Why can’t there be a Public Option or Single Payer?

So the health care “debate” is coming down to the wire, or so it would seem. President Obama is expected to give a strong speech tomorrow on the importance of health care reform. There has been talk and speculation that he is no longer steadfast in his conviction for there to be a public option. I, for one, hope that isn’t the case, but what I really hope is that the US gets a single payer, government run health insurance plan. It is not that I am for big government; it’s that I trust the government more than private industries on things like protecting the citizenry from fires (fire fighters) crime (police forces) and making sure that everyone has a fair shake at medical procedures that they need. Why? you ask. Well because the government is not generally in things for the money. Sure, members of the government contract out to friends (BushCo, anyone?) but the government itself is not in the business of adhering to the bottom line. If motivation to make money off of unfortunate souls who get sick can be abolished then America might actually have a chance at becoming a healthier and more cared for country.

See the thing is that with a single payer (the government) option, doctors would still practice privately. They would still have their patients and they would still perform their duties. The government would not be taking over treatment, but rather ensuring that those who need help get it, and without having to mortgage their (and their childrens’) future. Take away money as a motivating factor and research firms might actually start working on bona fide cures to diseases rather than simple treatments. After all, if you cure somebody of cancer or diabetes you will no longer get the money they would have spent on drugs and other treatments. However, if cash was not the driving force, things might change in how diseases and research are treated. There is no guarantee to be sure, but one thing that is guaranteed is that our current system is not working. People are going bankrupt (and some are dying) due to lack of health insurance. It is time for the government to hear what the majority of the American people want and give us a single payer/public option.

Sure, it will be difficult for the administration to get a single payer system, especially considering how much wavering the Democrats have been doing in their quest for bi-partisanship and to look good to their constituents, but it is not impossible. One thing the Obama administration needs to do, though, is stop trying to work with others on this issue. I understand the appeal of working together and finding a common ground (I have advocated that very thing several times during this so called debate) but when members of the opposition say things like: “It doesn’t matter how much compromise is made on the bill, we still aren’t going to vote for it,” and “even if something passes, when we next control the legislature we will revoke it,” then it is time to stop talking with them. Most opponents to health care reform have shown themselves to be unreasonable and unmoving. Where is the advantage in trying to talk to someone like that? Obama is a smart man, and he should be able to recognize that talking to his opponents is like talking to a wall. No matter how much he talks, begs, pleads and compromises the opposition (like the wall) is not listening. It is time for him to accept that and just push the plan that he thinks is best for the American people. If he did that, all this talk about Republicans gaining seats in the 2010 elections and Obama being a single term president would go away as he would have proven to his supporters that he can

A: get things done

B: keep promises he made on the campaign trail

I respect that Obama wants to include everyone in the debate, but sometimes that just is not possible, especially when the other side refuses to use or see any kind of reason. It is time for Obama to step up and take action.

On a matter related to health care, I found this article on Yahoo! News and it scares me. Basically it states that health insurance may become mandatory (much like auto insurance) and that steep fines could be imposed for not having insurance. See, this is not cool. I understand the necessity of compulsory insurance for automobiles (driving and owning a car is optional) what with the dangers involved and all, but health insurance should not be mandatory, unless it is provided by the government. Living is not really an optional thing. Sure, we can always check ourselves out, but it is not like we choose to be born.

The article is unclear as to who is proposing this preposterous idea, but the source does not really matter. What does matter is that people should not be punished more than they already are for not having health insurance (and if you don’t think they are punished now just go talk to some people without insurance who have had to visit the ER to insure that they are treated for whatever medical problem they had to send them to the hospital).

The simplest solution is for the government to reform health care, and provide it to its citizenry. Sure, taxes might go up a bit, but I do not think overall income would be affected because instead of paying a private insurance company (one that could, if it wanted, raise premiums and deductibles and co-pays for any or no reason) for insurance, that money would go to the government. It would be a shifting of income, not necessarily a loss of income.

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6 comments on “Why can’t there be a Public Option or Single Payer?

  1. jacksmith says:

    Why A Strong Public Option Is Essential – By jacksmith — Working Class

    It’s not just because more than two thirds of the American people want a single payer health care system. And if they cant have a single payer system 77% of all Americans want a strong government-run public option on day one (86% of democrats, 75% of independents, and 72% republicans). Basically everyone.

    It’s not just because according to a new AARP POLL: 86 percent of seniors want universal healthcare security for All, including 93% of Democrats, 87% of Independents, and 78% of Republicans. With 79% of seniors supporting creating a new strong Government-run public option plan, available immediately. Including 89% of Democrats, 80% of Independents, and 61% of Republicans, STUNNING!!

    It’s not just because it will lower cost. Because a strong public option will dramatically lower cost for everyone. And dramatically improved the quality of care everyone receives in America and around the World. Rich, middle class, and poor a like.

    It’s not just because it will save trillions of dollars and prevent the needless deaths of millions more of YOU, caused by a rush to profit by the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX!

    It’s not just because every expert in every field, including economist, and Nobel laureates all agree that free market based healthcare systems don’t work. Never have and never will. The US has the only truly free market based healthcare system in the World. And as you all know now, IT IS A DISASTER!

    It’s not just because providing or denying medically necessary care for profit motivations is wrong. Because it is WRONG! It’s professionally, ethically, and morally REPUGNANT!, Animalistic, VILE and EVIL.

    THE REASON THE PUBLIC OPTION IS ESSENTIAL:

    The public option is ESSENTIAL because over 200 million of you are trapped in the forest of the wolves. Which is the forest of the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! With no way out except through needless inhumane suffering, and DEATH. While the wolves tear at your flesh, and rip you limb from lib. Then feast on your lifeless bodies like a dead carcase for transplant parts.

    At the most vulnerable times of your lives (when you were sick and hurting), millions of you have had to fight and loose cruel, but heroic battles. Fighting against the big guns of the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! in the forest of the wolves. All because you have no place else to go. You have no other CHOICE!

    But the PUBLIC OPTION will give you someplace safe to go. And it will give us someplace safe to take you. The public option will be your refugium (your refuge). Where the wolves cannot get at you when your down, hurting, and vulnerable. Where everyone who needs it can find rest, security, comfort and the care they need. Protected by the BIG GUNS of We The People Of The United States. THE MOST POWERFUL PEOPLE AND COUNTRY ON EARTH.

    This is why it is so critical that we do not lead another 50 million vulnerable, uninsured Americans into the forest of the wolves, without the protections of a Strong Government-run public option. We The People Of The United States MUST NOT LET THAT HAPPEN to any more of our fellow Americans. If healthcare reform does not contain a strong public option on day one. YOU MUST! KILL IT. Or you will do far more harm than good. And millions more will die needlessly. Rich, middle class, and poor a like.

    To those who would continue to obstruct good and true healthcare reform for the American people, and who seek to trap millions more vulnerable Americans in the forest of the wolves. We will continue to fight you. We are prepared to wage all out war against you, and will eagerly DESTROY! you. Time…is…UP! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! No Co-op’s! No Triggers!

    Healthcare reform can be the GREATEST! Accomplishment of our time and century. A time when future generations may say of us, that we were all, AMERICAS GREATEST GENERATIONS.

    BUT WE MUST ACT!

    I therefore call on all my fellow Americans and the peoples of the World. To join us in this fight so that we may finish becoming the better America that we aspire to be for everyone.

    SPREAD THE WORD!

    I have been privileged to be witness as many of you fought, and struggled to take your first breath, and your last breath on this earth. Rich, middle class, and poor a like. Life is precious.

    Whatever the cost. WE! MUST SUCCEED.

    God Bless You My Fellow Human Beings

    jacksmith — Working Class

    Senator Bernie Sanders on healthcare (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSM8t_cLZgk&feature=player_embedded)

  2. libhomo says:

    The reason we don’t have single payer is that all Republicans and many Democrats are bought and paid for by the HMOs and insurance companies.

  3. Randi says:

    The government can’t even manage Medicare, which is going broke. It will be out of funds in 2017, actually. I can’t see a single payer system working, not with the government that we have now. Even if it did, what about everyone in the insurance field that would lose their jobs? (Like me.) And that would be bad for the economy …with many thousands of people out of a job.

    I work for Blue Cross, and I can tell you we do our darnest for our members. We’re an non-profit insurance company. I will be the first one to say that health care reform should not only be the responsibility of the insurance companies, but of everyone.

    Sure, people can say oh, we can have both a public health option and have private insurers, but I wonder how many companies would drop the insurance they buy from us, and tell their employees to go get the public option.

  4. Randi, a public option MIGHT take jobs away from the private sector, but only if it was done poorly. I live in the Czech Republic where there is public health care run through private businesses. We pay taxes to the government, part of which cover our health insurance costs for necessary procedures (not optional or cosmetic ones), so it is possible for a system that includes gov paid health care with privately run. How this would work in America is beyond me, but it is possible, and worth considering.

  5. Randi says:

    It’s the US government. It WILL be done poorly.

    But seriously, I think businesses will drop insurance if there is a public option. It will save them a lot of money, after all. It does make good business sense.

    • If that is the case, the gov will need more workers to meet the demand/file the papers/run the thing so the private sector jobs would move to the public. Would all of them? No, but I think most of them would, and it’s not like people don’t get laid off anyway. I used to work for Kaiser. Then I got laid off. This was three years ago so it had nothing to do with what is going on here. It is just something that happens.

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