Single payer healthcare for Pennsylvania?

esh_gaSeptember 22, 2013

I didn't realize this was going on, sounds encouraging:

As the country prepares for open enrollment October 1st in the insurance exchanges of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), a small group of dedicated artists and politicians in Pennsylvania have been working toward a broader solution. Catalyzed by a study by Professor Gerard Friedman of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst that estimated savings of $17B for Pennsylvania with a single payer approach, State Senator Jim Ferlo and an energetic group of young artists in Pennsylvania, decided they needed a comprehensive statewide system that would offer affordable health care to every citizen in Pennsylvania.

I sure hope they can make a difference. I also had never heard of the co-op approach:

Whether or not single payer means a purely publicly financed and delivered system, or some variation of public control, there is yet another version of single payer that will work through the state ACA exchanges. Just last week the first of twenty-four non-profit "insurance companies" opened their doors for business around the country. These insurance-company startups or 'co-ops' created by the Affordable Care Act say they're ready to battle the establishment, stay in business, and change health care.

"What we're doing is a big part of the ACA story," said John Morrison, president of the National Alliance of State Health CO-OPs. "We bring a completely different paradigm to health care finance. We're not interested in making as much money as we can. We're not interested in making profits. What we are interested in is making consumer patients healthy and saving money."

In New Mexico, alone, the co-op approach has provoked private insurance companies to lower their prices. But co-ops cannot use federal money to advertise their plans, and it is not clear the residents of the states in which co-ops are being offered will actually sign up.

Here is a link that might be useful: source of course

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tobr24u(z6 RI)

It is all an enigma to most and it will take time to see what works and what doesn't and tweak it...

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 5:31AM
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jodik_gw

I gotta say... a lot of the information floating about is confusing... but I do hope this will at least help insure those persons and families that have no options as of today.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 11:02AM
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marquest(z5 PA)

There are some really interesting things going on in this state. In one city in PA two hospitals that have their own insurance are fighting and the plan is if you do not go to their hospital they will not pay. It is like having out of network insurance.

I think the reason there has not been a big fight with the Republican run States that want the government to set up their network because it is helping with the single payer. So the Republicans are helping people that would prefer single payer. The system I think we will eventually get.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 11:44AM
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rosie(Deep South, USA 7A/B)

Thanks for posting this, Esh, one more step to getting it out there. I checked and unfortunately this isn't available in my state, Georgia.

In a lot of state exchanges so far, private insurance companies are still mostly competing with each other, as before, so prices aren't coming down as they should, or are coming down but with benefits trimmed to protect profits. We won't see the kind of improvement in prices that is really possible until private companies are all competing with single-payer plans for our business.

BTW? The very concept of insurance is an obsolete hanger-on from the days when relatively little could be done compared to today--you saved in case you ran up a few bills too large to pay before your problems carried you off. Insurance, by definition, is for unexpected bills that cannot reasonably be planned for.

The medical revolution means that most Americans alive today can live to play with their grandchildren's grandchildren---if they have good preventive and supportive care. Planned, continuous health monitoring and protection -- not unexpected illness care for a handful of final years that used to come on way too soon by today's standards.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 12:20PM
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patriciae_gw(07)

Rosie, you are right-most of medical care in the past was simply being hospitalized. There was certainly very little treatment. Today so much more can be done and a lot of it is horribly expensive to do-not however as horribly expensive as we get charged since other countries do it for so much less.

I have insurance with a non-profit company, Group Health. Strangely enough even though it is non- profit it is not measurably less expensive than any of the other plans I could chose from. I keep wondering where all the extra money is going. I have tried in vain to find out what the CEO and the chief executives get paid-a common place for millions to end up in any insurance company. I expect that is where it is-how to fix that?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 2:02PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

Today so much more can be done and a lot of it is horribly expensive to do-not however as horribly expensive as we get charged since other countries do it for so much less.

Have anyone seen all the specials that have been shown on 60 minutes and other programs about people going to other countries for operations because it is cheaper and they get better care. The operations are cheaper than having the operation in the states and the deductible. I find that incredible.

Here is a link that might be useful: Global Surgery

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 2:19PM
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chisue

Non-profit only means every dime taken in is 'used up' in salaries, etc. so there's no 'profit' left over. (My best guess.)

Doesn't every non-profit have to make it's audited financial condition public -- file a...501(c)?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 2:39PM
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rosie(Deep South, USA 7A/B)

Oh, like that gentleman in his late 50s to mid 60s who needed a hip replacement that his insurance company refused to cover because he'd injured the hip playing sports when he was young. "Preexisting." The replacement might have cost him close to, or even more than, $100K here, but he had it done in Brussels for about $13,500.

The hip replacement system business is a racket. There are only about 5 companies that can market in the U.S, and an investigator found there can be up to 13 middlemen between manufacturer and surgeon/provider -- who has to sign a nondisclosure agreement before being allowed to buy one.

Patriciae, many "non-profits" have become very-much-for-profits that still qualify for taxpayer subsidies as long as they continue to carry that name. Lots of them now also specialist in providing luxury care to the well-insured/well-heeled (highest profit margins) so that people in the communities around them have to get their care elsewhere. "Founded in X by Sisters of Charity Yadayada" on the letterhead means nothing.

Heaven help someone uninsured (or just normally insured) who innocently goes or is taken to the "nearest" ER and it's one of these. They don't want people making that mistake (they may be forced to admit sick patients who can't possibly pay), and paying off a $7000 bill for having a bad tummyache evaluated and monitored overnight in cubicle 3 usually guarantees the mistake won't be repeated.

We've not really wandered that far from single payer discussion. This is still about whether we have to let business milk our illnesses for profit, which, given just how profits are maximized, is very much not in our interest.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 3:02PM
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jodik_gw

Unfortunate, but everything is a racket now... the ethics, integrity, compassion, and moral responsibility have been squeezed out in favor of green money, greed.

We have the right to be represented by an attorney... but we don't have the right to a doctor when we're sick?

Profit has overridden the human aspect...

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 9:17AM
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momj47(7A)

Interesting commentary in the Washington Post this morning, about Ted Cruz and the health care battle.

When youâÂÂre being forced to endure another rabid Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) soliloquy on ObamacareâÂÂs threat to human freedom, itâÂÂs easy to forget how absurd our health-care debate seems to the rest of the civilized world. ThatâÂÂs why itâÂÂs bracing to check in with red-blooded, high testosterone capitalists north of the border in Canada - business leaders who love CanadaâÂÂs single-payer system (a regime far to the âÂÂleftâ of Obamacare) and see it as perfectly consistent with free market capitalism.

ItâÂÂs just âÂÂcommon senseâ in BeattyâÂÂs view (David Beatty, a 70-year-old Toronto native who ran food processing giant Weston Foods and a holding company called the Gardiner Group during a career that has included service on more than 30 corporate boards) that government takes the lead in assuring basic health security for its citizens. HeâÂÂs amazed at the contortions of the debate in the United States, and wonders why big U.S. companies âÂÂwant to be in the business of providing health care anywayâ (âÂÂthatâÂÂs a government function,â he says simply). Beatty also marvels at the way the U.S. regimeâÂÂs dysfunction comes to dominate everyday conversation. He shakes his head recalling how much time and passion American friends devoted one evening to comparing notes on their various supplemental Medicare plans. Talk about your sparkling dinner conversation.

Roger Martin, another Toronto native and avowed capitalist, told me that CanadaâÂÂs lower spending, better outcomes and universal coverage make it superior by definition. Plus, itâÂÂs âÂÂincredibly hassle-free.â In the United States every time he took his kids in for an earache his wife spent hours fighting with the health plan or filling out reams of paperwork. In Canada, he says, âÂÂthe entire administrative cost is pulling your card out of your pocket, giving it to them and putting it back.âÂÂ

One well-known billionaire told me a few years back that the right answer for the United States was single payer for basic coverage, with the ability for folks to buy additional private supplements atop that. But he wonâÂÂt say this in public; the gang at the club just wouldnâÂÂt understand. Maybe when U.S. business leaders muster the common sense of their Canadian counterparts, theyâÂÂll deliver the message the Ted Cruzes of the world need to hear: sit down and shut up.?

Here is a link that might be useful: Link

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 11:26AM
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chase_gw

Canadian business leaders have been very outspoken in saying that universal health care is one of the things that attracts them to invest in Canada. The President of Ford has been particularly vocal in his support of single payer healthcare.

Ford has invested over 10 Billion dollars in Canada over the last 10 years and just announced a retooling and expansion of it's Oakville plant. The expansion could result in as many as 2800 new jobs at Ford plus spin off jobs in supporting industries.

Universal, single payer health care is very employer friendly...and so darn uncomplicated.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 11:36AM
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jerzeegirl(9)

When youâÂÂre being forced to endure another rabid Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) soliloquy on ObamacareâÂÂs threat to human freedom I am so tired of that little tiresome man and I am sure other republicans are tired of him too. It's the Junior High School Congress.

Edited because I meant congress (not just the house).

This post was edited by jerzeegirl on Wed, Sep 25, 13 at 14:13

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 11:49AM
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duluthinbloomz4

The Calgary Cruzer ''isn't popular among his Republican colleagues in the House or Senate. He doesn't care. He isn't going to be Majority (or Minority)leader. He doesn't care. He isn't going to be the GOP's establishment pick for any office. He doesn't care.'' What he does care about is being that lone populist standing pat on his principles.

He doesn't want to spend years in the Senate. He wants to run for President in 2016.

Here is a link that might be useful: WaPo Chris Cillizza blog

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 12:16PM
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chase_gw

"Calgary Cruzer"

Please don't remind me of his Canadian heritage.....it's like reminding me Celine and Bieber are Canadian.... :(

Anyone know if he has renounced his socialist citizenship yet?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 12:22PM
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duluthinbloomz4

The latest information is from Aug. 19th. or 20th. where he states he will renounce his Canadian citizenship - whether he has seen a judge and/or paid the $100 fee is unknown.

It's likely only a matter of time before he's solely ours and his "path to the oval office" is free of any (perceived) encumbrance.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 12:37PM
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jerzeegirl(9)

it's like reminding me Celine and Bieber are Canadian

Don't forget half Canadian Robin Thicke!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 3:21PM
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chase_gw

Low blow..............JZ......low blow

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 4:03PM
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duluthinbloomz4

There must be some "notorious" USAians living in Canada. Maybe we could work out something like a prisoner exchange... we'll take back more than one apiece for Dion, Bieber, and Thicke. Seems only fair.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 4:12PM
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