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First:

Listen to the Thom Hartmann Show on today.  During the first hour, Thom will talk with Senator Bernie Sanders, who was a cosponsor of H.R. 676 when he was in the House.  During the second and third hours, Thom will talk about how we can get single payer through Congress.  And he'll ask everyone to do two things on Friday:

Call Congressman James Clyburn and ask him to whip his colleagues for H.R. 676: (202) 225-3315.

Call your own Congress Member and ask them to cosponsor and promote H.R. 676: (202) 224-3121.

You can also help by signing the Healthcare Not Warfare petition.

Hat tip and thanks to David Swanson for his diary on this last night - if you have not read it, please do so.  There is some good, current info you will want to know in there.

More info below.

John Conyers' H.R. 676 had 93 cosponsors in the last Congress.  There are 33 cosponsors currently on the bill for the 111th Congress, but it was just dropped this week, so that is not unusual.  They were dealing with the Stimulus bill.

If you have not read this report, you may want to do so before making calls:

First-of-Its Kind Study: Medicare for All (Single-Payer) Reform Would Be Major Stimulus for Economy with 2.6 Million New Jobs, $317 Billion in Business Revenue, $100 Billion in Wages

http://www.calnurses.org/...  

I made a promise in Dr. Steve's diary last week to do this diary with some info I posted in comments there.  So here goes.

The new HR-676 has some changes from the bill from the 110th.  Read the bill at Thomas, but as explained to me:

Change #1 - people working in the current health insurance industry will be eligible for up to 2 years salary to a max of $100,000.    It is expected that about 50% of the workers will find employment withing the new government system.

Change #2 - Administration
Much like Medicare, administration would fall under Health and Human Services with input from Regional offices about what costs are for different services within a region.

Change #3 - To deal with the concerns about illegal immigrants or visitors from other countries - there will be language dealing with the program being for everyone "living" in the United States - being a resident of and there will be some kinds of requirements to deal with exactly what that language means.  

Change #4 - Hospitals will switch from profit to non-profit BUT they are not going to be nationalized - can still be owned privately, just have to go to non-profit mode.  These changes will take place over 15 years.

Now that the bill has been dropped, We need all Single Payer advocates to start hitting the phones and emails and making personal visits to make sure that everyone who cosponsored the bill in the 110th Congress is on board to sponsor it in this Congress.  I will post the previous cosponsors in a comment below.  And the current ones as well, if I can get into the system - not working for me while I am typing this.

We can expect that there may be a bit more push back because everyone is so happy with President Obama and want to be "helpful" to him; supporting his programs.

So we are going to have to be very persuasive.  While we hate what the economy is doing to us, our friends and family - it makes the arguments for Single Payer stronger.  Using the economic arguments are our strongest bet.

Some info that may be helpful:

During the week and a half before the inauguration I was peripherally involved with 3 meetings with the transition staff via work I am doing with some non-profit lobbying and service organizations.  The message we took away:

Obama wants to not only fulfill campaign promises, but to do "the right thing" on many different fronts - health care is one of them.  But there will be fights on just about all of them.

What they/he wants is for citizens to keep up the pressure and build it so he can make it happen.

We not only have to have his back - we have to be in front, clearing the streets and alleys so no one can mistake the path he has to take.

They want to see folks with agendas (like ours for Single Payer)building visible coalitions and alliances and if we have differences among ourselves, figure out how to work them out and resolved before coming to him/them.  If we can't resolve differences and get everyone on board, how do we expect him to?  Get Congress on board or enough to carry a vote.

[And if you have a proposal - be sure you can present it on one double spaced page.  :) ]

Also learned - that during the campaign and transition they've had up to 90 people dedicated just to reading and reporting on email and blogs and letters to the editor.

There is probably more - but those were the biggies that stood out for me - oh and one other - a story - a service organization reported that they have been gotten used to meeting with the Bush admin and fighting for representation and being ignored so they were amazed that when they met with the transition team the bottom line was "give us the names of 35 people you want."  It blew them away and they were then fumbling when they went to the meeting geared up for a fight and there was none.

Another point made on one of the conference calls was that it really helped to have experts in the field ready to testify live or in writing and to have the economics spelled out.

We have that with HR-676 already with PNHP, our nurses and Paul Krugman.  All we need are ordinary citizens getting more of their neighbors and then their Congresscritters and Senators on board.

Progressive Democrats of America is working closely with Conyers office, Health-Care Now!, PNHP, Guranteedhealthcare.org and others to try to get team leaders organized in every Congressional District to work on this.  They have monthly phone calls to educate and strategize.  

If you can help contact Diane Shamis and ask if there is a Healthcare organizer for your Congressional District and if there isn't volunteer:
diane@pdamerica.org

They have a mechanism for reporting on meetings and providing feedback so we know where and how to apply pressure.  Diane can provide more info on that and who will have access.

We are going to have to work this smart and hard if we are going to have a chance and if we are going to win Healthcare for all Americans.  I believe we can do it - for me, it is requiring a lot less time on Daily Kos and doing things to educate those who are not aware of this possibility - but if we get HR-676 or some other real single payer plan, it will have been more than worth it.

We've had hundreds of diaries posted at Daily Kos expressing the need for Universal Single Payer and many diaries with research and facts.  We've read them and fretted and wondered what we can do and complained that Congress should do the right thing and at least let the bill on the floor for a debate.  

The time for all of that is past.  Now is the time to get off of Daily Kos long enough each week to make calls to your Representatives, write a letter to the editor, talk to people, post what you know in blogs attacked to regional newspapers - what ever and where ever you think just one more voter might join the team.  Stop complaining about lobbyists and become one (unpaid I know).

We know how to canvas, we know how to phone bank - now we need to put the skills we learned campaigning to get Democrats into office to campaign for Healthcare for All.

I know we can do it.

Get Involved:
H.R. 676 FAQ

---------------------------------------
National Organizations:

Physicians for National Health Program. Lots of state chapters and you don't have to be a doctor to join.
http://www.pnhp.org/

Guaranteed Health Care which is California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee:
http://www.guaranteedhealthcare.org/

HealthCare-Now!: Grassroots organization working for HR-676
http://www.healthcare-now.org/

Everybody In & Nobody Out: Supports state organizations working at the grassroots for universal health care:
http://www.everybodyinnobodyout.org/

Update: Krugman's column this morning -

Health Care Now

The bottom line, then, is that this is no time to let campaign promises of guaranteed health care be quietly forgotten. It is, instead, a time to put the push for universal care front and center. Health care now!

UPDATE2:  Join The Daily Kos Healthcare Google Group

This is NOT a discussion group - just a place for those interested in health care issues to share links to health care diaries when posted on Daily Kos to help folks find them.  You can post links to your own diaries or to diaries by others that have not been shared with the group.

If you join it helps to set your profile for immediate emails - there are not so many emails as to bog you down. (Can't believe I didn't post this in the beginning!)

Update3:
From a comment by Tanya:

I was involved in the Clinton
healthcare push, and her advice was to put pressure on from the left in order to get anywhere near the middle. Unfortunately, then as now, many of the people and organizations that had the ability to put that kind of pressure on our politicians chose instead to simply support Clinton's plan. Well we all saw how that worked out.

Update4:  

m16eib posted some great comments including this report: Dodd and Larson Get an Earful on Healthcare, but most important was this advice:

Just so's they knows
exactly what you are talking about:

"The United States National Health Insurance Act"
H.R. 676

Expanded & Improved Medicare For All

[...]

The name of the bill, as well as the number, is very important. Not just as a talking point or frame but so they know exactly what bill you are talking about
http://www.dailykos.com/...

===============
If you have called your Rep or know he/she is a Cosponsor then...

Call the Reps who have cosponsored and say thanks.

Go to whitehouse.gov and tell Obama we want single payer.

Thanks to everyone for your support for this diary and for Universal Single Payer Health Care.

Originally posted to SarahLee on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 06:25 AM PST.

Poll

I will...

21%33 votes
1%3 votes
5%8 votes
2%4 votes
2%4 votes
1%3 votes
12%20 votes
37%59 votes
2%4 votes
3%6 votes
7%12 votes

| 157 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for the 110th Cosponsors: (129+ / 0-)

    110th Cosponsors:

    Rep Abercrombie, Neil [HI-1] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Baca, Joe [CA-43] - 9/17/2007
    Rep Baldwin, Tammy [WI-2] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Becerra, Xavier [CA-31] - 6/13/2007
    Rep Berman, Howard L. [CA-28] - 6/15/2007
    Rep Bishop, Sanford D., Jr. [GA-2] - 12/11/2007
    Rep Brady, Robert A. [PA-1] - 2/27/2007
    Rep Brown, Corrine [FL-3] - 4/17/2007
    Rep Capuano, Michael E. [MA-8] - 11/9/2007
    Rep Carson, Andre [IN-7] - 7/10/2008
    Rep Carson, Julia [IN-7] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Christensen, Donna M. [VI] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Clarke, Yvette D. [NY-11] - 2/16/2007
    Rep Clay, Wm. Lacy [MO-1] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Cleaver, Emanuel [MO-5] - 4/22/2008
    Rep Clyburn, James E. [SC-6] - 4/24/2008
    Rep Cohen, Steve [TN-9] - 2/7/2007
    Rep Cummings, Elijah E. [MD-7] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Davis, Danny K. [IL-7] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Delahunt, William D. [MA-10] - 2/12/2007
    Rep Doyle, Michael F. [PA-14] - 3/21/2007
    Rep Edwards, Donna F. [MD-4] - 9/29/2008
    Rep Ellison, Keith [MN-5] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Engel, Eliot L. [NY-17] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Farr, Sam [CA-17] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Fattah, Chaka [PA-2] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Frank, Barney [MA-4] - 3/7/2007
    Rep Green, Al [TX-9] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [AZ-7] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Gutierrez, Luis V. [IL-4] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Hare, Phil [IL-17] - 4/30/2007
    Rep Hastings, Alcee L. [FL-23] - 1/29/2007
    Rep Hinchey, Maurice D. [NY-22] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Hirono, Mazie K. [HI-2] - 7/23/2007
    Rep Holt, Rush D. [NJ-12] - 9/18/2008
    Rep Honda, Michael M. [CA-15] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Jackson, Jesse L., Jr. [IL-2] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Jackson-Lee, Sheila [TX-18] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Jefferson, William J. [LA-2] - 6/26/2007
    Rep Johnson, Eddie Bernice [TX-30] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Johnson, Henry C. "Hank," Jr. [GA-4] - 2/13/2007
    Rep Jones, Stephanie Tubbs [OH-11] - 5/23/2007
    Rep Kaptur, Marcy [OH-9] - 2/12/2007
    Rep Kennedy, Patrick J. [RI-1] - 9/24/2007
    Rep Kildee, Dale E. [MI-5] - 4/17/2007
    Rep Kilpatrick, Carolyn C. [MI-13] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Kucinich, Dennis J. [OH-10] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Lantos, Tom [CA-12] - 10/1/2007
    Rep Lee, Barbara [CA-9] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Lewis, John [GA-5] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Loebsack, David [IA-2] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Lynch, Stephen F. [MA-9] - 10/9/2007
    Rep Maloney, Carolyn B. [NY-14] - 1/29/2007
    Rep McDermott, Jim [WA-7] - 1/24/2007
    Rep McGovern, James P. [MA-3] - 1/24/2007
    Rep McNulty, Michael R. [NY-21] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Meehan, Martin T. [MA-5] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Meeks, Gregory W. [NY-6] - 9/20/2007
    Rep Miller, George [CA-7] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Moore, Gwen [WI-4] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Moran, James P. [VA-8] - 1/22/2008
    Rep Nadler, Jerrold [NY-8] - 1/29/2007
    Rep Napolitano, Grace F. [CA-38] - 2/27/2007
    Rep Norton, Eleanor Holmes [DC] - 3/21/2007
    Rep Olver, John W. [MA-1] - 2/16/2007
    Rep Pastor, Ed [AZ-4] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Payne, Donald M. [NJ-10] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Rangel, Charles B. [NY-15] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Richardson, Laura [CA-37] - 9/20/2007
    Rep Roybal-Allard, Lucille [CA-34] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Rush, Bobby L. [IL-1] - 2/6/2007
    Rep Ryan, Tim [OH-17] - 5/8/2007
    Rep Sanchez, Linda T. [CA-39] - 4/23/2007
    Rep Sanchez, Loretta [CA-47] - 9/20/2007
    Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-9] - 4/17/2007
    Rep Scott, David [GA-13] - 9/20/2007
    Rep Scott, Robert C. "Bobby" [VA-3] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Serrano, Jose E. [NY-16] - 2/7/2007
    Rep Solis, Hilda L. [CA-32] - 2/12/2007
    Rep Sutton, Betty [OH-13] - 3/27/2007
    Rep Thompson, Bennie G. [MS-2] - 6/12/2007
    Rep Tierney, John F. [MA-6] - 9/6/2007
    Rep Towns, Edolphus [NY-10] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Udall, Tom [NM-3] - 2/27/2007
    Rep Waters, Maxine [CA-35] - 1/29/2007
    Rep Watson, Diane E. [CA-33] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Weiner, Anthony D. [NY-9] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Welch, Peter [VT] - 5/3/2007
    Rep Wexler, Robert [FL-19] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. [CA-6] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Wynn, Albert Russell [MD-4] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Yarmuth, John A. [KY-3] - 2/27/2007

      •  111th Congress co-sponsors (50+ / 0-)

        Rep Baldwin, Tammy [WI-2] - 1/26/2009
        Rep Berman, Howard L. [CA-28] - 1/26/2009
        Rep Clarke, Yvette D. [NY-11] - 1/26/2009
        Rep Clay, Wm. Lacy [MO-1] - 1/26/2009
        Rep Cohen, Steve [TN-9] - 1/26/2009
        Rep Davis, Danny K. [IL-7] - 1/26/2009
        Rep Delahunt, William D. [MA-10] - 1/26/2009
        Rep Doyle, Michael F. [PA-14] - 1/26/2009
        Rep Edwards, Donna F. [MD-4] - 1/26/2009
        Rep Ellison, Keith [MN-5] - 1/26/2009
        Rep Engel, Eliot L. [NY-17] - 1/26/2009
        Rep Farr, Sam [CA-17] - 1/26/2009
        Rep Frank, Barney [MA-4] - 1/28/2009
        Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [AZ-7] - 1/26/2009
        Rep Gutierrez, Luis V. [IL-4] - 1/26/2009
        Rep Hinchey, Maurice D. [NY-22] - 1/26/2009
        Rep Jackson-Lee, Sheila [TX-18] - 1/26/2009
        Rep Kaptur, Marcy [OH-9] - 1/26/2009
        Rep Kilpatrick, Carolyn C. [MI-13] - 1/26/2009
        Rep Kucinich, Dennis J. [OH-10] - 1/26/2009
        Rep Lee, Barbara [CA-9] - 1/26/2009
        Rep Massa, Eric J. J. [NY-29] - 1/26/2009
        Rep McDermott, Jim [WA-7] - 1/26/2009
        Rep Meeks, Gregory W. [NY-6] - 1/26/2009
        Rep Nadler, Jerrold [NY-8] - 1/26/2009
        Rep Napolitano, Grace F. [CA-38] - 1/26/2009
        Rep Olver, John W. [MA-1] - 1/26/2009
        Rep Pingree, Chellie [ME-1] - 1/26/2009
        Rep Polis, Jared [CO-2] - 1/28/2009
        Rep Tierney, John F. [MA-6] - 1/28/2009
        Rep Tonko, Paul D. [NY-21] - 1/26/2009
        Rep Watson, Diane E. [CA-33] - 1/26/2009
        Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. [CA-6] - 1/26/2009

          •  YEAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!!!!!!! (21+ / 0-)

            THANKYOU SARA!!

            It is time for battle every one.

            Make this your number 1 priority!!!!!

            every free moment I get, I am going to put into this fight.

            They can't take my grand kids money and just put into feeding these bankers...we have to fight

            we have to fight

            (and heck i haven't had caffiene yet even)

            •  Too bad I don't have a Congresscritter (5+ / 0-)

              Or maybe it's a good thing as I don't see Rahm anywhere on those lists.  I'm sure that Feigenholtz or Quigley would be.

              The Republican Party: the party of greed, hate, anger, fear, waste, death and destruction!

              by ultrageek on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 08:15:00 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm Hoping Tom Geoghegan wins (6+ / 0-)

                He's the most progressive candidate, and has had a great career defending working people as a lawyer. Plus he supports single payer

                “First, we should “re-enact” Medicare — for everyone. We should take our single-payer health-care system and just make it wall to wall." -Tom Geoghegan

                He's one of the best candidates running for congress ever, and has been called the next Paul Wellstone.
                Help send a progressive to congress

                •  I don't buy it. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SarahLee, m16eib, Neon Mama

                  I don't think he is the most progressive.  His stance on abortion, for example, is that it is "settled law", and that he would not revisit it.  The problem is that it is not settled law, and it is often revisited, and, when asked point blank how he feels about laws which affect my uterus, he begged off.

                  Next, his view on gay rights is that it's a "states rights" issue.  Except that it is not a states rights issue, it is a "human rights" issue.  I asked the question, let's say that my wife and I get married in Canada.  Should that marriage be recognized in the United States?  Once again, he begged off.

                  Now, as you might have guessed from the above, I am a lesbian.  I want someone who represents me.  I want a Feigenholtz or a Quigley who have spent their careers fighting for gay rights and women's rights.  I don't want some lawyer who came out of no where saying not to worry my pretty little head about my rights, and to trust him, he will surely come at this with compassion.  I don't know the guy.  Why should I trust him?

                  The Republican Party: the party of greed, hate, anger, fear, waste, death and destruction!

                  by ultrageek on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 09:29:24 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Abortion isn't a congressional issue (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    SarahLee, fayeforcure, daddy4mak

                    Obama already reversed Bush's Mexico City policy, and the democratic congress isn't gonna have votes on it.

                    As for gay rights he might not call for equal marriage rights nationwide, but at least he supports it in Illinois unlike Feigenholtz who only mentions noncontroversial things like hate crime legislation, and Quigly who has no mention of gay rights or abortion at all on his website.

                    And neither Feigenholtz or Quigly support single payer healthcare. Geoghegan supports single payer and will be a strong advocate for working people instead of a corporate democrat like Feigenholtz or Quigly.

                    •  I see we'll be voting for different people (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      SarahLee

                      And honestly, if you don't know what Quigley and Feigenholtz have been doing for the gay community for the past 30 years, you're either not gay, or not from this community.

                      The Republican Party: the party of greed, hate, anger, fear, waste, death and destruction!

                      by ultrageek on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 11:41:47 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Well this is just what I saw on their websites (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        SarahLee, daddy4mak

                        I'm not from your district or gay, but I care about seeing equal rights for all Americans. I saw a stronger support of gay rights on Geoghegan's site then the other two. And also I like Geoghegan because he supports hard working Americans more then any of the other candidates, and supports single payer. To me that is issue number 1: when we're talking about a district as blue as this, the representative should be in support of single payer. Thousands of americans die every year because of lack of insurance, or inability to afford co pays and prescription meds, or the insurance companies denial of care, that is just wrong and is a dealbreaker for me. Geoghegan has proven himself by dedicating his life to fighting for the rights of working people as a lawyer, the average American is who Geoghegan cares about not the corporate CEO's, and that's why I support Geoghegan.

                        •  You know... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          SarahLee

                          ...I'm getting sick of people not from my district telling me my candidates suck

                          ...I'm getting sick of people not from my state telling me that my Senator sucks

                          ...I'm getting sick of people not from my state telling me that my Governor sucks

                          You don't know the candidates in my district.  You don't know Roland Burris.  You don't know Rod Blagojevich.  And you don't know Pat Quinn.

                          And I don't know why you care who I vote for.

                          The Republican Party: the party of greed, hate, anger, fear, waste, death and destruction!

                          by ultrageek on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 01:08:42 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Because it effects the country at large (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            SarahLee

                            I went up to New Hampshire in 08 to canvass for Shaheen, why should I give a shit since I'm from Massachusetts. These people make decisions that effect all of  us.

                            I support Tom Geoghegan because I support single payer health care. And every American deserves healthcare as a fundamental human right. The health insurance lobby is very powerful and will do anything to stop single payer from happening.

                            I support Tom Geoghegan because he cares about working people, and isn't all talk but has shown it by making his life's work defending employees and unions in court, and going after big business. He's not a democrat who talks a good talk on the campaign trail and then goes to congress and votes for the interests of big business. Geoghegan is an economically populist democrat in the vein of FDR, Frances Perkins, and Paul Wellstone.

                            Neither of your preferred candidates support single payer healthcare, so how can you defend that when the insurance companies are bankrupting and killing people by denying them care.

                          •  And you know what? (0+ / 0-)

                            MY issues matter to ME.  And I get to ask MY candidates about it.  And I get to vote them based on MY conscience.  And that is how REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT works.  

                            The Republican Party: the party of greed, hate, anger, fear, waste, death and destruction!

                            by ultrageek on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 11:32:27 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ok fine (0+ / 0-)

                            Nobody's forcing you to do anything, I'm just telling you why I think Tom Geoghegan is the best candidate, that's just my opinion, you don't have to get so defensive about it.

                        •  Tell you something (0+ / 0-)

                          I've spoken to a lot of these candidates, and where I haven't spoken to the candidate, I've spoken to the campaign manager.  If you don't see gay or women's stuff on Quigley's or Feigenholtz's site, have you picked up the phone and called them?

                          I have.

                          What I can tell you about Tom is that no one in the district knows him and he's running against a lot of big names.  He needs money, and he came here to get it claiming to be a big progressive.

                          Well, maybe in some districts, he would be considered progressive.  But this district is 92% blue.  There's a huge gay and lesbian community, one of the largest in the country.  

                          Geoghegan is pro-gay-marriage, but AS A STATES RIGHTS issue.  That means that I can get married in California.  Fine.  Maybe New Jersey too.  And maybe someday in Illinois.  It's not a states rights issue because if I get in the car, or visit my mom, all of a sudden, my marriage is null and void.  And what of any children I might have?  If it's a states rights issue, my kids can be taken away from me if I happen to be in Virginia, or Arkansas.  It's not enough for me to have MY RIGHTS AND THE RIGHTS OF MY CHILDREN being considered States Rights.

                          You're not gay.  Maybe it doesn't matter to you.  But I can tell you this: all of Tom Geoghegan's positions are based on legal precepts that I well understand: States Rights, Settled Law, that type of thing.  That's not good enough.  

                          And in this district, I don't need to settle.  There are real progressives in this race.  I'll be meeting them all tomorrow and I'll be talking to all of them.

                          But even without my vote, Geoghegan isn't going to get 50 votes out of this district.  Not with Fritchey and Feigenholtz and Quigley and Patrick O'Connor and Frank Annunzio and ALL THOSE OTHER Democrats on the ballot.

                          If he really wants to do something, he can start in the state legislature and go from there.  We turn out good people in our state legislatures... one's in the White House right now.

                          The Republican Party: the party of greed, hate, anger, fear, waste, death and destruction!

                          by ultrageek on Sun Feb 01, 2009 at 12:17:35 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm sorry if I've offended you or something (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            ultrageek

                            Obviously not being able to marry the person you love is one of terrible injustice, which I will never be able to personally know how it feels. I guess growing up in liberal Massachusetts, I don't really think of these issues when supporting a candidate, since we've had marriage equality since I was 14, and any candidate who doesn't completely support choice and gay marriage is considered on the right wing fringe and cannot be competitive in my state.

                            Can you do me a favor though? Ask your candidates to support single payer health care or at least a health care bill which contains a public option. Whether or not you do that I promise you that when I move to Florida next year, I will ask the candidates running in my district to support marriage equality because it's an important issue. We progressives need to work to advance progressive issues.  Everyone should have a right to marry who they want to, and everyone should have a right to food, shelter, medical care, and a job.

                          •  I did. (0+ / 0-)

                            All 14 of the Dems running support it, and all 8 of the Greens.  The reddies aren't going anywhere in this district.  

                            And I am married, by a rabbi, and everything.  It's just that the State, and the Country, do not recognize my marriage, because both my sexual orientation and my religion are in the minority.

                            AND IT SUCKS.

                            The Republican Party: the party of greed, hate, anger, fear, waste, death and destruction!

                            by ultrageek on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 08:15:57 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  the point is that Tom is explicitly pro 676 (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        SarahLee

                        and says so on hsi site. You assume about quigley and feigneholz -- they don't say it and they are NOT pro-676

                        second: It's pretty mean that you are trying to imply that Tom isn't pro-gay rights and and pro-choice. He is very much so and very explicit on both counts.

                        It takes a brave man to be pro gay marriage and he is one of the few.

                        You don't like him for other reasons and you aren't saying what.

                        •  I don't think he is (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          SarahLee

                          ...pro-choice or pro-gay.  I've asked specifically the questions I listed, and I got the responses I specified.

                          I think that in this, one of the most lesbian districts in America, that we don't have to compromise in terms of a strongly pro-gay candidate.

                          And, the candidate forum is Sunday.  You're welcome to come and ask the questions that matter to you of all the candidates you can shake hands with (and I'll bet they'll all be standing around taking questions for a very long time).

                          The Republican Party: the party of greed, hate, anger, fear, waste, death and destruction!

                          by ultrageek on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 01:06:25 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

            •  So happy to have you with me (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tuffy, Eddie C, m16eib, elwior, daddy4mak

              in this campaign - fighting for my grandkids as well.

        •  Kaptur's the only one from Ohio? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee, m16eib, elwior

          I want to see Fudge (my rep) and the very progressive Sutton and Ryan added to this list!

          Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

          by anastasia p on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 08:38:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Why isn't Pete Stark on this list? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee, m16eib, elwior

          He's advocated Medicare for All for decades.

          •  Call him and ask and then report (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            peace voter, m16eib, elwior

            back here.

            •  I called Stark's office and was told that he (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SarahLee, peace voter, elwior

              has re-introduced his own bill, (for the 15th or 16th time) his AmeriCare Health Insurance Act of 2009.

              As the Wall Street Journal’s Health Blog explains, under the bill, "Americans could obtain health insurance either through their employers or through a Medicare-like program the congressman calls ‘AmeriCare.’" Employers who don’t offer coverage to their employees would pay into a fund to cover their employees through the new public program.

              Obama envisions something different: a health insurance exchange that fosters competition between private insurers and a new public plan. Stark’s bill simply expands Medicare and does not directly force private plans to compete for business. "As Barack Obama takes office and sets the direction for reform efforts, Congress is poised to work with him to make comprehensive health reform a reality," Stark said. The bill is "consistent with many of the principles outlined by the President-elect."  

              Link

        •  Nice to see some new names (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee, m16eib, elwior

          including frosh Massa, Pingree, and Polis, plus Paul Tonko, who arrived very late in the 110th. Are there any others we expected to see on this list who aren't there? I was wondering about Orange to Blue candidates Jim Himes and Dan Maffei, for example.

          I make it 50 who are still around and haven't co-sponsored in the 111th after doing so in the 110th (48 who can actually vote on it, since Holmes Norton of DC and Christensen of the Virgin Islands are listed); 51 only if you count Solis, who should be resigning as soon as she's confirmed.

          Given the names of many of those 50, I'd expect to see them showing up as cosponsors very shortly.

          © sardonyx; all rights reserved

          by sardonyx on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 09:23:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  OK... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee, peace voter, elwior

          Rep Berman, Howard L. [CA-28] - 1/26/2009

          Looks like my congresscritter, or more accurately the congresscritter who represents the RIAA and MPAA instead of me, is on board again. I suspect that both Boxer and Feinstein will be on board a Senatorial version of the legislation.

          So what do I do now? :-)

          Na na na na na na na na hey hey-ey goodbye.

          by Pris from LA on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 09:38:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  To people in CA-12 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee
        I'm kind of going down the list, so I'm not just calling my congress members.

        When I called Jackie Speers (splng?) and asked if Jackie would be signing on to HR 676 because I notice Tom Lantos had been a co-signer, her aide advised it appears Jackie will not be signing on.

        I stated I was disappointed and strongly urged her to reconsider (giving 2 or 3 points as to why it's critical to convert to a single-payer system).

        PLEASE CALL HER OFFICE TO PERSUADE HER TO SUPPORT HR 676.

           

    •  Health Care Is Infrastructure (16+ / 0-)

      Health is infrastructure. Health care is the maintenance and repair service for this key element of our productive capacity. As a nation we need to treat the health of our people just like repaving a road - as an investment in our future.

      Should infrastructure generate profit? The answer should be a resounding No! Do you want the bridge toll collection, the road use fees or the subway fare to be in the hands of for-profit companies? Imagine what they could do to the price of your daily commute?

      Infrastructure itself should not be a profit generator. Infrastructure is the foundation on which others produce goods and services and make money.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

      •  not to mention (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee, Mountain Don, Cyber Kat, elwior

        it's an immediate boon to troubled businesses - being able to cut their health care expenses would indeed be a cost cutter.

        "Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise." Thomas Paine, Common Sense

        by Cedwyn on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 09:48:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  even bigger for all small businesses, I think (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee, Cedwyn

          Small businesses would now be able to compete on a more level playing field for the best workers.

          More small businesses would be able to be created and be profitable.

          All workers would become more mobile and be able to change jobs and locales much more easily.

          The problem? Big Business hates all of the above -- they like their captive workforce.

          A million people can call the mountains a fiction, yet it need not trouble you as you stand atop them. - Randall Munroe xkcd

          by Mountain Don on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 01:01:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Clyburn needs to be called; he's wavering (12+ / 0-)

      I called earlier and also called my reps (and Senators - Wyden & Merkley) to ask them to co-sponsor HR676 (or the Senate version of HR676).

      I also mailed the Oregonians for Obama mailing list (400+ members) to ask them to call.

      And I've been commenting in another healthcare diaries today about the Japanese Universal Health Care system, which I have also written about - with costs - here:  http://www.dailykos.com/...

      And a podcast interview with an expert on the Japanese system here:

      http://www.dajpodcast.org/...

      Democrats Abroad Japan is also trying to get a health care mythbusters blog off the ground detailing our experiences with Universal Health Care.  You can read some experiences/see some videos here:

      http://healthcareforamerica.blogspot...

      American overseas? Request your ballot at www.VoteFromAbroad.org

      by YoyogiBear on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 08:05:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A Premium Sucker Punch (8+ / 0-)

      Soaring Insurance Costs Are a Blow, Even When Employers Cover More of the Tab

      A growing number of workers in 2009 will pay more for health benefits -- and in some cases receive less coverage -- as their employers grapple with the financial fallout of rising medical expenses and diminished revenue and profits, recent surveys of human resource officials show.

      The Corporate Executive Board found in its survey that a quarter of officials from 350 large corporations said they had increased deductibles an average of 9 percent in 2008. But 30 percent of the employers said they expected to raise deductibles an average of 14 percent in 2009. Mercer, a global benefits consulting firm, surveyed nearly 2,000 large corporations in a representative poll and found that 44 percent planned to increase employee-paid portion of premiums in 2009, compared with 40 percent in 2008.

      The economic slowdown, according to analysts, is making it more difficult for many employers to subsidize health care costs at previous levels. On average, experts say, benefit packages contain the biggest increases for workers since the recession of 2001. Workers' health costs are rising much faster than wages.

      The cost-shifting is one more piece of bad news battering consumers, analysts said, reducing their spending power and giving them one more reason to hold on to their money. Adding to consumers' financial squeeze is the plummeting stock market, which has crushed retirement funds. Many companies, including Sears, Starbucks, FedEx and GM, have stopped matching workers' 401(k) contributions.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    •  Wow! Made the Rec list while I wasn't looking (7+ / 0-)

      Thank you all so very much.  You have no idea how much your support AND YOUR ACTION means to me.

      Thank you!

    •  Tag for the bill? (6+ / 0-)

      H.R.-676 just ain't right. In the old days, we would have gone for H.R.676-111 to make it clear which bill from which congress, but there's also an H.R. 676 that's pretty popular for this particular bill, since—and this rarely happens—they've been using the same number from congress to congress. I'll let you choose which tag you want to use.

      Eventually, we're going to get this sucker passed, so a future 676 will come along that isn't universal health care...

      © sardonyx; all rights reserved

      by sardonyx on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 08:58:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, Cedwyn, elwior, rk2
      This is DKos at its best!
    •  Nicely done! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, elwior, rk2, Prinny Squad

      Nobody doesn't like SarahLee! ;-)

      This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

      by Snud on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 10:02:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I can't volunteer (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee

      or contribute. Wish I could.

      But I emailed them my story and said they can use it if it helps.

    •  SarahLee, great diary (5+ / 0-)

      I have been in Washington since Wednesday at the Families USA 2009 Healthcare conference.

      I'm going to be writing a diary about this as soon as I collect all my thoughts.

      Suffice it to say, and it grieves me beyond words to report this, at this time, I don't see single payer happening out of the box. This does not make me happy at all, but this seems to be reality.

      We've heard from most of the major players including, Waxman, Baucus's chief health policy staffer, McDonough, Kennedy's chief staffer, and many others. We will need to fight tooth and nail to get a robust public option.

      I'm going to tell you much more, but I will say, we are about to face the fight of our lives.  On healthcare reform despite our electoral victory, nothing is guaranteed.

      I am hearing over and over, everything on healthcare hinges on whether the Dems have a spine.

      •  that's why we have to make the public option (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee, nyceve

        a viable player in the private-public health care reform plan.

      •  I can't let failure on single payer (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slinkerwink, nyceve

        "be my reality" until the votes are counted and I lose.

        I look forward to your report, but I don't need more politicians or experts to say it isn't possible - I've heard it for 20 years.  I know what they think.  

        I think they are wrong.  And I will keep trying to build the tsunami that will tear their dam down.

        Besides - read this:
        http://www.dailykos.com/...

      •  This has always been true (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nyceve, denise b

        everything on healthcare hinges on whether the Dems have a spine.

        And granted, they never had enough - or not enough of them did.  

        Still it has been a long, long time since we've faced an economy like we have now and it seems to be getting worse every day.  Unemployed workers are losing health care.  

        FDR was able to get us Social Security and he sure didn't start out thinking he could make that happen or that he even wanted to try.

        I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it.

           Franklin D. Roosevelt
           Comment to a group of reformers. His point: Until they lead the way, they shouldn't expect leaders to follow.

        Obama's speeches - but especially his inauguration speech were calls for us to lead the way.

        A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.

           Paul Romer, Economist

      •  Did you see Donna Smith's article on the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nyceve

        meeting?

        Cognitive Dissonance: The Healthcare Reform Battle's State of Mind

        So listening to the speakers here at the Families USA Health Action meeting this week has been upsetting - OK, it is outrageous to watch these folks being self-congratulatory while also promoting those purporting the overhaul of the health system with the biggest bailout we've yet given any industry in recent months. The proposed mandates for all Americans to purchase private, for-profit health-insurance (or buy into a public pool that will be weakened by the insurance interests) is being sold to us as reform and it simply is not. And my brain hurts from the disconnect.

        We want a "uniquely American" answer to the healthcare nightmare, they all say. I've heard that until my brain hurts just considering it. Oh, we're unique all right. We're the only industrialized nation on earth that tolerates the killing of its citizens on our own soil at the hands of this healthcare system and then wants to fix it all by handing more business, more money and more power to the same industry committing the murders. That's unique enough.

        The heavily funded activists (come on folks, that alone should send up big, red flags - heavily funded activists for human rights?) pushing for a private-public national healthcare policy are in and of themselves a conundrum to me. I hear on the one hand the message that the private, for-profit health insurance industry is very bad indeed - blocking healthcare through denials and high premiums and all the practices the American people have had to endure for years. But then I also see the activists and the industry folks co-mingling ever so deftly in a dance of political theater aimed at convincing us all that in response to demands for insurance regulation and restriction the industry will put up a fight but then capitulate to the demands or risk being left behind.

        Look at the list of bedfellows and trust your instincts America. Like our moms and dads taught us, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, guess what? It's a duck. A bailout called healthcare reform is still a bailout even if we're told otherwise. If AARP and UnitedHealth Care and Wal-Mart and SEIU and the others in the HCAN coalition are joining hands and forces, is there anyone among us who doesn't know that's about money and power and influence still? That's a duck. And that's going to be a very well treated duck.

        So, let me get this straight... the insurance industry has been a big part of the problem. Worse. The industry has allowed the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans every year in order to protect profits.

  •  healthcare needs to be wrested from the insurance (32+ / 0-)

    companies.  Healthcare needs to be a non-profit venture.  Bean counters have no business profitting from the infirmities of others.  It is unethical no matter how you try to spin it.

    •  Thanks! (10+ / 0-)

      Nothing to Fear but No Health Care

      Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in his March 1933 inaugural address, famously declared: "We have nothing to fear but fear itself. ... This nation asks for action, and action now." Deep in the Great Depression, a flurry of ambitious policies followed, detailed by New York Times editorial writer Adam Cohen in his new book, "Nothing to Fear." He writes that FDR developed the New Deal with key, visionary advisers and Cabinet members who enacted bold policies, among them Frances Perkins, the United States’ first woman Cabinet member. Perkins, FDR’s secretary of labor, pushed for a rapid, national relief program that formed the basis of the welfare system, and for regulations on the minimum wage and maximum hours and a ban on child labor.

      But she failed to achieve universal health care. Cohen told me: "She really was the conscience of the New Deal in many ways ... she chaired the Social Security committee. And she wanted it to go further ... to include national health insurance, but the AMA [American Medical Association], even back then, was very strong and opposed it. And she and a couple other progressives on the committee said, you know, ‘We better just settle for what we can get.’ They didn’t want to lose the whole Social Security program."

      [...]

      Michael Moore, in his film "SiCKO," includes a recording of John Ehrlichman speaking to Richard Nixon, discussing medical-insurance profits: "... the less care they give ’em [patients], the more money they [the insurance companies] make." Obama is in charge now. Whom will he emulate—Nixon or FDR? People across the political and economic spectrum, from big business to the little guy, are dying to know.

      http://www.healthcare-now.org/...

  •  Boy, this was timely. (14+ / 0-)

    I've been thinking about this for a few day, knowing that this is gonna be the biggest battle we face.

    SarahLee, I understand that there is work on the ground to be done that requires stepping away from DailyKos and other sites.  But may I suggest that you do a Friday feature, like today, just to touch base with all the people that are interested/working on this issue, so that we may coordinate our efforts in support of it.

    Thanks.

    "There we go." — Barack Obama signs executive orders to close Guantanamo & ban torture 1/22/2009

    by Chi on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 06:59:09 AM PST

  •  Now is the time, as people are losing jobs and (11+ / 0-)

    their coverage.  We can't afford to wait.  

    (And yes, this would help with those pesky family planning issues that may sneak up on a family during times of low income and unemployment.  The last thing these folks need is another baby.  Contraception!)

    I'm sick of GOP SOP!

    by xysea on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 07:14:45 AM PST

  •  Surprisingly, my Critter not on list (9+ / 0-)

    he's pretty progressive - may be able to pick him up.  ;-)

    Impeachment in the New Year, please.

    by MsGrin on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 07:15:56 AM PST

  •  Just Recommended, I understand (9+ / 0-)

    this from the hell that happens with a for profit hospital,Aliquippa Hospital shuts down when there is a community that can support it but it shuts down anyhow.  

    we need single payer within our lifetime.

    "Hey You, standing by the phone, naked all alone, can you help me..." Pink Floyd

    by Damn Frank on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 07:16:33 AM PST

  •  In the immortal words of The Doors... (13+ / 0-)

    "...the time to hesitate is through..."

  •  If you live in the St. Louis Metro area ... (12+ / 0-)

    There is a single payer leadership training session in Edwardsville on the SIU-E campus on Valentine's Day.

    Dr. Pamella Gronemeyer has announced a single-payer leadership training session that will take place from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 14 at the Religious Center at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

    Pam is a pathologist & a good friend of mine. She has been working tirelessly in Southern Illinois through DFA, MoveOn, PDA & other groups to educate the voters about single payer & HR676.

    Click on the link above for contact info.

  •  The time is now (17+ / 0-)

    This needs to happen.....millions are going to be losing their health insurance or be forced to pay for Cobra as they are jettisioned from their jobs.  Lives are at risk.

    Hey Look! The pigs are at the trough eating your future.

    by mojavefog on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 07:23:55 AM PST

  •  Covers everyone, costs less (16+ / 0-)

    Why is that so hard to understand for people?

    "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world" - Archimedes

    by mconvente on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 07:24:04 AM PST

  •  People are dying and/or going bankrupt (16+ / 0-)

    because of the for-profit Health Care Industry.
    This has got to stop.
    We need the government to take over the system NOW.

    "How can I tell you everything that is in my heart. Impossible to begin. Enough. No. Begin." Maira Kalman from The Principles of Uncertainty

    by orphanpower on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 07:25:11 AM PST

  •  Excuse me, but I just don't understand (7+ / 0-)

    why workers in the insurance industry should be provided any kind of cushion. Yes, I understand this would be a tough transition for them, but why can't they get by on ordinary unemployment like everybody else? How are hundreds of thousands of laid off Americans going to view some special provision for this one industry? Where's their two-year cushion?

    •  I have issues with that, too, but I need (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, m16eib, Tanya, mkor7, ppl can fly

      healthcare so desperately right now that I'd do just about anything to get it.

      "You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do." Anne Lamott

      by MsWings on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 08:05:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  they can just fill the positions (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee, elwior, MsWings, msdrown

        of managing the single-payer plan.

        "Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise." Thomas Paine, Common Sense

        by Cedwyn on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 09:51:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, the thing is.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee

          ...if we do eventually get to a single payer system, a lot of those jobs will go away as the administration will be more centralized. There may be satellite offices by state, region, whatever, but the whole idea is to lower the overall cost of administering the system. Cut marketing/advertising budgets, downsize IT as it would be handled on a centralized system, cut claims as you won't need so many people on the job who turn down claims, etc. So yeah, job loss will be huge. However, considering the layoffs happening now in other industries, I don't know if might be a wash overall (i.e., other companies able to hire due to an easement of health care costs for their employees, better to compete globally, etc.).

          Palin at the Repub Convention: "It was like watching Gidget address the Reichstag" - Matt Taibbi (thanks to deepfish for the quote)

          by WobegonGal on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 11:19:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I think we have to (5+ / 0-)

    place people into existing systems first:

    1. children defaulted into S-CHIP
    1. adults by choice into OPT-IN Medicare
    1. default Medicaid for the people who didn't make a choice of Medicare or employer/individual coverage

    The default Medicaid/S-CHIP premiums would calculated upon your tax return. Money for these would be due August 15th.

    At above $30,000 per adult, default Medicaid would become as expensive as OPT-IN Medicare.

    W-2 withholdings would be calculated upon your employer coverage status and OPT-IN Medicare payroll deductions.

    The W-2 would soon be replaced by a W-2I supplied by an individual's insurance company, OPT-IN Medicare, or an employer and a W-2M supplied by your mortgage servicer.  

  •  I just have one question (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, SarahLee, m16eib, veracityus

    I totally agree with HR676, but in Change #3, how can anyone believe someone can monitor and TURN AWAY anyone from receiving health care?  Right or wrong on the immigration issue, many states have lost and are losing hundreds of millions of dollars providing free health care to illegal immigrants because no one is turned away.  Remember it was McCain's campaign that said "Americans have health insurance, they can go to the emergency rooms."  Well this has been going on for decades and health care insurance premiums have skyrocketed to help defray some of the cost of free health care for illegal immigrants. What is the solution?

    "When the powerful say that the price was worth the blood and treasure, you can bet your ass it wasn't their blood, nor their treasure."

    by Texas Cowboy on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 07:34:56 AM PST

    •  I don't think that anyone (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      m16eib, Tanya, elwior, veracityus

      can be turned away from getting health care - and we could have a public health crisis if we were so inhumane that we (or any facility) tried to do that.

      This is talking about who is eligible for the payments to be covered under this plan.

      I don't have the research handy right now but the actual dollars spent to cover illegal immigrants really isn't very much for the total health care dollars.

      If they don't pay - regardless of the plan - tax payers pay for it.  No clear way around that.  The fix is not in not fixing it for U.S. citizens - but in fixing the whole immigration situation.

    •  Some potential solutions include: (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, m16eib, expatyank, Neon Mama, elwior
      # Adopt measures to systematically collect information on undocumented alien use of taxpayer-funded services. Health care providers and civil libertarians have blocked past attempts to collect such information. # Withhold foreign aid to the country of origin in the amount spent providing uncompensated medical care and refund these moneys to providers that granted services. # Require graduates of U.S. medical schools who are citizens of foreign countries to spend community service time treating illegal immigrant patients in the U.S. as contribution in kind to defray expenses billable to that country of origin. # Provide transportation to cities in country of origin where that country is able to provide medical care.

      A 2006 RAND Corporation study found that foreign-born residents, including undocumented immigrants, use less public funding and pay more out-of-pocket costs for health care than native-born residents. In 2000, native-born Americans accounted for 87 percent of the population but 91.5 percent of the $430 billion national health care bill, according to the study.

      It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. ~Frederick Douglass

      by veracityus on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 07:55:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is THE way to go. (14+ / 0-)

    I will do my part, our damn elected officials need to do theirs. Don't they work for us?

    I have insurance to the tune of about $15,000 a year in premiums, but can't get a doctor in my area worth seeing that is taking new patients. Every part of our current system is a screw to the patients and a win to insurance companies and drug companies.

    Now I am off to work to the wonderful job that pays most of those premiums!

    This time change needs to be more than the coins left in my pocket after the past 8 years.

    by debbieleft on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 07:38:08 AM PST

  •  My Letter to the Editor was Published! (18+ / 0-)

    Letter: Revive economy through health-care

    Faye Armitage
    St. Johns
    Publication Date: 01/18/09

    Editor: Many in St Johns County are part of the 48 million uninsured Americans, while another 50 million carry insufficient "junk" insurance.

    One of Dr. Martin Luther King's most famous quotes is:

    "Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane."

    Results of a groundbreaking study by The Institute of Health and Socio-Economic Policy (IHSP) should give President-elect Barack Obama and his transition team food for thought as we look for ways to revive our economy.

    According to this study, establishing a national single-payer style health care reform system would provide a major stimulus for the U.S. economy by creating 2.6 million new jobs, and infusing $317 billion in new business and public revenues, with another $100 billion in wages into the U.S. economy.

    With an expanded "Medicare for all" we would retain provider choice, eliminate the current bureaucratic rationing by for-profit HMO's, prevent those too ill to work from losing their health care, help employers to be more competitive with other advanced nations, and avoid more than 50 percent of all personal bankruptcies in our nation.

    The World Health Organization considers health care a fundamental human right.

    No one should have to sell their home to pay for their mother's cancer. No one should have to choose between food and medicine, heating and eating.

    As a nation, we pay 17 percent of our gross domestic product on health care costs, twice as much as any other "civilized" nation. Yet, the U.S. system ranks 37th in the world on health measures such as infant mortality and life expectancy, below countries such as Colombia and Morocco, and only just above Slovenia.

    America, love it and change it.

    What are we waiting for?

    Faye Armitage

    St. Johns

    Armitage is a former economics professor.

    http://www.staugustine.com/...

    "Warning Democratic politicians against being "liberal" or moving "left" remains a time-honored - even compulsive - media ritual".~ Norman Solomon

    by fayeforcure on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 07:45:50 AM PST

  •  van Hollen (MD CD9) - currently undecided (7+ / 0-)

    I called in support of the measure and was told he had not yet declared a position.  They noted my request that he support it

  •  Just called my Representative (8+ / 0-)

    in North Carolina who is not on the list of co-sponsors and asked that he get with it NOW!

  •  thank you SarahLee! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, m16eib, Ozzie, elwior, MsWings

    great work - (as always)


    ```
    peace

  •  This country will get decent Health Care only (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    m16eib

    when their elected Representatives can be removed from office by simple recall referendum at any time that the people who elected them feel that those Representatives are not truly enacting the kind of legislation that the electorate wants.

    That will require an amendment to the Constitution and there is no way that Congress itself is going to propose such an amendment.

    That means the people themselves must propose it and they can only do that by forcing the Congress to convene an Article V Convention

    Go here to learn more about Article V.

    http://www.foavc.org/

    Article V is the way the founding fathers permanently wrote the Declaraton of Independence into the Constitution.

    It was placed there so that if the day ever again came when the Government would not obey the wishes of the people, then the people themselves could peacefully change the Government.

    Well the day has come and it time to invoke Article V.

    •  I don't agree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, m16eib, ppl can fly

      Instant recall for the slightest thing that angers any group of people will result in representatives who are much more cautious and afraid to change anything. As poor an idea as term limits, another knee-jerk suggestion that has proved disastrous in Ohio.

      Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

      by anastasia p on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 08:36:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Great! That leaves us two alternatives - No (0+ / 0-)

        Health Care or Revolution.

        The lesser of the evils is Article V.

        By the way a proposed amendment only becomes law after it is ratified by 3/4ths of the States.

        It will be pretty hard to get anything too radical passed.

    •  Use the Primaries (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee

      That's why we have primary elections. And we should use them.

      Join me in finding and supporting liberal challengers in the Democratic primaries in 2010. We need to remove one of the incumbent Democrats in the House and replace them with a more progressive representative. They won't respect us until we do, and for good reason. Unless we are willing and able to replace sitting members of Congress when they don't do what the country needs, they don't need to and they will continue to make their deals with Republicans instead of the American people.

      Please help me find and install liberals in Congress in the next election cycle.

  •  Thanks for doing this! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, Tanya

    We need more and sustained pressure to get the Congress critters listening to what the people want. Daschle has mentioned March as a possible starting date to get helath care reform moving.

    We need to lay the groundwork NOW!

  •  We desperately need single-payer healthcare, BUT (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, m16eib, VClib

    Obama didn't even run on that idea. We're not going to get it in this term. The best we can hope for is taking steps in that direction, and making the argument for it -- such that Obama is ready to start campaigning on that 3 years from now. However, even that's not too likely, because the congressional Democrats would run scared from that idea.

    I've been posting comments here for a long time regarding the need to move to health care, instead of private health management and insurance. I was and remain sincere in my belief that it's an essential for a modern society -- and that it's an essential part of making our businesses competitive. However, the problems we face are so grave that I see little chance anyone in gov't is going to put their asses on the line in this particular fight. There are just too many other fights we need to win.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

    by FischFry on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 08:26:36 AM PST

  •  just a note on how to frame the conversation (6+ / 0-)

    we aren't putting the health insurance companies out of business with single-payer, they will be able to insure anything that isn't on the single-payer menu (which should be damn little as far as medically necessary healthcare is concerned)

    We are only putting a stop to private insurance plans.

  •  also get the name of the legislative aide (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, m16eib, Tanya

    for your congress-critter who deals with healthcare, often pressuring this person is more effective than pressuring a clueless congress-critter and they are more available.

    Lois Capps (CA 23) aide for this is Amy Fisher.

  •  Just so's they knows (5+ / 0-)

    exactly what you are talking about:

    "The United States National Health Insurance Act"
    H.R. 676

    Expanded & Improved Medicare For All

    Also, ask your Senators to support the senate equivalent. I don't know the numbers or name of any senate version?

    As Ct Bob pointed out before:

    When I interviewed Chris Murphy, I referred to a bunch of bills by number, many of which he personally SPONSORED, and he didn't know what I was talking about.  But when I used the common name for the bill (like "The Transportation Bill") he knew exactly what I was talking about.

    The name of the bill, as well as the number, is very important. Not just as a talking point or frame but so they know exactly what bill you are talking about.      
                               

  •  Something more you can do (4+ / 0-)

    From the SiCKO (Universal Health Care - HR 676) MyBarackObama Group Listserv

    ...read the Jan. 26th New Yorker article on health care by Atul Gawande and then "submit questions" to the guy - I think we need to rattle this guy re his portraying single payer as too extreme and instead proposing that we "build on what we have" by, of course, continuing to maintain the private (let us not forget AIG-backed) bloated health insurance industry.

    The entire article IS online however apparently one has to subscribe to the magazine to get it. Most libraries have it and it's on newsstands now. Abstract is, I believe, available on line.


    Links:

    Abstract: http://www.newyorker.com/...

    Submit "questions" to the guy:
    http://www.newyorker.com/...

  •  Blumenauer is backing a riff (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, m16eib

    on Senator Wyden's bill.  I'm not sure which is better - I'd be happy if either one got passed.

  •  I heard Thom yesterday (9+ / 0-)

    He interviewed Joe The Plumber, and only asked him plumbing questions.  It was freakin' genius.

    "I am Roland Burris and I have no taint", he said, with a straight face.

    by Nada Lemming on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 08:59:32 AM PST

  •  This provision (7+ / 0-)

    people working in the current health insurance industry will be eligible for up to 2 years salary to a max of $100,000.    It is expected that about 50% of the workers will find employment withing the new government system.

    blows me away. What really amazes me is if such a thing had been suggested to help auto workers hammered by the economy, people would go ballistic. Congressmen and Senators would be foaming at the mouth. We're expected to pay two years wages to insurance workers who'll be out of work because there won't be any demand for people to deny benefits? 50% of the industry? If this bill concerned any blue collar workers nobody would even suggest such a provision.

    Someone needs to explain to me the difference between insurance workers, brokerage employees, and auto workers. Because the only difference I see is union membership.

    "All that serves labor serves the nation. All that harms labor is treason. -Abraham Lincoln

    by happy camper on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 09:11:18 AM PST

    •  Agree it seems unfair (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cedwyn, m16eib, Cyber Kat, ppl can fly

      I think it has to do with being put in the position of the government trying to permanently eliminate a huge job sector which is different from the the auto industry - where the government is trying to figure out how to help save it.

      •  smart politics (9+ / 0-)

        Aneurin Bevan (father of the British NHS) on how to get the doctors to shut up and back national health care: "stuff their mouths with gold."

        Without a measure like this, the insurance companies and for-profit health companies will use their workforce as a battering ram to smash this plan.

        Political Compass says: -8.88, -8.67
        "We never sold out cos no one would buy."--J Neo Marvin

        by expatyank on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 09:25:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Heh. The government has been (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee, m16eib

        purposely eliminating manufacturing jobs for 20 years, and told us auto workers to retrain for nonexistent or low paying service jobs. The government only decided to save the industry because the rest of the economy was already in the tank, and the blow would have killed it.

        I'm not saying these folks don't deserve some help, because they do. I just wonder though, if the UAW had organized them years ago, if we wouldn't be listening to Richard Shelby rant about how high paid insurance workers were killing the health system.  

        "All that serves labor serves the nation. All that harms labor is treason. -Abraham Lincoln

        by happy camper on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 10:10:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I am not a supporter, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee

      I think the difference between the auto industry and the health insurance industry is that under a single payer plan the insurance industry would be legislated out of business. No one is suggesting that the auto industry be legislated out of business, but how can we help the domestic auto industry stay in business. This is an apples and oranges comparison.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 11:06:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  List of 33 current & 93 former co-sponsors. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, m16eib, TomP

    33 current co-sponsors ( http://thomas.loc.gov/... ):

    Rep Baldwin, Tammy [WI-2] - 1/26/2009
    Rep Berman, Howard L. [CA-28] - 1/26/2009
    Rep Clarke, Yvette D. [NY-11] - 1/26/2009
    Rep Clay, Wm. Lacy [MO-1] - 1/26/2009
    Rep Cohen, Steve [TN-9] - 1/26/2009
    Rep Davis, Danny K. [IL-7] - 1/26/2009
    Rep Delahunt, William D. [MA-10] - 1/26/2009
    Rep Doyle, Michael F. [PA-14] - 1/26/2009
    Rep Edwards, Donna F. [MD-4] - 1/26/2009
    Rep Ellison, Keith [MN-5] - 1/26/2009
    Rep Engel, Eliot L. [NY-17] - 1/26/2009
    Rep Farr, Sam [CA-17] - 1/26/2009
    Rep Frank, Barney [MA-4] - 1/28/2009
    Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [AZ-7] - 1/26/2009
    Rep Gutierrez, Luis V. [IL-4] - 1/26/2009
    Rep Hinchey, Maurice D. [NY-22] - 1/26/2009
    Rep Jackson-Lee, Sheila [TX-18] - 1/26/2009
    Rep Kaptur, Marcy [OH-9] - 1/26/2009
    Rep Kilpatrick, Carolyn C. [MI-13] - 1/26/2009
    Rep Kucinich, Dennis J. [OH-10] - 1/26/2009
    Rep Lee, Barbara [CA-9] - 1/26/2009
    Rep Massa, Eric J. J. [NY-29] - 1/26/2009
    Rep McDermott, Jim [WA-7] - 1/26/2009
    Rep Meeks, Gregory W. [NY-6] - 1/26/2009
    Rep Nadler, Jerrold [NY-8] - 1/26/2009
    Rep Napolitano, Grace F. [CA-38] - 1/26/2009
    Rep Olver, John W. [MA-1] - 1/26/2009
    Rep Pingree, Chellie [ME-1] - 1/26/2009
    Rep Polis, Jared [CO-2] - 1/28/2009
    Rep Tierney, John F. [MA-6] - 1/28/2009
    Rep Tonko, Paul D. [NY-21] - 1/26/2009
    Rep Watson, Diane E. [CA-33] - 1/26/2009
    Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. [CA-6] - 1/26/2009

    93 co-sponsors in the 2007-08 Congress ( http://thomas.loc.gov/... ):

    Rep Abercrombie, Neil [HI-1] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Baca, Joe [CA-43] - 9/17/2007
    Rep Baldwin, Tammy [WI-2] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Becerra, Xavier [CA-31] - 6/13/2007
    Rep Berman, Howard L. [CA-28] - 6/15/2007
    Rep Bishop, Sanford D., Jr. [GA-2] - 12/11/2007
    Rep Brady, Robert A. [PA-1] - 2/27/2007
    Rep Brown, Corrine [FL-3] - 4/17/2007
    Rep Capuano, Michael E. [MA-8] - 11/9/2007
    Rep Carson, Andre [IN-7] - 7/10/2008
    Rep Carson, Julia [IN-7] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Christensen, Donna M. [VI] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Clarke, Yvette D. [NY-11] - 2/16/2007
    Rep Clay, Wm. Lacy [MO-1] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Cleaver, Emanuel [MO-5] - 4/22/2008
    Rep Clyburn, James E. [SC-6] - 4/24/2008
    Rep Cohen, Steve [TN-9] - 2/7/2007
    Rep Cummings, Elijah E. [MD-7] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Davis, Danny K. [IL-7] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Delahunt, William D. [MA-10] - 2/12/2007
    Rep Doyle, Michael F. [PA-14] - 3/21/2007
    Rep Edwards, Donna F. [MD-4] - 9/29/2008
    Rep Ellison, Keith [MN-5] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Engel, Eliot L. [NY-17] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Farr, Sam [CA-17] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Fattah, Chaka [PA-2] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Frank, Barney [MA-4] - 3/7/2007
    Rep Green, Al [TX-9] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [AZ-7] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Gutierrez, Luis V. [IL-4] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Hare, Phil [IL-17] - 4/30/2007
    Rep Hastings, Alcee L. [FL-23] - 1/29/2007
    Rep Hinchey, Maurice D. [NY-22] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Hirono, Mazie K. [HI-2] - 7/23/2007
    Rep Holt, Rush D. [NJ-12] - 9/18/2008
    Rep Honda, Michael M. [CA-15] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Jackson, Jesse L., Jr. [IL-2] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Jackson-Lee, Sheila [TX-18] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Jefferson, William J. [LA-2] - 6/26/2007
    Rep Johnson, Eddie Bernice [TX-30] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Johnson, Henry C. "Hank," Jr. [GA-4] - 2/13/2007
    Rep Jones, Stephanie Tubbs [OH-11] - 5/23/2007
    Rep Kaptur, Marcy [OH-9] - 2/12/2007
    Rep Kennedy, Patrick J. [RI-1] - 9/24/2007
    Rep Kildee, Dale E. [MI-5] - 4/17/2007
    Rep Kilpatrick, Carolyn C. [MI-13] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Kucinich, Dennis J. [OH-10] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Lantos, Tom [CA-12] - 10/1/2007
    Rep Lee, Barbara [CA-9] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Lewis, John [GA-5] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Loebsack, David [IA-2] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Lynch, Stephen F. [MA-9] - 10/9/2007
    Rep Maloney, Carolyn B. [NY-14] - 1/29/2007
    Rep McDermott, Jim [WA-7] - 1/24/2007
    Rep McGovern, James P. [MA-3] - 1/24/2007
    Rep McNulty, Michael R. [NY-21] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Meehan, Martin T. [MA-5] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Meeks, Gregory W. [NY-6] - 9/20/2007
    Rep Miller, George [CA-7] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Moore, Gwen [WI-4] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Moran, James P. [VA-8] - 1/22/2008
    Rep Nadler, Jerrold [NY-8] - 1/29/2007
    Rep Napolitano, Grace F. [CA-38] - 2/27/2007
    Rep Norton, Eleanor Holmes [DC] - 3/21/2007
    Rep Olver, John W. [MA-1] - 2/16/2007
    Rep Pastor, Ed [AZ-4] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Payne, Donald M. [NJ-10] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Rangel, Charles B. [NY-15] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Richardson, Laura [CA-37] - 9/20/2007
    Rep Roybal-Allard, Lucille [CA-34] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Rush, Bobby L. [IL-1] - 2/6/2007
    Rep Ryan, Tim [OH-17] - 5/8/2007
    Rep Sanchez, Linda T. [CA-39] - 4/23/2007
    Rep Sanchez, Loretta [CA-47] - 9/20/2007
    Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-9] - 4/17/2007
    Rep Scott, David [GA-13] - 9/20/2007
    Rep Scott, Robert C. "Bobby" [VA-3] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Serrano, Jose E. [NY-16] - 2/7/2007
    Rep Solis, Hilda L. [CA-32] - 2/12/2007
    Rep Sutton, Betty [OH-13] - 3/27/2007
    Rep Thompson, Bennie G. [MS-2] - 6/12/2007
    Rep Tierney, John F. [MA-6] - 9/6/2007
    Rep Towns, Edolphus [NY-10] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Udall, Tom [NM-3] - 2/27/2007
    Rep Waters, Maxine [CA-35] - 1/29/2007
    Rep Watson, Diane E. [CA-33] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Weiner, Anthony D. [NY-9] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Welch, Peter [VT] - 5/3/2007
    Rep Wexler, Robert [FL-19] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. [CA-6] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Wynn, Albert Russell [MD-4] - 1/24/2007
    Rep Yarmuth, John A. [KY-3] - 2/27/2007

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 09:22:23 AM PST

    •  The problem with sponsor lists (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, HeyMikey, m16eib

      is that no one is ever removed unless they formally withdraw their sponsorship. Therefore, you have both Julia and Andre Carson listed for IN-07, even though Julia died and was replaced by Andre. Two co-sponsors translate into a single potential vote. Likewise, Martin Meehan is listed for MA-05, but he resigned and was replaced by Niki Tsongas, one of the few candidates in the special election who was not enthusiastic about single-payer, and likely therefore a lost vote.

      © sardonyx; all rights reserved

      by sardonyx on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 09:35:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is the Change America Needs (6+ / 0-)

    to reverse the privatization into "for profit" of so many hospitals, insurance plans and clinics under Reagan in the 1980s.  That was the wrong model and today we have the proof to show it: a broken, extremely expensive health care system with millions not covered by any health care plan.

    NON-profit hospitals are the way to go. Period. There shouldn't be a morbid profits game over people suffering.

    droogie6655321 lives!

    by YucatanMan on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 09:28:10 AM PST

    •  i write below admittedly not my best (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, m16eib

      outline but i have diaried it elsewhere about my idea of having medecins sans frontiere work here in California and implement their model for establishing ongoing clinics staffed by local health care workers ... my plan calls for college tuition reductions (obama) in exchance for work in community health clinics, a team of doctors funded to travel to set up clinics and train, and an independent form of 'barefoot education' which enables community members to become health care workers sans degrees by being engaged in apprenticeshp programs .....

      "Imagine better than the best you know." Neville Goddard.

      by boatsie on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 09:55:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Have to figure out my darn google account (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, m16eib

    I can never remember my log in and password.  Once I figure it out, I will def join.

  •  I Can Never Figure Out How This "Creates" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk

    2.6 million job.

    Supposedly the system we have now is terribly inefficient... that means it's taking them more people and more money to do the same amount of work.  How many jobs currently at Health Insurance companies would be lost?  Is the 2.6 million jobs a net gain?  If it is, what are those people doing?  And how can it possibly be less expensive than what we're currently paying?  If those are 2.6 million net jobs and the average one pays 30k, thats 78 billion more than we're spending now.  How can you add 2.6 million in labor and save money?

    If spittle & tooth=vigor & youth Bill-O & Savage won't grow any older If wishes & dreams=bitches & beams We'll all live in skyscrapers bu

    by TooFolkGR on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 09:34:12 AM PST

    •  It can't be true (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      m16eib

      If single payer "created" 2.6 million health care jobs, it would be the biggest boondoggle and economic waste to ever happen to this country.

      It only works if health insurance employees are laid off on a massive scale, allowing other jobs to be created by not paying their salaries.

    •  Providing health care to 50M people creates jobs. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee

      Serving 50M people without health care with basics, clinics, dental, eyes etc. is going to create jobs in actually providing the health care, mostly preventive and early intervention.

      Jobs will shift from insurance industry to health care industry.

      Will providing more health care to 50M add 2.6M net jobs? Hard to say but if we are looking at the jobs needed to provide the care currently not being provided, it's not hard to see Medicare for All add jobs.

      •  The Health Care Industry Already Employs (0+ / 0-)

        Scores and scores more people than the insurance industry, and there's currently major shortages both nursing and doctors jobs all over the country.  

        Still not sure I buy this.

        If spittle & tooth=vigor & youth Bill-O & Savage won't grow any older If wishes & dreams=bitches & beams We'll all live in skyscrapers bu

        by TooFolkGR on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 12:49:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No real shortage of health care workers. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee

          There's tons of nurses working at other jobs because of the working conditions of nurses. Hospitals mainly control costs by giving nurses bigger and bigger work loads, 4 to 6 to 10 patients.

          It is hugely stressful so nurses leave.

          Improve conditions as CA nurses did by mandating patient-nurse ratios, raise the pay and nurses come flooding back into the system.

          Just one example.  On CNA, increase the pay and benefits and you can more of them into the system. Makes nurses job easier, increases employment.

          The 2.6 million new jobs sounds like a WAG (wild ass guess) but bottom line is providing health care to 50M people who have none is going REQUIRE a lot more workers.

  •  One quarter of one percent stock transaction tax (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, Sparhawk, m16eib, VClib, BldrJanet

    As I read thru the FAQ section of the proposal, everything looked fine until I got to the last sentence of the funding for it.

    It stated that part of the funding would be through a "One quarter of one percent stock transaction tax".

    While this may not sound like a lot, this would mean a huge bite out of mine and everyone's 401k. Anytime anybody makes a change to their 401k, or the 401k fund sells a stock or buys a stock for any reason they will also pay this 0.25% tax. And, as with everything else, they will pass is it along to the customer.

    Let's say I want to move $5,000 from a growth fund to the value fund. The tax on the sale of the growth would cost me $125 in tax. Then, in addition, the purchase of the value fund would cost me an additional $125. I can't afford that.

    I already lost over 30% on my 401k in 2008. I would not look forward to lower returns in the future because of this tax. It is hard enough to earn enough money for retirement.

    So, I'm all for health care reform. We do badly need it since our current status is a disaster. But I do hope the sponsors of this proposal make adjustments to the funding of it as it will hurt a lot of people's 401ks.

    Why not instead increase income taxes on the wealthy? Or how about decreasing our defense spending. We are already spending as much money on our defense as the rest of the world put together.

    •  This doesn't bother me too much, actually (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, elwior

      Mostly because every other country in the world has a stock transaction tax but us, and seem to do fine.  And, frankly, there SHOULD be an incentive not to constantly buy and sell all the time.  The market would have greater consistency and reliability over time if there was a little weight to each stock transaction.  People might think twice more often.  

      "Don't hope for a stronger America. Vote for one." - John McCain. And I did!

      by cartwrightdale on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 10:24:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  As to #3 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, m16eib, TomP

    if any of us traveled to a country with universal health care, we would not be denied treatment.
    I was in England traveling with a friend who got a real bad case of, well, let's just say it was intestinal. A visit to a doctor and medications cost her nothing.
    I read that a guy traveling in Australia broke an arm (or something like that) and was charged a mere $20 because he wasn't on their system.
    I realize we don't want people pouring over the borders for health care (although they already do), but we have to commit to helping anyone who needs it, regardless of citizenship status.

    Electing conservatives is like hiring a carpenter who thinks hammers are evil.

    by MA Liberal on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 09:43:40 AM PST

  •  just joined the google group (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, m16eib, TomP

    thanks for this information. we at Chronic Tonic have been attempting to use kossacks networking for ongoing discussion and easy archiving of our diaries.... most of our members (41) and potential newcomers are confused by the ning ... wondering if we can use this group as well?
    and thanks for the diary as well. i hate the fact that i live here in CA and always get the recording of Hartmann particularly on Fridays when he has bernie on....
    Great diary here.

    "Imagine better than the best you know." Neville Goddard.

    by boatsie on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 09:45:25 AM PST

  •  yesterday i spoke with a local merchant (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, m16eib, elwior

    who told me i should go to INdia to see a dentist because it would cost me so little there to get an implant my dentist is estimatig would cost $15,000!!!! Yesterday, there was a great short at the end of our local nightly news about bargaining with our health care providers. gettting them to lower their costs because we are trusted customers.....

    The whole system has collapsed. We have to all start looking into Transition Towns .... they are popping up around America.... our health care has to be community based sans insurance involvemet. We need a system similar to that used in India and by Medecins sans frontiers where health care workers are trained within the community by experts to maintain our health care with specalists coming in for emergencies. Clinics set up by roving teams of doctors who engage in the training, turn over control, move on to next region, this then ties in with obama's plan to pay college students for community service. Health care students work in these clinics ... on and on....

    "Imagine better than the best you know." Neville Goddard.

    by boatsie on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 09:51:12 AM PST

  •  Dodd and Larson Get an Earful on Healthcare (8+ / 0-)

    Via Mark Pazniokas of the Hartford Courant, 675 angry and frustrated people showed up to this healthcare forum at Goodwin College:

    On the first day of a listening tour on health care, an issue pivotal to the new Congress and his own re-election, U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd got an earful Friday.

    The first comment came from a furious homeless shelter manager: He and his clients have no coverage, yet insurance giant American International Group got an $85 billion federal loan.

    Over 90 minutes, the Democratic senator heard from a string of constituents, who waved their hands, hoping for a chance to describe a struggle to hang onto middle-class lives after losing jobs and affordable health care. A few were angry, others just scared.

    On the way out, Dodd embraced one woman who burst into tears as she described losing health coverage for her disabled 2-year-old. Dodd held her until she stopped sobbing.

    Dodd says that Tom Daschle, Obama's pick to guide healthcare reform, will be coming to Connecticut to discuss the issue. I say that they better be prepared to get another earful because the incremental changes being proposed will not answer the massive problems we are facing.

    Problems like this:

    "[the forum] included the president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, a reassuring signal to Connecticut's insurance industry."

    Yep! Dodd and Larson think that these people are supposed to be our allies on this issue.

    MA regulators: Did Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Partners HealthCare collude to fix prices and raise rates 75%?

    Partners, insurer under scrutiny

    Attorney General Martha Coakley has launched an investigation into whether the state's largest health insurance company and its largest healthcare provider may have illegally colluded to increase the price of health insurance statewide over the last nine years, according to several legal and government sources.

    The attorney general sent formal demands for information to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts and Partners HealthCare late last week, the sources say, calling for a detailed account of their contract negotiations in recent years.

    Since 2000, Blue Cross has boosted the rate it pays for medical care by Partners doctors and hospitals by 75 percent, dramatically more than the increases given to most other Massachusetts hospitals. Blue Cross now pays $2 billion a year to Partners, parent company of Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women's hospitals.

    Why do we put up with this?

     I don't want these insurance industries' input into my healthcare in any way, shape or form. This is the kind of health care the insurance giants have provided us thus far:



    H/t nyceve for the video, where I encourage you to go read the entire piece and watch all the videos:

    We all know that during the Bush regime, American citizens never saw the coffins of our fallen heroes coming back from Iraq.

    Americans are also shielded from the brutal ugliness of our collapsed healthcare system. The traditional media is ill-informed (what else is new?), and rarely, if ever, give us frank and candid reporting about the grotesque realities of the U.S. healthcare catastrophe. So the BBC picks up the slack.



    One last quote from Dodd:

    "I hear people talking about a single-payer plan and the like," Dodd said. "That isn't going to happen. It's going to be a combination of public, private."

    Why might Dodd hold the view of "hearing what we are saying but not listening?

    Jackie M. Clegg Dodd serves on the board of health care, pharmaceutical, and financial services companies.

    Here's a list:

    Director ,  Brookdale Senior Living Incorporated
    Brentwood ,  TN
    Sector: HEALTHCARE  /  Long-Term Care Facilities

    Director ,  Cardiome Pharma Corporation
    Vancouver, B.C. ,  CN
    Sector: HEALTHCARE  /  Drug Manufacturers

    Director ,  CME Group, Incorporated
    Chicago ,  IL
    Sector: FINANCIAL  /  Diversified Investments

    Director ,  Javelin Pharmaceuticals, Incorporated
    Cambridge ,  MA
    Sector: HEALTHCARE  /  Drug Manufacturers

    Through these directorships she's earned more than $1 million for the Dodd family.

    You want to stay in Congress with these kinds of answers, Senator Dodd?

    "That isn't going to happen."

    Not only will all of you hear us, but you will start to listen...

  •  Here's the problem (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, m16eib, WobegonGal

    There never has been a problem with the physical healthcare delivery system or with the amount of money spent.  The problem is the private insurance system.

    It's not just a matter of greedy corporate honchos getting rich, although they are certainly part of the problem.  We spend $1 trillion on healthcare, as well as large indirect expenditures on stuff like HR departments (which would be tiny if not for benefits administration), stuff like health care accounts and health savings accounts, administrative costs for doctors, back door arrangements (do you really think your prescription drug plan's goal is to reduce costs?), and so forth.

    This mess employs a lot of people.  The "Harry and Louise" ads were not aimed at the general public.  They were designed to rile up the millions of people whose jobs depend on the current system.  It would take a tiny fraction of that workforce to run a single payor health care system, whether it's run by the government or the private sector.

    Those people -- not just the overpaid executives, but the huge political machine they've built to keep themselves in place, a private sector Tammany Hall, if you will -- are what make single payor health insurance difficult to come by.  Implementing it is easy, and it's a no-brainer from a policy point of view: it works.  It's been tried elsewhere successfully.  Re-employing all of those millions of people is the hard part.

  •  change #3< this could be a problem (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, m16eib

    When you go to Europe or any country that has universal health care, they get reciprocity between countries for people traveling from say France to England. So those with chronic conditions still get covered for emergencies related to that chronic condition, they are not told to pay up front or denied care for a preexisting condition. But if you put a restriction on it, only those living here get covered, without reciprocity those with chronic conditions are still going to find it impossible to safely travel outside the US. They cannot get coverage on travel plans for preexisting conditions, emergency or office visits are not covered for these people. They must have some kind of reciprocity with other countries to protect these people.

    15,000 CA diabetic school kids in danger due to recent court decision.Shame on the ANA,CNA,CSNO. Info http://tiny.cc/uVmZF

    by foggycity on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 10:19:03 AM PST

    •  It does hurt tourism in the USA. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, fhcec

      My father was quite well off - upper middle class, by Canada's higher standard of living - and he could not afford to take the chance of traveling to the USA because of his health issues. If he had gotten ill it would have ruined him financially. Given his specific health issues, getting blue cross just for traveling here probably would have cost him more than the actual trip.

      Reciprocity between countries is a huge plus with what is likely a minor risk.

    •  I think this was put in because of the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      m16eib, foggycity

      anger some fools have about covering illegal immigrants.  And the fear that some had that "our healthcare is so excellent" all those damned Frenchmen will come running over here for their surgeries.  

      I am betting that something will get worked out if we get the bill passed or on the floor for debate.

      •  I am currently telling our son he can't (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee

        go study abroad to Cuba or anywhere else because of this issue. currently we have to get our insurance to approve diabetes supplies for the entire period of time he is away. He has to carry all that on him(its lots of stuff) on the plane to the new school and hope none of his insulin goes bad or they don't try to stop him, though he would have a letter from his doctor. But the risk for him as a type 1 diabetic is more than I am willing to take given that a single episode of too high or too low a blood sugar with its risk factors could seriously harm him without insurance coverage. All I have been able to find is a travel policy for repatriation to an American hospital by air ambulance. Its not going to meet the health needs he would face in an emergency. He can mangae type 1 as long as he has what he needs but a clogged tube or bad insulin(refrigeration,electricity in Cuba going out is common I hear)jand suddenly his life is at great risk.

        15,000 CA diabetic school kids in danger due to recent court decision.Shame on the ANA,CNA,CSNO. Info http://tiny.cc/uVmZF

        by foggycity on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 10:42:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Kind of like the mail. Not a problem. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, foggycity

      We deliver other countries mail in US, they deliver ours.

  •  Krugman gets health care cost wrong! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, m16eib, DeeDee001, Tanya

    In today's column in the NY Times, Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize winning economist makes the case that providing universal health care for all Americans will only ADD $104B to US budget.

    If Europe/Japan provide universal health care at half the cost of US system (8% of GDP vs. 16% of GDP) then health care reform will NOT BE A COST ADDER.

    GOING TO UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE WILL SAVE THE US ECONOMY $1T PER YEAR.

    US will go from spending 16% of GDP ($2T out of $13T) to spending 8% of GDP ($1T of $13T)

    As an economist, Krugman should be making the case that going to universal health care is the single biggest stimulus to US economy we could provide.

  •  Thanks to my Congressman (Grijalva) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, rk2

    When I called his local office a few minutes ago, the staffer was more than happy to take town my message of thanks to Raul Grijalva for being a co-sponsor of the new bill. As much as I think he would have been a great Secretary of the Interior, I am very glad not to have lost him as Representative for my district.

  •  Text of LTE I just sent (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, chigh

    The time for single-payer healthcare is now. Many people are afraid of socialized medicine. They fear that it will result in long lines, an inability to choose your own doctor, and rationing of care.

    Many of us who have insurance already don’t get to choose our doctor freely. Think about it. Don’t you have to check who’s in network or takes your insurance? Don’t you have to have consultation with a specialist preapproved? If you answer yes, then you don’t have real freedom of choice. Long lines and rationing already exist in the United States. Just look at any community health clinic or emergency room. A "wallet biopsy" establishes your resources, and that determines your level of care. Many specialists flat out won’t see a patient who doesn’t have insurance. And we all pay for this. As we all know,  proper medical management of chronic conditions like diabetes makes the difference between a life like anyone else’s, or disability and early death. Keeping our working class healthy means employers get better employees, and aren’t struggling under group insurance payments that have skyrocketed in the last few years. It means a revival of the American entrepreneurial system, because people who have kept a job just for the insurance will now be able to start their own business.

    Why are we afraid of socializing our medical care? We already socialize our fire departments. When we call them for a kitchen fire or a house fire, we trust that they have the education and the knowledge of how to put out the fire and to make sure it’s all the way out. No one contracts with private fire departments, paying them a monthly premium in case they have a fire. And not everyone will have to deal with a house fire, but sooner or later, everyone needs to see a doctor. It’s criminal to ask someone who’s just learned she has cancer to fight the insurance company for care as well as fighting the cancer. It’s criminal that men, women, and children are dying in the United States for lack of basic medical care.

    Right now House Resolution 676 is on the table. It would simply and elegantly extend Medicare to all Americans. There are thirty-three cosponsors, but Mike Pence isn’t one of them. If you have ever been surprised by a bill for something you thought was covered., or put off medical care due to the cost, or worried that now your insurance bill is equal to your mortgage, call Mike Pence and ask him to cosponsor House Resolution 676. Change comes when we the people demand it.

    I will also be calling the congresscritter in a moment. Given who he is I don't expect much, but one never knows.

  •  Thank you SarahLee (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee

    your commitment is an inspiration...

    Join the California Nurses Association and National Nurses Organizing Committee at www.GuaranteedHealthcare.org/blog

    by California Nurses Shum on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 10:50:48 AM PST

  •  My Representative is Lynn Westmoreland (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee

    I don't think it would do me much good to contact Republican Representative Lynn Westmoreland.  

    Some background on Westmoreland:  He's the one who called Obama "uppity" during the past election.  He's also the one who could not list the Ten Commandments when he was on the Cobert Report in 2007 (after saying that the Ten Commandments should be published everywhere).  He also consistently speaks out against the Children's Healthcare program SCHIPS.  Westmoreland wins around here with 70% of the vote (not my vote, nor any of my family's, we're like the token Democrats in the neighborhood).

    Here's his url: http://westmoreland.house.gov/

    So, on the poll above, I clicked "some of the above" because I don't think that contacting Westmoreland will do any good.

    We need universal healthcare.  It's the one promise that Obama & Company need to keep.

  •  Call. Perhaps Rep. Clyburn is a ok with slavery (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, DeeDee001

    to our current system, because he sleeps peacefully in the bosom of taxpayer supported healthcare.

    Perhaps, incrementalism worked so well for Civil Rights, it should be applied to our healthcare.

    Perhaps we should have waited for the South's mastication capacity to change before progress was forced there.

    Perhaps, Clyburn needs to see his taxpayer subsidized dentist.

  •  Alt Offices - Phone: (803)799-1100,(843)662-1212 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee

    (803)854-4700,(202)225-3315

  •  THANKS (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee

    Nice work

    http://www.davidswanson.org

    by David Swanson on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 11:16:58 AM PST

  •  I'm utterly outraged (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, slinkerwink

    I  called my  congresswoman, Allyson Shwartz, to ask her to co-sponsor or at least declare her support for HR 676.  I  don't think she will,  but it never  hurts to  make one's   views clear.

    Feeling all energized and Obama-cized , I  figured I'd take it one step  further  in holding my  Government accountable and making sure they were on the right road.   So, I  called HHS,  since they will  be crafting  the new Health Care bill,  asking them to  use  HR 676  as a guide. I was transferred to the Secretary's Office of Legislative Affairs and felt like I  might actually be getting somewhere.

    After repeating my request , and explaining why I thought  HR 676 was the best shot at getting true Universal  Health Care, I was told that   the HHS   Office of Legislative  Affairs does not speak to  constituents, but  rather only to  members of Congress.

    I mentioned that the operator transfered me of her own free  will, and was told:

     They were trying to get rid of you.

    So, I  called Congresswoman Schwartz's office back  with the FAX  number I was given,  and was told that although I  am a constituent and have a request,  an aide to the Congresswoman cannot communicate with that office either.  Rather,  the Congresswoman herself has to sit down, think about my request   and whether she can support it,  and then send the FAX  herself,  where it will  be approved, passed on to the proper  legislative  analyst,  and considered. How arew we supposed to hold our government  accountable when they literally won't take our calls?

    •  Bravo! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fhcec

      And you know what - it doesn't matter.  Because:

      A - Your Congresswoman knows not only that you care, but that you cared strongly enough to try and reach HHS yourself.  

      B - HHS may not be able to talk to you, but now there is a tiny seed planted in that department and you have no idea where it will blow or what might water it.

      C - You know more about how things work

      D - You did something to try and make a difference - that is all any of us can do.  I love you for it.

  •  Single-Payer Is the Only Competitive System (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, RAST

    When talking with members of Congress, be sure to bring up our competitiveness as a nation. We are paying about 50% more per capita than the average country and we still have tens of millions uninsured. And most of our insurance is covered by employers, making our products less competitive in the world. When we had all the wealth in the world (a mythical time in the 1950s), that didn't matter, but considering we are a debtor nation, we ought to try to be more competitive.

  •  Thank You (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee

    SarahLee-  your words meant a lot.  Congresswoman Schwartz  must be getting tired of  hearing from me , though.  First asking for more infrastructure in the bill,  then to put back contraceptive funding  for Medicaid,  now HR 676....Oh,  and I asked her to  run for Specter's seat.

    By the way , Obama says he will  get contraceptive funding done - just not now. I  can't   find the link  but I  know I saw it somewhere.

  •  Time to Make It Happen! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee

    My wife works a $13 hour job so we can have health insurance... hers is paid for, the coverage for our 3 kids and myself costs $1000 per month deducted from her paycheck... I told her to drop my coverage (it would save over $300/month) but she is reluctant because I am 60... even tho I am in good health and rarely see a doctor...

    Then I read somewhere that insurance companies get about 31 cents of every dollar we pay for insurance...
    plus they negotiate BIG discounts with the hospitals and docs.... otherwise known as play both ends against the middle..

    Time for change...

  •  I tried to sign the petition but... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee

    I went to the website, entered the information and hit submit. A screen came up that said my information had been cancelled due to inactivity on the account. How could there have been inactivity since I typed as fast as I could and hit submit immediately?!

    Well, I tried.

  •  #4 is a non-starter (0+ / 0-)

    I know this will sound strange, but the profit motive from hospitals is not what is driving healthcare costs up.  While it's true hospitals are charging more, it has more to do with reimbursement than profit motive.

    First, the only real diffrence between non-profit and for-profit hospitals is how their profits must be spent.  A non-profit, by law, must reinvest any profits in the hospital; this is one of the ways they have capital for equipment upgrades, etc.  While the for-profit hospitals are going to disburse any profits to their shareholders, that does not mean the non-profits are going to operate at a loss.

    Second, costs go up and get shifted so it's very difficult to say where your charges came from.  For example a $20 box of kleenex that you could have bought at home for $1 seems outrageous.  However, you are not paying for any of the labor provided for you; the nurses', lab technicians', dietary workers' etc. salaries are never directly addressed in a bill.  Neither is the actual cost of the electricity you use, the room you are in, etc. The $8 tylenol helped pay the pharmacist (who checked the order to make sure it was appropriate and you were not allergic), the pharmacy tech (who had to count and deliver the medication to the nursing unit), and the nurse who administered the medication.  

    Third, (and I work in a hospital), over 80% of the time audits reveal that the patitent has been undercharged in our facility.  That means that OR time (which helps pay for the nurses assisting the doctor performing the surgery), supply charges, etc have been left off of a bill.  

    Fourth, the bill and reimbursement may not have anything to do directly with one another.  Most insurances pay by fee schedule, and even those that do pay by a percentage of billed charges pay at such a low percntage that unless you are talking thousands of dollards, it didn't effect the patient, even with deductibles and coinsurance. One of the major payers at the hospital I work for now (it is the insurance for approx 40% of our patients) only pays 15% of billed charges; that's 15 cents on the dollar.  For inpatients it's even more apparent as most insurances pay a per diem which is a fixed rate per day. If you get $1800 per diem it's $1800 per day the patient is there (based upon where they are at midnight), no more, no less.

    Fifth, Medicare and Medicaid rates of reimbursement accross the board will probably send a lot of smaller facilities under without the government providing extra payment/subsidy to the hospitals.  For outpatient Medicare pays off of APC which is a complex formula that takes into account the labor costs in your region to determine reimbursement (so you may get reimbursed one thing at my hospital, but something far less or more at another).  For inptatients Medicare pays off of a DRG, which is a weight applied to a basic reimbursement (for example, if you have pneumonia and should be in the hospital 2.6 days, reimbursement is base x 2.6).  As a rule, it is far less than most per diems, and the reason that hospitals try to get Medicare patients out very quickly.

    In case you were wondering, Congress set up Medicare that way.  Doctors get paid for every day the patient is in the hospital, so their profit motive would be to keep a patient as long as possible; hospitals are reimbursed the opposite.  The idea being that the two competing interests would ultimately do what was best for the patient.

    Medicaid pays off of a fee schedule, so individual procedures are paid for rather than being based on charges.  To give a brief glimpse into Medicaid reimbursement, my hospital went through a computer system conversion.  Because of the complexity of Medicaid's fee schedule, they needed an approximate percentage to apply a contractual to Medicaid claims(that way you could see expected reimbursement).  It was set to calculate 3% of billed charges, meaning we were writing off 97% of billed charges.

    The people who are truly punished by this system are the uninsured.  Even non-profits are unable to write off all of those bills, and while they may write off a few very high balance bills, they will not do less.  I know of a patient who owed $200,000 due to trauma, and the hospital would not write off the balance.  

    I am worried that legislation like this (which does not address the problems within the system, but does make some nice red herrings) will provoke a lot of meaningless debate, water down REAL change and ultimately prevent a single-payer system from being produced.  After all, insurance companies would benefit greatly from an alliance with the hospital and pharmaceutical industries in fighting this bill, and right now the other two lobbies would have no reason to necessarily oppose it.  This provision guarantees a fight, and with three of the most powerful (read richest) lobbies.

    •  McDonald's (0+ / 0-)

      sells hamburgers for $1-$3.

      $20 boxes of Kleenex?

      Even Medicare pays too much for hospital care.

      Compare to Canadian or Australian prices.

      •  McDonald's (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee

        Has collective bargaining power to buy at very low prices and pays their employees $7.50 an hour.  Hospitals (even in large chains) don't have the buying power of McDonald's.  And would you really want a nurse taking care of you for $7.50 an hour?

    •  High-cost hospitals need to be replaced (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee

      by competitive medical complexes set up by and leased by insurers.

      These might be old shopping centers.

      A group of nurses might run beds out of a former Talbot's store.

      Another group of nurses might run beds out of a former Lane Bryant store.

      A group of surgeons might run a operating center out of a former menswear store.

      A former department store might become a nursing home.

      A lab might be set up in a former sweater store.

      A former cafeteria with outside frontage might become a 24-hour ER.

      An ICU might be set up in a former store nearby.

      A former film developing store might become a X-ray shop.

      A former candy store might become an MRI store.

      A dozen other former stores might become doctors offices.

      The food court would gain a controlled diet business.

      Many other stores might remain in business.

      This model would allow insurers to capitalize on their distressed retail property.

      Hospitals only continue to exist because they alone can receive Medicare hospital payments and states therefore grant the hospitals an effective local monopoly.

      •  The way insurance regulations work (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee

        If you do not accept Medicare, you cannot get funding from the primary insurances (i.e. Blue Cross). Not to mention you would have to face the Certificate of Need board in many states who would simply laugh you out of existence.  It is not legal to start providing care without the approval of the state.

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