Single-Payer Healthcare

111TH CONGRESS
1ST SESSION H. R. 676
To provide for comprehensive health insurance coverage for all United States
residents, improved health care delivery, and for other purposes.

Here is the 111th CONGRESS 1st SESSION H. R. 676 bill: “To provide for comprehensive health insurance coverage for all United States residents, improved health care delivery, and for other purposes.” It is a pdf file, 30 pages long and dated January 26, 2009. Just exactly how HR 676 relates to HR 3200, I don’t know. Section 501 of HR 676 says

Except as otherwise specifically provided, this Act shall take effect on the first day of the first year that begins more than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, and shall apply to items and services furnished on or after such date.

Here is Wikipedia’s coverage of HR 676. Keep in mind that Wikipedia is not an authoritive site, but it is quite helpful in learning an overview so one can sort of put things in place. So I use it a lot.

I take it, therefore, to be law, if President Obama signs it, and it will take effect January 1, of whatever year it is beginning “more than 1 year” after he signs it. But I could be mistaken.

The information and links in this post is from the Physicians for a National Health Program. Just who is this PNHP? They explain who they are and what they are striving for here.

Physicians for a National Health Program is a single issue organization advocating a universal, comprehensive single-payer national health program. PNHP has more than 16,000 members and chapters across the United States.

Since 1987, we’ve advocated for reform in the U.S. health care system. We educate physicians and other health professionals about the benefits of a single-payer system–including fewer administrative costs and affording health insurance for the 46 million Americans who have none.

Our members and physician activists work toward a single-payer national health program in their communities. PNHP performs ground breaking research on the health crisis and the need for fundamental reform, coordinates speakers and forums, participates in town hall meetings and debates, contributes scholarly articles to peer-reviewed medical journals, and appears regularly on national television and news programs advocating for a single-payer system.

PNHP is the only national physician organization in the United States dedicated exclusively to implementing a single-payer national health program.

I’m no expert in all this but I like the idea of single-payer healthcare because that is what Medicare is, and Medicare has been working well for my wife and I. I also tend to pay more attention to what doctors, nurses, and other medical people who actually do medical treatments on the road say than political pundits or even politicians. It is hard to grasp all this stuff as it is without have smoke blown up you a** everytime you turn around.

All these other ideas I keep reading and hearing about seem far more complicated than single-payer. I do like simplicity.

I have looked at PNHP’s mission statement which you can read here. I like what I read in their mission statement.

I watched Dr. David Scheiner, President Obama’s personal physician for 22 years, advocate for single-payer health reform on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” last Friday night, Aug. 7, 2009. I liked what he said.

The PNHP website is loaded with relevant information we all need to know. It is not a wingnut site. They do not appear stilted one way or the other.

For example read Obama gives powerful drug lobby a seat at healthcare table. The subtitle says “The pharmaceutical industry, once condemned by the president as a source of healthcare problems, has become a White House partner.” It is an article published by the Los Angeles Times on August 4, 2009. And it raises a damned good question.

As a candidate for president, Barack Obama lambasted drug companies and the influence they wielded in Washington. He even ran a television ad targeting the industry’s chief lobbyist, former Louisiana congressman Billy Tauzin, and the role Tauzin played in preventing Medicare from negotiating for lower drug prices.

Since the election, Tauzin has morphed into the president’s partner. He has been invited to the White House half a dozen times in recent months. There, he says, he eventually secured an agreement that the administration wouldn’t try to overturn the very Medicare drug policy that Obama had criticized on the campaign trail.

“The White House blessed it,” Tauzin said.

At the same time, Tauzin said the industry he represents was offering political and financial support for the president’s healthcare initiative, a remarkable shift considering that drug companies vigorously opposed a national overhaul the last time it was proposed, when Bill Clinton was president.

Now, what in the devil is that all about? Why would President Obama cozy up with Tauzin? The Los Angeles Times article indicates the coziness was the source of the pharmaceutical industry’s pledge pf $80 billion in cost savings over 10 years to help pay for healthcare reform. Is that a pact with the devil? Beats me. But I sure hope not. I don’t trust the pharmaceutical industry. If all this is for the purpose of securing “bipartisan” support I doubt it is worth it. The current Republican leadership doesn’t give a hoot about being “bipartisan.”

As far as I’m concerned the Democrats in Congress should simply stop wasting their time and effort in courting the Republicans in Congress and get on with it. Democrats control both houses, and if it even means wheeling in the hospital beds of Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd for their votes, then do it.

Senat0r Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a champion of importing drugs from Canada and reducing the cost of pharmaceuticals, professes continued suspicion of the industry, including its deals with the White House.

“The drug companies form the most powerful lobby in Washington,” he said. “They never lose.”

I agree with Sanders.

Take a look at GOP doesn’t dare challenge this government health care.  It was written by Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune. Anthony Weiner, the New York Democrat offered up an amendment to abolish Medicare.

His point? Not to get rid of the program that provides insurance for America’s seniors on the 44th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s signing of the Medicare Act of 1965, as he explained in his speech. But “to clarify one of the great, enduring mysteries.” Where do “my Republican friends stand on the issue of government-run health-care?”

I can answer that question. They are dead set against anything run by the government. But Weiner shoved it to the Republicans and event the Blue Dog Democrats.

But Medicare — along with comprehensive coverage for active military, veterans and American Indians — “is not only government-run health care, but it’s remarkably efficient,” Weiner said. Imperfect in some ways, of course, but “a pretty darn good model of what a public plan [covering everyone] might look like.”

His voice moist with sarcasm, Weiner addressed Republicans on the committee: “This is your opportunity . . . to eliminate the Medicare Act. Once and for all, stamp out the scourge of public, government-run, government-administered, single-payer health care. This is your chance. . . . I dare ya. I double dare ya. Vote ‘yes’ on this and then go home and explain to your constituents, how you’re so philosophically opposed to publicly funded health care that you voted to eliminate Medicare.”

Weiner has some starch in his collar. He laid it right on those who slither about shouting NO NO all the time. But what did they do with Weiner’s amendment?

Lacking a triple-dog dare, the Republicans on the committee — along with the Democrats — unanimously voted no on Weiner’s amendment.

Weiner has more guts that most of us. My hat tips in admiration.

But I rattle on. I cannot possibly cover everything the PNHP has. I urge you, as strongly as I can, to go to the PNHP site and read everything you can there. In particular I recommend you read Single-Payer National Health Insurance and learn why you should support single-payer health care. Please.

Related posts:

  1. Single-payer healthcare Letter to Editor
  2. HR 676 Single Payer to be debated and voted on
  3. Single-Payer Health Care
  4. Single Payer National Health Insurance
  5. Why there is no single-payer public option

About Featheriver

Born and raised in Oklahoma. Improved in California. Out to pasture in Nevada. Born in 1933, Korean War Vet in USAF. Occupation: Criminal Law and Torts. Retired California Lawyer. Now live in Pahrump, Nye County, Nevada.
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2 Responses to Single-Payer Healthcare

  1. Can you tell me who did your layout? I’ve been looking for one kind of like yours. Thank you.

  2. Featheriver says:

    Yes. I assume you are referring to this blog’s layout. As you can see I use Word Press. The layout comes from themes provided by Word Press. There are hundreds of themes you can choose from. The layout for this blog is called Neoclassical. And, I must add, it is all free. Run a Google search for Word Press and you’ll locate WordPress.org and check it out.

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