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By       Message Bob Ranney       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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opednews.com Headlined to H3 12/22/08

Author 27812
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This morning's email started with an appeal from United for Peace and Justice to call our Congressfolk asking them to support the Conyers bill for single payer health care - House Bill 676.

Expecting to do so, but wanting to know more about the proposal before picking up the phone, I first Googled HB676 and set out to read it.

I have spent my life in and around health care provision from the days before Medicare hanging around my Dad's dental office and driving around at night with the GP from across the street while he did house calls to operating Community Health Centers, working with national health care associations and twenty years as a consultant to Rural Health Clinics.

All this experience has led me to conclude that we definitely need national health care and that the appropriate form for that health care is an expanded Medicare system.

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However, after reading the section of HB676 on citizen eligibility, I have decided that I cannot support the bill. I surely support the concepts it proposes, but it looks like an impossible pie-in-the-sky proposal to me.

It calls for 100% coverage for all citizens, demands that all providers who participate work in not-for-profit corporations, and stipulates that no citizen will be required to pay any premiums, co-pays or deductible in order to participate.

That makes it a pig that won't fly. In a time of economic crisis like the one the world - not just the U.S. - is now facing, this kind of a bill just could not possibly succeed. If it became the law of the land this morning, the U.S. would be bankrupt this afternoon.

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Rep. Conyers almost always has his heart in the right place. So does UFPJ, but this time their hearts are bigger than my stomach, and way bigger than the nation's bank account.

If we want national health care coverage through the Medicare system - which is the only way I can see it working - we will have to do it under a means testing system coupled with a self-directed menu structure that lets each of us select the level of care he/she wants to purchase. Daddy government handing it to us will not cut it.


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I am an OEN editor, a retired medical management consultant, writer, musician, wood worker(boat builder), fisherman, and Vietnam era veteran who abhors imperialism and the wars it spawns.

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