reform

Vermont Single Payer: What It Is and What You Can Do

Originally published January 22, 2011 - 21:46

Ed. Note: The following is a diary written by Kossack DrSteveB and is reprinted with permission and without further comment from myself - CM1

Throughout 2009 and into early 2010, while the health reform we got nationally was being watered down by the corporate conservadems in the Senate, the Vermont legislature was moving forward. An important step was back in June 2010 when they decided upon the Harvard-MIT analytic group led by Prof. William S. Hsiao (who had done some of the modeling for Taiwan's transition from private insurance to single payer) and Jonathan Gruber (who did some of the modeling for the Obama-Baucus reform we got nationally).

They were charged with providing detailed policy and economic analysis of three possible proposals, two of which was to be variations of single payer. In Vermont, the least progressive proposal was the equivalent of the most progressive that the U.S. House of Representatives considered, being a relatively strong public option while leaving private insurance in place to compete. That was the charge from Vermont legislature, suggesting strong and real support for single payer. In November, Democrat Peter Shumlin won election for Governor running explicitely on a single payer platform.

And what he said: AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka, "the Senate bill remains inadequate. Substantial changes must be made"

After passage of the Senate health care reform bill today, Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO echos Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) with in his statement of the need for more work in order to align its key measures with those retained in the House bill.  Full quote, as per FDL's David Dayen. is quoted in full:

What she said: Louise Slaughter - "Senate bill isn't health reform"

Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, a Democrat, represents the 28th Congressional District of New York.

I agree with Congresswoman Slaughter and she says it pretty simply so I just want you to see her editorial, at CNN.

A Democrat's view from the House: Senate bill isn't health reform:

Ass kissing liberal apologists for failed health care reform

Michael Collins

The myth that the Democratic plans for health reform will produce anything by the target date of 2014 is only exceeded in absurdity by the myth that the world will end on December 21, 2012.

"New media" pundit Eric Alterman is down on his knees, genuflecting before the graven idol of Democratic Party interests. He wrote a full fledged justification supporting the current idol with feet of clay, the Democratic health care reform effort ongoing in the United States Senate. The article looks like talking points hot off the press from the White House Office of Disinformation since he's giving the president credit for all the good things which have materialized as if by magic in the latest Senate's efforts.

To begin with, he failed to note these very real issues in the health care debate: the immediate need by tens of millions for adequate health care and financial relief from exorbitant prices; the preservation of insurance companies at the center of public health care, companies with no interest in or obligation for the public welfare; and, the gross hypocrisy of the president demanding that health reform not add one penny to the deficit while he spends hundreds of billions for the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq - pure deficit operations with no discernible benefit to citizens.

Alterman starts out with this catchy header:

Constitutional Hypocrisy

Millions of Americans are politically informed, smart, active and angry. They see many wrongs in our political and government system. They are fed up with politics as usual, meaning corrosive corruption of politicians by corporate and other special interests. They see little good in either the Democrat or Republican parties. And they almost always share a common bond: They love and honor the US Constitution, even though they may see some flaws in it. Yet they are also constitutional hypocrites.

Please read the rest of my article at:

"Deficit Neutral" Health Care Reform

Absurdity upon Absurdity

Michael Collins

The health care debate and general political climate compound absurdity upon absurdity.

First we're told that our health care is only worth the time and
effort if the remedy has no negative impact on the budget.  No deficits
allowed.  The deficit risk defines your chances for health and
longevity.

HealthCare Nightmare: The Man That Nobody Wanted.

Once upon a time in America, about 20 years ago somewhere in Atlanta Georgia, an elderly man was very ill and suicidal.

His healthcare nightmare began with whatever was happening that required him to be placed into an ambulance for emergency transportation to receive emergency services.

But instead of simply going directly to some place to be cared for, he took a detour down a rabbit hole.

For the next 20-some hours he would be on that ambulance.

Of Course AHIP is Funding the Attack on Health Reform

Once again, in what I shrilly take to be his care to not be perceived as too shrill or too, you know, progressive, Ezra Klein tries to make the argument that the Republican Party and the conservative movement are out in front and out of control in their attacking health reform, in ways that are not supported or funded by big business in general and AHIP in particular.


That is both silly and wrong, and as evidence listen to the dog that is not barking.


Single Payer at the table... on Colbert Report tonight

Tonight's (Tuesday, July 21, at 11:30 pm EDT) Colbert Report will have Dr. Aaron Carroll talking about single-payer health reform.


Dr. Carroll is a board member of Physicians for a National Health Program, an organization of 16,000 physicians, medical students and health professionals who support single-payer national health insurance.

A Fairness Doctrine for Healthcare?

I have been following the healthcare reform debate with increasing fear that this opportunity to produce meaningful change in the way healthcare is paid for in this country will be squandered.  Considering that this is the first real chance of making serious change since Harry Truman was President, it would be reasonable to guess that if we pass this one up, it will be decades before we have another such chance.  


AMA is only 20%, BUT other Doctor groups need to SHOUT!

As many of us have pointed out for years, only a small (15 to 25%), declining and unrepresentative number of physicians belong to the despicable AMA.


In fact, despite the AMA position, 59% of physicians support "government legislation to establish national health insurance"!

Health Care Reform in the House - Committees & Contacts


For several months the apparent public action has been in the Senate, first mostly with the Finance Committee (Baucus) and more recenlty, finally in the Health Committee (Kennedy, with Dodd and Harkin).


Late last week the House became more publicly active wiht Majority Leader Steny Hoyer having a publicized meeting with the leadership of the the three committees (and their subcommittees working to develop health care reform legislation in the House - Energy and Commerce Committee (Henry Waxman; Frank Pallone), Ways and Means (Charles Rangel & Pete Stark), and Education and Labor Committee (George Miller & Robert Andrews).