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Primer on the Obama Healthcare Platform

DCblogger's picture

Skylanda

Does he propose a single-payer system? No, frankly, he does not. But he cracks the door to some intriguing possibilities. His opening proposal is for a new national health plan available for all Americans to buy into (yeah, I know - if you could afford it, you’d have bought already). It includes clauses for subsidies to folks who cannot pay outright for this option, and promises affordable premiums, copays, and deductibles. Who would provide this insurance plan? Well, this is a little nebulous, but if you read the finer print, it appears that it would be administered via private insurers who contract to federal government. So: more access, still through individual contributions to private corporations. It has a certain ring to it - you get a certain sense that this might be a slow move toward a central, national system that could evolve into a single payer - and yet it lacks moxie. And it does nothing to address the question of why federal money should be going to private insurers in the first place.

Clearly, passing Medicare for All is dependent upon educating the public and our politicians about the Denial of Claims business model. At a minimum, we need to insist that Congress pass no law that prevents the states from passing their own single payer systems.

Make no mistake, if Medicare for All reaches Obama's desk, he will not dare veto it. Everything depends upon the down ballot races.

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Submitted by lambert on

I've got to start blogging about something political that isn't a meaningless heap of hopey drivel.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

I have been trying to keep track of the congressional challengers, but not doing a great job. And there are many heroes on the state level, politicians trying to pass state single payer programs. I hope other posters will start blogging about single payer politics in their jurisdiction.

Submitted by lambert on

That bears repeating.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

RedSox04's picture
Submitted by RedSox04 on

Step 1: You talk about the wonders of the free markets.

Step 2: After the free markets have failed in providing some necessary good such as health care (experienced an "externality" if you're an economist), you then offer up a "market based solution". Instead of government providing the good directly, government pays private for-profit contractors to provide the good. Ostensibly, this is supposed to lower costs and reduce bureaucracy, despite the fact that it has a built-in layer of extra costs (profits for shareholders of the contractors) and an extra layer of bureaucracy (private and public "middle management").

Step 3: Cut taxes, based on the expected savings/productivity gains you project from this market-based solution.

Step 4: When it turns out that this market-based solution costs more than projected, and is providing a worse solution than projected, and tax receipts are declining because of your tax cuts, you start defunding your market based solution as much as possible, with the goal of eventually scrapping it.

Step 5: Blame big government for the debacle of your "market based solution".

Submitted by lambert on

Isn't step 4 to give the market based solution even more money, and scrap more government programs that "compete" with it? And then cut taxes again?

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.