A Comment Storm
2:11 to 4:06 pm, Thursday June 29, 2017

Another Tom Toles masterpiece in the Washington Post ("Guardian of Amazon's tax practices:" DJT)....

                              Sing a song o’ sick, Pence

... inspired me to write a "comment." I took the opportunity to plug single payer! (Predictable, you say.)

duffworx  [That's my handle on the Washington Post.]

SINGLE PAYER! Single Payer! Say it again. Finally the moment is here for the U.S. to join the rest of advanced civilizations in pulling the plug (teat?) out of the rapacious for-profit health insurance companies. A healthy workforce is a more effective workforce. People without the fear of medical bankruptcy and inadequate care are more productive, less angry people. The costs of Medicare for All will be less and far more predictable. IT'S TIME! Right, VP Pence? Hello?

Jerry B.     [Jerry B. reflected the widespread misunderstanding of 'single payer,' that it means 'socialized medicine' like in Britain.]
2:35 PM MDT

Unless you control the cost of medical care, it doesn't matter whether insurance companies or the government pay for it. Not sure how the AMA would feel about nationalizing most all doctors into employees of the government.

drawnala    [Draw in Alabama set him straight with this terse, accurate description plus a concise summary of the positives.]
2:54 PM MDT

That's not how it has to work. The government already pays for the majority of health expenses in this country. Medicare works by the government paying doctors, not employing them. Medicaid mostly is the same way. The only large program like that is the VA. 

Single payer would lower costs solely because people would stop deferring care. That one change would save money. That's before you get to admin costs and government's market power.
6 like

shayladane  [Shady a Dane hits the other biggies, how to start single payer and what about all those current for-profit health insurance companies?]
3:49 PM MDT

With single payer, you have the VA, Medicare, Medicaid, and TriCare staff in place. You can negotiate costs. You can charge premiums based on income, age, location, etc. And you can charge employers, who will no longer need to provide health care, premiums based on payroll size. I would work. And the insurance companies still have car, life, homeowners, boat, liability, etc. insurances to make money from. 
3 like

EthelredtheUnready  [King Ethelred wraps it up with an irrefutable shorty.]
4:06 PM MDT
If you control the pursestrings, you can control the costs. And turning healthcare providers into civil servants isn't on the table.

3 like

I love this small exchange. Jerry B. reflects a LOT of my pals when single payer comes up. Alabama Draw gets a medal for nailing it in very few words. I'd elaborate on Shady Dane by saying the federal expansion of Medicare would need some (not a lot, methinks) new employees who know the insurance game. Maybe the very best programmers, statisticians and administrators from such as Blue Cross and United Health Care could be cherry-picked for the new jobs. Pay them decently and they would probably be extremely happy to work in an environment of actually serving the customers rather than trying to deny their legit claims.

BTW, me calling the for-profit insurance companies "rapacious" is hyperbolic and unfair. I just had many, many problems with them as an entrepreneur, trying to insure our staffs. So how about, "unfettered, they are ... mmmmm.... OK, rapacious."


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