discuss, debate, decide

Howard Dean Wants 250,000 Signatures For Public Option

Is that all?

We can do that and still have time for a beer break and a very long nap...

Sign the petition

Give America a choice. We support healthcare reform that allows individual Americans to choose either a universally available public healthcare option like Medicare or for-profit private insurance. A public option is the only way to guarantee healthcare for all Americans and its inclusion is non- negotiable.

Any legislation without the choice of a public option is only insurance reform and not the healthcare reform America needs.

If you don't sign this sucker I am signing it in your name for you! lol jk

I may be a strong single payer advocate but I am no fool. There is a line in the sand that can not be crossed in this fight. If there is no public option - and not some junk insurance that is on par with most private policies, but a decent public option that covers everything a Doctor thinks should be covered - then it will not be health reform at all. Just more of the same.

AHIP offers you a pipe dream. It is not the first time:

AHIP announces that it MAY help the people that are, for all intents and purposes, uninsurable IF we give into all of their demands. Where have we heard that one before?

"But it’s unclear what exactly AHIP is conceding. For one, the industry made very similar "concessions" in December of 1992, promising to "provide the standard package regardless of a person’s medical history‘" and work with the government to "stabilize health-care prices" if everyone was required to purchase insurance. This latest proposal is, for the most part, just a regurgitation of past efforts — proposals the industry rejected once the administration proposed an actual plan.

And, this time, AHIP has nothing to lose. They’re asking the government to protect and even increase its monopoly over providing insurance to Americans under 65 and to strengthen safety net programs that would siphon off the poorest (read: sickest) Americans."

IOW: AHIP is offering to make more money in a healthcare monopoly. But no real solutions.

If I have to beg you to get you to sign this... I will. I shouldn't have to but I will and I will do it for your own good with a smile on my face.

[edited] title to match the phone request. Originally asked for 200,000 thousand signatures, as per video request. He asked for 250,000 on the phone. Doesn't that mean we need 300,000 signatures to be as successful as usual?


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Connecticut Man1 on March 25, 2009 - 22:21

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susie dow on March 26, 2009 - 00:16

I can't believe we still don't have universal health care in this nation. I guess we should be lucky we're not still using crank telephones.

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Connecticut Man1 on March 26, 2009 - 01:09

thiongs that always pissed me off when I moved to the States. I can not, for the life of me, figure out how it has been this way for so long with out people taking to the streets and going ballistic?

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carol white on March 26, 2009 - 09:01

If you've had first hand experience it would be interesting to learn how it worked in practice. I lived in England for about two years in the 'seventies. I had no problem being seen by a family doctor--can't remember why, something minor. However at that time the health situation here wasn't so apalling. I had a family doctor in the U.S. who charged something like $5 or $10 a visit and I had low cost health insurance to cover hospitalization and the biggies through my job. 

I think its very exciting that Dean is taking on an active role and I will sign on right now.


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Connecticut Man1 on March 26, 2009 - 12:10

High in grains and fiber, eh! I grew up in Montreal and we moved to the states when my wife was recruited out of university (McGill). The main differences between the two systems are that sincew Canada adopted their Single Payer (really it is not sigle payer since each province operates its own plan - they have multiple single payer systems) their costs have not grown as much as the US system because the demand for profit has not been as much of an issue. Then there are the rationing differences. In the US it is based on profit. In Canada rationing is based on what the Doctors view as a neccessary, elective and who the best candidates are the for certain procedures.

For example: In the USA a 60 year old may get a transplant because they have insurance and a 12 year old may wait (or die waiting) because they do not. In Canada a healthier candidate like the 12 year old will get poriority.

Which scenario makes sense to you?

In US hospitals people walk around wondering how they are going to pay for services. In Canada the family worries more about how the patient is doing. You might pay extra for a private hospital room while you recover, or a TV and a phone in the room. But you will have a free room if you don't want to pay for it.

The Canadian system ain't perfect. People still need insurance for drugs and dental. Though, the government will pay for those things as a safety net for the poor.

They use a progressive tax system to pay for their healthcare in Canada as well. The rich subsidize the poor a little bit.

In 2004, Tommy Douglas was voted by Canadians to be the "Greatest Canadian Ever!" He is considered to be the "Father of the Canadian Single Payer System" if you need an idea of how much Canadians value their health care plan. If Obama were really interested in an historic legacy? Note Tommy Douglas, Mr. President.

And if you wonder why, sometimes, health care stuff I have written in the past seems to be directed towards the state of Connecticut, look no further to how Single Payer started in Canada:


Douglas's number one concern was the creation of Medicare. In the summer of 1962, Saskatchewan became the centre of a hard-fought struggle between the provincial government, the North American medical establishment, and the province's physicians, who brought things to a halt with the 1962 Saskatchewan Doctors' Strike. The doctors believed their best interests were not being met and feared a significant loss of income as well as government interference in medical care decisions even though Douglas agreed that his government would pay the going rate for service that doctors charged. The medical establishment claimed that Douglas would import foreign doctors to make his plan work and used racist images to try to scare the public.[citation needed] Their defenders have also argued that private or government medical insurance plans covered 60 to 63 percent of the Saskatchewan population before Medicare legislation was introduced.[citation needed]

An often forgotten political fact is that though Douglas is widely hailed as the father of Medicare, he had retired from his position as Saskatchewan's premier, turned over this job in 1961 to Woodrow Lloyd and took the leadership of the federal New Democratic Party.

The Saskatchewan program was finally launched by his successor, Woodrow Lloyd, in 1962. The success of the province's public health care program was not lost on the federal government. Another Saskatchewan politician, newly elected Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, decreed in 1958 that any province seeking to introduce a hospital plan would receive 50 cents on the dollar from the federal government. In 1962, Diefenbaker appointed Justice Emmett Hall—also of Saskatchewan, a noted jurist and Supreme Court Justice—to Chair a Royal Commission on the national health system - the Royal Commission on Health Services. In 1964, Justice Hall recommended the nationwide adoption of Saskatchewan's model of public health insurance. In 1966, the Liberal minority government of Lester B. Pearson created such a program, with the federal government paying 50% of the costs and the provinces the other half.

Tommy Douglas talking about the future of Medicare:

Those GNP numbers are decades old. Canada's costs have not increased much compared to GNP since then, if at all? The US is now up around 17% give or take.

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carol white on March 26, 2009 - 09:27

It really is great to see Howard Dean back taking a leading role in public life again. Remember the pivotal role he played in reshaping the Democratic party, starting with his aborted 2004 campaign for President after the Dem powers-that-be lined up behind Kerry and the media faked the stupid video of him supposedly screaming. In case you don't know the story, they filtered out the crowd noises that were otherwise drowning out his voice!


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