Saturday, December 2, 2017

My Turn: Andrew S. Brem: Let's move on to single-payer

My Turn: Andrew S. Brem: Let's move on to single-payer

"As additional benefits, people would no longer be tied to a job they don’t like because of health insurance and employers would no longer be burdened by the costs of health-care coverage for employees."

Massachusetts Forum On Single-Payer Healthcare System Packs House | Falmouth News | capenews.net

Forum On Single-Payer Healthcare System Packs House | Falmouth News | capenews.net

Holst: America needs universal health care | Opinion | iowastatedaily.com

Holst: America needs universal health care | Opinion | iowastatedaily.com

"...health care should not be viewed as a product to be purchased, but as a basic human right."

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


Tuesday, November 14, 2017


A cheat sheet for the trickiness of shopping for Obamacare - Salon.com

A cheat sheet for the trickiness of shopping for Obamacare - Salon.com

Sanders’ Single-Payer Versus Kaine’s Public Option | HuffPost

Sanders’ Single-Payer Versus Kaine’s Public Option | HuffPost

A political update.  It misses some key factors but it is a reality check.  Two points as reminders of very important factors:  Employer coverage should be done away with for the employee's sake of freedom of job choice and the employer's sake to be competitive on the global market.  A public choice must not mean what has happened in too many states to Medicaid -- turning it over the the private insurance companies as a MCO model with no accountability.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Candidates pan privately managed Medicaid Solutions | Elections | qctimes.com

Candidates pan privately managed Medicaid Solutions | Elections | qctimes.com

Most don't realize how "privatized" our public programs have become.  Medicare Advantage is one example and in that the deal insurance companies get is more of our money thus making it more expensive to the government.  In MN and WI the managed care insurance companies control the programs funded by Federal Medical Assistance and state tax $.  And, in both states those insurance companies are not held accountable via things like audits even though the original deals many years ago included language requiring them.  Managed Care is an oxymoron; it really is Making Cash for the rich and not about providing good health care for all.  There has never been real proof that managed care, accountable care, etc. organization approach saves money or improves care.


Clinton to Geisinger crowd: Universal health care is a necessity | News | dailyitem.com

Clinton to Geisinger crowd: Universal health care is a necessity | News | dailyitem.com

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Americans show support for Obamacare despite Trump's repeal attempts

Americans show support for Obamacare despite Trump's repeal attempts

There Was Another Winner Tuesday — Obamacare

There Was Another Winner Tuesday — Obamacare

Health care coverage is a political issue.  It is turning in the public eye.  We need to keep it turning by getting out to vote in folks who will keep pushing it forward.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

One Nation, In Sickness and in HealthOne Nation, In Sickness and in Health

http://billmoyers.com/story/obamacare-trump-sickness-and-health/
"Let's focus on the hard work of true reform and get health care for all."

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Get Covered


ObamaCare (ACA) Enrollment Guide

https://secure.assets.bostatic.com/apps/monroe/media/filer_public/cf/d0/cfd00047-24cf-4595-b760-87e9cc0c25fc/ofa_obamacare_enrollment_toolkit.pdf

What Canada taught Bernie Sanders about health care - Vox

What Canada taught Bernie Sanders about health care - Vox

ACA enrollment opens after GOP fails to kill off Obamacare - The Washington Post

ACA enrollment opens after GOP fails to kill off Obamacare - The Washington Post

Democrats urge Wisconsin residents to sign up under Affordable Care Act

Democrats urge Wisconsin residents to sign up under Affordable Care Act

The Cautious and Unwise Division Among Democrats Over Medicare for All

The Cautious and Unwise Division Among Democrats Over Medicare for All

Trump’s Obamacare sabotage accidentally resulted in more free health plans – ThinkProgress

Trump’s Obamacare sabotage accidentally resulted in more free health plans – ThinkProgress

Wisconsinites Need Help -- LTE

Health Care Coverage

It can be hard to figure out. If you are lucky enough to have insurance at work, great. If you have friends, neighbors or relatives who aren’t sure what they have or they have nothing, now is a time to help them figure it out. If you need help figuring it out, there is some available. If you want to first check out the Affordable Care Act, there are places to look. The ACA and ObamaCare are the same thing. It still exists and actually, in spite of all the confusion, will be less costly for many. One really important thing to remember is that the only time to apply for the 2018 ACA insurance in Wisconsin is from Nov. 1st through Dec. 15th.
The web site is [healthcare.gov] and a web site for help in Wisconsin is [coveringwi.org]
The ACA phone # is 800-318-2596 available 24/7.
There are Navigators available weekdays such as:
Eau Claire 855-792-5439
LaCrosse 800-742-5627
(others are listed on the ACA web site as Assisters)

If you or others you know need help with figuring it out or need internet access to apply, call and leave a message at:
[641-715-3900, Ext. 25790#]
Someone will get back to you ASAP to line up some help.
Good Health to All.

Craig Brooks
Great Northern States Health Care Initiative

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

'Obamacare' curveball: free insurance in 1,500-plus counties - ABC News

'Obamacare' curveball: free insurance in 1,500-plus counties - ABC News

Gold plans could be a better deal for many than the Silver under the current system.  Getting coverage under a Bronz plan for free as compared to a $ penalty for not signing up is a plus for those healthy young folks.


Health law sign-ups start, and some see a 'hostile takeover' | National Politics | lacrossetribune.com

Health law sign-ups start, and some see a 'hostile takeover' | National Politics | lacrossetribune.com

"...people currently have private plans through the ACA's government-sponsored markets. More than 8 in 10 receive subsidized premiums, and are cushioned from rate increases. Federal help paying premiums is still available despite GOP efforts to repeal the health law."  [In fact, if they look at alternatives during open enrollment, they might get an even better deal.]
"... subsidies for premiums are also going up — by 45 percent on average. That means current customers receiving financial help have a strong incentive to renew."
"HealthCare.gov has new features intended to make it more user-friendly and the call center is fully staffed." [I called 800-318-2596 and a human answered right away, was helpful and said they are available 24/7.]

Monday, October 30, 2017

Get America Covered

Get America Covered

It will be a tale of 2 countries as open enrollment begins | National | lacrossetribune.com

It will be a tale of 2 countries as open enrollment begins | National | lacrossetribune.com

People in Wisconsin need help.

People in Wisconsin need help with this.  Volunteers are needed.  Please reach out. There are only six weeks to apply - Nov. 1 to Dec. 15.

Ways to start:

Apply for Badger Care or Medical Assistance and if not eligible, they'll be referred for ACA.
This site can get them started - https://access.wisconsin.gov/access/

Find help from Assistors/Navigators: https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/#/
Enter their zip, click on their city, click Continue.
Agents are insurance agents and Assisters are Navigators.
Click on the x by Agents to get just the list of Assisters.  Agents would need to be checked with locals to make sure they would give a fair unbiased offering.
These Assisters are the ones who have had their Fed funding cut so getting time with them may be hard.

You could sit down with the person and on a computer go to: https://www.healthcare.gov/
You could help them wade through the on-line application process.
Calling 800-318-2596 should get you a human to help with the process.  (Available 24/7 except national holidays - Thanksgiving the only one for the enrollment period) They say they will help talk through the application process.  You and the person you are helping could be at a computer, use your phone with speaker on, call the ACA rep and, hopefully, get through the application process.
Your laptop and public places with wifi could be used as could other public places like libraries.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Trump's quest to kill Obamacare is going to hurt the middle class - Oct. 26, 2017

Trump's quest to kill Obamacare is going to hurt the middle class - Oct. 26, 2017

Public Option vs. Medicare for All: The Coming Debate Over Health Care Justice

Public Option vs. Medicare for All: The Coming Debate Over Health Care Justice

More ACA Plans to Come With No Premiums in 2018 - WSJ

More ACA Plans to Come With No Premiums in 2018 - WSJ

Open enrollment to sign up for health coverage

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/kicking-off-open-enrollment-for-health-care-registration-39336469439?link_id=0&can_id=643bec55321b7375c52713c1675d9be5&source=email-kicking-off-open-enrollment-for-health-care&email_referrer=email_254410&email_subject=kicking-off-open-enrollment-for-health-care

Open enrollment to sign up for health coverage starts in just a few days on November 1. But the administration isn’t doing the outreach or education needed to get the facts out to help people enroll.
If they won’t help people #GetCovered, it’s up to all of us.
Help us get ready for the start of Open Enrollment for health care by joining a special Get America Covered conference call this Monday October 30th at 4:30pmPT/5:30pmMT/6:30pmCT/7:30pmET.
Joining us to kick things off will be Andy Slavitt who ran Open Enrollment over the last few years. We’ll talk about how you can get the word out in your communities about signing up for health care and answer any questions you have about Open Enrollment.
We don’t have much time. Open Enrollment is only 45 days for HealthCare.gov states; which means, it’s time to get to work.
Space is limited, so RSVP now. Please join 5 minutes early to avoid connection delays. This call is off the record and not for press purposes.
What: Healthcare Open Enrollment Kickoff Call
Who: Andy Slavitt, Former CMS Acting Administrator

When: Monday, October 30, 2017 at 4:30pmPT/5:30pmMT/6:30pmCT/7:30pm ET

Here's what you'll pay in Obamacare premiums in 2018 - Oct. 26, 2017

Here's what you'll pay in Obamacare premiums in 2018 - Oct. 26, 2017

Some NC Obamacare letters announce hefty premium hikes before subsidies | Charlotte Observer

Some NC Obamacare letters announce hefty premium hikes before subsidies | Charlotte Observer

Some good points on what these letters don't say.  For example, they don't have info on how much of the premium increase will be covered by the government subsidy.  Cuts in funding for Navigator activities means we need to have more volunteers out there to help folks.


Saturday, September 23, 2017


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Swamp Water Jurisprudence: Health care: Should we look North to Canada? - Winona Post > Opinion

Swamp Water Jurisprudence: Health care: Should we look North to Canada? - Winona Post > Opinion

The Single Payer Concern Trolls Are Now Swarming Across Your Media :: Politics :: Features :: Healthcare :: Paste

The Single Payer Concern Trolls Are Now Swarming Across Your Media :: Politics :: Features :: Healthcare :: Paste

Progressives should back Medicare for all - San Antonio Express-News

Progressives should back Medicare for all - San Antonio Express-News

Poll: Plurality supports single-payer health care - POLITICO

Poll: Plurality supports single-payer health care - POLITICO

Canadian Doctor to U.S.: Try Single-Payer Health Care Instead Of Trashing It | By Danielle Martin | Common Dreams

Canadian Doctor to U.S.: Try Single-Payer Health Care Instead Of Trashing It | By Danielle Martin | Common Dreams

Single-Payer Movement Shows: Life After Trump May Not Suck | By Matt Taibbi | Common Dreams

Single-Payer Movement Shows: Life After Trump May Not Suck | By Matt Taibbi | Common Dreams

How to Get a Health Care System for People, not Just for Corporate Profit

How to Get a Health Care System for People, not Just for Corporate Profit

Even Business Leaders Are Realizing Health Insurance Companies Serve No Purpose

Even Business Leaders Are Realizing Health Insurance Companies Serve No Purpose

The Political Genius of Bernie’s ‘Medicare for All’ Bill | The Nation

The Political Genius of Bernie’s ‘Medicare for All’ Bill | The Nation

Single-payer health care: What is it? | Fox News

Single-payer health care: What is it? | Fox News

Like Other ACA Repeal Bills, Cassidy-Graham Plan Would Add Millions to Uninsured, Destabilize Individual Market | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Like Other ACA Repeal Bills, Cassidy-Graham Plan Would Add Millions to Uninsured, Destabilize Individual Market | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Former Governor Talks at Harvard About Single Payer Demise | Vermont News | US News

Former Governor Talks at Harvard About Single Payer Demise | Vermont News | US News

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Four things to know about single-payer healthcare | Managed Healthcare Executive

Four things to know about single-payer healthcare | Managed Healthcare Executive

Some interesting comments....BUT....this is the time for dramatic change.  Taking profit hound insurance companies out of it is necessary.  The cost can be guaranteed to not be more than most folks & employers  currently pay.  Keep the Medicare payroll tax and up the income level for it and Soc. Sec. tax.  Calculate how much of our current taxes go to support employee medical care, government medical programs, government workers at all levels health care coverage, etc. and recent five year average of what a family has paid out of pocket for health care other than premiums and they can determine a fair baseline guaranteed cost.  With putting hospitals on a budget, making them public utilities and cutting the cost of all the bill processing at vendors and insurance companies we can do this at less cost -- not more.

Also, this article makes managed care sound good and rewarding positive results as a payment criteria.  All that is horse hockey and not based on research.  Our bad health results in the USA are due to how an average is affected by the terrible way we treat our poor citizens.  That drives down the overall results.  Universal access to care for all will gradually improve the results.  MCO/ACO, etc. models are distractions and used to help justify what insurance companies bring to the table.  I just want my doc and me at the table -- thank you.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

U.S. physicians say up to 30 percent of medical services are unnecessary | MinnPost

U.S. physicians say up to 30 percent of medical services are unnecessary | MinnPost

What would Sanders' 'Medicare-for-All' bill mean for you?

What would Sanders' 'Medicare-for-All' bill mean for you?

The Health 202: Single-payer pushes the health-care debate decidedly leftward - The Washington Post

The Health 202: Single-payer pushes the health-care debate decidedly leftward - The Washington Post

Editorial: How to turn healthcare's single-payer threat into a reality - Modern Healthcare Modern Healthcare business news, research, data and events

Editorial: How to turn healthcare's single-payer threat into a reality - Modern Healthcare Modern Healthcare business news, research, data and events

Single Payer Is on the National Agenda—And It’s Thanks to People’s Movements - In These Times

Single Payer Is on the National Agenda—And It’s Thanks to People’s Movements - In These Times

The Missing Pieces of Sanders' Medicare For All Bill - The Atlantic

The Missing Pieces of Sanders' Medicare For All Bill - The Atlantic

This is how Bernie Sanders wants to implement single-payer health care – ThinkProgress

This is how Bernie Sanders wants to implement single-payer health care – ThinkProgress

Why Bernie Sanders' Single-Payer Health Care Plan Failed In Vermont : NPR

Why Bernie Sanders' Single-Payer Health Care Plan Failed In Vermont : NPR

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Medicare for all? Let's copy what works with health care in other nations instead - The San Diego Union-Tribune

Medicare for all? Let's copy what works with health care in other nations instead - The San Diego Union-Tribune

What is Medicare for ALL







The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board 9/5/17

It’s now clear that creating a single-payer health care system is the top priority of the Democratic Party and millions of Americans.



In California, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, made the right call in June when he pulled the plug on a bill creating a state single-payer system. He did so because the measure, Senate Bill 562, didn’t explain how to cover its estimated $400 billion annual cost — triple the state’s general-fund budget. This reasonable decision led to national blowback. Now Rendon plans to hold hearings to discuss how to get to universal health care.



In Washington, the “Medicare for All” bill that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, plans to introduce this month is picking up support, including from Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California. It’s hard to imagine any Democrat winning the party’s presidential nomination in 2020 without backing single-payer.



But it’s time that Republicans started thinking big about health care as well — and stop equating any expanded government role with socialism. According to a study by the American Journal of Public Health, taxes already pay for 64 percent of U.S. health care. The study found that, “At $5,960 per capita, government spending on health care costs in the U.S. was the highest of any nation in 2013, including countries with universal health programs such as Canada, Sweden and the United Kingdom.”



It’s a stunning statistic. Here’s another: A 2015 Commonwealth Fund study found the U.S. spent per capita at least 47 percent more of its gross domestic product on health care than 12 other wealthy, First World nations — yet had among the worst health outcomes, with the exception of treating cancer. The U.S. had the lowest life expectancy.



Any CEO would look at this picture and say the U.S. must do better. Republicans must do the same. Instead of tinkering with — or gutting — the Affordable Care Act, the Trump White House and congressional GOP leaders should consider setting up a commission to examine how to emulate other nations which deliver better outcomes at a lower cost.



Some answers are obvious. In 2009, journalist T.R. Reid chronicled how 20 percent of U.S. health spending goes to “marketing, underwriting, administration and profit,” compared with 4 percent in France and 2 percent in Taiwan. This bloat is created both by the profit motive in insurers’ provision of essential care — which Reid says is unique in the developed world — and the vast complexity of U.S. health care, with dozens of government systems and hundreds of private systems. Simple is better.



“Given our remarkable medical assets ... the United States could be, and should be, the best [at health care] in the world,” Reid argues. “To get there, though, we have to be willing to learn some lessons about health-care administration from the other industrialized democracies.”



Amen. This is why Democrats who want universal health care should look for inspiration from the rest of the world, not embrace “Medicare for all.” The same holds for Republicans who don’t like how much U.S. health care costs and who think Obamacare is a clunky mess. Americans’ national pride shouldn’t include reverence for a flawed, costly and eminently improvable health care system.