Weiner.JPGOn this morning’s edition of Morning Joe on MSNBC, Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) showed up to talk about his version of health care reform which he will be pushing for a vote on in September. He also expressed regret about President Obama’s lack of enthusiasm for insisting on a public plan and his general unwillingness to go “far enough” in restructuring health care in this country. But he even managed to shock me when Joe Scarborough got him to rip away the mask entirely and ask him if he was looking to completely eliminate private health insurance in America. You know… those plans that 83% of us have and we’re being assured that we can keep them if we like them? I’ll include a transcript of the video below with time stamps in case you can’t load the video, but I encourage you to watch it. It’s jaw dropping.

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2:31
Weiner: … people standing up at town hall meetings and saying, oh, you can’t provide a strong public option because then poor insurance companies won’t be able to compete. That’s a strange thing for a citizen to say. Most people don’t like their insurance company.

Scarborough: Well, I don’t know who is saying… [crosstalk]

W: Why are people against the public plan?

S: Because over the past six months, government growth, they believe, is happening at too rapid of a rate and they’re skeptical. I don’t think there’s been an explanation of how the government plan is not equal to a government takeover of health care, which we all know it’s not a government takeover, but that’s how it sounds to people.

W: Right. But I have heard people say repeatedly that if the government plan is too muscular, then they won’t be able to compete. Well, if they can’t compete, then they’re not going to get customers. They’re not going to get patients coming to them. And isn’t that what we want? To give people that choice? Look, the problem that we have here is that we’re trying to jury rig the system so that insurance companies still continue to make healthy profits. Why? What is an insurance company? They don’t do a single check-up. They don’t do a single exam, they don’t perform an operation. Medicare has a 4% overhead rate… The real question is why do we have a private plan?

S: Wait, wait. Now you’re sounding like you want the government to take over. You say why do we have insurance companies in the health care business, it’s because we are a country that is… we believe in free enterprise, if I’m not mistaken.

W: Well, tell that to people who get Medicare.

Now, skip ahead a little to 4:44 in the replay.

S: You just asked, Anthony, why have insurance companies that make profits?

W: What’s the value? What are they providing?

S: What’s the value of Wall Street companies?

W: It’s not the same thing. They’re not providing, essentially, a government service!

Now for the kicker… go to 5:15 in the replay.

S: It sounds like you’re saying you think there is no need for us to have private insurance in health care.

W: I’ve asked you three times. What is their value? What are they bringing to the deal?

(At this point, look at Scarborough’s face. He’s absolutely speechless and stares at the table for a moment.)

S: Again… I’m astounded by your question. It sounds like you’re suggesting that there’s no need to have a country that’s run on free market principles.

W: Time out. Let’s focus on one thing at a time. This isn’t a commodity, Joe. Health care isn’t a commodity.

S: You’re saying that health care is different than everything else.

W: Health care is not a commodity.

S: But you are making the conservatives’ point. You are making the point of the people at the town hall meetings who say this is Barack Obama’s opportunity to get rid of private health care and turn it completely over to the government. I’m sitting here stunned, saying Oh My God, you’re making the point of the health care protesters.

W: If Barack Obama doesn’t want to do it, I want to do it.

Now we skip to 7:15 after some cross talk.

S: You’re sitting here advocating for a complete takeover, a government takeover of health care.

W: Only if you think Medicare is a government takeover. Do you?

S: So, Anthony, I figured it out over the break. You actually do want the federal government to take over all of health care.

W: Only in the sense that the federal government took over health care for senior citizens 44 years ago.

S: You want to expand that for all Americans.

W: Correct. I want Medicare for all Americans.

It just goes on from there, with Weiner clarifying and expanding on exactly the same point. Scarborough actually thanks him for a “level of clarity” rarely seen on these interviews, where most Democrats will not come out and actually admit it. Weiner makes no bones about it. He has no desire to “reform” the health insurance industry as laid out in “The Weiner Plan” as he calls it. He wants to eliminate it entirely and put everyone in the country on Medicare.

My hat is off to you, Congressman. I agree with Joe Scarborough. Rarely do we see such refreshing honesty. You want to destroy the health insurance industry in this country and you make no bones about it. Thank you, sir, for the moment of clarity.

JAZZ SHAW, Assistant Editor
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T-Steel
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

I saw that interview as well and I was loving the HONESTY of Rep. Anthony Weiner. He is now a political hero of mine even though I feel his plan “ain’t jiving” (translation: is loopy). But this is what I like, freakin’ clarity! But let me add this, I do understand the point that health care is different simply because of the stakes involved (human lives). But to say that government needs to run it all, well, uh, I just can’t get with at all.

Your turn President Obama… Give me some CLARITY and HONESTY!

lurxst
Guest
lurxst
7 years 1 month ago
So Joe was speechless in trying to defend insurance company profits? Medicare functions with a 4% admin margin and the people who receive Medicare tend to universally approve of it (other than it could cover even MORE medical expenses, say dental and vision). Jazz I think from your posting history that you are very concerned about the “trojan horse” of incremental healthcare reform, so I am surprised at your glee upon hearing a congressman finally speak the truth and having his conservative interviewer get totally flustered in his inability to refute the logic. Joe had nothing left to throw at… Read more »
HemmD
Guest
HemmD
7 years 1 month ago

jazz

I saw this interview too. What I heard (besides your jaw dropping) was that Joe never addressed the congressman’s question.

Jazz, I take it that you believe health care is a commodity? Would that be correct?

Jazz
Guest
7 years 1 month ago
“Jazz, I take it that you believe health care is a commodity? Would that be correct?” Hemm, you regularly demonstrate far too powerful of a vocabularly to have even asked that question. I don’t need to ask you, because I already know that you are perfectly aware what commodity means. Any goods or services which have the potential to be used for fiscal gain are commodities. And yes, insurance policies are commodities, just like everything else. For the most part, I’ve stopped responding to (and in some cases, sadly, even stopped reading) the comments for any of my posts on… Read more »
HemmD
Guest
HemmD
7 years 1 month ago
Jazz So, I know you answered everybody in your post, but allow me to follow up on my single question. If, as you say “Any goods or services which have the potential to be used for fiscal gain are commodities,” How about our police forces? They are to be run by private companies too? These aren’t specified anywhere either. I believe the right to security, ie police forces, are covered under the “general welfare” clause in the Preamble. I guess the issue comes down to that clause. I’d truly like to know how your interpretation of this clause fits into… Read more »
Jazz
Guest
7 years 1 month ago
Darned right, Hemm. Security is a commodity, but the police and the military are non-profit entities. If, just for the sake of argument, we decided as a nation (or a state or community) that we could afford enough police to have cops on every corner and outside of every home and business 24/7 then people would still have the right to sell the commodity of security (as in private security companies) if they wished, but they would soon go out of business, as there would be no customers. (Any of this sounding familar yet?) But the govt. can not effectively… Read more »
HemmD
Guest
HemmD
7 years 1 month ago
Jazz “Security is a commodity, but the police and the military are non-profit entities.” “Boy, you must be really glad you picked that example, huh? :-)” You’re exactly right. The police are a commodity that is no where mentioned in the Constitution. Don’t even think of calling the police an offshoot of the militia, they’re not. Security is a right not specifically enumerated, yet it is a right in which we all agree. So Security is a right, or so it would seem considering that cops are paid for via taxes, that’s state, local, and federal taxes. No one in… Read more »
rightrevreg
Guest
rightrevreg
7 years 1 month ago
Jazz what you and several others have touched on is, to me, the fundamental debate that is not held enough on the talking head shows. My father insures doctors for malpractice making a six figure income. He obviously has a lot of connection with the health industry/insurance/etc. and has a lot of knowledgable opinions about the whole thing. I’m a working class musician making (hopefully) 50K a year, haven’t been able to get insurance for a while until recently when my wife’s employer began offering reasonable, if somewhat skimpy health insurance. While having a civil if somewhat lively discussion over… Read more »
petsrmeat
Guest
petsrmeat
7 years 1 month ago
You seemed to miss that Weiner is speaking for himself, no Obama, not Democrats and not “libruls”. Obama has made it clear that given the current US system, single-payer is not achievable (too disruptive or wouldn’t pass, take your pick). That doesn’t make HR3200 a Trojan Horse. I don’t shop around for health care based on price. I also don’t pass on surgery because it isn’t in my budget, and I certainly don’t need an insurance company “helping” me find a doctor. We have “middle men” to sell electronics, furniture, or clothing because it is a tad difficult going door-to-door… Read more »
edgedinblue
Guest
edgedinblue
7 years 1 month ago
To use your word, ‘Amazing’. That you would attempt to compare an automobile or a home to a human life? A damaged roof to a broken leg? Rust to cancer? BUT I will grant you this…the two types of insurance you mentioned, auto and home, are legislated. They are required in order to drive a car or own a home. But health insurance is not? So what IS more important…your car, your house, or your health? Doctors and hospitals create provide health care services, not oompa loompa land and CERTAINLY not insurance companies. Why should we pay a middle-man a… Read more »
hillbnutt
Guest
hillbnutt
7 years 1 month ago
I’m not sure, Jazz Shaw, if you watched the same Weiner/Scarborough piece that the rest of us watched. Everyone I know was and is loudly cheering Weiner’s views that he stated on the show this morning. Your main fear seems to be that your beloved health insurance might be taken away. I hate to be the one to tell you this, but your health insurace, as you know it today, is a slowly dying dinosaur that is plodding toward its demise. No industry can last long in this country which depends on denying its services to more and more people,… Read more »
shannonlee
Guest
shannonlee
7 years 1 month ago

We already know that there are some people out there that want to do away with private health care insurance. We have a number of bills being looked at and worked on…this guy has his plans, Obama has other plans, Waxman has his plans…the list goes on and on.

As TS stated…at least this guy is being clear and honest.

It would be nice if we could get one bill to debate…and some clarity on its details.

Jim_Satterfield
Guest
Jim_Satterfield
7 years 1 month ago

Of course health care is a commodity like any other! If you don’t have the bucks just screw off and die already! And please don’t whine while you’re doing it. That’s the Republican way!

BTW, lurxst is right. Scarborough didn’t answer the question. Other than being a profitable business what positive do they bring to the system?

Ryan
Guest
Ryan
7 years 1 month ago

Well done, Jazz. How dare this clown question the value of the middleman?

Almoderate
Guest
Almoderate
7 years 1 month ago
“Health care is not a commodity.” That’s the key, there. And no, I don’t think that any government plan (even if it’s a takeover) will destroy health insurance companies completely the way folks are saying that they will be. The private security industry survives and profits despite a socialized police force. Indoor sprinkler systems are still sold despite socialized fire protection. Private Ivy League schools still exist and do quite well in the face of public funded schools and colleges. Delivery services still do well in competition with the USPS. No, health insurance companies aren’t going to make as much… Read more »
Patricia Maher
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

This guy was great. He forced joe to defend the health insurance companies and it turned out joe had nothing to say. It was joe’s mask — and that of republicans — that we saw behind. When put on the defensive for once, it was clear who they are defending and it’s not us. This is what the Democrats should be doing all the time.

T-Steel
Guest
7 years 1 month ago
I truly believe health care is different. It obvious if you look at less developed nations and they very low life expectancies and high infant mortality rates. But I just can’t get behind a full government solution simply because it gives way too much power to a central authority on an issue that is SO PROFOUNDLY DEEP. Am I saying that private industry is the knight in shining armor: no, no, and triple no. What I want is an attitude change about health care. And that attitude change lies with all of us. We have to accept that you just… Read more »
Gekk
Guest
Gekk
7 years 1 month ago
“Etc… Just think if 33% of Americans stopped excessively drinking, eating, and smoking. Cost will be driven DOWN!” Right, lifetime costs of healthcare for the obese? Lower than for the healthy. Statistical analysis of healthcare costs if everyone stopped smoking tomorrow? Slight dip in the short term, rising costs in the long term. You’re forgetting one important thing. Everyone dies eventually. Dying sooner means you cost less in healthcare. Anything that causes you to die sooner generally reduces your healthcare costs. And because people shouldn’t believe random statements like your or mine without some sort of verification: Smoking costs, peer… Read more »
shannonlee
Guest
shannonlee
7 years 1 month ago

Jazz…health care is a legal right if we as a society decide to make it a right. It doesn’t need to be in the bill or rights…we can just add it. I think the debate over whether or not health care is “right” within current law is silly.

Whether or not it should be law…now that is a reasonable debate.

Personally, I feel that health care is special…like national defense…infrastructure…law enforcement. Car insurance…not so much.

ChrisWWW
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

In a sane country, a single payer system would be on the table. But that idea doesn’t please our corporate masters, so they use their immense fortunes and media ties to keep it from even being mentioned in good company.

jslamen
Guest
jslamen
7 years 1 month ago
I stumbled in here because I Googled Anthony Weiner, looking for other blogosphere links after seeing his riveting performance this morning on Morning Joe. I had emailed MSNBC looking for a transcript, but it looks like our host has done most of the heavy lifting in that area. Clearly, I’m not a “moderate” as defined by Jazz’s reaction. I’m not horrified — I’m electrified! The clarity of Weiner’s positions in dialogue with Scarborough is a welcome relief amid all the veiled self-interest issuing forth from legislators, talking heads, MSM, town hall screamers, etc. I worked during 2006 – 2008 in… Read more »
Davebo
Guest
Davebo
7 years 1 month ago

It’s Ironic that Jazz mentions car insurance.

What happens if your driving record is so bad no underwriter will cover you?

In almost every state there is a public pool option.

Why not for health care for those with pre-existing conditions?

nycic
Guest
nycic
7 years 1 month ago

dblpost.

T-Steel
Guest
7 years 1 month ago
Gekk, I disagree strongly. I used to be morbidly obese (weighed 415 pounds at my heaviest). I had high blood pressure, borderline diabetes, primary lymphedema in both legs, and headed towards heart disease. My medical bills were very high (especially managing lymphedema) and I was a wreck. Now I’m am back to my college football weight of 265 (I’m 6′ 3″), walk 3 miles a day, and eat much more balanced. I have shaved 95% off my medical costs. 95%!! My high blood pressure has disappeared. No longer borderline diabetic. Heart disease? What heart disease! My lymphedema will always be… Read more »
nycic
Guest
nycic
7 years 1 month ago

OMG Weiner OWNED Jive Scarborough. Owned him. This man should have been pointman on this debate from day one. Obama has managed this thing terribly. We can almost believe a handshake deal between the WH and the industry industry. All Jive had was the usual Repub talking points about “free enterprise”. Massive respect to Anthony Weiner.

Jslamen. Your comments were on the money.

kathykattenburg
Guest
kathykattenburg
7 years 1 month ago
My medical bills were very high (especially managing lymphedema) and I was a wreck. Now I’m am back to my college football weight of 265 (I’m 6′ 3″), walk 3 miles a day, and eat much more balanced. I have shaved 95% off my medical costs. 95%!! First of all, T-Steel, you have my profoundest respect and admiration for that accomplishment, and I mean that. Unfortunately, I don’t understand what your larger point is with regard to the health insurance industry and health care reform. Presumably, you lost all this weight under medical supervision — especially given that you specifically… Read more »
pacatrue
Guest
pacatrue
7 years 1 month ago

Kathy, I think t-steel’s comment is just in opposition to gekk’s comments that we save money from obese people in the long run because they die faster.

pacatrue
Guest
pacatrue
7 years 1 month ago
I am not prepared to debate the merits of single payer versus public option versus coops versus insurance pools versus no change. But as a political point, I agree very much with Shannon Lee’s earlier comment. Yeah, some congressmen are in favor of single payer. It’s a respectable position as many countries use it to some success. Of course, there are drawbacks as well, and so many more do not support this notion. Apparently, Obama, for instance, does not support the move to single payer, largely, it appears, because the transition would be so enormous. I don’t know why one… Read more »
Patricia Maher
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

Jazz — Health care will be free no matter who is running it. We pay for it now — we would pay for it if govt runs it. (Unless you assume none of us commenting here are taxpayers?) What Weiner argued very effectively is that we (the people) would pay less if govt. ran it. Simple and true. That’s why he was so effective.

Patricia Maher
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

I meant to say — health care will NOT be free no matter who is running it.

T-Steel
Guest
7 years 1 month ago
Your right pacatrue (I was responding to Gekk). But I’ll try to expand more. Hi Kathy and thanks for the kind words. When I say managed, I was taking about my lymphedema condition that had to be strictly managed while being morbidly obese. If I left a compression garment off for a minute, my legs would swell like crazy. So the managed part was for the lymphedema aspect. As far as losing weight under medical supervision, I went to my family doctor and was referred to a dietitian. The dietitian set me up with a great program that effectively destroyed… Read more »
Ryan
Guest
Ryan
7 years 1 month ago
T-Steel, I think Gekk’s point as it applies to you was that while before you might have had a lethal heart attack five or ten years down the road, you now have a much better chance of living long enough to get one or more expensive somethings. You might appreciate the not dying part but it means extra health care spending in the (very) long run. On an unrelated note, car insurance is different for two major reasons: -If you can’t afford a car, it might cause problems but it’s not as bad as dying -If your car is too… Read more »
Patricia Maher
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

Weiner should have been out in front on this. Then people would understand that Obama’s plan is a reasonable compromise. Weiner’s idea of Medicare for everyone represents what some (not all) on the left want and it is a reasonable possiblity that should have been considered by the American people. As a country we all lose when fear rules the day so that we can’t even talk about the range of options available to us.

T-Steel
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

Hi Patricia and welcome to The Moderate Voice.

So you have absolutely no issues with full government control of health care that Rep. Weiner (who I absolutely respect for being straight up honest and direct) believes in? No problem with that level of centralization? I’m not being sarcastic, just very curious.

Patricia Maher
Guest
7 years 1 month ago
Hi T_Steel and thanks for the welcome. I found this site by googling Weiner and Scarborough because I wanted to see what others were thinking about their discussion. Never been here before. To answer your question, Weiner never said he wanted full government control of healthcare. He stated very clearly that he does NOT want that. The hospitals and doctors provide healthcare. He wants full government control of health insurance — just like Medicare. I don’t know about you but dealing with my private health insurance company has not been a picnic. And so far, thank God, no one in… Read more »
$638865
Guest
$638865
7 years 1 month ago

I don’t watch MJ because my stomach can’t take it. However thanks to dailykos I found out about this interview. Weiner is my hero. He stopped Joe in his tracks. The silence when he asked Joe what insurance companies bring to the table, was priceless.

Jazz
Guest
7 years 1 month ago
From lousgirl84: “Weiner is my hero. He stopped Joe in his tracks. The silence when he asked Joe what insurance companies bring to the table, was priceless.” This one is definitely worth addressing, and perhaps because some of you don’t watch MJ very often and you simply didn’t grasp what was going on. So many comments here were like this one, somehow imagining that Weiner “stopped Joe in his tracks” or left him “without an answer.” It’s incredible. Scarborough was in no way without an answer… he was obviously shocked that anyone – particularly a seated member of Congress –… Read more »
$638865
Guest
$638865
7 years 1 month ago

Bullshit. Why you think anything you have to say will change my mind is
beyond me.

Joe Scarborough couldn’t respond period. He was silent and when Weiner
asked him what the insurance companies bring to the table, he could not
answer and never did answer.

$638865
Guest
$638865
7 years 1 month ago
I just re-read your email about what insurance companies bring to the table. Yes, insurance companies make a bet just like casinos where the house is always the big winner. Health insurers have as much interest in making people well as Casinos do in getting people to stop gambling. You must work for an insurance company, otherwise why are you so worried about their pocketbooks. They have and continue to rape the consumers with their premiums all the while purging people from the insurance rolls to make their bottom line look better for Wall Street. The country is already in… Read more »
T-Steel
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

I understand Ryan. But so we should just overhaul a system without being serious about modifying behavior? All I see is single payer, public option, etc. But no behavior modification talk. How can you inform a large system that affects our lives SO much without really examining the “behavior quotient” with severe earnestness?

T-Steel
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

Patricia Maher said: “But single payer is not a crazy whacked out left-wing idea as the media pundits would have us believe. It should be considered rationally, along with all the other ideas on the table.”

I agree 110%. I absolutely detest the demonization tactics used by some on the Left and the Right regarding this issue.

Ginny_in_CO
Guest
Ginny_in_CO
7 years 1 month ago
Jazz I have to agree about the arguments on this issue. Given that one side has a degree of misinformation and disinformation which actually proves that ignorance is NOT bliss, while the other side has a whole lot of information that either folks won’t listen to and the disseminators (media) won’t give air, print or bandwidth to. The Morning Joe interview was a significant exception to the latter. I would suggest that some of the confusion about the argument and the intent comes from folks not operating with the same information base. For instance. Of all the insurance and health… Read more »
Jazz
Guest
7 years 1 month ago
For Ginny in CO …By the way… nice name. My Mom is Ginny. “For instance. Of all the insurance and health care providers in America, based on care outcome statistics, the three best are: the active military, the VA – both true socialist systems- and medicare (a single payer system). So the US Gov holds the triple crown in delivering high quality care,” There are two major issues with your portion of the discussion to address. The first, while important, is not as germane to the topic at hand but is worth a look. Speaking as a veteran who had… Read more »
teh mantis
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

Jazz, do you somehow not understand that some members of Congress, even those in the same party, may disagree?

It just goes on from there, with Weiner clarifying and expanding on exactly the same point. Scarborough actually thanks him for a “level of clarity” rarely seen on these interviews, where most Democrats will not come out and actually admit it.

Is it not possible that those Democrats who “will not come out and actually admit it,” don’t actually want what Weiner is advocating? Or are they all just lying about their secret plan?

navigator
Guest
navigator
7 years 1 month ago
“…life, liberty,and the pursuit of happiness, and that to SECURE these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Jefferson wrote it – the proper purpose of a government is SECURITY. Primarily, it is to secure rights. We willingly surrender a small portion of our possessions to pay a government to be a big force operating within our laws in order to squelch other forces (domestic bandits and foreign invaders) operating outside of our laws, so they don’t infringe upon these rights. That is the only role any government has ever played… Read more »
mwstudio
Guest
mwstudio
7 years 1 month ago

Anthony Weiner’s clarity is to be applauded. Kudos to him.

navigator
Guest
navigator
7 years 1 month ago
“…life, liberty,and the pursuit of happiness, and that to SECURE these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Jefferson wrote it – the proper purpose of a government is SECURITY. Primarily, it is to secure rights. We willingly surrender a small portion of our possessions to pay a government to be a big force operating within our laws in order to squelch other forces (domestic bandits and foreign invaders) operating outside of our laws, so they don’t infringe upon these rights. That is the only role any government has ever played… Read more »
Cindy Whitehair
Guest
Cindy Whitehair
7 years 1 month ago

“I take it that you believe health care is a commodity?”

Hemm – going by your logic, do you and the others who do not think that health care is a “commodity” think that food and shelter are commodities? After all food and shelter are just as important to human life as health is. Do you think it is the governments place to guarantee everyone food and shelter in addition to health care?

LL

HemmD
Guest
HemmD
7 years 1 month ago

LadyLogician

Let’s see, we pay farmers to not plant so that the market is stable. It also provides food stamps and unemployment payments when people lose their jobs.
We provide public housing for those who can’t afford the more expensive private housing.
The Fed also has a national oil reserve that buys oil and holds it against possible fluctuations in the market.

So I guess my answer would be we already have accepted the government’s role in common commodities.
I take it you would prefer that these programs be eliminated?

jhayes71
Guest
jhayes71
7 years 1 month ago
They operate on a 4% overhead cost yet are still going broke. If rising costs are such an issue why is tort reform not at the front of the discussion? How is it that these private insurance companies have a huge overhead cost yet are still profitable? Could it be that our govt is not efficient at anything it does? Shall I discuss social security, medicaid, post office, medicare, federal debt and deficit? They know not what a budget is. Lets regulate and control costs, give vouchers for those who can not afford insurance and have everyone in the pool,… Read more »
HemmD
Guest
HemmD
7 years 1 month ago

jhayes
“They operate on a 4% overhead cost yet are still going broke. ”

Private insurance operates on a 30% overhead and has increased profits by over 400% since 2003.

The answer to affordable health care lies somewhere between the two. Maybe that’s the discussion that needs to take place instead of the current all or nothing debate.

roro80
Guest
7 years 1 month ago
@jhayes “They operate on a 4% overhead cost yet are still going broke.” It’s important to remember that Medicare/Medicaid operate at a loss because they don’t cover everyone — they cover, specifically, only the sectors of the population that is by far the most expensive: the elderly, the disabled, the extremely poor. In fact, insurance companies make their huge profits because they *won’t* cover these groups. If the government programs could cover a wider range of people — including one of the healthiest but least insured groups, 20-somethings — they would be able to break even, or at least come… Read more »
jhayes71
Guest
jhayes71
7 years 1 month ago

Another point, medicare reembursement rates are atrocious. Getting 30-40cents on the dollar that limits the number of patients I can take that have medicare or medicaid. If this happens and the reembursement rates remain the same, you will see a massive efflux of primary care physicians.

roro80
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

jhayes, to your point about medicare reembursement rates, this is definitely something most people advocating for the program don’t bring up. However, we do not see this trend in countries with single-payer programs. While doctors in those countries don’t make as much as doctors in the US, they also don’t spend half of their time on the phone with insurance companies, nor do they have to spend the astronomical amounts on malpractice insurance. They take the pay hit, but work 40 hour weeks, like normal people, and don’t have to be constantly worried that they’ll be sued.

OceanEscape
Guest
OceanEscape
7 years 1 month ago
As a Canadian I obviously come from a much different experience but I have found this entire debate over the last few weeks fascinating. I too was impressed by Congressmen Weiner’s candor on this matter however what I have difficulty understanding is why there is so much fear of government run insurance in the first place? Our system up here is by no means perfect and neither is any other countries system however, the thought of providing health care as a for-profit industry is incredible. Shouldn’t it be mandated that health care be provided as a non profit service? I… Read more »
jhayes71
Guest
jhayes71
7 years 1 month ago

HemmD,

I would agree, I do like the idea of co-ops or not for profit that is run as a company that must be efficient and offer viable plans at affordable rates, but as stated earlier we need to address costs first and foremost before we can even consider anything else. I just wonder why more is not being done on the cost front. The notion that preventitive care will drastically reduce costs is a misnomer.

HemmD
Guest
HemmD
7 years 1 month ago

jhayes
“I just wonder why more is not being done on the cost front. ”

My belief may seem jaded, but consider the simple fact that private health derives its profit from a relatively small percentage of the total negotiated contracts it makes. Isn’t 2-3% of a 100 million more than 2-3% of 50 million? I’m afraid care costing less just reduces their profits.

Its also the reson blue dogs have axed set pricing for drugs and made illegal their import from Canada. That’s the problem that keeps price reduction out of the discussion.

roro80
Guest
7 years 1 month ago
Jazz — There is a difference between “what does a health insurance company do” and “what does health insurance bring to the table”. Did you really honestly think that the Congressman and the readers who liked his response don’t know what a health insurance company does? We know what they do; we’re not actually idiots. We think that there are myriad better ways to do it, and these ways are being used in most other industrialized nations in the world. So, the point of the question is: Why are insurance companies so darn valuable that they can’t be replaced with… Read more »
Patricia Maher
Guest
7 years 1 month ago
Jazz — It seems like it’s standard for Republicans to ridicule those who disagree with them, instead of arguing the facts. You ridicule those commenting here, implying they don’t understand insurance. For the record, I am in the insurance industry, and in fact, wrote textbooks on life, health and property/casualty insurance. I know exactly what I’m talking about. What I saw when I watched Joe was a complete inability to answer a simple question. It’s as if he (and many Republicans) think using the phrase “government takeover” means you automatically win any argument. We’re all supposed to cower in fear… Read more »
Cindy Whitehair
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Cindy Whitehair
7 years 1 month ago

Hemm – actually I do think we should get rid of farm subsidies but you still didn’t answer my question.

If “health insurance” is a right and therefore not a commodity, why shouldn’t we put food and shelter into that same category? After all they are just as “necessary for human life” as health……

LL

HemmD
Guest
HemmD
7 years 1 month ago
LL first I never said health insurance, I said health care. insurance is a private industry device. So you’re willing to pay $12 gallon for milk? I suppose you can afford it. I happen to believe people require help as they need it. To that end, giving food or shelter to the hungry or the homeless is a national responsibility. Your debating tactic is of course easy to return. Are you willing to allow people to starve and children to be be homeless waifs in our cities? Maybe your question posed to me is little too contrived. I would rather… Read more »
Cindy Whitehair
Guest
Cindy Whitehair
7 years 1 month ago

Simple question Hemm. If health CARE is a right because it is necessary for human life and it is is SO necessary that the government must guarantee it, why is food and shelter, which are equally necessary to human life not guaranteed by the government?

Acrtually you already answered my question…if government guaranteed food will give us $12/gallon milk what makes you think that government will be able to control the cost of health care if they take IT over?

LL

roro80
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

LL — I think you missed Hemm’s point. The government subsidizes food so that you DON’T pay $12 for a gallon of milk. So, in order to provide enough food for the people, the government most certainly does pay farmers to farm. The items they pay farmers to farm is another question, and certainly has been criticized, but make no mistake: the federal government has a heavy hand in keeping the populace fed.

roro80
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

dbl post

PAMAHER
Guest
PAMAHER
7 years 1 month ago

LL — The question of right vs. privilege is a straw man argument. People are getting healthcare and will continue to get it. We are paying for it and will continue to pay for it. Let’s be smarter about how we do it so costs go down, and outcomes improve.

jhayes71
Guest
jhayes71
7 years 1 month ago

Patricia,

The fundamental issue is whether you think the govt will do a better job. No matter how you cut it, there will have to be rationing as there is in almost every country with socialized medicine. Many are not willing to make that concession.

Patricia Maher
Guest
7 years 1 month ago
jhayes 71 — Because no one has been effectively explaining that health care is being rationed right now by insurance companies with a profit motive. Why trust a for-profit more than you trust a nonprofit entity? I’ve worked for both profit and non-profits and don’t see that for-profit moves any faster, is more effective at cutting waste or coming up with creative solutions to problems. In fact, the CEO at the last for-profit company I worked for is in prison for falsifying profits to boost the stock price. Of course, there are good and bad in both, but at least… Read more »
jhayes71
Guest
jhayes71
7 years 1 month ago

roro,

You hit on the fundamental issues that should be addressed prior to any single payer system or insurance overhaul. Physicians in this country will run for the hills if the current rates are applied along with the current tort laws.

shannonlee
Guest
shannonlee
7 years 1 month ago
“Physicians in this country will run for the hills if the current rates are applied along with the current tort laws.” Where are they going to run? China? UK? Canada? Most 1st world countries have government health care plans and doctors that are paid less than US doctors. NOW..to be fair…here is the real issue. We have a shortage of doctors and have been imported doctors from overseas for quite some time now. Some people are talking about reducing the number of exams that doctors need to pass in the US in order to work here…all an attempt to get… Read more »
kathykattenburg
Guest
kathykattenburg
7 years 1 month ago

I understand the desirably nature of this unicorns and rainbows theory where we can all punish the evil insurance companies who dare to make a profit, but health care (even if you think it’s a “right”) costs money and somebody has to pay for it eventually.

And you would rather that somebody is you, and that you pay more for it rather than less?

kathykattenburg
Guest
kathykattenburg
7 years 1 month ago

Navigator, the word “secure” in “secure those rights” has nothing to do with the word “security.”

“Secure those rights” means to get and keep those rights — to ensure that we will have them and continue to have them. It refers to all our rights enumerated in the Constitution — free speech and press, freedom of religion, the right to a trial, all of that. “Secure those rights” does not mean “right to security.”

lurxst
Guest
lurxst
7 years 1 month ago
These healthcare threads are truly generating the most discussion I have ever seen on TMV. I agree with many posters that there does appear to be some disconnect in ideology over what healthcare is, a basic right that we want to afford ourselves, or a commodity where only the privileged can afford. If the will is strong enough, there will be minimal problems in coming up with a way to pay for universal coverage for all. I think there is a tremendous amount of misinformation and effort being spread by those who stand to lose money due to changes. So,… Read more »
Ginny_in_CO
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Ginny_in_CO
7 years 1 month ago
Jazz, First, the studies addressed the care outcomes, a very important key to how to spend our health care dollars. The point being that you can have really good care at lower cost than is spent by the insurance companies. Second, the access problems for VA are definitely an issue for me and have been for 2 decades at least. The problem with those issues are that they directly relate to Congressional limits on funding. I totally resent that some Vets are not considered eligible because of the inability of the program to spend as much money on their health… Read more »
OldBoarder
Guest
OldBoarder
7 years 1 month ago
Ginny you need to run for public office!! You have nailed these weasles at every turn! KUDOs to you! I too live in CO and came to this site to see the video of Joe “mourning” getting a schoolin’. This has been my question all along: What do health insurance companies add to patient care and atient outcome? Answer: NOTHING! so Why do they take 30+% of our health care dollars??? If every health insurance company disappeared tomorrow, would we as a nation be able to provide health care? *BTW: My wife is a 25+year RN. Mom is a retired… Read more »
PAMAHER
Guest
PAMAHER
7 years 1 month ago

Did not mean to post twice.

joeinhell
Guest
joeinhell
7 years 1 month ago
Single payer and single payer only. I personally don’t care if the bloodsuckers running the insurance companies starve to death. I personally have TOTAL medical coverage. I have no problem with the expense of health care in the US. It is all covered. My problem is allergies, fantastic number of allergies so I moved to a third world part of a second world country where they cannot afford to buy chemicals to put on the food or in the fields. Do you have any clue as to how many chemicals are in your hospitals? How many patients are killed each… Read more »
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