If you have "no place to go," come here!

Public option zombie still walks...

... at "Open" "Left".

Truly pathetic from a policy perspective. Too bad "good policy is good politics" is honored more in the breach than the observance by the access bloggers -- especially when the intellectual foundations of [a|the] [strong|robust|triggered]? public [health insurance]? [option|plan], flimsy to begin with, just got demolished in the New England Journal of Medicine. Oh well. I mean, it's not as if lives were at stake, or anything.

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dblhelix's picture
Submitted by dblhelix on

Bennett's letter calls for a STRONG public option, baby! Strong/double-stuff/new and improved/triple strength/secret prize inside/now made with aloe vera PO.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

you forgot "age defying antioxidants"!

dblhelix's picture
Submitted by dblhelix on

age defying antioxidants w/ this "reform" :-)

Dan in CA's picture
Submitted by Dan in CA on

Children try to enact the public option, but real men go for filibuster reform. Of course, after filibuster reform, the lobbyists will still write the legislation, and the leadership will still be beholden to their financiers...


gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

As long as new people keep throwing that bone out there to give Democrats cover, I'm going to continue to point out that it is irrelevant. First, Democrats have not made the GOP filibuster in the last few years. Ever. Sure the Dems fail to pass cloture votes, but they just give up and don't actually force the debate. Second, on issues like health care, the Dems can pursue that using reconciliation and bypass the filibuster entirely. Civics 101, or at least it should be.

So, not only have the Democrats failed to force a real filibuster but if they wanted to get around it on health care they could do so easily. (Bush used reconciliation!) I'm not opposed to the filibuster in a well functioning democracy. But our legacy party rule makes the filibuster a very convenient scapegoat for screwing the people over and raising money. If the filibuster is done away with than the legacy parties will find some other excuse to be pro-corporate.

Dan in CA's picture
Submitted by Dan in CA on

I need to work on my sarcasm skills.

Submitted by hipparchia on

the dartmouth atlas 'researchers' deserve to be laughed off the face of the planet for some of their 'research' [maybe all of it], and i'm glad to see the nyt talking about this.

huuuuge portions of the 'health' 'care' 'reform' bills are based on the dartmouth atlas 'findings', mostly in the medicare and medicaid 'reform' sections, so it doesn't really have anything to do with the public option, except that the dartmouth atlas experiments would be applied to the care you would [maybe not] get in any public option program.

Submitted by hipparchia on

that nejm paper [linked to from the nyt article that you linked to] seems to believe that the dartmouth group has already proven their basic premise that less care is more care:

In showing that regional spending variations do not correlate with differences in disease burden or outcome, the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care has felled the notion that higher health care spending necessarily leads to improved health outcomes.

and their main quibble with the dartmouth people appears to be over ascribing which costs and/or efficiencies to which providers. still, the paper does at least point out using the treatment that medicare patients get as a proxy for the treatment that all patients get is a flawed approach to rating which hospitals are 'best' or 'more efficient'.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

I got that "Look, we've gotten four Senators to agree to push the Bennet marketing slogan!" letter from in my Inbox today.

Are people really this stupid?! Is four freaking Senators and an empty promise what amounts to "victory" these days?

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

if you do open it, you'll notice a "Donate" button at the bottom.

As BDBlue said, the "public option" is nothing but a fundraising strategy.

Submitted by hipparchia on

Dr. Elliott S. Fisher, director of the Center for Health Policy Research at the Dartmouth Institute, said the larger issue was that just because a hospital charges a lot does not mean that it delivers good care. But Dr. Fisher agreed that the current Atlas measures should not be use to set hospital payment rates, and that looking at the care of patients at the end of life provides only limited insight into the quality of care provided to those patients. He said he and his colleagues should not be held responsible for the misinterpretation of their data.

oh yeah?

so putting out a white paper titled An Agenda for Change, Improving Quality and Curbing Health Care Spending: Opportunities for the Congress and the Obama Administration, authored by elliott s fisher and colleagues doesn't constitute even a hint of responsibility for the legislation facing us now? from the preface to the white paper:

Rising health care costs are a major challenge to the American economy, particularly at a time of deepening recession and a renewed commitment to extend coverage to the uninsured. Dartmouth Atlas research on geographic differences in health care delivery and spending points to an opportunity to achieve significant savings in health care costs without compromising health care quality and outcomes. More spending and more utilization do not translate into improved life expectancy for those with chronic illness. The differences in the use of discretionary surgery do not reflect differences in patient preferences and informed patient choice. This paper discusses opportunities for Congress and the Obama Administration to address key shortcomings in our health care system that result in unwarranted geographic variation and uncontrolled growth in health care spending. Success in this effort will not only improve the quality of care, it will make it possible to extend coverage to America’s uninsured without inducing a major increase in health care spending.

This Dartmouth Atlas White Paper was written by John E. Wennberg, Shannon Brownlee, Elliott S. Fisher, Jonathan S. Skinner and James N. Weinstein.

December 2008

not only does the legislation contain pilot programs to 'prove' that less care is more for the chronically ill, it also contains a pilot program [with no-bid provisions, no less] for something called 'shared decision making' and 'patient decision decision aids', which is essentially a bunch of professionally-produced materials [videos, etc] that, although they don't explicitly say so, aim to talk patients out of letting their doctors prescribe more expensive procedures when less expensive procedures will [allegedly] do the same job.

jack wennberg [john e wennbergg] belongs to the foundation for informed medical decision making that believes in 'informed patient choice' and has even trademarked the phrase 'shared decision making'. and although you'll find that phrase scattered throughout the proposed legislation, as well as the phrase patient decision aids, nowhere will you see it used as a trademark or either of these phrases attributed to any particular group, but the language and provisions in the bills are straight out of this foundation's writings.

not to mention that jack wennberg's son david, who is also part of the dartmouth atlas group, works for a company called health dialog that produces and sells patient decision aids and also uses proprietary algorithms to help insurers figure which of their [potentially expensive] patients to call up and provide 'medical decision coaching' to. gee, where have we heard of that before? jonathan gruber and gaussian copulas come to mind.

health dialog was sold to the insurance company bupa a couple of years ago for megabucks. david wennberg is probably already doing well financially as a member of the senior management team of health dialog, but i can't help but think that having his company's main products and services written into the law of the land is anything but continued gravy train for him.

talk about your death panels, yes, they're in the legislation.

Submitted by lambert on

Ya know, that's just begging for a "Sarah Palin was right on the death panels (kinda)" headline...

This whole comment is worth a post, and shouldn't be buried in comments.

"Patient decision aids"... Orwellian language if ever I heard it.

Submitted by hipparchia on

yeah, that one's truly creepy, but i have to admit to not liking shared decision making much either.

hehe. you've taught me well. i'd thought about making this into a post with that very headline [except i was going to leave out the 'kinda']. ok, one post with sarah palin headline coming in an hour or so [got to take the dog out, fix supper, etc first].

Submitted by jawbone on

bad hip does not? Welladay--this fits right into the argument that too many seniors are getting knee surgery or hip replacements. Ya think?

Those greedy geezers!

Time for a little "this hurts me more than it hurts you" biting of the bullet. making the hard decisions. Denial of care to cut the deficit, anyone?

Ice floes? Oh, damn, we won't have those since we aren't doing anything about global warming and its effects on climate change. Where are those ice floes when we need them.... Cement shoes?

More spending and more utilization do not translate into improved life expectancy for those with chronic illness.

Where is quality of life addressed in this study?

Submitted by hipparchia on

we're only interested in the cost of it!

and if your quality of life sucks, you'll choose to die sooner, thus saving us even more money!

Submitted by jawbone on

and Cantwell seems to be closed to comments. I can't open it at least.

Do we yet know what "public option" means to Obama? Senators? (0.00 / 0)

Given the years before anything is workable, based on what is known about the Senate version, and the massive premium increases the BHIPs (Big Health Insurance Parasites) are sending out right now, we desperately need a real option, a working option, something that can be implemented in weeks, months, not years.

Medicare for All...with a robust private option.

That's what we need. Not some amorphous public option which will cover only a few and the rest will be mandated to buy from the parasites.

And if cost containment is a priority and not mere lip service, then single payer is the only way to accomplish that. And it would provide actual CARE, not just the additional denials of care.

C'mon, Dems! GET A GRIP! People need help, they need real, dependable health CARE. We do not need health insurance reform which will essentially insure additional years of high profitabiity and transfer of wealth to the BHIPs!

by: jawbone2 @ Thu Feb 18, 2010 at 16:04

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

that Obama ditched the "Public Option" Sparkle Pony in September, for the even Sparklier "choice and competition" Pony?

Both are meaningless marketing slogans, of course, but since "choice and competition" is more Reagan-y, we know which one Obama prefers!