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.
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.
HAVE SCOTT BROWN AND RON WYDEN FIGURED OUT THE WAY FORWARD ON HEALTH CARE??
...This morning, Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.) introduced the “Empowering States to Innovate Act.” The legislation would allow states to develop their own health-care reform proposals that would preempt the federal government’s effort. If a state can think of a plan that covers as many people, with as comprehensive insurance, at as low a cost, without adding to the deficit, the state can get the money the federal government would’ve given it for health-care reform but be freed from the individual mandate, the exchanges, the insurance requirements, the subsidy scheme and pretty much everything else in the bill.
By Edward Ehlinger M.D.
October 6, 2010
Insurance is a great mechanism that people can use to offset their risk of losing some material thing of great value like their house, boat, car or jewelry. It can also be used to protect a valuable personal occupational asset like a voice for an opera singer, a hand for a surgeon or a knee for a football player. And it can be useful in providing protection from a singular catastrophic event like a malpractice suit or the premature loss of life.
But for something that is predictable, ongoing, needed by everyone, or necessary for the welfare of our community, an insurance model makes absolutely no sense. That's why we don't use an insurance model to provide police or fire services or to provide an education to our children. For these we use the tax model. Basic essential health care should also be in this category. Read in Full
Letter to Editor Published
September 9, 2010
... For those seeking "politically feasible" alternatives to single payer, there's not much to choose from...
...Marcia Angell, MD, a professor of medicine at Harvard and former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, predicted that a public option would be "turned into a dumping ground for a small number of people whom private insurers would rather not have to cover anyway."
Read full post from Vermont Single-payer Activist
By now most of you have heard the disappointing news that our bill, SB 810, the California Universal Health Care Act, was held on the Assembly Floor on the last night of session, effectively killing the measure until next year...
...We've always said that the closer we come, the harder our work will become. So often, it's "two steps forward, one step back." Let this temporary detour enliven us to work even harder to see single payer become a reality in California...
... Until every Californian has health care and no family faces medical bankruptcy, we will not be deterred. Until our state budget and entire economy are no longer being swallowed by health care costs, we will not cease. Until we have "Medicare for All," we will not stop fighting...
September 3, 2010
...In the current health reform law, I included a provision that would allow states to gain an exemption from certain federal requirements -- such as the individual mandate, the employer penalty and the exact standards for designing the exchanges, subsidies and basic health insurance policies -- if they could find a way to do a better job of covering their state's citizens. And I have been working to help states, like my home state of Oregon, take advantage of this option and hopefully move-up the date when states can start applying for waivers. The reason for this -- as the legislators in my state will attest -- is that it's a lot less cost effective for states to implement their own approaches in 2017 if they also have to pay to implement the federally mandated approach in 2014... Read in Full
July 10, 2010
Just when I was about to pronounce this year's DFL gubernatorial primary campaign a pale, issueless comedown from the party's policy brawls of yore, my phone rang. The caller was Jeremy Drucker, spokesman for Matt Entenza's campaign. He'd noted my posted observation from a Duluth forum about how Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Yvonne Prettner Solon (Mark Dayton's running mate) echoed each other in support of moving Minnesota toward a single-payer health care system...
...Single-payer health care could produce an argument worthy of a DFL primary fight, thought I, and about something that matters, to boot. Health care amounts to about 9 percent of the total state economy -- more if the medical-device and insurance industries are thrown in...
... But unlike those rows of yesteryear, this one is about something central to government and critical to the state's future. So keep talking, candidates, while I put these bugs in voters' ears: It's not possible to fix the state budget without fixing health care. Unless exploding health care costs are checked, they'll eat away at the capacity of state government to do anything else in years not far ahead.