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Health care defeatism: go the incremental route, but call it universal

DCblogger's picture


If a U.S. model based on private plans were as effective as the Swiss and Dutch systems, it would still leave about 7,600,000 individuals without insurance, which certainly tests the definition of universal. With much higher health care spending in the United States, the premiums for private plans, even with generous subsidies, certainly would test the definition of affordability. U.S.-style private plans, designed to enhance business success by creating patient barriers to care and payment for care, certainly tests the definition of social insurance.

Maybe James Clyburn did let slip the dark secret of the Washington reformers. If we were to continue with only incremental reforms, we would end up with a system that will leave many without insurance, that will leave health care unaffordable for many more, and that will leave in place an industry that takes away health care access and choice to further its own financial interests. Hmmm… Looks like another con job. Go the incremental route, but call it universal.

Also, see stateofdivision's comment over at the Wonk Room.

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Submitted by jawbone on

situation, but, then, says must keep private insurers.

What's your take on this DC?

I had to put off reading your post--Since healthcare is so crucial to so many, I get depressed hearing bad news. This doesn't seem like good news....

“This is our time, we need to move forward, we need to get this job accomplished this year and get the bill to the president,” said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman at a conference sponsored by Families USA…

“The economic times which are so difficult is another reason why we need to do it right away,” he told reporters after his speech. “The health of our economy depends on a great extent on our dealing with the health of our health care system.”

But Mr. Waxman said private insurers would play a significant role in the implementation of universal health coverage, adding that relying solely on a Canadian or European-style single-payer system is unrealistic in the United States.

“Reform in the health care system to achieve universal coverage has to come by building on the system that is in place - adjusting it, improving it to fill the gaps,” he said. “I believe we must have a significant role for private insurance, but I think it’s critically important that we have a public [health care] program alternative.”

What's Obama been saying about his response during one of the debates that health care is a right? Haven't heard much about that lately from him. Just debate words?

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

I think you are confusing Waxman with Conyers.

Increasingly I am convinced we have to look to the states. That is how it was done in Canada, and it may go that way here. That is why we need to insist that the Feds not prevent the states from doing the right thing.

Submitted by jawbone on

Big Insurance is so powerful, if we try to do things by state--and they will play one against the others.

Can we have Hillary now?

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Submitted by gqmartinez on

I'm worried about state efforts for a number of reasons: states can't run deficits and individual states may not have the numbers to significantly increase the pool to lower risk enough (or to seriously bargain for perscriptions). Granted, I haven't looked at the latter at all, but its something that really worries me since states are limited by the deficit problem.

As I've been thinking about the latter problem, though, I've been wondering about multi-state pacts. I don't know if its legal or the logistical problems, but I think I like that approach, if only as a way to entice other states to join such that eventually the Feds will want to step in.

I'm generally paranoid about the deficit issue when it comes to state because I can see some bad actors deliberately trying to thwart the efforts. And since I've yet to see a lasting state approach, I'm concerned. That may nor may not be a legitimate concern, but I don't think saying "its the approach Canada took" is useful, its a much different country in so many ways.

Of course I believe all this should be moot if federal Dems started tying health care to stimulating the economy. Oh, would that Dem leaders (*cough* Obama) really were about big change.