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Medicare-for-All!

Nuadha

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 377

Report this Feb. 10 2010, 7:04 am

In response to Obama's claim that he would listen to any plan that could work, Dr. Margaret Flowers, a member of Physicians for a National Health Program, has been trying to deliver this letter to Obama but has not been successful:


Dear President Obama,

I was overjoyed to hear you say in your State of the Union address last night: "But if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know."

My colleagues, fellow health advocates and I have been trying to meet with you for over a year now because we have an approach which will meet all of your goals and more.

I am a pediatrician who, like many of my primary care colleagues, left practice because it is nearly impossible to deliver high-quality health care in this environment. I have been volunteering for Physicians for a National Health Program ever since.

For over a year now, I have been working with the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care/National Single Payer Alliance. This alliance represents over 20 million people nationwide, from doctors to nurses to labor, faith and community groups, who advocate on behalf of the majority of Americans, including doctors, who favor a national Medicare-for-All health system.

I felt very optimistic when Congress took up health care reform last January because I remember when you spoke to the Illinois AFL-CIO in June 2003 and said:

I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care program. [Applause] I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its Gross National Product on health care cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody.

And that's what Jim is talking about when he says everybody in, nobody out. A single-payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that's what I'd like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House."

And that is why I was so surprised when the voices of those who support a national single-payer plan/Medicare for All were excluded in place of the voices of the very health insurance and pharmaceutical industries which profit off the current health care situation.

There was an opportunity this past year to create universal and financially sustainable health care reform, rather than expensive health insurance reform. As you well know, the United States spends the most per capita on health care in the world, yet leaves millions of people out and receives poor return on those health care dollars in terms of health outcomes and efficiency.

This poor value for our health care dollar is due to the waste of having so many insurance companies. At least a third of our health care dollars go towards activities that have nothing to do with health care, such as marketing, administration, and high executive salaries and bonuses. This represents over $400 billion per year, which could be used to pay for health care for all of those Americans who are suffering and dying from preventable causes.

The good news is that it doesn't have to be this way. You said that you wanted to "keep what works," and that would be Medicare. Medicare is an American legacy of which we can feel proud. It has guaranteed health security to all who have it. Medicare has lifted senior citizens out of poverty.

Health disparities, which are rising in this nation, begin to disappear as soon as patients reach 65 years of age. And patients and doctors prefer Medicare to private insurance. Why, our Medicare has even been used as a model by other nations which have developed and implemented universal health systems.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
MR. PRESIDENT, we wanted to meet with you because we have the solution to health care reform. The United States has enough money already, and we have the resources, including esteemed experts in public health, health policy and health financing. Our very own Dr. William Hsiao at Harvard has designed health systems in five other countries.

I am asking you to meet with me because the solution is simple. Remove all of the industries that profit off of the American health care catastrophe from the table. Replace them with those who are knowledgeable in designing health systems, and who are without ties to the for-profit medical industries. And then allow them to design an improved Medicare-for-All national health system. We can implement it within a year of designing such a system.

What are the benefits of doing this?

-- It will save tens of thousands (perhaps hundreds of thousands) of American lives each year, not to mention the prevention of unnecessary suffering.

-- It will relieve families of medical debt, which is the number one cause of bankruptcy and foreclosure, despite the fact that most of those who experienced bankruptcy had health insurance.

-- It will relieve businesses of the growing burden of skyrocketing health insurance premiums so that they can invest in innovation, hiring, increased wages and other benefits, and so they can compete in the global market.

-- It will control health care costs in a rational way through global budgeting and negotiation for fair prices for pharmaceuticals and services.

-- It will allow patients the freedom to choose wherever they want to go for health care, and will allow patients and their caregivers to determine which care is best without denials by insurance administrators.

-- It will restore the physician-patient relationship and bring satisfaction back to the practice of medicine so that more doctors will stay in or return to practice.

-- It will allow our people in our nation to be healthy and productive and able to support themselves and their families.

-- It will create a legacy for your administration that may someday elevate you to the same hero status as Tommy Douglas has in Canada.

Mr. President, there are more benefits, but I believe you get the point. I look forward to meeting with you and am so pleased that you are open to our ideas. The Medicare-for-All campaign is growing rapidly and is ready to support you as we move forward on health care reform that will provide America with one of the best health systems in the world. And that is something of which all Americans can be proud.

With great anticipation and deep respect,
Margaret Flowers, M.D.
Congressional Fellow, Physicians for a National Health Program

chr3335

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 7914

Report this Feb. 10 2010, 7:18 am

My navy medical sucks why would you want to force that on everyone else.

Corwin88

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 312

Report this Feb. 10 2010, 7:55 am

Quote (chr3335 @ Feb. 10 2010, 7:18 am)
My navy medical sucks why would you want to force that on everyone else.

It's not about care , it's about control.  

You will never hear that, but that is what the drive for government control of healthcare is.

Forcing more and more to depend on government for their very lives. That would tend to get the sheeple to vote for those that promise more free (government paid for with your tax money) stuff.

The Democrats love these programs and want to EXPAND the size and scope of government.

The Republicans are just as guilty because they always compromise in the name of 'bi-partizan' support. Democrats are incrementalists , they advance their agenda in tiny steps over time.

Nuadha

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 377

Report this Feb. 10 2010, 7:56 am

Quote (chr3335 @ Feb. 09 2010, 8:18 am)
My navy medical sucks why would you want to force that on everyone else.

No one said anything about your Navy Medical.      Medicare allows you to get medical care through the same doctors and hospitals that you would use through your insurance, not the VA doctors.

Corwin88

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 312

Report this Feb. 10 2010, 7:59 am

Quote (Nuadha @ Feb. 10 2010, 7:56 am)
Quote (chr3335 @ Feb. 09 2010, 8:18 am)
My navy medical sucks why would you want to force that on everyone else.

No one said anything about your Navy Medical. ¿ ¿ ¿Medicare allows you to get medical care through the same doctors and hospitals that you would use through your insurance, not the VA doctors.

Navy doctors are not VA doctors.

Did you know that?

chr3335

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 7914

Report this Feb. 10 2010, 8:02 am

Quote (Nuadha @ Feb. 09 2010, 8:56 am)
Quote (chr3335 @ Feb. 09 2010, 8:18 am)
My navy medical sucks why would you want to force that on everyone else.

No one said anything about your Navy Medical. ¿ ¿ ¿Medicare allows you to get medical care through the same doctors and hospitals that you would use through your insurance, not the VA doctors.

My navy medical allows for the same thing but only if they take tricare

Nuadha

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 377

Report this Feb. 10 2010, 8:17 am

Quote (Corwin88 @ Feb. 09 2010, 8:55 am)
Quote (chr3335 @ Feb. 10 2010, 7:18 am)
My navy medical sucks why would you want to force that on everyone else.

It's not about care , it's about control. ¿

You will never hear that, but that is what the drive for government control of healthcare is.

Forcing more and more to depend on government for their very lives. That would tend to get the sheeple to vote for those that promise more free (government paid for with your tax money) stuff.

The Democrats love these programs and want to EXPAND the size and scope of government.

The Republicans are just as guilty because they always compromise in the name of 'bi-partizan' support. Democrats are incrementalists , they advance their agenda in tiny steps over time.

No one claims that it will be "free."  Of course it will be paid ofr by taxes.        What it will be is universal and lacking the for-profit insurance companies adding a whole layer of unnecessary expenses to health care.    

Do you seriously believe that people who support a single-payer system (which by the way few Democrats are even talking about) like those other civilized countries have are just wanting to chip away at your freedoms and create some sort of hellish totalitarian state?    Did France become a totalitarian state?   How many freedoms did the UK take away after they got their foot in the door with a single-payer system in 1948?    I mean they've had a lot of time to get those tiny steps you speak of....

norwegian

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 3022

Report this Feb. 10 2010, 8:34 am

While there is a danger to allowing the government to control health care, there is also a danger to letting insurance companies do it.  They also incrementally chip away at what's covered, how much they pay, and who they cover.  And free market forces don't work as well when the people controlling the product realize people feel they have to have it.

Corwin88

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 312

Report this Feb. 10 2010, 8:45 am

Quote (Nuadha @ Feb. 10 2010, 8:17 am)
Quote (Corwin88 @ Feb. 09 2010, 8:55 am)
Quote (chr3335 @ Feb. 10 2010, 7:18 am)
My navy medical sucks why would you want to force that on everyone else.

It's not about care , it's about control. ?

You will never hear that, but that is what the drive for government control of healthcare is.

Forcing more and more to depend on government for their very lives. That would tend to get the sheeple to vote for those that promise more free (government paid for with your tax money) stuff.

The Democrats love these programs and want to EXPAND the size and scope of government.

The Republicans are just as guilty because they always compromise in the name of 'bi-partizan' support. Democrats are incrementalists , they advance their agenda in tiny steps over time.

No one claims that it will be "free." ¿Of course it will be paid ofr by taxes. ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿What it will be is universal and lacking the for-profit insurance companies adding a whole layer of unnecessary expenses to health care. ¿ ¿

Do you seriously believe that people who support a single-payer system (which by the way few Democrats are even talking about) like those other civilized countries have are just wanting to chip away at your freedoms and create some sort of hellish totalitarian state? ¿ ¿Did France become a totalitarian state? ¿ How many freedoms did the UK take away after they got their foot in the door with a single-payer system in 1948? ¿ ¿I mean they've had a lot of time to get those tiny steps you speak of....

Knowing the ineptitude of government in general I don't want to depend on them when I need medical care.  I can't get them to fix the roads and bridges as it is, and I already pay taxes for them to do just that..

I will see an increase in taxes, a decrease in quality and access to care. I see no upside.

I am not entitled to healthcare. Nor should anyone else.

Again, they won't come out and say it's about control.

And using other examples from other countries is invalid and useless, as it's an 'apples and oranges' comparison.

I also never said 'hellish totalitarian state' so stop trying to imply I did. I said control, as in more dependency on government for survival.

If our quality of care is so bad, why do people flock to the US from countries that have government provided healthcare?

norwegian

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 3022

Report this Feb. 10 2010, 8:53 am

With universal coverage, if my taxes go up $4000, so what?  I pay more than that with my premiums to the insurance companies.  Which I would be able to drop.  One cannot say "Your taxes will go up".  You have to be able to say "your taxes will go up more than what you're paying the insurance companies."  No one ever says that.

Nuadha

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 377

Report this Feb. 10 2010, 9:34 am

Quote (Corwin88 @ Feb. 09 2010, 9:45 am)
Quote (Nuadha @ Feb. 10 2010, 8:17 am)
Quote (Corwin88 @ Feb. 09 2010, 8:55 am)
Quote (chr3335 @ Feb. 10 2010, 7:18 am)
My navy medical sucks why would you want to force that on everyone else.

It's not about care , it's about control. ?

You will never hear that, but that is what the drive for government control of healthcare is.

Forcing more and more to depend on government for their very lives. That would tend to get the sheeple to vote for those that promise more free (government paid for with your tax money) stuff.

The Democrats love these programs and want to EXPAND the size and scope of government.

The Republicans are just as guilty because they always compromise in the name of 'bi-partizan' support. Democrats are incrementalists , they advance their agenda in tiny steps over time.

No one claims that it will be "free." ?Of course it will be paid ofr by taxes. ? ? ? ?What it will be is universal and lacking the for-profit insurance companies adding a whole layer of unnecessary expenses to health care. ? ?

Do you seriously believe that people who support a single-payer system (which by the way few Democrats are even talking about) like those other civilized countries have are just wanting to chip away at your freedoms and create some sort of hellish totalitarian state? ? ?Did France become a totalitarian state? ? How many freedoms did the UK take away after they got their foot in the door with a single-payer system in 1948? ? ?I mean they've had a lot of time to get those tiny steps you speak of....

Knowing the ineptitude of government in general I don't want to depend on them when I need medical care. ¿I can't get them to fix the roads and bridges as it is, and I already pay taxes for them to do just that..

I will see an increase in taxes, a decrease in quality and access to care. I see no upside.

I am not entitled to healthcare. Nor should anyone else.

Again, they won't come out and say it's about control.

And using other examples from other countries is invalid and useless, as it's an 'apples and oranges' comparison.

I also never said 'hellish totalitarian state' so stop trying to imply I did. I said control, as in more dependency on government for survival.

If our quality of care is so bad, why do people flock to the US from countries that have government provided healthcare?

Quote
I will see an increase in taxes, a decrease in quality and access to care. I see no upside.

As has already been said, if the increase in taxes is less than the insurance premiums, then what is the problem?   Regarding the reduction in quality, why would quality be reduced.  Again, we are talking about the same doctors and hospitals.

Quote
Again, they won't come out and say it's about control.

It isn't.   Its about what is right.

Quote
I also never said 'hellish totalitarian state' so stop trying to imply I did. I said control, as in more dependency on government for survival.

If our quality of care is so bad, why do people flock to the US from countries that have government provided healthcare?

People don't "flock" here.    The very wealthy come here when they live in countries that do not have good health care.  We have excellent health care for anyone who can afford it.   We do have the best doctors and equipment.    We have more specialists trained to handle unique cases.      None of that would change.  What would change is how people pay for health care.   That is all.   Quit trying to scare people with horror stories of health care getting worse, when a single payer system would not change one bit the things that make our health care good..      We'll still have the best schools for doctors and we will still have the best equipped hospitals.       We would just get rid of the insurance industries, who have done absolutely nothing to improve health care in this country and are the reason we pay so much for our care and still get the same results as countries who pay less.

Corwin88

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 312

Report this Feb. 10 2010, 10:14 am

Quote (Nuadha @ Feb. 10 2010, 9:34 am)
Quote (Corwin88 @ Feb. 09 2010, 9:45 am)
Quote (Nuadha @ Feb. 10 2010, 8:17 am)
Quote (Corwin88 @ Feb. 09 2010, 8:55 am)
Quote (chr3335 @ Feb. 10 2010, 7:18 am)
My navy medical sucks why would you want to force that on everyone else.

It's not about care , it's about control. ?

You will never hear that, but that is what the drive for government control of healthcare is.

Forcing more and more to depend on government for their very lives. That would tend to get the sheeple to vote for those that promise more free (government paid for with your tax money) stuff.

The Democrats love these programs and want to EXPAND the size and scope of government.

The Republicans are just as guilty because they always compromise in the name of 'bi-partizan' support. Democrats are incrementalists , they advance their agenda in tiny steps over time.

No one claims that it will be "free." ?Of course it will be paid ofr by taxes. ? ? ? ?What it will be is universal and lacking the for-profit insurance companies adding a whole layer of unnecessary expenses to health care. ? ?

Do you seriously believe that people who support a single-payer system (which by the way few Democrats are even talking about) like those other civilized countries have are just wanting to chip away at your freedoms and create some sort of hellish totalitarian state? ? ?Did France become a totalitarian state? ? How many freedoms did the UK take away after they got their foot in the door with a single-payer system in 1948? ? ?I mean they've had a lot of time to get those tiny steps you speak of....

Knowing the ineptitude of government in general I don't want to depend on them when I need medical care. ?I can't get them to fix the roads and bridges as it is, and I already pay taxes for them to do just that..

I will see an increase in taxes, a decrease in quality and access to care. I see no upside.

I am not entitled to healthcare. Nor should anyone else.

Again, they won't come out and say it's about control.

And using other examples from other countries is invalid and useless, as it's an 'apples and oranges' comparison.

I also never said 'hellish totalitarian state' so stop trying to imply I did. I said control, as in more dependency on government for survival.

If our quality of care is so bad, why do people flock to the US from countries that have government provided healthcare?

Quote
I will see an increase in taxes, a decrease in quality and access to care. I see no upside.

As has already been said, if the increase in taxes is less than the insurance premiums, then what is the problem? ¿ Regarding the reduction in quality, why would quality be reduced. ¿Again, we are talking about the same doctors and hospitals. The current plan will have me pay taxes on my 'premium' plan.Unless I'm in a union. Quality will suffer because of doctors only treating what the government allows. That and once the government gets involved in anything have you ever seen the quality of the service provided go up? Ever? The department of Education is a perfect example. Tens of thousands of government workers costing taxpayers billions of dollars a year and almost none of them will ever see, much less teach a child.

Quote
Again, they won't come out and say it's about control.

It isn't. ¿ Its about what is right. You go with that. Right would be fixing the 3 to 4 existing healthcare systems the government already controls, then I'll let them tackle the problems we do face.

Quote
I also never said 'hellish totalitarian state' so stop trying to imply I did. I said control, as in more dependency on government for survival.

If our quality of care is so bad, why do people flock to the US from countries that have government provided healthcare?

People don't "flock" here. ¿ ¿The very wealthy come here when they live in countries that do not have good health care. ¿We have excellent health care for anyone who can afford it. ¿ We do have the best doctors and equipment. ¿ ¿We have more specialists trained to handle unique cases. ¿ ¿ ¿None of that would change. ¿What would change is how people pay for health care. ¿ That is all. ¿ Quit trying to scare people with horror stories of health care getting worse, when a single payer system would not change one bit the things that make our health care good.. ¿ ¿ ¿We'll still have the best schools for doctors and we will still have the best equipped hospitals. ¿ ¿ ¿ We would just get rid of the insurance industries, who have done absolutely nothing to improve health care in this country and are the reason we pay so much for our care and still get the same results as countries who pay less. The why is Premier of Newfoundland in Canada coming to the US?

Quote
N.L. Premier Williams set to have heart surgery in U.S.
Heart surgery in US

I also never said it was getting worse, I said it would under government control. Employers will drop people in job lots to improve the bottom line and force folks to rely on the public option, dumping more and more into the pool. Quality will suffer as a result. And no one want's to improve the way insurance companies do business across state lines, or tort reform, or offering group options to small businesses.

There are a ton of things that could be done to improve the way insurance is delivered and used in the US.

But you just want to gut the industry and force me to buy or pay for a product or service or tax and fine me if I don't

I live in a state that forces me to have health insurance or taxes me hundreds of dollars.

Show me in the US Constitution where I HAVE to buy a product or service.

Corwin88

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 312

Report this Feb. 10 2010, 10:15 am

Quote (TheChronicOne @ Feb. 10 2010, 9:48 am)
Let's just let a bunch of folks die because they aren't wealthy.

That's always a winner. :D :sarcastic:

I'm far from wealthy and I'm not going to die.

Yet I pay my own way.

Imagine that.

Paying for a service on my own.

:laugh:

dandandat

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 3117

Report this Feb. 10 2010, 10:51 am

A single payer systems where every member of society pays their fair share for free point of perches healthcare for all is a great idea. And I do believe it could go a long away toward improving the healthcare for all.

What I lack is trust.

Trust that the government can take on a monumental task such as this and implement it correctly without all the waist and abuse seen in other similar programs.

Trust that the government can put their petty squabbling to the side long enough to make real and worthwhile legislation; instead of ramming partisan legislation through congress that was written by special interest groups and insurance companies to benefit these groups and companies and not the American people.

Trust that every member of society will pay their fair share.

Sorry I like my current healthcare, it works fine for me and I don¿t trust that the government can do any better; in fact I am confident they will do much worse. I really do feel for all those people who may not have such as good healthcare as I do or no healthcare at all. I even feel for those illegal immigrants who don¿t have health care. But when it comes to choosing between them and my family; my family wins every time.

When the government can prove to me that it has evolved past it current state of dysfunctionality and society evolves to shed off freeloading tendencies; then I¿d be willing to support a single payer system.

Corwin88

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 312

Report this Feb. 10 2010, 10:55 am

Quote (TheChronicOne @ Feb. 10 2010, 10:35 am)
Quote (Corwin88 @ Feb. 10 2010, 9:15 am)
Quote (TheChronicOne @ Feb. 10 2010, 9:48 am)
Let's just let a bunch of folks die because they aren't wealthy.

That's always a winner. :D :sarcastic:

I'm far from wealthy and I'm not going to die.

Yet I pay my own way.

Imagine that.

Paying for a service on my own.

:laugh:

What if you needed a medical service that costs $100,000's a year, but you don't even MAKE $100,000 in a year, and/or your insurance denies paying for it because it's "experimental."

Since you can't pay and neither will the insurance, the place giving the treatment refuse to see you. You wind up dying.

What about that?

Sucks to be me.

Better find a way to raise funds.

I don't expect others to shoulder my burden.

Perhaps people should ask why that procedure costs so much.

Nah, that would be wrong.

:laugh:

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