Monday, March 12, 2007

What is Single-payer health care anyway?

Here is the definition of single-payer health care from Physicians for National Health Program:

"Single-payer national health insurance is a system in which a single public or quasi-public agency organizes health financing, but delivery of care remains largely private.

Under a single-payer system, all Americans would be covered for all medically necessary services, including: doctor, hospital, long-term care, mental health, dental vision, prescription drug and medical supply costs. Patients would regain free choice of doctor and hospital, and doctors would regain autonomy over patient care."

Is national health insurance “socialized medicine”?

"No. Socialized medicine is a system in which doctors and hospitals work for the government and draw salaries from the government. Doctors in the Veterans Administration and the Armed Services are paid this way. Most European countries, Canada, Australia and Japan, have socialized financing, or socialized health insurance, not socialized medicine. The government pays for care that is delivered in the private (mostly not-for-profit) sector. This is similar to how Medicare works in this country. Doctors are in private practice and are paid on a fee-for-service basis from government funds. The government does not own or manage their medical practices or hospitals."

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Minnesota: SCAM! Your Tax Dollars and the HMOs

Pulse of the Twin Cities - Locally Grown Alternative Newspaper
This link takes you to an article by Kip Sullivan about the need to deprivatize the public programs covering the poor's medical care.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Put All Public Employees in One Big Pool

Here is an article from the Pioneer Press on the recent Minnesota legislative proposal for all public school teachers to be in one state wide pool. I want to throw out two extensions of that concept for consideration.
1. Why not combine ALL public employees in one huge pool? That would be all public school, county, city and state employees.
2. The idea of creating more negotiating power with the insurance companies isn't going to work, (they will still control cost and services). So, why not take such a large pool of people and put them in a single payer system controlled by the state and thus save the money that goes to the middle man? If too many are paranoid about the state's ability to do it, then create a single payer consortium modeled after the successful County Based purchasing organizations or, as a last resort, bid it out to one private vendor.

Craig Brooks

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Profit for Some or Care for All

Here's a quote from Diane Archer of Click on the link below to read the full text.

"The health insurance industry is full of surprises, but history and
experience show that insurers will never surprise us with a good, affordable
health care system for America. Two dirty little secrets about the insurance
industry reveal why offering Americans a publicly administered alternative
such as Medicare is the only way to guarantee Americans good, affordable
health care," says Diane Archer.