Thursday, June 12, 2008


Single-Payer National Health Insurance[p]
BY Terry Bankert 6/12/08
You are invited to join me at Face Book ___________________________
Full article at
Flint Talk __________________________
Great information from caring people in Michigan USA

*** REFLECTION: Health Care in America is broken, breaking the backs of the American Middle class......when the system is broke...we must fix it... This morphed article is first in a series to educated my self then advocate a position. B4M may edit my articles for placement without permission I cannot figure out your page 676 WORKSHOP INFORMATION AT THE END OF THIS ARTICLE...[trb] ***

NATIONAL HEALTH CARE PROPOSAL U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., got some support from Hamtramck on Tuesday night for his efforts to enact a national universal health care program.[d] HR 676 establishes an American-styled national health insurance program. The bill would create a publicly financed, privately delivered health care program that uses the already existing Medicare program by expanding and improving it to all U.S. residents, and all residents living in U.S. territories. [c]

THE REAL AMERICAN PLAN The goal of the legislation is to ensure that all Americans, guaranteed by law, will have access to the highest quality and cost effective health care services regardless of ones employment, income, or health care status. [c] With over 45-75 million uninsured Americans, and another 50 million who are under insured, it is time to change our inefficient and costly fragmented health care system. [c]

SAVE ALMOST 300 BILLION A YEAR...! Physicians For A National Health Program reports that under a Medicare For All plan, we could save over $286 billion dollars a year in total health care costs. [c]

FAMILIES CANNOT AFFORD HEALTHER CARE AND CANNOT AFFORD TO BE WITHOUT IT We would move away from our present system where annual family premiums have increased upwards to $9,068 this year. [c] Under HR 676, a family of three making $40,000 per year would spend approximately $1600 per year for health care coverage. [c] Medicare for All would allow the United States to reduce its almost $2 trillion health care expenditure per year while covering all of the uninsured and everybody else for more than they are getting under their current health care plans. [c]

AVERAGE EMPLOYER SAVES $1,000 PER YEAR In 2005, without reform, the average employer who offers coverage will contribute $2,600 to health care per employee (for much skimpier benefits).[c] Under HR 676, the average costs to employers for an employee making $30,000 per year will be reduced to $1,155 per year; less than $100 per month.[c]

PRIVATE PAY HAS TURNED INTO PRIVATE ENRICHMENT AND PUBLIC MISERY Private health insurance was an idea that worked during part of the last century; it will not succeed through the 21st Century. [P4] With jobs increasingly service-based and short-term, the large employment-based risk pools that made this insurance system possible no longer exist. Medical care has become more effective and more essential to the ordinary person, but also more costly and capital-intensive. [P4] The multiple private insurance carriers that emerged during the last century can no longer provide a sound basis for financing our modern health care system.[p4]

THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS Single-payer national health insurance is a system in which a single public or quasi-public agency organizes health financing, but delivery of care remains largely private [p] Alone among the nations of the world, the U.S. has relied upon private insurance to cover the majority of its population. [P4] In the mid-20th Century, when medical care accounted for barely 1% of our gross national product, medical technology was limited, and jobs lasted for a lifetime, health care could be financed through such employment-based, premium-financed health insurance. [P4] But the time for private insurance has passed.[p4] Conyers said the legislation (H.R. 676) is important because it addresses health insurance, an issue that affects all Americans, and he thanked the city for its support.[d] “Cities all across this nation are doing this,” he said, indicating that Hamtramck will not be the only city to adopt such supporting resolutions. “At least I can say Hamtramck set the pace.”[d] Conyers said he hopes to convince the city of Detroit to follow Hamtramck’s lead.[d]

THE RICH GET CARE THE POOR JUST GET........ Currently, the U.S. health care system is outrageously expensive, yet inadequate. Despite spending more than twice as much as the rest of the industrialized nations ($7,129 per capita), the United States performs poorly in comparison on major health indicators such as life expectancy, infant mortality and immunization rates.[P] Moreover, the other advanced nations provide comprehensive coverage to their entire populations, while the U.S. leaves 47 million completely uninsured and millions more inadequately covered.[p] The United States spends more than twice as much on health care as the average of other developed nations, all of which boast universal coverage. Yet over 39 million Americans have no health insurance whatsoever, and most others are underinsured, in the sense that they lack adequate coverage for all contingencies (e.g., long-term care and prescription drug costs).[p2] Health care has now become a major part of our national expenditures. The premium for an individual now averages more than $4,000 per year, while a good family policy averages more than $10,000 per year, comparable to the minimum wage and nearly one-fourth of the median family income. [P4] As a consequence, though the US spends far more on health care than any other nation, we leave millions of our people without any coverage at all. And those who do have coverage increasingly find that their plans are inadequate, exposing them to financial hardship and even bankruptcy when illness strikes.[p4] If we believe that everyone should have health care coverage, and that financial barriers should not prevent us from accessing health care when we need it, then it has become clear that the private health insurance system cannot meet our needs. Health care has simply become too expensive to be financed through private insurance premiums.[p4]

31% ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS The reason we spend more and get less than the rest of the world is because we have a patchwork system of for-profit payers. Private insurers necessarily waste health dollars on things that have nothing to do with care: overhead, underwriting, billing, sales and marketing departments as well as huge profits and exorbitant executive pay. Doctors and hospitals must maintain costly administrative staffs to deal with the bureaucracy. Combined, this needless administration consumes one-third (31 percent) of Americans’ health dollars.[p]

GET RID OF THE MIDDLE MEN.....AND WOMEN..... Single-payer financing is the only way to recapture this wasted money. The potential savings on paperwork, more than $350 billion per year, are enough to provide comprehensive coverage to everyone without paying any more than we already do.[p] Why is the U. S. so different? The short answer is that we alone treat health care as a commodity distributed according to the ability to pay, rather than as a social service to be distributed according to medical need. [P2] In our market-driven system, investor-owned firms compete not so much by increasing quality or lowering costs, but by avoiding unprofitable patients and shifting costs back to patients or to other payers. This creates the paradox of a health care system based on avoiding the sick. [P2] It generates huge administrative costs, which, along with profits, divert resources from clinical care to the demands of business. In addition, burgeoning satellite businesses, such as consulting firms and marketing companies, consume an increasing fraction of the health care dollar.[p2]

UNITED WE STAND ...DIVIDED WE GET SICKER..... Under a single-payer system, all Americans would be covered for all medically necessary services, including: doctor, hospital, long-term care, mental health, dental, vision, prescription drug and medical supply costs. Patients would regain free choice of doctor and hospital, and doctors would regain autonomy over patient care.[p] A National Health Insurance Program would save at least $150 billion annually by eliminating the high overhead and profits of the private, investor-owned insurance industry and reducing spending for marketing and other satellite services. [P2] Doctors and hospitals would be freed from the concomitant burdens and expenses of paperwork created by having to deal with multiple insurers with different rules - often rules designed to avoid payment. During the transition to an NHI, the savings on administration and profits would fully offset the costs of expanded and improved coverage. [P2] NHI would make it possible to set and enforce overall spending limits for the health care system, slowing cost growth over the long run.[p2] A National Health Insurance Program is the only affordable option for universal, comprehensive coverage. Under the current system, expanding access to health care inevitably means increasing costs, and reducing costs inevitably means limiting access. [P2] But an NHI could both expand access and reduce costs. It would squeeze out bureaucratic waste and eliminate the perverse incentives that threaten the quality of care and the ethical foundations of medicine.[p2]

I BELONGED TO A REGIONAL BOARD ONCE.. THE HOSPITALS PAID A LOT OF ATTENTION.... Physicians would be paid fee-for-service according to a negotiated formulary or receive salary from a hospital or nonprofit HMO / group practice. Hospitals would receive a global budget for operating expenses. Health facilities and expensive equipment purchases would be managed by regional health planning boards.[p]

THIS WILL PUT SOME REPUBLICANS OUT OF A JOB A single-payer system would be financed by eliminating private insurers and recapturing their administrative waste. Modest new taxes would replace premiums and out-of-pocket payments currently paid by individuals and business. Costs would be controlled through negotiated fees, global budgeting and bulk purchasing.[p]

CHANGE THE SYSTEM ITS BROKEN We endorse a fundamental change in America’s health care - the creation of a comprehensive National Health Insurance (NHI) Program. Such a program - which in essence would be an expanded and improved version of Medicare - would cover every American for all necessary medical care. Most hospitals and clinics would remain privately owned and operated, receiving a budget from the NHI to cover all operating costs. [P2] Investor-owned facilities would be converted to not-for-profit status, and their former owners compensated for past investments. Physicians could continue to practice on a fee-for-service basis, or receive salaries from group practices, hospitals or clinics.[p2] Universal, Comprehensive Coverage Only such coverage ensures access, avoids a two-class system, and minimizes expense [p3] No out-of-pocket payments Co-payments and deductibles are barriers to access, administratively unwieldy, and unnecessary for cost containment [p3] A single insurance plan in each region, administered by a public or quasi-public agency A fragmentary payment system that entrusts private firms with administration ensures the waste of billions of dollars on useless paper pushing and profits. Private insurance duplicating public coverage fosters two-class care and drives up costs; such duplication should be prohibited [p3] Global operating budgets for hospitals, nursing homes, allowed group and staff model HMOs and other providers with separate allocation of capital funds Billing on a per-patient basis creates unnecessary administrative complexity and expense. A budget separate from operating expenses will be allowed for capital improvements [p3] Free Choice of Providers Patients should be free to seek care from any licensed health care provider, without financial incentives or penalties [p3] Public Accountability, Not Corporate Dictates The public has an absolute right to democratically set overall health policies and priorities, but medical decisions must be made by patients and providers rather than dictated from afar. Market mechanisms principally empower employers and insurance bureaucrats pursuing narrow financial interests [p3] Ban on For-Profit Health Care Providers Profit seeking inevitably distorts care and diverts resources from patients to investors [p3] Protection of the rights of health care and insurance workers A single-payer national health program would eliminate the jobs of hundreds of thousands of people who currently perform billing, advertising, eligibility determination, and other superfluous tasks. These workers must be guaranteed retraining and placement in meaningful jobs. [p3] In sum, we will not be able to control health care costs until we reform our method of financing health care. We simply have to give up the fantasy that the private insurance industry can provide us with comprehensive coverage when this requires premiums that average-income individuals cannot afford. Instead, the U.S. already has a successful program that covers more than forty million people, gives free choice of doctors and hospitals, and has only three percent administrative expense. It is Medicare, and an expanded and improved Medicare for All (Medicare 2.0) program would cover everyone comprehensively within our current expenditures and eliminate the need for private insurance. This is the direction we must go.[p4]

SUPPORT HR 676 “The bill would create a publicly financed, privately delivered health care system that improves and expands the already existing Medicare program to all U.S. residents,” according to a summary of the legislation. The program would be funded at least in part through a payroll tax.[d] HR 676 establishes an American-styled national health insurance program. The bill would create a publicly financed, privately delivered health care program that uses the already existing Medicare program by expanding and improving it to all U.S. residents, and all residents living in U.S. territories. The goal of the legislation is to ensure that all Americans, guaranteed by law, will have access to the highest quality and cost effective health care services regardless of ones employment, income, or health care status. [c]

**** WORKSHOP Conyers Health Care Bill TRAINING 6/21/08 10 am.Sponsored by the Progressive Caucus. At Asbury Church. Dr. David Epsy, Olivia Boykins and possibly Bob Sisler will speak on HR676 and give instruction on how to make presentations to other groups. CONFIRM BEFORE YOU ATTEND. The event is located at Asbury United Methodist Church, 1653 Davison Rd, Flint. Since I am not the sponsor , just helping to promote it I suggest you confirm with the following; Questions can be directed to Maryion Lee, Chair at 810-659-3772, 810-730-4397,, or ***


Posted here by Terry Bankert ... 6/12/08 5 (If you like this article please forward to your friends, if not just keep it to yourself.) Family Mediation and Divorce Practice. 1. Join my political party of preference, Join me in creating a new voice in The Michigan Democratic Party, become a Precinct Delegate. You are invited to join me at Face Book Link here for a broadcast LIVE AND LIBERAL! — [p] PNHP Physicians for a National Health Care Program [trb] Comments Of Terry Bankert to include CAP headlines. [P2] PNHP Physicians for a National Health Care Program _working_group_for_singlepayer_national_health_insurance.php [p3] [D] Detroit Free Press [p4] PNHP Physicians for a National Health Care Program [c] California Nurses Association united-states-national-health-insurance-act 61118


Sphere: Related Content