tmccarthy0's picture

    How to Get to Single Payer: The Hillary Rodham Clinton Route

    Let's talk about Health Care, again, issues that will have to be settled before we can move the nation towards adopting a single payer legislative framework.  What does it take to move America in this direction. 

    We are behind, there is no doubt about it, 70+ years behind all the other developed nations systems.  Should we have done something before this? Yes, but we didn't and we have to deal with that in a very realistic manner. We must recognize there are steps that must be taken in order to secure that is the future of our healthcare system. 

    First and foremost we must never throw around the term "free health care". Healthcare isn't free. Never throw that around, because that is where Conservatives/Republicans/Idiots can make the claim your lying, because you are. Healthcare costs money. Excellent insurance coverage in the US costs around 26000.00 / yr. Our Canadian counterparts pay around 7000 per year.  Americans are really scared that any single payer system will cost more than what they already have, and work must be done to assuage that fear.

    One must be more than upfront and honest with citizens in order to continue our move towards this  societal change. We must have the costs of our current system under control or we will never be able to move to a single payer system. 

    There are a several obstacles we must overcome legislatively in the next couple of Democratic Administrations in order to hasten the move towards single payer, but there are two immediate issues, I will list them by priority:

    1. Regulating Hospital Costs
    2. Regulating Pharmaceutical Costs

    Before we can get anywhere near a single payer system Hospital costs must be regulated. Private hospitals are sapping the system of dollars that should be being spent on 

    Hospital cost in the US are out of control. 

    This about this for a minute according to this article in the WashingtonPost, these 50 hospitals are charging the uninsured 50x more than those who are insured. These of course are for-profit entities. Here is how this works,  uninsured people are charged more, they can't pay, hospitals renegotiate their contracts with insurance companies to raise the costs overall to cover those who cannot pay. So not only do these hospitals bankrupt the already bankrupt, they also put off their over-inflated costs on us. 

    Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project: Cost for Hospital Stays in the US

    The Pricing of US Hospital Services: Chaos behind a veil of secrecy

    The Great American Hospital Pricing Scam

    Private Insurance Cost Shifting

    One Thousand Percent (the actual study)

    Prescription drug regulation, we pay tons of money for prescription drugs in the US, in fact we pay the highest prices in the world. 

    Why Are Drug Costs So High in the United States 

    The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Case 

    Why do Americans spend so much on drugs?

    As far back as 1991 we were paying more than anyone in the world for our prescription medication.


    There are other issues that we will need to have answers for prior to moving to a single payer government run system. One will be public education of our healthcare workers. To be a doctor is a very expensive endeavor for an individual in the United States, undoubtedly we will have to have an answer for this complex issue. I do believe these are all things that will happen, but our move towards this system must be deliberate and it will have to be coupled with changing the attitude of the electorate by being honest  about this change and it's ultimate individual cost.  


    Bernie's Medicare-for-all plan cuts through all the nonsense and empowers us to set a fair consistent price structure for care.  Accordingly, it is far superior to Clinton's politically impossible "Let's make Obamacare better" which leaves all the complexities you decry in place.

    Thanks, Tmc. Again, I refer folks to Krugman's article today in the NYT.

    Oxy, thank you for directing me to that Krugman piece. I am going to link to it. He and you are exactly correct.

    And of course we can't go backwards. We simply cannot and Mr. Krugman makes all the correct points. 

    Thank you so much, it's a great piece to back mine up.

    Excellent article. Thanks for posting it. Krugman s is right on.

     I want to add this about the Pharmaceutical Industry:  I don't know how it happened, but the fact that they actually made it illegal to get drugs from other countries, such as Canada is baffling and insulting. The claim is that it is in the interest of keeping us "safe" from poorly manufactured drugs, but we all know that Canadian drugs are safe. In fact, I went to Canada  year ago and found that I did not have to drive around Canadians lying in the roads from bad drugs.  In fact many if not most of the drugs we have here are manufactured in the same place.

    An example is fertility drugs, which are absurdly expensive, and occasionally patients in my former practice had connections in England or Argentina and they got exactly the same medications for pennies on the dollar.  It is unconscionable that MEDICARE providers are forbidden to negotiate prices with Big Pharma. 

    It seems to me like changing this unfair practice should be a no brainer, but it has the same thing going against it as all reform:  bought and paid-for politicians. What can we do about that?

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