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As I understand it, the GOP has recently presented Pres Obama with a list of requests that they would like him to agree to, so that a new bipartisan debate can begin. The list is below. Personally, I think we have nothing to lose and everything to gain from accepting.

  1. "Assuming the President is sincere about moving forward on health care in a bipartisan way, does that mean he will agree to start over?"
  1. "Does that mean he has taken off the table the idea of relying solely on Democratic votes and jamming through health care reform by way of reconciliation?"
  1. "If the President intends to present any kind of legislative proposal at this discussion, will he make it available to members of Congress and the American people at least 72 hours beforehand?" (should be law, and the time period should be even longer)
  1. "Will the President include in this discussion congressional Democrats who have opposed the House and Senate health care bills?"
  1. "Will the President be inviting officials and lawmakers from the states to participate in this discussion?"



  1. "The President has also mentioned his commitment to have 'experts' participate in health care discussions....(Obviously, not his own Secretary of Health and Human Services, though)

Will those experts include the actuaries at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), who have determined that the both the House and Senate health care bill raise costs?" (He should also invite experts like Harvard's William Hsiao who helped Taiwan successfully transition to single payer)

  1. "Will the special interest groups that the Obama Administration has cut deals with be included in this televised discussion?" (All deals should be made void and a true fresh start should e made that does not result in Americans still paying several times what citizens of other nations pay for drugs)
  1. "Will the President require that any and all future health care discussions, including those held on Capitol Hill, [be televised]?" (That should be required by law)

Now, the 800 lb gorilla in the room is affordability. We absolutely cannot achieve affordability at a high level or even acceptable level of quality without single payer. WE are wasting more than half of the non-government healthcare dollars we spend on insurers, brokers, and billing the insurers, which is an ordeal for providers, and very costly) More than half. Any plan that exists alongside of insurers basically cannot achieve real savings because of that waste's being preserved for the majority.

Ezra Klein suggests that Obama accept, completely on the condition that the legislation be voted on cleanly, without the usual GOP procedural tactics and filibustering. I think that is an excellent tit for tat. This will let everyone save face, and we could end up with a good system, (Many experts on single payer think the US is very well positioned to transform into a world class single payer system because we are younger than many other nations- plus, it would solve all the Medicare problems.. it would solve all the problems..)

HOWEVER the legislators just need a way to claim it was out of their control to their real bosses.

It amazes me that so many people here make it a point of ignoring the most basic facts about insurance and the way it is financed, and especially, ignore the huge lessons from the out of control cost increases in Massachusetts.

The private insurance first, public interest secondary approach that the Dems have tied themselves to is legally higtied. It is doomed to continue increasing in price relative to other nations that negotiate prices directly, and there is every reason to believe that this will necessitate the dumping of the entire thing very soon. Premiums and drug prices, particularly in Massachusetts, have been rising uncontrollably.

Single payer is the only acceptable answer, for both left and right.

Here are some papers from PNHP.. there are many more at the above URL.

  • Business pays less than 20 percent of our nation’s health bill.  It is a misnomer that our health system is "privately financed" (60 percent is paid by taxes and the remaining 20 percent is out-of-pocket payments).
    (Carrasquillo et al. "A Reappraisal of Private Employers’ Role in Providing Health Insurance," NEJM 340:109-114; January 14, 1999)

  • For-profit, investor-owned hospitals (link 11, 22, 33, & 44), HMOs5 and nursing homes6 have higher costs and score lower on most measures of quality than their non-profit counterparts.
    1. Editorial by David Himmelstein, MD and Steffie Woolhandler, MD in the Canadian Medical Association Journal
    2. Devereaux, PJ "Payments at For-Profit and Non-Profit Hospitals," Can. Med. Assoc. J., Jun 2004; 170
    3. Devereaux, PJ "Mortality Rates of For-Profit and Non-Profit Hospitals," Can. Med. Assoc. J, May 2002; 166
    4. Himmelstein, et al "Costs of Care and Admin. At For-Profit and Other Hospitals in the U.S." NEJM 336, 1997
    5. Himmelstein, et al "Quality of Care at Investor-Owned vs. Not-for-Profit HMOs" JAMA 282(2); July 14, 1999
    6. Harrington et al, "Himmelstein, et al "Quality of Care at Investor-Owned vs. Not-for-Profit HMOs" JAMA 282(2); July 14, 1999," American Journal of Public Health; Vol 91, No. 9, September 2001

  • Immigrants1 and emergency department visits2 by the uninsured are not the cause of high and rising health care costs.
    1. Mohanty et al. "Health Care Expenditures of Immigrants in the United States: A Nationally Representative Analysis," American Journal of Public Health;  Vol 95, No. 8, August 2005
    2. Tyrance et al. "US Emergency Department Costs: No Emergency," American Journal of Public Health;  Vol 86, No. 11, November 1996

Originally posted to Andiamo on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 09:40 AM PST.


Does President Obama need to ACCEPT the offer to start the process fresh, TRANSPARENTLY, (all meetings publically viewable on CSPAN) with a good chance of resolving it

43%10 votes
13%3 votes
21%5 votes
8%2 votes
4%1 votes
8%2 votes

| 23 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  OK, so here's how it is. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Annalize5, barkworsethanbite

    Y'all have free speech guaranteed by the constitution, and USSC decisions indicating that entities with money can buy time on the airwaves to amplify the effectiveness of their message.  If speech is persuasive, and amplifiers can be purchased without limits, then it's not "free" speech which determines the political zeitgeist, it's damned expensive speech which does so.  The old chestnut "money is power" is nowhere more true than in the good ol' USA.

    What this means is that American citizens are hog-tied by capitalist ideology.  Americans are the ultimate ideologues, every bit as much so as the stereotypical brain-washed communist.  Everyone's opinions are warped by someone else's money, because what you don't have guaranteed by the constitution is freedom of discussion.  On the map of public opinion are empty areas with nothing but the warning "there be monsters".

    The new sig line is stalled in the sloganeering committee. We apologize for the delay; we want to get it right.

    by peterborocanuck on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 09:56:08 AM PST

    •  Exactly right. See Chomsky "Concision" (2+ / 0-)

      Everyone's opinions are warped by someone else's money, because what you don't have guaranteed by the constitution is freedom of discussion.

      Also, I find it maddening, during Senate hearings etc...a Senator can be right in the middle of a VERY important question of a witness.

      Then comes..bzzzzzzzzzzzz..."Your time is up, Senator".

      Inane and insane.

      •  Noam Chomsky is an unqualified genius. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Annalize5, Andiamo, barkworsethanbite

        The FACT he has been marginalized by US media, despite his obvious and compelling insights, is all the evidence I need to be sure there is way more at work than "the need for concision" in public discourse transmitted widely-  there is an agenda.  Chomsky has a HUGE following globally.  In my mind he is right up there with Marshall McLuhan as an analyst of mass media and culture.  PLUS, more than McLuhan, he is a groundbreaking, brilliant linguist, who's seminal works literally laid the groundwork for the systematic study of language practised today.  Most Americansif they know of him at all, think he's some sort of crackpot, not someone brilliant who merely can't fit the soundbite formula.

        The new sig line is stalled in the sloganeering committee. We apologize for the delay; we want to get it right.

        by peterborocanuck on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 10:21:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]


    Stimulus foes see value in seeking cash

    Jim McElhatton

    Sen. Christopher S. Bond regularly railed against President Obama's economic stimulus plan as irresponsible spending that would drive up the national debt. But behind the scenes, the Missouri Republican quietly sought more than $50 million from a federal agency for two projects in his state.

    Mr. Bond was not alone. More than a dozen Republican lawmakers, while denouncing the stimulus to the media and their constituents, privately sent letters to just one of the federal government's many agencies seeking stimulus money for home-state pork projects.

    The letters to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, expose the gulf between lawmakers' public criticism of the overall stimulus package and their private lobbying for projects close to home.

    "It's not illegal to talk out of both sides of your mouth, but it does seem to be a level of dishonesty troubling to the American public," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

    In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Mr. Bond noted that one project applying to the USDA for stimulus money would "create jobs and ultimately spur economic opportunities."

    He and other lawmakers make no apologies for privately seeking stimulus money after they voted against it and continue to criticize the plan: "I strongly opposed the stimulus, but the only thing that could make it worse would be if none of it returned to the taxpayers of Missouri," said Mr. Bond, who is retiring.

    But watchdog groups say the lawmakers' public talk and private letters don't square, highlighting a side of government spending largely overshadowed by the "earmarking" process. While members of Congress must disclose their earmarks — or pet projects they slip into broader spending bills — the private funding requests they make in letters to agencies fall outside of the public's view.

    "There is a definite disconnect between the public statements and the private letters," said Thomas A. Schatz, president of the nonpartisan Citizens Against Government Waste. "It does seem inconsistent to say you're against the bill but then you want some little piece of it."

    At a televised meeting with the House Republican caucus late last month, Mr. Obama chided GOP lawmakers who, he said, took credit for projects funded by the same stimulus bill they voted against — adding that some were even attending ribbon-cutting ceremonies.

    But the USDA letters also reveal a more discreet way for lawmakers to try to steer money to home-state projects.

    'Misguided spending bill'

    Several Republicans who sent letters to the USDA for home-state projects seeking an infusion of stimulus cash are facing competitive re-election races.

    Rep. Joe Wilson, South Carolina Republican who became famous after yelling, "You lie," during Mr. Obama's addresses to Congress in September, voted against the stimulus. Nonetheless, Mr. Wilson elbowed his way into the rush for federal stimulus cash in a letter he sent to Mr. Vilsack on behalf of a foundation seeking funding.

    "We know their endeavor will provide jobs and investment in one of the poorer sections of the Congressional District," he wrote to Mr. Vilsack in the Aug. 26, 2009, letter.

    "Congressman Wilson's position on the stimulus bill is consistent," said spokeswoman Pepper Pennington. She said Mr. Wilson opposed the stimulus as a "misguided spending bill," but once it passed, he wanted to make sure South Carolina residents "receive their share of the pie."

    On Feb. 13, 2009, Sen. Robert F. Bennett, Utah Republican, issued a statement criticizing the stimulus — but two days earlier, he privately forwarded to Mr. Vilsack a list of projects seeking stimulus money.

    "I believe the addition of federal funds to these projects would maximize the stimulative effect of these projects on the local economy," he wrote.

    Mr. Bennett is up for re-election and facing several Republican challengers. Last month, the conservative anti-tax group Club for Growth announced that it was opposing his nomination for a fourth term.

    "It is absurd to require Utah taxpayers to foot their portion of the bill associated with stimulus spending and then ask them to forgo competing for those funds without the input of their congressional representatives," said Bennett spokeswoman Tara Hendershott DiJulio.

    Also facing a competitive race, Rep. Pat Tiberi, Ohio Republican, in October called the final Democratic stimulus bill "loaded with [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi's grab bag of big spending wishes" and that it "saddles future generations with mountains of debt."

    He struck a different tone in a letter to Mr. Vilsack.

    "While this project is intended to expand rural broadband in Alaska, I understand that the project could support businesses and jobs in communities across the country," Mr. Tiberi wrote, citing one such company in his district.

    A spokeswoman for Mr. Tiberi said he is just fighting for jobs in his district.

    "Congressman Tiberi didn't support the stimulus bill, but when it comes down to parts of the bill that are actually going to support jobs, he's going to come down on the side of supporting businesses and Ohio jobs," Tiberi spokeswoman Breann Gonzalez said.

    Job creation?

    Other Republican lawmakers who wrote on behalf of projects applying for stimulus money don't have any re-election worries anytime soon.

    Before his vote against the stimulus, Sen. Mike Johanns, who took office last year from Nebraska, predicted that "the money would simply never reach the economy."

    A secretary of agriculture under President George W. Bush, Mr. Johanns later told the Grand Island, Neb., Independent newspaper that "it would be hard for me to imagine that we are going to be creating many jobs here." Yet he saw the prospect of at least a few dozen jobs in a letter he later sent to Mr. Vilsack for a home-state project, records show.

    "The proposed project would create 38 new jobs and bring broadband to eight hospitals, five colleges, 16 libraries and 161 K-12 schools," Mr. Johanns wrote.

    E-mails and calls to Mr. Johanns' office were not returned.

    Sen. Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Republican, who easily won re-election in 2008, said of the stimulus, "This is spending, not stimulus."

    In a letter to Mr. Vilsack for a project applying for stimulus money, Mr. Alexander noted, "It is anticipated that the project will create over 200 jobs in the first year and at least another 40 new jobs in the following years."

    Jim Jeffries, a spokesman for Mr. Alexander, said the senator believes his constituents have a right to apply for stimulus funds.

    "Sen. Alexander voted against the stimulus because it was too much spending and too much debt for too little benefit to the economy," Mr. Jeffries said. "Republicans lost that fight and the money will be spent, and because Tennessee taxpayers will end up footing part of the bill, they have a right to apply for the funds."

    Pete Sepp, vice president of the National Taxpayers Union, called that philosophy troubling.

    "It's hard to expect lawmakers to behave like angels when this much money is being airdropped all over the country," Mr. Sepp said. "But the more strident the rhetoric, the worse it looks. For me, with these grants where they're saying a project is going to create a certain number of jobs, it makes you wonder: Do they really believe that? Or is it just part of a cynical cash grab?"

    Getting their 'fair share'

    Ranked among the most conservative members of the House by the American Conservative Union (ACU), Rep. John Linder, Georgia Republican, posted a blog item on his Web site on Oct. 21, stating that recent unemployment figures "only reinforce the fact that the $787 billion 'stimulus' signed into law eight months ago has done nothing for job growth in this country."

    Two weeks earlier, Mr. Linder had sent a letter to Mr. Vilsack backing an application for stimulus money by the Elauwit Community Foundation, records show. With unemployment in Georgia topping 10 percent, "the employment opportunities created by this program would be quickly utilized," Mr. Linder wrote.

    Mr. Linder said the letter doesn't change his staunch opposition to the stimulus.

    "I have opposed every stimulus plan that has come before Congress because it is simply bad policy, but if they pass, the communities in my district which are paying for them deserve to be equally considered in their benefits," Mr. Linder said.

    Another House member who has scored high ACU rankings, Rep. Robert B. Aderholt, Alabama Republican, also voted against and criticized the stimulus.

    "Rather than create jobs or stimulate the economy, this massive spending bill was a laundry list of programs that focused on states with big-city urban communities," he wrote in the Oct. 4 edition of the Daily Mountain Eagle newspaper.

    Three days later, Mr. Aderholt sent a letter to Mr. Vilsack on behalf of a foundation seeking stimulus money to expand broadband services in his district.

    "Congressman Aderholt supported some of the ideas in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, but disagreed with much of it and that's why he voted against it," Aderholt spokesman D.J. Jordan said.

    "Since the bill was passed and became law, the congressman wanted to help a local foundation receive some of the broadband money that otherwise would go to another state."

    Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Alaska Republican, called the stimulus "excessive" and voted against it, though she noted that money in the legislation would benefit her state. She, too, wrote to the USDA to support Alaska projects seeking stimulus funds.

    "I opposed the stimulus bill as did most of my colleagues in the Republican caucus, but it was passed in Congress and signed into law," she said, when asked about her support for project seeking stimulus funds.

    "When constituents come to me asking for support in a competitive application process for funding for broadband expansion, I am happy to support their request. I will always fight to make sure my state gets its fair share of available federal dollars," she added.

    Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, was yet another lawmaker who voted against the stimulus and later backed applications for stimulus money in two letters to the Agriculture Department.

    "If the funds are there, Senator Grassleys going to help Iowa, rather than some other state, get its share," spokeswoman Jill Kozeny said.

    According to records, at least eight other Republicans lawmakers who voted against the stimulus later sent letters to the USDA backing various projects' stimulus applications.

  •  Those over 50 and under 65 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    probably want Rockefeller's S.960 Medicare Early Access Act of 2009:

    A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to provide access to Medicare benefits for individuals ages 55 to 65, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow a refundable and advanceable credit against income tax for payment of such premiums, and for other purposes.

    Annual Premium-

    `(1) NATIONAL, PER CAPITA AVERAGE- The Secretary shall estimate the average, annual per capita amount that would be payable under this title with respect to individuals residing in the United States who meet the requirement of section 1860E-1(b)(1)(A) as if all such individuals were eligible for (and enrolled) under this title during the entire year (and assuming that section 1862(b)(2)(A)(i) did not apply).

    `(2) ANNUAL PREMIUM- The annual premium under this subsection for months in a year is equal to the average, annual per capita amount estimated under paragraph (1) for the year

    Subsidies of up to $300/individual and $600/couple would be available.

    •  I'm worried that the adoption of labor-saving (0+ / 0-)

      technologies may happen much faster than many people think.

      However, we will still need some humans in key positions..for example..

      "The classic aim of automation is to replace human manual control, planning and problem solving by automatic devices and computers. However, as Bibby and colleagues (1975) point out : ‘... even highly automated systems, such as electric power networks, need human beings for supervision, adjustment, maintenance, expansion and improvement. Therefore one can draw the paradoxical conclusion that automated systems still are man-machine systems, for which both technical and human factors are important.’ This paper [Bainbridge’s] suggests that the increased interest in human factors among engineers reflects the irony that the more advanced a control system is, so the more crucial may be the contribution of the human operator."

  •  Bring back Health Care Tuesday at least for now.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This article should lead the way.

    If Single Payer is not at the table of this summit,
    then you forget REFORM.

    Single Payer is the ONLY fiscal and moral solution.

    And btw, here's some information on that Anthem (AKA Wellpoint rate hike and a perfect example of why we need to get insurance out of health care delivery.

    As you may know, many "individual" subscribers to Anthem BlueCross/Blue Shield may see their premiums rise as much as 39%.

    The profitting in the medical-industrial complex hardly ever comes into the discussion of health care reform, but the elephant is there and needs to be dragged out from time to time.

    Here's an article first. Note that Anthem and its connection to profiteer Wellpoint is clearly obscured, mentionned only in the subtext of the title and the last sentence of the article, but no clear information as to its 'market' connection.

    Here is the full historical graph of Wellpoint on yahoo finance. I wish I knew a stock broker that could translate all the information here and let me know number of investors, etc.

    Now over to
    A profile of Wellpoint's giving trends:

    And whom they gave to in 2008:

    Let Single Payer try on the glass slipper too!

    by seastar on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 10:32:40 AM PST

    •  Yo seastar (0+ / 0-)

      We live in a very amoral society.  Not immoral, but a-moral.  Not everyone sees the world in terms of the moral side of an issue, of right and wrong, the way you and I do.  How can we educate them?  How can we make everyone see that it is in everyone’s best interest to be free from the tyranny of the corporate bottom line?


  •  Pete Stark's AmeriCare Health Care Act (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    H.R. 193

    Provides universal health care for all U.S. residents, with additional coverage for children (under 24), pregnant women, and individuals with limited incomes (<300% FPL). Sets out standards for supplemental plans with a focus on consumer protection. Requires the Secretary to negotiate discounts for prescription drugs.</p>

    Benefits: Adults receive Medicare Part A and B benefits; preventive services, substance abuse treatment, mental health parity; and prescription drug coverage equivalent to the BC/BS Standard Option in 2008. Children receive comprehensive benefits and Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) coverage with no cost-sharing.  

    Cost Sharing: There is a $350 deductible for individuals/ $500 for families (indexed over time), and 20% coinsurance. Total spending (premiums, deductibles, and co-insurance) is capped at out-of-pocket maximum of $2,500 individual/$4,000 family (indexed over time), or 5 percent of income for beneficiaries with income between 200 percent-300 percent FPL and 7.5 percent of income for beneficiaries with income between 300 percent-500 percent FPL. There is no cost sharing for children, pregnant women and low-income individuals (below 200 percent FPL). Sliding scale subsidies are in place for cost- sharing for individuals between 200 percent and 300 percent FPL.  

    Financing: At April 15 tax filing each year, individuals either demonstrate equivalent coverage through their employer or pay the AmeriCare premium based on cost of coverage and class of enrollment (individual, couple, unmarried individual with children, or married couple with children). Employers may either pay 80 percent of the AmeriCare premium or provide equivalent benefits through a group health plan (the contribution for part-time workers is pro-rated). AmeriCare does not affect contracts or collective bargaining agreements in effect as of the date of enactment, and employers may choose to provide additional benefits. Employers with fewer than 100 employees have until January 1, 2014 to comply (employees of small businesses would still only pay 20 percent of the premium).

    There is an annual maximum of $1,500 (5% of income) for premiums, co-pays, and deductibles combined for someone making $30,000/year.

    There is an annual maximum of $3,750 (7.5% of income) for premiums, co-pays, and deductibles combined for someone making $50,000/year.  

    This is quick and easy to implement.

    •  As long as insurance industry is involved there.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      will be no real reform.

      For them, patient care is a business LOSS and denial of care = PROFIT.

      See my article above for the Anthem rate hike information.

      Let Single Payer try on the glass slipper too!

      by seastar on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 10:53:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  seastar - once again (0+ / 0-)

        Absolutely Dead Right!  Part of the problem is that, being as I said ‘a-moral’, business does not have the sense to limit its own appetites.  In retrospect, everybody knows the role that greed played in the recent financial meltdown.

        Greed is one of the seven cardinal sins.  The problem is not in the business model, it is in the business executive.  If every business executive was guided by moral principles rather than by greed and selfishness, we would not have the problems that we have today.


        •  You're not understanding (0+ / 0-)

          that as long as the insurers remain involved, EVEN ONLY AS BYSTANDERS, the kinds of bills that are being discussed to keep them there, and public optional, will crash and burn just like Massachusetts is BECAUSE OF HUGE USELESS COSTS.

          WHAT exactly does insurance give us?
          What value do they add? Please, WHAT?

          •  For example, they RAISE THE PRICES OF DRUGS (0+ / 0-)

            Read this paper..

            Foreign free riders and the high price of US medicines

            The US government, backed by the pharmaceutical industry, wants to convince Americans that they're paying more for drugs because they're contributing more than their fair share of the costs of research and development. Not so, argue two researchers who have looked at the evidence.

               *  Other Sections▼
                     o Abstract
                     o Origins of the campaign
                     o The free rider myth
                     o Lower prices do not lead to less research
                     o Europe no less innovative than the US
                     o Misusing economic theory
                     o Conclusions
                     o References

            The United States government is engaged in a campaign to characterise other industrialised countries as free riding on high US pharmaceutical prices and innovation in new drugs.1 This campaign is based on the argument that lower prices imposed by price controls in other affluent countries do not pay for research and development costs, so that Americans have to pay the research costs through higher prices in order to keep supplying the world with new drugs.1,2 Supporters of the campaign have characterised the situation as a foreign rip-off.3 We can find no evidence to support these and related claims, and we present evidence to the contrary. Furthermore, we explain why the claims themselves contradict the economic nature of the pharmaceutical industry.

            Origins of the campaign
            The campaign, strongly backed by the pharmaceutical industry, seems to have started in the late 1990s as a response to a grass roots movement started by senior citizens against the high prices of essential prescription drugs.4 This issue was the most prominent one for both parties in the 2000 elections and has since been fuelled by a series of independent reports documenting that US drug prices are much higher than those in other affluent countries.5-7 The idea that other countries are exploiting the US has led to a hearing of the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and was behind a Department of Commerce report that strongly advocated that other developed countries raise prices on patented medicines.8 But are higher prices really necessary?

            The free rider myth
            We can find no convincing evidence to support the view that the lower prices in affluent countries outside the United States do not pay for research and development costs. The latest report from the UK Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme documents that drug companies in the United Kingdom invest proportionately more of their revenues from domestic sales in research and development than do companies in the US. Prices in the UK are much lower than those in the US yet profits remain robust.9,10.....

            AND SO ON..

            WHAT exactly do insurers give us? (besides denying care) What value do they add BESIDES raising prices SO high that THEY exist? Please, WHAT?

            by Andiamo on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 01:50:21 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Good points they are, Andiamo (0+ / 0-)

            You mention ‘useless costs’.  Just today I heard Catherine Sebelius say that she is going to make them say what those costs are, and why they have to keep raising them.  That’s good news for our side.

            As for what the industry gives us, that question is at the very heart of the healthcare fight.  For the consumer, the healthcare industry is a middleman, a leach, a sponge, a parasite who takes money for nothing.  On Wall Street the healthcare industry accounts for a sizeable (some say as much as 7%) portion of the economy.  A lot of people make a lot of money from the healthcare industry.  It’s one of the larger raffle wheels on Wall Street.  That is its sole benefit.  It makes money for itself.  

            It is the classic fight of Darwinian capitalism against benevolent socialism, just as it was in 1930.

            OK.  Ask something else.


  •  Absolutely agree (0+ / 0-)

    They should take that deal, and then challenge anyone to come up with anything that will net the cost savings that single payer will. That would be fascinating television, and would radically move the "Overton Window" to at the very least, requiring that a public option be put into effect.

    The chances of this happening? _

    •  Neiter side will discuss single payer (0+ / 0-)

      because politician's bread and butter is problems they can repeatedly promise to solve, and never deliver.

      nobody will have any money anyway.

      •  Some politicians are jerks but . . . (0+ / 0-)

        Who elects the politicians, and then walks away and let’s them do any stupid selfish thing they want?  We do, that’s who!  We let them kick cans down the road, procrastinate or block the flow of legislation, lie to us, and cheat us.  The people we are complaining about are people WE elected.  How can we all be so stupid as to re-elect them, or to allow them to continue in office?  It’s because many politicians owe their victories not to the people, but to lobbyists and other campaign funding sources.
        Thanks to the SCOTUS, foreign countries will now be electing politicians.


  •  Obama is going the use the 'summit' with (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans as a cover to kill once and for all the public option and any hopes for any kind of government-run plan, by 'agreeing' to Republican demands to nix reconciliation. Obama's deepest desire in regards to healthcare reform has been to keep the promises he made with the corporate lobbyists many months ago to take a government-run plan of any import off the table. But those darn progressives keep bringing it up, and now with reconciliation looming, it's a real possibility.

    Sooo...resort to tried and trued strategms and bring the Blue Dogs and Republicans to the negotiating table and let them call the shots:

    Nelson calls on Republican to help him avoid reconciliation on health care

    Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., called on his Republican colleagues in the Senate Thursday to work with him to "avert efforts to pass health reform legislation using the truncated reconciliation process."

    "If Republican colleagues are serious about fixing our health care system and want to avoid using the reconciliation process, then I will go to the negotiating table with them," Nelson said. "If Republican senators join me at the table, for health reform rather than use reconciliation, which needs only 50 votes to approve legislation."

    Nelson said all it takes is one Republican to come forward, put partisanship aside, and work on behalf of those that do not have or cannot afford health insurance. "Working together, we can fight to ensure health reform relies on our private market system, rather than the government to reduce the cost of health care and deliver better care for millions of Americans," Nelson said.

    Obama uses 'bipartisan' as a cover to enact a Republican agenda.

    Don't let the awful be the enemy of the horrifically bad.

    by virtual0 on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 11:07:59 AM PST

  •  America is big enough for public and private (0+ / 0-)

    options. If 1/2 of Americans were on a public option, it would still be larger than Canada's system and large enough to produce all the cost savings we all want.

    This would still leave room for those of us who want to keep our private insurance plans.

    If the public option proves superior, everyone on the private plans would eventually switch, leading to a single payer system.

    I am OK with that.

    However, attempting to force a single system down the throats of those who already have good insurance is a recipe for failure.

    HCR can not pass if we are not united, and I can not unite with people trying to fuck me.

    Do you single payer advocates understand that? There are millions of us who want to work with you to bring universal health care to our country -- but, we want to keep our current insurance.

    Work with us and we will be your allies.

    Fuck with us and we will fight you with our every breath.

    Let's work together to give everyone in America great health care -- but leave my care alone.

    •  Who would pay for this huge waste of money? (0+ / 0-)

      Why not give them all healthcare for free? If we simply eliminated the middle-insurers, and took that huge expense spent on billing them and devoted it to CARE we would save HALF, and all could get GREAT care instead of your HMO-style "PreventCare&trad;"

      Look America's money is tied up in defense, and other things. $262 a year per person is it.

      If we want decent care without cutting into that $4500 thats already spent on defense, single payer is the ONLY way.

      Otherwise, Obama promised to veto it.

      WHAT exactly do insurers give us? (besides denying care) What value do they add BESIDES raising prices SO high that THEY exist? Please, WHAT?

      by Andiamo on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 01:31:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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