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So the Catholic Church is up-in-arms about being required to make sure they include birth control coverage if they provide health insurance to people who work in Catholic Hospitals and other religious institutions.

I keep seeing Catholic liberal men, like Mark Sheilds and EJ Dionne, trotted out to call this is a political disaster for the White House.

And I keep seeing research-based responses based onpoll data showing that Americans basically agree with the decision.

But right now the debate misses the point entirely -- which is that there shouldn't even be a debate over this subject at all.

Why? Because Americans shouldn't be relying on their employer for health coverage in the first place.

Every American should be able to get coverage via a single-payer system like Medicare - not have to rely on the whims of an employer.
It's a simple response to this debate. Virtually every other industrialized nation in the world does it roughly this way, and we should, too. it's why you don't see other countries, even highly religious ones, having this absurd debate about how the health of people who work for religiously-connected institutions should be treated under the law.

And here's the kicker: Everyone would love it if we went to something like Medicare-for-All!

- People on Medicare love it. People under 65 would love it, too.

- It would be significantly cheaper. With administrative costs so much cheaper, and bargaining power so much greater, it would save everyone money in the aggregate.

- It would unleash a wave of innovation, as Americans would no longer have to avoid risk and stay in jobs just for the insurance.

- And if an employer doesn't want to provide birth control, they wouldn't have to, because they would no longer be responsible for providing basic health care to the people they employ.

It seems so obvious to me -- the solution is to end the employer-based system and move to a common-sense one where we as a society protect the health of our citizens in the most fair and efficient way possible.

But alas our corporate-controlled media has decided that Medicare-For-All is not within the Overton Window so it can't be discussed, even when it's the obvious solution to this debate.

Too bad because this is a teachable moment - the lesson of this debate is that a system that relies on employer-provided coverage causes serious problems for employers and employees alike. And we'll only solve it if we move to single-payer.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (25+ / 0-)

    "Journalistic conventions make it hard for reporters to deal with a big, complicated lie." -- Michael Kinsley.

    by dcg2 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 10:09:45 PM PST

  •  My biggest dissapointment with Obama (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jacey, glbTVET, jdld, Hockeyray, Odysseus

    is the failure to drive and push, relentlessly, and without compromise, a gradual change over to a basic single-payer system.

    Of course he has my vote, but from where i sit, I just don't think he pushed it 100% (not even 10 % - I honestly think he just gave it lip service)

    "The price of a memory is the memory of the sorrow it brings" Adam Durst/Counting Crows

    by zipn on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 11:17:20 PM PST

    •  Well, I think he is doing that. (5+ / 0-)

      The new rules in health care are setting up situations that will help us morph into single payer. We all want it but it isn't easy to just up and say we are doing it. Millions would lose jobs, the economy would be tanked. It has to be a gradual change over. I can see how PBA is doing it. The ability of the states to set up their state to do it is genius. That will be how we get it.

      And she's good at appearing sane, I just want you to know. Winwood/Capaldi

      by tobendaro on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 03:46:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with you. It's amazing to me that smart (5+ / 0-)

        people cannot understand that if Obama had had the power to decree single payer for everybody (he did not)
        it would have plunged the global economy into depression.
        The fact is that the health care companies are enormous, and they have their tentacles deep into Wall Street, and to send them crashing would have sent the whole economy crashing into the void.
        We are going to have to slowly force the Health Ins Cos to put their money into treatment via the regulation of the medical loss ratio, etc.
        The "individual mandate" is another reason we will eventually get a "public option" and finally, single payer.
        There is evidence that the HI Corps are already moving their investments out of health care.
        We had a dysfunctional Congress, almost totally incapacitated with corruption, and we got a significant start on the necessary reform. It's just the beginning.

        •  I learned all of this (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          during the Clinton fight for universal hc. I wanted it badly as a widow raising three kids and health ins was going through the roof. I thought we would get it and that fight showed me how much our economy depended on that wealth shift. I despaired of our country ever being able to get rid of it and change to the better system. Now I see a path forward thanks to PBO. People are not very smart about all of this. But then people are also desperate and just want help.

          And she's good at appearing sane, I just want you to know. Winwood/Capaldi

          by tobendaro on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 04:44:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Another point (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          David54, Odysseus, Neon Mama

          toward that direction of getting single payer. The birth control ado is going to show us that employers should be off the hook as far as providing coverage goes. Religious tenets should not decide health care coverage for anyone but the consumer who wants to choose to live by them.

          And she's good at appearing sane, I just want you to know. Winwood/Capaldi

          by tobendaro on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 04:54:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  A Lip-Serving Obama (0+ / 0-)

      I find it very refreshing that you are able to contrast the words of Barack Obama with the actions of Barack Obama and come to the conclusion that he is not genuine. That he says one thing and does another. That he is willing to say whatever he thinks people want to hear (to get votes) and then just do whatever the puppet-masters want him to do.

      A very refreshing, and rather rare, moment of clarity!

      If you care about Barack Obama, then you might want to pray for him. He needs our prayers!

    •  Don't get me wrong... (0+ / 0-)

      .. I still give the guy a B+ grade - the ONLY reason I don't give him in A is because when this was a very hot topic, and part of the national dialogue, I didn't see the full weight of the POTUS being used. I would have LOVED to see a righteous rant from be bully pulpit. - I also am glad to see that there is still a possibility that we might one day be able to back door into something like a nation-wide single payer / single risk pool system, but I also think it is a stretch to believe that it was always part of Obama's 11 dimensional chess plan to get it that way. As an example, remember how good Rachael Maddow was at articulating the issue?

      A full on rant about how for-profit health insurance doesn't help ANYONE except the insurance executives, along with a push to get non-insurance corporations to embrace getting out of the health-care business would have been more to my liking. - THEN, if after a real public and repeated effort to push for it it still couldn't make it... then a plan-b would be welcome.

      I personally think that big business is afraid of a SPHC system since it would allow employees who are otherwise trapped in existing positions the freedom to move to other employers without risk of loosing coverage. I think that scares the crap out of the big boys. Smaller companies should, on the other hand, be advocating for it, since it would allow them to compete for best employees even against the mega-corps that (some still) offer decent coverage.

      Just a missed opportunity, but a big one in my book.

      "The price of a memory is the memory of the sorrow it brings" Adam Durst/Counting Crows

      by zipn on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 05:12:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  In fairness (0+ / 0-)

      He was pretty clear about opposing single-payer from the start.

      If you think back, the only policy difference between he and Hillary in the primaries was that his health care plan didn't include an individual mandate. Her critique was that you couldn't get to universal care or hold down costs without getting everyone into the risk pool. Obviously, once he took office he came around, but it's not like he ever promised anything close to Medicare-for-All at any time.

      "Journalistic conventions make it hard for reporters to deal with a big, complicated lie." -- Michael Kinsley.

      by dcg2 on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 05:57:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good policy is good politics. (0+ / 0-)

        We should be promoting the best policies. It's kind of odd to say that someone shouldn't be criticized for being outspoken and stubborn about promoting less than the best.

        -7.75 -4.67

        "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

        There are no Christians in foxholes.

        by Odysseus on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 09:18:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not saying that. (0+ / 0-)

          In fact, I was VERY critical of Obama for not supporting the best policy, even taking up the cause on the site against overwhelming opposition.

          I was just responding to the person who said he/she was disappointed that Obama didn't push for single payer was a hot topic by pointing out there was no reason, based on his campaign, to expect he would.

          "Journalistic conventions make it hard for reporters to deal with a big, complicated lie." -- Michael Kinsley.

          by dcg2 on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 09:37:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  If the Church goes on Fox News and do Politics (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They sent a Priest on with Hannity to rail against our President - why does this not invalidate their Tax Free Status????

    If they want to be a church and pray to god - then be tax exempt. If they want to take their beliefs outside the church then they should pay taxes like everybody else.

  •  Medicare for All sounds so much better than Single (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zipn, dcg2, Yastreblyansky, Odysseus, Neon Mama

    Payer and its probably all we had to do to clinch the deal.

    You can't begin to comprehend how backward this country is until you have spent some time in Europe where they have had Medicare for All since 1948

  •  I thought this too (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zipn, dcg2

    watching coverage of the issue. Then private insurers can offer niche plans, maybe? I hope we get there someday soon.

    "As scientific knowledge advances, it does not mean that religious knowledge retreats." - horse69 on the bnet recon C&C board

    by lonespark on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 04:34:17 AM PST

  •  This is Exactly Right ! Medicare for all ! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Thank you for writing this up.

    We need a universal Medicare program that will efficiently consolidate numerous other federal medical schemes and reduce the burden on states and employers.

    We need to provide basic safety net provisions for everyone, along with a big enthusiastic educational effort that focuses on wellness. Pay for that part of it out of War on Drugs money.

    The private insurance market can compete for "Medicare Supplement" business to cover folks beyond the safety net part of the plan, just as they do for seniors now. That market is relatively efficient and effective. Seniors are protected because the business is well regulated.


  •  Don't forget that we literally could not have (0+ / 0-)

    provided immediate universal healthcare --- because we don't have enough doctors, nurses, clinics to do so.

    Obama's push to cut down the cost to students for education loans is one cog in the wheel toward training enough practitioners.

    Obama's push to let corpsmen and medics get immediate credit for the expensive medical training our taxes already paid for --- will speed up their entry into available medical worker pool. Dumb to have made them repeat it in civilian schools in the first place.

    But if he had promoted the connection to universal care goals, the R's would have squashed these pieces of the puzzle like a bug.

    De fund + de bunk = de EXIT--->>>>>

    by Neon Mama on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 11:53:51 AM PST

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