What the American People Want in Health Care

Rep. Roskam shakes Etch-A-Sketch as Pres. Obama looks on. [from C-SPAN] Rep. Roskam (R-IL) shakes his Etch-A-Sketch as Pres. Obama looks on. from C-SPAN
“[The American people] … have rendered a judgment about what we have attempted to do so far,” said Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) at the president’s big health care meeting last week.30+31 “[P]ut that on the shelf and … start over with a blank piece of paper and go step by step.” This theme, that the American people want to start over with a blank sheet of paper, was repeated by Republicans throughout the six-hour meeting. But when Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) got his turn, he gave it a twist: “[The American people] say, look, take the Etch-A-Sketch, go like this [shaking imaginary Etch-A-Sketch upside down], let’s start over, let’s do incremental things …”32+33 Vice President Joe Biden addressed the Republican claims of knowing what the American people want: “I think it requires a little bit of humility to be able to know what the American people think. … I know what I think. I think I know what they think, but I’m not sure what they think.”34 The Republicans pointed to polls showing that most Americans don’t like Congress’s health care bills, but President Barack Obama pointed to polls showing that most Americans do like individual points of the health care bills.35 Taking a cue from Vice President Biden, I won’t claim to know what others want, but I know what I want in a health care system, and, taking a cue from the Republicans, I am writing it on a blank sheet of paper:

1. Good, Constant Coverage: I want a plan with good, reasonable coverage that is always in effect — even when I’m in between jobs.

2. Insurance Standards: I want coverage without insurance company tricks and loopholes: no caps, no denial for preexisting conditions, no cancellation when needing an pricey treatment.

3. Quick Treatment: I want to be able see my doctor, or go to a walk-in clinic and get treatment, without waiting days for an appointment.

4. No Paperwork: I want to be able to show my health care card and get treatment — no interview, no forms.

5. Doctor’s Best Judgment: I want my doctor to act from one’s own best judgment, and not from the need to ring the cash register.

6. No Premiums: I want to pay for this out of our taxes. But if I have to pay a premium, it should be affordable, and I should be able to pay it into a public, non-profit plan.

7. Everyone In: I want these things for everyone in America. A healthier nation is a stronger and freer nation.

Which of these features do you want in a health care bill? Please check ALL the ones you want, then click “Vote”:

(2010-05-01: Poll closed.)

What do you want in a health care bill?

  • 1. Good, Constant Coverage (92%, 99 Votes)
  • 2. Insurance Standards (85%, 92 Votes)
  • 3. Quick Treatment (84%, 91 Votes)
  • 4. No Paperwork (79%, 85 Votes)
  • 5. Doctor's Best Judgment (88%, 95 Votes)
  • 6. No Premiums (83%, 90 Votes)
  • 7. Everyone In (92%, 99 Votes)

Total Voters: 108

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While Congress’s bills would address some of these features in some measure, I think that the best and least costly way to get them would be to improve and extend Medicare to all.36 While Congress has not moved on that, several states are now moving towards a single-payer system.37

Sources

30 ‘Health care summit: Transcripts from every speaker’ – Washington Post, 2010-02-25

31 ‘Sen. Mitch McConnell suggests the President starts over on reform at White House health summit’ – CQ Transcriptions, 2010-02-25

32 ‘Rep. Peter Roskam makes remarks at White House health summit’ – CQ Transcriptions, 2010-02-25

33 ‘White House Health Care Summit, Part 2’ C-SPAN, 2010-02-25 – video Etch-A-Sketch routine at 134:40

34 ‘Vice President Joe Biden makes remarks on cost at White House health summit’ – CQ Transcriptions, 2010-02-25

35 ‘Poll: Americans Want Dem Health Care Reforms, Not Dem Bills’ by Evan McMorris-Santoro, Talking Points Memo, February 24, 2010

36 ‘Comparing the House and the Senate Health Care Proposals’ New York Times, 2010-02-23

37 ‘Single-Payer Healthcare Coming to Minnesota and Maryland’ by David Swanson, 2010-03-03

California keeps passing bills for state single-payer healthcare, but Ahhhnold won’t sign em, and Jerry Brown who wants to be governor doesn’t seem to want it badly enough to make a commitment on healthcare. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania is encouraged that their current governor has said he probably will sign a single-payer healthcare bill, and the legislature just might pass one. But Minnesota has an angle neither of these other states can claim: a serious candidate for governor who is the state’s leading advocate for single-payer.

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By Quinn Hungeski – Posted at TheParagraph.com

13 comments for “What the American People Want in Health Care

  1. Margaret Ross
    March 4, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    The USA could afford a super duper national health system if the Pentagon’s budget was slashed by half or more. I am disappointed that the Obama Administration has continued the costly Bush wars that kill our people, kill Middle Easterners and earn their forever hatred of us, and waste billions of dollars.

  2. Daniel J. Sanchez, Sr., LPN
    March 4, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    I think these just about say it all…

    1. Good, Constant Coverage: I want a plan with good, reasonable coverage that is always in effect — even when I’m in between jobs.

    2. Insurance Standards: I want coverage without insurance company tricks and loopholes: no caps, no denial for preexisting conditions, no cancellation when needing an pricey treatment.

    3. Quick Treatment: I want to be able see my doctor, or go to a walk-in clinic and get treatment, without waiting days for an appointment.

    4. No Paperwork: I want to be able to show my health care card and get treatment — no interview, no forms.

    5. Doctor’s Best Judgment: I want my doctor to act from one’s own best judgment, and not from the need to ring the cash register.

    6. No Premiums: I want to pay for this out of our taxes. But if I have to pay a premium, it should be affordable, and I should be able to pay it into a public, non-profit plan.

    7. Everyone In: I want these things for everyone in America. A healthier nation is a stronger and freer nation.

  3. Lucky Puck
    March 5, 2010 at 12:11 am

    I checked the box for “Insurance standards,” only if insurance companies continue to be involved in health care. Instead, I want a single payer system similar to that of the Canadian and French systems (I am fairly well acquainted with both).

    I read a comment on another website that demanded that ALL the American people get the same premium-free health care plan as Congress men and women get or Congress gets the same premium-paid plan that they eventually foist off on us average citizens (if they ever get around to doing anything). I would echo that demand except for the fact that most politicians have enough money to afford pretty much any insurance premiums that might be levied.

    I want a single-payer system, will settle for a public option, but I’m thoroughly disappointed with the proposed system currently going through Congress. I can only hope that this is part of a larger strategy wherein the President and the Democrats are planning to expand on it in the future and eventually bring it to free, universal health care.

  4. Helen Sohne
    March 5, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    I also do not want my premiums or access to healthcare to ever be based on a blood test or blood pressure reading that an MD or the government thinks I should be taking a medication for. For example, there are many studies and articles written about the “cholesterol myth”. Healthy cholesterol is in actuality much higher than the drug companies want us all (including MD’s) to believe. Statin drugs are dangerous. A healthy diet of organic foods, free range eggs and grass fed meats, full fat raw milk products (in other words a natural and healthy diet) will lead to vitality, long life and possibly higher cholesterol. Cholesterol supports many bodily functions and actually protects against diseases. Studies which show the dangers of a high fat diet often include high amounts of the actually unhealthy vegetable oils. Plaque in arteries seems to be caused by these oils NOT butter and animal fat from the proper sources. Healthy people grow from healthy food.

  5. March 6, 2010 at 12:52 am

    I agree with Noam Chomsky that we have a one party system, the business party system with two flavors, the Democratic Party with is leaning toward the center and the right wing Republican neo-con Party both supporting the Corporate Power. Therefore the present state of affairs should not be a surprise. The facts are that a Single Payer system would solve the health care crisis and do so at a economically sustainable manner at current levels of spending would cover everyone. But the private for profit model would have to go because it takes a third right off the top before it pays out for health care.
    In as much as the business model is what would have to be changed the political will is not there. Can the population bring it about? I think yes, but how? Pressure has not done it and in-spite of great efforts that have being shown. The expression ‘creating a Health Insurance Resistors’ League’, I came across is quite inspiring and that and the notion borrow from the real estate rental market that of withholding rent from a slum landlord is permitted when you deposit that rent to a third non partial party. Why don’t we get those in Congress that support the Single Payer non-profit model to create the holder of the funds. That the money from the employer and employee payments be made to it. That it not require everyone to do this but only enough in America to create that proverbial tipping point to force the shift now. In this way everyone in America can vote individually as to what they want in health care. No one is force to do it. Every one who wants to opt out of the for profit system has their opportunity to do so and everyone who likes what they have can keep it.
    The fear that the business party has is a real fear. The population will in fact by at least 70% leave the business model and go for the single payer model. And what is more as Noam Chomsky has clearly point it out the remainder 25% will choose it after they see it. The hard core 5% wont change because they have a vested interest in making money with that for profit model even when it means the death of their fellow citizen.
    I suggest that the unions and the employers have to act in this way because the corporations have more money and have the Congress and Senate in their pocket to see it done on their own.
    If the people who are concern with their loved ones do not want to stop paying because they need the coverage now. We do not need for them to stop paying they are a some minority. The great majority is what is paying for health care profits. Remember that the insurance made huge profit this last quarter by dumping coverage for thousands and so the one that cost them money they don’t want. We can leave those in their hands while they have to cover them and the rest can shift the discussion right in front of their eyes, to single payer system, voted by action on the part of the people whose lives are hanging in the balance, we the people of these United States of America.

  6. kimberly
    March 7, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Yeah why should people that pay and pay and pay taxes all their life get ANYTHING they want right??? The American Dream has turned into the American dysfunctional, run by whores NIGHTMARE!

  7. Margaret Ross
    March 7, 2010 at 10:44 am

    The corporations are firmly in control of this democracy and its political system. They MUST be prohibited from contributing to our elected officials and candidates running for office.

    When I was growing up in Flint, Michigan, it was obvious to me that the unions had grown too strong and were in control of the corporations. The imbalance is analogous to what has happened on the national scene in the last 20 years. The corporations control our elected officials, and we-the-people are powerless.

  8. sarah
    March 15, 2010 at 7:55 am

    thank you for all this information and but if u give me the generale definition of citizenship will be so much better anyway thanks

  9. Margaret Ross
    March 15, 2010 at 9:30 am

    To be a citizen means that you must have a valid birth certificate showing that you were born in the USA. OR…you must have naturalization papers from the U. S. Government showing that you became a citizen after arriving here.

    Because I live but 50 miles from the international border, I am particularly concerned that non-citizens do not share in the benefits that belong to citizens. It is the citizens who pay for these benefits through taxes. The issue is not a racial one but rather a financial one.

  10. kimberly
    March 15, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Margaret I too live near Mexican border and a few reasons our troops are not on the border. One: Is the NAU ( north american union) signed by Bush &co 3/03. Which by the way all of the Mexicans know about the NAU, yet Americans do not? Which in itself is treason! they use “trade agreements” and language to sale OUR country, rights, liberties and freedoms to CORPORATIONS. Two: Most of the “illegals” come here basically “legally” and get Tax ID numbers to pay OUR government taxes. Which is why I do NOT like sheriff Arpio whom chases Mexicans and punishes tax paying Americans and their children in his Nazi type camps, next to his illegals. Arizona puts our kids in PRISON for YEARS for a dirty UA, while drugs are trafficked in to every town in the USA, even with ALL of the survellience? Arpio, He looks like a fool chasing Mexicans around to be deported ( apretty penny) so they can come right back as we are all ONE country under Federal law, a total waste of tax payer dollars. The US is now a third world country! doubts? go to amerocurrency.com Three: Lets not forget the BILLIONS their drug empire brings in, yet wheres the money?
    It is so obvious… what they’ve done and every single public servant involved in the joining of all 3 countries without the American people’s vote? are treasonous traitors! Homeland security and Patriot Acts were put in place to keep government going and to arrest and call ANY American tax payer a “TERRORIST” when they figure out what has happened and rise to abolish their govt their right and duty! Wondering why America is going backwards? OUR public servants are helping their corporate bosses strip OUR rights and SELL them out from under us.

  11. Margaret Ross
    March 15, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Our physical proximity to one another is about all we have in common. It was Bush & the GOP who wanted and allowed the hordes of Mexicans and South Americans into the USA to help their corporate friends with cheap labor…and to hell with the American worker. I love Sheriff Joe Arpaio as do most of the residents of Maricopa County. I seriously doubt that he has any American citizen in jail (none of them my children!) who hasn’t been convicted in a court of law. I’m afraid the GOP is very good at pulling the wool over people’s eyes in these matters. The GOP is my former party (served as a precinct committeeman long ago), and today I would not trust them any further than I could throw our two anti-citizen senators, McCain and Kyl. We need to rid ourselves of both of these guys.

  12. March 23, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    This health-care reform bill is a disaster, and I find myself hoping that the 10 states suing the Feds over it will win so that we can move on to universal coverage in a form that the states (and the GOP) can’t touch.

    How sick is that?

  13. March 23, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    Kvatch – A similar thought crossed my mind. If forcing a person to buy-in is ruled illegal, then about the only recourse would be to automatically sign everyone up.

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