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A Single-Payer Solution?

(Photo by Robin Holland)

In this week's JOURNAL, Bill Moyers sat down with physician and activist Dr. Margaret Flowers, who was recently arrested for an act of civil disobedience - trespassing - as she attempted to deliver to President Obama a letter urging him to resuscitate the stalled effort at health reform and consider a Medicare-for-all plan, known colloquially as "single-payer."

Flowers said:

"I went into medicine because I really do care about taking care of my patients... I really thought that medicine was going to be about taking care of patients, and I learned otherwise - that it was more about fighting with insurance companies and being pushed to see more and more patients. When I looked at what was going on and looked at what works in other places and what models have worked here, I saw that if we have a Medicare-for-all system, then really doctors can practice medicine again... [The White House was] concerned that if we let the single-payer voice in, or if it was associated in any way with [their] legislation, that it would hurt their ability to pass that legislation, so they kind of put the kibosh on it... Why is [Obama] excluding us? Why isn't he letting us be at the table when this makes complete sense from a public policy, public health policy, and economic health policy standpoint?"

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, who appeared on the JOURNAL last June, argued that single-payer is the best possible health reform but that it is not politically achievable in Congress:

"The single-payer system would be the best of all... Because a single-payer actually would have huge bargaining leverage, be able to tell the providers what they can do and what they can't do without it being 'socialized medicine.' A single-payer would actually have the reins... But a President, to some extent, has got to be politically realistic. There is no real political option in Congress now for a single-payer... I'm a big single-payer fan. Unfortunately, we cannot get there from here because the political forces are just too strong against single-payer."

On the other hand, columnist John Steele Gordon of the WALL STREET JOURNAL has argued that, historically, self-interested politicians have proven unable to run large enterprises sensibly. Gordon wrote:

"It might be a good idea to look at the government's track record in running economic enterprises. It is terrible... Because of the need to be re-elected, politicians are always likely to have a short-term bias. What looks good now is more important to politicians than long-term consequences even when those consequences can be easily foreseen... And politicians tend to favor parochial interests over sound economic sense.... The inescapable fact is that only the profit motive and competition keep enterprises lean, efficient, innovative and customer-oriented."

What do you think?

  • Do you believe single-payer is the best potential reform for the U.S. health system? Why or why not?

  • In the wake of the Republican Senate victory in Massachusetts that disrupted Democrats' legislation, what health reforms do you believe are politically achievable?

  • How are you and your community working to reform America's health system?


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    Comments

    I think that we should pull back are troops from the war in Afganistan.

    Thank you, Mr. Moyers, for continuing to cover Single Payer. Several of these posts ask for more explanation of exactly what Single Payer is. That's why I wrote the book, reviewed by Russell Mokhiber (one of the original Baucus 13 along with Dr. Margaret Flowers):

    http://www.singlepayeraction.org/blog/?p=2449

    We will have Single Payer in this country if we stay focused and drive the political will. That is the power of democracy.

    It was absolutely disappointing to see that only 3 congressmen were present when William Potter testified at the congressional hearing as portrayed on the journal March 6. He is an expert on the shenagians of insurance companies so I suppose it would have been disheartening for the stonewallers to hear his testimony. I am APPALLED at our so-called representative democracy!!!!

    Watching the Moyers Journal on Mar 6, 2010, I was shocked to see only 3 congressmen present at the Congressional hearing where William Potter spoke earlier this year. It is ASOLUTELY APPALLING to see how little interest is shown to witnesses who have so much expert testimony to share regarding health care. I am ashamed of our representative democracy!!!!

    Wendell Potter is right, pass the best hc legislation possible right now because this country is broke and cannot afford the clearly preferable public option at this time.

    BTW, Dr. Angell, we've already "unraveled."

    Like other boomer age folks, I am very concerned about the costs and, especially who will ultimately bear those costs. I am extremely concerned that the ultimate costs of the current health reform plan will be placed upon our children ... as the costs of like Social Security and Medicare will be. That is an unfair burden that NONE of us want to wish upon our children and grandchildren.

    I completely agree with Marcia Angell that the President should scrap the current effort and start over.

    You and I are old enough to remember the concept of regulated monopolies and the benefits that were extracted for the public at large. For example, the cost of doing business for the Phone Company was that they HAD to provide cheap or affordable local phone service. On the flip side, they could charge as much as they wanted to for all other services such as long distance calling. I'm sure that you can remember and cite other examples.

    I propose that all insurance companies (health and life) be placed under the regulated monopoly umbrella. Their cost of doing business will be to provide BASIC or MINIMUM health (and life insurance) coverage at an affordable cost to be determined by the government. The type and level of basic or minimum coverage will be determined by the government. The amount of profit or no profit margin would be determined by the government. The public and/or employers would be required to purchase basic or minimum health coverage. In this manner there would be no need for government funded public option coverage plan. The insurance companies would be free to charge market rates on all other plans that provide coverage above and beyond this basic or minimum standard. In this manner, the American public will be given reasonable affordable choices. Insurance companies can meet their social responsibilities in a regulated and fair manner and continue to make reasonable profits.

    Again, this not a new idea. And it works.

    This concept is already used in Europe. Switzerland switched to a system that separates insurance from employment. Each individual or family is required to buy coverage, and insurers must offer a basic package of benefits to all applicants. The insurance companies cannot profit from selling basic coverage, but they can from supplemental plans. Premiums are deducted from paychecks; the unemployed and poor are subsidized. Despite opposition from insurers, drugmakers, and business, the plan passed and went into effect in 1996. Switzerland now spends 11% of its gross domestic product on health care, just as it did before. But everyone is covered, insurers are more profitable than ever, and its high-quality health care has been maintained.
    (Ref: The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care, by T.R. Reid)

    I agree with Dr. Angell that a single payer system would be the best and that the current health care bill leaves a lot to be desired. I also think that she is probably more expert in health care and health care issues than I am. However, I question her expertise in politics. She seems to think that if the current health care bill is defeated, Congress will immediately start working on a better bill. My feeling is that this Congress is tired of health care and the next Congress, which seems likely to include more Republicans and fewer Democrats, is even less likely to pass a health care bill. It is my expectation that if this bill does not pass, the next time there is a serious try to pass a health care bill will be some time after 2020. But I am not an expert in politics either. I would like to hear what Bill Moyers and/or other political experts have to say about this.

    Which is a great piece, always nice to learn much more about aviation.

    I too was very disappointed the President caved on the public option so early in the debate. It is clear an affordable public option is needed to keep insurance companies honest and competitive and it would not put them out of business….so maybe there is an opening for new ethical insurance company to steal market share.

    A public option or commercial hybrid company would not put Cadillac policies out of business. When we can afford bells and whistles we pay more for the services however when we can not there would be an option.

    As an example…I used to pay $45 for haircut at a salon that served wine, tea or water to patrons. Now, laid off, I go to Supercuts and get a haircut for $15. When I can comfortably afford the better service and cut I will go back to the $45 haircut salon. That is how it would be with health insurance and the public option would provide an incentive to insurance companies to build a better mouse trap to keep consumers.

    I would support the passage of the current bill with hopes that congress would institute plans and bills to allow buy-ins to Medicare. Create financial eligibility criteria that would allow people 55 and older an option to buy in as well as family size and income criteria that would allow others to buy in – actually purchase a Medicare premium.

    Finally the passage of the current healthcare bill would provide a tremendous opportunity for the formation of consumer oriented not-for-profit health insurance company to sell insurance – today people are all about value a fair price for services rendered. I think this is a tremendous opportunity -- a company with values – green practices etc., could attract a huge market of people and that may be just the way to put the current insurance companies out of business or to hit them where it hurts – profits.

    My son and I are on Cobra – Aetna insurance with a $2,000 deductible. It’s great insurance if you don’t get sick or break anything.

    I too was very disappointed the President caved on the public option so early in the debate. It is clear an affordable public option is needed to keep insurance companies honest and competitive and it would not put them out of business….so maybe there is an opening for new ethical insurance company to steal market share.

    A public option or commercial hybrid company would not put Cadillac policies out of business. When we can afford bells and whistles we pay more for the services however when we can not there would be an option.

    As an example…I used to pay $45 for haircut at a salon that served wine, tea or water to patrons. Now, laid off, I go to Supercuts and get a haircut for $15. When I can comfortably afford the better service and cut I will go back to the $45 haircut salon. That is how it would be with health insurance and the public option would provide an incentive to insurance companies to build a better mouse trap to keep consumers.

    I would support the passage of the current bill with hopes that congress would institute plans and bills to allow buy-ins to Medicare. Create financial eligibility criteria that would allow people 55 and older an option to buy in as well as family size and income criteria that would allow others to buy in – actually purchase a Medicare premium.

    Finally the passage of the current healthcare bill would provide a tremendous opportunity for the formation of consumer oriented not-for-profit health insurance company to sell insurance – today people are all about value a fair price for services rendered. I think this is a tremendous opportunity -- a company with values – green practices etc., could attract a huge market of people and that may be just the way to put the current insurance companies out of business or to hit them where it hurts – profits.

    My son and I are on Cobra – Aetna insurance with a $2,000 deductible. It’s great insurance if you don’t get sick or break anything.

    Dr, Angell gets my vote - Medicare for all. It's simple and effective. But we need to be careful about the insurance companies' "Supplemental Medicare Plans" - my parents opted into one and like it - until they got sick and found that it didn't cover many things that straight Medicare did.

    Dr. Angell gets my vote - Medicare for all: simple and effective. But we need to be wary of the insurance companies' "Supplemental Plans." My parents opted into one of them and liked it - until they got sick and it didn't cover many things that straight Medicare did.

    Obama said, "That's what elections are for."
    Most of his voters elected him to, among other things, get us a public option.

    He should scrap his current plan and RIGHT AWAY push a Single Payer plan.

    Medicare expansion to all, with people under the current eligibility age paying more until they are 65, would work.

    The absolutely most important reform that must be included in the health insurance bill is TO GIVE INDIVIDUALLY PURCHASED HEALTH INSURANCE POLICIES TAX TREATMENT THAT IS EQUAL TO EMPLOYER PURCHASED POLICIES. When employer purchased health insurance and individually purchased health insurance have equal tax treatment, when all health insurance policies in the US are purchase with AFTER TAX DOLLARS, the pillar upon which **all*** health marketplace corruption has been built (**** the ability to cherrypick the best health risks for private investors*****) will begin to crumble. Insurance is supposed to POOL RISK , not cherry pick it. There should be ONE SINGLE HEALTH INSURANCE RISK POOL for the United States of America regardless of whether we have a single payer or multi payer insurance system.

    The absolutely most important reform that must be included in the health insurance bill is TO GIVE INDIVIDUALLY PURCHASED HEALTH INSURANCE POLICIES TAX TREATMENT THAT IS EQUAL TO EMPLOYER PURCHASED POLICIES. When employer purchased health insurance and individually purchased health insurance have equal tax treatment, when all health insurance policies in the US are purchase with AFTER TAX DOLLARS, the pillar upon which **all*** health marketplace corruption has been built (**** the ability to cherrypick the best health risks for private investors*****) will begin to crumble. Insurance is supposed to POOL RISK , not cherry pick it. There should be ONE SINGLE HEALTH INSURANCE RISK POOL for the United States of America regardless of whether we have a single payer or multi payer insurance system.

    I sort of agree with Mr Potter that Congress should hold its nose and vote for a bad bill, if only to get rid of pre-existing conditions. But he was not entirely correct about disabled people being able to get Medicare. I am a Social Security attorney. To qualify for Medicare, a disabled person under age 65 must be eligible for Social Security, which means he or she must have a substantial work history. Many people who do not qualify must depend upon Medicaid and must be extremely poor. Further, neither Mr Potter nor Dr Angel said anythimg about the denial of abortion coverage in the bill. Why wasn't this brought up?

    medicare for all - start with age 55 + and children to age 26 - low premiums for ages 27 ---- 54

    vote: marcia angell for health czar...

    bob larson

    medicare for all - start with age 55 + and children to age 26 - low premiums for ages 27 ---- 54

    vote: marcia angell for health czar...

    bob larson

    medicare for all - start with age 55 + and children to age 26 - low premiums for ages 27 ---- 54

    vote: marcia angell for health czar...

    bob larson

    I sort of agree with Mr Potter that Congress should hold its nose and vote for a bad bill, if only to get rid of pre-existing conditions. But he was not entirely correct about disabled people being able to get Medicare. I am a Social Security attorney. To qualify for Medicare, a disabled person under age 65 must be eligible for Social Security, which means he or she must have a substantial work history. Many people who do not qualify must depend upon Medicaid and must be extremely poor. Further, neither Mr Potter nor Dr Angel said anythimg about the denial of abortion coverage in the bill. Why wasn't this brought up?

    The contrast between Potter and Angell, even with those areas that they agree on, does show the complexity of the issue. While far from adequate, especially without the public option, to scrap all that has been gained and try to start over would most likely result in nothing coming this close again in the foreseeable future. I acknowledge Angell's view of the difference between politics and policy, but both have to be considered. If the current bill is scrapped it will be viewed as a victory for the right and will be used to ensure that any further attempts at reform would meet a quick death.

    The current crowd in Washington are clearly more concerned about their politics than trying to solve the problem faced by so many Americans. Since the average American can't come close to competing with big money lobbyists, the chance of any reform that puts the American people first is slim to none.

    Bill Moyers asked Dr. Angell why it would be any different now compared to when health care was previously defeated and it took 16 years before it was revisited. Dr. Angell stated that the system is unravelling so fast now that we have no choice but to revisit it if this attempt is rejected. But in that case Obama and the Democrats would be out and the Republicans would saddle us with a fig leaf that would make the current proposal look absolutely idyllic. At some point we would be forced to face the problem, but after countless lives have been lost, enormous suffering has been exacted, and the decline of our country greatly accelerated. We have no choice but to heed Mr. Potter and hope that the current plan can be built upon.

    I missed the first half of the show, but saw most of the second half. Dr. Angell made a comment about explicitly becoming a third world country if we turn away from health care.

    The ruling class, those who tell our elected "public servants" how to speak and think through K street, has nothing to lose if we become a third world country. They are shutting down industries and exporting jobs. They are in so many ways racing us to the bottom. (That's why I won't shop at WalMart.)

    They don't care if we become third world. They profit while the other 98% of us lose and they create a hereditary system, albeit without fancy titles, just like any banana republic.

    That is a big reason why we need health care and need it now. We will need to modify health care session after session to bring it under control, but we will have turned a monumental corner that will make future adjustments and changes easier to make.

    If health care fails, I am concerned the GOP will return to power. They own the mass media - Bush-Cheney will be forgotten. The USA politically is a car with one sluggish forward gear and five gears in reverse.

    A key point where I agree with Dr. Angell - we have optimized for profit and continue to do so. Until we eliminate profit, our health care will be uniquely costly and uniquely ineffective.

    I sort of agree with Mr Potter that Congress should hold its nose and vote for a bad bill, if only to get rid of pre-existing conditions. But he was not entirely correct about disabled people being able to get Medicare. I am a Social Security attorney. To qualify for Medicare, a disabled person under age 65 must be eligible for Social Security, which means he or she must have a substantial work history. Many people who do not qualify must depend upon Medicaid and must be extremely poor. Further, neither Mr Potter nor Dr Angel said anything about the denial of abortion coverage in the bill. Why wasn't this brought up?

    I missed the first half of the show, but saw most of the second half. Dr. Angell made a comment about explicitly becoming a third world country if we turn away from health care.

    The ruling class has nothing to lose if we become a third world country. They are shutting down industries and exporting jobs. They are in so many ways racing us to the bottom. (That's why I won't shop at WalMart.)

    They don't care if we become third world. They profit while the other 98% of us lose and they create a hereditary system, albeit without fancy titles, just like any banana republic.

    That is a big reason why we need health care and need it now. We will need to modify health care session after session to bring it under control, but we will have turned a monumental corner that will make future adjustments and changes easier to make.

    If health care fails, I am concerned the GOP will return to power. They own the mass media - Bush-Cheney will be forgotten. The USA politically is a car with one sluggish forward gear and five gears in reverse.

    A key point where I agree with Dr. Angell - we have optimized profit and continue to do so. Until we eliminate profit, our health care will be uniquely costly and uniquely ineffective.

    I sort of agree with Mr Potter that Congress should hold its nose and vote for a bad bill, if only to get rid of pre-existing conditions. But he was not entirely correct about disabled people being able to get Medicare. I am a Social Security attorney. To qualify for Medicare, a disabled person under age 65 must be eligible for Social Security, which means he or she must have a substantial work history. Many people who do not qualify must depend upon Medicaid and must be extremely poor. Further, neither Mr Potter nor Dr Angel said anything about the denial of abortion coverage in the bill. Why wasn't this brought up?

    I missed the first half of the show, but saw most of the second half. Dr. Angell made a comment about explicitly becoming a third world country if we turn away from health care.

    The ruling class has nothing to lose if we become a third world country. They are shutting down industries and exporting jobs. They are in so many ways racing us to the bottom. (That's why I won't shop at WalMart.)

    They don't care if we become third world. They profit while the other 98% of us lose and they create a hereditary system, albeit without fancy titles, just like any banana republic.

    That is a big reason why we need health care and need it now. We will need to modify health care session after session to bring it under control, but we will have turned a monumental corner that will make future adjustments and changes easier to make.

    If health care fails, I am concerned the GOP will return to power. They own the mass media - Bush-Cheney will be forgotten. The USA politically is a car with one sluggish forward gear and five gears in reverse.

    A key point where I agree with Dr. Angell - we have optimized profit and continue to do so. Until we eliminate profit, our health care will be uniquely costly and uniquely ineffective.

    I sort of agree with Mr Potter that Congress should hold its nose and vote for a bad bill, if only to get rid of pre-existing conditions. But he was not entirely correct about disabled people being able to get Medicare. I am a Social Security attorney. To qualify for Medicare, a disabled person under age 65 must be eligible for Social Security, which means he or she must have a substantial work history. Many people who do not qualify must depend upon Medicaid and must be extremely poor. Further, neither Mr Potter nor Dr Angel said anything about the denial of abortion coverage in the bill. Why wasn't this brought up?

    I missed the first half of the show, but saw most of the second half. Dr. Angell made a comment about explicitly becoming a third world country if we turn away from health care.

    The ruling class has nothing to lose if we become a third world country. They are shutting down industries and exporting jobs. They are in so many ways racing us to the bottom. (That's why I won't shop at WalMart.)

    They don't care if we become third world. They profit while the other 98% of us lose and they create a hereditary system, albeit without fancy titles, just like any banana republic.

    That is a big reason why we need health care and need it now. We will need to modify health care session after session to bring it under control, but we will have turned a monumental corner that will make future adjustments and changes easier to make.

    If health care fails, I am concerned the GOP will return to power. They own the mass media - Bush-Cheney will be forgotten. The USA politically is a car with one sluggish forward gear and five gears in reverse.

    A key point where I agree with Dr. Angell - we have optimized profit and continue to do so. Until we eliminate profit, our health care will be uniquely costly and uniquely ineffective.

    I sort of agree with Mr Potter that Congress should hold its nose and vote for a bad bill, if only to get rid of pre-existing conditions. But he was not entirely correct about disabled people being able to get Medicare. I am a Social Security attorney. To qualify for Medicare, a disabled person under age 65 must be eligible for Social Security, which means he or she must have a substantial work history. Many people who do not qualify must depend upon Medicaid and must be extremely poor. Further, neither Mr Potter nor Dr Angel said anything about the denial of abortion coverage in the bill. Why wasn't this brought up?

    I missed the first half of the show, but saw most of the second half. Dr. Angell made a comment about explicitly becoming a third world country if we turn away from health care.

    The ruling class has nothing to lose if we become a third world country. They are shutting down industries and exporting jobs. They are in so many ways racing us to the bottom. (That's why I won't shop at WalMart.)

    They don't care if we become third world. They profit while the other 98% of us lose and they create a hereditary system, albeit without fancy titles, just like any banana republic.

    That is a big reason why we need health care and need it now. We will need to modify health care session after session to bring it under control, but we will have turned a monumental corner that will make future adjustments and changes easier to make.

    If health care fails, I am concerned the GOP will return to power. They own the mass media - Bush-Cheney will be forgotten. The USA politically is a car with one sluggish forward gear and five gears in reverse.

    A key point where I agree with Dr. Angell - we have optimized profit and continue to do so. Until we eliminate profit, our health care will be uniquely costly and uniquely ineffective.

    I sort of agree with Mr Potter that Congress should hold its nose and vote for a bad bill, if only to get rid of pre-existing conditions. But he was not entirely correct about disabled people being able to get Medicare. I am a Social Security attorney. To qualify for Medicare, a disabled person under age 65 must be eligible for Social Security, which means he or she must have a substantial work history. Many people who do not qualify must depend upon Medicaid and must be extremely poor. Further, neither Mr Potter nor Dr Angel said anythimg about the denial of abortion coverage in the bill. Why wasn't this brought up?

    I missed the first half of the show, but saw most of the second half. Dr. Angell made a comment about explicitly becoming a third world country if we turn away from health care.

    The ruling class has nothing to lose if we become a third world country. They are shutting down industries and exporting jobs. They are in so many ways racing us to the bottom. (That's why I won't shop at WalMart.)

    They don't care if we become third world. They profit while the other 98% of us lose and they create a hereditary system, albeit without fancy titles, just like any banana republic.

    That is a big reason why we need health care and need it now. We will need to modify health care session after session to bring it under control, but we will have turned a monumental corner that will make future adjustments and changes easier to make.

    If health care fails, I am concerned the GOP will return to power. They own the mass media - Bush-Cheney will be forgotten. The USA politically is a car with one sluggish forward gear and five gears in reverse.

    A key point where I agree with Dr. Angell - we have optimized profit and continue to do so. Until we eliminate profit, our health care will be uniquely costly and uniquely ineffective.

    Support California OneCare, SB 810, the incredibly well-researched, well-written comprehensive single-payer bill that has passed by over 60% twice. When we elect a governor who won't obstruct the will of the people with vetoes, the state with 1/10 of the country's population will show everyone else that it CAN BE DONE.

    Mandate acquisition of health insurance from the for-profit industry that got us here in the first place? Please...are they out of their minds???

    Great program on health care reform! I am absolutely in favor of a single payer system and am sickened by what is going on in politics: the health industry bribing our corrupt congress to get there way. (This is not only health care but our entire system. It makes one's stomach sick!) Thirty years ago a US Senator told a friend of mine that the system guarantees the corruptions of its members. It has gotten much worse since! We need a revolution of some sort or give up and move to Canada.

    Great program on health care reform! I am absolutely in favor of a single payer system and am sickened by what is going on in politics: the health industry bribing our corrupt congress to get there way. (This is not only health care but our entire system. It makes one's stomach sick!) Thirty years ago a US Senator told a friend of mine that the system guarantees the corruptions of its members. It has gotten much worse since! We need a revolution of some sort or give up and move to Canada.

    3/5/10 - KNME Albuquerque, NM

    Bill, neither you nor Wendell Potter and Marsha Angell stated that the health insurance industries footed Pres. Obama's campaign to the tune of over $19 and 1/2 MILLION DOLLARS.
    tsk tsk

    Hi June,

    You wrote, in part, "There are more and more people in the age group of 50 to 62, especially women, that are now homeless."

    Stats support your observation and personal experience - but you won't find them today as it is inconvenient data...

    Please keep and open mind about this suggestion,

    but it worked 1000 years ago when the Just War began against the Teutonic Knights.

    The same thing was going on back then, the elimination of women who are in their wisdom age and everything they labored for their whole lives was either trampled underfoot by hooligan soldiers or stolen through the church/state tyrants...

    So women became refugees in great number and went seeking shelter to the country that went to war against the Teutonic plague.

    In other words, the "crones" were left in charge of safeguarding ALL of CIVILIZATION while the men fought back the barbarians.

    Of course after the war, there were many more women to men ration, so they continued on - this time no one came to dismantle them - and to this day there are some of those "convents" (yes Nuns :-)) still in operation in eastern europe and elsewhere.

    Since we are on a race to the bottom at nanosecond speed and "democratic capitalism" WILL do "business" with every other "ism" on the planet - communism, fascism, extremism, barbarism, zionism - EXCEPT with the suspected "feminism" in the 50-64 age group, well, might be time to take advantage of "faith-based" initiatives. Pick a "church" and take it over. There are areas in Brooklyn, NY (home of the retort to bs when they here it, "oh yeah? well I have a bridge for sale in Brooklyn") that already have hunkered down and are printing up their own money/currency. "nuns" can do the same in Michigan.

    Everyone KNEW how wretched the people were in the German death camps. Maybe you could have blogged about how bad your personal story IS - I don't doubt that mnay who CREATED the misery for 50-64 year old women aren't HAPPY to hear that their plan is working

    but for the rest of the people - men and women - who now KNOW for certain that it's an economic death camp, they'll at least have to show one stem cell of humanity and stay out of the way of women "marrying" God and living in a "convent".

    If they DON'T stop with the psychobabble to rationalize that YOUR misery is necessary for them to still "live" (ie. - the "I have no choice" line),

    them I'm with you on the "war" thingy...but maybe more ala "The First Wives Club" - getting even instead of "mad"...

    Convents always ran the NOT FOR PROFIT hospitals, btw...betcha Dr. Flowers would come help every now and then...

    CEOs of "health insurance companies"...? Keep a 24 watch on the tower and the powder dry and the gun loaded - especially if you see a lawyer and neocon accompany the "doctor"...

    Your story broke my heart, June. I hope somone closer to where you are stuck will reach out to you...

    My state is HOPELESS, it's where everyone who got rich under the Bush cabal's free for all come to "live" and they HATE everyone who is not them. They want POWER back - and they're always on TV - why should the rest of the country continue to listen to Kyl and McCain (and that Hayworth dude, yikes!) about what the rest of the country should do that worked oh-so-well in AZ...

    Someone should download the "conversations" among the "neighbors" in the one-horse-town (meaning only ONE newspaper run by a neocon) known as Lake Havasu City to get the TRUTH about what just happened in USA...

    and the ethical and moral QUALITY of the people who DID CONDUCT A WAR - vicious and cruel - before the PSYCHO owner "erases" the evidence from the internet...it's all there on a small enough scale to follow the bouncing ball of lies, theft and murder....and a CHURCH on every corner...go figure...

    Single-Payer in the United States?

    Single-Payer has been tried and is implemented in the other 36 developed countries.

    Single-Payer tried 36 times in a row and the following happened on all 36 tries:

    Average cost of individual healthcare coverage 50% what we pay here.
    Uninsured eliminated.
    No medical bankruptcies.

    It ‘s not as though the Single-Payer healthcare systems of those other 36 developed countries is not staring us smack-in-the face.

    Single-Payer in the United States? 37th try.

    Something different will happen? Oh….please.

    I have a brain tumor and a adult child with Autism that gets no benefits from the government. I have no health insurance. I am not Ted Kennedy with great health insurance courtesy of me and other tax payers. If you have no minor children living in your household, you cannot collect any welfare in the state of Michigan, even if you have worked for 44 years and paid into the system. There are more and more people in the age group of 50 to 62, especially women, that are now homeless. The only homeless shelter in Macomb County that takes women has only 22 beds and they are given to the mothers with children first. The total length of stay is 30 days. You must register every morning, then leave the building for the day and come back at 6:00pm. Most homeless people have no family or support system. They were once working, had homes, and paid taxes. The government does not care about them now, because they don't work and pay taxes now or vote. Our communities and our government wants to close there eyes to this problem. If the homeless are not seen, then the problem must not exist, that is the mentally of the government and most people. It is a lot worse now than in the Great Depression, because the government acknowledged the problem then. The government wants the 50 to 62 year old group (the baby boomers) to die, therefore they won't have to pay us our social security benefits when we become of age. This is another aspect of freak-economics.If you are an immigrant in Michigan and classified as a refugee, you can collect SSI for 7 years without ever being ill, you can collect cash assistance, food stamps and get Medicaid, and get a housing voucher worth up to $900.00 to pay your rent. Once they become naturalized citizens those benefits stop. That is why they wait so long to become citizens. If you are an American citizen who has worked all your life you can whistle Dixie for any help. The Gov appointed the head of the dept of human services. the reason she appointed him was because of his affiliation with the Arab Community. Dearborn has many programs funded thru the state of Michigan to help these people, yet there are no programs to help the over 50 previously working group that are now homeless. The federal government has programs for the over 65 year old groups under Title V. If you are over 65 and need a job, MI Works will put you on a program. However, if you are 50, there are no funds, programs, etc. the federal government pays for. Other reason the government does not want the homeless to congregate in numbers at any location is because there is strength in numbers. It is a known fact that radical change in America has only come about from people organizing. Exp. Womens right to vote,the establishment of unions, Civil Rights movement, end the war in Vietnam, the Feminist movement, the Black Panthers, the Grey Panthers. Many government programs were adopted from these movements. Unfortunately, the homeless do not have the resources to organize. lack of shelter, lack of food, lack of transportation, lack of phones, lack of computers. lack of money to organize and most important lack of compassion and empathy from the government and people.
    KEEP US SICK, KEEP US POOR, KEEP US HUNGRY, KEEP US HOMELESS. WE WILL RISE AGAINST YOU.

    I am baffled at the fact that single-payer was not even considered going into the health care debate. I am further baffled by the Congressmen and women who think they speak for What the American people want by advocating a for-profit only system. So what if we would be paying for others in a single-payer model? We would be paying for COMMUNITY health. We would be paying a little for someone to have a small lump removed, rather than the hundreds of thousands we pay when they don't catch it in time.

    We who have insurance already pay for others without, that is just reality. But if everyone had access to good health CARE, people would go to the doctor when they have a pain or when something is wrong. Having been without insurance some of my adult life, I was faced with choices many other people faced, and face still... "If I go now, and this is just a flu that will pass in a couple of days, will I now have to pay for being out of work PLUS the doctor visit?" "If I drive to the doctor today, will I have gas money to make it to work tomorrow?" "I know I need soup- If I go to the doctor and he tells me I need soup, but charges me $25 for the visit, I will not be able to afford the soup I need"...

    Most of my medical problems were treatable with common cold or pain remedies. But as a worker in this country with the flu or cold, I am told that I must get a doctor's excuse if I am out more than two days, or forfeit my job. (Mind you, I have a reputation as kind of person that is known for almost NEVER being out sick, often going to work sick with a contagious cold or flu). In going to the doctor, a worker has to not only take time off work, but now they have to pay just for the visit. Even a modest sum to pay for a visit can cost a low-wage worker food, or rent, or even their job!

    Now that I have insurance (and with this last increase in California, my premiums are now costing me $100 more per month, I am hesitant to go to the doctor even still...What if it's nothing? what if they need to do a procedure or tests that are costly, that will end up raising everyone's rates at the small business I work for? Yes, a single-payer system would bring its own hurdles, such as what do do with the thousands of people who are employed by the insurance industry... but I feel robbed that we never even got to hear the arguments, or participate in the discussion. The main choice was made for us... Someone has the right to make money in this country gambling on whether or not you get sick. And America as a whole has the right to get just sick enough to feed their greed.

    There are 36 of the 37 developed countries that have a "Single-Payer" healthcare system. The United States is the exception.

    Some of those countries have our fee-for-service healthcare system. Some are pure socialism. All the rest are somewhere in-between. All use "Single-Payer". There is good reason.

    Lump all those healthcare systems into one blob. The average cost-per-citizen is 50% what we pay out-of-pocket here. That is for citizen-healthcare-results that are as good or better than produced in the United States (EEOC, WHO).

    All use "Single-Payer". There is good reason?

    For 2007, we (you, me, the rich, the poor, all of “us”) United States citizens spent, out-of-pocket, 2.2 trillion dollars on health care stuff.

    In 2007, if we had a "Single-Payer" healthcare system that cost would have been 1.1 trillion instead of 2.2 trillion. Yes, 1.1 trillion dollars left in our pockets.

    Our economy is consumer driven. In 2007, could our economy have used an extra 1.1 trillion dollars in the pockets of us consumers? 2008?, 2009?, this year?

    Think about it. It’s not as if there aren’t 36 developed country "Single-Payer" healthcare systems staring you right-smack-in-the-face.

    We do not have a "Single-Payer" healthcare system here.

    Some one pocketed that 1.1 trillion dollars in 2007. Some one is smiling. We, you, me, us United States citizens spent, out-of-pocket, more in 2008 and 2009. Let me do the math for you. Some one has pocked more than 1.1 X 3 = 3.3 trillion dollars. Oh yeah, boy are we a bunch of suckers.

    That is 3.3 trillion dollars more-than-we-should-have-paid for healthcare product.

    That is 3.3 trillion dollars that did not go to fueling our consumer driven economy.

    2010? 1.1 trillion dollars will go from “our” pockets to some one else’s and we will get nothing for it. Oh yeah, someone is smiling, licking their chops.

    Think about it. It’s not as if there aren’t 36 developed country "Single-Payer" healthcare systems staring you right-smack-in-the-face.


    Interesting article in The New Yorker magazine about diagnosing the medical condition known as "depression" and the "medicine" that is prescribed - lucrative business.

    No offense to anyone who has shared so much valuable information

    but the diagnosis of the ORIGINAL problem has been carefully crafted to support a "solution".

    Less and less of "science", as a for-profit enterprise, is concerned with incremental improvements for the BASIC ISSUE

    LIFE MAINTENANCE

    Yes, we are all going to die someday, but the POINT of life is QUALITY of LIFE.

    How are we LIVING?

    Health care is about maintaining a QUALITY LIFE.

    It's about CURES. The next bazillionnaire to knock Gates off the pedastool SHOULD be the

    "Big Giant Head" that presents the world with the cure for diabetes (forget cancer for a while, start lower)...

    Haiti should have been a wake up call for how little GLOBAL "inventory" is available - amputations were being done without any opium derivatives...or even Tylenol...surely there was at least one boat in the area with heroin cargo that could have been "shared" with someone other than the addicts who WILL pay whatever the pushers sets as "cost"...?

    The "business models" currently in place in the FOR PROFIT health care system did not arrive as tablets from a burning bush - everyone's "stats" make the case for who should make the profit. The CEO of United Health Care, an MD, who gave himself a 1.8 BILLION dollar package set the pace in 2005....wonder what he diagnosed as the problem that he solved?

    The following comments are based on my 30 years practicing medicine. Whatever version of health care reform the Democrats come up with, they are not addressing the most important issue affecting health care reform: the politics of the fee schedule and its implications for influencing physician behavior.

    The fee schedule is literally owned by the AMA and is heavily biased toward specialist procedures that all too often prove to have little benefit for patients. Even when there is some benefit, there is usually some alternative procedure that would have produced a better result with less utilization of health care resources (more cost effective).

    The medical profession has become the retail end of the “medical industrial complex”. The
    business model of the medical industrial complex requires patentable products which are
    expensive to research and develop. Pfizer claimed in a recent ad that they spend $600 million
    dollars to develop a new drug. We, the people, ultimately pay the price for this research in
    addition to what we have contributed through government funded basic science research that is
    the foundation of the drug research.

    If, in the course of this research, a better product was discovered that isn’t patentable, would
    Pfizer pursue its development? Likewise, would specialists welcome the development of
    procedures that compete with and reduce or eliminate the need for their lucrative procedures?
    The fee schedule is an extension of this proprietary medicine that dominates medical practice.

    Does the progress of science necessarily lead to patentable products? If the free market of
    scientific ideas prevailed, uninhibited by profit motive, what would medical practice look like and
    what would it cost? Does the profit motive and its proprietary requirement produce the best
    treatments or just the most profitable patentable treatments?

    Nonpropietary medical science has been progressing along with the general progress of science.
    The popularity of “ alternative medicine” is the expression of this trend. Alternative medicine is
    simply procedures that cannot be patented and are therefore underrepresented in the fee
    schedule.

    Tort reform, counteracting the monopoly trend in the health insurance industry (with public option
    or simply breaking up the big insurers or eliminating the antitrust exclusion) are important but not
    the whole story.

    I offer the following solution for health care reform:
    Create an HMO in which primary care doctors are given a panel of randomly selected patients
    (say 2000 patients); each patient pays a monthly premium (say $500).
    $500 x 2000 patients = $1 million/month coming into each doctors panel.

    The money goes into an escrow account and is used to pay all the expenses of the panel
    including drugs, tests, hospitalizations, etc.

    The doctor gets a basic salary to live on. If they are successful in using nonproprietary methods
    to resolve patients problems and eliminate the plethora of unnecessary surgeries, tests,
    procedures that inflate the current premiums, money will accumulate in their account.

    Actuarial analysis of the account will determine when a statistically valid excess has accumulated
    in the account which can then be distributed to the doctor as a reward. This excess is a global
    measure of the doctors skills and statistical validation of their practice methods.

    I predict that the most successful doctors will routinely utilize “alternative” medical procedures to
    produce the best results.

    This HMO will provide competition with existing insurance¸ counteract the distortions of the fee
    schedule (the doctor can decide to pay for a patients supplements that are not ordinarily covered
    or for a weight loss program.

    A primary care doctor (not an MBA or insurance bureaucrat) will be managing health care
    resources and implementing the best science available.

    Charles Bagley, M.D. CBagleyMD@aol.com 212-280-7774

    There are worst things than being killed by a medical condition. Medical bankruptcy in the Unites States is one of them.

    As you read this, millions upon millions of our citizens live day to day this American horror. Suffer or die, only the mercy of death is allowed the medical bankrupt in this country.

    There are 37 developed countries. 36 use Single-Payer to fund their healthcare systems. The United States does not. Not one of those other Single-Payer countries has ever had even one medical bankruptcy.

    For 2007 (2008?, 2009?, 2010?) the United States had more than 500,000 medical bankruptcies.

    When the money runs out…the medical condition that caused the bankruptcy continues. Can there be any that do not know this? Cancer, accident, heart attack, kidney failure, diabetic comma…the list goes on. Medical bankruptcy in the United States?

    No money? Out of money? Here it means horror. Here it means no medicine. Here it means no lines, can’t pay…no doctor. Here it means suffer, scream in pain, bleed, do so in some dark soundproof hole. Here it means the temporary relief of our wonderful ER folks. Bless them. No money? They don’t care, there will be a tomorrow, the mercy of death not allowed. Oh the pain and suffering of our ER folks. For they know the horror of what that tomorrow means for those without money, the medically bankrupt, in this country, the United States.

    36 Single-Payer developed countries. Not one with even one medical bankruptcy.

    There are worst things than being killed by a medical condition. Medical bankruptcy in the Unites States is one of them.

    Web site for the "infomatics" about "americans in control of their health care" is:

    www.whitehouse.gov/health-care-meeting/proposal

    The driving force behind the ORIGINAL backroom deal for "electronic health records" comes from Michelle Obama and her stint as "manager" in a Chicago hospital....

    Does anyone think that yet another layer of people and "infomatics" between the patient and the clinician/doctor

    is going to put YOU in control of your health care

    AND

    bring down costs?

    Here's an example from another industry that already has all their "infomatics" in place...when I dropped off the box to the cable company to request termination of service (don't NEED TV anymore, only high speed internet), the "customer service" person quickly began typing "stuff", and asked, "Anna?" - I said, "yes, how did you know?" She joked, "I can read minds". I lightening quick responded, "No you can't, how did you know..." She said it was from the number on the back of the box which was facing her...but soon her mood shifted and she told me she "felt insulted" because I had too quickly assumed that she could not read minds.

    That bit of "customer service", most recent, and the CLASSIC one from a dude in Jacksonville FL who quoted from the bible a phrase accusing ME of trying to cheat UHC out of 21 cents short (we've all since learned about THAT fraud from Mr. Potter on Bill's shows),

    well, how does having that kind of layer of what is passing for COMPETANT and SANE "customer service" people in charge of YOUR electronic medical records (creation of and "management" of) make everyone "feel"...?

    People can carry a flash card with their own medical records - period.

    There are so many enronista-like "businesses" sucking out "profit" from HEALTH CARE, that is is criminally insane....

    Every "reform" adds another layer of UNNECESSARY complexity by the addition of NON-MEDICAL people into the "system" - and that increases the opportunity for FRAUD and MISTAKES!

    FOR PROFIT is the problem, not the SOLUTION.

    The last time there was a nationwide military draft - Vietnam - it was conducted as a "lottery" - remember?

    And preachers had a grand ol' time interpreting "god's will" at funerals because they could hang their whole sermon on the chance factor - "god selected" the warrior based on the birthday lottery draft method.

    In a way, that was an advance for interpreting "god's will" among the preacher class.

    The "god-wants-you-to-be rich" megachurch's message all during the past decade put a lot of people in health insurance companies who PLAYED "god" with people's health via what they heard in those churches.

    At this point, even if you BUY health insurance, you may or may not get coverage when ANY need rolls around.

    So there is that lottery factor - chance - except it's not chance at all. The devil's in the details...

    So how about a compromise?

    Have health insurance companies sell lottery tickets instead?

    If a lottery was a good government-mandated "process" for drafting people into the army in the 1970s,

    a lottery approach could be used to provide health care for the same amount of people as get full coverage currently!

    And the same amount of cash flowing in PROFIT channels would still be there for access to whoever is getting it now (one trillion worldwide is what the CASH transactions between the drug lords and war lords amounts to in 2010).

    If we actually turn health care into a gambling enterprise, there would be bigger control (certainly simpler) over how much of the intake needs to go out as winnings - 2-3% of 300 million USA citizens would have a shot at getting vital organ transplants and all meds that they "need".

    And the advance in religious thinking can make a comeback - it is "god's will" who gets lucky

    and not someone playing "god" with other people's "luck", er, health...

    I don't see why the dems had to force through a garbage healthcare reform bill that would force the poor, unemployed and middle classes to use a gov't subsidized HMO. it's ridiculous. HMO's are garbage from the get-go. What they should've done is pass laws that restrict insurance companies from preventing people from buying insurance, prevent recission, prevent pre-approval requirements from doctors, prevent astronomical co-pays and premium increases, and to make their books public. If they wouldn't agree to that then the Dems should've passed a law that would prevent health insurance companies from making a profit as was done in Switzerland in the 80's. The Dems have now proven to the public that they have been bought and sold by corporations and special interest groups just like the GOP.

    TecheadA 2-15 8:19pm You said a mouth full!

    Different note but same problem--Congress--!
    Last night PBS aired "It Is Nice Work If You Can Get It", (I think) about 2 Washington Post reporters that followed the money to 100s of millions wasted by Homeland Security & Henry Waxman says that it is Congress' job, but they had to have the two reporters, Oharram, & Higlam (Ithink-sorry)expose the MESS!

    Out right FRAUD and what has Congress done?

    A couple of 'TV journalist' suggested Mainstreet is mad about Congress & democrats getting nothing done-that is just 1\2 the story:

    We are mad as HELL about Congress LETTING the Financial Crisis happen, esp, after being warned by CFTC chairman Brooksley Born against CDSs 10 (ten) years AGO!!!!

    Take Greenspan's Presidential Metal back ( that was a Bush atta-boy-Brownie) RECALL GREENSPAN'S METAL!!!

    Billy Bob Florida I am still mad at Obama for denying my primary vote!

    The billions of dollars expended by health insurers and pharmaceutical companies lobbying against health care reform could have established and funded many memorial hospitals and clinics.


    Posted by: Chuck Wuthrich


    It's flumoxing, isn't it?

    Supposedly everyone is so worried about how to spend "money" - where to direct the current - and IT IS NEVER BEING DIRECTED to LIFE MAITENANCE - it's all some kind of theoretical "math"...

    What are the MOTIVES for such insanity?

    And what is OUR moral responsibility to be bamboozeled by such sadism?

    What happened to memorial hospitals and clinics?
    Forget health insurance, it is a way for health insurers, as middlemen, to over-price health care through excessively high premiums and then statistically bleed off the excess cost as profit. The higher the insurance premium and the less health care provided, the greater the insurer's profits.
    Instead consider several alternatives:
    (1) Increase funding for existing and establish new memorial trust funds for military/veteran hospitals and clinics. Add dental and vision care. Add care for military dependents, who indirectly serve.
    (2) Provide memorial trust funds to establish civilian hospitals and clinics that will provide health care on demand as existing memorial hospitals and clinics have done for decades. Add vision and dental clinics.
    Memorial hospitals and clinics could be established to honor those servicemen who have given their lives for their country in the communities where they lived. Establishing memorial hospitals and clinics will put health care money in medical equipment, supplies, jobs, salaries and actual health service to the American people. Working within the budgets of the memorial trust funds will control health care cost. Establishing memorial hospitals and clinics could be done by executive order and is an excellent use for congressional earmarks. What better way to curry votes than serve the health needs of the voters. The memorial trust funds could be a mix of federal, state, local, corporate and private moneys invested in capital markets to provide perpetual working funds. Memorial hospitals and clinics are the traditional training facilities for physicians, nurses and health care professionals.
    The current trend for existing memorial hospitals and clinics is to go private in order to become health care profit centers through health insurance, abandoning the underprivileged uninsured most in need of medical service. The billions of dollars expended by health insurers and pharmaceutical companies lobbying against health care reform could have established and funded many memorial hospitals and clinics.

    Pigeons Awake.
    I have heard the same talking points, the lies that America has "the best health care industry in the world".
    However, the complete statement is 'the best health care industry the lobbyist money can buy'.
    Our politicians, both Democrat & Republican have sold us out.

    They have been paid to created the laws and regulations we now struggle with.

    Americans, which are only 5% of the worlds population are currently paying 2.5 times as much as the remaining 95% of the world.
    Why? Because the HMO's & Insurance industry have an fiduciary obligation to make a profit, that's the law.

    To stop this raping of America, we need to remove the 'middle man',
    stop diverting health care funds for Insurance infrastructure and Empire building.

    We need to redirect these funds to pay the Doctors and hospitals that deserve it and earned it.
    There is no other financial model that uses an 'middle man' to 'lower' costs.
    HMO's, like communisms, just does not work.

    I believe, that if we the people want real health care that is affordable for our nation we are in for a fight.
    If our nation, we the people can not get it together and fight back NOW, we are doomed.
    And, only politicians, bankers and lobbyist will have "the best health care in the world".

    Poking at windmills! Divide & conquer the Insurance companies have!

    Why is one little company here & one there each in its own group? Ten companies with 10 employees each & one gets sick out of the 100 but the 1 company will have its premiums sky rocket, but had the cost been spread over 100 thre may not have an increase. Ins. Cos win again!

    Why do employeers that provide benefits reduce taxable income & the employees do not have to acknowledge the $10,000 income?
    Why is this a IRS issue? Congress giving earners money away to get union votes.

    Establish a Federal Budget and divide the cost among all earners OR have LOOPHOLES and never solve our Financial woes.
    Delay INSOLVENCY for our grandkids.

    Until EARNERS "give" fairly and require ACCOUNTABILITY of how well our money is spent by the FEDERAL Govt. Congress will legislate LOOPEHOLES enabling FRAUD!!!

    When the FEDERAL Govt. files chapter 13 we will have little chance of getting full measure shaken down!

    FIX CONGRESS or REPEAT the lies.

    Govt. at this time is like that little boy with his finger in the dyke-Katrina was a pro-mo.

    Billy Bob Florida where 1\3 of our citizens are under water & the glaciers are not all melted

    Toxic priest wrote, in part, “As an Environmental Technologist, I can not imagine a health care system
    that could be viable, when it ignores the common toxic chemical exposures”.

    Exponentiality is a real phenomena in active energy systems...I don't believe that there is any way to safely utilize the tonnage of chemicals "left behind" after gasoline is extracted from crude if we insist on using up all the crude before we cut back on its use as a prime transportation fuel.

    Now THAT'S "armaggedon"...

    And what a dark side there is to the extraction of the rare earth metals needed in the manufacturing of cell phones, laptops and all other micro-chip "technology"! Yikes!

    Here's a clever thought, maybe "books" can be made of plastic paper?

    Clean and easy to melt down and recycle the non-best sellers :-))

    Beats pretending there are better uses for the chemicals, such as "medicine", cosmetics, and processed food...

    I'm in for purchasing stock in a "small business" that makes plastic paper for the ever new versions of textbooks...anyone got a tip which company that is...?

    Medicine in this country cost 70% more than anywhere else in the world. No company sells a product at a loss anywhere.

    That 70% is gross exploitive profiteering that management launders back into their pockets. Even the stockholders are ripped off.

    That 70% is extortion. Pay or rot/suffer/die. Every year over half a million of our citizens run out of money, go bankrupt, are pushed to the curb, and are rotting, suffering, dieing.

    70%? Free Market Competition? Another United States Industry controlled Congressional scam. Remove “free market competition” from the price of medicine and you have what we have.

    Extortion of our sick, chronically ill, elderly: Pay or rot/suffer/die.

    70% more than anywhere else in the world? No company sells a product at a loss anywhere.

    Less than 6% of toxic chemicals known to cause
    cancer are tracked in cancers cases. A Biomonitoring bill is in Congress to start
    Information at blog;
    Toxic Reverend - Toxic Revelations
    http://toxicreverend.blogspot.com/

    “As an Environmental Technologist, I can not imagine a health care system
    that could be viable, when it ignores the common toxic chemical exposures”.

    Blessings,

    The Toxic Reverend
    http://www.myspace.com/toxicreverend

    Thanks to Dr Flowers.
    I wish I could be with her at the various meetings. I agree, our government is broken. My Democratically elected representatives do NOT represent me or others at all. They represent Special Interests and money. I now open my letters to my congressmen with "when are you going to stop taking BRIBES"? The 8 million in Re-election money is nothing more than a BRIBE. My congressmen do not reply much any more.
    Save a place next to Dr Flowers at the next protest. I hope to be there. We need "millions" like her and we need to get off our butts and join her.

    i don't believe there is opposition to health care reform if it's good reform. There's opposition to health care for profit. And for mandatory health insurance. Both are the bulk of this reform. If it were done right there would be no opposition. Most important; there should be no difference for congress people and for the rest of us. They should get the same deal they're giving to us. No one would object to that. Make it simple, and for everyone the same coverage.

    I have to admit that I made a mistake when I voted for Obama in the belief that he actually intended to bring a single payer system of healthcare delivery to our country.
    Medicare, coupled with the Employees Retirement System of Texas'BCBS plan provides me with what ought to be an excellent health insurance plan. However, in reality, I have very poor coverage, especially here in Dallas, Texas where many of the best doctors do not accept Medicare and some are offering concierge-care at greatly inflated prices to those who can afford to pay.'=
    And at my age, I am in need of dental and visual care that are not covered at all in my so-called "health insurance". So, I am going to a free clinic for my extensive dental surgery and cannot get glasses at all that will work for me.And I find myself often wishing I lived in Thailand or Japan or Switzerland where health coverage covers the entire body including the teeth and the eyes. I could also use a good psychiatrist or therapist now and then, but in Texas one's mental health resides outside of the body as well.
    Recently, with my great Medicare coverage and BCBS, I went to the ER after I fell down the steps at my back door.They x-rayed my left knee, my right thumb and CAT-scanned my head.They told me that there was nothing broken or amiss and sent me home. I hobbled about on an increasingly swollen leg for a week before I finally saw a doctor who sent me for an MRI that revealed that my knee cap was fractured in two places and the tibia had three internal fractures.
    Another week elapsed while all of this was processed. Then I saw a knee specialist at Baylor Medical Center who made more x-rays and pronounced the breaks not serious enough for surgery but did not show me the MRI pictures and tell me where the breaks were located. No instructions for self-care were given. No knee support, splint or stabilizer was offered or prescribed. Eventually, I bought my own stabilizer.
    After aother week went by, I saw the doctor's PA who did not know how to read an MRI and could not tell me how to care for the knee.It has now been 5 weeks since I fell and I have had no care for the knee.
    My thumbnail on my right hand is going to have to be removed because no one at the ER thought to open the nail and allow the collected blood to drain out nor did they tell me how to take care of the thumb, which now appears to have a fracture after all.
    This is medical care for an older person who has Medicare and good private insurance to supplement it and whose doctors are considered to be among the best Dallas has to offer.
    Even if we had a single payer system of health care delivery, we would still be stuck with physicians like the ones I have seen in the past several weeks who appear to have little or no interest in their patients.
    I might believe that my case is unusual were it not for the fact that I hear similar stories from nearly everyone I meet here. No one is getting good care from the physicians in this city. Many of us would like to know why. We need doctors who are concerned about us , both as human beings and patients. We need doctors who are willing to entertain ideas like alternative treatment, one size does not fit all, one's body chemistry is as unique as a finger print, all drugs should be a treatment of last resort except in catastrophic circumstances.
    We wish to be treated with respect, with dignity, with concern and professional conduct. We do not want to waste our time with snippy receptionists, disrespectful nurses, PA's who come across as both ignorant and arrogant, and doctors who believe they have the right to brush off our questions, refuse to hear our concerns, ignore our fears, and turn away from our frustration and anger when we receive poor treatment in their offices and hospitals.
    All of us who suffer the occasional illness, accident or chronic condition deserve better care. We deserve a physician who will "first, do no harm", who will take the time to know each patient well, who will not indulge his or her ego to the extent of condescending to us and who will understand that the patient-doctor relationship is one of equals with a shared goal of optimum health for the one who is not functioning well.
    President Obama and Congress, backed by the insurance and pharmaceutical industry, have once more robbed us of the opportunity to try to create a better healthcare delivery system in this country and prevent providers from profiting from the illness and suffering of others.
    Good health care should always be a right, not a privilege only allowed those who are wealthy enough to buy the kind of relationship with their physicians that is essential to good care.
    Health care is rationed in the United States on the basis of how much money one can spend on it.For example, if I could afford to spend $500 + on having my glasses custom-made, I might be able to read again. Because I cannot afford that and my insurance does not cover that, I am doomed to struggling to see every word I read or write.
    Because the cunning dentists have managed to keep themselves out of the health insurance mainstream, my health care coverage does not cover my dental care in spite of the fact that poor oral health has been proven to result in damage to heart, lungs, liver and even my brain.
    I am not able to afford dental care and the best dental policies I have read usually do not pay the first year and then only up to $1500 the second year. That amounts to no coverage at all.
    I am disgusted with Congress, with President Obama, and with a bunch of medical personnel who complain about being run by the insurance companies but who will do nothing to persuade our government to put an end to insurance companies, tell the pharmaceutical lobby to take a hike, and install a single payer system in this country that will cover every citizen from womb to tomb.We have needed such a system here for all of my lifetime (67 years ) or more.

    Guess who was in the news recently for his stand on single payer health care?:

    http://washingtonindependent.com/76105/kucinich-its-high-time-for-single-payer-health-care

    The opposition to health care reform is strong and why not ? If your health care is provided by the tax payer , teachers, police, firemen, politicians, local ,state and federal workers have no incentive to reform anything they have a Cadillac plan payed for by Joe the Plumber and could care less that Joe cannot afford similar coverage for his family or himself.

    This short sighted approach is support by politicians eager to retain there votes. My question is how long will the tax payers tolerate this condition without serious consequences ?

    YES YES YES YES YES YES... I am tired of being ripped off from insurance companies trying to make profits on my health premiums and denying me coverage.

    Make insurance companies compete with a single payer system. Time to defang the insurance company dragons

    Often is the "fact" brought up that "healthcare" is - what? - one-sixth or one-seventh - of the "economy" of the USA...?

    I say, "that's all?!"

    Does that math factoid include "cosmetic" stuff and for-profit health insurance companies?

    If it does, then one-sixth is really a very small portion of the "economy" that is PRO LIFE MAINTENANCE.

    If "health care" was liberated from the enronista-economists:

    More misery for others =
    more money for ME ME ME

    more people would be better equipped to provide QUALTIY health care in their own communities at a cost that would be afordable for what briefly existed as a "middle class" in the USA.

    Obviously, for hyper-political "expert" activists, the reality of the daily life of a pediatrician is beyond their imagination's ability to "walk in another's shoes".

    Dr. Flowers put up a shingle where, yes, people DO come to HER door with sick children seeking help.

    To enforce the contrast of the WORK that Dr. Flowers does with her "open door" policy

    to the USA Prez and the closed door policy of The White House

    is interesting, isn't it?

    Now, let's all focus on what shingle the health insurance companies put up on their door...

    Getting rid of for-profit health insurance companies would GROW the economy

    with good paying jobs because a lot of new jobs - REAL jobs that can't be stolen and shipped to god-knows-where - would be created by COMPETANT people administering new cures and therapies - a "small" business with a REAL "business model" shingle on the door...?

    Everyone might have their own "personal story" reason for not wanting a "government" run system, but the common agreement this point in time

    with the "bill" that was racked up by Reagan and his increase of "debt" by 189 times - to KILL OFF alternate energy,

    with the war of Bush I,

    and the recent INSANITY of "spending" under Bush II,

    the agreement is NO MORE TAXES because how come those three got to do "stuff" and no one asked THEM how much it would cost?

    Answer:

    More misery for others =
    more money for ME ME ME

    Tax the STUPID huddled masses...

    This was ALWAYS about getting the IRS to suck up money in the way of FINES if the poor did NOT buy a policy from a PRIVATE "business"!

    The biggest political coup inroads by neocons were made into LIFE MAINTENANCE "jobs" and the institutions of "government" that exist to regulate FORCE and FRAUD "business models"

    were made into pharma and insurance...

    And we all SEE what they do with "data"...So, yes, there is no trust. And that's as it should be...

    It's a REAL problem.

    Without getting into high drama, merely stating the FACT

    this is USA's moment that all the other countries have had in the older areas of "civilization" on this planet.

    We've had a 30 year long "regime change" going on that is every bit as sinister and hell-creating

    as were all the other "isms" dreamt up in the fevered minds of sociopaths across the millenium.

    Indeed, quite a "complicated" health care debate...

    Another means for your voice is: http://www.whitehouse.gov/CONTACT/
    This site directs your concerns to the President.
    I wrote last week to the president, using this site, concerning Dr. Margaret Flowers.
    The Republicans have been holding the President's appointments. Last weeks a large number on hold were allowed through. One very important position still being held up is Dawn Johnson to the office of Legal Council. The Republicans do not want her confirmed because it would be her job to look into the violations of law of the last administration. She is quoted as saying, The next President "must avoid any temptations to simply move on."

    Many thanks to Bill Moyers for having such public spirited guests.

    Many thanks to Margaret Flowers for dedicating herself to the best plan.

    I was confused about how "We, The People" could have our voices heard.

    Today, I joined in with a crowd calling themselves "medicare for all" at http://www.medicareforall.org.

    At no cost but a monthly letter and stamp, we can use the power of the internet and e-mail outreach to mobilize the citizenry.

    For those, like me, wondering how to get our voices heard and feeling Margaret Flowers, though having the best of intentions, was outgunned, I recommend joining.

    Yes, single payer is the only option to fix health care in United States. If we have almost one trillion in budget for the Defense Department we can have just few billions for universal health care. Money is not a problem!!!

    To Bob Reich and supporters:
    Yes, single payer is the way to go, and no, this congress won't pass it. But the fault lies with the corruption of pay to play and lobbying, not with the voters, who support single payer by 70% in polls that lay everything out clearly and without cheap tricks. My question is this: At what point do we take on this stacked deck rather than continually asserting that necessary and reasonable policy change is not "politically realistic"? Nothing decent will ever be "politically realistic" under this balance of forces. I would rather see Obama fight and lose than put his finder in the wind prior to paving the way for limp biscuit sellouts. At least then the stage might be set to fight and win on another day. It's becoming clear, however, that he's no fighter. What people might well start to ask is how surprisingly comfortable he may actually be with the powers that be. After all, are not the Democrats every bit as steeped in the lobbying/campaign financing sewer as the elephants?

    I'm totally appreciative of Margaret Flowers. I've worked in a doctor,s office and saw day after day and year after year the misery and suffering that goes on due to the rip off system of private insurance. People pay into it and don't get the coverage when they need it. They can fight and fight and get nothing. And who feels like fighting when they're sick? They lose their job and there goes the health insurance. And usually bad health and lose of a job go hand and hand. Making a profit off of people's illness? Why do we accept such a cruel and barbaric system?

    Posted by: Donovan Lambright " Half the battle in making progress is just getting a bill, any bill, passed into law. The Voting Rights Act of 1964 was correctly seen as a lukewarm attempt at reform that didn't address the whole problem of Jim Crow and (the lack of) voting rights for African-Americans. But once it got passed, LBJ was able to follow up with the much more substantial Civil Rights Act of 1965. We need to pass something. Anything. And then we build on it. That's how it gets done in the US. We don't make huge strides in one fell swoop.

    I agree totally with Dr. Flowers that we need single payer. But if you're going to take up activism, take the time to read up on the political process and how things get done in Washington DC. I feel bad saying so many mean things about a doctor who is obviously sincere and knowledgeable in her field. But this kind of "activism" doesn't help. Sorry to be a buzzkill."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Passing bills even mean nothing nowadays. Let's say the filthy scumbags in office do pass some token policy to appease the citizens.

    What do they do with the legislation?

    They wont make it effective until 2 or 3 years down the road. That gives the hypocrites time to come up with more legislation to counteract the new laws or it gives time to the industry to maneuver / lobby around it.

    And if all else fails, the corrupt politicians just wait until the next administration comes in to strike down the laws before they even take affect. It is all smoke and mirrors my friends.

    Voting for change is a very popular sales pitch that lying rhetoricians make when campaigning. You have to understand, our whole political system fights change. And if perchance some change does come about, it is quickly squelched every 4 years by the new incoming administration and we backslide.

    What lying rhetoricians do is to float some popular headline to appease the public into thinking they will do something to fight whatever corruption is disturbing Joe Public

    Then the ignorant public thinks something will get done. They relax, thinking their problems will be solved and lose track of the issue. And the lying rhetorician has succeeded in fudging the public once again.

    Here the cries of Democracy's death throes as millions of Americans want for a single payer option is ignored. Health insurance knows how to complicate the matter to point where we argue over the wrong issues or even amongst each other, as the tea parties illustrate. It is very simple, why can't we have the choice to choose a public option or a private one? Why can't I, choose either a.) pay a health tax public health plan OR b.) pay three thousand a year, plus what my employer pays, plus the co-pays for doctor visits and prescriptions, to have the current private health care that cover my wife, son, and I.

    Health Care and profit motive are contradictions. Single payer is the only solution that I have any confidence in. I want a single payer option. Where do the supporters of single payer go to show their support?
    Our campaign laws need to change. We need public support of campaigns and I for one am willing for my taxes to go towards campaign funding and eliminate private funding of campaigns.

    Dr. Flowers admitted that she was naive, and it definitely shows then and now. If she thinks she would be able to practice medicine the way she wants with a big government "single payer" system, she is not only naive, but maybe deaf, dumb, and blind! These bleeding heart liberals never seem to get it. The government has no money of its own; only what it bludgeons from taxpayers through taxes, fees, fines, or levy's. And with NO competition, you are stuck with a government monopoly without any choices. It becomes a system of slavery.

    As we head into an election year, the new strategy for killing reform is claiming that members of Congress who vote for it will suffer at the polls.

    For months, our opponents have spread lies about reform to scare voters away. But the simple truth about what reform would actually do -- save jobs, guarantee all Americans affordable, stable coverage, and significantly reduce the deficit -- is something most Americans strongly support.

    The question is, come November, will the voters know the facts?

    OFA supporters have asked for a way to show every member of Congress that if they fight for reform now, we'll back them up this election season.

    That's why we're launching "You fight, we'll fight" -- a volunteer pledge bank where you can commit your time to back up candidates and officials who fight hard for health reform.

    We're shooting for 1,000,000 hours pledged to spread the word to fellow voters. And if we get there, we'll publish the total hours pledged in USA Today, so there will be no doubt that health reform is both good policy and good politics.
    http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/commitforhealthreform

    And the other point still remains on the table...

    Too easy to arrest Dr. Flowers

    and too hard to arrest a "tea party" mob (who by Donovan's definition, are "expert" activists).

    Donovan opined, in part, "But if you're going to take up activism, take the time to read up on the political process and how things get done in Washington DC."

    Can you give a recent example of "expert" activism that got something done in D.C. for a NON special interest group...?

    Two clear points have emerged about single payer systems and are cost effect related.
    1) Internationally Government administered health care maxes out at 8% of total cost. US private insurers 20% on average.
    2) Single payer systems do not have the cost of the private insurers profit anything between 15-20%.
    3) Even in single payer countries Private medical hospitals exist, they are paid the national rates for whatever treatments they give, but may charge the user additional fees which you must pay privately/ separately and you can get private insurers to cover that " cadillac cost" to whatever level you can additionally afford. In most countries if your employer provides this cadillac cover it is taxed as benefit in kind on the employee, manager director or CEO, at thier top tax rate.
    4) The choice debate is actually nonsense since specialists are available under a single payer system to everyone, at again standard fees for whatever is needed, A doctor or specialist who does not wish to support the State system is then totally dependent on fee paying customers and in the private hospital sector only. Hospitals and doctors or specialists therefore have to make a choice be 100% private or a mixture. Most opt for the mix its more sure/safe revenue/ income wise and profit wise.
    If there is a queue for treatment It is either because of a lack of facilities or Doctors etc to cover the demand, and that can be just as much a problem with a private system. Government usually however steps in and builds the needed facilty or gives incentives to train more doc's or nurses etc.
    I lived in Japan for many years where basically the system of hospitals/ doctors is private and most people have a combination of private and state medical insurance policies. My daughter became pregnant, and even though we said we'll pay 100 % it took visits to 4 hospitals/ doctors before we could get her admitted for an unexpected premature delivery. Even the Ambulance drivers were upset!!
    You might hear about long waits but rarely ( if at all, does any one die while waiting) and for sure no one goes bankrupt or despite thinking they had insurance cover get rejected for a pre-existing condition or because your costs now exceed som arbitrary lifetime cap.
    Now all that takes about 20% ( at least) out of the cost of Health care in USA which amounts to about $0.5 trillion.
    Whats the problem, apart from lobbysists and fear mongering politicians evangelicals on abortion and Big business profit reductions!?
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    Well, I guess I'm going to be in the minority and say that I found the interview with Dr. Flowers deeply irritating.

    I agree with her that Single Payer is the way to to. But it's not going to happen in this political climate. And for that, we can blame the voters. Not the Republicans, who have systematically blocked every attempt at health care reform. But the voters who have let them get away with it.

    Throughout the whole interview, Dr. Flowers seemed hopelessly naive and inept at political activism. Did she really think she was just going to walk up to the President and hand him a letter? Really? I can't even walk onto an airplane without opening my laptop bag and taking my shoes off. Think about what you're trying to do.

    I was particularly irritated by her repeated statements that she felt she needed to educate the White House aides about what kind of health care reform would actually fix the problems. Good grief, they know that single payer is the way to go. But were you watching the news this summer, Dr. Flowers? Every single attempt at reform, no matter how tepid, has been greeted with shrieks of "death panels, socialism, i like my health insurance" from the Republicans and the, ahem, not-very-well-informed people who buy this junk. If you're going to educate anyone, you should be focusing on those people. They're the ones blocking reform. The White House is just trying to get whatever tactical victory they can get out of this mess so they don't seem totally inept.

    Finally, Dr. Flowers seemed totally clueless about the political process in this country. Half the battle in making progress is just getting a bill, any bill, passed into law. The Voting Rights Act of 1964 was correctly seen as a lukewarm attempt at reform that didn't address the whole problem of Jim Crow and (the lack of) voting rights for African-Americans. But once it got passed, LBJ was able to follow up with the much more substantial Civil Rights Act of 1965. We need to pass something. Anything. And then we build on it. That's how it gets done in the US. We don't make huge strides in one fell swoop.

    I agree totally with Dr. Flowers that we need single payer. But if you're going to take up activism, take the time to read up on the political process and how things get done in Washington DC. I feel bad saying so many mean things about a doctor who is obviously sincere and knowledgeable in her field. But this kind of "activism" doesn't help. Sorry to be a buzzkill.

    Great job Dr.Flowers.As for the so called tea baggers I say that we need more parties involved so we have some healthy competition.Ever notice how Palin had all these charges and bad media when she was governor how getting a book deal and having the tax payer pay for security and going on FOX NEWS shut all of those media charges up.I guess if you are a quitter(republican) the deal is the media stops talking.

    Chris wrote, in part, "There are millions of us that never heard of Dr. Flowers, till now."

    I saw her, live, getting hauled out of the meeting - didn't know who she was at the time, glad Mr. Moyers had her the Journal...

    She's right about 2000+ pages "designed to fail". It's all another snow job

    :-))

    that was ALWAYS just about giving the IRS a way to shake down the poorest in the country for $$$ for god-knows-what...

    Yup, a new "ism" name for THAT "change" is definitely needed - IRS sending vinny babutz after you to BUY a PRIVATE, for-profit insurance "product"...sure ain't "free market capitalism", is it? And it sure ain't "socialism", "communism", but what's that smell...?

    teutonic fascism...? :-))

    sure stinks after 1000 years in the moth balls...

    The public option is the only way to keep profit-motivated, public insurance and provider companies from doing what they have always been doing: failing to put patients’ health-care needs and availability in the forefront of their priorities. There is nothing like a public option except a public option that is entirely divorced from insurance influence, as it would be politically correct to see Congress so divorced. Co-ops cannot trump the empowered insurance companies and providers to affect lower prices. Any trigger would only be a meaningless, costly delay.

    Reform without an insurance-company-separated public option is not true reform. It would signal a Congress still in the grip of lobbyists and money instead of the welfare-interests of its constituency, and it would leave insurance companies and for-profit providers in charge, and they will always be ruled by the Wall Street imperative for ever-increasing profit and returns, above all else. If anything, the public option will, at last, be a step that moves in the direction of acknowledging that health care should not be, primarily, a for-profit business, and that Wall Street firms are, by their nature and mandate, not suited to be properly motivated providers or financiers. Not everything operating within a capitalist system must be structured to the form and priorities of corporations. This concept has been proven, this week, as top insurance consultants report that above-usual premium increases, some above 100 percent, are being triggered by a combination of Wall Street pressure on the industry for better profits and the industry’s effort to establish increases before any reform is passed.

    And, how can any elected representative even DARE to consider any plan that would fine those who do not buy coverage and at the same time be willing to drop the public option and thereby fail to seize control from the for-profit corporate groups!?

    Did The People elect a Democratic government, or not?

    Republicans, with a solitary, one-time exception, have refused to compromise, and so they should not be permitted to block the single-most-important element that is the glue of true reform: the public option. And Democrats who do not tow the bottom-line on this necessary victory should be rightly let out in the cold for the remainder of their participating terms and the next election. If these Democrats want to influence the shape of reform, then let them know they must move the Republicans, not sabotage their constituents by plunging a knife into the heart of needed reform.

    Democratic and Democratic-leaning Independent voters will not appreciate any final bill, coming from the Democratic Congress they elected, which is tainted by the same minutia of conservative-Republican avarice that devised the “death panels” argument and the hypocritical, mind-control claims protesting the president’s speech to school children, which was an audience also addressed by presidents Reagan and both Bushes, whom they elected.

    The president must know that letting the public option go, as he seems too eagerly prepared to do, is not changing the way Washington does business, as he promised he would strive to do. This would be the same old story of caving to the special interests. There is no reason, except influence, not to have a non-subsidized public option. Without it, there is no competition, because the power remains with the insurance industry, where profits rule, not patient care, and co-ops will only be at the mercy of the bottom line they set. The president will have failed, not only to bring meaningful reform, but also by having the treads of special interests and lobbyists imprinted on his face and his administration for every policy priority to follow. Those treads are too deep in the skin of Republicans to erase, and President Obama must bring his party into line, make the Blue Dogs realize they will pay the price if they continue to stand with the special interests, not allow them to rule the day, and by precedent, the years to follow.

    If Republicans and traitorous Democrats, like Senate Finance Committee chair, Sen. Max Baucus, who have the interests of insurance industry and health-provider profits as their priority want co-ops instead of a public option, then write the bill so that government-employee insurance, their public option, is ended for representatives and senators and require them to move to private or co-op insurance instead. The problem with the cost of health care is that it is for-profit prioritized, not patient-care prioritized, and the profit motive should be removed from the industry, which would remove the greed-factor, which is the Wall-Street factor.

    Enough is enough.

    These ignorant, Republican-right protestations are proof enough that the one-sided gift of bi-partisanship the president intended to provide, and still tries to provide to the once-overbearing minority, is misguided, unrealistic, and unattainable.

    It is time to let the citizen majority overrule the greed-based, profit-first motives of the health insurance and provider industries.


    "Great job Dr. Flowers and Bill.To bad half the U.S. population was not there
    backing you. Big drug, insurance, lobbyist and congress idiots win another round.
    Same song same dance we are screwed!!!!!
    Posted by: wip "

    There are millions of us that never heard of Dr. Flowers, till now.
    Let me say this, the "battle royal" should not be over.
    I admire her courage and will.
    I do not vote during any primary!
    But her name will be on my ballot as a write in candidate for the very TOP!
    Her actions speak LOUDER and CLEAR..! From my point of view
    she has my vote locked. She is the candidate!
    She does not even have to campaign or change her lipstick to get my vote.
    She provides solution and hopes in a days of darkness!

    Dr. Flowers gets arrested.

    "Tea Baggers" do not.

    That's sorta beyond "insulting" isn't it?

    At one time the Romans considered it amusing to watch people be eaten by predatory animals...seems there's still a whole lot of people bemused by the "modern" version of it.

    Great job Dr. Flowers and Bill.To bad half the U.S. population was not there backing you.Big drug,insurance,lobbyist and congress idiots win another round.Same song same dance we are screwed!!!!!

    Not one, no, not one, of the other 36 developed countries can ever consider the idea of giving up their “Single Payer” national healthcare system. There is not even one, no, not one, ultra right-wing conservative in any of those countries that would even allow any to think such a thing.

    The reason is the United States.

    They know that what we have here is the only alternative. Unlike other 3rd world healthcare systems we do a good job of publishing healthcare system performance.

    What they see here in the United States is horror. The horrendous magnitude of suffering, rotting, pain; it drives them to work/cooperate on whatever issue/problem their “Single Payer” healthcare system may have.

    We serve the other 36 developed countries in this way.

    Written to Congress through Moveon.org,

    Money is an Abstract Concept especially in today's world. We have been the Wealthiest Country in the World, yet our wealthiest FEW continue to "reward" themselves with Exorbitant Salaries, Excessive "Bonuses" and a Gluttony of Investments and Material stuff. We are still shoving the "Capitalistic Corporate Business Model" all around the Globe, and We are still DANGEROUSLY Addicted to Dirty "Prehistoric Fuels", which leads to More Health Issues, Climate Change, Inequitable "Power Struggles", thus more "Wars", thus more "Squandering" of money and dwindling of resources.

    We still spend Billions on NASA, Billions on the Military Industrial Complex", spend Billions through the Media to DISTRACT the masses, Billions to defend "Invested Self-Interests," Billions to rescue the Financial Giants, and the list goes on.

    At the same time we have the debate between "Pro-life and Pro-choice", yet this is only another contradiction and distraction, because we can't even take care of the Life we already have on this "Living Planet".

    If we truly Value Life, then let's start "Prioritizing" taking care of All Life on this one and only Planet we all share as "Home".

    Other countries have figured out how to provide for their People's Health Care, WHY Can't We?

    We are so very tired of the "Fear Tactics" that are injected to mislead the people. We are very capable of providing real "Health Care for All" without Insurance Companies, Hospitals, and many Medical Providers making exorbitant Salaries and Profits.

    NOW is the Time to take Courageous Steps to give back to Our People, Our Lives.

    Perhaps take this Health Reform in smaller prioritizing steps and vote step by step. But please do NOT Take out the Public Option, although we prefer "the Single Payer System" like so many other Countries have in place.

    It's an extreme insult that our Voices are not being heard, and this "Single Payer" option has not even been considered.
    So please as Our elected Congress, please stand up for "Life" for Our People as a whole.

    Thank you,

    We are Paying Attention more than ever.
    Loretta Huston


    I would love to see a single payer system but, given the current corporate-owned political system it is a lost cause. Obama, being an overly cautious pragmatist, recognized this and set his parameters for compromise accordingly. Not the best negotiating strategy, but I understand why he did it that way. To speed up the process and get a reform bill passed in his first year. Politically pragmatic and he still lost. We just don't live in an age where pragmatism is rewarded.

    Now for the second shot. Based on Medicare for uninsured. Meaning if you are uninsured due to rejection by the HC insurers, you should be able to buy into Medicare. The insurance company that rejects an applicant will be taxed a certain % for the coverage that the uninsured obtains through Medicare. With the top premium being some formula capped at x percent of income. Similar to what was proposed for the mandated coverage already proposed.

    Of course this will cause "cherry picking" by the insurers. That's why they will be taxed for doing so.

    People can move to this Medicare system in between jobs and stay there if they prefer it over employer based coverage. Over time, if it is well run more people will opt for this option and a more stable coverage environment. And also enjoy higher waged if employers aren't burdened with the cost of healthcare for every employee.

    That's the way to a single payer system, and it doesn't have to happen over night as many of us wish it would. We all have to be more pragmatic in order to make any progress.

    I do appreciate the passion and dedication of Dr Flowers. However, you see how easy reform was defeated, derailed, whatever, with a so-called democratic majority.

    AS always I really appreciate the coverage and depth Bill Moyer provides on the critical issues of our time.

    What is going on? We need to look into Miss Margaret Flowers the pediatrician that was just arrested. The President went on TV and asked anyone with any ideas or solutions to send them to him She tried and was arrested.

    We want a public option.

    It is a human right to get healthcare we are the only country who lest its citizens die due to having no money.

    It is pathectic.

    I was in the UK 5 years ago and they wer marching against the US corproations and now I know why.

    This governement ahs been bought and sold a long time ago the people haven't a chance.

    RE: "I too placed my hopes and expectations for the change I was promised on President Obama" Anita Holt
    You were fooled by the corporate owned mainstream media. Chalk it up as a learning lesson. Anybody who the corporate owned mainstream media promotes is a bad thing if you are not rich these days. Both candidates...Hilary and Barack were already bought by the corporate special interests...just as Mccain was. It's always a win/win situation for the corporate elite. Candidates like Kucinich were thrown to the side of road by the monopolized mainstream Media...because he represented YOU and not the corporations. Unfortunately you were like the many who drank the corporate kool-aid. A suggestion would be to go to the local library and do a little research the next time instead of wasting your time campaigning for a corporate owned puppet. You are also invited to join the newly created DEMAND-SIDE PARTY, a party that truly represents your plight. This is our platform:
    THE DEMAND-SIDE PARTY UPDATED PLATFORM

    So far we have a party platform of:

    Single-Payer Health care

    Minimize profits for corporations.

    Provide equitable wages for the working people.

    Eliminate non-productive institutions.

    Eliminate lobbyists.

    Not allow corporate money to politicians.

    Provide "new money" to support the fiscal needs of our nation.

    Absolve the national debt.

    Abolition of corporate person-hood – the idea that corporations have the same Constitutional protections as human beings

    Cancel NAFTA and the WTO

    Abolish the Federal Reserve

    Redistribution of wealth from the Rich to the Poor and Middle class

    Abolish Monopolies enforcing anti-trust laws

    Abolishing the corporate owned mainstream media

    Enforce accountability

    Separation of State, Church, AND Commerce be established

    Rotation in Congressional committees

    Impeach all corporate influenced Supreme Court justices

    2-term limit (like the POTUS) for all elected representatives

    Elected officials subsequently be barred from lobbying or influence peddling

    Public funding of elections

    Impeachment of any Representative who does not favor a new constitutional amendment addressing a real campaign finance reform

    Keifer Sutherland's Grandfather, Tommy C. Douglas, Canada's Father of Medicare was voted greatest Canadian for his role in promoting universal healthcare for Canadians. He as Saskatchewan's Premier brought it to that Progressive province and as a federal opposition leader promoted it federally. Lester B. Pearson's liberal goverment put it in place. As a Registered Nurse and citizen I fully support it.

    I couldn't help but get emotional as I listened to Dr. Flowers. For me, this issue is very personal. I have been without health insurance for 16 years of my adult life, and I too placed my hopes and expectations for the change I was promised on President Obama.

    In 2008, my husband and I actively participated in the election. We had never volunteered for any candidate before, but felt strongly that our involvement mattered more than ever. We drove to our local campaign headquarters with the gas tank on empty, praying that we would make it there and back home again. We also secretly hoped that someone had brought chili or soup since we had very little in the cabinet at home. On the night of the election, we were unable to track the progress of our efforts because our electricity had been disconnected. The next morning, we searched our car radio for the results. We had won! We knew that we now had a chance for recovery - a chance to live like human beings.

    All of our faith in this administration has been emptied. As a voice and piano teacher, I live very modestly. My husband and I have never taken any government help. This year, we were able to find a dentist who is willing to barter music lessons for dental work. Needless to say, he will be taking lessons for a very long time! Unless we find a doctor with a secret desire to be a rock star, we will continue to stay on the "DGS Plan" (Don't Get Sick).

    I couldn't help but notice the irony of your programming today. Dr. Flowers arrived at Washington by invitation of the President, representing a majority of Americans, and she was escorted to jail. Yet lobbyists, who inspired great debate by your other guests, arrive in Washington representing a corporation or organization and are literally issued a pass through the gates.

    My single prayer is for single payer. Thank you.

    "THE TRUTH as ALWAYS it HURTS"

    Posted by: Chris

    I don't recommend it for anyone because you have to have something "special" in your personality to look at it, but if you can look at it

    this health care debate truly IS a bona-fide WAR

    of the pluto crazy

    vs.

    everyone else

    Beyond ugly passive/aggressive hatred, no?

    Remind yourself that after "they" steal eveything from everyone (yes, includign body organs and stem cells)

    there IS no plan beyond that "end game"...hence the mainstay of their "religion" - the "prophecy" of 2012 being the "end"....

    Big bowl of crazy HATE and REVENGE...die, my brother and neighbor, die! from the cancer I gave you by raping nature...

    Quite the "Super Bowl" GAME...wear the body condom, the commercials will be "abortion all day"...yup, they're going shoot their spunk AT YOU...

    Good Day!

    I wish to applaud Dr. Margaret Flowers for her passion to bring forth a single payer health care system. Being a Canadian, and already having nationally funded health care, I sympathize with our southern neighbours.

    My father had an aortic valve replacement, amongst other complications which the surgeons found later. All the operations went exceptionally well and he was treated with care and respect. We later nicknamed him the "million dollar man" as that would have been the hospital bill if we didn't have this much needed system in place. After several operations, drugs, and weeks of bed rest, my father's bill was zero.

    I'm not saying our system is perfect in any way; we experience long wait times and still need to pay for prescriptions if not covered by ones employer insurance. However, when it's needed, it's there and no one is turned away regardless whether they can pay or not. The system works!

    I hope for our neighbour’s sake that President Obama, Congress & all American citizens can see the importance of a single payer health care system and embrace it fully.

    We have a name for our new party thanks to D.C. Eddy. The Demand-side Party.

    Anybody want to add anything more to our platform?

    We have a party platform so far consisting of:

    Single-Payer Health care.

    Minimize profits for corporations.

    Provide equitable wages for the working people.

    Eliminate non-productive institutions.

    Eliminate lobbyists.

    Not allow corporation money to politicians.
    Provide "new money" to support the fiscal needs of our nation.

    Absolve the national debt.

    Abolition of corporate person-hood – the idea that corporations have the same Constitutional protections as human beings.

    I applaud Doctor Flowers for her commitment to a “Single Payer” healthcare system for the United States.

    The problem she and others like her have is this:

    Millions of us Americans have heard the term “Single Payer” but have no clue as to “WHAT IT IS”, “HOW IT WORKS”, and “WHY IT IS A GOOD IDEA”.

    If us ordinary Americans had those three items, “Single Payer” would happen in this country.

    There is good reason why the other 36 developed countries employ “Single Payer” to fund their healthcare systems.

    Whether the country is pure Capitalist, pure Socialist, or something in between all those countries employ “Single Payer” to their immense financial/healthcare results benefit. They do it because it is “bluntly practical” without regard for political/economic bias.

    For – A – Change, could you please have someone on that will explain “WHAT IT IS”, “HOW IT WORKS”, and “WHY IT IS A GOOD IDEA”.

    For millions of our people ignorance is misery not bliss. You, Doctor Flowers and others like her do nothing about that ignorance. Work on that ignorance and millions of us ordinary Americans will be there for you.

    “Single Payer” is “bluntly practical”; no one else knows but you few of the elite.

    The value of the health care debate in Congress this past year has been that it shone the spotlight on the corruption endemic to our system both in Congress and in the White House.

    The crucial distinction during the Presidential campaigns between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama was for me his insistence on no mandate for whatever system would be put in place. People would not be forced to join private plans.

    An excellent point raised on these comments was the one questioning the payments we already give through our taxes to support our representatives' private insurance plans. Put them under Medicare was the suggestion, and I personally would turn that into a demand.

    I also very much support the comparison between education and healthcare which was put forward in another post. It seems to me that is the comparison we should be looking at, not the one with car insurance - when most of us can no longer afford a car anyway, unless it be to live in.


    Anna D
    "For PROFIT HEALTHCARE is the problem!"

    Hold the torch up, here is some more,

    CONSTRAINS and/or Denial of direct "LIBERTY and FREDOM of SPEECH"
    at the ballot is the problem.

    Violations of the CONSTITUTION NOT to be SECURE in their, papers, Funds
    Currencies, Securities is the problem!

    "ABRIDGING the Freedom of Speech to peaceably assemble" at the "CONGRESS
    public PROPERTY" - hearing and than be arrested is the problem.

    "Corrupt JUSTICE SYTEM" is the problem.

    "Bankrupt FINANCIAL SYSTEM" is the problem.

    "The judges once elected and or appointed believe that the god has died
    and that they take place of god" is the problem.

    "THE TRUTH as ALWAYS it HURTS"

    Robert E. Kelly wrote, in part, "While Dr. Flowers is passionate and self-righteous, we have but to look at the failing Medicare/Medicaid system or the underfunded Veteran's system to see why the government should not run health insurance programs....Premiums would be paid through the IRS by refundable tax credits. You must file taxes to choose your insurer and have your UHC policy premium paid...."

    You lost me, Mr. Kelly.

    The IRS

    THE IRS!!

    is the GOVERNMENT'S "vinny babutz" who takes grandma's last $40 out of her bank account

    you make no sense, Sir.

    FOR PROFIT HEALTHCARE

    is the problem.

    The PROFIT that anyone should be allowed to get is IF they are the inventors of therapies and devices that CURE sickness...

    not someone saying "nyet" so that the CEO can get 1.8 BILLION.


    I prefer the difficult task of making a government-run, single payer, patient oriented bureaucracy efficient and fraud-free to the impossible task of making an efficient, for-profit-only corporation give a damn about human life.

    I think we have to realize that when we debate the rights of corporations to influence politics we are actually talking about the power of a plutocracy. With our current system most stocks are held in mutual funds, many of which are in turn held within still larger retirement portfolios. The individual stockholder is far too removed from the process to be involved in any way. So the influence we are talking about is actually being wielded by a very small group of very wealthy individuals who occupy the various governing boards. The recent SCUS decision only gives more power to this elite few.

    Flower's answer to this question interested me the most:

    BILL MOYERS: The health reform process is broken. It's stalled, stymied. And many people think nothing is going to happen now. Do you think that's a good thing?
    DR. MARGARET FLOWERS: In some ways, it is. But what we were starting to see in December, as they got close to passing the Senate version, was they were already these huge proclamations of success. You know greatest thing since Social Security and Medicare, and look how great we are for passing this. And we knew that what they were passing was designed to fail. And-- but that if it passed, it would take years for people to realize.

    I wonder how many people would have still voted for Obama if his campaigning lip-service slogan would have been “Designed to Fail” instead of “Change We Can Believe In.” Hmmm, Barack “Designed to Fail” Obama -- it has a ring to it.

    Dear Bill Moyers:

    Thank you for presenting journalism in its highest form and for shining light on the truth that is paid to hide from us.

    While watching Dr. Margaret Flowers on February 5, I could not help but reflect back on President Obama's campaign of change, especially health care reform. I wanted to believe him then, as I wanted to believe him in his state of the union message inviting those with a better idea to please let him know. Dr. Flowers is not a criminal and for her to be treated as such is a disgrace.

    Democrats and Republicans alike are responsible for our decaying American health care system. I suspect that if Dr. Flowers were a large corporation with lots of money to fill the war chests of our two parties and pour money into candidates' election, she would not have been arrested. Shame on us Americans if we don't stand up to support Dr. Flowers. Shame on us if we don't get off of our complacent butts to stop the growing, corrupt power in our government. . . Bahia Abrams

    I don't think a single payer system is socialised medicine. Socialised medicine is owned by the Government. England is the only country to have Socialised medicine. They own hospitals and contract doctors. We don't want to own hospitals, that is not in the Reform Bill.

    Do you believe single-payer is the best potential reform for the U.S. health system? Why or why not?

    Of course single-payer or socialized medicine is the only best approach. It is obviously cost-effective if all other countries except the US are doing it. Anyone with any sense should realize that. Equal access to justice, education and health care should be a civil right under the constitution.

    In the wake of the Republican Senate victory in Massachusetts that disrupted Democrats’ legislation, what health reforms do you believe are politically achievable?

    This question relates to real democracy and the power of big money to corrupt a democratic system. Health care reform is achievable if people like Dr. Flowers can not be bought by lobbyists, and they are elected by the people. When the people, rather than corporations put elected officials in power, change is possible.

    How are you and your community working to reform America’s health system?

    Just like ending segregation and bigotry, America is still waiting for a leader. Let's hope Dr. Flowers, like Martin Luther King can do it. She should start writing letters from jail.

    Thank You so much Dr Flowers and to the rest of your gang.. I admire your guts and integrity.

    If what you went thru at the gates of the W/H had happened in China, North Korea or Iran, the MSM would have ''played it up'' and dismissed it of as ''but ofcourse...''


    We need to start a mass movement to take back this country from the Corporate Thugs & Thieves and their ''enablers'' in Congress and the W/H..



    Hey POTUS,
    Have you heard of words like, ''INTEGRITY'', ''SELL-OUT'', ''HUBRIS'', ''BETRAYER'', ''WHIMP'', ''APPEASER'' ... ???
    THAT is your problem and THAT is also the problem with your Senate Dems; THAT is why the former ''Center-Fold'' won in Boston !!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Listen, it is really simple; the verdicts in MA, NJ and VA WAS THE RESULT OF POTUS OBAMA SELLING-OUT ON HIS CAMPAIGHN PROMISES and THE CONSEQUENT PROGRESSIVE A-N-G-E-R !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    In ALL these states, the results WERE A BACK-LASH ON OBAMA FOR HIS LACK OF I-N-T-E-G-R-I-T-Y and PI$$ING OFF HIS CORE SUPPORTERS [P-R-O-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E-S] !!!!!!!!!

    "Millions of copies will be sold of a book written by someone who can't write, intended for an audience
    that doesn't read, about the thoughts of a person who doesn't think."

    So how come you didn't make it plain that two M.D.s, likely already known to "the authorities," citizens exercising their CONstitutional "rights" to free speech, assembly, and to petition the government for redress of their grievances, were arrested and hauled-off, hand-cuffed, to "police headquarters," (Dr. Flowers evidently for at-least the second time) then grilled by the secret service about their "mental health" status? Does institutional paranoia now trump the Bill of Rights without even the fig-leaf of a "presidential finding"?

    "....your huddled masses" aren't getting "health-care reform" because their owners don't have to give it to 'em....and don't 'care' to anyhow.

    Dr. Flowers is an eloquent voice for many physicians, including myself.

    Like many of my colleagues, I have been a single-payer supporter and have been so aware that our voices were never heard in the debate.

    Thank you for finally bringing this taboo subject ito the open.

    And thank you Dr. Flowers for stepping forward.

    Stanley J. Talpers, MD
    Washington D

    I found Dr.Flowers inspiring.Thank you Dr.Flowers and Thank you Bill Moyers for having her on your show

    Thank you to Dr. Flowers for all she has done and is doing. She was outstanding on Bill Moyers' Journal. Her point of view was perfectly expressed.

    "Single Payer" is the only solution to both the healthcare and the economic crises in America. There should be one basic monthly premium for all citizens with incremental government subsidizes for those falling below a certain income level. Possibly it should be mandated that all citizens carry this insurance but if not those that opt out should have to pay for services only what the government pays providers for services rendered. The deaths, the economic distress and the lack of even the most basic preventative care for many caused by the present system would be eliminated.

    Perhaps the single payer system could be broken into two parts: Basic Medical which would cover most everything and Extended Medical which could cover everything else except for such things as face lifts for 40 year olds who want to look 39 again. That should be pay as you go. You get my drift.

    The Canadian model is an excellent one as I know from personal experience.
    There are no "Death Panels" and any life threatening situation is always dealt with immediately. There may sometimes be a short waiting list for non-life threatening procedures. I once developed a hernia which did cause me some
    inconvenience but I only had to wait a couple of months before a bed was open for me. It just so happened that I was in the hospital at the same time as my mother who has just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She was admitted immediately and given the full care available for the next five years until she passed away. This was in 1990.

    Of course along with this it might be helpful if the food industry were completely revamp to stop literally poisoning the citizens with the junk they use to process our food.

    Some tort reform is obviously necessary as so many people look at human mistakes as a get rich quick program, but doctors must be held accountable, probably best by themselves and their clinics and hospitals as opposed to litigation, for shoddy workmanship.

    Education becomes a big part of this as the citizens must be aware of what is harmful in their life styles. This education should not be a hit and miss television program now and then but should be a vital part of our education system starting in the earliest grades.

    Congratulations Bill Moyers for bringing Dr. Margaret Flowers onto your program and thank you Dr. Flowers for your commitment to actual, honest healthcare for the people. Do you have any openings for new patients in your clinic?

    But we need to be in the streets and off our computers if we want any of the changes we so desperately need in this country, including getting the money out of politics.

    Dr. Flowers is an eloquent voice for many physicians, including myself.

    Like many of my colleagues, I have been a single-payer supporter and have been so aware that our voices were never heard in the debate.

    Thank you for finally bringing this taboo subject ito the open.

    And thank you Dr. Flowers for stepping forward.

    Stanley J. Talpers, MD
    Washington D

    Dr. Flowers is an eloquent voice for many physicians, including myself.

    Like many of my colleagues, I have been a single-payer supporter and have been so aware that our voices were never heard in the debate.

    Thank you for finally bringing this taboo subject ito the open.

    And thank you Dr. Flowers for stepping forward.

    Stanley J. Talpers, MD
    Washington D

    Thank you Margaret Flowers for going to the White House and proposing a solution. I think we can agree that medical reform is needed but most Americans get caught up in a debate about the method. How are we going to do it? And the argument always comes back to a deep philosophical tension in our country about the role of government in American life. Depending upon where you sit in that debate shapes one's view about the method. Margaret Flowers has been accused of being naive. Isn't any marginalized voice always considered naive? If we look at back at history and examine some of our American heroes: Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King. These historical figures when they were alive must have seemed naive, with their seemingly outlandish ideas, that verged on some sort of unachievable Utopia: free slaves, extend the vote to women, desegregate schools and public services. But I digress. I just want a debate about the method and Margaret Flowers offers another path. Hope is alive if we can engage in a dialogue. Something naive can grow and become practical, achievable and even heroic.

    Thank you Margaret Flowers for going to the White House and proposing a solution. I think we can agree that medical reform is needed but most Americans get caught up in a debate about the method. How are we going to do it? And the argument always comes back to a deep philosophical tension in our country about the role of government in American life. Depending upon where you sit in that debate shapes one's view about the method. Margaret Flowers has been accused of being naive. Isn't any marginalized voice always considered naive? If we look at back at history and examine some of our American heroes: Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King. These historical figures when they were alive must have seemed naive, with their seemingly outlandish ideas, that verged on some sort of unachievable Utopia: free slaves, extend the vote to women, desegregate schools and public services. But I digress. I just want a debate about the method and Margaret Flowers offers another path. Hope is alive if we can engage in a dialogue. Something naive can grow and become practical, achievable and even heroic.

    I know most Americans have little or no knowledge of what happened in France during the French Revolution. Well the people got sick and tired of the rich and their arrogance and started chopping their heads off. Guess what, it worked. The rich started to get more generous and friendly. I am in no way suggesting we start by cutting off the heads of the Senators who just say no because they can, but on the other hand, when the previous President of China was asked how he thought the French Revolution had turned out he answered, "it is to soon to tell".

    Lary Waldman

    Doctor Flowers had the opportunity on national TV to explain:

    What is “Single Payer”?

    “Single Payer” is simply a method of paying for healthcare and nothing more.

    “Single Payer” is not related to political/social philosophy. It is an accounting method.

    36 developed countries use this “Single Payer” accounting method to fund their national healthcare system.

    “Single Payer” has nothing to do with “how the healthcare system works”.

    Of the 36 developed countries that use the “Single Payer” method for funding, no two have identical healthcare systems. Those healthcare systems range from the pure Socialist system of the French to the pure Capitalist/For Profit (insurance companies/medical resources) of the Swiss.

    The “Single Payer” method for funding has resulted in no uninsured, no medical bankruptcies, no citizen dieing for lack of medical care, increased longevity, declining infant mortality, the cost of medicine 70% less than in the U.S, the average cost per citizen 50% of what we pay here…the list goes on.

    “Single Payer” is simply a method of paying for healthcare and nothing more.

    What is “Single Payer”? Yes, another precious opportunity lost.

    As a Montanan I favor a single payer system, I favored being able to buy into medicare. Max is our Senator he has been supported by liberals and conservatives. This past summer while eating lunch with the crew I work on we discussed Max and his health-care legislation. Most of us have supported Max in the past. However when he made it clear that a single payer system was off the table we began to question his motives. We, the crew all need affordable heath-care. We have few options in Montana. We learned that Max raised Millions of dollars from the health-care lobby, not the Montana lobby but the national lobby. If we represent average Montanans then this is Max's last term. I myself tend to be liberal. Here in Montana we share a closer relationship with candidates as do people I suspect in other states with small populations. It is disappointing that Max did not provide the leadership I had hoped he would. Very disappointing. Read more.
    Industry Cash Flowed To Drafters of Reform
    Key Senator Baucus Is a Leading Recipient http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/20/AR2009072003363.html

    In response to Robert Steven’s suggestion:

    “ I IMPLORE you to watch the movie “SICKO””

    A warning: If you do not want others to see you cry, watch it alone.

    Two central myths are being propagated by the American Health Insurance and Drug industries, in order to increase fear in the American population and create a backlash against what they call the 'government takeover' of healthcare.

    The first is that Single Payer healthcare would bankrupt the country. All Americans should look at the amounts other OECD countries pay, per capita, to provide universal (for all; everybody; employed or not; young and old; sick or healthy) healthcare coverage: http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/46/2/38980580.pdf While it is true, that some people in these countries have complaints about their healthcare systems, even if these other countries were to substantially raise the level of spending on healthcare, they would still be spending less than the USA. Americans are already spending more than enough to pay for universal, single payer healthcare, but their 'system' is being looted by profiteers who do nothing to increase healthcare.

    The second great myth is that Single Payer healthcare would mean that a bureaucrat would come between the patient and the doctor. Americans WITH insurance have to contend, right now, with a level of bureaucracy unknown in other OECD countries, because every major procedure, and many minor ones, have to be pre-approved by an Insurance Industry bureaucrat. Most Americans are in managed-care plans, and are severely restricted as to which primary care doctors, specialists and hospitals they may use. Woe betide the American who presents themself for emergency care at a non-approved hospital. They will only get treated for the most dire of their symptoms: the moment they are diagnosed as 'stable' they'll be turfed out of the hospital. The hospital also has to judge whether or not the insurance company will agree to pay, so, as in Michael Moore's 'Sicko', a child with a high fever could be refused treatment, with tragic consequences.

    American corporations are very well served by the American government, but the American middle-class is being looted and plundered. By the way, do watch 'Sicko'. It contains one of my favourite lines. A group of expat Americans, now living in France, is sitting around discussing how much they love the French socialized healthcare system. When asked by Moore why they think the French people have so much, while Americans suffer? One of the Americans said, (paraphrased) "In France, the government is afraid of the people, but in America, the people are afraid of the government".

    I am disappointed. Doctor Flowers had the opportunity on national TV to make the argument:

    Why “Single Payer”?

    We have 47 million uninsured, over 10,000 medical bankruptcies per week (more than 520,000 per year), infant mortality at 19th, declining longevity, medicine cost 70% more here than in any other country, more than 22,000 will die for lack of medical care this year, we have healthcare fairs in our major cities just like the Congo, Uganda, Bolivia, Sudan…etc.

    There are 36 developed countries. Every one has a “Single Payer” Healthcare System. Every one of those countries have “Healthcare Results” superior to what we have here in the United States. The average cost per citizen is 50% of what we pay in this country.

    In 2008 we the American people spent 2.3 trillion dollars on healthcare. That 2.3 trillion dollars got us 37th in the world. A “Single Payer” system would cut that 2.3 trillion in half (money we are spending now) and eliminate the problems listed.

    They have none (not one) of the listed problems we have in this country.

    Why “Single Payer”? A rare and precious opportunity lost.

    I listened to Dr. Flower's spiel last night on Nebraska TV. I am in the medical area also and I wonder what planet Dr. Flower's comes from? Does she think if the govt. is the single payer that Utilization Review will disappear? That is laughable? It will be ten times worse and there will not be any appeal as there is now. If single payer system is so great then move to a country that has one.

    Much of what I feel has been expressed above. I cannot believe that the U.S. Congress now is totally controlled by insurance companies, banks and special interests. Who allowed this insidious creep to now totally exclude we, the people. And more disturbing than anything is the Supreme Court's decision on corporate money.

    Has the U.S. Constitution been obliterated and is the U.S. now a totally Corporate State? Can this lead to revolution because people are now wise to what's happened, but feel frustrated and unable to make changes?

    Please, please don't leave your show, where can we turn? You are doing the people's work. There are so few who speak the truth of what has become of this once-greaat country.

    The 'golden calf' has been built and the powerful worship it. Next comes disintegration and destruction. It's quite biblical.

    Beautiful Flowers

    Out of the darkness comes the light,
    From the wrong comes what is right.
    From the soil a Dr. Flowers grows,
    Who's true love will One day conquer all.

    Thanks for tending the garden Bill,
    I see the fruit of our labors,
    I see the beautiful Flowers that grow.

    =
    MJA

    Only capitalism can keep our medical system lean and efficient??? You mean like it has been doing? I believe the outcomes are better in all the countries of the EU. Do we really want to be first in just cost???

    The facts need to be on the table.

    Thank you Dr. Flowers for standing up for what you believe in and for putting people before money and power. How refreshing!There are many of us behind you and want Medicare for all. Some crazy hysteria convinces people that they don't want a government run program, but those same people don't realize that Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and any number of other programs are government run. And the money that runs these programs comes from "the people". Even the money that corporations have comes from people buying their goods. Without our hard earned tax dollars there would be no government. Let's spend the people's money on the people.

    For those who haven't yet seen Michael Moore's excellent, eye-opening documentary on health care in other countries, I IMPLORE you to watch his movie "SICKO"!

    Without the information presented in "SICKO", a person cannot see how BACKWARD our system really is!

    Again, thanks be to Dr. Flowers for her eloquent words and her patriotic efforts in bringing sanity to this issue!

    Dr. Margaret Flowers should be in Congress, not to appear before a committee hearing, but to hold a seat in Congress and to CHAIR a hearing.

    Dr. Flowers' awe-inspiring pleas for sanity should be echoed by EVERYBODY in (what should be) OUR government. And she SHOULD be representative of those in our government.

    To see the likes of Max Baucus chairing a hearing where her voice is stifled is maddening!

    Of all the guests that have appeared on Bill Moyers Journal, she gave me good reason to hate this government as I've never hated it before. (The 2004 televised hearing of the FCC Committee chaired by the Mitch-McConnell-Class crook, Michael Powell, must also be named.)

    Thank you, Dr. Flowers, for your eloquently patriotic words of advice and warning.

    Her voice SHOULD be heard repeatedly in the MSM. But then this might detract from their current focus on philandering husbands -- or from whatever other disgusting distraction from the meaningful that they are serving up!

    Thank you, Mr. Moyers! Without you, we would indeed me MUCH less informed.

    Please reform this weak and needy Reactive Health Care system. If we continue on the same path with the more expensive Reactive healtcare plan, Then, health expenses are projected to eat up an increasing portion of the future US Budget over time. Reactive Healtcare is certainly a poor choice and leads us to a far weaker country. Reactive Heathcare is not the smart option. Reform is blocked by The Medical and Drug company Lobby. They have strangle hold of many party members in the US Capital. These Fat Cat companies are blocking honest reforms and continue to make their money at our expense. Also, The recent Supreme Court Ruling about Free Speech being given to those same companies during elections and has opened up elections to increased drug company lobbying. Free Speech for Companies was never written in the US Constitution. Free Speech was only about people and not corporations and it is a misruling and arrogant to allow this to stand. It is a complete violation of the US Constitution. The Supreme Court will need to reverse this ruling because it is against the Constitution and what it stands for.

    The United States is not the property of the biggest corporations.
    By Law, The US Constitution It belongs to the People.
    The Arrogance of power will not stand.

    Walter Richters
    Chesterfield, VA

    THANK YOU BILL MOYERS AND STAFF FOR PROVIDING A THOUGHTFUL AND REASONABLE MEANS for viewers (like me)to hear many sides of an issue with your excellent choice of guests and gifted interviewing techniques. This invariably gives your audience the desire to learn more about the issues and encourages and allows us to form our own opinions! After watching Bill interview people from all walks of life - on all types of issues with his unusually perceptive,
    compassionate and respectful manner (even when the news is sobering)- I feel invigorated, better informed and a little more optimistic about our society! THANK YOU!!! Martine Jaffe

    I'm a third generation democrat: my Dad was a lifelong union member and loyal democrat and his Dad was a former republican farmer turned New Deal democrat. I have to say that I'm done. President Obama and the democrats have completely sold out to the corporate agenda. They've escalated the war in Afghanistan, maintained the military forces around the world, refused to hold the Bush/Cheney Admin. accountable for war crimes, refused to address the totally unfair means of wealth distribution in this society and finally, they've locked out single payer advocates from the health care debate.

    So, I'm done. Next election- and every one hereafter- I'm going with one of the smaller, truly liberal political parties.

    Obama's "change we can believe in" is just more of the same bull.

    -Jim C.
    St. Louis, MO

    These items must be considered in reforming healthcare:

    At least 85 percent of the funds must go toward healthcare.. If Medicare can do it, so can a universal health care plan. Advertising costs will be limited.

    The plan will not support million dollar salaries and no administrator is to be paid more than the highest paid physician. The education and qualifications to be a physician surpass those of administrators.

    Rescind the billions in extra subsidies from Medicare funds that the Bush administration had sent to HMOs, large insurance companies paying ther executives multimillion dollar salaries. That is misappropriation of funds.

    "Cutting-edge" medicine for saving lives must be accessable to anyone requiring special treatment according to doctors, not plan administrators.

    Drug prices must be regulated or negotiated with the manufacturors.

    Funds must not come from regressive means taking a larger percentage from small incomes than from large incomes.

    Do not impose fees (taxes) on doctors, and other providors, or business.. Such fees cause an inflationary price rise as they are passed along to individual consumers.
    Because the individual income tax cannot be passed along to someone else, use it to collect funds for health care. All taxes, regardless of what they are called ("income taxs". "sales taxes" or "fees") are paid out of people's incomes and are therefor "income taxes" anyway.. The nonregressive general income tax related to income size is already in place so use it to gather funds for universal health care. Medical expenses will be spread over the population at large instead of "cost-shifted" to other sick persons only. An additional percentage tax on everyone's gross income on up to the top will spread costs over the widest population and hurt no one. Medicare and Social Security taxes are figured on gross incomes, and so can the health care system. For most people the added income tax would cost less than expensive insurance premiums.

    Be mindful that healthcare for all is a social endeavor. Universal health care is protection of lives of all our society. so what is wrong with single-payer or "socialized medicine"? When the drawbacks are revealed they can be corrected at the plan's start.. Begin by offering this plan as an option for those who do not prefer pivate (for profit) insuance companies.

    Stop thinking in terms of "insurance" which is too costly. We do not need to protect the insurance industry anymore than we do other industries having to downsize. An independent non-profit agency with an elected board could manage the funds and pay the providors.

    Carol Clever

    /

    Linda, well said ..

    Anthem, Blue Cross, Kaiser, Regency,

    Insurance companies should not be allowd to sell health insurance, let them sell Auto, Property, and Life.

    HMO's should be required to restructure as non profits.

    The Best medical care in my State, "the two hospitals that you would be Life-Flighted to for really serious care" are both non-profit.

    Are the absolute best of the best providers in your area profit or non profit?

    John

    We are governed by spineless politicians, who are afraid to do the right thing for their constituants and the people of the United States, because of fear of offending the big money, lobeists and corporate donors who have them in their pockets. Who do we think we are with our one vote, and $250.00 donation, they would rather protect their political life, than life and health of average U.S. citizen, I am 53 years old and on disability, and I know that I will not see any health insurance reform in my life time.

    GOOD FOR YOU, BILL MOYERS! This evening's program was the best and the most courageous we have ever heard!!

    If you're really going to stop airing on PBS, we reiterate, we see no reason to keep our TV set. To us, it's a signal that democracy is really demolished.
    Aloha! Shanti

    Dr Flowers, I've been a supporter of Single Payer for a long time. I was insulted by the Senate, House and White House abuse of Single Payer.

    There was a long moment in the discussion with Bill where you tried to answer his question about what happened with the White House and you paused and carefully considered your answer. I would love to know your thoughts at that moment.

    Pete Stark is my congressman, Chair of the House Medicare Subcommittee, and a supporter of Medicare for All. Even he is publicly circumspect about criticizing this administration in his town hall meetings.

    It's time to name names. The fix is obviously in. Who in the White House is carrying water for AHIP and the band of thieves?

    See my Anthem anecdote below:

    ...
    Anthem Blue Cross in California just announced annual premium increase of 30-40% for non-group policy holders. I had one of those policies.

    Does anyone really believe Anthem would have the market power to do so if Singe Payer had passed congress, even with a 2013 roll out?

    It's likely that Anthem's overhead is at least 30% for these policies, leaving me with 70 cents on the dollar going to actual medical care.

    By comparison, Single Payer would send 93-96 cents of my dollar to medical care.

    Sign me up.

    We have been trying to beat this square Health Care System peg into the round hole as a payment provision plan for too many years to count. The mandate from this voter is a world class top of the World Health Organization’s Health Care Outcome type of delivery system. Everyone seems to want to stand back and throw rocks at every proposal, if you don’t like what is on the table offer some idea to help fix it. My idea would be to change the focus of profit to wellness, this would take us one step closer to a system that allows all of the needs of all of the participants to be reconciled.

    The arguments as currently framed do not work because all of the parties involved are seeking different things.
    We the people wish these systems to make our lives longer and more comfortable.
    Insurance companies are in the business to profit from the cost of health outcomes, sometimes this includes denying treatment and hastening death, many times this includes excluding very costly chronically sick people, which has the result of forcing people who have played by the rules for years to become bankrupted by the cost of that care, and these same insurance companies through liability profit from doctors.
    Doctors and researchers are in the business that only allows them to profit from illness; this creates a need to protect people with excellent health coverage from being used as lab rats to test the effectiveness of very expensive pharmaceuticals and procedures.
    Our leaders are in the politics of getting re-elected, they must balance our one vote against the funding of their next campaign or scoring that highly paid and prized lobbying position.
    To get there we first we need to form a consensus, an outline of what a good health care delivery and payment system would look like. The World Health Organization has already got a scoring system in place, until we get a better one, why not use that one, then work backwards to achieve that phasing in a minimum affordable standard of care for everyone, working upward and outward. In order for this to work everyone must pay according to his ability while they are healthy and working, lets face it sick or injured people can not pay for medical care and everyone must be allowed access.
    Think of roads and how we fund them. We have a federally funded interstate highway system, a state and locally funded system, and privately funded toll roads. Everyone can travel every road to get from point “a” to point “b” and everyone pays for roads they will never travel on, but we know those roads are there if we needed to use them. That is just my idea for what it is worth. I think we should discuss the product as well as the price.

    Nick Gillespie got the health care debate 100% wrong. Reform was not unpopular from the start. It was corporate money that corrupted the politicians and the bill. It was money over people. The opposite of what he claimed.

    But we can have single payer health insurance now without a quote unquote health insurance reform package. We start where we can. The only way to beat the health insurance industry is to take the public money from them. That starts with our President declaring that from now on all Federal employees will be taken out of the private health insurance realm and be put into Medicare. This will include all of our Senators and Reps. What better way to fix Medicare? Think about it. Instead of putting all of the tax money that we now put into the pockets of the private health insurers pockets to cover all of the Federal employees, we put all that money into Medicare. All the tax money that once was profit will not only help fix Medicare but can be used to open the door for those without health insurance. Then we bring in the State employees, the City employees, all public employees. Do you see it? Take all public money out of the private health insurance industry and they will fold and that is what will lead the way for a single payer system for all. We have to start where we can. Public employees out of the private system and into Medicare. Why not by executive order?

    Can we start a petition/public out-cry/or certified letter to the President and Margaret Flowers to have a public/televised debate on health care and her plan.

    HIDDEN INFECTION: THE HIGH COST OF AMERICAN MEDICAL CARE

    Bravo Dr. Flowers! Don't give up! Unfortunately, Americans do not truly understand the complexity of our healthcare system woes, and possible solutions such as a "single payer system."

    Healthcare pundits rarely discuss the fact that the American Healthcare System is infected with a gargantuan tapeworm: the American Health Insurance Industry. As a result of this parasitic relationship, our healthcare system consumes ever greater sums of national wealth while withering in its ability to meet the medical needs of American citizens.

    The American Insurance Industry employs thousands of American workers: accountants, attorneys, physicians, secretaries, receptionists, computer specialists, software producers, advertisers, sales executives, etc. It is a rising star as a service employer in a nation whose industrial might is dissipating to overseas workers. It is also a formidable political lobby. This industry produces neither goods or services, yet it extracts billions of dollars from American employers and citizens in order to pay its own workers, and mete out payments to physicians, hospitals, and other providers of healthcare services.

    There is a double jeopardy for American healthcare providers. Each clinician must spend inordinate amounts of time insuring that chart documentation is adequate to support ever-changing diagnosis codes in order to receive appropriate insurance payments. Secondly, every clinic and physician's office must employ at least one person, full or part-time simply to file and manage insurance billing and claims, and update the ICD codes which must be correctly applied to every medical service, diagnosis, and procedure in order to receive insurance payments. Large provider organizations, such as hospital emergency departments, often hire independent contract firms to manage their insurance billing. These contractors pore over every provider's medical record chart entries to ensure that all documentation is present in order to support diagnosis coding that will guarantee maximum allowable insurance reimbursement. ALL OF THIS EXTRA HUMAN LABOR MUST BE PAID FOR, adding a generous gratuity to everyone's doctor visit bill.

    Since the American people support Medicare, but the idea of dropping the age of eligibility to 55 has been nixed by Joe Leiberman and others, what if we propose that every year we drop the age of entrance to Medicare by one year. So if we started now in 2011 the age to start would be 64. In 2012 the age would start at... 63and so on. Yes, I would prefer to have single payer years ago. But I think this might really get the need 60 votes in the Senate.

    Commentary-Health Care Benefactors

    SUSIE GHARIB: A different take now on health care reform, where the winners and losers aren`t insurance companies or patients. Tonight`s commentator says the winners are corporations that in some cases have nothing to do with medicine. He`s actor and comedian Harry Shearer of "The Simpsons" and a new DVD called "Unwigged and Unplugged."

    HARRY SHEARER, COMEDIAN, "UNWIGGED & UNPLUGGED": The great health care reform debate -- great in the sense that Moby Dick was great, not Oscar or Nobel-winning great -- is reaching something resembling the end. Only in America can a legislative wrangle lasting almost a year be described by its opponents as a rush to judgment. Clearly, the main losers in this whole thing have been proponents for transparency in government. Anyone who even peeked at the day-by-day coverage of the health care slog through the House, the five Senate committees -- hey, why not a dozen -- and then the full Senate, must have come away with a strong case of yeech. We`ve been warned by Bismarck no less, not to watch laws and sausages being made. Transparency won`t change our lawmakers, any more than it would change the sausage makers; it only changes us, make us turn angrier, more alienated from the process and the system. The big winners in this whole thing? Commercial television, broadcast and cable alike. The "Washington Post" reported recently that $200 million was spent by pro- and opponents in this debate and most of it, aside from some nicely appointed K Street offices, went straight into 30-second TV spots. If it hadn`t been for that wave of income, the TV industry might have suffered the recession along with the rest of us. After all, they get inundated by millions of dollars for election commercials only every other year.

    A more cynical observer than I might even suspect the main purpose of staging the health care debate last year was as a stimulus package for broadcasters. And like an election campaign, in which both sides try to raise the opponents negatives until the electorate collapses with an exhausted disdain for the whole deal, Americans who started 2009 with some sense of the distance between our health care system and the ideal ended the year with a wish that the whole subject would just go away and leave us alone. But this is what happens when, thanks to a 19th century Supreme Court decision, corporations who can deduct the cost of advertising from their tax bill enjoy the same constitutional rights as individuals. Frankly that`s a good thing. I`d hate for some tyrannical Washington bureaucrat to try to take away Pfizer`s guns. I`m Harry Shearer.

    We have before the Pennsylvania Congress proposed legislation that would implement a SinglePayer system for all the residents of the State.
    (PA-SB400/HB1660)

    Many people believe that one of the States will first endorse a OnePayer platform and after the other States see how well it performs, expand it to the other 49.
    It is not that difficult---the entire block of citizens become one purchasing entity for cost containment, and both employers and workers contribute to the overall fund. It is significantly cheaper than what we now have: one school system alone would save $3 million/year, one County for its employees would save $17 million/year.
    There is reduced paperwork. Doctors will not have to fight insurers for tests or meds they deem necessary for their patients. Patients and doctors both win. Preventive medicine saves costs down the road. Future savings are there.

    Do the insurance middlemen deserve to be ousted from their current position in getting whatever they can grab from the sufferings of the sick and skewing the medical process to favor their profit?
    Sure.
    They've bilked enough.
    Singlepayer sanely rejects the need to play that game any longer.

    America is the only industrialized nation among the democracies that does NOT have some sort of universal health coverage for its citizens.

    My next door neighbor, after heart surgeries, and then a stroke to his wife and sequelae to both, found his insurance maxed out. They walked away from their house one day. Medical bills bankrupted them.
    Two hardworking people lost all their home equity because of medical conditions.

    This is America?
    This is how we treat our own?

    The Gulf Coast is still an eyesore years after Katrina. We spend billions on contractors to build Iraq after we destroyed it with our manmade Shock and Awe hurricane.

    There is much more to the debate about HealthCare Finance reform than simply whether we have a public option, Medicare for All, a SinglePayer Plan, or vouchers for the purchase of medical care----it involves as a larger conversation how we Americans want to be in the world. Our healthcare fight is not only about medicine....

    As our brave Dr. Flowers says, "The system is far more broken than we realized."
    This is about reformation of the entire political sphere in the USA, not just about who pays for X-rays or drugs.
    It is about whether we want to continue the powertrip we are on, or restore some sanity to how America shows up.

    And, we need a SinglePayer system in America.
    It is long overdue.

    Why doesn't your guest know that money buys megaphones to broadcast speech. It is not speech?

    The gentleman was afraid his taxes would be spent on a candidate he doesn't support, but when he buys something from a corporation, a portion of that money will be spent on politicians he doesn't support just as much as with public funding of campaigns.

    Thanks for your inspiring story about Dr. Flowers, and her single-payer struggle. More power to her. She's a rose among thorns. If it's any consolation to her, and I'm pretty sure it won't be, she's not alone in her disillusionment about this administration.

    I didn't expect Obama to walk on water, but at least embrace the Democratic principles I've supported my entire life. And we needed retroactive damage control after 8 years of carnage. Throwing in the towel before the fight began on healthcare reform and climate change was, to say the least, not what I envisioned; nor fighting my own party on top of Republicans at this critical juncture.

    Dr. Flowers is the hero in this scenario, and will be remembered so, unlike her weak in the knees opponents. You keep the faith good Dr., and the pressure on. I intend to do the same. The powers that be are not only short-changing us, they are messing with our children, our ability to provide for them, in some cases stay alive for them, or to even pretend we can leave them anything better.

    In his heart I think President Obama wants to do what's right, but his actions speak much louder. Instead of humiliating Dr. Flowers, and treating HER like a criminal (after they took her down the garden path), she and her brave friend should have been thanked for their support, tireless efforts, and passion. Then, they should have been guaranteed a seat at the table of ideas Obama boldly promised.

    The courage it took that lovely lady to stand on her principles and do what she did dwarfs all of his elegant words. Gandhi and Eleanor Roosevelt would be very proud of her, as I am.

    Thank you, Margaret Flowers. And to Bill Moyers for having her on. Activist Grace Lee Boggs said (on his program). We shouldn't be looking to our political leaders for solutions to our problems. "The leaders are us." I am still disappointed that President Obama wouldn't hear Margaret Flowers out, at least receive the letter and respond personally to her. Can that be followed up? NM

    Kudos to Bill. The Dr. Flowers interview has got to be one of your most important broadcasts ever. She sets the bar as far as the truly much needed role model for all in our society, government, community activism and professional life, and for all health care providers.

    Kudos to Bill! Dr Margaret Flowers' interview has got to go down as one your most important broadcasts.Exposure to this health professional I'm sure burst umpteen rays of hope and pride into the hearts of many American and
    International viewers. What an intelligent and bueatiful ambience of common sense expressed with such sincerity and humility. She sets the standard for what should truly be the role model to emulate for all health care providers. I don't know that my thanks to her will reach her thru this E-mail, but if there's any way possible please that my appreciation of her courage and determination could find her, I'd be, as well as many others I'm sure, ..I'd be much obliged.
    Our government is broken. She's right. But we can fix it. Action Item: We have to cleanse the temple of democracy of all the money changers who are destroying the well being and pursuit of happiness and wellness of the citizenry. Our heritage born from whatever faith guides us to believe that our country cannot serve Manna ($) and what's righteous and fair. It's one or the other. Too much of our brokeness is caused by elected representatives' Manna-speak and their bad Manna-er-isms.
    Capitalism can produce much for all but it cannot be the end in all.

    Wow - no sense of irony? In tonight's episode you went from from an interview where (corporate) lobbyists are bashed and their right to free speech is seriously questioned directly to an interview/homage a liberal lobbyist whose publicity stunt is lionzed as heroic. I guess lobbying is only bad if you disagree with the lobbyist's argument. Deny free speech for those whose views you disagre, evil corporations, bankers and wallstreet. Those who want a goverment takeover a large part of the economy aren't lobbyists - they're citizen advocates (even though most the citizens are against it). That's impartial journalism for you. How is this any different than Limbaugh or Beck (who I also think are idiots).

    While Dr. Flowers is passionate and self-righteous, we have but to look at the failing Medicare/Medicaid system or the underfunded Veteran's system to see why the government should not run health insurance programs. I fail to see how a government-run insurance program modeled on these failing systems can control costs. Medicare underpays providers today. I can agree with a single-payer of premiums, but I would like to choose the insurer.

    One way to reduce costs is to expand the risk pool to all, clearly define the the Universal Health Care (UHC) policy, and set the per capita price based on the total cost of covered items from the previous year. If you want to sell health insurance, you must sell the National UHC to all who apply. Premiums would be paid through the IRS by refundable tax credits. You must file taxes to choose your insurer and have your UHC policy premium paid.

    Healthcare insurance premiums aren't figured using actuarial tables. It is total cost divided by members plus administrative costs. It is a simple formula. Any scheme that ignores this and constructs a clever cost or tax shift in order to "give America healthcare" is a gift horse we should send to the dentist for a thorough exam.

    Let the market compete for market share and beat the margin out of the regulated premium.

    I too have been arrested several times in efforts to be heard above the noise that money buys. that is how i have come to define the type of free speech that wealthy people practice through their corporate entities because they seem more intent most of the time, to create noise that drowns out the needs and desires of so many people without the means to compete in a game of survival of the most connected. They seem to drown out the simple understanding I am trying to communicate that might help those in decision making power know what it is like to not only care for my father who is dying of cancer, but at the same time have to fight insurance companies who without showing human signs of empathy and compassion,bargain with law makers for the right to deny him the care he needs to stay alive another day.

    Every Program I see seems to come down to the same elements. Integrity and the perception of integrity.

    The medical debate is simply another forum for the demonstration of the same core issues.

    Integrity requires that people both be able to perceive and be willing to act against their own best interests...a hard line to toe for anyone.

    The single payer system would ask hundreds of thousands of people to give up very highly paid positions. They would have to sacrifice for persons unknown to them. How many of us would willingly make that sacrifice.

    Integrity by the medical comunity: doing only what's needed...not what will inflate the bottom line.

    Patients acting with integrity...taking care of their health. Not asking for needless testing. Not defrauding the system. Not sueing doctors every time something goes wrong.

    Medical practioners not trying to optimize their incomes by taking on more than they can really handle.

    And on and on it goes...

    The act of lobbying may not be sinister in itself but by the way it is conducted is bound to bring the automatic perception of impropriety.

    In my opinion the medical lobby is doing what the weak side of human nature demands....looking out for number one. Integrity would demand that we all do what would provide the best health care to the citizens of the country.

    It is my opinion that the medical system in the U.S. is an immoral stain on the country. There is not one religion that would support how medicine is conducted here. If the politicians were required to be personally present and watch people dying because of a lack of treatment I think more of them might be able to find their integrity.

    If the government can't do it on it's own then it's up to the people.

    Thanks to Bill Moyers & PBS for good investigative media and educating the public. Dr. Margaret Flowers is smart, compassionate clinician, inspiring and heroic. HR 676 and SB 703 have been the only comprehensive, sane, cost-saving plans put forth thus far in Congress. President Obama needs to meet with Dr. Flowers and other expert clinicians and health policy experts. What will it take for him to use the bully pulpit and just say it: the USA will achieve equity and eliminate disparities in health care provision. Single Payer-expaning and improving Medicare for All- is our best transition to national health insurance plan. See the Physicians for a National Health Program analysis of fiscal studies (including Congressional Budget Office and General Accounting Office) performed on Single Payer financing: “Single Payer System Cost?” http://www.pnhp.org/facts/single_payer_system_cost.php. Not enough Congress reps have signed on to the plan. They caved in to insurance company lobbists. The people know it and are angry. We will NOT be forced to buy private profit-making insurance company defective products. NOT enough folks are informed, educated or understand the single payer plan yet. NOT enough people are signed up to document constituent support for nat'l health insurance in every Congressional District. 435 districts, with only 1000 per district, 435,000 people. Sign up to at least document constituent support at www.Medicareforall.org. As a health professional over 30 years, I've heard far too many horror stories. As a Christian and social change activist, the single payer movement is the CIVIL RIGHTS Movement of our time. Dr. Flowers reminds me of Cindy Sheehan in the early days camping out in the ditch trying to talk with PresGeorgeWBush. How many more people must die, go bankrupt, lose homes? The corporate giants don't own everybody (yet). We need to confront the notion that corporations have a right to profit off health care. Nobody really cares WHO we pay (thru taxes=govt) or paycheck deductions for private ins, we just want affordable, transparent & non-profit health care. I'm as serious as a heart attack, when do we get invited to help plan the plan? We're tired of spoiling the CEOs, the rich, get some fresh thinkers to the table. Universal health care is achievable by Medicare for All. Figure it out. Do the math. Do the right thing. Yes We Can!

    Margaret Mead would be very proud of Docotr Margaret Flowers for her passion and drive to get the care her patients and all in America the care they/we need. Millions more need to speak their truth to power or this country (We the People) will indeed continue to loose our lives and our rights. In a country that states it's the most powerful and democratic country in the world, something is wrong when the basic human rights can not be met. We need more Dr. Flowers to speak up, we need all of We the People to do the same.

    Single payer reform:
    How many people in Washington realize that lack of health coverage can also impact whether or not someone gets a job? Let me explain-- When you lose your job you also lose your health coverage. If you need surgery the hospital and physicians expect to be paid. When you cannot pay them the hospital sends the bill, let's say $12,000, to a collection agency. Now try getting an apartment with this bad mark on your credit report. Double whammy when you fill out applications to get a new job-- The prospective employer has access to your credit report and determines that you must be a deadbeat due to the collection agency problem listed therein. Now what?

    I was quite dismayed by the credibility given to Dr Flowers by Bill Moyers in her stunt to have single payer included as a legitimate option in health reform. The fact that single payer is not part of the serious debate has more to do with its lack of credibility among the American public as a viable alternative as it does to any devious scheming by enemies advanced by Dr Flowers. I was particularly offended by her contrived naïveté in suggesting that if only we accepted this solution, the problem would be fixed. I only hope she is a more science driven physician than she is a policy advocate otherwise her patients will get a disproportionate share of that part of medical practice that is done primarily because it is believed to work despite evidence to the contrary.

    I'm a retired insurance professor who favors a single-payer plan. The power of corporations to quell such a plan is not a result so much of lobbying as it it of their ability to sway the opinions of ordinary citizens through sound bites and scare tactics.

    Can you post this video? Ms. Flowers has a powerful message, and I would like to share it with others.

    Thank you.

    Thanks to Dr. Flowers for trying to bring attention to a great idea. Medicare for all is the only way to fix this broken health insurance system. Thanks to Bill for having her tell her story tonight.

    I would like to say a big THANK YOU to Dr. Flowers for her efforts on my own and all other citizens behalf. It is unbelievable that the single payer option got no seat at the table when health care reform took place. I think that even if there is no possibility of the option passing as Mr Reich suggests, denying the topic a voice in these discussions disapoints most average citizens in their governmnets actions. The fact that this voice was not even called upon is unbeleivable especially from a strategic standpoint where the government would at least appear to have listened then done whatever they so obviously had decided to do. I am personally disappointed in the person that I took the time to listen to when he ran for President and won my vote for not even appearing to listen to all the sides on such an important issue. I am again disapointed as a former professional in the health care feild (RN) who left the feild long ago when the former First Lady, Hilary Clinton, began her attempt to address an already out of control and off the track system that our insurance agencies have been allowed to create. I believe that access to health care is a right, not a privledge that all should enjoy. Unless we take the profit out of healthcare for insurance, pharmacutical, and benefits administration companies, along with the lobbiests and the Senate and House representatives they support we will never achieve true reform and many will continue to suffer needlessly. The elected leaders of the USA, who have no worries about their healthcare should be ashamed that this voice wasn't heard. It seems that once again the fox has been left guarding the henhouse, and this hen is tired of not being heard! Again a heartfelt Thanks to Dr. Flowers and anyone else who has gone so far as get arrested to try to make sure that all voices are heard in this matter! I would also like to thank the many healthcare professionals who have personally taken care of me and my health needs in this corporate freindly system. Thanks to The Journal, PBS and Bill Moyers for giving this and other topics a place to be voiced. I have to stop now to go take my blood pressure medication as this topic always raises it. :)

    Bravo allenwrench!

    Please keep up your good work!

    Just saw Bill Moyers' show with Dr. Margaret Flowers.

    Not only should Mr. Moyers get a congressional medal of honor for presenting this kind of thoughtful reportage and discussion, but Dr. Flowers should also get one.

    Single payer is the only hope for equity.

    The bill (insurance/medical industry stimulus plan) as it stands deserves to die in deliberation, and frankly should be vetoed by the President.

    But that's just my opinion.

    Congratulations on your program - keep up the good work for the people!
    Dr. Margaret Flowers is a true American hero! It is a shame that the White House kept the single-payer idea out of the health care reform discussion. Instead, "just to get a bill" they let the insurance and drug companies write an unworkable bill that dissapointed most Americans. Now, the same interests who wrote it are now working night and day to make sure this bill never gets passed!
    And five justices of the Supreme Court have now made health care reform nearly impossible!

    We must not give up hope - think of Howard Zinn, who never gave up!

    Congratulations on your program - keep up the good work for the people!
    Dr. Margaret Flowers is a true American hero! It is a shame that the White House kept the single-payer idea out of the health care reform discussion. Instead, "just to get a bill" they let the insurance and drug companies write an unworkable bill that dissapointed most Americans. Now, the same interests who wrote it are now working night and day to make sure this bill never gets passed!
    And five justices of the Supreme Court have now made the defeat of health care reform nearly impossible!

    We must not give up hope - think of Howard Zinn, who never gave up!

    Where can I replay the Flowers interview. I have searched all over this site.

    Loved you interview with Dr. Margaret Flowers. She has a good point. Please get my plan to her. Take the top 5 insurance companies and divide equally all those that need/want insurance. Write one policy for all. Not medicaid, where Drs. and hospitals are under paid but a proven insurance program. Give everyone the exact same health insurance policy the house and senate has. TRUE UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE.

    I think Moyers is biased...he only seems to interview pretty women. Does he ever have average looking or less than average looking women on as guests? C'mon Bill!

    The CEO of United Health Care who gave himself a 1.8 BILLION dollar "package" in 2005 was an M.D.

    When you compare USA to other "european" countries with "socialized" medicine, what you find is that the percentage of M.D.s who are male is significantly higher in the USA.

    Women need to get access to better health care education (as contrasted with "praying" over the patient) and get those numbers to reverse, more women than men.

    Traditionally, women have to do the lioness's share of "nurturing", anyway, and if the PRACTICE of medicine was done by a better educated female population,

    the for-profit side of the equation would switch over to the therapies and devices provided by COMPETANT manufacturers who pay their employees enough money so that they could purchase the drug or device that they have produced.

    There will be a pilot election in St. Louis on Tuesday, May 4, 2010 to test a method for holding a grassroots organized referendum. The only item that will be on the ballot will be single payer national health insurance as defined by H.R. 676. If the method for holding a verifiable referendum works in this and succeeding pilot efforts, maybe we can hold a binding national referendum in the Fall of 2011. The web site is:
    http://www.citizenofplanetearth.org/ballots.php

    Let's just have 'Medicare For All'.
    That way, the risk will be spread around everywhere, rich and poor.
    Medicare works.I haven't changed doctors or hospitals in 40 years.Let's find some way of melding the VA,Medicare,Medicaid, Federal,'health insurance', uninsured all into Medicare For All.
    Let us include drug benefits, not Part D.
    We are at the end of an era.

    Single-payer?

    Pubic option?

    Universal Healthcare?

    Just call it socialized medicine and stop all the bullshit trying to sugar coat it.

    There is ONLY one solution to the healthcare mess in the US of A. The solution is this.

    We need a SOCIALIZED HEALTHCARE plan for the poor (people making under $150,000 a year) as well as a 'FEE FOR SERVICE' plan for the rich. (current healthcare plan in the US.)

    Do any of you really think the proposed ObamaCare plan would have helped the average citizen that can't afford astronomical healthcare costs?

    Even if the dreaded communist 'public option' went through, it would not have helped. Have you ever noticed the politicians never talked numbers - they just talked in generalities?

    Like we are going to insure tens of millions of uninsured citizens...but they failed to give the costs the uninsured people must pay?

    For instance lets say they took all the profit out of the Blue Cross $15,000 a year annual premium for a low end health plan for me and my wife. So with a non profit - public option the annual premium may come down to $11,000 or $10,000 or $9000...so what! We still can't afford it...even with all the profit taken out!

    And with the $3800 ObamaCare fine we would to pay for not being able to afford healthcare, we would have been in much worse shape trying to get by. The little bit of money we budget for medicine or doctor visits each year would not even touch the cost of paying that $3800 fine.

    Let me tell you how ObamaCare would have affected our family with our budget.

    When the original proposal to jail those without healthcare proved too unpopular and was dropped. The new proposed fine of $3800 they mandate on the uninsured would make it a decision of whether to pay my $345 a month house payment or pay Obama's fine of $316.66 per month (pro-tated)

    If I pay the fine, the bank takes back the house. And if I refuse to pay his fine, I'll still lose my house to the IRS? Either way we are out in the street.

    But, a socialized health plan was never really on the table. Well, it made good fodder to distract the public over the threat of turning America red.

    The 'real plan' all along, may have been to enrich the HMO's with new 'forced' business and ram the latest scam, the 'Individual Mandate,' down the publics throats. I was told that the lobbyists for HMO's have thrown more money at DC over this issue (healthcare related or not) than any other issue in history.

    Lets take a look at how it all went down. After all, it is quite a change from what Obama promised.

    From...

    "Lets Spread the Wealth. Lets set up a Socialized Healthcare System for All Americans paid for by taxing the rich 5%."

    To...

    "All uninsured Americans MUST buy healthcare insurance. And you must submit such evidence of coverage on your tax returns to the IRS or you will be FINED a penalty up to $3800."

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/21/AR2009072103410.html

    Employers are decreasing ins coverage to keep their bills down. Companies are letting go of full timers to replace them with part timers to cutout benefits offered. It used to be companies stayed with a medical insurance plan for years, Now the trend is to change plans yearly shopping around for the lowest cost plan which translates into lower coverage for the employees.

    The trend with healthcare benefits has been steadily declining. A friend told me 2 years ago their jobs med insurance went from no ded with a $10 co pay to $20 co pay and $750 ded. This year it was $20 co pay and $2000 ded...plus a $600 a year raise in premiums for privilege of less coverage.

    Next year they are talking about only covering the actual worker and not covering the family members and / or a $5000 ded.

    Here is a glimpse of your future...

    "Kaiser forecast that the yearly family premium for health insurance could reach $30,803.00 in ten years if the 8.7% annual increase of the previous 10 years were to continue."

    http://www.kff.org/pullingittogether/091509_altman.cfm

    And lets go out a further 10 years. Now, the average premium is $70,939.00 per year at an 8.7% annual increase. Would you like to be forced under penalty of law to pay a $70,000 a year bill?

    Some of you say that is ridiculous?

    Well, why so?

    If it has happened on a continual and regular year in - year out basis for decades...what will stop it? Are healthcare costs suddenly frozen for all of eternity?

    Once healthcare insurance is mandated under penalty of law, the insurance companies will really start raping the public. They will have a captive audience.

    We already have a socialized education system. We all pay for educating the kids through taxes. And some of us use this system and others don't, but we all pay. The people that don't want to use the public education system go the private education route.

    So it should be with healthcare.

    Tax people 1% to 6% depending on income and start a gov run healthcare system that can be used by ANY citizen in need. If that tax is not enough revenue, then start charging foreigners flying into the US an arrival and departure tax. Or start charging a 1% SHC (socialized health care) sales tax.

    And tell all those new doctors in and out of med school the must work for the gov for 2 yrs with the socialized med plan. Tell them if you want to be n MD and make big bucks work in a cushy office and squeeze boobs all day you are going to have to give back to society a little before you go off to your practice.

    If some of the citizens don't like receiving socialized government run healthcare, then they can always go the private healthcare route and pay their own way. Just as they can do with private education, if public schools are not to their liking. This is the only way a socialized healthcare proposal would work in the US of A. You need duplicate healthcare systems to satisfy all comers. The rich and the poor that cannot afford the rich healthcare system.

    If the government has to limit care for the elderly, then do so. Sure give seniors good med care, but if it comes to hundreds of thousands of dollars for life support, tell them they are free to pay their way to private healthcare, but the gov and the people can't afford a half million dollars for every senior in the country just to keep them on ventilators.

    And I'm not a young guy bashing seniors either,

    I'm near 60 myself. But I realize that we can't keep printing endless money in the US of A. We must all start to think of what is best for society, as our world is fast decomposing before our very eyes.

    Most important, put this plan to a NATIONAL VOTE....Let the people decide what they want.

    Oh ... there is one fly in the ointment with my suggestion. The problem is getting a bunch of greedy, lying, power hungry rhetoricians in DC to oversee socialized medicine in a way that is not corrupt and money squandering like Medicare is. As one of my mentors said....'You can't regulate integrity.'


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