Wyden Plan Not Considered By SFC, Neither Was Medicare For All

Ezra's got his dander up:

[T]he drama came late in the evening. About one in the morning, Wyden's Free Choice Act came before the committee. But it never came up for a vote. [. . .] The proposal was doomed by the joint opposition of businesses and labor.

This was, in other words, a battle over the sufficiency of the status quo. And the Senate Finance Committee, hearing complaints from those who preside over a health-care system that works so poorly, sided with the status quo.

Funny how when it's a proposal Ezra cares about, it is an outrage that the status quo is being protected. When it's Medicare For All (which had as realistic a chance of being enacted as Wyden's bill - zero) or any public option for that matter, Ezra is all "don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Ironic.

Speaking for me only

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    This can't actually surprise anyone, (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 01:57:10 PM EST
    can it?  I mean from the beginning, when single-payer advocates had to beg to be allowed in on Obama's big Health Care Summit, to Baucus' committee refusing to even allow testimony on the subject - having single-payer advocates arrested for trying to be heard - to finally getting before a House Committee and getting no coverage, there was never any chance that the best and most simple and most cost-effective plans were ever going to be considered.

    And it's clear why that is: it's not about CARE, it's about the insurance industry, and we have been witness to nine months of contorted and contrived and convoluted exercises in making sure that CARE never stood in the way of insurance.

    It's the status quo with a bonus for the industry.

    Feel the winds of change...oh, wait, I think change is not supposed to smell like that...

    Medicare for all? (none / 0) (#1)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 01:15:57 PM EST
    Even Obama says existing Medicare is out of control and will swallow the federal budget.  Expanding Medicare is insanity.

    sanity (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Illiope on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 02:04:00 PM EST
    sure, a single payer system would be a huge budgetary item, but not doing it is what i find insane.

    insane is the bloated military budget. insane is tax cuts for the rich. insane is taxing hedge funds at the low rate of 15%. insane is corporate welfare. insane is forcing businesses to compete against foreign competitors that don't have to provide insurance to their employees.

    sure, a single payer system will expensive. but, to me, it would be worth every penny to ensure that every american has access to top quality healthcare, without fear of bankruptcy, or death due to lack of care.

    there are many, many ways to pay for single payer. from increasing the taxes on the uber-wealthy, to slashing the pentagon's budget, to pulling out of iraq/afghanistan, etc.

    it is not insane to care for our citizens.


    You socialist you (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by cawaltz on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 02:16:16 PM EST
    How dare you infer that it isn't a priority  to blow up every single country twenty times over or that corporate America and Paris Hilton don't deserve every extra bit of consideration they have paid for in the form of lobbyists./snark

    Don't worry (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 01:22:03 PM EST
    Be Happy. Not gonna happen anytime soon.

    Your take on the merits is wrong in that you ignore the comparative rise in Medicare costs vs. private insurance, but you and I might as well argue how many angels can be on the head of a pin.


    Co-payments on a scalpel? (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 01:26:27 PM EST
    The cost of private insurance (none / 0) (#4)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 01:27:58 PM EST

    The cost of private insurance cannot bankrupt the feds.  OTOH, Medicare can and is on course to do so.

    Indeed (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 01:29:15 PM EST
    only Americans. Who cares about them?

    Yeah (none / 0) (#7)
    by cawaltz on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 01:34:44 PM EST
    because that bailout we provided to the banking system didn't affect our bottom line at all eh?

    Furthermore, you ignore the fact that the price of health care is part and parcel of our federal budget. Medicaid, SCHIP, Medicare, VA care, and military care are all tied to the health care market in one way or the other and are becoming a bigger and bigger problem as a result of private insurance.


    None of that (none / 0) (#12)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 02:05:55 PM EST

    None of that has anything tp do with private insurance.

    The heck it doesn't (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by cawaltz on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 02:12:19 PM EST
    They all are part of the same health care market that the private insurance companies wish to game. Again, I need to ask, do you understand how markets work? The private industry has created upwards pressure on health care costs which in turn drives up the costs to the government to provide said health care.

    Medicare pricing (none / 0) (#8)
    by cawaltz on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 01:38:42 PM EST
    does not exist in a vacumm. The price increases of private insurance drive UP the cost of Medicare(which as BTD has pointed out have outpaced Medicare in terms of costs). You do understand how markets work right?

    Untrue (none / 0) (#16)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 02:15:36 PM EST

    The cost of private insurance has nothing to do with Medicare.  Medicare pays health care providers (doctors, hospitals, et al) directly at prices established by Medicare.  

    If your health insurance premiums were to double tomorrow or they were halved tomorrow, the price Medicare pays for say, a hip replacement will not change by so much as $0.01.


    Medicare (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by cawaltz on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 02:17:31 PM EST
    does not exist outside the private market. If the private insurers are paying $3000 for that hip replacement it is going to place pressure on the government to increase reimbursement rates.

    Furthermore, (none / 0) (#20)
    by cawaltz on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 02:37:15 PM EST
    if you ask the health care producers WHY their prices are set the way they are many of them will tell you it is because of the reimbursement rates set by private industry. They don't say it is because of pricing set by our government because as a whole most of the market is covered by a) private insurers or b) no one. Medicare, which has had some success because it has set some limits and has pared admin costs(do you think it doesn't cost money to deny claims or find excuses to deny claims several times), only hold the market on the over 65 set. Everyone under 65 is stuck in the sucky system where it pays for an insurance company to find any excuse to deny your claim so that it can generate a profit.

    Was Ezra upset (none / 0) (#6)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 01:31:12 PM EST
    like Rockefeller was about the sending  Medicaid out to the "exchanges"?  It seems they will sell out Medicaid to the private insurers at a cost to us of 80 billion.  No rhyme or reason than a give away.  (this time I mean Medicaid:
    "But," Rockefeller continued, tears in his eyes, "he had Medicaid. He had me by his side and it didn't work. He had Medicaid by his side and it did work. So I'd like to keep poor people where they have health care benefits. I don't wish to see them handed over to the tender mercies of a private exchange or whatever. And I think you will understand the spirit in which I tell this story."

    Please explain why business which (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 01:56:58 PM EST
    currently provide health care coverage for their employees aren't aligned with the unions in favor of making health care available to all through a public option.  Seems like it would save them a lot of money.  Plus so much whining about how burdensome it is financially to provide health care coverage to employees.  

    Why would it save them money? (none / 0) (#14)
    by me only on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 02:08:59 PM EST
    Are there employees going to spend less money on health care?

    The ones carrying health care (none / 0) (#21)
    by cawaltz on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 03:01:32 PM EST
    benefits pay more for health care then their employees do. Of course, bunches have basically told their employees they are on their own as prices have increased or shifted a larger portion unto the employee.

    Part of the reason  for reticence may be that the government has made it clear that with a public plan they will be forced to cost share and not have the option of dropping the ball on health care if they choose.


    Can you name large companies that (none / 0) (#22)
    by me only on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 03:03:53 PM EST
    buy health insurance?

    Well (none / 0) (#23)
    by cawaltz on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 03:24:51 PM EST
    Norfolk Southern is the name of my husbands employer. It provides health coverage. It's in their union contract. Walmart provides coverage from what I understand. Danaher provided coverage when my husband was there in 2003. All of these companies purchase at least a portion of health coverage costs for their employees and their families.

    Boeing, Microsoft, IBM, Starbucks, (none / 0) (#24)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 03:29:11 PM EST
    Lockheed, Apple, TI.....

    Can you name one that doesn't? In my state, it is mandatory that an employer with more than 20 employees has to make health insurance available. My experience is that most pay all for the employee, and a share of dependents...that doesn't mean there aren't those that make the employee carry the greater burden of the cost.


    HCA (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by cawaltz on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 03:45:50 PM EST
    only provided it to full time employees when I worked there. They did offer a percent off health care provided off the facility you worked at and per diem rates were higher than what the full time employees made. Some of the problems is that in places like Walmart is that the employee can't afford their portion of the care so the fact that the employee offers it becomes a moot point. Additionally small business comprises like 80% of business and they, not larger employees have had difficulty getting affordable rates(so therefore don't cover people). We have local business employees of places like Wade Foods(I speak pretty extensively with one of their cashiers) who are in that boat.

    Sometimes it's just hard to believe (none / 0) (#28)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 05:05:53 PM EST
    we all live in the same country, isn't it.

    One of the reasons I oppose (none / 0) (#29)
    by cawaltz on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 05:16:19 PM EST
    the Blue state run around is because of how different each of the states treat health care. If you look at the Medicaid model which is an attempt at controlling costs at a state level, it's a disaster. There are places where you have voids because none of the doctors will except the reimbursement rate of Medicaid. Medicare has been somewhat affective with the 12% of the market they control and the ability to set price ceilings but it still is less of the market then private industry and so therefore is not (contrary to the position of the poster I was responding to) immune to fluctuations in the market caused by the other 88% of the population not covered by it.

    It all makes (none / 0) (#30)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 05:22:21 PM EST
    national discussion very frustrating and confusing. Healthcare should be nationally controlled and identical from state to state.

    Well (none / 0) (#26)
    by cawaltz on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 03:50:29 PM EST
    in my state health care is still considered a benefit. My husband employer pays a generous portion of the cost but they are the exception not the rule and the fact that they do so did affect the actual compensation they recieve for services.

    I asked how many of them purchase (none / 0) (#31)
    by me only on Mon Oct 05, 2009 at 08:44:37 AM EST
    health insurance.  Not, how many of them provide coverage.  I doubt Apple, Microsoft or IBM purchase health insurance.  (They probably do purchase re insurance, but that is not very costly.)  Starbucks I am not so sure about.

    Can we get you and Ezra to have (none / 0) (#13)
    by me only on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 02:07:07 PM EST
    a knock down drag out Roshambo cage match?  Now that would be funny.  Taunting allowed, of course.  I would donate real money to see it.  I would even consider promoting a pay per view broadcast.

    Ezra is a distinguished Villager (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 02:23:38 PM EST
    He don't play that.

    Our budding Broder.


    Ezra Le Bonvilla (none / 0) (#27)
    by Salo on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 05:01:56 PM EST