• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    jmac on $354 More Each Month
    jmac on The Heart of the Matter
    William on Just to Summarize Where We…
    jmac on Just to Summarize Where We…
    William on Just to Summarize Where We…
    William on The “Advice Clinic for D…
    jmac on The “Advice Clinic for D…
    jmac on MLK Day
    William on MLK Day
    jmac on MLK Day
    William on MLK Day
    William on MLK Day
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on MLK Day
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on MLK Day
    William on Another “Morning After…
  • Categories

  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    February 2011
    S M T W T F S
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Politics Series: Power
      (Previous: Economy) (Introduction and Table of Contents) We have seen that who gets how much of what is a political decision: that the economy and economics is downstream from politics. Power is the ability to make people do what you want, or not do what you don’t want. Ideology determines what the good life is and power determines who lives it. All politica […]
  • Top Posts

Health Care War Games

Matt Miller at the Washington Post published an interesting fantasy this morning (h/t Big Tent Democrat):

Health care’s federal future, brought to you by the GOP

“Good afternoon, I’m Brian Williams reporting from Washington, where it looks like October 26, 2017, will be a day that truly goes down in history. In a few moments, at a table not far from where I now stand, President Hillary Clinton will sign into law the universal health-care legislation – “Medicare for All,” as she calls it – that completes a journey Mrs. Clinton began nearly 25 years ago. Back then, as first lady, her attempt to reform the health-care system proved a fiasco that cost Democrats their hold on power. Who would have thought then – or later, when President Barack Obama’s big health reform was overturned by the Supreme Court in a controversial 5 to 4 ruling in 2012 – that today’s bipartisan bill would be the result? For some perspective on the twists and turns of history, we’re joined by NBC’s David Gregory. David, health reform seemed dead in the water in 2012. How did we get from that Supreme Court ruling to today?”

“Brian, when historians look back on this period, they’ll see it as a classic case of shortsighted politics – of Republicans winning the battle but losing the war. It really dates to the fight to overturn Barack Obama’s health reform. There’s no question the GOP got a boost from that ‘victory’ – it galvanized their base, and, combined with high unemployment and the dollar crisis right before the 2012 election, denied President Obama a second term.

The vision in that Washington Post story isn’t meant to be rosy.  Yeah,  there’s that (to me) lovely bit about Hillary signing Medicare for Everyone into law.  But, in this fantasy the only way we get there is by living through a pretty horrific period between now and then.  It’s more like a post-apocalyptic tale — with Hillary and Medicare for Everyone in the role of “the end of the world”.

As usual, this vision discusses the hard statistics of the health care crisis (the estimated 70 million without access to health care)  like a game.  A fake video-game-war where Republicans get a “victory” with a Supreme Court ruling and Democrats end up “winning” with President Hillary Clinton and Medicare for Everyone (ooohhh, scary!)

Well, it’s a fake game:

I don’t know that The Affordable Health Care Act is all that affordable — I still can’t figure out how people making just above 400% of poverty are supposed to keep up with the ever-rising premiums.  And what happens if/when a future Senate decides that the subsidies for those whose incomes are under 400% are an entitlement that we just can’t afford anymore? Suddenly what was affordable isn’t so affordable anymore.

So with or without The Affordable Health Care Act, premiums and the numbers of uninsured will rise…..

And I can’t figure out who’s winning that game.

17 Responses

  1. And there’s nothing new about this game. For the past few years I’ve read stories (sorry no links) about how great Nixon’s health care plan was. But, Senate Democrats didn’t think it was good enough. And (oh the tragedy) … we didn’t get our health care then.

    Well, it wasn’t all that great.

    In fact, It seems almost identical to the piece-of-shit plan we’ve got now.

    Upon adoption of appropriate Federal and State legislation, the Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan would offer to every American the same broad and balanced health protection through one of three major programs:

    –Employee Health Insurance, covering most Americans and offered at their place of employment, with the cost to be shared by the employer and employee on a basis which would prevent excessive burdens on either;

    –Assisted Health Insurance, covering low-income persons, and persons who would be ineligible for the other two programs, with Federal and State government paying those costs beyond the means of the individual who is insured; and,

    –An improved Medicare Plan, covering those 65 and over and offered through a Medicare system that is modified to include additional, needed benefits.
    One of these three plans would be available to every American, but for everyone, participation in the program would be voluntary.

  2. Kinda got stuck on the “President Hillary Clinton” and drifted away to my happy place. 🙂

    • Me too. I was pretty sad to realize her Presidency was more in the nature of a threat than a promise.

      • A threat to weenies!!!

      • Hell yes a threat!! A threat to all evil in the world. = )

        Have you guys spent much time on the site where they always talk about how pretty Hillary is and how nice her clothes are? I can’t remember what site it is, but it just makes me smile.

  3. I couldn’t engage in the health reform fantasy. I don’t think that the insurers who are making so much money want anything that doesn’t keep them in their very profitable lifestyles. I believe the broken system will not be mended. What the fantasy post did remind me of was a news conference I saw today with SOS Hillary Clinton. She spoke with clarity and authority. It was another painful reminder of what might have been.

    I cannot bear to listen to Obama. Just as I did with GWB, I turn off the sound or change channels whenever he speaks. He always sounds like a phony to me. I also think he is a phony which doesn’t help.

    • I get that.

      I just think that we’re going to have that crisis of the uninsured with or without The Affordable Health Care Act.

      • I agree.

        Too many people have been out of work for a very long time.

        Even if they could continue on COBRA (I think I saw something that it was extended beyond the typical 18 months for unemployed) the cost is very high, but I guess there was some subsidy of the COBRA for laid off employees for the first 15 months and then it went to full cost.

      • For those of us without health insurance we see the health care crisis very differently. The problem with health care in this country is INSURANCE. The layers & layers of insurance industry costs that are built into medical care costs are the root of the problem.

        For 32+ years we have used every alternative available to us to keep our health care costs down. Through the years we’ve had three children, had the usual broken bones, sliced off fingers, etc. & have paid for everything 100%. What we’ve found is that many doctors & even hospitals are quite happy to give a substantial discount for not having to deal with insurance companies. We’ve also found that many people have no idea what health care really costs since their concern is the amount of their co-pay.

        Health care reform would pass in a week if everyone in the country faced the same situation our family faces.

        • What confuses and outrages me is that it seems it would take “everyone in the country faced the same situation our family faces.”

          My mom is a 3 time cancer survivor — and there is no way she would still be alive if she didn’t have excellent health insurance (MINE doesn’t cover treatment in the hospital that saved her life)

          And that’s why I’d like to see Insurance companies taken out of the equation completely.

          • I agree completely with you — I too want insurance companies completely out of health care. The bottom line for our family is that we have been lucky — I know that — but if any of us had cancer we would not be alive.

            Over the years I’ve checked into health insurance but there is no way we could afford the monthly premiums; my daughter cannot be covered at all so we would still have to pay for her tests & daily medication.

        • I agree with a lot of what you said. When I look back at the premiums I have paid over my lifetime, I am surprised that the insurance companies have still made money off of me even with some expensive testing and a high dollar procedure. The problem I would have had without insurance would have been for those few unforeseeable instances that can incur extraordinary costs. I hate having the insurance industry in control of my routine medical costs and care.

  4. The camel breaking straw will come when the GOP and its enablers start denying veterans their health care benefits by means-testing everyone out of the VA system.

    • hmmm your probably right but I’m sure when that happens beck and rush will find some way to legitimize it and scare the wingnut base into following them like the sheep that they are .

  5. If that were to be true that President Hillary Clinton signs single payer health care, it would be worth all the pain I’ve suffered from 2008 to 2016.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: