We aren't going to have honest debate about healthcare until after primaries

As many of you know, healthcare has been a big issue for me for a long time. As I explained elsewhere, my family-- specifically-  my mother died from the crappy healthcare system that we now see ourselved under.

I had hoped in the heat of the primary season we could still have a reasonable discussion about healthcare reforms. But I realize so long as people care more about candidate advocacy or idealogical claptrap that will be an impossibility.

I will be blunt- and this is broader than just healthcare, but it has come up with healthcare- there are a lot of people due to whatever candidate they support who have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. One supporter when faced with a definition that they didn't like on wikipedia changed the definition of universal healthcare to reflect that of Obama's Big Insurance industry based definition.

These discussions over healthcare for me didn't begin in 2007, they began in 2000 when I had to face the situation with  my  mother in which she was without healthcare and facing cancer. I've been following these issues that long. First offline, then in reading people like Krugman, Ezra Klein, and my own research into issues like how doctors treat people of color as patients, etc.  I don't see this as idealogical or according to my candidate. I am open to any analysis that makes ECONOMIC sense to me based on what I know or can be shown to make ECONOMIC sense. The  long run solution involves this- we need to paying less and we need better outcomes. Period. That's what I care about.

Yet, over a D Kos we have Kos absolutely talking out of ignorance and had to be corrected by Krugman over something (the fact that the mandated plans contain a public option and no denial of healthcare) that Kos absolutely should have known, but-for his idealogical Libertarian positions. I see people here regularly do the same things for their candidate in the presidential race.

When I read someone writing that a healthy person will choose a higher cost private plan over a public one because they are healthy- I have to wonder what economic principles are they following? In the state in which I live I know students on the public plan because they are healthy and the plan in cheaper and won't kick them off should they not be like those in the private sector.

I wonder the same when someone says free riders isn't a factor or they don't understand why I am mentioned Walmart. If you don't know these things- you don't understand or haven't been following these issues. To comment on them without that understanding bothers me because we then aren't speak the same language.

Let me be clear- I am not an expert. There are tons of things  I don't know still about this issue. I just know enough to have done my due diligence for understanding the discussion outside of idealogical or candidate specific analysis. Like the defintion univeral healthcare- when you say that Obama is using the correct definition- I know about the efforts well before Obama showed up by the industry to change the definition to a waterdown version that would protect their power. The fact Obama used their definition bothers me.

It especially bothers me when people say they want single payer as a defense of Obama, and an offense against Clinton and Edwards. It's like they are ultimately telling me they have no idea what they are talking about because single payer is also a mandate based system. It's like these issues really do not matter other than winning temporary rhectorical battles. Is that the point? Or is it that you are so involved with your candidates that you don't understand that the issue isn't about them?

If we can't do these discussions for more than this, if we can't look beyond even our own candidates- then how the hell is anything going to really ever change? This isn't about them or cherished beliefs.

Tags: Healthcare, mandates, Presidential candidates, Reforms (all tags)

Comments

6 Comments

Legacy of Failure

It's going to take really determined leadership to get any sort of health care reform.  It's going to be a lot tougher than just coming up with a good plan.  Harry Truman was the first President to promise it.  Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter & Clinton all failed.  Honest question: why will your candidate do it when so many others have failed?  Good diary!

by howardpark 2007-12-24 01:00PM | 0 recs
Truman, et al, never tried THIS...

L.A. Times:

On the first day of a two-day drive around iced-over north-central Iowa, Edwards was asked by 62-year-old retired teacher John Nordman whether it was "credible" for Edwards to say that as president, he would have the power to strip Congress of its health coverage.

Edwards, a former North Carolina senator, acknowledged that he could not do it unilaterally and would have to use political pressure to force Congress to act. It could be done by submitting a bill forcing members to either vote for universal healthcare or lose their own coverage -- a measure that would target Republicans because, he said, all Democrats would support it.

"I want to see a Republican senator or congressman take the position that they're going to defend their healthcare and vote against healthcare for their constituents," Edwards said. "I will make sure every voter in their state knows they are protecting themselves against the interests of the people that they represent. I'm telling you, this will work."

Edwards intends to use the bully pulpit to force Republicans to stop obstructing UHC legislation:

Face the Nation:

[T]he most powerful tool that the president has is the bully pulpit. And that means making the case to America, submitting legislation to support exactly what I just said, and then making the case to America in any place - any congressional district of any state where a senator is opposing it - saying "your senator, your congressman is defending their health care at the same time that they're not prividing health care for you."  And I think that's the most powerful tool.... somebody's got to shake that place up... .

The whole point of this is not  to take Congress' health care away. The point of this is to get health care for America.

Sometimes the best plan is also the simplest plan. Edwards's plan for how to jumpstart UHC legislation is delightfully simple - there is not a person in America who wouldn't understand it.

Have any other candidates come out with a plan for how they would jumpstart UHC legislation, how they would deal with obstructionists in Congress?

by Rob in Vermont 2007-12-25 06:36AM | 0 recs
Re: We aren't going to have honest debate about he

I agree with you, and y'know we don't agree on much.  Medical coverage is currently reserved for those who can pay the presumptive fee for future use of care, leaving millions out. But we can't just change that system without changing the structure of how insurance is provided.

It isn't enough to provide discounts within the current structure, because the price will go up. And it isn't enough to say "I'm going to pass a law that bars insurance companies from raising prices." It won't stand up without their cooperation. Needless to say, without a mandate, it has structural problems that may make a number of Senators vote 'present.'

The goal is to cover the maximum number of people to change the incentives for the insurance companies. Instead of reducing risk by pricing people out of the system, they will reduce risk by administering preventative care-- only on the basis of everyone being in the system.

I've come to believe that either Barack Obama doesn't care or he seriously believes his plan is going to work. It's not enough either way.

by bowiegeek 2007-12-24 01:56PM | 0 recs
Re: We aren't going to have honest debate about he

I think he and more importantly his supporters believe what they say. But that's completely irrelevant to the fact that they are wrong just on a basic economic level. As I said, i don't pretend to be an expert at this- I am simply extrapolating from what I know healthcare and what I know of economics.

by bruh21 2007-12-24 03:07PM | 0 recs
I know ONE fucking thing:

We ain't gonna get UHC worth a damn by reaching out.  

Yes, I said it.

The Civil Rights Act was passed by ONE FUCKING SENATE VOTE!  Indeed, many many many ground-breaking laws in this country HAD to be passed with fierce opposition and by the skin of our teeth.

This is the problem I have with Obama, ironically (because he's black he should fucking no better).  I am hispanic and civil rights legislation and SCOTIS decisions is my forte.

To get UHC we are going to have to eat GOP children for breakfast, shove it down their goddam motherfucking throats and, after a few years (or not, who cares?) they'll get used to it like they did with Medicare.

If not, fuck em.  This country is not predicated on the idea of haviong to get supermajorities to rule.  As the neocons proved under Bush by barely winning all their votes.

Majority rules and if we have the votes, do it.  I am suppporting Obama, hoping he actually realizes this behind the scenes.  

by jgarcia 2007-12-26 09:36AM | 0 recs
Re: I know ONE fucking thing:

well if you decide on failure before hand then yes you will fail.

by bruh21 2007-12-26 09:57AM | 0 recs

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