Thursday, March 18, 2010

Message from, Louis Nuyens III, at Thom Hartmann's "Hour One: Health care" Blog

Here are some things about the current health insurance "reform" legislation that most people do not know (which make it worse than no change at all). . . .

1. (Almost certainly) PROHIBIT states adoption of single payer systems! Study after study has shown that a single-payer system is the only economically sustainable health insurance system for the U.S. Surely you know that? And comparisons with other "first world" countries demonstrate vast superiority of single-payer systems over for-profit systems. It is absolutely vital to preserve the rights of states and local municipalities to establish single-payer systems in order to create models that would break the resistance in DC for a national system, similar to what happened in Canada. (To kill state-level single-payer, the insurance companies would happily be willing to tolerate a limited "Public Option" -- especially one that is rigged to fail.)

2. FORCE people to buy overpriced insurance, whether they can afford it or not -- guaranteeing massive profits to private insurers -- under risk of penalties including jail-time for those who do not comply. That is a pretty sick kind of "universal coverage."

3. RIG the "public option" to fail -- part of that current legislation would require Public Option services to be priced at "market rate". Also, the Public Option system is likely to end up with the sickest of the sick, increasing likelihood of failure. (There are other trap-doors built in, as well.)

4. Allow insurers and HMOs to continue to titrate care (e.g. By rewarding providers who deny care, instead of freeing physicians to order the best options, and by allowing continued bureaucratic and cost-based decision-making to override physician recommendations regarding evaluation and treatment options).

5. Single-payer systems have already gotten as far as the Governor's desk in California (only to be killed by Schwarzenegger), and appear on the verge of success in several other states.

6. Remember -- for-profit health insurance companies make money by NOT providing care! "Public Option" is just a ruse -- a rotten carrot being used to sell a very, very bad bill that is little more than a give-away to the health insurance companies.

7. WE SHOULD OPPOSE OBAMA'S BILL AND FIGHT FOR A SINGLE-PAYER SYSTEM. At the very least, we should oppose this bill unless it adopts protections for the rights of states and local municipalities to adopt single-payer systems.

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