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Physicians Come Out In Support of Democratic Single-Payer Plan​

As of September 13, 2017, at least 16 Democratic senators have come out in support of the single-payer health bill proposed on Wednesday by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. The bill aims to expand access to Medicare to all Americans. Some argue that the proposed legislation signals that many Democrats can be convinced to shift further left when it comes to expanding health care rights for their U.S. constituents.

With Republicans in control of Congress, and with a lack of support from the president, it's unlikely that the bill has a chance of becoming a law soon. On Thursday, Trump tweeted that he would veto legislation for a single-payer government-run health care system.

"Bernie Sanders is pushing hard for a single payer healthcare plan--a curse on the U.S. & its people," the president tweeted. "I told Republicans to approve healthcare fast or this would happen. But don't worry, I will veto because I love our country and its people."

Sanders responded later that day, stating "No Mr. President, providing healthcare to every man, woman and child as a right is not a curse, it's exactly what we should be doing."

Some states, such as California have proposed a state-run Universal Healthcare program. And while this has yet to catch on, many doctors have since come forward stating that they support a universal healthcare plan.

One compelling anecdote came from Rush University's David A. Ansell, MD, MPH, a physician who has been practicing for upwards of 40 years.

In a recent op-ed featured in The Washington Post, Ansell describes the need for single-payer insurance in a time where poverty is rampant.

"In nearly 40 years as a doctor, I witnessed time and again how inequality kills," he argues. "Those without health insurance...(there are almost 30 million in this country), often cannot access the most basic care, let alone complex specialty care. But the problem is more serious than a simple lack of health insurance. What insurance card you hold can literally be a matter of life and death."

He goes on to recount his experience serving for decades at not-for-profit hospitals who care for a huge percentage of the minority populations in Chicago who are mostly uninsured or rely on Medicaid to receive treatment.

"In my 27 years at these two safety-net hospitals, not one of my patients received an organ or bone marrow transplant," he writes. "Yet the organs that fed the transplant centers across the region came from the dying patients in these hospitals. Our patients--the poorest of the poor--gave, but they never received."

He goes on to cite the work of Princeton economist Angus Deaton, who penned a research paper in January 2011 entitled "What does the empirical evidence tell us about the injustice of health inequalities? The paper argues that the United States essentially has an apartheid health-care system, in which structural racism and classism have permeated communities and left low income, and specifically black and brown individuals with few options when it comes to affordable health care.

"The hospitals and clinics serving minority neighborhoods often face severe resource challenges compared with those serving affluent neighborhoods of concentrated advantage," Ansell writes. "But it not just the poorest who are at risk. Our current multi-payer for-profit health insurance system perpetuates premature death by putting many people at an extreme disadvantage when it comes to affording care. Those who have better health insurance policies can access better care. However, even patients with insurance cards face skyrocketing co-pays, deductibles and pharmaceutical prices that keep them from seeking care."

The best solution, he argues, is a national solution, similar to the ones that have been adopted by developed nations all over the globe. Through a single-payer system, every worker and business in America would pay into the system similarly to how we pay taxes for schools, and the military. In essence, everyone will opt in and none will be left out.

"As a doctor, I have a moral obligation to care for patients regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay," he says. "But America's fragmented, for-profit health system forces doctors to violate their Hippocratic oath, the moral contract requiring us to treat health as a basic human right. I speak for many American physicians when I say I am sick and tired of a health insurance system that harms our patients, many of whom are sick and tired themselves."

Posted by DanikaK at September 26, 2017 4:16 PM
Comments
Comment #420155

John conyers has been proposing single payer for many years, long before Bernie Sanders.

Posted by: Ohrealy at September 26, 2017 4:37 PM
Comment #420168

The narrow minded focus on single payer will doom Democrats. Did they not learn from the trauma of the PPACA 8 years ago? Even if people ultimately come around to like Bernie’s single payer system, it will be like pulling teeth to get it through Congress. Most Americans already enjoy their employer sponsored insurance and are not willing to tinker with it.

Democrats would be much better off patching up Obamacare and shifting focus to other issues. Mitigating global warming, protecting voting rights, and combatting racism all would provide greater utility than replacing the PPACA with a single payer system.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 26, 2017 9:54 PM
Comment #420179

Single payer is a winner for democrats, Warren. The ACA has made people lose their insurance, lose their plans, lose their doctors, and their premiums skyrocket. People and their pocketbooks are hurting.
The myth of ‘free insurance’ would bring new voters to the polls and siphon off Trump type voters.

And let’s be honest here, the average voter isn’t worried global warming, showing ID to vote, or fall for the ‘rampant racism’ propaganda.

Posted by: kctim at September 27, 2017 9:01 AM
Comment #420194

The employer based system is a bad one. You like it because you have to for the most part. The employer shops the insurance each year and the coverage goes down, the cost go up. With the ACA in place insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and hospitals now have a scapegoat as they bilk billions out of the country.

Conservatives in Congress and Trump cannot agree on how bad they want to screw the American people over, but their donors know. This last goat roping in the Senate was appeasement for the rich repub donors and it failed. Good.

Here is a link to some other countries and some options to think about.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/feb/09/which-country-has-worlds-best-healthcare-system-this-is-the-nhs

We pay more and get less than any other country on the list. We don’t have the best system like Trump and the con artist he serves would have us believe.

Posted by: j2t2 at September 27, 2017 7:11 PM
Comment #420196

Hey, j2t2; was that you I saw in a bed in the corridor in the Chinese hospital in the guardian link?

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 27, 2017 7:43 PM
Comment #420205

Single payer, sounds great. Then we can all be subject to the rationed shitty gov’t run disaster that our veterans have had to put up with. Oh and let’s not forget even more of our rd earned money siphoned off by a gluttonous bureaucracy. Yep..sounds great.

Posted by: dbs at September 28, 2017 5:14 AM
Comment #420207
The ACA has made people lose their insurance, lose their plans, lose their doctors, and their premiums skyrocket. People and their pocketbooks are hurting.

Contrary to your right-wing fantasy, ACA is more popular than ever before and more people are insured than ever before.

Replacing ACA with socialized medicine or single payer health care has its benefits, but those benefits are so marginal compared to ACA that they do not deserve this sort of prioritization. A few fringe activists might dream of “free” healthcare, but as Milton Friedman used to say, “There is no such thing as a free lunch”.

The real reason the far left is gunning for single payer isn’t because they have an altruistic desire to help needy people. Rather, they want to ‘prove’ that government can provide private goods and services better than a private company can. That way, they can get validation for their more extreme policy prescriptions such as nationalizing the rest of the economy. All that will do is lead to scarcity and suffering as experienced by the USSR and its communist brethren throughout the 20th century.

Single payer, sounds great. Then we can all be subject to the rationed shitty gov’t run disaster that our veterans have had to put up with. Oh and let’s not forget even more of our rd earned money siphoned off by a gluttonous bureaucracy. Yep..sounds great.

Please spare me these tired talking points. I see no difference between the shitty private sector rationing we had before ACA and the rationing you expect under single payer or socialized medicine.

Also, when it comes to administering health care, United States government bureaucracies are more efficient than private sector ones. Whether it be Medicaid, TriCare or whatever else, government bureaucrats get more done for less money than insurance company bean counters.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 28, 2017 8:33 AM
Comment #420212

Sorry Warren, but it’s no “right-wing” fantasy that many people lost their insurance, plans, doctors, and that their premiums have skyrocketed. It is a fact, and the ACA’s supposed popularity and numbers does not change anything.

People are hurting. They have been conditioned to falsely believe that they are entitled to something for nothing. Now is the best time yet for democrats to convince people to give up more individual rights for more govt ‘freebies.’

“Also, when it comes to administering health care, United States government bureaucracies are more efficient than private sector ones.”

Being ‘efficient’ with numbers does not translate to being efficient when it comes to actual care.

Posted by: kctim at September 28, 2017 9:33 AM
Comment #420226
It is a fact, and the ACA’s supposed popularity and numbers does not change anything.
Actually, the popularity of the ACA and the total number of people covered by it are immensely more important than the paltry sum of people who were adversely impacted. Remember, we were talking about the political viability of replacing the ACA. That means the popularity of the ACA is what counts the most.


People are hurting. They have been conditioned to falsely believe that they are entitled to something for nothing. Now is the best time yet for democrats to convince people to give up more individual rights for more govt ‘freebies.’

I don’t know what this is supposed to be other than some sort of weird straw man for you to knock down. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Any service the government provides comes at the expense of some part of the private sector in the economy. However, providing universal health care coverage violates no more individual rights than providing universal access to the justice system or for the common defence.

Instead, there are costs and benefits to be weighed when deciding whether a particular sector of the economy is better handled by the public or private sectors. In situations where most of the benefits are externalized (common defence, basic education, justice) the public sector is much better at providing those goods and services because they are immune from the profit motive. In situations where most of the benefits are internalized (food and entertainment), the private sector is best equipped at providing them because the profit motive will drive costs down and raise utility for consumers.

Health Care is something that straddles the line between external benefits (herd immunity) and internal ones (dying of cancer at age 85 instead of age 75), which is why it is so contentious in this country.

Being ‘efficient’ with numbers does not translate to being efficient when it comes to actual care.
dbs made specific reference to money. The monetary costs of government administered healthcare bureaucracies are less than the monetary costs of private sector ones. That is an undeniable fact and that is the efficiency I refer to.

Another day, we can debate the costs and benefits of requiring recipients of nonurgent treatments to wait while precious health care resources are used to save lives. Obviously, the value one places on a human life is going to dictate which is more ‘efficient’ in terms of actual care.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 28, 2017 6:22 PM
Comment #420234

warren

“I see no difference between the shitty private sector rationing we had before ACA and the rationing you expect under single payer or socialized medicine.”

The ACA made things worse. We need to go back to being able to buy ala carte or not at all if we so choose. No one should be forced to buy heath insurance. And the VA example isn’t a “talking point” it’s the truth.

Posted by: dbs at September 29, 2017 5:41 AM
Comment #420235

warren

“Actually, the popularity of the ACA and the total number of people covered by it are immensely more important than the paltry sum of people who were adversely impacted.”

The majority of people ie the middle class were covered before, and for less. I know because I’m one of them. All that shitty law did was jack up my premiums, deductibles, and take away choices so that my money could be given to someone else. Only a very small number of people benefit from it. Those who are now on medicaid.

Posted by: dbs at September 29, 2017 5:48 AM
Comment #420241
The monetary costs of government administered healthcare bureaucracies are less than the monetary costs of private sector ones. That is an undeniable fact ….Posted by: Warren Porter at September 28, 2017 6:22 PM

Facts, facts, facts, WP, facts don’t matter to the brainwashed. 10 out of 10 robots believe everything their programmers tell them. The ACA tried to disincentivise excessive executive pay in the private health “insurance” industry. They raised their pay anyway, all that money not to be paid out in claims by the people they’re alleged to be insuring.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 29, 2017 11:20 AM
Comment #420303

Compared to the previous rates of growth, health insurance premiums are lower today than they would’ve been without PPACA. And considering that you live in California, I’d have thought you would’ve been able to see this more clearly because California is one of the better run states as far as the ACA is concerned.

https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/acapaper721.pdf

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 30, 2017 6:43 PM
Comment #420364

Been unable to post, so trying again.

“…That means the popularity of the ACA is what counts the most.”

Very valid point, Warren. What I am trying to say though is that that supposed popularity has not translated to political wins across the country so, with the damage that the ACA has caused, which is hardly a “paltry sum,” it looks like a good time for the dem party to run on ‘free’ universal healthcare.


“I don’t know what this is supposed to be other than some sort of weird straw man for you to knock down.”

People unwilling to give up their freedom of choice is the far lefts greatest obstacle in getting their ‘free’ govt healthcare. It is no straw man.

“There is no such thing as a free lunch. Any service the government provides comes at the expense of some part of the private sector in the economy.”

Yes there is and they don’t care what the cost is to others.

“The monetary costs of government administered healthcare bureaucracies are less than the monetary costs of private sector ones.”

And it shows in the quality of service and care that you receive.

Posted by: kctim at October 3, 2017 9:41 AM
Comment #420451
What I am trying to say though is that that supposed popularity has not translated to political wins across the country so, with the damage that the ACA has caused, which is hardly a “paltry sum,” it looks like a good time for the dem party to run on ‘free’ universal healthcare.

I am confident the popularity of Obamacare will grant Democrats a majority of seats in the House of Representatives in the 116th Congress.

People unwilling to give up their freedom of choice is the far lefts greatest obstacle in getting their ‘free’ govt healthcare. It is no straw man.
I said straw man because the loss of individual freedom is no different than what is lost when we compel people to pay taxes to fund our military.
Yes there is and they don’t care what the cost is to others.
If there’s a cost to others…then it isn’t a free lunch.
And it shows in the quality of service and care that you receive.

Agreed…which is why I support people’s right to purchase private care if they have the means to do so. But when the choice is lesser quality government run care or no care at all apart from resuscitation in an ER, then the comparison is no contest. Decent, but slightly less than stellar, government care wins hands down.

Posted by: Warren Porter at October 5, 2017 5:54 PM
Comment #420479

You can only count on that ‘popularity’ IF all of those who benefit from it actually show up and vote, which is not what usually happens. The millions being hosed and suffering under the ACA, however, have already shown that they will show up.
But, who knows. Perhaps the media’s non-stop attempts to influence our elections will work this time.

There is no comparison between the loss of choice that comes with the involuntary redistribution of wealth, and the Constitutional requirement to fund our military.

All people already had the right to purchase the care of their choosing. Now, people are not able to afford what they want because they are forced to purchase sub-par care that they do not want. Their backs are up against the wall and financially they have no choice but to give govt health care a chance.

Now is a great time for the dems to include govt health care in their platform.

Posted by: kctim at October 6, 2017 10:51 AM
Comment #420487

Truman proposed:
https://trumanlibrary.org/anniversaries/healthprogram.htm

and many new hospitals were built, but:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alex-higgins/when-racism-stands-in-the_b_264823.html

We would already have had national health insurance for 70 years if he was willing to exclude some Americans.

Posted by: ohrealy at October 6, 2017 5:50 PM
Comment #420516

The constitution does not require government to fund a military. It has the ability to raise and fund a military and letters of Marque, but there is no requirement to keep a standing army. That’s just manifest destiny gone amok.

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