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Public Health Plan Could Save Money Faster: Policy Group

Health & Wellness  (tags: Universal Health Care, public option, Medicare, health care reform, healthcare, health care, Health Care for all )

- 3287 days ago -
A nationwide health insurance exchange that includes a Medicare-like government option could save $1.8 trillion more than if only private plans are offered, a prominent private U.S. health policy group said on Wednesday.

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Blue Bunting (855)
Wednesday June 24, 2009, 7:00 pm

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A nationwide health insurance exchange that includes a Medicare-like government option could save $1.8 trillion more than if only private plans are offered, a prominent private U.S. health policy group said on Wednesday.

Federal spending on health-related costs would still rise from 2010 to 2020, but they would be less with a plan that pays doctors and hospital rates similar to the Medicare program for the elderly and disabled, according to a report by the Commonwealth Fund.

The New York-based health policy research group compared possible savings a health insurance exchange could bring under three different scenarios. One would include a Medicare-like plan along with private insurance. Another would instead offer a government-run plan with rates somewhat higher than Medicare. The final one would be private insurance with no government plan at all.

Such an exchange would offer a central point for consumers to shop for and compare health plans.

An exchange that instead offered a plan with rates slightly higher than Medicare but below current private plan rates would save nearly $800 billion over one with only private options, according to the Commonwealth Fund's analysis.

"Offering a public plan choice and the design of this choice makes a difference in the pace of change," said Cathy Schoen, the group's senior vice president.

Whether Democrats' plan to revamp the U.S. health care system and provide coverage to the roughly 46 million uninsured Americans includes a government-run insurance plan is a major sticking point as Congress finalizes its proposal.

Supporters say such an option would offer Americans an affordable alternative. Most people with health insurance in the United Stated get it through their employer or the government. But those who do not have coverage through work and do not qualify for Medicare or the Medicare program for the poor can face a tough time buying a policy.

The Commonwealth fund echoed those sentiments, saying private plans could lower premiums as more people seek insurance and that lower administrative costs with the government-run options may force private plans to streamline.

"It would provide a strong incentive for private plans to innovate and compete," Schoen told reporters.

Opponents say a cheaper, government plan will make it impossible for private plans to compete and may drive some out of business. It could also encourage employers to drop coverage and make employees buy a government-backed plan, they say.

Overall, an exchange with a Medicare-like plan will save nearly $3 trillion through 2020, saving consumers up to $2,200 per household, Commonwealth found. About $2 trillion of that would come after about five to six years, it said.

In comparison, an exchange including a government plan with higher rates would save $1.97 trillion and a private plan-only exchange would save almost $1.2 trillion. Both options would save a household $1,600.

Still, an exchange won't keep health costs from rising, the report added.

The increase in federal budget costs from 2010 to 2020 with the Medicare-like public plan would be $112 billion, it found. That is compared to $232 billion under the public plan with somewhat higher rates and $360 billion under a private plan-only exchange.

All three options would help insure nearly all Americans, it said, with the number of uninsured dropping to about 4 million people by 2012.

The group's analysis assumed other changes would also be made to the U.S. healthcare market. These include payment reforms to the Medicare program, an expansion of existing government coverage and new regulations that would require insurers to cover a wider range of consumers.

Hospitals and doctors would also see their revenues grow with any of the three exchanges but at a slower rate, the report said.

Blue Bunting (855)
Wednesday June 24, 2009, 7:32 pm
TransGriot: 10 busted myths about the Canadian health care system.

Blue Bunting (855)
Wednesday June 24, 2009, 7:53 pm
* Did the White House signal last night that a public option is less important than a bipartisan deal? Not according to one of the senators at the meeting.

Blue Bunting (855)
Wednesday June 24, 2009, 8:50 pm
Senate Report Finds Insurers Wrongfully Charged Consumers Billions
24 Jun 2009 Health insurers have forced consumers to pay billions
of dollars in medical bills that the insurers themselves should
have paid, according to a report released today by the staff of
the Senate Commerce Committee. The report was part of a multi-pronged
assault on the credibility of private insurers by Commerce Committee
Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.). It came at a time when
Rockefeller, President Obama and others are seeking to offer a
public alternative to private health plans as part of broad health
reform legislation. Health insurers are doing everything they
can to block the public option.

Blue Bunting (855)
Thursday June 25, 2009, 9:37 am
Ex-Health Care Industry Executive: We "Dump The Sick"

Blue Bunting (855)
Thursday June 25, 2009, 8:33 pm

Health Care For All : What If ... We Stripped Away the $13 Billion Insurance Company Profits ...

President Obama's health care plan will get rid of exorbitant corporate profits, bloated CEO bonuses, endless denials, and skyrocketing costs while
giving voters more choice and making private insurance companies behave better.

Blue Bunting (855)
Friday June 26, 2009, 11:05 am

Introducing the Eyes & Ears Health Care Investigative Unit

Today, Huffington Post's Eyes & Ears began mobilizing a new cadre of citizen journalists to follow health care reform legislation, help track the key players and methods involved in crafting related legislation. JOIN US!

Blue Bunting (855)
Friday June 26, 2009, 7:32 pm
Health Care Industry Spends $1.4 million a day on health care lobbyists

More than enough to pay for health care for every single American man, woman and child!

Blue Bunting (855)
Saturday June 27, 2009, 8:22 am
Write to the President, every day:

Click Here For Contacting Congress State by State.

Look up your members of Congress and call them now:

Blue Bunting (855)
Saturday June 27, 2009, 10:55 am

What Did You Sacrifice To Afford Healthcare ?
As a person who was born on the UKs National Health Service,who has been a lifelong recipient of the service,and now works within it,I see that the right wing of the USA, are telling lies about healthcare.Most Americans are going without ..something

Blue Bunting (855)
Monday June 29, 2009, 7:58 pm
A polite way of saying that Mitch McConnell lied about wait times for surgery in a Canadian hospital.

Blue Bunting (855)
Monday June 29, 2009, 8:21 pm
Consumer Reports Debunks Right-Wing Health Care Myths

Blue Bunting (855)
Monday June 29, 2009, 8:33 pm
Avedon Carol had another good post on health care yesterday:

Baucus Regrets Not Including Single-Payer in the Health Care Mix

He conceded that it was a mistake to rule out a fully government-run health system, or a "single-payer plan," not because he supports it but because doing so alienated a large, vocal constituency and left Mr. Obama's proposal of a public health plan to compete with private insurers as the most liberal position.

They really are more stupid than words can convey. I mean, I realize Baucus was more interested in killing single-payer than in getting even a half-decent healthcare bill passed, but, seriously, how old do you have to be to understand haggling? And how could you fail to get the optics in this? (Except that, of course, they didn't dare bring up single-payer, or people would have had to talk about it, and people would have been defending it in public, and then they'd have to explain why they weren't getting it. And I'm not sure Yglesias is right that a single-payer plan couldn't possibly have passed. That public discussion might have made more people aware that their own legislators were standing directly in the way of their own healthcare. There has to be a point at which legislators begin to have nightmares about their heads ending up on pikes.) We really are led by morons.

Blue Bunting (855)
Tuesday June 30, 2009, 10:57 am
Lobbyists Buying Votes?: Special Interests' Impact on Health Care Reform

Blue Bunting (855)
Thursday July 2, 2009, 10:38 am
Health Care Reform : New HELP Bill Covers 97 Percent Of Americans, Costs $600 Billion
So health care reform WITH a public option would cost $400 billion less than reform WITHOUT a public option. Seems pretty clear which way we should go.

Update...The incoming president of the American Medical Association, Dr. J. James Rohack, said his organization now supports a public plan, after initially indicating its opposition. The AMA supports an “American model” that includes both “a private system and a public system, working together,” he said.

Blue Bunting (855)
Thursday July 2, 2009, 5:52 pm
Republican Senator Jim DeMint Inadvertently Concedes That Public Health Insurance Option Won’t Take Over The Market

Blue Bunting (855)
Sunday July 12, 2009, 7:42 am
Michael Moore's health care documentary 'Sicko' can be viewed online in its entirety here.(Hat tip to 'citisven' at Daily Kos.)

Bill Moyers Show Reveals Insurance Lobby's Secret Plan to Attack 'Sicko' and Michael Moore
Moyers will expose for the first time the health insurance industry's secret campaign against Michael Moore and his film, "Sicko." It contains a stunning revelation and admission by a top health insurance executiive--former head of publicity for CIGNA...

Blue Bunting (855)
Sunday July 12, 2009, 9:25 pm
Here is a link to the transcript from the most recent episode of "Bill Moyer's Journal" where he interviews Wendell Potter, a former executive at CIGNA who tells all about how lobbyists are spending millions of dollars each day to convince Congress to water-down health care, and who talks about how the goal of insurance companies is to deny coverage as much as possible so that their Wall Street shareholders can see increased profits. Is it any wonder that Congress wants to stall?

You can watch the program if you go here and click on "Watch: Profits Over People"

President Obama and every member of Congress should be forced to watch this!

Blue Bunting (855)
Thursday July 16, 2009, 10:55 pm
AMA backs House heathcare bill.

Blue Bunting (855)
Thursday July 16, 2009, 10:59 pm
What is so hard about using some logic here????

47 million un insured
20 million under insured
fast food companies and insurance companies making profits hand over fist. Bushes tax cuts for the rich still in effect

Subtract 10 million poor/indigent/mentally ill, etc, who are uninsured and will have to get free care = 37 mill un-insured who can pay.
18.5 million can pay $50/mo = 925,000,000
18.5 mill can pay $100 = $1,850,000,000
20 mill under insured will switch and can pay $100 = 2,000,000,000
That is a grand total of $47,750,000,000


That does'nt count the millions who'll switch from private companies if they can pay $100 or 200 per month and have their entire family covered even with pre-existing conditions.

I've also been advocating a 1penny tax on the fastfoods, foods/beverages w/ high fructose cs, and every bottle/glass of alchohol, but in thinking about it more, we should have a 1 penny federal sales tax on EVERY purchase. I can hear the opponents shouting about making the poor poorer, but my statement is 1 cent on each purchase NOT on every dollar or hundred dollars. From candy bars to fruit to big screen tv's to your house. 1 cent on everything. I'm willing to pay $50.01 for my full tank of gas if I can get affordable health care. How about y'all?

Blue Bunting (855)
Saturday July 18, 2009, 10:30 am
Amendment to Grant States Right to Implement Single Payer Passes Committee TodayToday witnessed the landmark passage of the States Single Payer Amendment which would remove federal barriers to implementation of a single payer health care system at the state level.

President Obama: Congress Must "Seize This Opportunity" On Health Care (VIDEO)

"This is what the debate in Congress is all about: whether we'll keep talking and tinkering and letting this problem fester as more families and businesses go under and more Americans lose their coverage," Obama said Saturday in his weekly radio address

Blue Bunting (855)
Tuesday July 21, 2009, 11:21 am

FiveThirtyEight: Rumors of the demise of ObamaCare have been greatly exaggerated. But rumors of Jim Demint's constituents losing their health insurance are true

Blue Bunting (855)
Tuesday July 21, 2009, 12:42 pm
NOTHING SECRET ABOUT IT.... The Huffington Post's Sam Stein obtained a copy of a private RNC memo, detailing the party's strategy for defeating President Obama's health care reform campaign. As Stein noted, "While documents like these commonly are passed around behind the scenes by like-minded partisans on both sides of the aisle they usually don't make their way into the public."

That's true. What I found interesting about the memo, though, was just how few surprises there were. The Republican strategy against health care reform is entirely transparent. It's like watching a football team that doesn't bother huddling to call a play in advance, but instead just tells the other team exactly what they're about to do.

Reading over the 12-page RNC memo, we learn that there are key phrases Republicans are supposed to use ...

Obama's plan for health care is deemed an "experiment" and a "risk" that could bankrupt the country and dangerously change the doctor-patient relationship.

... while trying to slow the reform process down so they can kill legislation ...

"The Republican National Committee will engage in every activity we can to slow down this mad rush while promoting sensible alternatives that address health care costs and preserve quality," the memo affirmatively declares.

... while resisting the very idea of reform itself.

As for a Republican alternative to the president's agenda, the RNC memo doesn't offer much in the way of details, save to make the argument that the status quo isn't as bad as it is being painted.

In other words, Republicans are saying the same things in private that they're saying in public -- and they're effectively daring the majority to overcome their opposition.

Blue Bunting (855)
Tuesday July 21, 2009, 8:43 pm
Lobbyists Spend Millions to Influence Health Care 21 Jul 2009 Drugmakers,
hospitals and insurers continued to pour millions of dollars into
lobbying during the second quarter of this year, hoping to limit
the damage to their bottom line as lawmakers and the Obama administration
wrangle over landmark health-care legislation. New disclosure
reports that began arriving Monday in Congress showed familiar
players at the top of the health-care influence heap, including
$6.2 million in lobbying by the dominant Pharmaceutical Research
and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and $4 million by the American
Medical Association.

Blue Bunting (855)
Friday July 24, 2009, 7:00 pm
Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, told Bloomberg's Al Hunt today that he thinks the odds of passing health care reform this year are "very, very good."

And yet, he keeps tweeting messages that suggest he's not exactly committed to meaningful reform.

Blue Bunting (855)
Friday July 24, 2009, 10:34 pm
FINEMAN EXPLAINS GOP HEALTH CARE STRATEGY.... Newsweek's Howard Fineman was on MSNBC's "Countdown" last night, and talked a bit about how the congressional minority is approaching the debate over health care reform. He was a little more candid than usual.

He initially talked about the Republican Party now being run by a new "RNC" -- "Rush, Newt, [Liz] Cheney" -- that is more committed stoking "racial fears and resentments" and talking about "where Barack Obama was born

Fineman added, "I talked to people on the Hill all day today. Talked to Republicans as well as Democrats. Republicans claims they have a plan. They don't. They claim they're going to have a plan. They won't. Their whole strategy ... is to stand on the sidelines with their arms folded while the Democrats try to work this thing out. That's their whole strategy."

He concluded by saying President Obama is "on the right side" of this debate, and the GOP is "on the wrong" side.

This isn't exactly shocking news to those who've been watching the debate unfold, but it was nice to hear it mentioned on the air, especially from a media figure who doesn't often chastise Republicans so candidly.

My only caveat is that Republicans aren't exactly "standing on the sidelines with their arms folded." When it comes to genuine policy work and the heavy lifting of governing, that's clearly true. But when it comes to politics, I suspect Dems would be thrilled if the GOP simply stayed out of the way with their arms folded. Instead, they're churning out a whole lot of lies, misleading the public, and confusing the media.

Blue Bunting (855)
Friday July 24, 2009, 11:20 pm

Our friends at Sadly, No! take a look at the actual outcomes between the US and Canada. I don't think it will surprise you to see that the U.S. system doesn't measure up so well

Blue Bunting (855)
Saturday August 1, 2009, 4:52 pm

Health Care Reform : Uninsured Camp Out for Free Health Care

An estimated 3,000 people traveled to Wise, Virginia, to receive free
health, dental and eye care from volunteer doctors, nurses and support workers, who provided the care at their own expense.

Blue Bunting (855)
Sunday August 2, 2009, 8:32 pm
If you want the real hard facts on health care, here's the plain and simple truth... studied and researched ... to try and put together a mythbuster, this is more comprehensive than even I would have done. We already have people standing in long lines just to see a doctor, we already have denied/rationed care.

UnitedHealthCare is making record breaking profits and under the guise of The Lewin Group
are advising congress. They actually have health scare talking points like the one about killing granny.

There will only be change when those unaffected are as outraged as those who are.

More myth debunking is taking place at, a site maintained by dedicated citizens with nothing to gain but possibly some intellectually honest debate

See also, . Handy reference against the rumors.

Blue Bunting (855)
Monday August 3, 2009, 4:49 pm
Robert Kuttner: Faint PraiseWhy is our health system so massively inefficient? Because it is run by and for private insurers, aided and abetted by for-profit drug companies and hospitals. Even if we insure more people, as President Obama hopes to, a fragmented, profit-oriented system dominated by these interests simply cannot yield the most efficient use of health outlays.

Blue Bunting (855)
Monday August 3, 2009, 5:43 pm

Geithner Hints Dems Will Move Ahead On Health Care Without Republican Support - If They Must

When I think of how much the Bush administration shoved down the country's throat on strictly partisan votes, it makes me crazy when Democrats start talking about being bipartisan. This kind of talk by Tim Geithner on This Week with Geo. Stephanopoulous

Blue Bunting (855)
Monday August 3, 2009, 11:12 pm
So, thanks to Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), Speaker Pelosi says she will bring a vote to the floor on single-payer after the recess. Are you all ready to make those phone calls and write those letters?

Nancy's contact info..
Send our speaker an e-mail of encouragement.


Blue Bunting (855)
Tuesday August 4, 2009, 3:00 pm
* The Democratic National Committee released a pretty hard-hitting statement this afternoon, slamming Republicans for "inciting angry mobs" or "rabid right-wing extremists."

* On a related note, "Town Halls Gone Wild" continued today in a variety of locations.

* CBS News offers a good example of how not to report on the right-wing harassment strategy.

* Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D) of Texas hasn't changed his mind
at all after his run-in with a right-wing mob: "I am more committed
than ever to win approval of legislation to offer more individual
choice to access affordable health care. An effective public plan is
essential to achieve that goal."

* What's more, Doggett told CNN
today, "I'll tell you, unless more Americans who are suffering under
the insurance companies get out there and express their opinion, write
their letter to the editor, call these talk shows -- if they don't get
their message out the insurance companies will win in September and we
just cannot let that happen."

* HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius reminds folks of "the reason we're even having this conversation" about reform in a WaPo op-ed.

* Nice to see Blue Dog Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.) have a few unkind words about George W. Bush and health care today.

Blue Bunting (855)
Thursday August 6, 2009, 1:51 pm
HCAN Playbook For Thwarting Town Hall Protesters
How to deal with the crazy GOPers.

Blue Bunting (855)
Thursday August 6, 2009, 3:07 pm
Contrary to Steele’s Claim, State Republicans Are Actively Promoting Town Hall Mobs and Violence

Blue Bunting (855)
Thursday August 6, 2009, 3:37 pm

VIDEO: Republican Right-Wing Rage Cultivated At McCain-Palin Rallies Being Harnessed To Oppose Obama's Agenda Today

Some attendees admit they don't live in the Congressman's district, so why attend the meeting? The wave of unfounded, anti-Obama hate found legitimacy through the McCain Presidential campaign last year. Republicans are actively supporting the hate...

Blue Bunting (855)
Thursday August 6, 2009, 10:33 pm

Tampa Town Hall On Health Care Reform Disrupted By Violence

Police officers were called to calm down an unruly crowd outside a health care reform town hall meeting in downtown Tampa, Florida on Thursday evening, according to local news reports.

Angry protesters screamed, yelled and banged on windows as officers hurried to guard the entrances to the facility, where U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor was trying to discuss the various health care reform proposals being debated in Congress. One photojournalist said that a fistfight broke out inside the building, reports WTSP.

Many of the hundreds of protesters said that they had been inspired by a conservative activist group promoted by Fox News host Glenn Beck and some received emails from the county Republican party, according to the St. Petersburg Times.....

The Tampa Tribune reports that some protesters carried racist caricatures of President Obama and added details of more fights and scuffles.....

Blue Bunting (855)
Thursday August 6, 2009, 10:44 pm

Republican Teabaggers yell "Kill Your Parents" at Monday's Health Care town hall with Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-OH)

Blue Bunting (855)
Friday August 7, 2009, 3:48 am

Right-Wing Turncoat Gives the Inside Scoop on How the GOP Is Screwing Its Healthcare Baby

The GOP is willing to disrupt the health care debate if they can't win it. Yesterday in Tampa, a mob of Glenn Beck supporters nearly caused a riot. The Republican is an uncaring idiot who cares for no one but itself? To hell with the guy in the street!

Blue Bunting (855)
Friday August 7, 2009, 1:32 pm
Anti-Reform Group Takes Credit For Helping Gin Up Town Hall Rallies

Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, the operation that’s running a national campaign against a public health care option, is now publicly taking credit for helping gin up the sometimes-rowdy outbursts targeting House Dems at town hall meetings around the country, raising questions about their

CPR is the group headed by controversial former hospitals exec Rick Scott that’s spending millions on ads attacking reform in all sorts of lurid ways, a campaign that’s being handled by the same P.R. mavens behind the Swift Boat Vets.

In response to my questions, a spokesman for the group confirmed that it has undertaken a concerted effort to get people out to the town hall meetings to protest reform. The spokesperson, Brian Burgess,
confirmed that CPR is emailing out “town hall alert” flyers, and schedules of town hall meetings, to its mailing list.

These efforts — combined with CPR’s effort to enlist Tea Party-ers, as reported yesterday by TPM — provide a glimpse into the ways anti-reform groups are trying to create a sense of public momentum in their favor.

CPR spokesman Burgess confirmed that the group had set up a list serv designed to reach out to “third party groups” involved in the health care fight, including the Tea Party activists. And in a statement emailed to me, Scott, who was ousted as a health-care exec amid a 1990s fraud probe, took credit for the town hall showings.

“We have invested a lot of time, energy and resources into educating Americans over the past several months about the dangers of government-run health care and I think we’re seeing some of the fruits of that campaign,” Scott said, though he claimed outrage was spontaneous.

Similarly, America’s Health Insurance Plans, or AHIP, the insurance industry group, has stationed employees in 30 states to track local town hall events.

The question is whether these uprisings are actually helpful to the anti-reform cause, or whether their raucus agitprop will work againt them. Dems have blasted out to reporters examples of protestors harrassing House Dems.

“The more you dig the more you learn that this is a carefully orchestrated effort by special interest lobbyists and the Republican Party, who are using fringe elements on the right to protect insurance company profits and defeat health care reform,” said House Dem leadership aide Doug Thornell. “The anger at these events looks very similar to what we saw at McCain/Palin rallies in the fall.”


Update: The White House attacks CPR for manufacturing anger.

This blog’s homepage is here.

Posted by Greg Sargent | 08/04/2009, 12:12 PM EST | Categories: House Dems, health care, political advertising

Blue Bunting (855)
Sunday August 9, 2009, 3:13 pm
I heard that this morning on MTP, Gingrich asked Palin, Romney and Huckabee to join him in supporting the next republican grass roots initiative…in an effort to prove conservatives mean what they say, he wants all seniors and vets to renounce medicare, social security and VA benefits. Gingrich says we have to walk the talk. When a befuddled Stephanopoulis said, really? Gingrich said yes, we have to show the left that we don’t need ANY government help. American seniors and vets are strong people, they’ll find a way to get along without these socialist services.

Let's see if the Right is willing to walk the walk and give up their "socialist" programs.

Blue Bunting (855)
Monday August 10, 2009, 11:52 am
Wherever there's a RepubliCON angry mob ... alway$ follow the money ...

Coal Lobby’s ‘Purest Form Of Grassroots’ Delivered By GOP Voter Fraud Company

Paid staff will both call people already on the group’s list and talk to other people at public events, asking them if they want information or T-shirts or would be interested in asking a question at a town hall meeting. “This is the purest form of grassroots,” Lucas said. “It’s facilitating constituents to talk one-on-one with members of Congress.

The new project will use 225,000 volunteers dubbed “America’s Power Army.” They will visit town hall meetings, fairs and other functions attended by members of Congress and ask misleading questions about energy policy.

Anti-Reform Group Takes Credit For Helping Gin Up Town Hall Rallies
Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, the operation that’s running a national campaign against a public health care option, is now publicly taking credit for helping gin up the sometimes-rowdy outbursts targeting House Dems at town hall meetings around the country, raising questions about their spontaneity.

CPR is the group headed by controversial former hospitals exec Rick Scott that’s spending millions on ads attacking reform in all sorts of lurid ways, a campaign that’s being handled by the same P.R. mavens behind the Swift Boat Vets.

Blue Bunting (855)
Monday August 10, 2009, 3:44 pm

Health Insurance Reform Reality Check

Get the facts about the stability and security you get from health
insurance reform instead of listening to industry and right wing hype.

Blue Bunting (855)
Monday August 10, 2009, 6:30 pm

$1.2 TRILLION WASTED : The 6 Biggest Ways Our Health Care System Throws Away Money

More than $1.2 trillion spent on health care each year is a waste of money. That's half of the $2.2 trillion the USA spends on health care each year, according to the most recent data from accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute

Blue Bunting (855)
Wednesday August 12, 2009, 9:52 am
Whistleblower: Insurance firms behind town hall disruptions
Man arrested at Obama event had loaded gunHeld in police custody; was also carrying pocket knife...
Stewart recalls conservative attacks on anti-war protesters

Blue Bunting (855)
Wednesday August 12, 2009, 3:14 pm

Professor Stephen Hawking Enters U.S. Health Care Debate
"I wouldn't be here today if it were not for the National Health Service," he told The Guardian. "I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday August 12, 2009, 7:55 pm
this article has disappeared. It is a good thing you copied it here to read it.

Blue Bunting (855)
Wednesday August 12, 2009, 8:14 pm

Blue Bunting (855)
Saturday August 15, 2009, 1:37 pm
* After all the fuss about every lawmaker reading every word of the health care bill, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) of Kentucky opposes reform despite not having read the legislation.

Blue Bunting (855)
Sunday August 16, 2009, 4:31 pm

Blue Bunting (855)
Sunday August 16, 2009, 4:35 pm

Blue Bunting (855)
Monday August 17, 2009, 11:12 am
Krugman: All That Stands In Way Of Universal Health Care Is Greed, Lies And Gullibility

Howard Dean On Public Option: "You Can't Really Do Health Reform Without It"

Blue Bunting (855)
Wednesday August 19, 2009, 2:52 pm
BE THERE ... 9/12/2009 in D.C.

The place to organize for the March on DC
I just wanted to remind everyone that you can connect with other people in your state by joining our ning social networking site. JOIN NOW and find a bus to ride in on, or a caravan of cars coming from your area. Connect with others in your state and work together to spread the word!
The [...]

Full Story»

Blue Bunting (855)
Thursday August 27, 2009, 9:50 am
McCain jokes about taking hundreds of thousands from healthcare lobby

Blue Bunting (855)
Friday August 28, 2009, 1:11 pm
Veterans For Common Sense: Veterans demand an apology from the Republicans and FOX for lies about the VA

Blue Bunting (855)
Wednesday September 2, 2009, 10:29 am

Who Will Be Hurt if the Democrats Pass Health Care Alone
If the Democrats pass the health care bill, and are able to do it with a public option, the Republicans will have once again put themselves on the opposing side of groundbreaking legislation.

Blue Bunting (855)
Wednesday September 2, 2009, 7:27 pm
PUBLIC OPTION WATCH.... Under the circumstances, the chances of passing a health care reform bill with a public option in the Senate will hinge on a dozen or so senators, whose support will make or break the provision. As of last week, two of the 59 senators in the Democratic caucus -- Lieberman and Landrieu -- were definite (or near-definite) opponents of a public option.

This week, the on-the-fence senators are clarifying matters a little further. Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D) or Arkansas, who just found out she's facing a credible, top-tier conservative Republican opponent next year, now opposes a public option.

"For some in my caucus, when they talk about a public option they're talking about another entitlement program, and we can't afford that right now as a nation," Lincoln said in a speech to the Elder Law Task Force at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Lincoln has said previously she would support whatever health care plan worked, but she indicated Tuesday that a plan including an expensive, government-funded health insurance program would not get her vote.

"I'm not going to vote for a bill that's not deficit-neutral, and I'm not going to vote for a bill that doesn't do something about curbing the cost in the out years, because it would be pointless

... I would not support a solely government-funded public option. We can't afford that," Lincoln told reporters before her speech.

This might be a good time to note that bloggers seem to be the only people in the country who realize that a public option would be cheaper than the alternative. If Lincoln is concerned about what "we can afford," she should be an enthusiastic champion of the public option. I suspect she knows this, but doesn't quite have the courage to explain this to her enraged constituents.

Other than Lincoln, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) seems iffy on the public option, though her in-state colleague, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), is an ardent supporter of the policy.

Sen. Michael Bennett (D-Colo.) was considered a "maybe," but he's
making it clear he's a "yes" on the public option. David Sirota argues that this is the result of a credible primary challenger, and I think that's absolutely correct.

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) has said he supports a public option, but as of yesterday, he's no longer willing to say whether he backs the measure or not. This probably isn't a good sign.

And then there's Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who offered a muddled position on a public option late last week. Yesterday, Reid's office clarified matters, explaining that the Majority Leader envisions a public option that would be administered in part by private entities, though the HHS would still set the policies.

Of course, there's one point that's always worth emphasizing when this comes up. It matters whether these senators support a public option, but it matters just as much whether these senators would also support a filibuster of a reform package that includes a public option. It's one thing to oppose the policy; it's another to vote with Republicans and prevent the Senate from even voting on the reform package at all.
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