The Democratic Response to Bush's Health Care "Plan"

It's been reported by various media outlets that the highlight of President Bush's State of the Union address will be health care. Bush plans on calling on Congress to further privatize health care. How should Democrats respond to this proposal? What is our argument against this "plan"? Stay tuned to find out.
Anyone who has taken even a cursory glance at Bush's proposals can see they are bad news for Americans. It should be obvious to anyone that this is a bill of goods, but Democrats should try to make it even more obvious. There are some points we should hit:

  1. Same old, same old: There's nothing new here. This is all stuff that Bush has put before Congress in previous years, and was stalled. There's little or no support for these bad ideas, yet Bush is trying to repackage them. Bottom line: Bush is out of ideas. He's desperate for anything, after a year of free-falling poll numbers.
  2. Social Security "reform" all over again: This is the same idea as Bush's Social Security privatization scheme. We've seen what Bush thinks about health care: he pushed for unprecedented cuts in Medicare and Medicaid. Bush is simply trying to recycle his bad Social Security plan. Well, the American people didn't buy it the first time, and they won't buy it the second time.
  3. A serious problem needs a serious solution: Health care is a serious problem for millions of Americans. It's been the most important domestic issue for decades. There are significant systemic problems in American health care that need to be addressed. What is Bush's solution? A band-aid. Instead of being a bold leader and tackling the real issue, Bush is playing politics. Actions speak louder than words, Mr. President.
  4. Bush doesn't want to do anything for ordinary Americans: This plan, if you can call it that, intends to insulate the CEOs from the problem millions of Americans face. It also tries to reward companies for not providing health insurance to their employees. In short, this plan is just another Republican giveaway to its big business cronies.

Any other ideas on how Democrats should be responding?

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Bush's grandfather's friends in Germany had
a 'health care plan' that freed up a lot of the nation's resources for war..

It was called 'killing those who are sick'

Such models of efficiency, they...

The GOP loves to call everyone else 'fascist' this and 'fascist' that but I think it's classic pathological projection..

We know their MOD.. War on the weak.. Social Darwinism..

Its all the same.. pick them off a few at a time..

And if we don't speak up, we're next.

by ultraworld 2006-01-20 09:55PM | 0 recs
30% - Thats almost ONE THIRD

if we eliminated them and all their layers of bureacracy, not only would we be healthier, but we could also give every single American who currently does not have access to health care, access..

for free...

by ultraworld 2006-01-20 09:57PM | 0 recs
Re: 30% - Thats almost ONE THIRD
I'm not sure if the Democrats are in a position to advocate for a single-payer system right now. First of all, not all Democrats want such a program. Secondly, it may not be politically popular. Thirdly, the insurance companies are very powerful and the message will quickly get lost. Our response shouldn't be too specific. It should be: "This Bush plan is rubbish. We need to find a way to cover every American, especially children and seniors." This is like Social Security. He's the one coming up with the proposal, so we don't necessarily have to provide an alternative (yet).
by bluenc 2006-01-20 10:58PM | 0 recs
Re: 30% - Thats almost ONE THIRD
I'm sorry, I disagree with you. Its the only way to ensure that everybody gets access to care. And that really needs to be non-negotiable. Otherwise medical IT will not be used to improve care, it will be used to brand huge segments of the American people as uninsurable, and then, unemployable..(creating a situation in which many won't be able to find jobs because they are deemed unprofitable and high risk)
by ultraworld 2006-01-21 05:16PM | 0 recs
Re: 30% - Thats almost ONE THIRD
It's not the only way. Very few nations with universal coverage actually use a single-payer system. France has the best health care system in the world (100% coverage), and it relies heavily on private institutions and insurers. You'll never ever get a majority of Dems behind a single-payer plan, either.
by bluenc 2006-01-21 05:32PM | 0 recs
France had a nightmare on its hands
during a heat wave a few years ago.. Thousands of older people died during vacation period.. and the doctors were out of town.. the bodies went unburied for days..

No, we need something much better then France's system..

We have lost surge capacity.. if there is any terrorism, we don't have capacity for it. The system we have now is broken..

Hundreds of thousands of people are having incapacitating events like heart attacks or strokes, dying because they cant afford ANY medical care or prescription drugs that they need - this rationing is happening now and its criminal.

by ultraworld 2006-01-21 09:37PM | 0 recs
Polls have shown that a majority of Americans want
health care to be accessible to all..

yes, single payer..   NOW..

If the Dems cant lead on this issue, they should merge with the Republicans on the corporation-oriented right and let another party become the centrist, human-being-oriented party..

by ultraworld 2006-01-21 09:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Polls have shown that
First of all, the French disaster had more to do with social inadequacies and administrative failures than with systemic shortcomings. The French have better life expentancies and lower infant mortality rates than the US, and the WHO recently ranked them first in overall health system performance.

Secondly, it is true that a majority of Americans support universal coverage. The last number I saw was something like 70 percent. This does not mean that most Americans want a single-payer system. Even if the populace was open to it, by the time the insurance companies had their say, the idea would be political suicide. Just the facts. Should Democrats take the lead in calling for universal health care? Absolutely. Should they call for a single-payer system? No.

by bluenc 2006-01-21 10:16PM | 0 recs


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