthy), they should be abolished.  

        Rec'd your comment for making me think a bit though.  If that subsidy were turned around and put towards healthier foods my natural instinct is that it wouldn't be a bad thing.  It would lower the prices of those food making people more likely to eat them.  In the end, it's kind of the same thing as taxing unhealthy foods though, so I'm a bit conflicted.  Seems like a less intrusive way of going about it though.  I'll have to think about it more.

        "There are few wars between good and evil; most are between one good and another good." - Yang Wen-li

        by MelloY on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 08:01:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I had the same conflicts too. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Liberal Thinking, Cyber Kat, MelloY

          But I'm a Disabled Vet and I know the value of Govt provided Health care and at the same time I am confronted with how the Capitalist healthcare system is affecting my family. My wife and children don't have healthe insurance. To me the comparison is a NO Brainer. The VA system is far from perfect but I am alive and stress free because of it at the same time I suffer every day because my family goes without. You see I don't make enough money on disability to provide them the health Care and if I could the quality of the care would be dictated by my insurer no my physician. To me the Capitalist system America offer now SUCKS compared to Govt care.

          Disabled Viet Vet ret. My snark is worse than my bite

          by eddieb061345 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 08:36:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I understand your comments but I think there is (3+ / 0-)

        good reason to worry about OUR government running healthcare.

        Our government didn't do a great job with Katrina victims.

        Our government is responsible for 2 really horrible human tragedy diaries on the top of the rec list today.

        Our government can be corrupted as proven by GWB and others.

        Are we any closer to seeing the crimes that have been comitted over the past 8 years punished?

        What happens to our citizens if another GWB, Cheney, Rumsfield, Rice administration is in charge of healthcare for all citizens?

        I'm not against single payer.  I just want to understand the known pro's and con's of every proposed solution.  We don't need slick marketing points helping to make our decisions on healthcare.

        We need facts.  I wonder if that is even possible to achieve.

        •  No shortage of facts available (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brooke In Seattle, Cyber Kat, ludlow

          going to the PNHP website is a good start - it's fact and data heavy, with links to the many studies that have compared different approaches and results.
          But I am personally offended by all the people who seem to thing Americans are less capable than all the other countries in the world.  Lots of other countries - probably all at some level - have corrupt governments too but somehow every other wealthy developed country in the world has achieved universal coverage despte those problems.  I refuse to accept that we are so uniquely incompetent we can't do what so many others have already done.

        •  A good system becomes Sacrosanct (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cyber Kat, Chico David RN

          There are govt provide systems that do work and even Bushbag wouldn't try to destroy them. Medicare, Social Security, unemployment Insurance all come immediately to mind. If we create a really great health care system, except for tinkering around the edges the program will self protect. Repiglicans are terrified at the idea of a successful Govt provided health care system. It will doom there anti Govt platform.

          Disabled Viet Vet ret. My snark is worse than my bite

          by eddieb061345 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 08:48:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  reasonable questions - with reasonable answers (5+ / 0-)

      but not short ones, so I'll give it at least a short start.

      1. Much of the inefficiency in our current system comes from having multiple payers with different rules, forms coverages, etc.  This forces providers - hospitals and doctors - to waste a fortune trying to comply with all those different rules etc.  Can't acheive real efficiency without going to single payer.
      1. Various forms of this kind of mixed plan have been tried before and all have failed or are failing.  If one looks at all the other countries in the world that have achieved univeral healthcare, they follow a wide variety of administrative models - there's a lot of variability.  But none of them have a major role for for-profit insurance.  It just doesn't work.
      1.  No matter how one tries to write the regs, in a mixed plan it is a virtual certainty that the insurance companies will find a way to cherry pick the healthy and well off patients and leave the others in the public system.  This will make the public side expensive because it serves the sick and tend to make it a low quality program becasue it serves the poor, who always tend to get bad service.  The public side will end up a failure and the right will be able to point to it and say "see we told you govt. programs don't work".  Both the quality and the efficiency of single payer are dependent on having everyone - young and old, rich and poor, sick and well -  in a single system.  It makes the system efficient and it insures quality since the people who have the ability to be effective advocates for themselves are in the system and they'll apply pressure to make sure it works.  
      •  Thank You. (0+ / 0-)

        All very good answers.  #3 especially.  I hadn't come to that conclusion, but it makes sense to me.  I think I'm about sold :)  The current system has to end and we do need to make sure what's put in place isn't set up for failure for the start.  I'm still concerned about the problems a government system could cause, but I've seen and read many examples of why private companies can't be trusted.

        Thanks again.

        "There are few wars between good and evil; most are between one good and another good." - Yang Wen-li

        by MelloY on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:43:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  How about England and Canada (0+ / 0-)

        Everyone seems to think that the national health systems in England and Canada work OK. Both of those systems allow people to have private insurance and physicians and to not be part of the national health system. They pay for the national system, just like everyone else, but they also pay out of pocket for private care. I think this type of system could quickly reach a political consensus here in the US. Make it Medicare for all with an expanded Medicare flat tax that everyone pays. Let people buy, with after-tax dollars, any type of insurance they want and allow physicians the choice to be part of the national plan, take only private patients or both.
        We need to make a decision - is it more important that everyone have the same care or that everyone have access to quality healthcare?

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 01:57:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Works moderately well in the DC area (0+ / 0-)

      with six million people and on the order of one hundred different plans.

      buying the same coverage as government employees have

      However in Nowheresville, FL, I doubt it would work very well.

      Also, many people only winter in Florida and then move back up north.

      We also have construction workers that move to where the work is.

  •  health Insurance ONLY For Insurance Co. Managers (6+ / 0-)

    'health' Insurance is ONLY Good For Insurance Co. Managers --

    the rest of us need health care.


    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 06:18:00 AM PDT

  •  The more we push... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, Cyber Kat, CatJab, bthespoon

    ..the more signatures we get, the more noise we make, we CAN do this!  Look at what we managed to do with the Democratic Party Platform..
     Signed, tipped, and recc'd.

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. - George Orwell

    by drchelo on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 06:19:55 AM PDT

  •  Petition signed n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, Cyber Kat, bthespoon
  •  You can't have choices like that (5+ / 0-)

    every American should be covered under a new plan.
    The insurance companies can still do business, just as they do in other countries with universal health care.
    But the system here should be that ALL Americans are covered. if you want to buy extra insurance, that's up to you. But if everyone is not on the plan, it won't work.
    The middle man must be taken out of the equation.

    "In a time of universal deceit -- telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

    by MA Liberal on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 06:48:08 AM PDT

  •  With all the hard work (8+ / 0-)

    that happened over the weekend in Pittsburgh to get the language
    "Everybody in. Nobody out" and "Guaranteed health care for every man, woman and child" in the Democratic Party Platform...This is not a time to compromise.  It is a time to FIGHT!
    It's about health care
    not health insurance...
    I happily sign...

  •  Could someone explain to me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Liberal Thinking

    how single payer health care is different than socialized health care? Is it?

    I'm a health care moron.

    •  Social Security is Socialized Security! (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cyber Kat, karmsy, lisastar, Spekkio, bthespoon

      Single payer keeps the private sector private. It's more in line with Medicare and medicade. Socialized medicine is gov't organized and run medical care for top to bottom. The govt hires and pays the Doctors etc, etc.

      Disabled Viet Vet ret. My snark is worse than my bite

      by eddieb061345 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 07:09:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Single payer health care means we all benefit (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      smkngman, lisastar, Spekkio, CatJab

      by keeping everyone as healthy as we can. We have a responsibility to each other. So yes it is socialized health care, and that is the way it should be.

    •  Single payer is social INSURANCE while it can (0+ / 0-)

      keep the providers (doctors, hospitals, etc.) in the private and non-profit sector.

    •  Single Payer is public insurance for private care (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      First Light

      ...just like Medicare, only improved for everyone.

      If we are all united into the same health coverage pool, we would create the transparency we now lack but need in order to be able to see who is paying how much for what.  

      We would save hundreds of billions of dollars every year by eliminating unnecesary bureaucracy and overhead, plus save hundeds of thousands of devastated lives.  Now we're all paying vastly disparate prices for precisely the same things, and almost nobody knows who is paying how much for what.  We would also have total freedom of choice among independent providers (if we all are covered under the same health policy), and providers could not discriminate against our care based on our coverage (because we would all be fully covered for all medical needs).

      The VA provides publicly-owned and run health insurance and care (but ironically the Bush administartion has handed big fat public contracts over to private companies to manage our VA hospitals).  That IS "socialized medicine" but Single Payer is not.  Single Payer cuts out a very expensive, inefficient, immoral middleman and utilizes efficiencies of scale (like the Amish and every other civilized nation on Earth).

  •  Wouldn't it have been easier... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Liberal Thinking get behind a presidential candidate who actually supports single payer?

    The "strategy" of electing corporate, militarist Democrats and then coming up with ways to pressure them predictably produces two steps back for every one step forward.

    This nicely summarizes what's wrong with American political life today. (Source)

    by GreenSooner on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 07:24:00 AM PDT

  •  What the people want (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jason Rosenbaum

    I understand that single-payer is what a vocal minority want, however, we live in a democracy where everyone gets a vote on what they want. And overwhelmingly, the majority of Americans don't want single payer. In principal, I am not opposed to single-payer insurance (it certainly would be an improvement over what we have now). What I am against is a vocal minority imposing their viewpoints (Religious Right, anyone?) over the rest of the people.

    Every single public opinion poll, survey, and focus group has shown that people don't want a government run system - for whatever reason. This is an exerpt from the latest poll from the Center for American Progress:

    Voters and elites want all major stakeholders involved in a solution (individuals, employers, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, government); with the government playing an important role by ensuring that health care coverage becomes more affordable.

    - A strong majority of voters say that the government should do "much more" to provide access to affordable health care coverage to all US citizens (65%), as well as negotiate with health insurance companies to ensure affordable rates (64%).

    That said, voters and elites believe the government needs to play a considerable role in making existing insurance options more affordable for everyone – NOT for the government to take over the administration of the entire system.

    What good would it be to go through all of this effort to put forth an agenda that doesn't stand a chance in hell of getting passed? I, for one, am tired of being on the losing side of so many arguments. I want health care reform that has a snowballs chance in hell of passing NOW.

    •  Like I said (0+ / 0-)

      I'm a health care moron, but this makes sense to me/is my worry about single payer.

      Who gets left uncovered under the Obama health care plan?  I know it's not single payer, but doesn't it at least cover everyone?

      •  A LOT of sick people would still be uncovered (3+ / 0-)

        Obama's plan has the only loophole the health insurers need.  He would still guarantee them the right to rate up (lemon drop) sick people.

        He'll talk all day about "Guaranteed Issue" but leaves out the part about how that protection is pretty much worthless without real (instead of his very fake) "Community Rating".

        That's why they are giving his campaign so much money (even more than McSame's).  Most of the additional $100 billion that Obama wants to spend (primarily using our tax dollars to pay for private health insurance for our healthiest population) would go right into their pockets.

        If private insurance has to compete ON A LEVEL field with a public plan, the private plans will lose.  However if the system is rigged in the health insurers' favor (by allowing them to rate up sick people), then the public plan as well as all health care consumers lose.

    •  That is not true (9+ / 0-)

      Many polls show that single-payer is supported by a near majority or an outright majority of Americans. And I have seen polls that contradict what the CAP showed.

      Further, just because something can pass NOW does not mean it is good. Mandated health insurance is extremely bad for people - including people like me who are not insured. As Massachusetts shows the premiums people will be forced to pay are unaffordable. Half of those uninsured in MA before the mandate took effect are still uninsured. Those who are insured now have something close to junk insurance.

      And even if people are insured that doesn't mean the insurers will stop playing "murder by spreadsheet."

      It's bad for health care, bad for individual financial security, and bad for the economy.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day
      Neither is California High Speed Rail

      by eugene on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 08:14:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know where you get off making such (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Liberal Thinking, Spekkio, bthespoon

      sweeping (and completely untrue) statements like:

      Every single public opinion poll, survey, and focus group has shown that people don't want a government run system - for whatever reason.

      Polling has plenty of polls up about health care policy and plenty of those polls suggest that the majority would prefer some sort of government run system.

      When the question of Universal healthcare or expanding Medicare/Medicaid to cover all Americans is asked specifically, the response has been overwhelmingly in favor of Universal healthcare/Medicare for all in all but one poll that asked the question in the last 10 years.

      "It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." Oscar Wilde, 1891

      by MichiganGirl on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 08:37:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your research (0+ / 0-)

        Nothing in the link you gave me showed any support for single payer. I've read dozens of surveys (in detail) and have yet to see one that specifically states that the majority of voters prefer single-payer.

        However, if I do run across ONE, I will be sure to weigh that against the dozens that counter that argument. I'm not interested in private insurers or their profits. I am interested in having a choice of options: of which I could choose the most affordable with the best coverage options.

    •  one never starts a negotiation with compromise (11+ / 0-)

      I think the majority of single payer activists realize there may be compromises to be made along the way to getting it and that we may end up with less than we want.  But why start the process by asking for less than what we want?  If your starting position is that there should be a large profitable role for insurance companies, then the negotiation will be about how large and how profitable.  if your starting position is that the insurers should be destroyed - and you do a good job af building a constituancy around that position - then the negotiation starts from a very different place and the end result is likely to be better.

      •  Gosh David, you're so damn sensible . . . (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gustynpip, Spekkio, ludlow, First Light

        we need millions more just like you.

        Beautifully said.

        If your starting position is that there should be a large profitable role for insurance companies, then the negotiation will be about how large and how profitable.  if your starting position is that the insurers should be destroyed - and you do a good job af building a constituancy around that position

      •  Chico this is not a negotiation (0+ / 0-)

        it is an election!. We are not in their yet. First we have to win then we can start putting on the pressure. If we take a public stand for Single payer and we loose the election then what. What kind of influence on the Repiglican and McInsane do you think will MoveOn and Hcan have? NONE, nadda, zero.

        Disabled Viet Vet ret. My snark is worse than my bite

        by eddieb061345 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 01:21:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Our taking a stand for single payer... (0+ / 0-)

          will have no effect on Obama's chances for winning the election.  It's the position he takes that matters to that.  I expect to advocate for the issues I care about and expect him to make the compromises he thinks he needs to make to get elected.
          The folks opposing single payer and the folks wanting to marginalize single payer from the debate are wokring hard at this moment to do that - should only the single payer advocates be quiet for fear of showing some division?

    •  Slaves to Polls (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      karmsy, gustynpip, Spekkio

      I'm not sure why this would affect my support for single-payer. Do I select what I support based on popular opinion? Or, do I pick the right thing and go to the effort of educating the public why it is the best thing?

      As others have pointed out, other polls show that a majority of Americans favor some of these plans. The original question was whether MoveOn should lead or not. If they simply take the majority position, how is that leading?

      Especially when America opinion has been influenced by years of insurance industry advertising and self-promotion.

  •  Signed, sealed, delivered (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Forwarded to family & friends.

    Thanks for keeping the pressure on, nyceve.

    In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican. H.L. Mencken

    by hockeyrules on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 07:29:26 AM PDT

  •  There is almost nothing more important to (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eugene, nyceve, karmsy, bthespoon

    Americans than single payer health care.  

    Cut the fraudulent and bogus insurance companies out of the gravy train and give people the health care they deserve.

    Memo to John Edwards: I want my $100 back.

    by Do Tell on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 07:35:04 AM PDT

    •  Question: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Do Tell

      What happens to the every day employees of the insurance industry under single payer health care....???

      peace and justice

      by vmm918 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 08:19:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They are offered job retraining & placement (3+ / 0-)

        This most "radical" legislation (HR-676) gives them 10-15 years before it would be fully implemented.

        Here's a much better question:

        What happens to the millions of Americans from whom they pull the health care saftey nets out from under now?

        At least we would give them warning and support, which is far more than they are willing to give us in return.

      •  The insurance industry is not going to go away, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brooke In Seattle, MichiganGirl

        there are private insurers in countries that have universal coverage for their citizens, like England and Canada.  

        Also, there will be some restructuring of the health insurance industry which is inevitable, of course.  But it is no different when the textile, steel, auto and buggy whip companies went out of business, not to mention the computer programmers, telephone call center jobs went to Ireland and India to name a few.  

        Memo to John Edwards: I want my $100 back.

        by Do Tell on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 08:36:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Better question (0+ / 0-)

        What happens to our 47 million uninsured, as well as millions more Americans who would have their health insurance safety nets yanked out from under them (if they got sick or were in an accident) by these same health insurance industry employees NOW?

        The insurance industry will still be fine.  (Trust me.)  All we are asking is for it to find ways to make money that do not unnecessarily kill, disable, bankrupt and terrorize innocent Americans.  

        Is that too much to ask?

        •  believe me (0+ / 0-)

          i'm not worried about the industry's bottom line...i am concerned about little people's jobs who work for that industry and that any plan we approve must take them into account also.

          peace and justice

          by vmm918 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 12:16:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're not taking into account all of the jobs (0+ / 0-)

            ...that the health insurance industry is destroying NOW.  Small emp[olyers and groups are being hit hard in particular, as are all of the jobs and productivity that the currently wasted $600-700 billion could be used to create.  These new jobs would be a lot more productive for our society as a whole than merely producing unnecessary layers of  bureaucracy too.  They would create actual (real) goods and services (not smoke and mirrors), instead of being used to deny access to desperately needed health care.

      •  I've read there is billions (0+ / 0-)

        in Medicare fraud yearly.

        They can audit old claims and get the government's money back and finder's fees from the con artist providers.

        •  Whistle blowers get a cut (0+ / 0-)

          ...of the savings.

          Republican and former Senator Bill Frist's family started HCA (Hospital Corporation of America, the world's largest for-profit hospital chain) which also was responsible for perpetrating the largest fraud in the history of the Medicare program.  He reportedly owned around $25 million worth of its stock at one point while he was a senator.  It was in a blind trust, so he (said he) didn't know it was there (?) but also said he would sell it if it was (so they wouldn't prosecute him for influencing laws that influenced the worth of his company), which he (said he) did.  

          HCA was sold for $36 billion in dirivatives the day Frist turned into a lame duck.

  •  My mother, my son, and me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We are all healthy for the moment, but any one of us could require care or even tests to determine if care or treatment is needed. At that moment, we become grist for the mill. Not a healthy prospect ...

    And what is with our friends at Move-On? I am one of those several million members and they didn't ask me before making this foolish move.

    So, petition signed, diary rec'd and now I'm off to send this link to my address book. Thank you!

  •  Drop the frame "single-payer"; it is (5+ / 0-)

    not a term that people will accept. I'm not sure why you would oppose a system that includes public health insurance option which could compete with the private insurers.

    Although I favor public health insurance your solution is possibly too bold, and we would get nothing in the current Congress. Why not support something that we can get through which contains a public option?

    •  not-for-profit (6+ / 0-)

      is the correct frame. It is understandable. It is the goal.

      In civilized societies, there are limits to economic predation.  Trying to profit from the suffering of the ill, injured and infirm is immoral and barbaric, not to mention un American.

      don't always believe what you think...

      by claude on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 08:02:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Can't compete. (4+ / 0-)

      Since when is "competition" going to work? Aren't we progressives? Doesn't being progressive mean we reject market fundamentalism?

      Public insurance will not be able to compete with private insurance and here's why. The privates will find ways to dump the sickest patients onto the public rolls, in order to drive up their profit margins. The sick, who the public option cannot reject, will drive up the cost of the public option because they will need more care, while many of the healthy will be lured to the privates by the low premiums they can now offer because they dumped the sick.

      That will cause a cash crisis for the public option. And in turn that causes a MAJOR political problem. Either premiums have to rise, services have to be cut, or a tax bailout has to be made. No matter which solution is used the right-wing has been handed a powerful argument against truly universal care. They'll point to the lower costs of the private sector and use that to gut the public option.

      Just because something can pass doesn't mean it's any good. We need to change Congress if they won't give us what we demand. Since when did we become so timid about our own survival?

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day
      Neither is California High Speed Rail

      by eugene on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 08:18:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I like "United Protection" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It uses the consumer frame rather than the administrative one.

  •  Medicaid, Medicare & Extras for Everyone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Liberal Thinking

    Healthcare in the 21st Century should become like education became in the 20th Century: so universal in its required basics that everyone takes it for granted.

    The Federal government should specify a "minimum healthcare guarantee" like the minimum wage, that every American citizen gets from birth (and when a mother, prenatal). The Federal government should pay all services under those standards, the hospitals billing the government directly and just sending a copy of the bills to the patient "FYI". The actual billing and payment services should be administered by each state, to make it structured and manageable, avoiding a "one size fits all" for 300M people across a continent.

    Then each state should compete with the other states in offering extra healthcare free for residents, or to anyone else the state decides, including commuters, vacationers, or anyone else the state wants to attract. States would compete with each other for the most valuable residents or visitors interested in getting the "optional" packages by meeting the state's individual requirements, though everyone would get the required basics. Which would mean basic health "insurance" would never lapse, as it would be completely uniform across the country. Switching among extra benefits would be like getting a new license plate for your car when moving to a new state.

    The Federal government should offer to veterans the best payment package in each state. Between top healthcare and education for free, the military would once again attract some of America's best people, towards patriotic people with families and plans for a life after the military.

    Private insurance would still have plenty of business above and beyond what each state offers. Shortsighted states offering just the minimum Federal coverage ("no new taxes") will still offer private insurance for the rest. Private insurers might offer special insurance to classes of risks, like smokers, motorcyclists without helmets, experimental procedure patients, or vacationers, the way people buy collision/liability insurance when renting a car.

    But everyone will have minimum healthcare guaranteed, the way we now have minimum education guaranteed. With the costs spread across everyone, minus the profit to the financiers, costs will go way down. And with a government more accountable to the people than insurance corporations ever will be, the people can manage the costs better.

    We already have the basics of this system: Medicare and Medicaid. The system I'm describing can learn from the Canadian model of per-province health coverage. Americans can finally strike paying for being sick and getting old from our list of worries, and our corporations can get out of the healthcare/finance business and just do whatever their actual business calls for.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 07:58:37 AM PDT

  •  Profits from suffering must STOP! (5+ / 0-)

    Just about everyone recognizes the savings of eliminating the middle man.  If the big bad government running a single payer system scares you, I have this idea.  Make it illegal to profit from the sale of health insurance.  All health insurance companies MUST be non profit or not for profit (I never understood the difference).

    Doctors, nurses, care givers and technicians should be well paid and well cared for.  They have a noble and stressful profession.  Anyone else who profits from the illness or injury or another is the most despicable parasite of society, in my humble opinion.

    Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

    Please do not take anything I say as being Authoritative, Enlightened or well thought out...

    by StephanM on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 08:02:42 AM PDT

  •  I think people need to look (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, eddieb061345

    at eddieb061345's excellent post here before they continue to slam Moveon:

    Although I signed the petition:
    I think it is important to understand MOVE-ON's stand. IMHO I believe M-O is avoiding a clash with the Obama campaign. If MO came out for Single payer it would be played by the TM as a Split in the party and become grist for the wingnuts to attack Obama's plan! I wouldn't be suprised if M-O came out for a Single payer AFTER Obama wins the election!

    The Low Road Express: So low, an ant would be too big for it.

    by sluggahjells on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 08:08:13 AM PDT

  •  I won't sign the petition (0+ / 0-)

    For one simple reason. I have ignored MoveOn successfully since its inception and will continue to do so.

    MoveOn is a parasite, dedicated to its self-perpetuation. The alliance with HCAN serves that end.

    Forget MoveOn. The action is in Congress and in the state legislatures. The message is SINGLE-PAYER NOW!

    "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

    by Ivan on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 08:12:53 AM PDT

    •  Fu*k YOU! (0+ / 0-)

      I'm a member of MoveOn and I don't take well to being called a parisite. We MoveOn members work our butts off to stop the repigs and we succeeded in doing just that. You can THANK us parasites for getting back our majorities in congress. Small minded people like you who think they can smurk at others who have actually accomplished something should apologize or just keep you petty judegments to yourself!

      Disabled Viet Vet ret. My snark is worse than my bite

      by eddieb061345 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 01:04:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My comment stands (0+ / 0-)

        What you think of it is of no consequence to me.

        "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

        by Ivan on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:04:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  All politics is local. (0+ / 0-)

    I'm on Weiner like flies on his b.s.

    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -Thomas Jefferson

    by ezdidit on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 08:19:15 AM PDT

  •  How different is it from Obama's plan? He also (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jason Rosenbaum

    includes insurance companies in the mix, doesn't he?  

    We Changed The Course! Now we must hold their feet to the fire.

    by hcc in VA on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 08:21:10 AM PDT

  •  Single Payer is dead on arrival (0+ / 0-)

    It. Will. Not. Happen.

    Get it through your head.  We need practical solutions that will have a snowball's chance in hell of passing.  Single payer will not.

    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

    by Skeptical Bastard on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 09:15:11 AM PDT

    •  Advice from my hangglider friends: (8+ / 0-)

      never look where you don't want to land. It's all about self-fulfilling prophecy.

      •  Show you shoot for an unreachable peak? (0+ / 0-)

        That's silly.  Then you smash inot the side of a mountain.  I hope your friend has good life insurance.

        Taking all other solutions off the table is dumb, in my opinion.

        Achieving single-payer in the long term is actually easier by including insurers in the initial phase.

        Create a public insurance program that anyone can join.  How fast do you think the insurers would either:

        1. Become competitive with that service


        1. Go out of business as people switch over?

        But no..  That's not a solution because it doesn't fit the narrow-minded goals single-payer advocates have.  It seems to me single-payer advocates would rather have no reform if it isn't their way.  Personally, I think that is selfish.

        "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

        by Skeptical Bastard on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 09:35:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Think strategically and long term... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Wrt your tactical concerns, I agree. Of course, ins cos have a history of successfully manipulating the marketplace (e.g., rate setting, benefit packages) for adverse selection and cherry picking - they create full benefit/low cost plans for the cherries and drive competitors into bankruptcy. This is why I prefer a big bang approach. Incremental improvements is death to reform by a thousand cuts.

          But we can succeed either way withing the realm of basic hmo benefits, mental health and dental.

          Any serious reform effort will require market adjustments and regulatory changes that ensure success - similar to what the ins cos would do but rather than protecting their profits, to protect the public position. We can use tried and true methods of capitalism to fix health care and replace the racketeering of today with open access to health care professionals.  

          HR 676 is the best health reform proposal worth my vote.

          by kck on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:09:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  "Narrow-minded goals" ?? I love it! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CalifSherry, Chico David RN

          Damn, I guess those pesky antiwar protesters back in the Vietnam days had pretty "narrow-minded" goals, too. Simpletons in the street carrying signs wanted to "end the war," without understanding the intricacies of military involvement in Vietnam, like the leaders :) did. Or the slaves, during abolition. Didn't like being owned, but on the other hand, clearly lacked the white man's "superior perspective" on these things :) So, activists demanding emancipation for slaves (ultimately successfully) were just rude and uncouth and all.

          Yeah, yeah. You gotta be nice. You gotta cooperate with the oppressors and exploiters. Not.

          •  See? You prove my point. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            To you, there is only one goal... getting rid of the oppressive insurers and getting single-payer put in place.

            To me, good health care for everyone in the US seems like it should be the primary goal.  To not be able to admit there might be multiple paths to that goal is, well, narrow minded.

            "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

            by Skeptical Bastard on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 11:20:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  We're Doomed! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      karmsy, Chico David RN, Spekkio

      We can't change anything because it already is the way it is! We are stuck and there's no hope! No one can improve the situation because we can't do politics!

      I just wanted to pile on.

    •  great logical argumentation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I tend to agree with you, but this ain't going to convince anyone.

      I think a hurdle (a big one, but can be gotten over) is that you need support of the number of working people who actually still do have good healthcare.

      On a personaly level, I'm wary of single payer because it would potentially mean a change from my current GREAT situation that my union has fought for and won. If everyone gets quality healthcare, and we spend the same amount of money we are now, that means my healthcare gets WORSE.  ungh.

      That said, I'd vote for single payer in a heartbeat.

      •  The thing that anyone with good insurance... (4+ / 0-)

        needs to get it that you only have it temporarily.  A whole lot of folks who had good coverage 5 or 10 years ago don't today.  And as the number of those who have lost good coverage expands, the remaining few become bigger targets.  Practically every union contract negotiation in the last few years has been about trying to protect the insurance from cuts, so we never get to try to make gains.  take the  insurance off the table and we can begin to negotiate for improvements again.

      •  it's about solidarity, and a GREAT situation... (5+ / 0-)

        for everyone. Not worse, but better for you too! Imagine how great it would be to have healthcare off the table during negotiations? You wouldn't have to bargain away wages, vacation hours, and retirement benefits just to keep the health care "coverage" you think you have!

        Employers are not keeping up with the escalating costs of private insurance and many are either dropping coverage or offering skimpy, stripped down policies and requiring their employees to shoulder a higher percentage of the costs. Unions are making concessions on health care coverage to help float the companies they work for, in a vain attempt to keep the jobs in the communities.

        Health care is the "eight hour day" and "weekends off" benefit of today's, (and for tomorrow's), working class generation! It's going to take a strong, reinvigorated worker's union movement to help win this fight.  Thanks for not giving in to the "I've got mine" mentality and remaining committed to single-payer.

    •  Ah, how true to your name! (5+ / 0-)

      I am a retired business leader from with the HMO/HC Ins sector. DOA? That's ridiculous and simply the natural, knee-jerk reaction to big change.

      Like others here, I have been a part of large efforts that cost hundreds of millions of dollars, billions, with high risk of failure. Yet we succeed. Why? Well, for profit or war we do anything we set out to do.  

      Contrarians like you are good at finding obstacles to refine action plans. Try actually identifying reasons why you proclaim DOA, new reasons not already addressed in the mature single-payer transformation models on record (e.g.,. HR 676, PNHP) You never know, you might find something that has to be accommodated. And in the meantime you will convince yourself -  Can Do!


      HR 676 is the best health reform proposal worth my vote.

      by kck on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 09:54:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Once again..losing sight of the primary goal.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Single-payer is only one of many ways we can achieve universal health care.

        Universal health care should be the goal.  Not single-payer.

        Try actually identifying reasons why you proclaim DOA, new reasons not already addressed in the mature single-payer transformation models on record (e.g.,. HR 676, PNHP)

        You want reasons?  How about the crisis in primary health care?  How will single-payer affect that?  How many boomer primary care physicians will decide to take an early retirement when forced into a socialized payment system, or simply opt-out and only accept private payment/insurance?  Less and less med students are choosing primary care when more lucrative specialties are available.  I fear, and it's not only my opinion, that single-payer will begin a primary health care crisis much worse than we are already looking at.

        The health care system we currently have is broken in many more ways than funding/disbursing payments.

        "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

        by Skeptical Bastard on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 12:03:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The keywords are "affordable" and "sustainble" (0+ / 0-)

          I agree that single-payer is not the goal but universal access to care which, by my definition of access, eliminates administrative obstacles to care including denials, delays, and disagreements with caregivers treatment plans.  

          Now, we can buy health ins for all Americans within the existing marketplace but that is unaffordable and does not address the administrative obstacles to care making it essentially junk insurance. We could gin up a transition fund for, say, 50 million uninsureds to purchase subsidized ins but that is not sustainable and again, does not deal with the problem of junk insurance.

          You have to be more specific re: "the crisis in primary health care?"

          There are multiple compensation models for single-payer and I suggest that physicians play a/the key role in defining which/how many to prototype. All exist in some form today in the US and none of them can be remotely considered socialistic.

          Early retirements are happening now and I have not seen data suggesting any changes in that rate. Maybe you can share... Opting out may always exist as an option. Physicians at PNHP are not concerned.

          While I doubt anyone will argue that the health care system has much to fix and improve, such a distribution of caregivers in rural areas, people generally like the doctors they get to see. The most immediate problem from the American publics perspective is not the number of primary caregivers, EMR, EBM, rationing, or even the sacrosanct choice. It's denial of service and the lack of access.  

          HR 676 is the best health reform proposal worth my vote.

          by kck on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 01:33:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Don't forget "moral" n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  Thus spoke the purveyors of PORK BARREL politics! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
  •  tipped, rec'd and petition signed, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, RN4MERCY, bthespoon

    Private health insurance should be for boutique health care (such as plastic surgery) for the rich only. The current system is parasitic and one of the reasons why US life expectancy is less than that of Cuba.

    "Without our playstations, we are a third world nation"-Ani DiFranco

    by NoMoreLies on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 09:37:37 AM PDT

  •  Signed, tipped, and rec-ed. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, bthespoon

    Thanks for this diary, and pls keep up the good work!

    "Conservatism... is basically a public relations campaign aimed at persuading [people] to lay down their capacity for rational thought." -= Phil Agre

    by suburi on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 09:38:00 AM PDT

  •  Tip'd and REc'd - Critically Important (5+ / 0-)

    Let's not let our party retrench from the public need, run from the best right solution at just the right time, appease the only remaining obstacle in the way to comprehensive, affordable, sustainable, and universal access to health care.

    AHIP and the ins cos believe they've succeeded in convincing the Democrats that single-payer is not doable. That's like saying "No, we can't get to the moon"; "No, we can't deliver the mail to everybody, just in the cities"; "No, it's not doable to immunize all of our children from polio"; and "No, it's not doable to give our children free public education."

    Yes, Americans want choice of the face of health care - their doctors and their hospitals. Yes, that choice can be protected while back-end reform removes the many insurance payers that inflate and fatten the cost of health care and delay or deny care all together. Keep your doctors, ditch the middlemen who stand in the way.

    We don't need to eliminate all insurance companies. We just need to regulate the way we pay for health care. Americans should be able to opt into a plan like expanded Medicare and offload the payment aspect to health care just like we do for our National Guard, Defense, Police and Fire fighting.

    HR 676 is the best health reform proposal worth my vote.

    by kck on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 09:45:57 AM PDT

  •  Get Lost (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    MoveOn has done a great job of getting people elected.

    In the last congressional races they sent me scripts and lists to call all over the Country.

    I trust MoveOn, and have no idea who you are.

    Because you are writing a diary I am supposed to trust you.


    Go MoveOn, keep up the great work.

  •  Reforming the Insurance Industry is a lost cause (8+ / 0-)

    As Rep. Keith Ellison said on Monday in his community meeting here regarding single-payor health-care, 'Reform' is a lost cause and equivilant to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. You can make things look better, but the damn ship is still sinking.

    We ALL need to come together...left, right & center to demand single-payor health care now. We can't let those things that divide us to get in the way of the most pressing issue affecting EVERYONE in this country. We all have to come together to force our elected officials to fix the problem once and for all instead of using band-aids to give the illusion that they are doing something effective.

    John McCain - A lobbyist's best friend

    by legendmn on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 09:48:31 AM PDT

  •  I've been a MoveOn member for over 6 years (5+ / 0-)

    What the heck have they been doing lately???
    They seem to be behind the ball a lot lately and their actions have been less than Front & Center on the Hot topics, or not timely enough!
    MoveOn had the stage and they are not using it well. IMO

    At the core of the human spirit there is a voice stronger than violence and fear - S. dianna ortiz

    by Rachel Griffiths on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 09:48:54 AM PDT

    •  They are squarely focused on Winning (0+ / 0-)

      back the white house. Just as it should be. They are and have always been controversial and thats why we LIBERALS should keep supporting MoveON's work. Plese try to remember who the REAL bad guys are!

      Disabled Viet Vet ret. My snark is worse than my bite

      by eddieb061345 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 12:45:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the chance to sign (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, bthespoon, First Light

    John&Cindy McCain:A "Dallas" and "Dynasty" rerun.

    by redtex on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:02:22 AM PDT

  •  I signed (5+ / 0-)

    Police, Fire, and Health Care... it's all the same.

    You wouldn't want your Police and Fire departments to be for-profit, would you?

    Time for the middle-man to go.

    A point in every direction is the no point at all. - The Pointless Man (Nilsson)

    by Czarvoter on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:13:32 AM PDT

  •  r/t and signed; thanks, eve! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, bthespoon, ludlow, First Light

    Incredible action oriented post.
    Elegant militancy!

  •  Please help Miles Mogulescu too...? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Be sure to read Geyman's new book (5+ / 0-)

    John Geyman, quoted in this diary, is an emeritus professor at the University of Washington medical school. He's written six books on health care reform. His latest is Do Not Resuscitate: Why the Health Insurance Industry is Dying, and How We Must Replace It. I reviewed it in a diary here. Here's the contents:

    Preface: Got Insurance? Maybe, But How Much and For How Long?

    1. In Sickness and in Wealth: Growth of a Monolithic Industry
    1. The Big Three and the Big M's: Mergers, Market Share and Medical Loss Ratios
    1. From "Cherry Picking" to "Denial Management": How the Industry Really Works
    1. Myths and Mirrors: How the Industry Perpetuates Itself
    1. Terminally Ill: An Imploding Industry on a Death March
    1. Saving Lives or Saving the Industry? Why Incremental System "Reforms" Continue to Fail
    1. Drawing the Battle Lines: The Industry's Rear-Guard Action
    1. Beyond Denial of an Obsolete Industry to a New Day


    Pray for our troops: with Bush in charge, they need all the help they can get!

    by laviolet on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:39:30 AM PDT

  •  The insurance industry must be ended... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, eddieb061345, bthespoon

    I pay all my health care dollars for insurance that covers squat and have none left to pay for the healt care that I need.

    This is really working for me...

  •  The tell a friend page doesn't work (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I changed the message text, and now it won't accept it, saying there are brackets or urls. There are no brackets, and the only url is the one that was there in the default text.

    Okie? Join Sooner Kos. | Why Obama? Because we've never had a president whose name started with O.

    by gypsy on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:52:53 AM PDT

  •  Damning statistic: insurance doesn't "insure" you (4+ / 0-)

    As reported by the Harvard law professor who's an expert on bankruptcy:

    --At least half of people who file bankruptcy do so because of a serious medical problem.

    and the kicker:

    --Three fourths of these healthcare bankrupts HAD HEALTH INSURANCE!!

    As the professor says: Except for multi-millionaires (and, I would add, members of Congress), NO ONE is safe.

    What is valued is practiced. What is not valued is not practiced. -- Plato

    by RobLewis on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:55:40 AM PDT

    Recommended by:
    nyceve, First Light

    ...because Obama knows what needs to be done but is refusing to do it, and McSame doesn't even have a clue, so whoever gets into office needs to see one big bunch of PISSED OFF AMERICANS DEMANDING REALLY REAL CHANGE for our broken, immoral status quo health unsurance system.

    Can we set a date?

  •  Uniquely American illness: PISD (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Post Insurance Stress Disorder

    Almost 50 million Americans have it.

  •  For you, Eve, anything. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, Spekkio, bthespoon

    Rec'd., tipped and signed the petition.
    Good Luck!

    The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all - JFK- 5/18/63-Vanderbilt Univ.

    by oibme on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 11:38:19 AM PDT

  •  The Clintons shot for the Moon in '93 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...and got shot down by the insurance industry with the famous "Harry & Louise" TV ads.

    Their colossal bungling caused the balance of power in medicine to shift from the physicians to the HMOs and insurance companies.

    I think Obama knows this.

    We're not going to get Single-Payer just because it's fair, moral and economically sound.

    The insurance industry is owned by very wealthy people who are not going to sit on their hands and watch while the government converts their stock holdings to waste paper.

    A lot of un-wealthy Americans depend on the insurance industry for their paycheck. Call them parasites if you want, but those claims agents have families to feed too.

    To succeed, we're going to have to defeat the insurance companies in the political arena, buy them off, give them time to convert their operations to other kinds of insurance or move their capital to other investments.

    Maybe all of the above.

    BushCheney Inc. - They lied to me, they lied to you, they lied to our troops.

    by jjohnjj on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 12:02:24 PM PDT

    •  However... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I signed the petition.

      Whereas Obama and the Congress must play chess with the opposition, MoveOn and all the grassroots should keep raising a ruckus firmly in favor of Single Payer Universal Healthcare.

      I pay $12,000 a year to Blue Shield to cover my family of four, and I never go to the doctor because I'm too broke to pay the deductibles.

      BushCheney Inc. - They lied to me, they lied to you, they lied to our troops.

      by jjohnjj on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 12:25:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Clinton plan (0+ / 0-)

      would have had massive penalties.

      It scared people off.

      Hillary in her latest campaign also scarred people off with her purchase mandate.

      Young people came out of the woodwork in Iowa and dealt her health industry mandatory money grab a fatal blow.

  •  A dailykos diary criticizing moveon? (0+ / 0-)

    The pot calling the kettle black.

    Obama used to be for single payer before he came out against it.

    by formernadervoter on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 12:02:56 PM PDT

    •  A former NADER(Spoiler) Voter (0+ / 0-)

      criticizing Daily Kos and MoveOn? Wow I would never, in my life have expected such a thing! I guess it gets boring over at nader's site talking to the same three people saying the same things over and over! :)

      Disabled Viet Vet ret. My snark is worse than my bite

      by eddieb061345 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 12:38:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's time for Move On to Move ON . (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, RN4MERCY, ludlow, Mdfog10

    Thanks Eve for the action post.  I signed and have already passed on to 10 other people who will sign as well.  MoveOn did an important service, back in the day, to high-light the absurdity of the Clinton impeachment.  But that was then and this is now.  Move-On has no credibility, nor expertise on health care.  I totally agree that you must bargain from a position of strength otherwise we're all going to pay the price as many of our fellow citizens are in continuing to keep health insurance companies in charge of our care and NO over-sight in place to keep our premiums, deductibles, co-pays, fees and off course, those who have been deemed too sick to be covered, 47 million, with no insurance at all from pushing us all into early graves and total bankruptcy.

    In todays San Francisco Chronicle, front page on the business section, around 1/4 of patients surveyed with health insurance are going with out doctor visits and rationing their medications.  That is probably the tip of the ice-berg as more employers are pushing the costs onto their work-force to avoid the high cost of insuring their workers.  As one of my nurse colleagues, said, the days of employer based health insurance are slowly ending.  More patients will be asked to bare the burden of the cost of their care.

    I realize that many on this list believe that HR 676 is a loser issue for a Democratic Win in November or a pipe dream that won't have a chance in Washington DC and a new congress.  But I respectfully disagree with that notion.  Their are too many Americans especially the South who are going to weekend "Doctor's without Borders" conventions that need care.  Too many Americans, particularly seniors, are rationing there medications because with privitized, HMO plans, their medications are too expensive. and the dream of universal Medicare a pipe dream

  •  signed, sealed, delivered! n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, Themistoclea

    -7.88, -6.97 Ralph Nadir : the lowest point in the 2000 election that brought us the lowest point of our nation's history.

    by Latex Solar Beef on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 12:08:48 PM PDT

  •  Signed, and thanks for all the info (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I understand it all much better.

  •  My message to MoveOn (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, Themistoclea, Spekkio

    The health care crisis will never be solved by any solution short of a revolutionary change of policy. The incremental solution currently taken by will only continue the woeful health care status quo.

    Consult your supporters before "moving on." Is a democratic institution or has it been co-opted by the powerful insurance cartel?

    Great diary, Eve. When faced with a jump over a gaping chasm no one seriously considers an incremental solution!

    Life may select the picture, but you choose the frame.

    by sea note on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 12:26:07 PM PDT

  •  Dear nyceve, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I just tried to forward the petition to five friends and I couldn't get it to work. I got "invalid entry" after I clicked on send.  I can't see what I did wrong. This is frustrating –- would love to send it on!

  •  Candidates for federal office (0+ / 0-)

    should say they will fight for a bill signing on Inauguration Day on the Capitol steps that will:

    1. open CHIP up to all children
    1. open Medicare to all adult Americans
    1. have age-based Medicare premiums for non-disabled adults under 65
    1. credit, without year-to-year carryover before 2012, 70% of the net tuition cost of full-time students in college
    1. effectively reduce Medicare co-pays for all people below age 65 and above 85 as of the first of the month that are also below 150% of the poverty line ASAP on a graduated scale from 19 to 5% based on federal government SS & IRS tax return records by posting reimbursement payments after July 2009 to one's income tax account
    1. allow sign up in 2009, upon expiration of individual coverage, and in July of even numbered years.
    1. require premium payments be made to Medicare or an employer-subsidized health insurance scheme until the amount Medicare has paid out on behalf of the individual has been exceeded, adjusted for inflation.

    People could pay for a three month period of Medicare coverage by sending in an age-based premium like they do with estimated taxes, but about a month in advance so they can get a three-month orange Medicare card in time. People needing subsidies could just go to a welfare office or health department and pay whatever their share is with a check, cash, or a postal money order, the agency would make up the difference in a check to the IRS.

  •  What single payer advocates don't get... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    1. Most people think "single payer" means they aren't free to pay for their own health care if something isn't covered. After all, if they are, there's more than one payer. It doesn't help that one Canadian province actually tried to do this.
    1. All monopolies tend to end up being  inefficient. Even government monopolies. You are better off with a tightly regulated market, but still allowing competition and market mechanisms to work. Right wingers support "free" markets, despite that they are proven to be inefficient. We should instead support well-regulated "competitive" markets, which do tend to minimize profits, while preserving the incentive for innovation.

    HR 676 is not only politically impractical, it is economically impractical. It tries to not only end private health insurance, but also to eliminate private health providers from the system (participating providers are required to be non-profit).

    How things should work:

    a. A Federal insurance plan which covers everyone by default for most basic health coverage.

    b. Reimbursement in most cases should be paid to the patient, not the provider, creating an incentive for patients to play some role in monitoring costs vs. quality of service.

    c. Patients should be allowed to purchase any health care they wish beyond what is provided

    d. Patients should be allowed to purchase any insurance they wish beyond what is provided.

    e. Patients should even be allowed to opt out of the public system if they prefer to buy private coverage; but they should not be given any "voucher" for anything near the value of the care they are turning down.  

    The key is that patients who opt out, who would be largely higher income individuals, should be expected to continue to subsidize the public system. I could even accept a voucher for up to 50% of the value, as long as it is clear this is saving the public system money.

    The truth is there is still going to be a separate system for the mega rich, who can afford to spend gobs of money on care, but as long as we aren't doing away with these folks, they are gong to be spending gobs on something. So let them spend it on health care. We all benefit in the end from some of the innovation that occurs in response to serving that demand.

    •  Socialized healthcare is not a monopoly n/t (0+ / 0-)

      You can't choose sides on a round planet.

      by IamLorax on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 02:19:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  Of course it's not - (0+ / 0-)

          So you believe that fire departments are monopolies?

          Our government is owned by We the People.  If we have a healthcare system run by We the People - it's not a monopoly.  Everyone owns it.  It belongs to all.  

          You can't choose sides on a round planet.

          by IamLorax on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:36:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes... (0+ / 0-)

            Any time yo have a single provider that's a monopoly. In some cases, natural monopolies, it can be that the cost savings from only one provider (from economies of scale) are worth the trade off of not having the benefit of competition.

            For many public goods this is the case. It wouldn't make sense, or be efficient, to have separate competing systems delivering water to your home, or providing sewers. There would obviously be a lot of waste in infrastructure costs.

            But I don't see where that's true for insurance. Administrative costs, once you get to a certain reasonable size, don't get much smaller by having one provider.

            And, you also have to consider who is running the government. There's a good chance any government system to do anything is going to end up being run half the time by the same clowns who have been running the government for the last 8 years.

            I would at the very least want to preserve the ability to chose coverage from competing independent non-profit insurance providers.

            •  We have some say over how our government is run (0+ / 0-)

              And, you also have to consider who is running the government. There's a good chance any government system to do anything is going to end up being run half the time by the same clowns who have been running the government for the last 8 years.

              We have some control over our government...we have no say over how an insurance company runs itself.

              Government/We the People is better than We the Insurance Company having the final say over our health.

              You can't choose sides on a round planet.

              by IamLorax on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 08:58:13 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  What Single Payer opponents don't get (0+ / 0-) that time and money are being wasted while innnocent people are dieing.

  •  As always, you hit it over the fence! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

      What those who want half a loaf is that any program that would require the insurance companies to disregard prior conditions, that is, offer a policy to everyone who asked for one, will be FOUGHT TO THE LAST INSURANCE COMPANY STANDING!  Thelma and Louise will be packing heat and shooting from the hip!!!
      That is the poison pill...the dagger aimed at the heart of medical insurance.  All asking for half measures will do is prolong the process of moving to a single payer, put the taxpayers further in the hole while not significantly improving care and make reformers look like a timid bunch of wimps.  

    ...Former candidate for Congress.

    by Steve Love on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 01:27:47 PM PDT

  •  I am all for single payer health, but...... (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not sure that the voters are ready for that kind of a radical change.  Remember what happened when the right started running the Harold and Louise ads, and Hillary's system was not near the threat that single payer health would be.

    Sometimes these kind of things need to be done in steps.  

    The best thing we can do right now to encourage single payer health is to get business behind it.  Right now the auto industry is close to being on board because health care is killing them and they can't compete with Canada and other industrialized nations that provide health care for their citizens.

  •  Doc charged 2 "surgeries" for 2 breaks in (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CalifSherry, SingleVoter, bthespoon

    my daughter's foot.  He didn't operate.  They just told us for each break in my daughter's foot, they charge us a "surgery" charge.  Over a thousand dollars for nothing!  They didn't operate, they didn't set the bones.  Nothing!

    We have a Federal insurance plan.  They charge us to death with bull shit co-pays, bull shit "surgeries", bull shit deductibles, bull shit charges for this and that.

    I want a complete fucking overhaul of this shitty, shitty rip-off system.  I am damn sick of this shit!

    No insurance companies! None! I have insurance - I don't have health care.  

    I want socialized health care!

    You can't choose sides on a round planet.

    by IamLorax on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 02:11:44 PM PDT

  •  Thanks, nyceve.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for all that you do to make universal health care more possible.

    Push for Voter-Owned Clean Elections: Be A Citizen Co-Sponsor

    by gildareed on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 08:13:42 AM PDT

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