Home > Uncategorized > Eureka rally for single payer healthcare

Eureka rally for single payer healthcare

universal-health-careHealth care professionals will lead a rally for health care reform on the steps of the Humboldt County courthouse Friday at 5pm.

More details from Tom Seabourn.

  1. RedHummer
    May 29, 2009 at 8:50 am

    Single payer is the only way to extricate ourselves from the enormous drain that our present form of healthcare puts on our society and economy. The only looser will be the insurance companies that are not providing a workable product anyway. Bill Moyers had a great segment on single payer last week.


    Bottom line is that insurance company lobbyists are keeping it off the table. We need to make our wishes known to our representatives because this president and this congress is the best chance we will have to get anything done.

  2. Anonymous
    May 29, 2009 at 9:43 am

    And where is the money going to come from to pay for it?

    Answer: There is no funding for it. Nothing is free.

  3. May 29, 2009 at 10:01 am

    “Nothing is free.”

    The only people using the word “free” are clowns like Anonymous.
    Funding obviously would come from all of that money we lavish upon the insurance companies.

  4. Anonymous
    May 29, 2009 at 10:22 am

    Insurance is socialism, Joel. Do some more homework on this issue.

  5. Anonymous
    May 29, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Many insurance carriers are non-profits, e.g. Blue Shield, Guardian Life and numerous other mutual carriers, and most of the money “lavished” on insurance companies goes to pay doctors and hospitals. Enjoy the new “tower” at St. Joe’s next time you have a heart attack. You’re paying for it.

  6. May 29, 2009 at 10:40 am

    “Insurance is socialism”?

  7. RedHummer
    May 29, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Single payer is public funding with private delivery. The great thing about it is that it covers everybody. So poor people don’t need to go to the emergency room anymore. Public funding is taxes. So your taxes will go up, but you or your employer, if you are covered, won’t have to pay an insurance premium for you any longer. Unions that have negotiated health benefits can demand higher wages to cover the increase in taxes since their employers will no longer have to pay their premiums, which are a part of their total compensation package. A single not for profit payer will be cheaper and more efficient than a bunch of for profit insurance companies saving costs that will bring down the overall health care tax burden. It works in Canada, and the Canadians don’t want to go back. Read the article before you start the spin.

  8. FedUp
    May 29, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Oh yeah – I want single payer…because the government has done such a great job with MediCare, MediCal, Social Security – all bankrupt!

    Only rich Canadians get good health care…they come to the US for it and pay cash! Just like I do…

  9. May 29, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Single payer could save hospitals in rural, urban poor, and other under-served areas.

    Another of the many problems single payer would address is the time and money that so many small businesses are forced to devote to shopping for, providing and administering medical coverage for employees. These costs are never included in the byzantine calculus that produces numbers for public discussion. Anyway, why is it incumbent upon businesses to supply medical insurance for employees?

  10. Anonymoose
    May 29, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Yeah, I would hate to give up my god given right to milk you of your life savings at the most vulnerable time of your life, like if you got cancer or were seriously injured. Its the American way!

  11. longwind
    May 29, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    In fact, 10:33, the private insurance business is so lucrative that former mutual associations–specifically Blue Cross/Blue Shield here in California–have gone private. They no longer return their profits to their former partner insurees. In the case of Blue Cross, a multi-billion-dollar public health fund was endowed by BC/BS in California as their payment for reneging on their former non-profit, public-benefit corporate status. I’m sorry I can’t remember its mission at the moment, I hope someone else can, but similar shakeouts have happened across the country over the past 20 years. It happened with little public awareness because, as Joe Biden recently affirmed, the insurance companies own Congress.

    The greatest private-industry benefit of public health care is that workers will no longer be held captive by their insurance plans in jobs that they would otherwise quit. There’s no calculating how much ingenuity and enterprise will be unleashed when Americans have the same freedom that all other wealthy nations’ citizens enjoy. It can’t happen too soon–and it won’t happen until irresistable public pressure is brought to bear on the Obama administration. The poor guy understood and said all this very clearly when he was a measly Senator.

    It’s great that medical professionals are taking the lead on this issue, it will really make a difference in helping people to understand what’s up.

  12. RedHummer
    May 29, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    It’s not incumbent on businesses to supply medical insurance to their employees. Large employers can offer medical insurance as a benefit to attract top notch employees, but it is part of their overall compensation package. Smaller companies that require an employee to cover their own insurance or deny it to “part time” employees will have to pay higher wages or attract less qualified employees. FedUp, know anyone that isn’t getting their social security check because as you say, it’s “bankrupt”?

  13. May 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Small employers are at a distinct disadvantage under the current system.

    And why do we leave our health care in the hands of an industry that has proven itself to be uniquely unqualified for the task?

  14. HumRed
    May 29, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Best comment is look how the government runs other economic situations. Medicare is a perfect example. Fed-up is on the button. Why do the Canadians come here for health care. How about all the Canadian doctors that come here to practice. Most medical professionals don’t handle their own billing and have no real idea how any insurance works just know their incomes have gone to hell. I am not defending insurance companies, I fucking hate them ( sorry to be crude but what health insurance companies do to people is beyond belief). Look at what legislators did to the California Work Comp. System. Five years later and line by line the courts are figuring out what the law says, people are not getting care and no one gives a shit.
    Yes, at this point people are still getting SS checks. But we just took on trillions of dollars in debt that will have interest payments. This will speed up the time table for bankrupting SS. Also the number of people over 65 is increasing so the ratio of folks paying in to those taking out is decreasing. At a certain point younger folks will realize it has become a Ponzi scheme, they will stop working/funding the system.

  15. Reinventing the Wheel
    May 29, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    With so few superlatives left, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for dissenters to argue against Single Payer… As the last industrialized nation on Earth to do so!

    Let’s not wait until the next inevitable epidemic reveals the wrath of 48 million uninsured.

  16. May 29, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    “Why do the Canadians come here for health care.”?

    They don’t. I hear an awful lot about this phenomenon, but it’s all anecdotal. It’s a canard.

    And the government would not be running the health care system, health care providers would be.

  17. Roy Miro
    May 29, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    C’mon, Ranger, “the government would not be running the health care system, health care providers would be” is one of the most disingenuous statements about Marx Medical you can spew. The feds electronic tracking of your medical history? Health care providers may be providing health care, but you know damn well they won’t be running it. Do you honestly think there will be any autonomy for medical practices? You won’t be able to get anything that doesn’t fit into the “approval matrix”. Obama-care will have people longing for the good old days of Blue Cross in no time.

  18. Walt
    May 29, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    The point is moot, folks: the insurance industry owns Congress, so even the Democrats say single-payer is off the table. Eventually it will be “You got money you get treated, you don’t, you die.” It’s the Amerrkan way!

  19. Tom Sebourn
    May 29, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    Roy Miro, Canadians come here for health care just like the Saudi’s and they go to the Mayo Clinic and other cutting edge institutions and they bring lots of money with them. Single payer won’t effect those or other rich people that want specialized health care. You and they will still have that right because the doctors and hospitals will still be private.

    Plastic surgeons and the like will still be getting their business from anyone with money enough to purchase their services. I think you are confusing single payer with socialized medicine. You know, like where Dick Cheney gets his heart worked on. The V.A., is socialized medicine, not private hospitals and private doctors getting money from a Medicare type system.
    I guess you think that you can get the care you need with the 23-hundred dollar tax break the Republicans are suggesting?
    What if you loose your job and you don’t owe any taxes?
    I guess you will cross that path when you come to it.

  20. Shane
    May 29, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    Social Security is not a good example to use if you’re trying to make an argument against government social programs. The system is not in crisis. In fact, it functions pretty well, delivering benefits as intended. A few relatively minor adjustments are needed to keep it solvent in the long-term. Eliminating the payroll tax limit would largely address the problem.

  21. May 30, 2009 at 8:04 am

    “Do you honestly think there will be any autonomy for medical practices?”

    Duh. Yes, of course. This isn’t an “experiment.” it’s been working in Canada for decades.

    Mr. Miro worries about the “feds electronic tracking of…medical history” but he doesn’t worry about private corporations, over which we exert no influence or control, doing the same.

    I find the arguments against single payer to be ignorant, disingenuous, and, as in the case of ideologues like Mr. Miro, nutty.

  22. RedHummer
    May 30, 2009 at 8:54 am

    For anyone that would like to contact Mike Thompson to try and get single payer back on the table, feel free to copy and past and send it to:


    Mr. Thompson,

    I would like to find out what your position is on single payer health care. I think that single payer is the best option to get us out of the health care crisis that is facing our country. Private insurance funding of health care through high premiums is not working and adversely affecting a growing part of the population. As the economic downturn puts more and more people out of work they are loosing their health insurance, if they are lucky enough to be able to afford it, and their access to health care. I would like to know why single payer is currently not even on the table. With a democratic president and congress this is probably the best chance we will have at passing single payer and I hope and encourage you to get on board with this.

    Thanks for your time,

  23. High Finance
    May 30, 2009 at 9:17 am

    I saw a picture of the protest in the Times Standard this morning.

    In it, three old women had signs saying they were not covered. They are lying. They all have medicare.

  24. RedHummer
    May 30, 2009 at 9:29 am

    FedUp says medicare is bankrupt.

  25. Big Al
    May 30, 2009 at 10:19 am

    My Dad is Canadian and he says he has never seen a doctor’s bill!
    they wanted him to have heart surgery, which he opted against, but the cost was never an issue!
    (he got better thanks)

    Us little guys, self employed w/no employees are screwed! ( guess I should’a been a pot grower…)

    I was thinking about moving to Canada where I can get a good job with my skills and healthcare for my family, but I thought I should stay here and try to fight for (with) the other poor americans like me.

    Canada isn’t so great on the dental side of their coverage. America should be, so we could all have a great smile like our president.

    Want to make america great ?
    how about healthy smiling citizens
    who’s thoughts are happy and positive
    not about worry, pain and illness.

    Big Al, flying uncovered in Humboldt.
    wish me well, I may need it someday…

  26. Horse
    May 30, 2009 at 11:11 am

    The same special interests that have given us the most expensive, poorest quality health care among developed countries (37th rank) are now suddenly pretending to be champions of reform. Their legislative agenda is a patent effort to stop the public demand for a meaningful universal health care system through a Single Payer- Medicare For All. The fact that over a million Americans face bankruptcy every year due to medical debt- even though the majority had insurance at the time when they got sick is ignored, as are the needs of the American people. The recent decision to close thousands of auto dealerships as part of the neo-liberal IMF/World bank austerity/structural adjustment style programs that are being shoved down our throats by the “change” Obama administration, are in effect costing the American taxpayer tens of thousands of more lost jobs, health insurance, housing, Social Security, etc. Structural Adjustment programs that have been used to impoverish developing countries throughout the world, are now being implemented here in the US, and the health care “reform” is a glaring example.
    The single-payer solution is the one solution that reduces costs and increases savings, covers every American, provides patient choice, and allows doctors and patients to make the best medical decisions. It would also provide a huge stimulus to the economy by creating millions of jobs. Single-Payer would also replace employer-based health care benefits, removing a severe financial burden on businesses suffering from the crippling economic collapse. The ‘options’ plans favored by many Democrats are designed to sustain for-profit insurance companies through massive taxpayer-funded subsidies or mandates. Single-Payer removes the private insurance-HMO industry from the system altogether, making health care a right for all Americans. . The risk of financial ruin when medical care is denied by insurance carriers will no longer be a concern under a Single Payer Plan. US companies will be given a level playing field with foreign companies whose governments provide comprehensive health care for all their
    citizens. While US companies are suffering from the profit driven motives of the health insurance industry (employer-provided health insurance) , the Obama administration’s health care reform plans (mandates),will only intensify and prolong the agony for millions of Americans , as long as a Single Payer Plan is off the table. How can we allow someone like Max Baucus, (D, MT), along with others in Congress to be representing us in the current health care debate? Baucus, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee has accepted millions of dollars from insurance companies. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Baucus’s top funders include PACs associated with American International Group, Goldman Sachs, New York Life Insurance and Blue Cross/Blue Shield. How’s that for a conflict of interest?
    A single-payer system will put American business owners on a level playing field with foreign competitors. There will be no need for Cobra with a Single Payer as people will have health care as a birthright, which is the case for other developed countries.
    Defensive medicine will be reduced. And, people will be able to choose which doctor, dentist, or hospital they want to use with a Single Payer Plan.
    Meds will be dramatically less expensive as the government will have tremendous power in negotiating prices with drug companies. Let the American people have genuine health care security; and demand HR 676- Single Payer- Medicare for All be implemented ASAP.

    The current health care crisis is a direct result of the Clinton era so-called reform which fundamentally solidified the for profit health insurance monopoly. The idea of managed care that Clinton promoted has been an utter failure. Be aware, that the same forces are at work now in pursuit of a public option which continues to keep the status quo, just like the managed care has done. Without removing the insurance/HMOs from the equation there will be no cost containment, or genuine health care reform. We need to get rid of the parasitic health insurance monopoly, and not make this another bailout for the corporations. Single Payer is the only real solution.
    It was mentioned on Bill Moyers (May 22- PBS) that Arnold vetoed Single Payer twice. However, it is crucial to point out that the bill would have saved the state an estimated $14 billion per year, enough to erase the state debt within two years AND cover everyone far more reliably and comprehensively than they are now. Instead Arnold substituted a sham plan of his own that would have fed the BEAST THAT IS THE PROBLEM and cost (not saved) an additional $12-14 Billion.
    The failing California economy rests firmly on the shoulders of Arnold’s refusal to sign Single Payer into law. That is a fact. Single Payer- Medicare for All NOW!

  27. Eric Kirk
    May 30, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Insurance is socialism?

  28. Plain Jane
    May 30, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Unless you pay cash for your medical care, someone other than you is making the decisions of what care you will receive and from whom. Virtually every insurance company has a list of approved providers (those willing to accept a reduced rate for their services) who contract with the insurance company. Insurance companies have a profit motive to deny and / or delay treatment to their customers and reimbursement to providers. A single payer system would cover everyone, would have clear cut protocols for care which would eliminate the cost of defensive medicine to prevent malpractice suits and malpractice insurance premiums, would eliminate the need for emergency rooms being used as primary care for the uninsured at astronomically higher costs, would reduce the paperwork for providers by eliminating costly rebilling and insure faster reimbursement for services. We spend far more per capita than any other country in the world but our success is far from the best at #37. Our infant mortality rates, longevity and general public health are a disgrace and are due primarily to lack of a good health insurance system. We can design a system that costs less, covers everyone and provides better outcomes than our current system. Why would anyone prefer a higher cost system where insurers make more money by denying your care over a nonprofit government controlled system that follows established guidelines?

  29. Rebublicrat
    May 30, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Plain Jane is right on, and Big Al’s post would be hard to argue with.
    God is surely on our side, but unfortunately, the insurance companies are on the other, and they own the Congress and the White House.

  30. Plain Jane
    May 30, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Our congress has so many corporate owners it’s a wonder they ever do anything that benefits their constituents. We have a tiny voice with our elected representative while the corporations have a megaphone with all of them due to their lobbyists and campaign contributions as well as highly paid after-office jobs. The insurance industry, like the defense, media, banking, farming, etc. industries wield a lot more influence than the voters and the only way that will ever change is to revoke corporate personhood.

  31. Anonymous
    May 30, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    Insurance is most certainly NOT SOCIALISM!!!

    Insurance is the capitalist’s answer to several questions.

    Q. How can we provide health care to some of the people? (Our kind of people.)

    Q. How can we maximize our private profits while pretending to serve the public good?

    Q. How can we make the maximum possible profit with the least possible risk?

    These questions are the best I could come up with on short notice – and I am not even a capitalist!

    Hey! You out there! Capitalists! Tell us all the other nifty things Private for-Profit Health Insurance does for you (and to us.)

  32. May 30, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Typical right-wing bullshit. Do you guys get paid by the word?

  33. May 31, 2009 at 10:21 am

    “Tell us all the other nifty things Private for-Profit Health Insurance does…”

    Anonymous hit the nail on the head. We all know that our insurance-based system is awful, and proponents of single-payer have offered much evidence in support of a better and cheaper alternative.

    Where are the arguments for continuing down the same path?
    Where’s the evidence in support of a “market-based” alternative?

    The opponents of single-payer complain that for this or that reason it’s bad, but they offer bupkis as an alternative. We need a different system, goddammit!

  34. Anonymous
    May 31, 2009 at 10:48 am

    like in Russia?

  35. Plain Jane
    May 31, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Gee, is Russia the only country with a single payer health plan? How about one of the first world European democracies that all have better health care systems than we do? There are 36 countries that have a higher rating than the US (which includes every country in Europe) and, SHOCKINGLY, Russia isn’t one of them. Russia ranks #130, in between Peru and Honduras.

  36. May 31, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    “like in Russia?”

    Tell me, Anonymous, what’s it like to be living in the 1970s?

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