Hillary Unveils New Health Care Plan

Hillary Clinton's proposed health care plan is being released today.

Like John Edwards and unlike Obama, her plan will call for mandatory insurance for all Americans.

It will be much more streamlined and less complicated than the plan she introduced while Bill Clinton was President.

For those who are already insured and happy with their plans, there won't be any required changes.

Insurers will be required to provide insurance to everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions.

The plan will provide tax subsidies to individuals and small businesses to help pay for health insurance. Part of the cost will be covered by rolling back some of Bush's tax cuts to those earning more than $250,000 a year.

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    mandatory insurance is a stupid idea (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by chicago dyke on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 09:04:57 AM EST
    for many reasons. anyone who lives paycheck to paycheck will tell you this is the last thing they need: an additional mandatory (and likely pricey) expense. when you juggle your rent, car and credit card payments around because you can barely manage them all, every extra bit of cash counts. this takes it out of people's hands, and puts it into the hands of the for-profit insurance industry. who, just in case you forgot, are the reason we're in this mess in the first place.

    tax subsidies don't help the working poor very much at all, many hardly pay them. this type of plan also does nothing to address the rampant greed on the part of insurance execs, who have been enjoying record breaking compensation packages for over a decade now. spiralling increases in health care costs have very little to do with anything other than greed.

    univeral, single payer, nonprofit. any other solution is just madness, and likely more of the same, or worse. because when this doesn't work, and people are pissed about how  hillary's "socialized" medicine is making them poorer, that's one more wedge against the real thing for the right.

    Whose Right Is It Anyway? (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Stephen H on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 05:30:18 PM EST
    If you assume that health care is a right for every American - as I do - than an American should not have to do anything to purchase that right from private insurance companies, who alone have the right to gouge their customers and deny them coverage in order to satisfy the demands of greedy shareholders. If Hillary really believed that health care was a right rather than a privilege, she could not have offered the plan that she did.

    This is a step in the wrong direction. Hillary is waving the white flag at private insurance companies and HMO's and letting them know they have nothing to worry about if she becomes president. They can keep filling up her campaign coffers and she'll eventually make even the poorest people pay up to the insurance companies. I would rather keep things the way they are, where at least I can go to a hospital emergency room, rather than be forced to pay money to greedy insurance companies in the meantime.

    This isn't a health care plan - it's a protection racket where everyone will be made to pay -- or else.

    I was thinking about voting for Hillary, but now I'm definitely going for Edwards.


    I'd just add to this (none / 0) (#4)
    by Downtowner on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 09:31:33 AM EST
    that when  you add in to the juggling the cost of health maintenance for someone with a chronic illness, it's truly devastating to mandate "coverage" that isn't coverage at all.

    The example that springs first to my mind is my daughter, who as a single-mother is juggling rent, food, transport, child-care expenses, etc, pays no taxes, but who has Type I diabetes and pays a bundle on a day-to-day basis for insulin, syringes, testing supplies, etc.

    She's already been forced to make the choice between paying for bad insurance or paying for  medical supplies she needs to stay alive.  Mandated insurance will take her insulin money and spend it on the sort of junk policy that won't cover it.  So we are either back to me paying for her medical expenses, or her getting a second job, which of course would mean less time with her children, more child-care expenses, stress, and probably worse health.  Been there done that.

    And she's hardly a singular example: ironically, some of the people who will be hardest hit by mandated policies are those who already have high-cost medical problems to pay for, that aren't covered or are undercoverd, on an ongoing basis.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#10)
    by Wile ECoyote on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 12:36:48 PM EST
    not to mention mandatory car insurance for the car they are making payments on!  Maybe the taxpayer should subsidize that also!  

    We ALL subsidize each other's insurance (none / 0) (#19)
    by Dadler on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 05:25:23 PM EST
    Whether private or public, auto, health or home.  We just don't like to think of it that way.  Of that the way we're subsidizing could be done, um, much more efficiently and equitably.

    Driving is a privilege (none / 0) (#22)
    by Stephen H on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 05:32:39 PM EST
    Driving is a privilege.

    Health care is a right.


    Careful there Steve (none / 0) (#34)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 08:51:25 PM EST
    health care is not, repeat not, a "right."

    What it is, is "the right thing to do."


    Basic Health Care IS A Basic Human Right (none / 0) (#37)
    by Stephen H on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 09:42:30 PM EST
    The poor aren't looking for your charity. You may believe, repeat believe, that the govenment should protect a rich man's property before protecting a poor man's life.
    But the Declaration of Independence says that all people have a right to "life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness."

    Basic health care IS a basic human right. Just because so many people have been brainwashed by corporations into believing otherwise doesn't make it so.


    The poor aren't looking for your charity. (none / 0) (#42)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 07:17:20 AM EST
    Didn't say they were. Just that NHC is not a right, and if you try to sell it as such paid for by an increase in FIT on income above $250,000 it is dead on arrival.

    BTW - The Declaration of Independence is a beautiful document but it does not guarantee you health care any more than it guarantees you a free lunch.

    It is time that we have a health care system that covers every citizen and legal visitor because the cost of health care has risen as advancement in drugs and equipment as improved. You are probably too young to remember, but at one time people routinely died of influenza, lost limbs through wound infections, etc. A heart attack was almost always immediately fatal, and if not then, in the near term.

    But that system, as all things do, must be paid for. The payment should be by all who live or visit here, not by a tax on "income," which all do not have, or otherwise avoid through both legal and illegal means. A national sales tax meets both the universal and fairness objective.


    show me in the (none / 0) (#54)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 01:34:43 PM EST
    constitution where it is a right.

    Not for profit health care (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by notinKansas on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 09:56:56 AM EST
    From the Kucinich web site:

    Dennis Kucinich is the only candidate for President with a plan for a Universal, Single-Payer, Not-for-Profit health care system.

    Taking profit out of the healthcare equation is the only thing that makes any sense, and Kucinich is the only candidate willing to take on the powerful insurance lobbyists.

    Socialism? (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by bselznick on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 10:21:16 AM EST
    Let me see, when the government uses our tax dollars to provide Health Care for every man, woman, and child that's called Socialism and is very bad.  However when the government uses our tax dollars to enforce enrollment of every man, woman, and child in Health Insurance programs, giving much profit to very few, that's not called Socialism and is very good.  

    I assume that in the true spirit of capitalism the sacred profit due to the few who own Health Insurance companies will be further protected by additional laws making the tax payers pick up the tab for a variety of mistakes or bad decisions by the same Health Insurance companies.

    That famous Hidden-Hand of Capitalism is really the millions of hands attached to millions of tax payers.  We can have universal health care provided we pool our taxes to graciously tip the top 1% for this privilege.  That's called good Capitalism.  But, if we pay ourselves directly for health care via our collective taxes; that's Socialism and it's very, very, very BAD.

    Hillary's Protection Racket (none / 0) (#26)
    by Stephen H on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 06:14:16 PM EST
    Our capitalist health care system is basically a protection racket. You either pay greedy insurance companies and HMO's - who then pass your money along to the shareholding godfathers - or you die.

    In the United States, it is the sacred right of every privately owned insurace company and HMO to bribe every politician and make every consumer pay through the nose. And corrupt politicians like Hillary will now make it illegal for people not to pay up. But there is no right in America for sick people to recieve basic medical care.  

    Hillary's plan basically makes it illegal for a poor person to get sick in America. If they want to die, they had better send in their premium or do it at home, and stop clogging our emergency rooms with their criminal activity.


    Insurance Companies -Probem, not the Solution (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by cmpnwtr on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 10:30:18 AM EST
    What I don't get about this - the insurance companies are the problem, not the solution. Their denials of coverage, their 30% administration costs. They are all about denying coverage, not providing it. There has to be a better way to provide a base of medical coverage for every American without the denials and the paperwork, that for-profit companies inject in the system. Half the money ends up in the hands of their stock holders and their CEOS. Actually the best preventive coverage, the lowest overhead, the most efficient system is Kaiser. Why not give everyone a mandated base coverage? Let them choose between Medicare, or a private non-profit health provider.
    I am really behind John Edward's initiative to deny health coverage to the president, the Congress, and the executive branch of government until every American has coverage.

    The old saying (1.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 08:37:17 AM EST

    "Like John Edwards and unlike Obama, her plan will call for mandatory insurance for all Americans."

    The old saying is that a liberal is in favor of anything as long as it is mandatory.

    Making a profit (none / 0) (#29)
    by Stephen H on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 06:37:20 PM EST
    "The old saying is that a liberal is in favor of anything as long as it is mandatory."

    There's an older saying that conservatives love anything where they can turn a profit on killing the poor...Iraq, the private health care system, etc.


    Prove it's an older saying (none / 0) (#57)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 03:06:22 PM EST
    besides, it does not have the smoothness of the other.

    Insuracne isn't the problem... (1.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Slado on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 03:13:46 PM EST
    but it's one of the major obstacles.

    We need to reform our system not throw it out.

    Profit is necessary and good in our system.  Profit leads to advances in medicine that frankly would never occur if it weren't the major incentive.

    What is killing our system is the removal of price checking by the consumer, us.   Think about you last visit to the doctor.   Did you even care what it cost past your co-pay?  Do you check which hospital gives the best patient care, which has the best beds, which has the best cafeteria?

    We have changed our helthcare system into a 50/50 split between capatilism and socialism.   We take the services for granted but we pay out the nose for them when we shouldn't have to.

    20/20 had a great show on Friday about this very problem.   Whole foods recently raised the deductable for their employes and reimbursed them on what they saved annually( see link for details).   By forcing the employees to check what they spend they enabled the company to save as a whole and offered a better overall package.

    This is what is jacking up the costs for everyone.  No price control at the bottom raises the overall costs for everyone because doctors, hospitals and insurance companies waste millions of dollars on waste and billing when we should frankly be willing to spend $100 for a shot or checkup.  

    Think about your car.  Should your oil change be free?  Should you get free rotation of your tires?  The preventative maintenance argument does not justify the billions of dollars that we are wasting and could be spending on the people who are sick and need it.

    Having the goverment pump more money into a broken insurance system is a bad idea.  We should infuse capatilism back into the sytem by giving consumers more control.

    The alternative of government provided health care is even worse.   A two tier system for the rich and poor will develop just has it has in every country that offers it.

    Crap! (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Aaron on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 04:38:28 PM EST
    You sound like someone who works in the insurance business.  The wrong people are making the money in healthcare, people who contribute nothing, and certainly don't advance medicine or help the cause of research, that's laughable.

    There are no scientists or researchers in the insurance business.

    Your analogy is absurd, your body is not your car, when it breaks down or gets mangled, you can't simply go out and buy a new one.

    These arguments about giving the consumer control, are nothing more than desperate attempt to reframe the problem by the insurance lobby, who are terrified of losing their profits.  They care nothing about people, outside of their ability to make them money

    People who are sick and injured are not consumers or clients, they are patients, human beings that deserve the very best that our country has to offer.


    I don't think.... (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by kdog on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 04:52:27 PM EST
    anybody has a problem with doctors or medical innovators making money.  I think we all should have a problem with the insurance companies sucking 30 cents out of every health-care dollar.  And for what?  To shuffle papers and find loopholes to deny coverage?  Talk about a sweetheart deal.

    As much as I hate to say it, even the inefficient, corrupted government could do what the hmo's do for less than 1/2 the price, leaving more money for actual health care.


    Your utopia sounds great. (none / 0) (#15)
    by DA in LA on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 04:10:32 PM EST
    Now back to the real world..

    Government is always worse (none / 0) (#44)
    by Slado on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 08:16:36 AM EST
    Anyone who believe the government will offer a better system is naive and crazy.   Don't know how else to put it.

    A government system will result is worse helathcare for the poor (all be it cheaper) and better healthcare for the rich because they will no longer be burdened with taking care of the rest.

    Look at England, France etc... they have two tier sytems.  Long lines for the poor and private pricy hospitals for the rich.

    The only utopia fantasy world is government run healthcare.  


    Honestly I don't know which is worse.... (none / 0) (#45)
    by kdog on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 09:05:13 AM EST
    incompetent corrupt government or profit driven insurers...they both suck in different ways.  

    To be fair, we have a two-tier system too, one tier for the insured and one for the uninsured.  Or maybe it's 3 tier...one for the wealthy, one for the insured, and one for the uninsured.  The insured tier ain't so hot if you get seriously sick....then the insurance company goes digging for that loophole to drop you.


    Yes, two tiers- (none / 0) (#56)
    by Pancho on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 02:02:05 PM EST
    tier one is me where I go to the emergency room, see Dr. Smith and then pay my $500 deductible plus whatever else is out-of-pocket, plus my insurance premiums.

    Tier two is the illegal aliens and the poor who go to the emergency room, see Dr. Smith and pay NOTHING!


    Right... (none / 0) (#60)
    by DA in LA on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:01:57 PM EST
    It's the illegal aliens, not the uninsured Americans who greatly outnumber them.

    The facts do not support your argument.


    Why are they uninsured? (none / 0) (#64)
    by Pancho on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 09:15:14 PM EST
    I have always paid for insurance no matter how little money I've made. It is all about choices; will you pay for what you need or buy Air Jordans and spinning rims?

    Here you go (none / 0) (#65)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Sep 19, 2007 at 01:35:11 PM EST
    The total cost in 2004 of Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS),
    Arizona's Medicaid program, was $4.3 billion of which an estimated $641.9 million was
    incurred by immigrants. Of the $641.9 million in AHCCCS costs associated with
    immigrants, $477.4 million was incurred by non-citizens.

    The above is from the Udall Report for Airzona.

    The total for non-citizens includes both people here on visas, as well as illegally. 350,000, or approximately 56.5% are illegal, given a total for medicaid cost as $270,000,000.

    That's not chump change...

    That's a quarter of a billion dollars, and Az is a fairly small state. Very small as compared to CA and Tx.


    Really? (none / 0) (#59)
    by DA in LA on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:00:07 PM EST
    How's your private Fire Department doing?  Good?

    AP article doesn't mention portability. (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 01:39:22 AM EST
    Plan proposed by Mayo Clinic recently does include this feature.  

    To early to tell (none / 0) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 10:14:02 AM EST
    The Repubs will just eat the "tax increase" alive since there is no way her plan can be paid for by only "above $250,000" tax payers.

    We need a national sales tax to pay for it, and we need the health care facilities to bill the government, not the patient. If we need to throw the insurance companies a bone they can be the paper shufflers.

    But at least the ball is in play. That's good.

    National sales tax soaks the less affluent (none / 0) (#31)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 06:56:20 PM EST
    thanks but no thanks.

    Molly B (none / 0) (#35)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 08:57:42 PM EST
    It also gets the rich who pay a very low percentage of their trust funds, plus it gets the people who live in the "gray market." The drug dealers, the illegal aliens, everyone who is now slipping through the cracks.

    Thus it is truly "fair."


    How would sales tax address the grey market? (none / 0) (#36)
    by roy on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 09:15:26 PM EST
    You've floated that idea before and it still doesn't make sense to me.  The existing grey market skirts sales tax at the state/local level just fine.  That's half the fun.

    Why would a federal sales tax be different?


    Good point (none / 0) (#40)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:30:43 AM EST
    Yes, there is a "grey" market that avoids sales taxes, but there is a much larger market that doesn't pay FIT, both legally and illegally. Most do pay sales taxes at the POS. Sales taxes also have the advantage of having multiple rates, or none at all. Unprepared food can have no tax, gasoline 3%, movie tickets 10%, etc.

    And yes, that's social engineering, which is what "progressive" taxes is about anyway.

    The secondary advantage is political. There can be no doubt as to the tax increase. It will be simple, no smoke, no mirrors and no false claims by either side.

    I also like the Medicare example. You go to the Doctor of your choice and the Doctor bills Medicare.  The difference would be that the program pays 100% rather than partial as Medicare does now.

    I don't like the way Hillary's plan takes care of those who just don't have any money.. It smacks of the current Medicaid plan. How would you take care of single mothers, etc.

    It's simple, straight forward and has low admin cost.


    Makes sense, thanks (none / 0) (#46)
    by roy on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:06:28 AM EST
    I was thinking of taxes collected at point-of-illegal-sale, not taxes paid by the grey marketeer on income or legal purchases.

    Hardly. There is no logic to your statement (none / 0) (#38)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 11:11:55 PM EST
    Think it through, I am sure you will figure it out. On second thought...

     Whether or not the rich or the grey market pays their fair share doesn't change the nature of the impact on the income of the middle class and poor.

    There is a reason those Kansas populists of the 1880's wanted a progressive  income tax.


    MB (none / 0) (#41)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:44:57 AM EST
    The reason is that they didn't have high speed data and POS machines connected to back office systems.

    If you don't make the cost simple, easy to understand and fair, it won't pass. The public has had too much of people not paying FIT, both on the low end and the high end. The Repubs will "Ted and Jane" it to death.

    And everyone knows that a tax increase on those making above $250,000 will not pay for the plan.


    Non-sequiter (none / 0) (#43)
    by Molly Bloom on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 07:45:30 AM EST
    A progressive income tax system doesn't have to be complicated. And it is fair. Its already in existence so the GOP can't Ted and Jane the proposal to death.  

    Your other complaints do not address the soak the middle class and poor aspects of a national sales tax. Essentially instead of taking a fair system and decomplicating it, you want to take a unfair, but admittedly simple system to replace it, using national health care as a Trojan horse to do so.  Are you sure you are not a Repbulican?

    You would accelerate the widening gulf between the haves and the havenots.

    For your reading pleasure, may I suggest you go to a library and check out The Great Tax Wars: Lincoln- Teddy Roosevelt-Wilson How the Income Tax Transformed America


    MB (none / 0) (#47)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:09:32 AM EST
    Its already in existence so the GOP can't Ted and Jane the proposal to death.

    Good grief. Do you forget the last time around??

    Are you sure you don't just want free health care for some paid for by others?

    A national sales tax makes the system FAIR as a vast majority of Americans understand it. So called progressive systems are NEVER FAIR unless you are willing to claim that some have a claim on the income of others. Once you accept that, then the situation becomes how much money can government take from John to give to Jane.

    I have no particular problem with the concept, I just know it isn't fair. Of course if you want to keep the one we have now but eliminate all deductions. No mortgage interest deduction, no deductions for children, etc., etc. It still wouldn't be "fair." But it would be more "fair" than the one we now have.

    I am also practical enough to know that NHC can't be sold as being financed through payroll taxes.

    As for the poor and middle class being "soaked," the poor will actually have access to health care at a very low price. Now if they go a hospital ER, they either pay or get their credit destroyed. This greatly hampers the ability to get a job. It means higher interest rates on every loan. cars, credit cards, etc. I opine that if they pay a 7% sales tax on most purchases it will be less than what they are paying now in hidden and direct costs for Rx's, etc. Most WalkinCare Clinics are now demanding proof of insurance and an or payment up front. That's why the ER rooms are being flooded with patients that aren't real emergencies. As noted, most ER rooms won't turn the patient away, but the hospital will flat go after the individual for payment.

    As for the middle class, a fairly good company paid for plan goes for around $600 a month for a couple.. That's $7200 a year. Assuming the money went direct to the couple as wages rather than insurance, they would have to spend over $100,000 to have a net loss to the family.


    Unfair Increase (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by squeaky on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:29:47 AM EST
    A national sales tax is essentially a tax on consumption. Since low income families spend almost every penny they earn on subsistence items, they would pay A HIGHER PERCENT OF THEIR EARNINGS IN TAXES. HIGHER INCOME families could afford to PUT A portion of their earnings into savings investments.


    2% tax for the rich and 25% tax on the poor. The GOP (ppj) postion is that the poor should not be rewarded for being poor, but the rich should be rewarded for being rich.


    squeaky (none / 0) (#49)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:51:57 AM EST
    You missed a point.

    With sales tax you can easily exempt items. Unprepared food, no taxes. Utilities, no taxes. Fast "food" 6%. Morton's Steak house... 12%.. Gasoline, 3%. Bass boats, 12%. Private jets, 25%., etc. etc..

    And not yet mentioned is welfare. Just increase it "X" per cent. And no tax on approved items purchased by food stamps.


    DING DING DING what do we have for the contestant (none / 0) (#50)
    by Molly Bloom on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:53:46 AM EST
    Squeaky you may already be a winner!!!

    (thanks for chiming in. Its impossible to explain the economics to someone who does not want to listen, unfortunately)


    Investment income (none / 0) (#52)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 12:47:38 PM EST
    is generally taxed at a higher rate than sales taxes.

    And, if you are talking about the rich, that income is derived from their invested monies that already have been hit with the highest FIT rates, whereas many mid-low and low income families pay zero FIT.


    Good Grief (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Molly Bloom on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:58:27 AM EST
    Did you forget National Health care wasn't in existence last time around?

    Its not a question of having a claim on the income of others. Its a claim that those who have gotten more of public resources should pay their fair share. A stable middle class is healthy. A shrinking working poor class is healthy.

    A progressive income tax achieves those goals. A national sales tax does the opposite. It allows those who have gotten more from public resources to get away with paying less. It accelrates the gulf between the haves and have nots.


    snark away (none / 0) (#53)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 12:48:09 PM EST
    And the reason it didn't pass was because the Repubs killed it over the tax issue.

    Its a claim that those who have gotten more of public resources should pay their fair share.

    And how do you quantify someone's having received more public resources than someone else.

    Would that mean that if your parents received welfare, that you received more? If you went to a public school and someone else went to a private school did you receive more, or did he receive more.

    Your statement really makes no sense. If you want to say that people making more should pay more because a stable society requires financing and the poor can't pay, fine. Say it. But don't play BS mind games with words that are meaningless outside of some discussion group. The public rejects such things.

    BTW - Your snarky comment is typical and proves again that when you can't prove your point, you go to the personal attack.

    It also proves that you, and many others on the Left are more interested in social engineering rather than providing needed services. That shows by the continual demand for (in your view) perfection rather than "doable." I also reference the Medicare Part D debate when the Demos wouldn't support the plan and continually criticized.

    You also fail to understand the dynamics of selling any new program. It is a process of breaking down and overcoming objections and fear of change. How we pay for it is one of the largest for a huge number of Americans. When you start talking about "fair" "public resources," etc., those are unknowns. When you then talk about taxing only those above $250,000 the other side just says "that aint true" and you have an argument... Trust me on this point.

    Fear of the unknown kicks in and the sale is lost.
    All the Repubs have to do is play to that fear.

    The sales tax is explainable and fair, as I have shown in the examples.

    When you have that point explained you can start to discuss how everyone will receive care.


    a National Sales tax is not fair (none / 0) (#55)
    by Molly Bloom on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 01:54:22 PM EST
    It disportionately impacts those who can least afford it. Conservatives who have campaigned on it, in other countries at least, have lost at the polls- badly.

    Simplicity does not = fairness.

    I don't require perfection- You have Zero evidence to back that assertion.  I could accept HRC's plan for example, if that is the best that can be done. That does not mean a single payer plan should not be the target.

    You apparantly don't know how to negotiate. Your opening offer is the ceiling, not the floor. If ideally you want a  $1000.00 but will take 750.00, do you start at 750.00 or 1500.00?


    Think outside the box (none / 0) (#58)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 03:29:36 PM EST
    We need NHC, especially for the poor. We must pay for it.

    1. Any type of payroll tax will be strongly resisted by the Repubs and not acceptable to the majority of the American voters.

    2. A national sales tax may also be unacceptable to the majority of the American voters, BUT it has the advantage of clearly defining what the cost will be.

    When you have that established you can discuss how services will be delivered, etc. without the additional unknown of "cost."

    1. The tax can be tailored to minimize the impact on the "poor" by reducing it on essentials... unprepared food, utilities, fuel, certain types of clothing and increasing it on other items.

    2. For those on welfare the payment can be increased to cover the impact of the sales tax not covered by the reductions.

    Negotiate? What? We either use a sales tax, or we won't. No one will buy a dual system of sales taxes plus payroll/income taxes.

    Your kindly acceptance of HRC's plan is based on its very muddled description of how to pay for it.
    With that fatal flaw it is DOA.


    Public Component? (none / 0) (#9)
    by Ramo on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 12:19:48 PM EST
    I don't see a public health insurance option that both Edwards and Obama have (far more important than the issue of mandates).  That would mean there would not be a pathway to single payer, and that her plan is substantially worse than Edwards/Obama.  This is basically the Romney/Arnie plan...

    Medicare for all (none / 0) (#11)
    by cmpnwtr on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 12:54:43 PM EST
    I agree. Isn 't it interesting about these attacks on "big government socialism"? I don't see anyone attacking the premise of Medicare or Social Security? Medicare has about 12 % administrative costs with no profit. Private insurance has about 30% administrative costs with outrageous profits being squeezed for the benefit of greedy stockholders and CEOs. If people have a choice, over time they may move to most cost effective and efficient Medicare for all with real cost controls. But Medicare still allows choice and can work with non-profits like Kaiser.

    The Schwarzenegger Plan (none / 0) (#25)
    by Stephen H on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 05:43:29 PM EST
    Yes, this is basically Arnold Schwarzenegger's Plan - and NOT the plan that was passed by a Democratic legislature and Arnold then vetoed.

    Hillary obviously doesn't believe that health care is a right. She, like Arnold, believes that insurance companies and HMO's have the absolute right to gouge their customers and deny them coverage - even those who are the poorest.

    I would rather see Democrats lose next year than see a Democratic president put this sort of sellout into law.


    Mandatory Insurance..... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 02:06:39 PM EST
    is just a synonym for corporate welfare if you ask me.

    The car insurance parallel (none / 0) (#13)
    by roy on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 02:24:31 PM EST
    Mandatory liability insurance has led to restrictions of behaviors which would be nobody else's business if not for the "pooled risk" forced upon us.  Seatbelts, helmets, and child safety seats come to mind.  So how long, under mandatory medical insurance, until it's made illegal to eat fatty foods, smoke tobacco, and suck helium out of balloons to get the squeaky voice?

    Time to take the profit out of people's misfortune (none / 0) (#17)
    by Aaron on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 04:47:39 PM EST
    Hillary's plan is little more than a nod to the insurance lobby, which has a ridiculous amount of power in the Washington Beltway, far more than any US citizen or any block of US citizens.  In a very real sense, the only way to beat these people is through our last resort, the power of democracy and the will of the majority.  

    Clinton is just playing up to these folks by wording this proposal in such a manner, by laying the burden on the people instead of the insurance companies, she hopes that some of them will desert the Republicans in the hopes of having a say in her White House.  Insurance company execs love hearing a president talk about mandating/forcing people to buy their overpriced garbage products, it gives them hope for maintaining the obscene profit margins to which they've become accustomed under the Bush administration.  These days for every dollar that an insurance company takes in, they're paying out something like $.06 to $.11, as opposed to the norm back in the 60s and 70s when insurance companies were paying out $.60 to $.80 on every dollar they took in. Back then you couldn't get rich very quickly selling health-insurance, but at least it was an honest living.

    Here's what needs to be done, we get a Democrat in the White House and then clamp down, like a medieval vice, with regulation on these swine.  Drive 75% of them out of the business with uncompromising government restrictions on profit-making, and then turn the health-insurance business into a government-subsidized privately operated not for profit enterprise.  We simply cut the profit out of providing insurance altogether, and take all that surplus money and put it in the pockets of health-care workers, doctors, administrators, and back into the system by creating a modern medical infrastructure that serves everyone, without regard for their ability to pay,  just as every other progressive society has done.  The only people who should be making profit in medicine, are the people who actually do the work of providing medical care.  It's time we drove the middlemen out of the business entirely.

    Good riddance, and don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

    Got a link? (none / 0) (#20)
    by roy on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 05:25:48 PM EST
    These days for every dollar that an insurance company takes in, they're paying out something like $.06 to $.11, as opposed to the norm back in the 60s and 70s when insurance companies were paying out $.60 to $.80 on every dollar they took in.

    Where did you get your numbers?  I wouldn't expect anybody to actually buy insurance if they hold.  Even considering risk-aversion, paying for a policy like that wouldn't make financial sense.  We'd be better off paying for health care ourselves, not in an esoteric invisible hand way, but in a simple arithmetic way.

    Blue Cross's financial report (PDF) paints a very different picture: $9.4M in revenue from premiums, and $8.0M paid out in claims.  So they're paying out $0.85 on every dollar they take in.  Even considering their other sources of revenue, totalling $11.1M, that's $0.72 out per $1 in.  Maybe the numbers don't mean what they seem to on their faces, or maybe Blue Cross is unusual; I just checked them because I have a policy with them.


    Disregard my Blue Cross link (none / 0) (#23)
    by roy on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 05:33:49 PM EST
    That's not a Blue Cross financial report.  I'm really not sure what it is, but the chances of it being relevant are low.

    (Oh, so I'm supposed to fact-check before I post)


    Ah ha, Aetna: $0.75 out per $1 in (none / 0) (#28)
    by roy on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 06:24:02 PM EST
    OK, I found a something that's actually relevant: Aetna's quarterly SEC 10-Q filing.

    Excerpting the numbers that seem interesting:


    • Health care premiums: $5,292.8M

    • Other premiums: $503.2M

    • Fees and other revenue: $736.2M


    • Health care costs: $4,313.9M

    • Current and future benefits: $576.7M

    So, guessing at the definitions of some terms, that's $6.5B collected from customers and $4.9B paid out, or $0.75 out per $1 in.

    This suggests that the very most we can save on the insurance end of the money train is 25%, assuming no profits, no overhead, no waste, and no employees.

    (I may have muddled numbers for disability insurance in with those for health insurance, and it's not clear to me what significance this would have)


    other factors (none / 0) (#30)
    by Stephen H on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 06:43:43 PM EST
    You are not taking into account a number of other factors, including the way that private insurance companies help to drive up other costs that could be better controlled under a single-payer system, and the fact that they are already indirectly paying for the unisured, whose overall expense would not be as great if they were receiving preventive medical care.

    So, no link for "$.06 to $.11"? (none / 0) (#32)
    by roy on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 07:08:28 PM EST
    Your point about the uninsured is a good one, but what are the other "costs that could be better controlled under a single-payer system"?  One of the main complaints about the for-profit insurers is that they're too good at controlling costs, bordering on malice and fraud to avoid paying on policies.  Insurers' administration could be reduced, an advantage of any monopoly, but that's a separate issue from cost of care.

    Lest my dogma slip its leash, the other company I found good numbers for, non-profit Kaiser Permanente Health Plans of the Northwest, has achieved $0.94 out per $1 in (PDF) back in '04.


    The worst in both catagories (none / 0) (#33)
    by Stephen H on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 07:41:33 PM EST
    They are NOT good at controlling costs - they are only good at denying coverage. These are two different things.

    Everything from doctor's salaries to the cost of drugs is much lower under single payer systems because they can say enough is enough. Instead, private insurance companies try to save money by denying coverage, and this is very often shortsighted and leads to even higher costs when the patient gets sicker. They only win if the patient dies (or can no longer afford the premium).

    Our health care system is one that tries to cut costs by letting letting patients (and the uninsured) die earlier than was necessary, and that's why we have the highest per capita cost, and yet it's one of the worst systems in terms of keeping the most people alive the longest. It's the worse in both categories - the most expensive and most deadly.


    Stephen (none / 0) (#61)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 07:12:40 PM EST
    Could you give us a link to some proof re the number of denied coverages, etc.?

    Seriously? (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by DA in LA on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 07:19:59 PM EST
    You actually need a link for reports of denied health coverage?

    He's Not Good With (none / 0) (#63)
    by squeaky on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 08:25:03 PM EST
    Squeaky is good with smearing (none / 0) (#67)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Sep 19, 2007 at 01:55:29 PM EST
    but bad with facts. Because he knows that it is the person who has made the claim responsibility to back it up. But that doesn't matter. Here's how he operates in his very own words.

    Posted by Squeaky at September 19, 2005 11:19 PM

    Rove never needed proof for his smear machine, why should I.

    No, I have no doubt it exists. (none / 0) (#66)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Sep 19, 2007 at 01:52:10 PM EST
    What I would like for you to do is quantify your claim with actual numbers.

    Remember. I'm for NHC. Claims are fine, but the opponents will just chop it to pieces if all you provide is anecdotal comments.

    BTW - I stayed in the private sector for about  40 years and never had a claim denied, although I did have to present additional information on 1 medical and several dental claims.

    I have had Medicare now for a short period and have two claims denied and seen a friend sent home because he no longer met "medicare medical standards" for a hospital stay. (One day later he was back in ER and back in the hospital.)

    So don't think Medicare is all that great, or that any governmental agency will be that much better. Won't happen. But it will provide some care for everybody and just maybe we can improve the system when everybody is part of it.

    BTW - I won one Medicare denial and lost one. The one I lost was for payment of a bone density test for my wife. It was only around $200., nothing to me, but everything to many others, so they won't get tested and won't take available medication for bone strengthening...I guess Medicare had rather wait and pay $20,000 for a hip fracture and extended care...


    Yes, because gvt health care is so dam (none / 0) (#24)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 05:34:00 PM EST
    good. In one stroke of a pen, all our health care worries will be resolved. Because the gvt does everything so well. Nirvana, thy name is Hillary's New Health Care Plan. Because this is the one thing the gvt won't f up. Riiight.

    What a joke! (none / 0) (#39)
    by dkmich on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 05:23:51 AM EST
    For those who are already insured and happy with their plans, there won't be any required changes.

    Insurers will be required to provide insurance to everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions.

    First, employers will be dumping employees and retirees faster than pigs on @x%&.  Second, they'll provide insurance regardless of "PRE-existing condition" but collecting will be another matter and affording the higher premiums will be another matter after that.  This proposal truly sucks.  Wonder how much the insurance lobbyists donated to get this.

    I'm beginning to like Hillary's Plan (none / 0) (#68)
    by Mr Wiggles on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 10:27:30 AM EST
    I'm now reaching 50, and face it, work is hard.  It's tough to keep up with kids just getting out of college.  I probably wouldn't still be here if it wasn't for the fact I know where the bodies are buried.

    I've done well for myself.  I started buying stocks before the DJI30 hit 2,000 for the first time, and bought Wal-Mart, Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, and Home Depot as IPO's.

    I have no bills to pay off, I own my home and can life off of my savings for the rest of my and my wife's life.  The only thing I fear is getting sick and not having health care.  One illness could wipe me out.  And health care coverage is the reason I work as it is so expensive.

    But I like Hillary's health care plan.  If she is able to get it passed, I may just retire early, very early!  And since I would not be eligible for Social Security yet, I wouldn't have much of an income yet.

    I like her idea of giving me the same health care as congress and keeping it affordable to my income level.

    Not only will her plan give me the freedom to quit work and do more around the home, but it will also give me the ability to take better care of myself with more trips to the doctor!  I will also have the ability to take care of those things that I don't want to pay for now.

    This is a great plan, and the reason I plan to vote for Hillary next year!