Ralph Nader: Health Care Hypocrisy

By Ralph Nader
Nader.org

About the only lesson Barack Obama has learned from the Hillary and Bill health insurance debacle of 1993-1994 is to leave Michelle Obama out of his current drive to get something—anything—through the Congress labeled “reform”.

Otherwise, he is making the same mistakes of blurring his proposal, catering to right-wing Democrats and corporatist Republicans, who want an even mushier “reform” scam, and cutting deals with the drug, hospital, and health insurance industries.

His political opponents become bolder with each day as they see his party base in Congress weakening, his polls dropping, and a confused public being saturated with unrebutted propaganda by the insatiable profiteering, subsidized health care giants.

Their campaign-money-greased minions on Capitol Hill and the corporatist Think Tanks and columnists are seizing on President Obama’s aversion to conflict and repeated willingness to water down what he will fight for.

The loud and cruel baying pack comes in the form of William Kristol (“This is not time to pull punches. Go for the kill.”), Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) (“If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.”), and Charles Krauthammer yammering wildly about medical malpractice and tort law. Krauthammer does not substantiate his claims or mention the many victims of malpractice as he gleefully predicts “Obamacare sinking.”

All these critics have gold-plated health insurance, of course.

Hillary tried to appease the drug and hospital companies. Obama invites them to the White House, where they presumably pledged to give up nearly $300 billion dollars over ten years without any specifics about how this complex assurance can be policed.

No matter, in return Obama and his aides agreed not to press Congress to authorize the federal government to negotiate drug prices with the drug industry. Don’t worry: the taxpayers will pay the bill.

At a meeting on July 7 at the White House between drug company executives, Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, and Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), the industry, according to The New York Times, was promised that the final legislative package would not allow the reimportation of cheaper medicines from Canada or other countries even if they meet our drug safety standards.

Since these industry meetings at the White House are private, no one knows how many other concessions were made. What is known is that Barack Obama knows better. A former supporter of single payer health insurance (often described as full Medicare for all with free choice of physician and hospital and the elimination of hundreds of billions of dollars of corporate administrative costs and billing fraud), then-Illinois state senator Barack Obama predicted, in 2003, that it would be enacted once Congress and the White House were controlled by Democrats. Well, that is now the situation, but, as President, he believes single payer is not “practical”.

Single payer health insurance is supported by a majority of the American people, majority of physicians and nurses, and nearly ninety members of the House of Representatives. (See H.R. 676 and singlepayeraction.org.)

A clear replacement of the private health insurance companies with federal insurance, as Medicare for the elderly did in 1965, allows for clear language. Twenty thousand people die in America each year because they cannot afford health insurance, according to the Institute of Medicine. Hundreds of thousands more suffer because they have no insurance to treat their diseases or injuries.

Single payer means everyone is covered from birth, as is the case now in every western nation. Imagine no lives lost or suffering due to no health insurance.

Fuzzy proposals, regularly altered and over-complicated due to the hordes of avaricious corporate lobbyists, make politicians like Obama very susceptible to lurid descriptions and lies by his vocal, well-insured opponents. Finally, the Obama people are using “health insurance reform”, rather than the misnomer “health care reform” which opened them up to charges that government would take over health care. All proposals, including single payer, are based on private delivery of health care.

Now enters the well-insured libertarian Cato Institute with full-page ads in the Washington Post and The New York Times charging Obama with pursuing government-run health care. A picture of Uncle Sam pointing under the headline “Your New Doctor.” Nonsense. The well-insured people at Cato should know better than to declare that this “government takeover” would “reduce health care quality.”

About 100,000 lives are lost from medical-hospital negligence per year, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. This vast tragedy is hardly going to get worse under universal government health insurance that assembles data patterns to reduce waste, enhances quality, and transparency. By contrast, the secretive big health insurers who make more money the more they deny claims, ignore their loss prevention duties.

In 1950, when President Truman sent a universal health insurance bill to Congress, the American Medical Association (AMA) launched what was then a massive counterattack. The AMA claimed that government health insurance would lead to rationing of health care, higher prices, diminished choices and more bureaucracy. The AMA beat both Truman and the unions that were backing the legislation, using the phrase “socialized medicine” to scare the people.

Fifty-nine years later, “corporatized medicine” has produced all these consequences, along with stripping away the medical profession’s independence. Today, the irony is that the corporate supremacists are accusing reformers in Washington of what they themselves have produced throughout the country. Rationing, higher prices, less choice, and mounds of paperwork and corporate red tape. Plus, fifty million people without any health insurance at all.

On Thursday, July 30, 2009, there will be a mass rally for a single payer system in Washington, DC. It is time to put what most Americans want on the table. (See www.Healthcare-Now.org for more information.)

44 thoughts on “Ralph Nader: Health Care Hypocrisy

  1. HSR0601

    The House leaders reached a deal on Medicare payments: A “Pay for Value” reimbursement system that rewards doctors and hospitals that achieve the best outcomes at the lowest cost.

    As a result, The House gained a lot of votes, a lot of people who were withholding support.

    The federal Medicare program insures some 44 million elderly and disabled Americans at an annual cost of $450 billion, almost one-fifth of total U.S. health care spending.

    Supporters of the agreement say it could save the Medicare System more than $100 billion a year and improve care, that means $1trillian over a decade. (Please visit http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=820455&catid=391 for detailed infos)
    The Times in a July 7 editorial argued “As much as 30 percent of all health-care spending in the U.S. -some $700 billion a year- may be wasted on tests and treatments that do not improve the health of the recipients,” Thus the remaining $239 billion over a decade does not matter.
    No one can disagree with this best outcome / evidence-based system, and private insurance, too, will be greatly influenced by this change with the focus on value over volume. !

    THANK YOU !

  2. Kathy

    I’m totally opposed to anything that leads to bigger government and its expanded influence over the lives of citizens. Freedom has never been a “safe” choice for anyone. The exercise of true freedom has always been fraught with risk. What Americans must decide is whether they still want freedom aka liberty (not license — there’s a difference) or whether they prefer a cage fashioned by those in Washimgton, to whom each one of us is little more than just another number in a massive government database. And you know what happens to numbers — they are used, studied, and manipulated. I’ll take my chances outside the cage, thank you, regardless of the risks involved.

  3. Hy Mayerson

    President Obama this week said the Health Care Crisis was “complicated”. I became quite concerned. My thoughts on the presidents performance have been thoughts of disappointment. With the use of this political “cop-out”: complicated, I am becoming disenchanted with the lack luster performance & no change.
    I canvassed for President Obama on 3 different days. I would not do that today.

  4. MTB

    Kathy,
    You are being misled. The people who keep telling you “we don’t want bigger government”already gave you bigger government. They already “meddled in our lives” more than any government. We’re talking about pennies for health care compared to military profligacy and waste. EVERY western nation has better healthcare, and many of those actually have more freedom and choice than we do.
    There is not a free market in our healthcare system. A free market rewuires that buyers and seller both want to make the exchange of service for money. In healthcare the patients want the care, the medical professionals want the money, but the insurer does not want that transaction to happen at all…because they lose money if it does. We have been had by for-profit insurance. It isn’t a question of political theory. We are being robbed blind by this system..ALL OF US.
    We need a new system where someone other than an accountant is in charge of our medical treatment. Drop the narrow interpretation of Capitalism (which would have even Adam Smith and David Ricardo shaking their heads), and recognize when you are being manipulated.

  5. Sarasvatia

    Single Payer is the only viable option. Profit-driven insurance companies have too much money, unrestrained access to the deciders and a system that permits representatives of We The People to accept substantial campaign contributions towards the deciders’ campaigns. The latter puts the beholden representatives, witnessed time and again, including the recent “healthcare” reform debate, in an intolerable position of loyalty to the source of funding, not the constituency with a pulse. Not exactly a mark of a democratic society.

    Definition of democracy: a system of government by and for ALL the eligible members of the state. Not the abundantly well-heeled or in position of power, but ALL of We The People.

    Let’s not forget another simple basic truth: without the moneys earned by We The People, business would not exist, i.e., it’s time we put the horse and driver back, in front of cart. (As proof see the growing number of businesses closing for lack of spenders).

    It’s time this country joined the humanitarian world and offered equal health care to all of its people. This will free the doctors and nurses from the dizzying array of paperwork to practice their profession. It will free incapacitated patients from driving themselves to a hospital because of prohibitive costs of ambulance companies. This will free the uncommon talent in the emergency rooms to serve those in dire need of urgent and immediate care.

    Arbitrary and unconscionable liberties that for-profit “health” insurance companies take with the health and well-being of its customers have proven, over many decades, that a business entity enters into the arena to make a profit, the bigger the better. It is counter-intuitive to expect a business with shareholders to care about the needs of the sick. How can anyone with a conscience tolerate a few to become rich beyond their capacity to ever spend it, while thousands of families lose all their savings and property? Why should anyone have to consider eugenics or suicide as an alternative? The only competition that will stem this barbaric system that bankrupts families, is Single Payer.

    If there are those who wish to have the option of instant care for non-life threatening occasions, luxuriously appointed hospital rooms and other high-end quality supplemental options, only then does free market insurance make sense, but only in the form of supplemental, not basic, care.

    The market-driven for-management-and-shareholders-profit option has proven itself to be very costly and unconscionably uncaring of the sick. The price of insurance is, and will keep, rising exponentially, I sometimes wonder, when a containable epidemic will be allowed to wreak massive havoc, because a business deems it of no consequence, or the patient intimidated into ignoring the symptoms. We’ve had a resurgence of TB which was thought to be eradicated. HIV ought never have been allowed to become a massive tragedy. What next?

    Not least of all: “health” insurance companies put endless numbers of MDs in the amoral position of having to violate their Hippocratic oath. What next: courts where the oath to tell the truth becomes a negotiable item?

    If courts and its functionaries, guardians of the rule of law and safety for We The People, are maintained by the government, then why does the same not apply to the medical establishment, guardians of our health and well-being without which no system can function? Or is socialised law next on the privatisation agenda?

    Good healthcare ought to be a constitutional right. After all, those who cannot afford to take care of minor ailments eventually end up being a burden to themselves, their families and society, notwithstanding the lost productivity, thus affecting us all.

    Kathy, freedom and healthcare for all are two very different, not interchangeable, concepts. Our military budget that interferes in the affairs of others is larger than the military budget of the rest of the world combined. We are being killed by a substandard medical system, and are killing others for being… other. Is this your definition of freedom – from Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness?

  6. Lou

    Ralph, thank you for continuing to work to protect the American people. You’ve probably done more than anyone else in history to do so. Your “single payer” plan will not come about in Obama’s one-term presidency. He sold out his health care views as he sold out just about everything else. But thank you for trudging on. I wish more people knew your background and how very much you have served this country and gotten little in return. You can look in the mirror each day and know that you have stayed firm in your beliefs, even at the cost of votes. That’s something very few, if any, politicians can do.

  7. Gerry High

    I do appreciate Ralph Nader for his constant fighting for our rights as citizens in this corporate world. I read Kathy’s comment regarding our being free. I beleive we have been losing them as we must allow our urine samples to be tested to get jobs watch our political views so we do not end up on a watch list or why can’t we just fly to Cuba or any country we want. Where is the freedom in that. We must keep fighting for our rights and for a single payer healthcare system. I prefer my tax dollars to be used for our health and not the destruction of countries such as Iraq or Afganastan.

  8. sasha2008

    Public Option?

    I think the fear of the unknown is the greatest barrier to entry for the good of the people.

    So – let’s look at something familiar with most adults- Airlines. Or at least the basic idea and basic knowledge and I emphasize basic.

    In the late 80’s and early 90’s – Chicago had two of the largest carriers in the industry – American & United Airlines

    Both carriers operated out of O’Hare Airport.

    Chicago had a second airport Midway Airport- however Midway was old- decrepit and practically sitting idle. Midway Airport had a start-up airline, Midway Airlines, willing to fly out of Midway Airport. However even though they were able to enter the Chicago market overcoming the barriers to entry- they only lasted a few years. Midway Airlines – with limited route destinations – eventually failed, however- Southwest flourished.

    In the interim- Southwest Airlines overcame barriers to entry laws in Texas that restricted entry into an industry that already had one of the greatest barriers to entry in the world.

    Southwest entered the Chicago Market but was only allowed to operate out of Midway Airport.

    Southwest entered the market with more destinations to where they competed with United and American only they flew out of Midway Airport.

    A perfect example:

    For decades American Airlines and United Airlines both offered service to business travelers approximately 3 flights per day from Chicago O’Hare Airport to Providence Rhode Island.

    A round trip fare – on United or American for mid week travel, i.e. depart Tuesday, return Thursday, ranged between $700.00 – $900.00.

    Once Southwest Airlines offered comparable service from Midway Airport to Providence, RI with a round trip fare of less than $200.00 RT – guess what United and American did?

    Need I say more?

    United and American both began to charge $199.00 for the exact itinerary they charged $900.00, pre- southwest.

    Public Option into the Health Industry Oligopoly is our Southwest of the Airline Oligopoly!

  9. paulie Post author

    Posted by Roderick Long at http://praxeology.net/aotp.htm#1:

    Those who see government power and corporate power as being in conflict, and those who seem them as being in cahoots, each have a point. The alliance between government and the corporate elite is like the partnership between church and state in the Middle Ages: each one wants to be the dominant partner, so there’s naturally some pushing and shoving from time to time; but on the other hand the two parties have a common interest in holding down the rest of us, and so the conflict rarely goes too far. The main difference between “left-wing” and “right-wing” versions of statism, as I see it, is that the former generally seek to shift the balance a bit farther in favour of the state (i.e., toward state-socialism) while the latter generally seek to shift the balance a bit farther in favour of corporatism and plutocracy. (In the U.S., the reigning versions of liberalism and conservatism are arguably both more corporatist than state-socialist; but the liberals are still a few notches farther toward state-socialism than the conservatives are.)

    But whether the special interests who are the primary beneficiaries of state power are mainly within the state apparatus or mainly outside it, the actual application of state power remains much the same. Hence it is a mistake to suppose that the corporatist-plutocratic version of statism is in any interesting sense less statist than the state-socialist version.

    But it is an all-too-common mistake – and this tendency to underestimate the chasm between free markets and corporatism is enormously beneficial to the state, enabling a slick bait-and-switch. When free markets and government grants of privilege to business are conflated, those who are attracted to free markets are easily duped into supporting plutocracy, thus swelling the ranks of statism’s right wing – while those who are turned off by plutocracy are likewise easily duped into opposing free markets, thereby swelling the ranks of statism’s left wing. (These are the two tendencies that Kevin Carson calls “vulgar libertarianism” and “vulgar liberalism,” respectively.)

    As one of the villains in The Fountainhead explains in a moment of frankness, talking about the choice Europe was then facing between communism and fascism:

    “If you’re sick of one version, we push you in the other. We’ve fixed the coin. Heads – collectivism. Tails – collectivism. Give up your soul to a council – or give it up to a leader. But give it up, give it up, give it up. Offer poison as food and poison as antidote. Go fancy on the trimmings, but hang on to the main objective.

    The largely (though not completely) illusory conflict between state-oriented Palpatine and corporate-oriented Dooku in the Star Wars prequels is a nice dramatisation of the same principle.

    This dynamic applies in particular to the debate over health care policy. The contrast between, say, the Canadian and American approaches is frequently described – by both sides – as a contrast between a “governmental” or “socialised” system on the one hand, and a “market-based” or “free enterprise” system on the other. But the American health care system bears little resemblance to a free market; instead it represents massive government intervention on behalf of private special interests, from insurance companies to the medical establishment. The choice between the American and Canadian models is simply a choice between different two different flavours of statism – each with somewhat different vices, it’s true (e.g., do you prefer higher prices or longer waits?), but ultimately coming down to a matter of the percentage to which control of your healthcare is exercised by people sitting in government offices as opposed to being exercised by people sitting in governmentally-privileged “private” offices – but in either case by ambitious, avaricious apparatchiks who aren’t you.

    So what would a libertarian approach to health care policy look like? At a minimum it would have to include:

    1. Repealing laws that have the effect of cartelising the medical industry (e.g., the licensure monopoly granted to the A.M.A.), thus artificially boosting the cost of medical care.

    2. Repealing laws that have the effect of rendering the labour market oligopsonistic, thus artificially lowering people’s ability to pay for (and collectively negotiate for) medical care.

    3. Repealing laws that shift healthcare funds from the 25%-devoured-by-overhead voluntary sector to the 75%-devoured-by-overhead coercive sector, thus decreasing the amount of healthcare that gets to needy recipients.

    4. Repealing laws that transfer the power to make medical decisions for individuals from those individuals to centralised bodies, thus increasing the impact and scope of fatally bad decisions and suppressing the competitive signals that allow the identification of better and worse policies.

    5. Repealing laws that wiped out the old mutual-insurance systems (basically HMOs run by the patients instead of by corporations) and empowered insurance companies at the expense of patients.

    6. Repealing laws that suppress innovation and distribution in the pharmaceutical industry in the name of “intellectual property.”

    Until the unlikely day when the Republican Party embraces this program, let’s hear no more of their favouring a free-market approach to health care.

  10. Rev Zef

    The entire health insurance industry is as ridiculous as mortgages and other credit.
    What is the reason for insurance? It is so people are able to pay a small amount into a system that regulates the money and distributes it to those who need it when they need it. This assumes that not all will need it at the same time, which would bankrupt the system. The problem is everyone needs it all the time now, and the system is bankrupt. What is ridiculous is that all these things, health care, home costs, and most everything else are phenomenally over priced to begin with. It is what has become of the “company store,” where the pay is almost enough to live on, and everything else has to be borrowed because the prices are jacked up to put a little extra in a few privileged pockets. This system is designed and owned by the elite who use it to make themselves rich for free. People just give money away so they can be safe in some unknown future, only to discover when the time comes that what they need is not covered or some other nonsense. And it has been this way for so many decades that everyone thinks it is the natural way of things. Insurance will not be needed if a way can be found to keep health care affordable to begin with. A simple meal of oatmeal and applesauce at the hospital for instance costs up to 10 times that of a gourmet meal at a five star restaurant, at a fraction of the quality. Aspirin cost $10 each. The whole system needs to be overhauled to ELIMINATE insurance by regulating the costs and adjusting the wages of the people who are always paid less than what it costs to live. Insurance and mortgages are clearly implemented not to help people but to make a few people very very rich without working. Rather than insurance reform, lets go back to health care reform. It should be the minority who can’t afford it, not this overwhelming majority. The real shame is that people actually think it is natural for the 2 most basic needs of life apart from food to be outlandishly more expensive than anybody can ever afford, with the exception of the small elite. And they don’t really pay for anything at all, yet they make all the decisions and reap all the benefits. But this is a pipe dream, for we are slaves in a world designed to keep us that way so that a few can afford $5,000 haircuts, which we pay for too.

  11. paulie Post author

    Kathy // Jul 25, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    I’m totally opposed to anything that leads to bigger government and its expanded influence over the lives of citizens. Freedom has never been a “safe” choice for anyone. The exercise of true freedom has always been fraught with risk. What Americans must decide is whether they still want freedom aka liberty (not license — there’s a difference) or whether they prefer a cage fashioned by those in Washimgton, to whom each one of us is little more than just another number in a massive government database. And you know what happens to numbers — they are used, studied, and manipulated. I’ll take my chances outside the cage, thank you, regardless of the risks involved.

    MTB // Jul 25, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Kathy,
    You are being misled. The people who keep telling you “we don’t want bigger government”already gave you bigger government. They already “meddled in our lives” more than any government.

    Paul: True enough, but I did not see Kathy make any defense of that.

    MTB
    We’re talking about pennies for health care compared to military profligacy and waste.

    P] I certainly agree with you about the military, but I don’t believe single payer, public option, single provider, or any of the other choices offered will cost “pennies,” nor do I think that one area of government overspending somehow justifies another.

    MTB:
    EVERY western nation has better healthcare, and many of those actually have more freedom and choice than we do.

    p] Debatable, since there are many different criteria to judge by, but in any case I am not a defender of the present system, and I saw nothing in Kathy’s post to indicate whether she is or is not. When comparing potential systems, I would look outside the range of those presently in place.

    MTB
    There is not a free market in our healthcare system. A free market rewuires that buyers and seller both want to make the exchange of service for money.

    p] I’m glad we agree. We do not have a free market in health care. I believe we ought to have one.

    MTB
    In healthcare the patients want the care, the medical professionals want the money, but the insurer does not want that transaction to happen at all…because they lose money if it does. We have been had by for-profit insurance. It isn’t a question of political theory. We are being robbed blind by this system..ALL OF US.

    p] I agree and I think the solution will grow out of examining why health care payment came to be dominated by government and corporate insurance rather than fee for service plus private charity, and how we could go to the more community-based organic system that previously existed. See

    http://www.ruwart.com/Healing/chap5.html

    for details.

    MTB
    We need a new system where someone other than an accountant is in charge of our medical treatment. Drop the narrow interpretation of Capitalism (which would have even Adam Smith and David Ricardo shaking their heads), and recognize when you are being manipulated.

    p] I agree about accountants (see previous selection from Roderick Long in my last comment), but I don’t know how you read what you read here into Kathy’s short and straightforward comment.

  12. paulie Post author

    If courts and its functionaries, guardians of the rule of law and safety for We The People, are maintained by the government, then why does the same not apply to the medical establishment, guardians of our health and well-being without which no system can function? Or is socialised law next on the privatisation agenda?

    I certainly hope so.

  13. paulie Post author

    Kathy, freedom and healthcare for all are two very different, not interchangeable, concepts. Our military budget that interferes in the affairs of others is larger than the military budget of the rest of the world combined. We are being killed by a substandard medical system, and are killing others for being… other. Is this your definition of freedom – from Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness?

    This is the second person that I have seen read something about military spending into Kathy’s comment. I did not see her comment on that issue. Speaking for myself, I fully agree with you about military spending, but not health care.

    I believe that the power to tax coercively should be taken away from the regime, and individuals should be free to spend their money and time as they see fit, including how they provide for their health as well as their security. This includes any and all manner of voluntary organization, whether for profit or not, but not any coercive organization of any sort.

  14. paulie Post author

    Ralph, thank you for continuing to work to protect the American people. You’ve probably done more than anyone else in history to do so. Your “single payer” plan will not come about in Obama’s one-term presidency. He sold out his health care views as he sold out just about everything else. But thank you for trudging on. I wish more people knew your background and how very much you have served this country and gotten little in return. You can look in the mirror each day and know that you have stayed firm in your beliefs, even at the cost of votes. That’s something very few, if any, politicians can do.

    Not so much. See

    http://realchange.org/nader.htm

  15. paulie Post author

    I read Kathy’s comment regarding our being free. I beleive we have been losing them as we must allow our urine samples to be tested to get jobs watch our political views so we do not end up on a watch list or why can’t we just fly to Cuba or any country we want. Where is the freedom in that. We must keep fighting for our rights and for a single payer healthcare system. I prefer my tax dollars to be used for our health and not the destruction of countries such as Iraq or Afganastan.

    I agree with you about piss tests, watch lists, flying to Cuba, and the destruction of countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

    However, I did not see where Kathy addressed any of those points, thus I don’t see why you and all the other people who keep bringing them up do so. For all you know she agrees with us about those things as well, as I agree with what she wrote as far as it goes.

    When we fight for freedom, we must fight for all our freedoms all the time, since a government which is big enough to give you whatever you want is also by that fact big enough to give you a bunch of things you don’t want (e.g. piss tests, watch lists, not flying to Cuba, and the destruction of countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan., etc)

    Instead of preferring where your tax dollars go, I’d prefer you keep all of them, not pay anything to the world’s largest monopoly, and decide individually (or through voluntary collectives) what to spend it on – as well as your time and labor – rather than have it dictated to you by a large collective that provides one size fits all solutions — such solutions typically causing more problems than they solve.

  16. paulie Post author

    Public Option into the Health Industry Oligopoly is our Southwest of the Airline Oligopoly!

    Bad analogy. Southwest has the bottom line pressure of making a profit or going out of business. Government monopolies can just coerce more money out of taxpayers with the threat of force.

  17. Michael H. Wilson

    Nader is totally wrong on this comment; “Single payer means everyone is covered from birth, as is the case now in every western nation. Imagine no lives lost or suffering due to no health insurance.”

    Many countries have a mix of government and private, or some variation.

  18. Michael H. Wilson

    Here’s a comment from Uwe Reinhardt’s post at the N.Y. Times on the healthcare systems in three European nations.

    “Not necessarily, if the health systems of the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland are any guide.

    None of these countries uses a government-run, Medicare-like health insurance plan. They all rely on purely private, nonprofit or for-profit insurers that are goaded by tight regulation to work toward socially desired ends. And they do so at average per-capita health-care costs far below those of the United States — costs in Germany and the Netherlands are less than half of those here.”

    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/17/health-reform-without-a-public-plan-the-german-model/

  19. runescape gold

    I was gonna comment on Obama’s health care bill scaring the daylights out of the Democratic party resulting in his ratings nose diving to earth. The drop is so precipitous I shall wait till it hits single digits.

  20. Mik Robertson

    This is a huge issue with a lot of repercussions. There have been some great comments, and Roderick Long is spot on.

    What I don’t understand is what makes a government-run health system ‘single-payer’? Is that just a term to make it politically palatable? It would seem to me if the government were to run it, it would be an ‘everybody-payer’ system.

  21. paulie Post author

    What I don’t understand is what makes a government-run health system ’single-payer’? Is that just a term to make it politically palatable? It would seem to me if the government were to run it, it would be an ‘everybody-payer’ system.

    Perhaps forcibly monopolized insurance would be less euphemistic?

  22. Lucy

    Yes, we definitely need reform to our present health care system, but I for one do not want to give up my privacy to Pelosi’s style health-care. Please, when has the government ever run anything successfully. Medicare is fraught with
    billions of dollars of fraud. Fix the system. I do not want socialized medicine.

  23. Pansy Swinson

    No Public Option in Secret Baucus Health Plan…Baucus Tops Congress in Campaign Funds From Private Health Industry http://bit.ly/3gKm7

    73% of the US population wants a public option for our uninsured population even the AMA has now backed a public option. It just makes so much sense.
    But NO We can’t Mr. Obama.

    Second to Wall Street the Health Care Industry is the largest lobby in town. Baucus gets more money than all the other Senators put together. So what if you are for or against single payer. Isn’t this a democracy? Why do the lobbyist get to decide how we as a country spend our money. This isn’t about why we had to bail out Goldmanites and not the people who are the victims of their predator loans. This is about the public against the lobbyist.

    That is who is in charge the

    lobbyist.

    Hey somebody wake up please

    love you all

  24. JR Logan

    There is a really good reason Ralph Nader is a want to be president, this is it. Wake up Ralph.

  25. JR Logan

    There is a really good reason Ralph Nader is a want to be, this is a really good example. Wake up Ralph.

  26. libertariangirl

    I woke up this mornin , and got out of bed
    I had some really free thoughts runnin thru my head

    it was a dream , just a dream

  27. Pingback: Guess Who Is Blocking Single Payer Healthcare? « BuelahMan’s Redstate Revolt

  28. libertariangirl

    I love Molly .

    Im disappointed in you P , its a Run DMC lyric , except i changed the word fresh to free.
    i wrote 9t because i read the words ‘wake up’ way too many times in the previous posts:)

  29. paulie Post author

    howz work?

    Not great, not terrible, ending Sunday, after that dunno.

    howz andy?

    Angry and anal, but otherwise alright. (AAAA)

    We got separate rooms this week so I won’t be on as much. Text me.

  30. steve conn

    Did you notice that cost was never mentioned when the banks got their bailouts?It crept into the story when auto workers’ jobs and health care as a human right landed on the table. Ralph Nader is right- as usual.

  31. paulie Post author

    Did you notice that cost was never mentioned when the banks got their bailouts?

    Where do you mean? We talked about it here quite a bit.

  32. Eric Hedbergq

    Ralph Nader needs to Win the Nobel Peace Prize for his dedication to Public Service, to Consumer Activism, to Exposing the Lies, Hypocrisies, Contradictions, and Deceitful Behavior of Monopolies, whether that be insurance companies, pharmaceuticals, food companies, the financial industry and Wall Street of course. Nader is a gem, a gift to America!! He never ceases to amaze me, speak the truth, tell it like it really is!!! I nominate him now for the Nobel Peace Prize for SPEAKING THE TRUTH!!!

  33. Jed Ziggler

    I hardly think Ralph Nader is responsible for George W. Bush, nor do I think Al Gore or John Kerry would have done anything differently.

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