June 22, 2007
-- by Dave Johnson
Michael Moore's movie 'Sicko' documenting America's health insurance crisis is likely to incite strong grassroots demand for a "single-payer" Medicare-For-All type of solution. So the Washington consultants/appeasers are at it again.
From the article, 'Sicko' leaves top Democrats ill at ease
Stoking the passions of rank-and-file Democrats for a government takeover of the healthcare system amounts to political folly, respond some liberal veterans of Washington's healthcare battles.This is what I call the "Afraid Rush Limbaugh Will Say Something Bad About You" syndrome. Clue: He will anyway.
"To presume that the private sector is going to sit idly by to see the destruction of private coverage I think is a misreading of reality," ... "I think the presidential candidates understand that if healthcare reform is going to have a chance of success, it will require bipartisanship and a balance of public and private coverage."
Whatever plan you propose, here is what will happen: the health insurance companies WILL oppose your plan, no matter what the plan is.
Conventional Wisdom thinking is that you have to include private insurance companies in any plan, or they'll put so much money and effort into opposing your plan - and you - that nothing can pass. In the 90's the Clinton administration offered a comprehensive health care plan that involved private insurers instead of a "Medicare-For-All"-style national health plan, hoping to ward off industry opposition. ... And of course the private insurance companies did oppose the Clinton plan anyway, putting so much money into opposing it that it never even came up for a vote.The logic seems to be that if we appease them, they will compromise. This ignores the reality - they want it all.
.. So here is some news for Democrats who are offering health care plans that offer tribute to private insurance companies: They are going to oppose your plan.
"Medicare For All" is simple to understand and implement. On this subject Ezra Klein wrote,
That's why Medicare-for-All is such a great banner. Medicare happens to be a very good, though deeply underfunded program. It keeps costs down better than the private sector, it enjoys sky-high satisfaction ratings from those on it, its administrative costs are dirt cheap, and so forth. ... It's just normal health care that the government pays for. Simple as that.And if companies complain about all the jobs that will be lost - what they are saying is that the private sector is less efficient than a government solution. Medicare's overhead is a fraction of the insurance companies.
Better yet, Republicans can't demonize the idea because it already exists and everybody's parents and grandparents use it.
It is time. It's simple. Let's expand Medicare to cover everyone.
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There is ZERO chance that the democrat party will not sell us out to the health insurance companies. This is not cowardice alone -- it's a sell-out. What else is new?
Medicare does not cut out the private insurance companies. Medicare provides basic health care insurance. Virtually everyone in Medicare also carries supplemental insurance to cover the costs Medicare doesn't cover, and supplemental insurance is bought from private companies, of course. This system does seem to work well. Medicare for All would work even better, because Medicare covers a group of very vulnerable people who will have high expenses, while covering the general population would include those who would hardly ever have high medical costs, and their financial contributions would help cover the costs of those who have high costs.
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