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Rahm's brother, Ezekiel, butchers the moral issues on health care

Hilariously, Mini-Rahm's against single payer because of [wait for it] American exceptionalism:

The biggest problem with single-payer is its failure to cohere with core American values.

Uh huh. Like the insurance companies' business model of denying care for profit is a core American value?

And hilariously, Mini-Rahm thinks that the issue is health insurance:

In a morally responsible country, everyone should have health insurance*.

But that's not true. Mini-Rahm's sentence should read:

In a morally responsible country, everyone should have health insurance care.

Mini-Rahm prates about core American values, but if these quotes are any indication, he has no concept of "moral responsibility" at all. He just gets the basic issues wrong; in other words, he's a classic Villager. See (via Allegre) this one story:

Last week, in the public clinic where I work, I treated a 6-year-old girl who had visited the emergency room for cellulitis, an infection of the skin, over her hand. Usually a relatively minor condition that is easily treated with a 10-day course of antibiotics, cellulitis can sometimes cause severe consequences, including life-threatening sepsis, if not treated promptly.

The reason this patient was notable was because she was uninsured and had been sent home with a prescription that her mother tried to fill but
was unable to afford. How much did the antibiotic suspension cost? $500.

The moral problem is the child's cellulitis, not which business or government entity processes the payment, if any. It's denial of care that is the harm done, here. Mini-Rahm, like a classic bad salesperson, is trying to sell a drill, when the buyer wants a hole. Please, please, can Conyers call him as a witness?

Anyhow, Zeke wants to abolish fee for service instead (anyone know how the single payer countries, like Canada, handle that?)

What does he advocate? Vouchers.

Worked for the schools!

Well, now the cat's out of the bag, eh?

NOTE Do people who are, at bottom, most concerned about keeping the health insurance companies in business use this frame? A question to be asked...

NOTE Hat tip Alert reader CaseyOR.

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caseyOR's picture
Submitted by caseyOR on

who will never be affected by the problem. Maybe the conversation about healthcare would change if the people leading the conversation were the very people who are being screwed by the system. Politicians and people like Zeke Emmanuel will never be faced with a bankruptcy caused by medical bills;nor will they ever have to choose NOT to seek care because they can't afford the co-pay or the deductible; they will never be denied care; their children will always have the very best healthcare available.

It is an academic exercise to them. And, I am starting to suspect, a bit of a pissing contest, with chest-thumping, to see who can wield the most influence and whose idea wins. The little people be damned.

coyotecreek's picture
Submitted by coyotecreek on

"Maybe the conversation about healthcare would change if the people leading the conversation were the very people who are being screwed by the system."

What do these people know about real life? Like my brother who works 50 hours a week and HAS NO HEALTHCARE? I guess the powers-that-be feel he should be happy to have a job...but it doesn't earn him enough to cover the $485 a month that he would need to pay for a health plan.

Why do I have shivers up my spine to think that Zeke is whispering in the Big ZerO's ear on this subject.


DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

only THINKS he has health insurance. We have seen again and again how the denial of care system works in the face of serious illness.

Let's not forget our fall back position. If we can't pass single payer at the federal level, let's make sure that no federal system passes that prohibits states from doing the right thing.

Submitted by lambert on

The one about Kennedy's secret meetings? I didn't catch up to that one, but the last para bears directly on that. They want to cut off that avenue of escape, naturally.

Submitted by jawbone on

a room full of rocking chairs. Or a sick patient in a situation full of insurance telephone rep runarounds....

Sounded like way too many Big Insurance/Big Pharma reps and way too few patient reps. Oh, and what about single payer representation??

The 20 people who regularly attend the meetings on Capitol Hill include lobbyists for AARP, Aetna, the A.F.L.-C.I.O., the American Cancer Society, the American Medical Association, America’s Health Insurance Plans, the Business Roundtable, Easter Seals, the National Federation of Independent Business, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, and the United States Chamber of Commerce.
Many insurance executives say they are willing to accept stricter regulation, including a requirement to offer coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions, if the federal government requires everyone to have coverage.
The group has also been discussing the possibility that federal standards “may supersede state benefit mandates.”

Note that there's no offer to charge the same rate to those with pre-existing conditons, right? Devil in details kind of stuff. And Big Insurers have been trying to get rid of state standards for years now. Those little things like requiring insurers to cover, oh, birth control for women. Among many other things.

Submitted by jawbone on

at another site? T/U.

The Michael Hudson videos which are all over left blogistan have Hudson pointing out that the administration cannot represent the parasite (the banksters) and the body politic (the real economy/society). And if the paper pushing wealth suckers are a parasite, so indeed are the paper pushing, care denying Big Insurance companies. Just hold out arms, slice wrists, bleed into their coffers. Like very dangerous parasites, they can kill their hosts.

(Well, my PC's not cooperating right now, but the video's aren't hard to find. I'll try again tomorrow.)

koshembos's picture
Submitted by koshembos on

In the political reality we have, there is not going to be a single payer solution. The students loan program is small and Obama can eliminate the banks form the process. The health insurance companies are behemoths; no walking all over them.

A two step single payer is better than nothing. There is no majority, let alone 60 votes, for single payer. Let's cover everyone first, it's very imported, and then go for single payer.

Fuming at the mouth will not cover a single additional person.

Submitted by lambert on

First, cliches are your friends. So it's "frothing" at the mouth, not "fuming."

Second, you speak of "political reality" as it came from some mysterious realm beyond your power to affect. That's not only not true, it's lazy.

Finally, I know this is a long battle. All the more reason to lay the groundwork for the next phase immediately. The "better than nothing" is bogus, and you know it, or you wouldn't call it that. So we should STFU about it and do nothing until the bogosity becomes apparent? Not. Better to bend all over efforts now to framing the choices made so we can point to how the process went the next time, and hold those accountable who made the wrong choices.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on


It's one thing to talk in favor of a insurance-for-all plan. It's entirely another to bad-mouth single payer while you're trying to talk up insurance-for-all. We didn't start the fire. Do you get it? I can perhaps excuse someone making a case for a two-step plan (if that's even what many of this insurances advocates are going towards; I'm not convinced that's the case). What I won't excuse are mandatory health insurance advocates going out of there way to bash single-payer advocates, period.