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Michael Moore supports letting the states set up single payer systems


Democrats must also ensure that whatever bill passes includes a provision enabling states to set up their own single-payer systems. These votes are the true litmus tests of the Democrats' commitment to guaranteeing health care for all, and finally solving our health care crisis.

Nice to see "progressives" whipping for that. Oh, wait...

Moore has a massive takedown of the rest of what's on offer from our Dem leadership as well. Corrente readers are familiar with these issues, so go read, but this point caught my eye:

11. No protection for our public safety net. Public hospitals and clinics will continue to be under-funded and a dumping ground for those the private system doesn't want. Public monies going to hospitals serving low-income communities will be shifted to subsidies for private insurance.

Eesh. That's worse than I remember. Did I miss this one?

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Jeff W's picture
Submitted by Jeff W on

So negative, lambert, it's only, what, a mere 13 points. Are we going to carp about 13 points when the legislation is clearly and ineluctably "a more viable path to a meaningful public option down the road"?

Oh, wait, it says "(partial list)."


Submitted by hipparchia on

Did I miss this one?

sasq, yes. slightly longer answer, no it wasn't explicitly spelled out for you but mass has posted several comments and this post that mentions, among other evils, the shredding of massachusetts' safety since romneycare was enacted:

The MA health reforms have siphoned money from safety net programs to pay for the reforms. As a result two state safety net hospitals have closed, and the states largest safety net hospital is suing the state.

although i didn't talk about this particular point, i linked to a paper in my swiffercare post that says the same thing is happening the netherlands since they instituted what is basically romneycare:

Paradoxically, however, while the uninsured under the prior [Netherlands] system tended to be wealthy people who chose not to purchase insurance, the people most at risk now are poorer people who cannot afford it, but who were covered under the old system.

and there's this from pnhp on romneycare [i could have sworn i'd quoted it here before, but i can't find it, so maybe i was remembering quoting it elsewhere]:

While the number of people lacking health insurance in Massachusetts has been reduced, several recent surveys demonstrate that substantial problems in access to care remain in the state. While the new health insurance improved access to care for some residents, many low-income patients who previously received completely free care under the state’s old free care program now face co-payments, premiums and deductibles that stop them from getting needed care.

In addition, cuts to safety-net providers have reduced health resources available to the state’s remaining uninsured, as well as to others who rely on safety-net providers for services in short supply in the private sector. These safety-net services include emergency room care, chronic mental health care, and primary care. The net effect of this expensive reform on access to care is at best modest, and for some patients, negative.

Submitted by lambert on

Did the money really go to the insurance companies? What was the rationalization?

Submitted by hipparchia on

more from the pnhp report:

In 2006, under the leadership of then-Gov. Mitt Romney, Massachusetts set out to fundamentally change how it financed care for the poor, greatly increasing the availability of insurance while decreasing the use of free care by the uninsured. A major impetus for the reform came from the Bush Administration, which insisted that the state reduce block funding of indigent care through the state’s free care pool, or forfeit $385 million in federal Medicaid funds.


With no more than 10.4 % of its population lacking coverage (onethird lower than the 2006 national rate of 15.8%) the state’s circumstances were believed to be favorable for health reform. In addition, the state had two other advantages: (1) it already spent substantial funds for care of the uninsured, primarily through block grants from a free care pool to safety-net providers such as public hospitals and community clinics to cover the costs of free care and medications; and (2) it was relatively wealthy with abundant health care resources, high personal incomes and a healthy tax base.

Under the reform, the state committed to providing subsidized medical coverage to an expanded set of eligible individuals through the Medicaid program (called MassHealth in Massachusetts) and through a new insurance program, Commonwealth Care.


On passage of the reform, then-Gov. Mitt Romney declared “Every uninsured citizen in Massachusetts will soon have affordable health insurance and the costs of health care will be reduced.”1 However, the reform has not reduced health costs in the state, and the reform has proven far costlier than expected: $1.1 billion 2008, with costs of $1.3 billion forecast for 2009.

A small share of the financing for the program comes from assessments collected from employers who do not offer insurance and fines from individuals who do not purchase insurance as required by the mandate. A much larger share of the funding comes from funds diverted from the state’s “free care pool.

actually, the republicans have been looting medicaid for years and years, through 'demonstration projects'. jindalcare in louisiana is just one of them. basically the federal govt gives money to states to spend on traditional govt-run medicaid for the poor. since about 1990 or so [iirc], the federal govt has allowed states to set up demonstration projects [read: looting opportunities] where they can instead spend their medicaid $$ on managed care run by private insurers -- because the private sector is so much more efficient, y'know. nationwide, ~60% of medicaid $$ now go to private insurers.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

of course this is the only place i can come for them, the silence about the vaunted PO elsewhere is deafening, when it's not shouts of "Go Team!" /rustles pompom/

i was actually mostly impressed by the Kossack comments. people over there seem to get it, or at least the folks on that thread did. i was particularly glad to see two or three volunteers saying they are done cheerleading for pro-corporate policy.

the bushies really do hate black and poor people, don't they? ah, the bad old days...

but it's nice to know the facts support what we've been saying all along: pretty words and 1.25 will get you a cup of coffee at the gas station, it really is possible to pass a bill that makes things worse for most everyone, the poor will get screwed the hardest, quality of care will go down, and the financial strain is likely going to be enough to send down another score of millions of people to the impoverished class. yeah!

and it's really simple, when you understand how the social universe of our political class works. "say you like the public option out loud, don't raise any money for primary challengers of blue dogs, or you won't get to be on the next uber-exclusive conference call/cocktail party invite list." like good little supporters, a lot of people make that choice when offered. what's funny is to see how some people who thought they'd be 'taken care of' are finding themselves out in the cold, despite going along. the circle is shrinking by the day, and it's moving mostly inward on the left.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... so much for the idea that the blogosphere's Obama-or-else primaries clusterfuck was a 100-year flood.

Boehlert totally nailed that, I just didn't expect he'd be so right so soon:

Vastleft: Are there important lessons that could and should be learned by looking back?

Eric Boehlert: Sure. My feeling is that people think the 2008 turbulence online represented a once-in-a-lifetime situation and that the ugly fracture that occurred won’t happen again. But if nothing is learned from 2008 I’m pretty sure it will happen again (I have no idea what the circumstances and players will be) and participants will act surprised all over again.

Submitted by lambert on

Branding really is powerful -- I'm sure there's good stuff there, but site of that shade of orange makes me want to throw up, so I go there only when there's a link proffer.

* * *

Nice to see "pompoms" propagate. I use that one over at "Open" "Left" a lot.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

I've friggen supported this administration with sweat, money I don't have, tears, and labor.

HC was my sole issue. It is all I wanted from this administration. I've been the apologist from the get-go over all the other crap they've ignored, reneged on, took "off the table".

And I blame Obama only in so far as he could have been far more forceful, but the primary blame lies with the Senate.

I knew it would not be easy, it would be a fight, but I, like so many others, got down in the trenches, made the calls, sent the letters, donated our asses off.

For what?


there are other interesting interjections on that thread. it's good to see GOS bloggers stepping up and asking "what's next?" that needs to happen a great deal more.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Even Somerby is. There's a long way to go before this community can be properly labeled "reality-based" again. Wishing Obama had been "far more forceful" presupposes that he had a wholesome agenda one might wish he'd pushed for. And one should believe that, why?