You are herecontent / A False Promise of Reform

A False Promise of Reform


The following statement was released today by leaders of Physicians for a National Health Program, www.pnhp.org. Their signatures appear below.

As much as we would like to join the celebration of the House's passage of the health bill last night, in good conscience we cannot. We take no comfort in seeing aspirin dispensed for the treatment of cancer.

Instead of eliminating the root of the problem - the profit-driven, private health insurance industry - this costly new legislation will enrich and further entrench these firms. The bill would require millions of Americans to buy private insurers' defective products, and turn over to them vast amounts of public money.

The hype surrounding the new health bill is belied by the facts:

* About 23 million people will remain uninsured nine years out. That figure translates into an estimated 23,000 unnecessary deaths annually and an incalculable toll of suffering.

* Millions of middle-income people will be pressured to buy commercial health insurance policies costing up to 9.5 percent of their income but covering an average of only 70 percent of their medical expenses, potentially leaving them vulnerable to financial ruin if they become seriously ill. Many will find such policies too expensive to afford or, if they do buy them, too expensive to use because of the high co-pays and deductibles.

* Insurance firms will be handed at least $447 billion in taxpayer money to subsidize the purchase of their shoddy products. This money will enhance their financial and political power, and with it their ability to block future reform.

* The bill will drain about $40 billion from Medicare payments to safety-net hospitals, threatening the care of the tens of millions who will remain uninsured.

* People with employer-based coverage will be locked into their plan's limited network of providers, face ever-rising costs and erosion of their health benefits. Many, even most, will eventually face steep taxes on their benefits as the cost of insurance grows.

* Health care costs will continue to skyrocket, as the experience with the Massachusetts plan (after which this bill is patterned) amply demonstrates.

* The much-vaunted insurance regulations - e.g. ending denials on the basis of pre-existing conditions - are riddled with loopholes, thanks to the central role that insurers played in crafting the legislation. Older people can be charged up to three times more than their younger counterparts, and large companies with a predominantly female workforce can be charged higher gender-based rates at least until 2017.

* Women's reproductive rights will be further eroded, thanks to the burdensome segregation of insurance funds for abortion and for all other medical services.

It didn't have to be like this. Whatever salutary measures are contained in this bill, e.g. additional funding for community health centers, could have been enacted on a stand-alone basis.

Similarly, the expansion of Medicaid - a woefully underfunded program that provides substandard care for the poor - could have been done separately, along with an increase in federal appropriations to upgrade its quality.

But instead the Congress and the Obama administration have saddled Americans with an expensive package of onerous individual mandates, new taxes on workers' health plans, countless sweetheart deals with the insurers and Big Pharma, and a perpetuation of the fragmented, dysfunctional, and unsustainable system that is taking such a heavy toll on our health and economy today.

This bill's passage reflects political considerations, not sound health policy. As physicians, we cannot accept this inversion of priorities. We seek evidence-based remedies that will truly help our patients, not placebos.

A genuine remedy is in plain sight. Sooner rather than later, our nation will have to adopt a single-payer national health insurance program, an improved Medicare for all. Only a single-payer plan can assure truly universal, comprehensive and affordable care to all.

By replacing the private insurers with a streamlined system of public financing, our nation could save $400 billion annually in unnecessary, wasteful administrative costs. That's enough to cover all the uninsured and to upgrade everyone else's coverage without having to increase overall U.S. health spending by one penny.

Moreover, only a single-payer system offers effective tools for cost control like bulk purchasing, negotiated fees, global hospital budgeting and capital planning.

Polls show nearly two-thirds of the public supports such an approach, and a recent survey shows 59 percent of U.S. physicians support government action to establish national health insurance. All that is required to achieve it is the political will.

The major provisions of the present bill do not go into effect until 2014. Although we will be counseled to "wait and see" how this reform plays out, we cannot wait, nor can our patients. The stakes are too high.

We pledge to continue our work for the only equitable, financially responsible and humane remedy for our health care mess: single-payer national health insurance, an expanded and improved Medicare for All.
Oliver Fein, M.D. President Garrett Adams, M.D. President-elect Claudia Fegan, M.D. Past President

Margaret Flowers, M.D. Congressional Fellow David Himmelstein, M.D. Co-founder Steffie Woolhandler, M.D. Co-founder

Quentin Young, M.D. National Coordinator Don McCanne, M.D. Senior Health Policy Fellow
###

Physicians for a National Health Program (www.pnhp.org) is an organization of 17,000 doctors who support single-payer national health insurance. To speak with a physician/spokesperson in your area, visit www.pnhp.org/stateactions or call (312) 782-6006.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

This is not reform.....if it was reform, you would not need a mandate to force people to buy corporate fascist shit.......

if it was real reform, people would be running towards the bill, not away.....and YOU WOULD NOT EVEN NEED A NEW BILL AND YEARS OF WASTED ENERGY ON FASCIST B.S. CORPORATE B.S.

ALL OBAMA AND THE WHORING CORPORATE DEMOCRATS HAD TO DO WAS TO EXTEND MEDICARE TO ALL......NO NEW BILL REQUIRED:

Insurance Execs to Live High, While More Americans Die
Health Insurance Bonanza

http://www.counterpunch.org/walsh03232010.html

EXCERPT:

"And not only did Obama foist this on us, but those supposed “crusaders” for single payer succumbed in to pressure from their Party. And thus did Dennis Kucinich cave to another atrocity just as he did when he backed the prowar Kerry in 2004 and the prowar Obama in 2008. There can be no more powerful evidence that the Democratic Party is a worthless vehicle for change than the performance of Obama, the dream candidate of the progressives, and his Congress on the issue of health care. And when push comes to shove the Kuciniches, there to make the Party look like it has a sliver of decency, always cave in. After all what could be more important than the careers of these narcissists? To adapt a slogan from the 70s, Insurers and Congressmen live high while sick Americans die."

SCREW THE WORTHLESS, JELLYFISH DEMOCRATS, CORPORATE THUGS AND THEIR FASCIST, RACIST, KNOW NOTHING WHITE TRASH TEA BAGGERS, CHUMPS FOR CORPORATE DESPOTISM AND FASCISM.....THE ONES THEY KILLED IN GERMANY, THE STREET THUGS, CORPORATE NATIONALISTS WHICH TOOK 50 MILLION TO DEFEAT, MILITARILY, NOT IDEOLOGICALLY......THEY ARE STILL THERE......

Yes, it can be argued that both elements are involved, but while it can probably be more strongly argued that corporatism is what's mainly involved; maybe even solely. It's a bit tricky, I guess, to precisely discern, for corporatism more-or-less is gov't fascism for corporate interests and there therefore is an apparence of fascism. In any case, it's for corporate interests, Corporate America. Otoh, we can refer to John Perkins, author of "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" and more recent relevant books, who refers to the way that the U.S. gov't is ruled and operates as a corporatocracy and, therfore, as corporatist.

Police State USA is present and looks fascist, but what is behind it? Corporate interests.

Re. your excerpt from John V. Walsh's March 23rd article:

It's a good and stinging excerpt and he's unfortunately right in referring to Dennis Kucinich as he does. However, a few more things sting my mind when thinking about DK having ultimately supported John Kerry in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2009; no, I keep wrongly saying 2009, but it's 2008, when the presidential election and campaigns occurred.

In the case of Kerry and before he was nominated by the rogue DLC, DK had said words to the effect of, "Bush or Kerry, what's the difference?", inferring there was no significant difference, which is something, a fact, that many of the rest of us could also see and, therefore, we agreed with DK having said this.

Then in the case of Obama and before he was nominated by the always rogue DLC, DK, during his 2008 campaign, said that Obama "speaks out of both sides of his mouth", which means that he speaks with a forked tongue, is a hypocrite, liar, .... And many of us again agreed with DK about this.

But like John V. Walsh says, DK seems to act is if only to try to make the Dem. Party seem as if it has some "sliver of good" in it, but instead of being like a real thorn in the side of (say) the Dem. Party, DK ends up always backing a highly corrupted party.

I wonder what DK now thinks about any feasibility at all for what he said in the Dem. Now! discussion with him and Ralph Nader earlier this month, when DK said that he signed the bill because it was the only way that he could see that would permit him to continue to try to work on achieving needed health care reforms. And I'll now quote from the above article by PNHP.

Quote: "* Insurance firms will be handed at least $447 billion in taxpayer money to subsidize the purchase of their shoddy products. This money will enhance their financial and political power, and with it their ability to block future reform".

If they will be made only stronger and will, therefore, be more strongly capabable of blocking future reform, after all of the years that they've already been blocking reforms, then how the heck could anyone believe that there'll be any feasible chance of achieving reforms that are needed and will of course be opposed by the Big Insurance industry racketeers, who will nearly certainly always find a compliant or complicit Congress to work with and through?

I had granted DK a little leeway, say, with regards to his argument or defence for signing the bill, but this PNHP article is very, strongly persuasive and I'll respect the views and arguments of PHNP, before those of any members of Congress when it comes to a subject that PHNP is much better qualified to speak about or on.

DK needs to conduct a little personal correction, self-correction. He's evidently lost in his dreams about reforming the Dem. Party; and that's if he really means that he wants to try to achieve this, when he says that he does. Is he honest when he makes that statement, does he sincerely believe those words of his; or is he playing games with us, or with his supporters, anyway?

Mike Corbeil

I like DK, but like you said.......DK, has now betrayed the public three times for the party machinery, corporate democrats, instead of his stated principles.....

He needs to re examine himself......but more importantly, the public needs to re examine their love affair with class parties, class ideologies that cannot reflect their social demands, social interests......TIME FOR DK AND THE PUBLIC TO RE EXAMINE THEIR FALSE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING TWO PARTY CRIMINAL CLASS/IMPERIAL PARTIES......

Mike Corbeil

They appease criminal fascist, corporate, imperial foreign policies and NAZI, MILITARY SHITS:

Obama-Backed Special Forces Unit Linked to Activist Murders
Indonesian Assassins

http://www.counterpunch.org/nairn03222010.html

IT IS THE CLASS IDEOLOGY, CLASS PARTY, CLASS/IMPERIAL POLICIES STUPID!!!!!!

excerpt:

"The news comes as US President Barack Obama is reportedly due to announce that he is reversing longstanding US policy – imposed by Congress in response to grassroots pressure – of restricting categories of US assistance to TNI, a force which, during its years of US training, has killed hundreds of thousands of civilians.

The revelation could prove problematic for Obama since his rationale for restoring the aid has been the claim that TNI no longer murders civilians. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Congress that the the issue is whether there is a "resumption" of atrocities, but, in fact, they have not stopped: TNI still practices political murder."

LIBERAL CLASS WHORES APPEASE FASCISM....AND THEN THE NAZIS GET RID OF THEM.......

We had ample proof before election day 2008 and all we've been getting ever since is more, and more, and more ... proof. It's getting a little difficult to not vomit.

Mike Corbeil

The PNHP article debunks or considerably debunks an argument Ron Paul stated in an interview on universal single-payer health care in the U.S. He spoke against supporting this through the gov't and his argument was and surely still is, since it was very recently stated, that he believes that it would not be fair to taxpayers who wouldn't want their tax dollars used by the gov't to provide this level and quality of health care (HC).

My argument was, when I first posted about this a few days ago or so at ADS, and still is that such taxpayers shouldn't really care in terms of their tax dollars being used for this kind of HC, since people wouldn't pay a penny more in taxes.

Ralph Nader and some others have stated that the cost to the gov't and, therefore, to taxpayers for health care in the U.S. presently is over $7,000 a year per capita, or per medically treated patient, or whatever the statistical basis is. He compared this to the universal HC systems in Europe or some European countries, while he possibly also mentioned Canada, and said the costs in these countries, for or based on the same statistical basis, is under $4,000 a year. And this is over $3,000 per year [less] per capita (or whatever ...), which is a lot; it's nearing half the cost that the U.S. has. (I think he said it was around $3,600 per year in these other countries.)

PNHP's article seems to state that the cost would be less than it is now, but I'm not entirely sure, for the paragraph from PNHP's article might not be wholly clear to me.

Quote: "By replacing the private insurers with a streamlined system of public financing, our nation could save $400 billion annually in unnecessary, wasteful administrative costs. That's enough to cover all the uninsured and to upgrade everyone else's coverage without having to increase overall U.S. health spending by one penny".

The first sentence says that the gov't "[could] save" $400bn per year in admin. costs, which potentially could mean a serious decrease in costs to taxpayers. But the second sentence speaks of this savings being enough to upgrade the HC coverage of already insured people "without having to increase overall U.S. health spending by one penny", which means that while the overall cost wouldn't rise for taxpayers, it also might not decrease.

I suppose that this'd be accepted by a majority of the population, but taxpayers wanting to pay less in tax dollars to the federal gov't might represent a serious minority or even a majority, and they could oppose universal HC even if overall costs would not rise for them. Iow, it would provide an argument to people like Ron Paul who want smaller and less expensive gov't so that more money stays in taxpayer pockets; you know, the capitalistic view. If these people all want serious HC coverage, however, then I don't see why they'd oppose what PNHP argues and promotes, but I don't know these taxpayers and maybe many of them believe to be healthy and safe enough to not need much HC coverage.

F.e., I very, very rarely use doctors, any doctors, let alone hospitals. When I have a health problem and I can tell what some of the symptoms are or what they're like, enough, then I do Web searches to find out what the problem is and once I have that information, then I look for what the remedies are. And if I can acquire what's needed to attend to my own health problems, then I'll do what I can to do this. When that approach failed, then I'd go speak with a friendly neighborhood pharmacist, for pharmacists know a lot about human health conditions and what the remedies are, just that they can't provide any prescriptions.

However, I would certainly support what PHNP says is needed with my tax dollars, if I could find employment, that is. When I had employment, I had no issue with some of my tax dollars being used to provide what is commonly called welfare for the poor, f.e.; just that I thought the welfare system needed to be seriously reformed and I mean improved, instead of destroyed, like Bill Clinton did when he applied an ax to this system.

Ron Paul's argument is only relevant with citizen taxpayers who want much smaller, down-sized, and far less costly gov't, and who'd oppose increasing the size or scope of the gov't; and I don't know what percentage of the population these people represent is.

All other taxpayers should be glad to get the kind of HC system promoted and well-defended by PNHP though.

Which of the two groups of taxpayers is larger?

Note: It's not that I'm against smaller and less costly, wasteful, ... gov't, for I'm definitely for this. But I'm not for that while also being sociopathic. I'm for a socio-economically just gov't and society; in terms of welfare, that is, financial assistance to the poor who need assistance to be able to get out of serious poverty; and for universal HC through a single-payer system. I don't see any need to include the elimination or any opposition to those features of good gov't when wanting smaller and better, non-corrupt, ... gov't.

There are much smaller gov'ts than the one in the USA that provide universal HC. CUBA is one example worthy of note!

Mike Corbeil

Who funded the Obama campaign in 2008? Well, I'm not going to list all of the parties that I recall having read about, but the Big Insurance industry was one of them; and I recall having read that Obama's campaign received considerably or a lot more funding from Corporate America than from voters who supported his campaign.

Michael Moore:

And, secondly, who the heck is this peculiar guy named Michael Moore who had an article at ADS yesterday promoting, bragging about, ... the so-called health care reform that the PNHP article, and other writers, excellently debunked, exposed as racket bs, etcetera? Moore's article was the following one.

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/50914

I don't know what activists see of good in that guy, but I'd want nothing more to do with him. More of Moore is overdose. He almost seems like some kind of human form of social poison.

Mike Corbeil

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Support WarIsACrime



Donate.








Tweet your Congress critters here.


Advertise on this site!




Facebook      Twitter





Our Stores:























Movie Memorabilia.



The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.