Thursday, June 25, 2009

"We Want the Public Option, a novel approach to online petitions."

Adam sez, "Online petitions are a dime a dozen these days -- it takes something special for the citizens to break through and get the attention of politicians. The folks at the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (founded by Reddit co-inventor Aaron Swartz and former folks) may have found it. Today, they unveiled featuring a new TV ad that you can sign -- which will then be aired in Washington DC on MSNBC, CNN, and the Daily Show. It contrasts the 76% of Americans who support President Obama's proposed public health insurance option with the insurance interests who oppose it and have given Democratic senators $80 million. It asks those senators to pick a side. You can sign your name as a member of the 76%, and names will be continually rotated into the actual ad aired on TV. Pretty innovative. Check it out."

We Want the Public Option (Thanks, Adam and BoingBoing)

I'm not 100% sure but It seems like we're all getting hoodwinked by this "Public Option" thing going on when we really need and want SINGLE PAYER!!!

This was clearly brought to my attention in comments the other day from a reader of this blog Mark:

You probably know already, but this "public option" thing will help some folks (10 million?) get insurance but it does nothing to control costs & expand coverage for those ~200 Million *with* insurance. It's just another layer on our fucked up patchwork system that doesn't work for the insured or the uninsured.

Add in the $300 billion price tag (we don't have to spend more money for single-payer, just eliminate the insurance companies and their profits, denials of care, advertising, etc) and it's possible that this "public option" will make it harder to win single-payer. -- physicians for a national health program has a great site & talk about this -- the national coalition working to win H.R. 676/Single-Payer... our group in Gainesville is a part of HCN.

keep kicking butts!

Thanks again Mark. I wonder if this step is the only decent choice and best/only step for now? can we hi-jack this public option thing to become single payer realistically?

make up your own mind and let's see what else we read in the comments... I'm in europe now and everyrthing seems to work pretty well over here as i've told you before from personal experience.


  1. Glen -

    not to beat a dead horse, but there is practically speaking no chance that the "public option" would/could develop into a single payer system.

    This is from an NPR story last week with Kathleen Sebelius, Health & Human Services Director:

    "Asked if the administration's program will be drafted specifically to prevent it from evolving into a single-payer plan, Sebelius says: 'I think that's very much the case, and again, if you want anybody to convince people of that, talk to the single-payer proponents who are furious that the single-payer idea is not part of the discussion.'"

    The interview is chilling for supporters of single-payer and should make it clear that the current administration is not going to pass single-payer without a big(ger), public demand for it:

    Obama basically said the same thing later that week to the AMA .... that he's not trying to pass single-payer. (full disclosure: i voted for Obama)

    They keep saying that we have to "build on the system we have" rather than starting from scratch. That's half right. The problem is they want to build on the part that's not working for just about anyone ---- our system of job-based health insurance.

    Why not build on the part that is working (at least working much better relative to private insurance): Medicare

    We should just expand Medicare from 65-and-over to age zero-and-over. And expand it to cover everything -- no more Part B, Part C....

    Most Americans want this kind of system. And we already spend enough to cover every person in this country for all our health care needs.

    Why spend $1 Trillion (or whatever the "public option" is reported to cost) to cover several million more people when we could cover EVERYONE and not spend one more penny?

    thanks & keep up the good work. the first thing i'm doing when we win single-payer (and I don't have $100s/mo going to private insurance) is buying that fugazi book :)

  2. Thanks again man. I appreciate the reality check as only an educated person can supply... Looks like this fight has got to go to another level.