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Health Care Now Conference call with Kip Sullivan Monday, February 15, 8PM EST

Health Care Now.

Not to be confused with Jason Rosenbaum's employer, Health Care for America Now. [gag, spew]

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Valley Girl's picture
Submitted by Valley Girl on

I followed your link to Health Care Now. Info is thus:

Join Healthcare-NOW! for a national conference call this Monday, February 15th at 8pm EST for a discussion of the rise and fall of the public option and why improved Medicare for All (HR 676) is still the leading policy solution to our health care crisis. (my underlining)

Featured speakers include:
Kip Sullivan, a member of the steering committee of the MN chapter of PNHP
Kay Tillow, All Unions Committee For Single Payer Health Care–HR 676
Dr. Andy Coates, MD, Capital District chapter of PNHP
Moderator: Katie Robbins, National Organizer, Healthcare-NOW!

Go here to sign up for the call and get the dial-in number and access code. It’s quick and simple.

Yep, I followed the link (underlined but not linked above) and it was quick and simple. (I tried to give the live link but it kept showing up my personal info.)

gag, spew! hehe, Lambert. And, of course, Kip Sullivan is not to be confused with that odious Jason whatizname. *g*

I just can't wait to hear Kip's comments on the rise and fall of THE public option. *g*

Submitted by hipparchia on

i'll even attempt to liveblog it, but if anybody else wants to help out [many thanks to sarah and to valhalla for their help before], or even take over [ir a terrible transkripshunist], that'd be great too.

Submitted by lambert on

... but if you'll live blog, and I can chime in, that would be great (in fact, the more people who are not me who do things, the better!)

Submitted by hipparchia on

and the more the merrier on the chiming in

Submitted by hipparchia on

you can email questions now

discussion now, q&a at end

Submitted by hipparchia on

thanks

Submitted by hipparchia on

kip sullivan -- economics major and law degree, lots of articles on sp

kay tillow == organizes union committees for hr676,

dr andy coates --- pnhp, doctor,

help! cats are helping me type this [their supper is late], so if any PEOPLE want to jump in, please do

Submitted by hipparchia on

in part because its backers were not serious about getting a public option

Submitted by hipparchia on

may or may not have been strong supporters of po

by 2009 it was obvious they weren't going to hold democrats to getting a strong po

need to understand hacker, hcan, herndon alliance to understand what happened to the po. will focus mainly on hacker.

Submitted by hipparchia on

2001, 1st inception = medicare plus, a medicare-like program that would operate with medicare's efficiency

this would be a public insurance company, but still just another insurance co among the many hundreds we already have now.

originally had the potential to morph into medicare-like program for non-elderly,

1. had to be prepopulated with medicaid, uninsured, schip
2. all subsidies had to go ONLY po, not to ins cos
3. open to ALL
4. use medicare rates
5. ins cos had to offer the same coverage

would start with about half the nonelderly and by a decade later, would have about 2/3 of the nonelderly

in kip's estimation this would have actually happened even faster than predicted if this kind of po had been implemented

Valley Girl's picture
Submitted by Valley Girl on

I tried to join but got a message from my prepaid phone card co. saying "this area code is not allowed on this card". I did manage to get the "customer service" #, but I'm still on endless hold. wth? 218 is MN.

Submitted by hipparchia on

but po advocates kept representing it as though it would work just as well as a huge new po

ins cos that have wanted to expand into new markets have only done so by buying existing companies, not by starting new companies from scratch, but the tiny new po would be basically a brand new tiny ins co starting from scratch

Submitted by hipparchia on

can somebody else take over for the next speaker?

kay tillow

Submitted by lambert on

since no objection to po shrinkage.

label po did not appear 'til 2009 (interesting)

hacker "like medicare" but not single payer so how like???

a "public insurance company"

Submitted by lambert on

kay tillow

yay

* * *

a plan that won't work isn't feasible

next step movement

made household word in face of millions of dollars and with no money

Submitted by lambert on

slo typist

Submitted by hipparchia on

kay tillow describing all the reasons why it is

2 ways to cut costs:

1. cut out the ins cos and their profits, or
2. cut back on care

we want 1, but they want us to get 2.

Submitted by hipparchia on

people who have been working for po are demoralized

[not that i want people to be demoralized, but it's great to see the po movement lose steam]

Submitted by hipparchia on

po rose to prominence because reagan/thatcher market ideology has become mainstream thought, permeating EVERYTHING

Submitted by hipparchia on

[coates' hometown]

panel with dr carol paris [shortly after she and dr flowers were arrested]

valentine for prez: v-day demonstration, 40 people, including tv cameras!

Submitted by hipparchia on

morbid symptoms

[i think i got that right, will check later]

Submitted by hipparchia on

who needs evidence-based policy?

Submitted by hipparchia on

[250+ people on the call!]

a recording of the call will be available later

Submitted by hipparchia on

unionsforsinglepayer.org [i think i got that right]

reach out to labor organizations in your area

fight for medicare back in 60s: steelcagedeathmatch between ama and labor [guess who won]

Submitted by hipparchia on

can't let the hcan LEADERSHIP off the hook, but ADVOCATES' hearts are in the right place

very few of us have the time and energy to study health policy in great detail

Submitted by hipparchia on

po was sold as a compromise to sp, but it wasn't true, it was designed to co-opt sp advocates

was fashioned to appeal to the elite who believe in market solutions

Submitted by hipparchia on

will also have to be able talk to the tea partiers

one talking point is individual freedom -- need a better health care infrastructure

talking point fiscal responsibility -- sp much better fiscally

talking point, privacy and dr/patient relationship: sp much better than ins cos on these issues

Submitted by lambert on

if ind freedom us the ult goal, don't you want healthcare infrastructure everywhere

fiscal everybody in nobody out

enhances ind freedom on every way

Submitted by hipparchia on

kay tillow: lives in so state, but still got a resolution passed favoring single payer

don't listen to the healthcare defeatists! [the ones who have been saying that sp can't pass]

also, don't believe the people who say that if we don't pass hcr nownownow that we won't get another chance for YEARS and YEARS

Submitted by hipparchia on

on medicare for all

pnhp et al will be organizing one

local groups can do this in their areas too

if you want to do this, contact healthcare-now.org

Submitted by hipparchia on

and now i have to go feed the cats

Submitted by hipparchia on

but this is probably the end of my contribution to the discussion for the evening. i hate when rl gets in the way of my blogging.

Submitted by lambert on

you might keep an eye on the machine for a few minutes, in between feedings...

Submitted by hipparchia on

will do shortly

Submitted by hipparchia on

done

Valley Girl's picture
Submitted by Valley Girl on

as to the tone and progress and "ambiance" of the call?

For people like me who couldn't get on?

Did they take questions from "live" people, or take email questions, etc.?

High points? Best quoteables? etc.

Submitted by hipparchia on

no live q's [which is good, since my cats were helping out a lot this evening]

i liked andy coates' we don't vilify the insurance industry enough and kip's about being on the side of the people. i missed parts of both of those, or i'd reproduce them here for you.

i missed a fair portion of kay tillow's part of the discussion, sadly

there will be a tape? or transcript? of the call available later i think.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

I cannot hold a handset and type at the same time. To tired right now, but will post notes tomorrow, even though most of my notes are the same as what has been posted tonight.

It was very encouraging to listen in on the call. With any luck they will have 2,500 on the next call.

Submitted by hipparchia on

i look forward to reading that

Valley Girl's picture
Submitted by Valley Girl on

That is funny Lambert!

Oh, hi Kip! Are you here?

(knowing Kip, he's probably reading through the comments before composing a long thoughtful comment.... but that's just a guess *g*)

Valley Girl's picture
Submitted by Valley Girl on

I'm here.

Submitted by hipparchia on

hi, kip!

thanks for a great presentation.

kiprs's picture
Submitted by kiprs on

VG, Thank you very much for notifying our fellow travellers here about the conference call tonight. And thank you Hipparchia and others for trying to live blog it.

Katie Robbins, Healthcare-Now's national organizer and the moderator of the conference call, asked me last week if I would join the call and make a comment about the rise and fall of the PO. I was happy to say yes but didn't think much about what I would say during my 12-15 minutes till Sunday. When I finally knuckled down and thought about what I wanted to say that I hadn't already said in a half-dozen comments on the PNHP blog over the last seven or eight months, I realized I wanted to talk about how the the founders of the PO campaign convinced themselves that Hacker's original (big) PO was more politically feasible than single-payer.

I stared at the blank paper on my clip board and just couldn't come up with an answer. The idea that Hacker's original PO -- with half the non-elderly population in it and premiums 23% lower than those of the insurance industry -- would somehow be easier to sell than single-payer strikes me as so illogical I just don't know where to begin to explain it. So I decided not to attempt to explain it, and to just present the facts.

This issue of how Hacker et al. could think the big PO would be easier to sell than single-payer has some bearing on one of the other mysteries of the great PO debacle of 2009-2010, namely, why the leaders of the PO campaign acquiesced so silently to the Democrats' decision to incorporate a dinky little mouse version of the PO into their "reform" bills rather than Hacker's original big PO. After writing my statement for tonight's conference call, I began to entertain the thesis that PO leaders, in the course of lobbying the Democrats who would write the "reform" bills, tripped all over themselves trying to explain their convoluted reasoning for support a big PO.

Try to visualize the scene. Hacker and some HCAN leaders are talking to, say, Chris Dodd or Charlie Rangel or one of their staff who help them write bills. The bill writers and the legislators they represent are asking Hacker and others the same questions that puzzle me, and Hacker et al. can't answer them.

One question might have been: "How can you say with a straight face that the PO relies on good ole market principles, and yet you want the PO to get subsidies the insurance industry doesn't get, and you want the PO to start out with a large captive market that the insurance industry can't have?" Another question the PO leaders couldn't answer must have been: "If your research says the PO will control half the non-elderly market and will have premiums 23% below the insurance industry's, how do you rebut the criticism that the PO is just a way station to a single-payer system?"

The PO leaders couldn't possibly have come up with satisfactory answers to those questions. I would imagine the Democrats' bill writers then said something like, "Then we're not going to incorporate your big PO into our bill. We'll incorporate something little and inoffensive, but not your big PO. If you guys have been promoting the PO for the last four years and can't answer the most obvious questions about it, we don't want to make Democrats go out on that limb where you are and take questions you can't answer."

What could the PO leaders say at that point?

It's too bad we have to spend so much time figuring out how the PO became such a distraction. But I think we must. Some diehard PO supporters -- I assume that includes the PO campaign's leadership -- will attempt to keep the PO campaign alive with the argument that the PO really is a good idea and we just need to marshall more troops to battle the usual culprits (the insurance industry, Republicans, Blue Dogs, etc.) and jam the PO though Congress some day. We've already wasted enough time on the PO. We can't waste any more. We need to figure out the truth about the bizarre PO campaign and tell it as accurately as we can.

Kip Sullivan

Submitted by lambert on

0. Why did the so-called "public option" leadership believe they had a saleable product? Or did they even believe that? Given that it had no analytical validity, even in its own terms, was the leadership completely cynical?

My questions:

1. When was the decision taken to take single payer off the table? (Selise, I think, has done a timeline, and I believe it was mid-2008, that is, before Obama had clinched). That was also the point where the access bloggers were involved, and removed it from the discourse on the A list

2. Where were Conyers, et al, in this process? Bowers, at least, says they were fully on board with #1. They sure acted that way!

NOTE * I hate reifying [a|the][strong|robust|triggered]? public [health insurance]? [option|plan] as an acronym, because it doesn't exist.

Submitted by hipparchia on

my theory:

the people have been told since at least the time of reagan that the market/competition will solve all problems, so most people, lacking any real-life experience of how the elites of the business world operate, believe this. after all, this is how shopping for groceries works for most people. if avocados are $1.99 at publix and $1.59 at winn dixie, guess where i'm going to buy avocados.

meanwhile, the head honchos of these industries know all this is a bunch of baloney, but an undefined and infinitely redefineable po can be molded into something that still sounds like it will provide competition, even when it won't.

not to mention that people have been told all this time that govt is the problem, not the solution. i can see why selling hacker's original po idea -- to ordinary people -- sounded easier than selling single payer.

meanwhile , the po can molded and remolded as the debate rolls on, allowing the industries involved to feel like they have a seat at the table. like john edwards warned, though, if you give them a seat at the table they'll eat everything. which they did.

and all through this, the politicians and the pundits have to keep talking up these contradictory talking points to the public on one side and to the businesses on the other.

one thing i've always wondered is who among the politicos and pundits actually believed the things they were saying and who knew better.

experience, of course, demonstrated that talking to ordinary people about just plain extending medicare to more [or all] of us was so much easier than selling the po in any of it's incarnations. i suspect all of the industries and all of the politicians who are beholden to various players in the game all knew this.

Submitted by lambert on

... so many of whom elected Obama (and now, I am convinced, have buyer's remorse).

We're more innoculated against the neo-liberal nonsense, but I also think that the young will be more willing to abandon it than we think (unless Versailles can gin up intergenerational warfare). That's what's so great about single payer, it clearly helps everybody, and it also makes losing your job or leaving school not a life-threatening matter.

Valley Girl's picture
Submitted by Valley Girl on

The PO leaders couldn't possibly have come up with satisfactory answers to those questions. I would imagine the Democrats' bill writers then said something like, "Then we're not going to incorporate your big PO into our bill. We'll incorporate something little and inoffensive, but not your big PO. If you guys have been promoting the PO for the last four years and can't answer the most obvious questions about it, we don't want to make Democrats go out on that limb where you are and take questions you can't answer."

As Lambert (?) or someone, anyway, likes to say, "assuming facts not in evidence". I think you are giving the "Democrat's bill writers" way too much credit. I just don't buy your assumption that part of the calculation was whether or not to make the Dems "go out on a limb", and that the Dems seriously asked the question and then found they "can't answer the questions"...

I just think they weren't paying attention, and were rolled by HCAN, finger in the wind, and all that.

kiprs's picture
Submitted by kiprs on

Your "decompress" remark was funny and right on. I hereby "flag for moderation."

Kip

Submitted by lambert on

I've definitely been called worse!

Valley Girl's picture
Submitted by Valley Girl on

Maybe Kip has gone off to do his eve meditation. If so, maybe we can get him to come back tomorrow.

In the mean time, here's my effort at decompression. Kitty pic, Tootsie, Maine coon rescue cat. Tootsie waves to Tiberius, Kip's Maine coon. *g*

Photobucket

Photobucket

Valley Girl's picture
Submitted by Valley Girl on

I was off trying to figure out how to post Maine coon photos, as my decompression exercise, while you had meanwhile typed your long and thoughtful comment (as I should have known) sorry to step on your comment.

Submitted by hipparchia on

if you had more of those, decompression would not be quite the word you'd want to use.

Submitted by lambert on
It's very late for me and I've got to get up early. I hope, while Kip's still here, that others ask questions and post. Interesting times, eh?

Valley Girl's picture
Submitted by Valley Girl on

a while ago (just checked my email) to say he is off to bed, but will check back in the morning.

Me, I'd not be able to sleep b/c of adrenaline high from having to speak, but Kip's an old hand at this- he knows the stuff backwards, forwards, and sideways.