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Its TRUE. The GOP is announcing that every GOP candidate in 2010 and 2102 will be running on their new platform of repealing the Dems anemic health reform bill, scheduled to take effect FIVE YEARS in the future! They will certainly win if Dems don't DELIVER by November 2010, less than a year from now. That will result in some Senate Dems getting their wish not to be involved in health reform or politics ever again but where does it leave Americans? At least a HALF MILLION more will die by 2014 of utterly preventable causes related to their not being able to afford health care. Most of those people have low-quality "affordable" "insurance". Thanks Dems- NOT.

Some of those Senate and House Dems must certainly be worrying about this:

"I suspect every Republican running in '10 and again in '12 will run on an absolute pledge to repeal this bill. The bill--most of the bill does not go into effect until '13 or '14, except on the tax increase side; and therefore, I think there won't be any great constituency for it. And I think it'll be a major campaign theme."
-Newt Gingrich

What are the possible outcomes?

1.) Democrats ignore the needs of the nation, and the inevitability of a predictable taking advantage of their doing so by the GOP, and lose big in 2010 and 2012, in essence throwing away their 2008 victory voluntarily by refusing to meet the challenge posed by unmitigated greed of the powerful corporations who control the nation.

OR

2.) Democrats realize that they have to change their plan and instead, adopt single payer, because it is a sure bet to work. (The plan being cooked up to keep us enslaved to insurance companies is a sure bet NOT to. Their model is one that guaranteed to fail us on affordability. Otherwise, the Senate wouldn't have to keep sneaking changes into it and then removing them (only) when they get caught.)

To do this RIGHT, American patriots bring in seasoned experts like William Hsiao, distinguished professor of economics at the Harvard School of Public Health, an American who has Asian roots, who managed the rapid adoption of single payer for the government Taiwan, a nation of 70 million people, a quarter of the size of the US, population wise. Taiwan started out with 45% of their population uninsured, and in a year, they had 95% coverage. Now their system is world class, with almost full coverage (Taiwanese living outside of the country comprise most of the still uncovered 1%)

The new panel would be composed of experts in public health and medicine with experience implementing national healthcare plans that have worked to make affordable healthcare available to everybody in at least one other successful nation, who have no financial ties to healthcare related industries.

Laws are passed making the new healthcare system independent of political winds and assuring it an independent source of financing.

Upfront, since this is what Americans overwhelmingly want, the new system will be paid for wholly by taxes, and everybody in the nation is enrolled in it automatically. All doctors become part of the network. Extra fees are prohibited, and funding is set at a level that assures that doctors are satisfied. The system becomes much simpler because the needs for billing complexity is dramatically reduced. All of the government run healthcare systems are merged into the new national system, and immediately, the costs to doctors and other providers for billing falls dramatically. Patients are suddenly notified of health options that they didn't know existed, because of physician gag clauses. Hundreds of thousands of people find that they were misdiagnosed during the "six minute years" as the past begins to be known as (six minutes being the average length allotted to a doctor visit by the now exposed HMOs)

Americans agree, IT HAD TO BE DONE. Experts are invited from around the world to the United States to help us, and they gladly agree to. The entire world rejoices that the United States' long national nightmare is finally over.

By November 2010, the new system is in its early phase of adoption and already, everyone in the US has access to basic healthcare and things are running smoothly. The overall health of Americans improves rapidly, like it did in the UK and Canada. Laws are passed requiring medical research to focus more on cures, not simply expensive treatments. Drug companies are put on notice that they must serve the public interest. Scores of scientists come forward with news of cures that were discovered in research but suppressed by their employers. The information is placed in the public domain and a Federally funded corporation is begun to make them widely available at low cost. Hiding or attempting to suppress cures to diseases is made a Federal crime. Centers of excellence to eliminate chronic diseases, not merely treat them, are set up. A Renaissance occurs in the sciences.

Suddenly, an entire generation of young people forsake majors like law and investment banking and decide to become scientists, mathematicians and engineers, seeing that there is a future in expanding the sphere of knowledge that makes a difference to humanity. The manned space program is revived with money suddenly flowing into the Federal Treasury from increased tax revenue due to the revitalized economy. Unemployment drops below 5% for the first time in over a decade.

Both Democrats and Republicans are happy, with satisfaction at the new changes running at well over 90%, a first in the history of poll-taking.

Even the neocons are happy because the high rate of expenditures on the military can continue, unabated.

Even the one sixth of one percent of the workforce who worked for health insurance companies are happy because they have all found great jobs in the resultant boom, the sudden expansion of the economy post nightmare, and of course, while changing jobs, they didn't have to worry about health insurance, as nobody does any more. Disaster is averted and faith in the system is restored. Calamity, an implosion of the economy, and civil unrest is averted. The chances for world peace are greatly improved and the Union of Concerned Scientists sets back their Doomsday Clock by half an hour.

Americans purchasing power is restored to 1990s levels. Obama is hailed as a great President for recognizing and doing the right thing, despite a huge amount of pressure on him to sell Americans out.

As people gradually realize how close America came to the abysss, they thank God that the Democrats saw the importance of common sense and abandoned their embrace of an industry that was singlehandedly sucking the nation dry.

It was simply time to move on.

Originally posted to Andiamo on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 07:56 AM PST.

Poll

Is the logic compelling - the Dems have ONE CHANCE to change healthcare, NOW, and it needs to be IMMEDIATE and KNOWN TO WORK- we cannot risk failure or delay-

70%57 votes
13%11 votes
16%13 votes

| 81 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    Everybody is automatically enrolled in Canada's health plan. You don't "miss a payment" because THERE ARE NO BILLS.

    by Andiamo on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 07:56:48 AM PST

  •  Put down your crack pipe.,,, (9+ / 0-)

    and move away from the keyboard..I appreciate the sentiment but it's not going to happen.

    "I once had an awkward moment just to see how it feels."

    by irate on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 08:00:59 AM PST

  •  Newt Gingrich quote... (11+ / 0-)

    does not equal GOP pledge.

    Even with an exclamation point (!)

    Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes it rains.

    by gooners on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 08:03:17 AM PST

  •  We're doomed (9+ / 0-)

    doomed, I tell you.

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 08:04:28 AM PST

  •  You forgot one rational option (5+ / 0-)

    they could implement the program early.  That will give people time to get used to it.  

    I would love a single payer system, but this is probably not going to happen in our life time.

    •  Well Or You Could Acknowledge The Reality That (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright, Sleepwalkr, ETF

      If the GOP ran the table in 2010, they couldn't do it anyway.

      By the time they get a shot at the President, the parts of the bill that have been implemented will have covered more Americans and lowered health care costs.  Let's see them run on stopping it.

      Hell we might have a trigger PO by then.  :)

      You disagree with his conclusion that Obama is a boot licker...give examples where this can be shown to be false. -- Dumbest Poster in dKos History

      by TooFolkGR on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 08:11:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So I guess you should have picked the third choic (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Phoenix Woman

        e on the poll.. Go ahead, go back and pick it.

        Everybody is automatically enrolled in Canada's health plan. You don't "miss a payment" because THERE ARE NO BILLS.

        by Andiamo on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 08:13:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I Oppose Surrendering Dorothy (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sleepwalkr, EdgedInBlue

          She's our only hope against the Witch!

          You disagree with his conclusion that Obama is a boot licker...give examples where this can be shown to be false. -- Dumbest Poster in dKos History

          by TooFolkGR on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 08:15:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  They wont implement the program early (0+ / 0-)

            because as soon as they DO implement it, its going to become painfully obvious that it was a waste of years of our time, because MOST AMERICANS WON'T BE ABLE TO AFFORD IT.

            So, I and many others repeatedly have pointed out that the real goal, or payload, or purpose, of this bill seems to be less the bill's contents, and more the BUILT IN DELAY OF FIVE YEARS.

            Why? I don't know. But, we already know from COBRA and SCHIP that Americans can't afford these kinds of prices so badly that even if their lives depend on it, they can't come up with this extra money. They just don't have that stability in their lives any more.

            Thanks to Washington, largely.

            Everybody is automatically enrolled in Canada's health plan. You don't "miss a payment" because THERE ARE NO BILLS.

            by Andiamo on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 11:02:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I do believe the GOP is worse than (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis, TooFolkGR, Sleepwalkr

          the DEMS.  Hence GWB, Cheney, Rummy, Gonzo, Brown, et al. I just think we can get better candidates, better healthcare, and the goofy teabaggers will choke on their --- teabag.

      •  Could be. There are all sorts of senerios. (4+ / 0-)

        We can save 2010 by improving the job outlook.

        •  That we could (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis, TeddySanFran

          If there was anything being done or planned to actually improve the job outlook.

          Visit http://theuptake.org/ for Minnesota news as it happens.

          by Phoenix Woman on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 08:50:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  aren't they cooking up a jobs bill? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mouser68

            sure were the last I checked...

            "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

            by TheHalfrican on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 09:45:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  They better get it rolling to save us in 2010 (0+ / 0-)

              Once people are working, they will be less inclined to vote with rage and fear.

              •  The ONLY way to increase employment dramatically (0+ / 0-)

                IS THE WAY THAT I EXPLAINED IN THE DIARY.

                But nothing can or should stop the trend towards the replacement of grunt work. Humans are not made to do many kinds of jobs. Its a waste.
                We need to make a national committment to educate America, NOT with the only goal being employment in the soon to be automated factories.. Thats a mistake because it wont happen.

                TO BETTER THE HUMAN CONDITION. We can't tell people WHAT to do with KNOWLEDGE, we just have to have faith that knowledge is a FORCE MULTIPLIER that makes humanity healthier and safer in the universe. We should eliminate hunger. Why? Because WE CAN and its NOT HARD.  All it would take is for the developed world to eat a little less meat.

                Those high wage, low skill jobs will never come back.

                We should just adjust to the changes and acknowledge them. We could accept that mandating shorter work weeks, longer vacations and lowering retirement ages are just stopgap measures at best. Accept that 10, 20 years from now, what currently passes for an MS will be what a high school education was 20 years ago. The bare minimum for ones employment. And that machines will do 95% of the jobs that people do now.. (People will do lots of new jobs, though, so we wont have 95% unemployment.. But we could easily have 75%)

                SO

                The way to insure America's continued economic relevance is to invest those zillions of dollars we are pouring into dumb bombs and insurance company CEOs into EDUCATION and health care for our people INSTEAD.

                Let other countries defend themselves.

                THEY CAN AFFORD IT.

                WE Can't

                Everybody is automatically enrolled in Canada's health plan. You don't "miss a payment" because THERE ARE NO BILLS.

                by Andiamo on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 11:19:14 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Thats the main theme in the diary.. (4+ / 0-)

      Real change, implemented in the same amount of time that it took Taiwan. We CAN do it. And we already know it WORKS, from lots of other nations experience.

      Could it be any more obvious? We really don't have any choice in this matter.

      Following the lemmings into the black pit of continued healthcare thievery is political suicide for the Dems. Do they want to become the modern day equivalent of the Whigs?

      Because nobody with half a brain will ever cast another vote for them again.

      Everybody is automatically enrolled in Canada's health plan. You don't "miss a payment" because THERE ARE NO BILLS.

      by Andiamo on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 08:12:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Choices (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Phoenix Woman, nandssmith
        We CAN do it. And we already know it WORKS, from lots of other nations experience.

        Sure.

        We really don't have any choice in this matter.

        I disagree here.  We have a choice, alright.  We can choose to implement a less effective and more expensive alternative that ends up hurting Democrats in future elections.

        That's a choice.  And it's the preferred choice of the folks running the administration.

        Progressives need to make a choice to stop the Baucus Bill and force healthcare into the reconciliation process so we can get something approaching genuinely good healthcare legislation.

  •  Y'know, the Godwin does not help your argument. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Walt starr, Samer, Burned, TooFolkGR, mouser68

    And I say that as someone who'd be considered close to your position.

  •  Little did I know that when I opened this diary (7+ / 0-)

    I would be entering...

    The Twilight Zone

    In the U.S., owning a gun is a right but having a bullet removed from your abdomen is a privelege.

    by Walt starr on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 08:09:37 AM PST

  •  GOP will still be powerless (0+ / 0-)

    For the GOP will never be able to achieve the 60 votes in the Senate (unless traitors like Lieberman, Lincoln, and Nelson help)

    •  You just DON'T GET IT. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TeddySanFran

      But you WILL.

      Everybody is automatically enrolled in Canada's health plan. You don't "miss a payment" because THERE ARE NO BILLS.

      by Andiamo on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 08:14:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The GOP Will Use Reconciliation.... (6+ / 0-)

      ....just like they always used to when they were in the majority before.  Only Democrats are too gutless to use when reconciliation when they have a majority.

      •  and President Obama can VETO (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cedwyn, TooFolkGR, Sleepwalkr

        Just like Bu$h did.

        •  Vetoes can be overridden (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nandssmith

          And with the GOP likely picking up a few Senate seats next year, that becomes more of a threat.

          Visit http://theuptake.org/ for Minnesota news as it happens.

          by Phoenix Woman on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 08:48:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  to a 2/3rds majority? - not bloody likely (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            happy camper, Sleepwalkr

            no remuneration was received by anyone for the writing of this message

            by ItsSimpleSimon on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 08:53:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  2/3 of all Americans WANT Medicare for ALL (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Margot, TeddySanFran

              THEY WANT SINGLE PAYER.. and THINK THEY ARE ABOUT TO GET IT!

              They are NOT going to be happy when they realize the switcharoo being cooked up for them.

              Deal with it!

              From Two-thirds of Americans support Medicare-for-all (#3 of 6) (an article on the Physicians for a National Health Plan web site. This article shows clearly that POLL AFTER POLL SHOWS THAT THE SUPPORT THAT EXISTS IN THIS COUNTRY FOR HEALTH REFORM IS FOR A SINGLE PAYER SYSTEM. Also, VERY arguably, the not-so-great Deceivers (i.e. politicians) have repeatedly "sold" their proposals BY TRYING TO CONFUSE THEM WITH SINGLE PAYER.)

              READ THIS

              The more they know about single-payer, the more they like it

              In this paper (Part 3 in a six-part series) I will present data from polls that ask about single-payer, and then inquire why some polls show landslide majorities for single-payer and some do not. We will find a clear pattern: Polls that convey more information tend to report higher levels of support than polls that convey little information, and polls that convey accurate information tend to report more support than polls that convey inaccurate information.

              Table 1 lists 14 poll questions taken from 11 polls conducted over the last two decades which used the phrase "single payer" and/or referred to an existing single-payer system (Medicare, for example). All 14 questions found majority support for single-payer.

              Three of these polls (representing one question each) were limited to doctors. I have included these physician surveys to debunk the false impression (created primarily by the American Medical Association) that the average doctor is opposed to single-payer. The three polls shown in Table 1 indicate that support among doctors is about 60 percent.

              Table 1 indicates that public support for single-payer ranges from a low of 50 percent to a high of 69 percent. I have divided the polls of the general public into those that found support levels at 60 percent or higher (eight questions) and those that found levels in the 50-to-58 percent range (three questions).

                 Table 1: Polls indicating majority support for single-payer

                 .....................................................................For single-payer........Opposed to single-payer

                 General public: Polls in which support is 60 percent or higher

                 Harvard University/Harris (1988)(a)........................61%..............not asked
                 LA Times (1990)(b)....................................................66%.............not asked
                 Wall Street Journal-NBC (1991)(c)............................69%................20%
                 Wash Post-ABC News (2003)(d)................................62%.............not asked
                 Civil Society Institute (2004)(e).................................67%.................27%
                 AP-Yahoo (2007)(f).....................................................65%..............not asked
                 Grove Insight (2009)(g).............................................64%.................28%
                 Grove Insight (2009)(g).............................................60%.................27%

                 General public: Polls in which support is below 60 percent

                 AP-Yahoo (2007)(f).....................................................54%...................44%
                 Kaiser Family Foundation (2009)(h)..........................58%...................38%
                 Kaiser Family Foundation (2009)(h)..........................50%...................44%

                 Doctors

                 New Eng J Med (medical school faculty and students) (1999)
                 .....................................................................................57%...... ..........not asked
                 Arch Int Med (doctors) (2004)....................................64%................not asked
                 Minnesota Med (doctors) (2007).................................64%................not asked

                 (a) The question asked by the Harvard University/Harris poll was described in the Health Affairs article reporting the results as follows: "The majority of Americans (61 percent) state they would prefer the Canadian system of national health insurance where ‘the government pays most of the cost of health care for everyone out of taxes and the government sets all fees charged by hospitals and doctors....’" An analogous question posed to Canadians found that only 3 percent of Canadians said they would prefer the American system.

                 (b) The question asked by the Los Angeles Times poll was: "In the Canadian system of national health insurance, the government pays most of the cost of health care out of taxes and the government sets all fees charged by doctors and hospitals. Under the Canadian system – which costs the taxpayers less than the American system – people can choose their own doctors and hospitals. On balance, would you prefer the Canadian system or the system we have here in the United States?" Sixty-six percent chose the Canadian system and 25 percent chose the US system.

                 (c) The question asked by the Wall Street Journal-NBC poll was: "Do you favor or oppose the US having a universal government-paid health care system like they have in Canada?"

                 (d) The Washington Post-ABC News poll asked: "Which would you prefer – (the current health insurance system in the United States, in which most people get their health insurance from private employers, but some people have no insurance); or (a universal health insurance program, in which everyone is covered under a program like Medicare that’s run by the government and financed by taxpayers?)" Thirty-three percent preferred the current system while 62 percent preferred the "universal system."

                 (e) The Civil Society poll asked: "Other major nations, such as Canada and England, guarantee their citizens health insurance on the job, through government programs, or via a nonprofit source. Would it be a good or bad idea for the United States to adopt the same approach to providing health care to everyone?"

                 (f)The AP-Yahoo poll asked two questions. One asked respondents which of these two proposals they agreed with: (1) "The United States should adopt a universal health insurance program in which everyone is covered under a program like Medicare that is run by the government and financed by taxpayers" (65 percent chose this option); (2) "The United States should continue the current health insurance system in which most people get their health insurance from private employers, but some people have no insurance" (34 percent chose this option). The second question was: "Do you consider yourself a supporter of a single-payer health care system, that is a national health plan financed by taxpayers in which all Americans would get their insurance from a single government plan, or not?" (54 percent said they were supporters of single-payer and 44 percent said they were opposed).

                 (g) The Grove Insight poll asked two questions. One asked: "Federal leaders are considering expanding Medicare to all Americans, so that people have another option besides private health insurance or an HMO. Do you favor or oppose the creation of this type of public health plan option?" (64 percent said they favor this proposal). A very similar question was asked which differed from the first by including information on the financing mechanism: "There is proposed federal legislation that gives any American, regardless of age, the option of joining the Medicare program. Americans who choose this option would share the cost of the coverage with their employer through increased Medicare payroll deductions, instead of paying private health insurance premiums. Do you favor or oppose this legislation?" (60 percent favored it and 27 percent opposed it). Both questions, especially the second one, imply private insurers will continue to exist alongside a Medicare program open to all. But the questions are so similar to questions that clearly ask about Medicare-for-all systems that I decided to include them here.

                 (h) The Kaiser Family Foundation poll asked: "Now I’m going to read you some different ways to increase the number of Americans covered by health insurance. As I read each one, please tell me whether you would favor it or oppose it.?" This was followed by eight proposals which, with the exception of the question about the "public option," were asked in a random order (the "option" question was always asked at the end). Two of these questions asked about single-payer. The first read: "Having a national health plan in which all Americans would get their insurance through an expanded, universal form of Medicare-for all." Fifty-eight percent said they favored this proposal while 38 percent said they opposed. The second read: "Having a national health plan – or single-payer plan – in which all Americans would get their insurance from a single government plan." Only 50 percent favored this proposal while 44 percent opposed.

                 For sources see Table 2 below.

              If we examine the questions posed by all the polls of the general public, one difference between the two sets of poll questions jumps out immediately: The questions that generated levels of support at 60 percent or higher mentioned one of three existing single-payer programs – the Canadian system, the British system, and the US Medicare program. (I have bolded the words referring to these systems in the poll questions, which are presented in the footnotes to Table 1.) In other words, those questions didn’t just rely on the phrase "single payer," a phrase most people do not understand.

              On the other hand, the three questions that prompted support in the 50-to-58-percent range used the phrase "single-payer" but did not refer to an existing single-payer system or program. The second AP-Yahoo question, for example, merely asked respondents if they considered themselves to be "single-payer supporters." Fifty-four percent said yes to that question, which was substantially below the 65 percent who indicated in the same AP-Yahoo poll that they supported a system of universal coverage "like Medicare." These two AP-Yahoo questions taken together suggest that merely using the term "single-payer" and not comparing it to Medicare will cut roughly 10 percentage points off the support level for single-payer.

              It might be argued that the second AP-Yahoo question shown in Table 1 produced a relatively low single-payer support rate (54 percent) because it also mentioned the words "taxpayers" and "government." But that argument doesn’t work. All but one of the other questions that produced support levels of 60-percent or higher also mentioned "government" and "taxes." The difference is they also mentioned an existing single-payer system or program.

              Apples-to-aardvarks comparisons also reduce support for single-payer

              The two questions in Table 1 posed by the 2009 Kaiser poll (see question 13, page 8), which showed 58 and 50 percent support for single-payer, reveal another factor that seems to influence poll results – a factor I’ll call the "line-up effect." The Kaiser poll asked about single-payer as well as a half-dozen other proposals without indicating what effect each proposal would have on costs, the number of uninsured, and freedom to choose one’s doctor, to name just a few of the variables most people would be interested in. By contrast, the polls listed in the 60-percent-or-higher category did not present single-payer in a line-up with other proposals; they simply asked whether respondents would support a single-payer system, or they contrasted single-payer with the current system. The "line-up effect" generated by the Kaiser polls would be minimized or eliminated in a citizen jury experiment because the jury would have plenty of time to inquire about the relative effectiveness of the competing proposals. Respondents to polls don’t have that luxury.

              The 2009 Kaiser poll began with this announcement:

                 Now I’m going to read you some different ways to increase the number of Americans covered by health insurance. As I read each one, please tell me whether you would favor it or oppose it.

              Notice the phrase, "different ways to increase the number of Americans covered by health insurance." It implies the "different ways" have all been shown by research to work, and perhaps to reach roughly similar results.

              This question was then followed by a description of eight proposals, including "expanding Medicare to people between the ages of 55 to 64," "offering tax credits to help people buy private health insurance," and "requiring all Americans to have health insurance."

              This "line up" method of asking about support for single-payer is by no means fatal, but it does appear to reduce the pro-single-payer response rate by somewhere in the range of 5 to 10 percentage points. The Kaiser question that produced 58 percent support asked about "having a national health plan in which all Americans would get their insurance through an expanded, universal form of Medicare-for all." Because this question did not mention taxes and government, you might think more than 58 percent of Americans would have said they favored this proposal. After all, when other polls that do not put single-payer in a line-up but do compare single-payer to Medicare and do mention "government" and "taxes" (see the upper half of Table 1), more than 60 percent indicate their support. The fact that only 58 percent of Americans responded favorably to this question from Kaiser – a question that does mention Medicare but mentions neither "taxes" nor "government" – begs for an explanation. It is reasonable to hypothesize that the explanation is the "line up" context in which the question was asked.

              The second Kaiser question listed in Table 1, the one that produced only 50 percent support, contained a double whammy. Like the first Kaiser question, it used the line-up method; unlike the first question, it failed to compare single-payer with Medicare or another single-payer system. This suggests that the cumulative effect of the line-up method plus failure to compare single-payer to Medicare can diminish support for single-payer by about 15 percent.

              Perhaps an analogy will help. Imagine if you were asked to indicate whether you "favored or opposed" six "ways to lose weight," and the "ways" ("ways" is the noun Kaiser uses) ranged from the truly effective (for example, exercising for half an hour a day) to the barely effective (for example, weight loss pills or drinking more water). Imagine furthermore that the pollster gave you no information at all on the effectiveness of the various "ways" nor on their side effects. It seems likely that many respondents could be lulled into thinking all the "ways" are roughly equivalent in effectiveness and that respondents would, therefore, give less support to the effective methods of weight loss in response to this type of "line up" question than they would if they were simply asked, "Do you support exercise as a means of weight loss?"

              Let me offer one more example of the use of the line-up method in a poll about health care reform, this one the July 2009 poll by Time Magazine. Time posed questions about seven different proposals that began with the phrase, "Would you favor or oppose a health care bill that...?" The implication of the phrase "a health care bill" is that members of Congress and experts in general think all of the proposals the respondent is about to hear will ameliorate the health care crisis to some degree, perhaps to the same degree. The single-payer question read:

                 Would you favor or oppose a health care bill that creates a national single-payer plan similar to Medicare for all, in which the government would provide health care insurance to all Americans?

              Forty-nine percent favored single-payer, 46 percent opposed it. Like all the poll questions shown in Table 1 that showed support for single-payer in the 60-to-70-percent range, the Time question mentioned Medicare and "government." (Oddly, unlike the high-scoring poll questions in Table 1, the Time question didn’t mention "taxes.") You might think, then, that the Time poll would have produced a level of support for single-payer in the sixties. The fact that it produced only a 49 percent "favor" rating suggests, again, that something about the "line up" format reduces support for single-payer by about 10 percentage points.

              To sum up this section: Polls that ask reasonably informative questions about single-payer show that somewhere between 60 and 70 percent of Americans support single-payer. This level of support can be reduced into the 50-to-60 percent range by two methods: Asking about "single-payer" without comparing single-payer to Medicare or the systems of Canada or the UK; and inserting the question about single-payer in a list of a half-dozen other proposals without warning respondents that the non-single-payer proposals, especially incremental proposals like tax credits, will have effects that are quite different from the single-payer proposal.

              Two more examples of polls that convey too little information

              To explore further the hypothesis that vagueness in poll questions diminishes support for single-payer, consider polls that are even vaguer than the polls in Table 1 that use "single payer" but offer almost no details about it. Let’s examine three polls that did not use the phrase "single payer" and offered no details about how the proposed "government" program would work.

              In Part 2 of this series, I described a CBS poll conducted in June and August 2009 which asked:

                 Do you think the government would do a better or worse job than private insurance companies in providing medical coverage?

              This question has the ring of a single-payer question, but it leaves numerous important questions unanswered, including whether the program in question would provide coverage to everyone and whether "provide" means cover people directly or give them subsidies so they can buy coverage from insurance companies.

              We saw that when this question was asked in June 2009, 50 percent said "the government" would do a better job, but when this question was asked in late August 2009, only 36 percent said "the government" would do a better job. Does this CBS poll contradict the more precise polls listed in Table 1 that found two-thirds support for single-payer?

              The answer is no. The CBS poll conveys so little information about how "the government" would do the "job" of "providing medical coverage" that it isn’t even clear if this question was meant to be about single-payer. In the context of the current debate, Americans are much more likely to think the question refers to the Democrats’ 2009 "reform" bills, which require Americans to buy health insurance from insurance companies, than to single-payer legislation. The sharp drop in support for "the government" in the CBS poll between June and August is evidence that the highly publicized town hall meetings held in August to discuss the Democrats’ bills influenced responses to the poll, which in turn indicates many respondents thought the question was about the Democrats’ legislation, not HR 676 (the single-payer bill introduced in the House of Representatives) or S 703 (the Senate single-payer bill).

              We see a similar problem in the following question, contained in both a CBS/New York Times poll and a Harvard School of Public Health poll, conducted over several decades:

                 Do you favor or oppose national health insurance, which would be financed by tax money, paying for most forms of health care?

              Like the phrase "government providing medical coverage" in the CBS poll, the phrase "national health insurance" in this poll could mean government financing of universal coverage through a single-payer system or through a multiple-payer system. If you look at Exhibit 1 on page 35 of this article from Health Affairs, you’ll see that between 1980 and 2000 the percent of respondents saying they favor "national health insurance" ranged between 46 and 66 percent. The vagueness of the phrase was unquestionably a significant reason why support fluctuated so much.

              Another way to diminish support for single-payer: Convey inaccurate information

              In addition to conveying vague information about single-payer there is, of course, another time-tested method of diminishing support for it, and that is to convey inaccurate information about it. This can be done explicitly and implicitly. It can be done explicitly by, for example, asserting in the question that single-payer systems raise taxes but do not lower premium payments and out-of-pocket costs. We have already seen one example of how reducing support for single-payer with inaccurate information can be done implicitly – by inserting the single-payer question into the middle of several other proposals, including incremental proposals such as tax credits for small employers, without warning respondents that the proposals have very different benefits and side effects.

              Since 2001, the Gallup poll has been asking this explicitly misleading question (apparently each November):

                 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? (emphasis added)

              "Government-run health care system" has garnered somewhere between 32 and 41 percent support since 2001 (while keeping the "current system" has attracted the support of 48 to 63 percent). But this poll is so biased it is irrelevant to the current debate. The problem here is the use of the phrase "health care" three times instead of "health insurance."

              The government does not "run health care" under single-payer systems (or any other system currently under debate in the US, for that matter). Under single-payer systems, clinics, hospitals, and makers of drugs and equipment that are privately owned today would remain in private hands. What the government will "run" in a Medicare-for-all system is health insurance, not health care. The latter phrasing conjures up nightmares of a gigantic government HMO in which the federal HMO owns all the clinics and hospitals and government bureaucrats decide whether you may have the surgery you and your doctor think you need or whether you must take Lipitor when your doctor prescribed Crestor.

              Everybody is automatically enrolled in Canada's health plan. You don't "miss a payment" because THERE ARE NO BILLS.

              by Andiamo on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 10:29:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  2/3s? Are you really that paranoid? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Samer, Sleepwalkr

            Give me a break. When was the last time the Republican Party had a 2/3s majority in EITHER House of Congress? The 1880s?

  •  I doubt Dems would be that smart! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoenix Woman, nandssmith, caduceus4

    they have been unconscious now for too many years.

    Never walk into a public restroom while breathing through your mouth.

    by quityurkidding on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 08:14:11 AM PST

  •  Sexus Demens Hoc, Ergo Procter Hop (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sleepwalkr, ETF, marabout40

    "I'm fuckin' crazy, therefore this is what's going to happen next."

    You disagree with his conclusion that Obama is a boot licker...give examples where this can be shown to be false. -- Dumbest Poster in dKos History

    by TooFolkGR on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 08:14:29 AM PST

  •  They will certainly win? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TooFolkGR, ericlewis0, caduceus4

    No.

    "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 Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 08:24:17 AM PST

  •  Damned if they do/Damned if they don't (0+ / 0-)

    I find it so counter-intuitive for Dems to find themselves in this snafu right now knowing what they do about their Obstructionist Repukes across the aisle.

    This is precisely why single payer should have NEVER been taken off the table when negotiations began.

    Now the Dems have played right into the GOP's hands on healthcare where we've seen GOPers speaking about the bill and real health care reform the way the Dems should have been.

    Of course, we silence our own internal critics which, realistically, has permitted the Repukes to take away our own lines.

    "If by a Liberal, they mean someone who cares about the welfare of the people, then I am proud to say I'm a Liberal". Ted Kennedy

    by caduceus4 on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 08:37:28 AM PST

    •  The only theories that DO explain this (0+ / 0-)

      are not ones that should be repeated.

      That's why I think the "Dems" should admit 'failure' in forcing America under the yoke (from their feudal masters perspective) and just do the right thing, do what literally 2/3 of America wants, do what the rest of the world knows we should do but clearly, does not expect us to do, because they see us as idiots- and surprise everybody with SINGLE PAYER.

      A world class system that works! It would literally reenergize THE ENTIRE NATION and prevent what will otherwise turn into an UTTER DISASTER for all of us, rich and poor.

      Read some history. The US does not exist in some kind of protected zone in which bad things never happen.

      Please, lets start realizing that the fortunate in a society can't just take and take and not give back indefinitely.

      If the Dems won't or don't do it,
      it STILL will happen, soon.

      THEY JUST WON'T GET CREDIT.

      In fact, their brands will at that point both be very badly damaged...

      Everybody is automatically enrolled in Canada's health plan. You don't "miss a payment" because THERE ARE NO BILLS.

      by Andiamo on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 11:36:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Soon the Repukes will be hailing single payer! (0+ / 0-)

    as the ONLY real means for achieving a good outcome in this healthcare crisis.

    "If by a Liberal, they mean someone who cares about the welfare of the people, then I am proud to say I'm a Liberal". Ted Kennedy

    by caduceus4 on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 08:38:17 AM PST

  •  Most of the taxes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sleepwalkr

    only affect the rich (who vote republican anyway) and the excise tax doesn't affect that many people and is hard to notice. The taxes are not going to be a political problem (with the exception of tea-baggers who think their taxes are  constantly going up even though they were cut from the stimulus)

    •  But just think of how much the rich would SAVE (0+ / 0-)

      on bodyguards, security systems and kidnappings!

      No need for a goon squad to encircle them everywhere they go outside of the gated community.

      VASTLY improved "QOL".

      Everybody is automatically enrolled in Canada's health plan. You don't "miss a payment" because THERE ARE NO BILLS.

      by Andiamo on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 08:51:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Some of the other measures do. (0+ / 0-)

      The cut-backs on FSA and HSA's effect a wide range of income ranges, as do the supposed taxes on "cadillac" health care plans.

      Looks like the "reform" is going to cost me a fair amount of money this year, and we're probably going to have to change insurance policies at the end of the year.

      I could be happier.

      •  They aren't making HSA's mandatory? (0+ / 0-)

        High deductible health plans SHOULD BE ILLEGAL WITHOUT A SUBSTANTIAL HSA where the thousands of dollars saved is banked.. Because otherwise, its a trap because as soon as somebody gets sick, they are buried with bills and zap, miss a payment and lose their insurance.

        So please don't tell me they are pushing HDHPs without the (should be required) HSA

        What are they smoking?

        Are they TRYING to bankrupt people and have them not get ANY health care when they need it?

        HINT: If people can't afford the fee for service plan that covers them adequately (cost >$35,000 a year for a small family) OR a HDHP plus the matching HSA at an adequate amount, maybe we're past the window of time in which private plans would have been able to work for us, and we should be looking at the KNOWN WORKING APPROACHES for countries at that stage - the most moderate of which is single payer, instead?

        Everybody is automatically enrolled in Canada's health plan. You don't "miss a payment" because THERE ARE NO BILLS.

        by Andiamo on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 10:38:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wait, how did you get that out of my comment? (0+ / 0-)

          First of all, there's still no final bill.  The senate and house bills still have be reconciled.  So things could still come out.

          Here's the Senate Bill

          Page 1999 is the part you're looking for, where they cut the maximum you can put in your HSA, causing, at least in my case, a gigantic "doughnut hole" right in the middle of my health coverage.

          Up on page 1997, they strip out OTC medicines from FSA and HSA plans.

          I don't have a direct link, but supposedly this part is also present in the House bill.

          •  Where's the part where good health care becomes (0+ / 0-)

            AFFORDABLE?

            Oh, I missed it?

            They must have misplaced it somewhere???

            Drat!

            TRICKKKKY!

            Everybody is automatically enrolled in Canada's health plan. You don't "miss a payment" because THERE ARE NO BILLS.

            by Andiamo on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 11:49:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I agree with you Andiamo (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nandssmith

    But if you want to get your point across on this blog you're going to have to drop some of the less essential parts. Then you might get some decent commentary.

    Not that I've ever written a diary. :)

    But I do read a whole lot of them and see what style goes over well here.

    The truth is too big to fail. Justice is too big to fail. Peace is too big to fail. - Rusty1776

    by Burned on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 08:50:18 AM PST

    •  StyleS (0+ / 0-)

      Especially with controversial topics.

      The truth is too big to fail. Justice is too big to fail. Peace is too big to fail. - Rusty1776

      by Burned on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 08:53:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Like what? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Burned

      specifically, which parts would you drop?

      Everybody is automatically enrolled in Canada's health plan. You don't "miss a payment" because THERE ARE NO BILLS.

      by Andiamo on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 09:55:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, okay... (0+ / 0-)

        That will result in some Senate Dems getting their wish not to be involved in health reform or politics ever again

        The United States becomes a has-been nation of sick, uneducated, poor and increasingly angry people with nuclear weapons. Politicians aggressively scapegoat any possible reason for the national failure rather than their own stupidity. (Divide and Conquer)

        Otherwise, the Senate wouldn't have to keep sneaking changes into it and then removing them (only) when they get caught.

        Hundreds of thousands of people find that they were isdiagnosed during the "six minute years" as the past begins to be known as (six minutes being the average length allotted to a doctor visit by the now exposed HMOs) Thousands of HMO employees step forward with testimonies about the murder of millions of Americans by bureaucratic conspiracy, and a panel of national reconciliation and truth is set up. Database experts are consulted and records start pouring in, records that the executives had thought were shredded. Some take their own lives.

        Money that is seized from the estates of the pharmaceutical company execs conviced of cure suppression is used to set up centers of excellence to eliminate chronic diseses, not merely treat them.

        A group of insurance company execs is discovered to be plotting his demise but the plot is foiled and they are put on trial and convicted of treason, and sentenced to multiple consecutive life sentences in a Federal penitentiary for hardened criminals in California known for its unpleasantness.

        One of them commits suicide before reporting to prison to begin his sentence. The others attempt to flee the country but are apprehended as they cross the border in a private jet bound for South America.

        And the poll.
        I might have missed something. I'm kind of in a hurry.
        Pretty much all the fun parts. Sorry. :(

        The truth is too big to fail. Justice is too big to fail. Peace is too big to fail. - Rusty1776

        by Burned on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 10:36:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why? This is fiction, remember- (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Burned

          This is fiction.. speculative fiction, based on hypothesis of the possible impacts of a sudden addressing of a need that has become a major factor contributing to the United States's growing problems -

          The point would lose a lot of its basis if those parts were eliminated.

          OTOH, there might be better ways to get those parts across not as starkly... Let me see if I can come up with a good compromise.

          Does that sound reasonable?

          Look, I know that many of the people who go on doing the various pieces of work that makes this whole situation so superficially hopeless go on each day like zombies and they are in their own ways trying to do the best they can any way they know how. they know deep down inside that something isn't right. But they don't know what until somebody tells them something that clicks, and then their first impulse is to REJECT it because it's uncomfortable stuff..

          Its not easy to think outside of the box, unless you were never inside of the box, or unless you are forced to.

          "necessity is the mother of invention"

          But for most of us, knowledge that breaks one's world view presents a threat when we first encounter it.  

          Look, I have no standing to really say this, what I am saying in my diary.. but its just something that I feel very strongly COULD happen.. and I don't want to see good people's effort wasted and millions more sick people dying or remaining sick, for no good reason.

          I think that we could do some incredible things TOGETHER if we were willing to change our attitudes just a little bit.

          The rewards are great for those with the courage to adapt. God smiles on them.

          Politicians should not feel as threatened as they do by real change.

          Its NOT rocket science.. And, there is PLENTY of good money to be made adopting a slightly different new way, in fact, more money than before..

          Most of the biggest economic successes of the last decade in the US were based on a core of new, radical ideas that center around the intentional decision to share some efforts on commmon goals that are to the benefit of all people.

          We just need to change the measures by which we decide what is behavior that should be incentivized SLIGHTLY - do whatever it takes to make THOSE behaviors the ones that get rewarded and the behaviors that hurt people- strongly DISINCENTIVIZED.

          That, to me doesn't sound radical at all, its just common sense.

          Everybody is automatically enrolled in Canada's health plan. You don't "miss a payment" because THERE ARE NO BILLS.

          by Andiamo on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 12:20:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Yeah, right! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sleepwalkr, marabout40

    I don't know what you've been smoking, but I'm pretty sure it's not legal.

  •  Dean has been warning about this... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nandssmith

    ...for months--that if HCR doesn't include benefits that take immediate effect and significantly impact the lives of people, we'll lose big in the upcoming elections and potentially see the reforms undone.

    <snark>But hey, that Howard Dean doesn't know what he's talking about. Just a purist. Just an extremist on the fringes of this health care debate. </snark>

    •  Potentially? (0+ / 0-)

      How could the Democrats NOT lose after lying so awfully to America- for money? Was their margin SO large that they can afford to throw their victory away?

      Did someone PAY them to do this?

      YES, THEY DID.

      Everybody is automatically enrolled in Canada's health plan. You don't "miss a payment" because THERE ARE NO BILLS.

      by Andiamo on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 10:41:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Alternative: Expand Medicare (0+ / 0-)

    I agree that dems have left themselves very susceptible here. Many will be unhappy with the mandates, and with some of the benefits being delayed, it's not at all clear that the positives will outweigh the negatives in the minds of the public over the next few years. It would, quite frankly, be smart for republicans to run on repealing HCR. Just look at the polls. This bill isn't popular.

    Unfortunately, I don't think there's any way this will encourage dems to move to single payer. Not a chance. However, if democrats were smart, they'd at least use the budget reconciliation process to do something like expand Medicare to 55-64. That is very doable via reconciliation, could be put into effect in 2010, would be hard for republicans to campaign on after so many of them have been praising Medicare, and would be virtually impossible for republicans to undo without committing political suicide.

    •  Medicare Expansion (0+ / 0-)

      I concur....if the Dem.s want to make the HCR Bill smell good by November 2010, they need to pass Medicare Buy-In for 40+ year olds this spring via reconciliation.  This would redeem the whole sorry debate.

      •  Unless you are under 40! (0+ / 0-)

        Or a child. Why not insure everybody? I don't get why we have to be divided on this. These traps.. insure these people, but leave THESE OTHER people to be extorted 'freely', all seem like excuses to destroy ALL of the American people's security one way or another.

        This isn't the feudal system.

        Or is it?

        Everybody is automatically enrolled in Canada's health plan. You don't "miss a payment" because THERE ARE NO BILLS.

        by Andiamo on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 09:54:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Expand Medicare to people who have already lost (0+ / 0-)

          I get it..


          Job lock, and loss, isn't a bug, its a feature..

          Well at least Obama isn't sending the younger generation to the farms to waste decades and their educations..like Mao did in China when the economy was stangant.

          Or starting a war in which thousands of innocent lives are lost in order to justify huge raids on the Treasury..

          Oh, oops..

          Everybody is automatically enrolled in Canada's health plan. You don't "miss a payment" because THERE ARE NO BILLS.

          by Andiamo on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 10:48:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  um, taiwan has 23 million people (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Burned, marabout40

    you're off by about 300%. your claim that their single-payer health care system rawks, on the other hand, is 100% accurate.

    surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

    by wu ming on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 09:14:09 AM PST

    •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

      Uh.. Ooops!

      I forget where I read that, sorry, I should have verified it.

      I love Taiwanese films, though..  and THE FOOD....

      Mmmm...

      :)

      Everybody is automatically enrolled in Canada's health plan. You don't "miss a payment" because THERE ARE NO BILLS.

      by Andiamo on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 09:58:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I can haz... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, marabout40, TheHalfrican

    single payer healthcare

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 09:26:06 AM PST

  •  This diary feels like a subtle 'kill the bill'. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marabout40, lovespaper

    And to that I say BLECH! BARF! FAIL! (that could just be me) Cheers.

    I ♥ President Barack Obama

    by ericlewis0 on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 09:26:14 AM PST

  •  Great! (0+ / 0-)

    I love happy endings.

  •  so....is this diary SUPPOSED to be funny or what (0+ / 0-)

    "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

    by TheHalfrican on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 09:48:46 AM PST

    •  No, its 100% serious. (0+ / 0-)

      Its not supposed to be funny at all.

      Its supposed to make people stop drinking their FlavorAid of denial and instead some cool, clean pure water of solid planning, based on a track record of success and with a healthy dose of risk aversion thrown in.

      The Democrats are asking the ENTIRE NATION - who voted for REAL, PREDICTABLE CHANGE, based on what their neighbors in Canada and Europe already have, to INSTEAD be unwitting, potentially IMPOVERISHED and ABANDONED subjects in an MEDICAL EXPERIMENT dishonestly justified by JUNK SCIENCE that is clearly being undertaken without informed consent, and as such, it SHOULD BE ILLEGAL UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW.

      In my opinion financially motivated "human experimentation" that unaffordable "insurance" that cannot in fact insure, for known working SOLUTIONS should be argued to be illegal under international law as the bait ans switch is clearly  being undertaken as part of a war on the people of this country.. Its being undertaken as part of a coordinated plan to steal the remaining savings that was accumulated during America's middle class's golden age, the industrial era. A side effect will be the destroying of America's consumer economy and a ripple effect on millions of businesses that depend on a customer embattled and eviscerated.

      Imagine if some monster was ravaging this nation eating people for their meat. Thats what's happening. But instead of doing everything they can to STOP it, the politicos are sitting down at the table to help themselves to a piece of Mike or Eileen down the street's "wings" or "drumstick".

      Thats why we can't be at the table we are ON it. Being carved up and eaten!

      Everybody is automatically enrolled in Canada's health plan. You don't "miss a payment" because THERE ARE NO BILLS.

      by Andiamo on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 10:18:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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