With the collapse of Trumpcare, Sanders wants Medicare-For-All


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/03/26/universal-health-care.html


#2

Sanders is right; the current US system provides far too much room for, literally entrepreneurs (between-takers) who get between the public and actual health funding. But those entrepreneurs are the ones with the deep pockets to prevent change. In effect it’s a huge cartel, but today’s politicians would never have passed the Trust Act (as evinced by their failure to deal with Facebook, Google, Amazon and Uber.)


#3

Good.

Because that is the right response to these constant attacks on the overly complex, half loaf that is Obamacare.

The GOP won’t come up with an alternative? Fine, we’ve got one right here, and it’s one that will satisfy all those people who have been conveniently convinced that the ACA will “take away their Medicare”.


#4

As does the American public.


#5

is Democrat + “moderate” Republican a coalition now? - if so, they really ought to be able to make Obamacare work with incremental fixes

shhh… don’t tell Trump about the veto power - i bet his little hands are itchy all over waiting to use it just because he can


#6

Good timing on this proposal. It’s one of those moments when even conservative temporarily embarrassed millionaires might be spooked or exhausted enough to say “hey, maybe joining the rest of the civilised world on health insurance might not be so bad.”


#7

On this subject, I have to say that I agree strongly with you here. To me, the biggest payoff would not necessarily be the insurance part, but the ability of the customer (the government in this case), to put their foot down on cost. Drug costs. hospital costs. There are a bunch of people making piles of money off of healthcare that have nothing to do with patient care. people blame Doctors, because they are the ones that see the patients, but in most cases, the docs are working for someone else, who are pushing them to see more people per day and hour, and collecting most of the money.


#8

Medicare for All? What, do you people think we live in a civilized country or something?

If there’s to be any hope at all of getting the dumber half of the U.S. to get behind a MFA system, Bernie will have to mobilize a marketing campaign unlike any this country has ever seen. The dumb runs deep. I once heard my barber, without any irony at all, say “We don’t need none-a that SOCIALIZED MEDICINE in this country.” Then literally five minutes later, after complaining about the cost of his diabetes treatments, say, “I can’t wait till I’m old enough for Medicare.”

Plus we have to deal with the deep pockets and sinister tentacles of the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

Unite, resist, befriend, persuade, and vote, everyone.


#9

Moving to single payer would have massive immediate benefits.

  • One billing form means one billing system, and only changes from one location. Right now every insurance, state, program, etc. has a different form and just getting the correct billing takes entire departments at healthcare organizations.
  • Profit is removed as a motive - private insurance operates to make a profit - they are allowed a % of what they pull in - but each insurance company is allowed that - add it all up and it’s billions of dollars wasted with no healthcare given for the money - that doesn’t count the cost of actually running an insurance company which is additional cost
  • Insurance could still fill in - and the product would be helpful - supplemental insurance to cover things that may be uncovered - this is already provided for medicare.

That’s without single payer using it’s leverage to drive prices down.

I never understood why anyone wanted someone standing at the end of their sick bed telling a dr. if a treatment was not cost effective when their life was on the line.


#10

I understand why insurance companies will oppose MFA. Why would pharma companies? Medicare right now is the one insurer who can’t negotiate drug prices AFAIK.


#11

They’re worried that it will be the bad ol’* government standing at the end of their sick bed doing that. To be honest, that will happen to a certain degree with single-payer universal, because it’s still a health insurance system. But the government’s first priority in making that (frequently identical) assessment will not be a for-profit company’s shareholder value.

[* thanks to 35 years of GOP propaganda]


#12

Here is how it works currently:

Drug company A makes drug - it’s (like most drugs) somewhat effective but has side effects. The price they set on this is $10,000.00 a month for treatment. As it’s new insurance companies look at the cost and see if there are other drugs that do the same function - Drug B has been on the market for 5 years and does 75% of the clinical function and only costs $500.00 a month. Insurance only covers Drug B for the condition.

What the drug company now does is offer the drug for free or almost no cost (as a write off - call NOW AstraZenica may be able to help!) to patients and start to record the outcomes - they stack the deck and who how much better the drug is and how many people prefer the drug to Drug B. They get the buy in of the Dr. through hiring … (not exaggerating sadly) escort class drug reps that visit the Dr. on a weekly basis to talk up Drug A - and when they visit they bring the office $500-$1,000 in catering from the best restaurants - so the Dr. will take their lunch being force ‘fed’ the drug rep crap while their mouth is full and they can’t ask a ton of questions - all of this isn’t by chance.

Dr. then thinks the drug is so much better - and the patients won’t have to pay (FREE SAMPLES, WE HELP, GIVE THIS CARD THEY GET IT FOR FREE) vs. the $50.00 co-pay Drug B has already that the patient can’t afford.

After a year or so all this creates a mountain of evidence - so Insurance Co. X decides to cover the drug - and then every other insurance is pressured because of the same stuff AND Co. X covers it.

Avalanche ensues and the drug is now the #1 drug for whatever - making the Drug Co. 9,950.00 per month/ per patient in profit.

Take away the ability to peer pressure insurance companies through the above game and selling your snake oil becomes … much harder.


#13

Profiting from Healthcare = immoral


#14

The biggest impediment to a Universal Single Payer healthcare plan for all is the Democrats. My Senators and Congressman (All well established Dems in a solidly blue state) only pay the idea lip service. Democrats are liberals only when it serves the purpose of not looking like a Republitard.

Not that Medicaid for all is particularly progressive at this point - Truman was for it. If you are actually for fiscal responsibility you would be for it. The US spends way too much of its GDP on healthcare.

It will not hurt big insurance as much as people think, just look at the supplemental insurers like Aflac and Tricare… That damn goose is on like every seventh TV commercial for a reason…


#15

I want that t-shirt!


#16

Thanks, and that is helpful, but i still don’t know how prescription drug
coverage works for Medicare specifically. As I understand it, Medicare is
barred from negotiating lower prices but i have no idea what they decide to
cover in the first place.


#17

The good thing about this whole healthcare-bill debacle is that it’s been a good reminder for the public about the pros and cons of Obamacare and what it actually does well and where it falls short. The timing for a single-payer proposal is perfect, and if Sanders and co. can market it as “Medicare” rather than “socialized medicine” or “government healthcare” or another evil-sounding phrase, awesome.


#18

No. Any Republican who consorts with the Enemy is going to be at ground zero for enormous amounts of Kochtopus fire in his next primary, with Freedom Cacas troops lining up to do him in.


#19

The sly way to do this is to make its availability contingent on lack of competition on the exchange in any given demographic, whether geographic, age, whatever. Sell it as a last-ditch remedy when the market fails. Since markets never fail, the right has a hard time objecting (not that they won’t).

Meanwhile, it’s a head-to-head competition between the horrible, hopeless, inefficient, bureaucrat-ridden public sector and the lean, mean, efficient private sector. The private sector has nothing to worry about.


#20

Damn, Sanders would have been such an amazing president. I ended up in the wrong multiverse.