Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Single Payer Plan


Explanation:  I had this ready to post last night, but my computer and I were both sick yesterday.  Instead of spending the entire day typing I watched the speeches leading up to the passage of the vote  on the bill in the House on the Health Care Reform bill.  What's with those 39 Democrats who voted against it?  Dennis Kucinich was one of them.  (He was very upset that his amendment that would allow States to opt for a single payer plan was stripped from the final bill.)   I am going to have to research who the others were and write some nasty e-mails to them.  The brave Republican who voted for it was a Freshman from Louisiana, David Cho.   He was under intense pressure before the vote to push the Nay button.  Good for him for voting his conscience.

The poison pill Stupak amendment on abortion passed and I heard that Nancy Pelosi had to allow it in order to get the votes to pass the reform bill.  What a pity that women lost again.  Shame on the 64 Democrats who voted for it.

The rest of the post is the one I intended to post today.  We now know that the Public Option is included.  Will it survive the Senate?  Stay tuned.

The bills in the Senate and the House are now so confusing and problematical that I think it's time to start pushing hard for the Single Payer plan again.  If the powers in Washington realize that we will settle for nothing less it might spur them on to include a strong Public Option. 

While any sensible person who has really studied the issue knows that the single payer plans enjoyed by other countries would be the most efficient and cost effective, it is still impossible to get it enacted due to the massive power of the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries.  As a pragmatist I realize that my dream of a single payer plan is not going to happen.   I do not think it's too late to put our representatives on notice that their jobs are at stake if they don't listen to their constituents.

Even if we have to settle for a strong public option, it will be a start in the right direction.  Anything less is just window dressing and will do nothing to bring down the cost of insurance.  It will, instead, make the insurance companies more powerful and profitable.  


Hattie said...

I'm surprised we've even gotten this far. Push push push.

Gene said...

Darlene, I think the reason Kucinich voted nay is that he believes this health care bill is worse than no bill.
Dr. Marcia Angell, physician, author, and senior lecturer Harvard Med. School makes a similar case at Huffingtonpost this morning.
Why can't we just roll everyone into medicare?

20th Century Woman said...

I don't think this plan is very good, but I don't think it is worse than no plan. I think we should look at it as a first step, one that will eventually be improved. I guess hope just springs eternal.

Darlene said...

*Hattie - Now it is critical to keep pushing. Thanks for confirming that.

*Gene - Thanks for stopping by. I hope you will return. Yes, I think you are right bout Kucinich.

*20th Century Woman - I just wish we could scrap the whole mess and start over with the single payer plan. Sigh! But even a bad bill is a foot in the door. I agree with you.

Rain Trueax said...

It's very frustrating everytime you see Congress do anything. I agree that single payer, where we all have the same kind of insurance is the only real hope we have to simplify the system, bring down the costs, and get affordable insurance premiums for everyone.

Our supplemental to Medicare is doubling its cost next year and giving less coverage (as it for everyone we know). That isn't due to the health care plan which won't take effect, even if it passes both Houses, until after the next presidential election but to more profits for health care providers and insurance companies.

Ed Schultz said what what they are doing will be so far off and so easy to undo that it's meaningless and I tend to agree with him. If we were all in the same boat (government employees, old people, young, poor) we'd see the most uniform possible health care. We won't get it as things stand now. We will just end up with higher deficits, higher premiums, and better health care only for those with a lot of money.

The ones who don't like single payer are the stock market, Congress (who profits from it as it is), and the richest. Single payer could still allow the rich to buy extra coverage but it would at least cover the average people from most possible disasters.

Another suggestion I heard yesterday was just cover people who need chemotherapy, expensive medications, or major surgeries. If that's what we worry about, simply pay for it and cut insurance out of the game. Most of us could pay for our own office calls and the average prescription we only need once in awhile. After all, we manage to pay for video rentals...

Darlene said...

*Rain - I agree that people who are victims of a catastrophic illness need help the most, but some of us wouldn't be able to go to the doctor or afford medicine without insurance. One visit to my dermatologist costs $336 and up. If I have a malignancy it is more. I go every three months. Without insurance I would probably go once a year and if one of those skin cancers I am prone to was a melanoma I would be dead. One blood test was $437. One follow up office visit to my Primary Care doctor was $156. My cataract surgery including office one office visit totaled nearly $5,000. And that doesn't include prescriptions. That's a lot more than a video rental.

marbur said...

Darlene, It's a beginning & it showed all who were paying attention how insensitive some of these power mongers are to women's needs & the total lack of respect for their female co-workers.Did you notice the religious aspect was brought to the bill by the C Street 'family' members re: non abortion funding etc.,now, I'm wondering if "trained Prayer Practitioners" are paid for medical advice. If so then we are all paying up front to support & fund these organizations. This provision needs further investigation.

Darlene said...

*Marbur - Yesterday Ronni Bennett of Time Goes By had a post on that subject. Yes, Christina Science Practitioners get paid by Medicare for their so called healing prayers. I gagged when I read that. It is also in the Senate bill that they will be reimbursed just like a doctor. Next we may find out that the witch doctors are being reimbursed. God help us!

If I could stand the strain my next soap box issue might be separation of church and state.