Opinion, Articles, Blogs, Broadcast
A special thanks to Dane Smith and Politics in Minnesota
by Dane Smith
Published: March 21,2012
I’m holding two thumbs up and urging that history buffs and policy wonks get to a theater soon and see “The Iron Lady,’’ the movie that won a third Oscar for Meryl Streep.
She portrays Conservative British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, struggling in old age with a fading memory of her historic and mostly successful battle to revive an entrepreneurial and self-reliant spirit in a nation that had lost its empire, was riven by social and economic class division, and was drifting economically.
Though Thatcher challenged union power and pushed through privatization of utilities and energy industries, she did not fundamentally transform or even challenge the National Health Service, a highly popular system that guarantees basic health care and medical treatment to every citizen and is financed by taxes on businesses and individuals.
On March 24, the Vermont House voted 89-47 to pass their single-payer bill, “Road map to a universal and unified health system.” The bill now moves to the Senate for public hearings and a vote due in mid-April. Excellent updates on progress in Vermont posted here.
Senator John Marty, Chief Senate Author of The Minnesota Health Plan, has introduced legislation requiring the state to contract directly with health care providers, rather than HMOs, in delivering health care for low income Minnesotans. MUHCC, long a proponent of “direct contracting” (bypassing the insurance middleman to pay providers directly for services) endorses this bill. The administrative savings of such an approach allows more money to be spent on health care, thereby increasing health care without increasing health care spending.
A special thanks to Dane Smith and Politics in Minnesota for allowing us to use this piece.
When our unfailingly nice neighbors to the north were asked a few years ago in a national contest to choose the “Greatest Canadian’’ of all time, the inventor of the telephone (Alexander Graham Bell) and the sensational and beloved hockey player known as “The Great One” (Wayne Gretzky) finished far behind the top choice, Tommy Douglas.
You likely ask, Tommy who?
The story of Thomas Clement Douglas is amazing and inspirational enough, even if he had not become a political leader. Born in 1904 to parents of humble means, he was a scrappy and smart kid who overcame a serious injury to become a lightweight boxer. He learned the printing trade but also excelled as a scholar and academic, eventually earning a master’s degree in sociology and studying for a doctorate. He also served for a time as a Baptist minister, preaching a social gospel of justice and reform. And finally, Douglas excelled as a gifted and honest politician, an inspirational speaker, and one of Canada’s most beloved leaders over several decades. He was widely celebrated before his death in 1986.
If you were unable to attend this year's Single-Payer Summer Celebration, or just simply want to see it again, here is T.R. Reid's talk from the evening in it's entirety, along with the Q & A. Enjoy!
It was an historic end to the Vermont legislative session that had Governor Peter Shumlin signing a single-payer system into state law. This positions Vermont to become the first state with a publicly funded health care law. The process involves a number of checkpoints that must be met over the next 5 years, but if all goes well and no court challenges prevent otherwise, Vermont will have a single-payer system called Green Mountain Care around 2017.
Read the article here.
And check out some of our own coverage.
State Senator, John Marty, (DFL) Roseville, told 5 Eyewitness News that he plans to introduce legislation this week that would eliminate seven HMOs from delivering public healthcare plans like Medicaid and Minn-Care.
Marty says HMOs spend three billion dollars of your tax dollars every year on public health care plans and do not open their books to state auditors.
Our health care has been 'privatized' by profit-seekers.
By Dr. Ralph S. Bovard
February 7, 2011
"Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane." ~ THE REV. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
Star Tribune editorial sees the folly of privatization of public health programs.
In 2005-2006, the Minnesota single-payer community supported legislation to remove the HMOs from the administration of our public programs. We offered testimony, supported by Kip Sullivan’s extensive research, that privatization of our public health care programs almost certainly increased costs, without any corresponding increase in quality of care or access to care. The legislation didn’t move.
via DemocracyNOW.org - "As the House votes to repeal President Obama’s healthcare reform bill, the state