Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The health care bill you haven't heard about

by Cylinsier

The bill is called HR 676. Its in the House now. It has 93 sponsors at the time of this posting, more than any other bill right now. The nickname of the bill is Improved Medicare for All. And its single payer.

I'll wait while the conservatives finish pissing themselves. Back? Okay, let's continue.

Whereas the debate on health care thus far has centered on the public option, which opponents claim will eventually lead to a single payer system (and also dead grannies and secret police who make you wait years for a tonsillectomy), this bill makes that far off threat, the valley at the bottom of the slippery slope, a reality in the here and now. Here's a list of some of the things this bill offers that are superior to any of the current bills that still have public options:

  • Everyone will be insured by a single, publicly-funded agency. Private providers remain as non-profits and perform actual health services while remaining independent of the government.
  • The funding comes from a combination of existing reserves already going towards Medicare and other public health services (VA, SCHIP, Medicaid, etc.) and a tax between 4-9% for employers and around 3 for individuals. Actual medical bills cease to exist. This differs from other bills that would instead simply require individuals to be insured and then penalize them for failing to do so.
  • Comprehensive cradle to grave coverage guaranteed. Despite penalties, as many as 20 million would remain uninsured if public option bills are passed; we won't even mention what happens without the public option except to say it sucks ass.
  • Primary care, emergency room visits, dental, vision, substance abuse, prescription drugs, mental health; you name it, its covered (except for elective procedures like a nose job). A public option would not have dental or vision at this point.
  • 95 percent of Americans will pay LESS than what they are currently paying for health care since monthly payments cease to exist and are replaced by a smaller fee in the form of a tax.
  • The savings compared to the current system are estimated to be around $400 billion a year, achieved by reducing administrative waste, budgeting with hospitals and providers, and bulk drug purchases.
  • Patients have their choice of doctor - everyone is in network. No provider to tell you what you can and cannot do. Its all up to you and your doctor.
  • Coverage is comprehensive across all barriers including class.
  • When polled, 60 percent of Americans and 60 percent of doctors said they would prefer a Medicare that covers everyone.
Installing this system would simply require the expansion of the current Medicare and involves no new agencies or bureaucracy. But I know what you're thinking. "We haven't heard shit about this bill yet so obviously its too late. It was a nice thought, but we'll be lucky to get the public option." Not so fast... New York's Rep. Anthony Weiner has an amendment in play that should come up for vote soon. The Weiner Amendment effectively transforms the current bill in the house into 676, meaning all of a sudden the House is passing single payer and sending it to the Senate in a truly epic display of cojones. They'll probably put a picture of a large hand with the middle finger up on it or maybe Barney Franks bulbous exposed buttocks photoshopped next to an anthropomorphic cartoon elephant kissing it. And you know Nancy is going to smash Joe Wilson in the face with it. No avoiding it.

Of course, the House needs to be constantly reminded that people want them to do this, so click that link above to help remind them. You can also probably volunteer where ever you live to help spread the word about this or just keep track of its progress. Just do an internet search of 676 and your area - Western PA has its own local site for example.

I would like to point out to all supporters of the public option, even those that may NOT want to go as far as single payer, that it is imperative that this bill at least make it to the Senate. Why? Well, because the Democrats have fucked up pretty bad thus far. See, the Republican whiny babies keep moaning on about bipartisanship, the thing they ironically killed themselves back in the Clinton administration, and how any health care reform needs to have support across the aisle. Well, technically it does have support across the aisle because the Democrats filled up their side and had to put some people in the mostly vacant Republican side, but they of course mean it figuratively. The thing is, they aren't interested in actually meeting anyone half way. To them, bipartisanship is creating the illusion that Obama is a failure by putting their fingers in their ears and going "la la la la la" for about four years.

See, there isn't any compromise on the public option. You either have it or you don't. The public option should be the compromise! The Democrats started way too close to center on this issue and left themselves with no bargaining chips. The Blue Dogs are basically Republicans at this point so the Democrats are going to have a hard time passing anything through the Senate without watering it down to something worth less than the paper its printed on, exactly the Republicans' want so they can blame the inevitable failure of the bill on Obama and the Democrats in 2012. Meanwhile, the Democrats at least for the most part are interested in actually doing their jobs, a nice change for politicians, but they put themselves in between a rock and a hard place thinking they were hot shit cause they hit the magic 60. 676 can at the very least give them some leverage. If the Senate introduces single payer on the floor, suddenly the GOP is thinking a public option doesn't look so bad. I'd love nothing more than to see 676 become law, but I'd settle for the public option as a compromise. The fact that the public option might come off the table before the GOP will allow themselves to say compromise is a travesty. Sphere: Related Content


Ellipses said...

This is too good to be true... single payer? The WEINER Amendment?

Oh my sweet jesus!

I love it!

Cylinsier said...

Here is a representation of what this will be basically do if it makes it to the Senate. The part of the GOP is played by the British ponce and the part of the Dems is played by the unseen owner of the fist.


Ondinita said...

Another great post!!!!! I was so happy when I read it...Then I saw this post:


Why are the Dems letting the GOP write the bill and water it down so much that it's basically useless when we know that they're still not gonna support it???!!! The Dems need to grow a pair NOW! I'm sooo outraged that I could scream!! Too bad I'm at work! lol

Cylinsier said...

I think the Democrats are right on the verge of pulling the strings to get something through without any Republicans on board. If they do that, I hope they make sure we at least have a public option included.

Ondinita said...

I hope you're right, Cy!!!