Romney, Schwarzenegger, and Easley?

I received a disturbing email from NC Spin, indicating that Gov. Easley, was working in Universal Health Care.  Wait, you might be thinking, R.P. likes Universal Health Care and is V.P. of a non-profit that is focused on Universal Health Care - so why the "disturbing"?  The email, unfortunately, makes it clear that our "Democratic" governor is falling for the Republican-lite version of Universal Health Care that I like to call "Forced Health Care".

Governor working on Universal Health Care Plan
We also learned that Governor MikeEasley has asked the Department of Health and Human Services to crunch numbers regarding a proposal for an individual universal health care plan to cover all our citizens. The goal, we heard was to include this plan in the Easley budget proposals to be submitted to the legislature soon. The sketchy details we get are that the coverage will be mandatory and will be financed by employer payroll taxes. Massachusetts and California are currently working on similar plans.

Why are these plans such a bad idea?

Yet the closer you look at these ambitious plans, the more you see they are mere patchworks. In Massachusetts, which will require most residents to buy private insurance, policies are coming on the market with higher prices and less coverage than experts hoped. Economist and columnist PaulKrugman points out that the Schwarzenegger plan will require big new state bureaucracies to regulate insurance companies and police individual behavior.

Private insurance companies continue to rake in record profits, and WE get to pay for the bureaucracies needed to make it possible?

An advocacy group urged the state Wednesday to delay a key part of the new universal health insurance law, saying that a survey shows that many families cannot afford even subsidized insurance.

The Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, which pressed for passage of the law, said the state should not impose penalties for at least a year on low- and moderate-income people who fail to obtain insurance by the July 1 deadline.


Private insurance will create plans with low coverage that people still can't afford, and we'll penalize the consumer for it?

Across the country, governors like Arnold Schwarzenegger, EdRendell, and Mitt Romney are making actual strides towards universal coverage, in no small part because their statewide progressive movements have pushed or passed even stronger reform legislation.

And, therein lays the real reason we are now seeing Insurance companies and Republicans supporting Universal Health Care. The private insurance companies have dumped everyone with a preexisting condition, everyone with any health problems, and at the same time raised our premiums, deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance. The result? Record profits for them, poor health care for us. Like all Republican-based corporations, they continued this practice for far too long, not just making a profit but killing people in the process. Finally, the people have spoken, they have said that they want Universal Health Care, that they don't want their fellow citizens dying because they lack health care.

Faced with this sudden surge in popular support and bills making their way through the most progressive states, they have turned their support and money to "Universal Health Care" that is no better for the average person than the "Clean Air Act" is for our environment. It appears that MikeEasley has fallen for this trap and will push a system that requires people to buy private insurance, while the state picks up those the insurance companies don't want to cover through the high-risk pool. The system will require people to buy private insurance, and then the private companies will make them choose between low-cost, low-benefit plans or high-cost, high-benefit plans.

Underinsured residents will continue to use the ER as their health care provider, paying huge amounts of deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance, which will lead to even more bankruptcies. 

This type of plan solves nothing.  Nothing.  It should be opposed by anyone who is a fiscal conservative (the government spends enough to fund single-payer health care already), anyone who is a progressive (the private companies profits are borne on the back of poor health care), or anyone who is moral (the uninsured die at a much higher rate than the insured).


If you know a legislator...

I will be asking for your help in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

No Man Can Serve Two Masters

The problem is, I believe, that state by state proposals written by insurance industry insiders tend to focus on getting everyone an insurance policy instead of getting everyone health care.
I am not enthusiastic about state by state proposals anyway, but I'm pretty sure that Universal Health Care is supposed to be about a health care delivery system. The insurance industry can still make money... as with Medicare Advantage Plans... from folks with the means for supplemental coverage.

I agree and disagree

I think you are right about the state-by-state proposals. Only those that propose single-payer, fighting the insurance companies stand a chance of being equitable.

I disagree that the insurance industry should be allowed to make money, but that is my own belief. I think they had their chance to provide a quality product to people who's lives depend on it - and they failed. We don't trust our roads to private industry, but we trust our children's lives to them? We don't trust the education of our children to private industry, but we trust the health of our working class to them?

No. There are many things that competition and industry are good at creating and making the best possible product for - health care is not one of them.

Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Quit Using Band-Aids on a Hemorrhage

* if I could afford insurance - I could afford to go to a doctor and pay for my own care.

* forcing employers to offer coverage sounds like a plan - a plan for disaster. Will they be 'forced' to provide for their part time employees, too? Will that lead to them cutting full time positions and replacing them with part time positions to escape the high cost of health care?

* the word 'universal' implies everyone has the same coverage. That implies that reimbursement to doctors in Raleigh should be the same as reimbursement to doctors in Swannoa. How can you make that work?

* just how universal is this plan? Will the people currently served by one plan - like Tricare - be denied coverage by the universal plan because they're already covered? This already happens in our current system. The word 'comprehensive' in one plan is in no way identical to another plan. The words have to mean the same thing across the board - if they don't - people are going to be left out - just like they are now.

We need to quit using bandaids and come up with a plan - a real plan that works for everyone.

one plan, one funding source.

You go to the doctor, you sign a sheet of paper, you're done. No bills, no premiums, no copays, no coinsurance, etc.

Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Inform the public

Why does the public not get to see side by side comparisons of say, Easley's proposal, with another? That way citizens can find out what the options might be? what the costs could be? Instead, we get the Universal word bandied about.

I would like to see someone take the Massachusetts plan and make sure everyone sees that it has flaws.


Help us out.

The Easley plan has caught us by surprise, but Health Care for All NC will be doing just that. We have a small megaphone, but with everyone's help we can get it through the legislatures thick skulls that Easley's plan is a sop to BCBS and will be bad for their constituents.

ropeterson AT gmail DOT com

Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.