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Protestors Advocating Single-Payer Arrested

Posted by Jane Akre
Tuesday, May 12, 2009 7:22 PM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: Health Care Reform, Insurance Industry, Single-Payer

Single-payer system of health care reform advocates arrested at a hearing in Washington.

Dirsuption of Congress 

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IMAGE SOURCE: MSNBC Web site

Five protestors were taken into custody at the Senate Finance Committee hearings today trying to address health care reform. They were charged with “Disruption of Congress” and were attending a roundtable meeting between experts and senators on how to pay for health care reform.

The committee is chaired by Max Baucus of Montana with ranking member Chuck Grassley of Iowa.

Five caregivers arrested at the Finance Committee “Florence Nightingale Day Protests” were nurses and doctors.  Two RNs were members of the National Nurses Organizing Committee/ California Nurses Association; two physicians were members of Physicians for a National Health Program. 

Other nurses marking the birthday of Florence Nightingale staged a silent protest standing before the committee wearing red scrubs with signs that said ‘Nurses Say: Patients First. Stop AHIP. Pass Single-Payer.”    

25 individuals who said they were nurses stood up and turned their backs with the signs, then after five minutes they walked out reportedly in an orderly fashion reports MSNBC.  After that more vocal individual protests were heard. 

Single-Payer System

Single-payer eliminates the need for private insurance companies as middlemen reducing costs for paperwork by about 30 percent. The goal is to provide everyone, regardless of an ability to pay, with comprehensive care.

The Veterans Administration, Medicare, and the Armed Services are examples of a single-payer system where doctors and providers are paid from a single fund. Canada’s Medicare system and Australia’s Medicare are single-payer universal health care.  The fund can be national or community based or state-wide.  Canadians can supplement their single-payer plan with private insurance through their employers.

Various organization support single-payer:

Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) -   A physician organization dedicated to single-payer, the group describes it as a kind of financing system.  PNHP says a single entity such as a government-run organization would collect fees for health care costs and pay out from those fees. Ultimately the administrative costs of dealing with insurance companies would be eliminated.  Instead of each insurance company submitting its own bill, a single-payer system incorporates the doctor, hospital and other health care providers into one bill.  The group adds that “care would be based on need, not an ability to pay.”   

The hospital would receive an annual lump sum payment to operate while doctors would be able to charge a fee-for-service, have a salary at the hospital or within a group practice or HMO.

The need for private insurance would be eliminated.  PNHP says this is not socialized medicine because the government doesn’t own or manage medical practices or hospital but pays for health care delivered in the private, mostly not-for profit sector, similar to the way that Medicare works.   

The group cites the Congressional Budget Office that projects a single-payer system would save $225 billion.

The American Medical Student Association - An independent organization of physicians-in-training, the AMSA group adds that the role of the government in single-payer would be to collect and distribute money, not control any aspects of health care.   Everyone would receive necessary medical coverage and administrative costs would be reduced, allowing more money to be spent on patients.  With the government buying medications in bulk, cost of health care would be reduced but critics say that could also reduce overall research and development by the pharmaceutical companies. 

“There would be a removal of profit-motive in health care. The driving force behind the health industry would be patient care and not profit maximization” the group says on its Web site.  

In the disadvantages category, AMSA admits that many private sector jobs in the insurance industry could be lost.  And with doctors receiving a fee-for-service there might be little incentive to keep costs down. 

AMSA also says a single-payer national insurance system best addresses the current health care crisis. 

California Nurses Association - Is made up of nurses nationwide and along with the National nurses Organizing Committee claims 80,000 members in 50 states.  The group advocates guaranteed health care for everyone and a high number of RNs for every patient. 

The group supports a single-payer system based on an expanded Medicare program for all.    

NNOC/CNA Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro said about today’s arrests, "The Baucus Committee can arrest nurses, but they cannot silence the voices of RNs who will continue to speak from their hearts on behalf of their patients who want and deserve real reform."

The following group is leading the opposition to single-payer:

America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) – AHIP represents about 1,300 companies that offer health insurance plans providing disability, long-term and medical and dental insurance.   Fighting the single-payer plan that would eliminate the need for insurance, AHIP says every American should have access to affordable health care coverage.   Private insurance should work with federal and state government to offer flexible, affordable coverage according to AHIP.   SCHIP the state Children’s Health Insurance Program should be extended under 200 percent of the federal poverty levels if needed the group adds, and for adults under 100 percent of the federal poverty levels through Medicaid.  The group advocates two new federal tax initiatives – a health credit added to the children tax credit – for parents who demonstrate their children have coverage, and a Universal Health Account that creates a tax deduction for health insurance premiums.    

A Harvard Medical School study says paperwork take about one-third of U.S. health care dollars.

Currently about 46 million Americans are without health insurance, including 8.3 million children.

That puts the U.S. last when measure for issues of quality, access and equality of health care in a Commonwealth Fund comparison in 2007 with other industrialized nations.   

The U.S. ranks 42 in the world in infant mortality and 46th in life expectancy.   The U.S. health system performance is ranked 37th just below Costa Rica, according to the World Health Report of 2000. 

A CBS News/ New York Times poll from February finds that 59% of respondents say the government should provide national health insurance. That number is up from 40 percent from thirty years ago.  #


2 Comments

Anonymous User
Posted by jacksmith
Tuesday, May 12, 2009 8:43 PM EST

PRIVATE FOR PROFIT HEALTHCARE IS AN OXYMORON!

As congress debates fixing Americas current private for profit healthcare disaster, global embarrassment, and national disgrace. The question is not weather we will have a public option. But rather what kind of public option we will have.

America is the only country in the developed world that has a GREED DRIVEN! PROFIT DRIVEN! IMMORAL! UNETHICAL! PRIVATE FOR PROFIT! healthcare delivery system.

As a result, hundreds of thousands of you are needlessly killed by your healthcare delivery system in America every year. And millions of you are crippled and injured. America is the only country in the developed World that does not have a NOT FOR PROFIT, PATIENT PROTECTING, government managed healthcare delivery option for all it's people.

America currently has the most costly health care system in the developed world. And the lowest quality of healthcare in the developed world. And the most dangerous, deadly, and FEARED! healthcare delivery system in the developed world.

America is the only healthcare delivery system in the developed World that does not cover all it's people automatically. And America has the most difficult healthcare system to access in the developed World.

Contact your representative and tell then that a single payer, government managed healthcare option is a must for everyone that wants it. Tell them that you demand that the public option be the finest in the World.

Tell them it should be available to everyone that wants it as a HUMAN RIGHT! Tell them it should be the easiest to access in the entire world. Tell them it should have the highest quality, with the greatest patient protections in the entire world. Tell them coverage should be automatic for everyone that wants it unless they choose to opt out. Tell them it should be the most affordable in the World. And tell them that NO ONE in the public option is to be reported to a credit agency, or driven into bankruptcy for unpaid medical bills just because they got sick, for FREEK'EN SAKES!

Tell them, none of the requirements above are negotiable. Tell them, that we are prepared to remove them from office. Tell them, we will rain down the political FIRES OF HELL! on any of them that would betray the American people. Or continue to compromise the life, health, safety, and National security of the American people for the GREED DRIVEN, PROFIT DRIVEN! private for profit Healthcare Industry.

TELL THEM NOW! AND PASS THE WORD ON.

God Bless You

Jacksmith — WORKING CLASS

Posted by garyro
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 12:00 AM EST

These folks in the senate have no shame. The jailing of single-payer healthcare folks that only wished a voice at the table trotted off to jail with less dignaty than Bernie Madoff (again). Hell of a way to have "all" options on the table.

Just as shameless, the proposals from the folks left at the talks whom were in favor of taxing the scant medical benefits of working folks. And I though John McCain lost the election

One can only conclude that Obama and boys have decided to side with big business; insurance, HMO and drug companies and the hell with the American people. I guess the "would rather switch than fight" (sorry cigarette ads of the 50s).

Gutless toady sycophants making their brownie points with Wall street yet again. What was the last election about again?

Comments for this article are closed.

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