Health Care conferees: Open it up

Word is that things have gotten really, really bitter behind the scenes of the health care conference committee. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out. And I think it comes from a huge difference of opinion of what’s “politically viable.” I don’t think Travaglini is against expanding health care to more people than he’s targeted — in principle — but I would guess that he’s afraid of the power of the business lobby. (I think that’s a little overstated in this case, seeing as a rejiggered uninsured-assessment would help a lot of employers, but this is about perception.) On the other hand, DiMasi is optimistic that the public would support such a thing — with good reason.

Look, folks: Time to bring this thing out from the shroud of secrecy. If things are stuck, you need some new impetus to strike the deal. Use the public as a sounding board for some ideas. Be transparent. And you may have to wear an asbestos suit, but so be it; the result will be controversial as hell, no matter what.

Brace yourselves. Bring it out in the open, and get it done.

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  1. The Elephant in the Room

    I suspect that the big problem here may be that the conferees have some degree of intellectual honesty, and are recognizing that any "free-market" solution that they try to come up with is not nearly as good as single-payer universal healthcare.

    Every other developed nation (except Switzerland) has single-payer universal healthcare.  Every other developed nation has better medical outcomes than we do (e.g., http://blueworksbetter.com/USvsTheRest).  Every other developed nation pays far less (half, on average as a % of income) for medical care.

    It's interesting that every country works the details of single-payer differently, yet they all get roughly the same results, i.e., better and cheaper than us.  Unless we really, really screwed this up, we'd cut the cost of healthcare by 30% or more per person.

    Single-payer healthcare would also be an incredible boon for Massachusetts - can you imagine how attractive the state would be for companies?  They could provide healthcare for employees, at an effective cost that would be far lower than in other states, simply by relocating their business here.

    I really wish that people would stop talking about this as being politically unrealistic - it works fine for Medicare (which costs less, works better, and provides universal coverage), and it will work fine for the rest of us.

    • Manny, I couldn't agree with you more...

      The Health Care Constitutional Amendment Campaign http://www.ma121.0rg is building from a solid base of public support according to recent poll results:

      82.6% of Massachusetts residents believe  everyone should have access to quality health  care regardless of their ability to pay.

      75.5% of Massachusetts residents support the  Health Care Amendment.

      78.9% of the Massachusetts Legislature voted in  favor of the Health Care Amendment at the July  14, 2004 Constitutional Convention.

      Many of us working to win passage of this amendment in the May 10th ConCon and then on the statewide ballot next November are also supporters of what Manny refers to: single payer financed universal coverage health insurance reform.  It makes sense.  http://www.MassCare.org

      Get involved and let's make it happen--in our lifetime

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Fri 31 Oct 4:16 AM