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I have always been a strong supporter of single payer for our country. I actually believe that, if Obama and his staff had pushed hard for single payer in early 2009, we would have gotten it. That, of course, was a pipe dream considering the President's pragmatic liberalism. Also, I don't think Rahm would have ever allowed something that would so offend the health insurance industry and its lobbyists.

When the House passed their original health care reform bill with a watered-down public option, I was ready to accept that as a severe, but perhaps necessary, compromise. When the Senate gutted the House's bill and not only eliminated the public option, but inserted a private mandate with insufficient subsidies, I was completely in favor of killing the bill then and there.

When our President balked at the idea of watering down the health care reform package to appease Republicans in the Senate, he redeemed himself in my eyes and showed that he does not just listen to Rahm on policy matters. Obama knows that scaling back the health care reform package from the Senate bill would be signaling surrender to the obstructionist Republicans in Congress. The President then decided to push forward with the sidecar plan. While many of us liberals expected a public option to be in the fix bill, we were sadly disappointed - especially after more than 51 Senators came out in favor of a public option in the reconciliation "fix" bill.

The combination of good insurance company regulation (albeit without rate setting authority), improved subsidies for the economically disadvantaged, funding for community health centers, and a semi-permanent COBRA extension, have brought me on board.

The House looks poised to pass the bill and, barring an adverse ruling from the Senate parliamentarian (which should not come to pass, considering that the White House and the House and Senate powers that crafted the reconciliation bill routinely asked for advisory opinions from the parliamentarian), the bill should pass the Senate by 29 March and be signed into law by the end of the month.

As a liberal, however, I believe we need to keep the push on for a strong public option indexed to Medicare rates and opening up Medicare to those 55 and older. Then, we can push for a two-tiered single-payer system.

Originally posted to Erik the Liberal on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 11:20 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  If you care about single payer (0+ / 0-)
      Read this:

      We need single payer, which would give us far better healthcare than mandatory underinsurance, affordably. So much more affordably to make it possible to make free, paying for it with taxes, for less that we spend now.

      The problem, the reason why they are being SO dishonest is GATS, the unseen hand of the GATS agreement on health care GATS is a multilateral, global trade agreement that covers services, that trades access to US markets for access to markets overseas.. Its good for US HMOs and financial service firms in healthcare, because they want to sell overseas, but triggering GATS, as the Senate bill does, by allowing a single, national exchange (multinationals come in- then, triggering a ratchet effect and trapping us, forever)

      THAT IS THE REAL REASON NO PUBLIC PLANS ARE ON THE TABLE, THEY CONTRADICT OUR STATED INTENT TO THE WTO TO ELIMINATE ALL PUBLIC "MONOPOLY PROVIDERS" (Even Medicare may be included in that over broad definition, according to legal scholars)

      Triggering GATS on health care is not at all good for the American people.

      ITS A DISASTER..

      GATS is a very dangerous trap, still untriggered, but the cross state/national exchange in the Senate bill potentially triggers it.

      A legal case in 2005 illustrates the ease at which this treaty is triggered. It can be triggered UNINTENTIONALLY. The case was in online gambling but the situation illustrates the problem. Aruba sued us for not opening our economy to their online gambling services. We argued that we didn't HAVE to. We lost.

      In GATS- there is evidence that the US is basically on the record as saying we will privatize everything, in exchange for foreign markets, including Medicare, in order to allow US corporations to sell services overseas we are risking GATS lock-in that will make single payer and all public plans impossible forever. (Read about GATS's "ratchet effect")

      The Obama administration is doing this song and dance to cover up the real reasons why the US is denying its people affordability, its the WTO and GATS. Canada is honest with their people about these issues, and the potential traps in these treaties, why can't we be honest too?

      The NAFTA-like GATS and its ratchet effect is an potential minefield for public health care! It is SO important that EVERY Democrat needs to read up on it, NOW!

      by Andiamo on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 06:10:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'll push with you, but... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nickrud, Bensonola

    I can't help but question you on this:

    I actually believe that, if Obama and his staff had pushed hard for single payer in early 2009, we would have gotten it.

    You really think that more pushing from Obama would have sold Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln on single payer?

    Cone now.

    •  They could not - GATS prohibits it (0+ / 0-)
      We have committed to eliminating monopoly service providers..

      Read this document (requires OpenOffice (free) or MS Word..

      The gist of it is that the GATS is there in the background but apparently both the Dems and the GOP seem to have decided to pretend it doesn't exist and lead the people on a sort of fake wild goose chase for HCR which they are not able to give us, they have already sold the rights to us, in a sense. But, they can't explain that, as that would provoke change!

      You disagree, you are skeptical. See for yourself!

      The NAFTA-like GATS and its ratchet effect is an potential minefield for public health care! It is SO important that EVERY Democrat needs to read up on it, NOW!

      by Andiamo on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 06:16:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Also seems to have an Employer Mandate (0+ / 0-)

    A $2,000 fine per employee for employers who fail to provide acceptable insurance for their workers makes this bill supportable by myself.  I can accept a mandate only if it makes the employer the primary responsible party for providing the insurance.

    •  Its sort of like that kids game, hot potato (0+ / 0-)
      They keep tossing it around, nobody wants to hold it for even a second, or deal with it.

      The NAFTA-like GATS and its ratchet effect is an potential minefield for public health care! It is SO important that EVERY Democrat needs to read up on it, NOW!

      by Andiamo on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 06:18:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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