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Future of Public Option Depends on What Single Payer Supporters Do Now

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Headlined to H1 3/24/10

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HCAN Rally at Chicago Aetna Headquarters | Feb. 16, 2009

In order to continue to tug health care in a more humane and less corporate direction, Americans should continue to stand up and speak out in favor of single-payer health care. The very future of the so-called public option and/or Rep. Alan Grayson's "Medicare You Can Buy Into Act" depends on people who are willing to take a position for real healthcare for all, a system that does not work within the context of a for-profit system.

Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake and David Sirota, author of The Uprising: An Unauthorized Tour of the Populist Revolt Scaring Wall Street and Washington, are still working to keep the movement for a public option alive by delivering petitions to Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado.

Hamsher and Sirota are looking to force Sen. Bennet to offer an amendment including the public option when the Senate is in the process of adding "fixes" to the bill. And, since Sen. Bennet has a primary challenger who is also publicly stating he is for the public option, Hamsher and Sirota are making it possible for voters to apply pressure on the primary so Bennet might take action.

John Nichols, writer for The Nation, is already calling for a "reform of the reform." Suggesting there were "practical and political reasons" for supporting the recent health bill signed by Obama on Tuesday and that passage was part of a process, Nichols now hopes people will come together to build a "Medicare for All" framework around a core principle--that "everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health"--which Obama declared the health reform enshrined in America.

The problem with continued willingness to support the public option is that it has the potential to be driven by people who misunderstand what just happened here. Facts and figures never suggested the public option was better than single-payer or that would reasonably improve the health care system. The public option was a market-based proposal that promoted the idea that if government competed in the health care market than costs for healthcare would go down.

Such a belief was and still is questionable.So, a few questions need to be asked before pressing on with campaigns for healthcare.

First, what just happened and what passed? What did the bill reform?

Second, what did the movement for Medicare for All do already to try and get 51 senators and a majority of the House to support real healthcare reform even as the Obama Administration was compromising on healthcare with unyielding Republicans and forcing weak progressives to fall in line with the intention of ending the reform process soon?

Third, if Americans were unable to gain momentum or enough support for a public option (or a state single payer amendment), what makes one think the public option is going anywhere now that the health reform process is coming to an end?

"A Victory for Capitalism"

Despite the reports from the GOP and Tea Party groups, a socialist 9/11 that allows an Antichrist Obama to advance support for his extreme Muslim Stalinist beliefs even further did not occur. Really, what happened is insurance companies won at the expense of American taxpayers.

In the same article where Nichols calls for the recent health legislation to be reform, Nichols cites the Physicians for a National Health Care Program's (PNHP) assessment of the bill.

PNHP notes that 23 million will remain uninsured nine years out meaning an estimated 23,000 unnecessary deaths could occur, millions of middle income people will be pressured to buy commercial health insurance costing up to 9.5 percent of their income which covers an average of 70 percent of their medical expenses, and $447 billion in taxpayer money will be given to insurance companies to subsidize and enhance their power to influence future health reform legislation.

Additionally, as with Massachusetts, PNHP further notes health care costs will continue to skyrocket, celebrated insurance regulations like ending denials on basis of pre-existing conditions will suffer from major loopholes since insurance companies helped craft the legislation, and women's reproductive rights will be further eroded.

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Kevin Gosztola is a writer and curator of Firedoglake's blog The Dissenter, a blog covering civil liberties in the age of technology. He is an editor for OpEdNews.com and a former intern and videographer for The Nation Magazine.And, he's the (more...)
 
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your optimism is killing me.The house had more med... by liberalsrock on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 9:53:36 AM
When you look at American tradition, whom gives yo... by Kevin Gosztola on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 10:11:04 AM
Petitions without boycotts will fail. Jane Hamsher... by www.dmocrats.org on Sunday, Apr 4, 2010 at 12:16:49 AM
I believe that everyone should be able to buy into... by HarveyY on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 10:17:31 AM
How old are you? Everyone seems to think Medicare ... by bmobley on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 10:54:24 AM
But you forget that, if we inaugurate single payer... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 11:08:49 AM
Sweet lady, I think you mis-read me. I want a sing... by HarveyY on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 11:46:19 AM
about the cost, quality etc?Do you think that Medi... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 12:01:53 PM
Trying a possible solution in a state with federal... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 10:27:10 AM
For having a setup similar to the way that healthc... by Kevin Gosztola on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 10:58:49 AM
And that is good, looking forward to see the resul... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 11:23:49 AM
Excuse me, has anyone out there heard of George La... by Pavlov's Dog on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 10:50:27 AM
Medicare is the best thing that ever happened to m... by HarveyY on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 11:31:44 AM
But here is my proposal.Let us first eliminate all... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 12:07:31 PM
The only reason Heathcare is too expensive for the... by Philip Dennany on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 2:57:39 PM
away from the only real solution, single payer. Bu... by Michael Shaw on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 5:03:07 PM
There will be no public option and certainly no si... by julia cresswell on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 6:42:08 PM
exactly how do you intend to throw all the bums ou... by Michael Shaw on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 10:16:33 PM
When I was a little kid I used to take the trolley... by julia cresswell on Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 6:14:23 AM
of what you're saying, but remember one thing, the... by Michael Shaw on Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 12:09:18 PM
Would someone please define, in layman's terms, ju... by John Shriver on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 7:28:28 PM
the bluedogs are conservative democrats, the very ... by Michael Shaw on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 10:55:10 PM
In reality - none of them are workable - especiall... by Doc "Old Codger" McCoy on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 8:06:17 PM
Social Security and Medicare, things we all pay in... by Michael Shaw on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 10:30:25 PM
Single payer, in our situation, would lead to dras... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 10:39:20 PM
doom and gloom have all the answers? Single payer ... by Michael Shaw on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 11:51:42 PM
they are not providing monthly heart transplants t... by Doc "Old Codger" McCoy on Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 12:11:28 AM
I was totally opposed to the tax breaks for the ri... by Doc "Old Codger" McCoy on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 10:48:09 PM
though initially you did not specify income taxes ... by Michael Shaw on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 11:41:56 PM
I try to avoid writing complete articles in a comm... by Doc "Old Codger" McCoy on Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 12:04:53 AM
And, also, I think that corporate taxes need to go... by BFalcon on Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 6:50:55 AM
Either way - either direct taxation to the working... by Doc "Old Codger" McCoy on Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 10:10:10 AM
This argument is constantly thrown but is wrong. F... by BFalcon on Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 10:44:20 PM
since Medicare is a pool that everyone swims in. W... by Michael Shaw on Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 10:21:03 AM
Balancing the equation by going after the rich? Wh... by Doc "Old Codger" McCoy on Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 10:33:46 AM
The wealthiest CEO's actually pay a lower percenta... by Michael Shaw on Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 11:01:22 AM
A good idea in theory but in reality, the rich hav... by John Shriver on Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 9:33:11 AM
it's sort of like the guy in the Mercedes getting ... by Michael Shaw on Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 10:28:26 AM
Although I prefer the "medicare for all" propositi... by Kathy Stuart on Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 8:49:58 AM
Kathy. I also believe we have a chance to accompli... by Michael Shaw on Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 10:34:53 AM
I would like to make one thing perfectly clear. In... by Michael Shaw on Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 1:02:10 PM