Public Health Insurance—A Stepping Stone For Single-Payer Health Care


There is a method to leftist madness. How do you lure people into a national health care machine? My take on how public health insurance is a stepping stone for single-payer (nationalized) health care is shown below.

First, you tell the country’s populace that health care reform needs to happen or it will never get done.  Use hatred and fear to convince the uninformed citizenry that they urgently need health care reform and they need it now. Tell them that rich, greedy health care industrialists will continue to make money off of the misery of others, drive costs up and cause health care providers to go out of business. Inform them that if health care reform doesn’t get done, there will be even more uninsured people, health care costs will go up and the quality of care will go down. Point out that if that happens, life expectancy will decrease and there will be more people who will die because of the deterioration of the health care system. Constantly blame health care reform opponents and political opponents, past and present, for causing the problem and making it worse. Use workers’ unions and community organizing groups to spread propaganda about the so-called benefits of public health insurance programs and to circulate petitions on behalf of those who want health care reform to take place. Play on people’s emotions by stating that if they don’t want health care reform to take place, they are being selfish and uncaring because they don’t want to help those who do not have any health insurance and that needless deaths will be avoided if they agree to at least some aspects of health care reform. Stress on the needs of the “community” over the needs of the individual and the willingness to sacrifice for the “greater good”. Talk about the Founding Fathers and the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing every American’s pursuit of life, liberty and happiness; therefore, what that means is that it is a constitutional “right” to have health care and that the government is responsible to satisfy the desires of the people or “community” by making sure that there is provision for quality health care.

Second, assure people that they will have a choice to either keep the insurance they have or buy into public health coverage. Claim that freedom of choice is the American way and that the Founding Fathers encouraged Americans to exercise their freedom to choose. Enforce the idea that the United States exists because of the exercise of the right to choose and that changing the country’s health care system means that Americans are choosing to progress as a nation and a world leader in affordable quality health care. Emphatically deny that public health coverage will not result in nationalized health care and that all of the naysayers are just using fear of government control to foment more health care reform opposition. Tell the people that health care reform opponents have no ideas, just empty rhetoric and the same old tired and worn-out ideas. Make it appear that opponents don’t want any kind of health care reform at all.

Third, if health care reform takes place, ensure that public health care costs are much lower than private health care costs, even if it means that the government loses money for a couple of years as a result. Blame private sector health care insurers and providers for the loss of money and for higher taxes to cover the loss. Using several prominent health care providers, renowned economists and specifically-selected patients who utilize public health care, promote public health insurance and health care as being far superior to private health insurance and health care. Cite “official” statistics and polls that show the need for further health care reform.Slowly and gradually require employers to make public health coverage available to all employees under the threat of sanctions and fines. Use workers’ unions and community organizing groups to intimidate employers into buying public health insurance programs and to incite public outrage. Impose more regulations and restrictions on the private health care sector to the point where they will have to buy into the public health care system. As soon as every employer offers public health insurance, this will mark the end of private health insurance coverage and private health care. Then you will have nationalized health care and by that time, it will be too late to turn back. After which people’s suffering in one form or another will go on for decades to come.

Reference material:

The Public Plan Deception – It’s Not About Choice

Sebelius Backs Public Health Insurance Option

Public Health Insurance Plan Worries Some

Doctors’ Group Opposes Public Insurance Plan

AMA Supports Health System Reform (HSR)

Insurance execs examine pros, cons of national health plan

Morning Bell: Heritage President Ed Feulner on Health Care

Healthcare providers want reform but fear cost is too high

About these ads

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About wapiti307

Name: Chris A******** Occupation: Information Technology Education: AAS in Applied Service Management and AAS in Network Engineering Ideology: Conservative Political Affiliation: Republican-leaning Independent My hobbies and/or interests are sports, music, history, architecture, computers, web design, and of course, blogging.

11 responses to “Public Health Insurance—A Stepping Stone For Single-Payer Health Care”

  1. mikeoli says :

    I am a health insurance agent in Utah. I sit on the board of the Utah health underwriters as webmaster for http://www.benefitsmanager.net/ and http://www.uahu.org/. I was heavily involved in designed a web connector to help Utah residents by pulling private and state sponsored insurance mechanisms together. It had a low budget of around $150k that virtually guaranteed health insurance coverage through either the private or state programs. Better yet all the local carriers agreed to split the costs. Our state insurance task force committee rejected the idea. They elected to go for a Massachusetts type connector program that isn’t working well when you actually dig deep and check facts of where they are now. Our state approved H.B. 188 with a zero fiscal note attachment! My point is, I have been a fly on the wall in countless legislative meetings, insurance board meetings, hospital board meetings, the list goes on. The problem is conflict with the market demanding profit in all sectors of the system. Tough order to fill and keep costs down? You are absolutely right when you claim that healthcare is now unsustainable. I have been crying that a long time. Nobody listens.

  2. wapiti307 says :

    Thank you mikeoli for leaving your comment. I encourage you to read our blog rules for comments, as we do not take information at face value. We make every effort to deal with facts and substantiated information here at ACW.

    I believe health care reform is not a Democrat or Republican issue, but an American issue. I think health care reform should take place, but not if it means a complete government takeover of our health care system.

    Did your state’s insurance task force give any exact reasons why they rejected your organization’s health care idea in favor of a Massachusetts-style connector program? It seemed to me that the cost-effectiveness of your program was indeed something that should not have been ignored. How would the total costs have been covered by all the local carriers without any customer/policy holder expense and loss to the carrier?

    What exactly was your organization’s plan and specifically how would it have benefited the people of your state as far as health care coverage is concerned? How would it have benefited health care providers? Obviously, insurance carriers saw benefits in your organization’s solution. What was their reasoning behind supporting such a plan? How much research and data-gathering did the board that you serve on have to do to arrive at a workable mechanism?

    As one who works as an insurance agent and as a person who works with underwriters, public health insurance and single-payer proponents view you and the organizations you work with as the enemy. They assign a large amount of blame for the state of our health care system to insurance companies and underwriters. Those in favor of a single-payer health care plan decry free-market, private sector solutions. They claim opponents of a single-payer system are devoid of any real ideas regarding a health care system that would be of benefit to all Americans. Single-payer supporters assert that their health care plan is far superior to what we currently have. They point to the health care systems of Canada and Europe as models to follow, which is perplexing since single-payer opponents cite Canada and Europe as models of failure [Video - President Obama on Health Care Reform at the AMA].

    I look forward to your response to my questions and if you can provide any additional information on a workable health care solution that involves the private sector, please feel free to share that information with us. We deal with factual and evidentiary information here at ACW, so the more references you have, the better.

  3. wapiti307 says :

    To mikeoli:

    I apologize for shoving the blog rules down your throat in my previous comment. I did not intend to do that and I hope I did not make you reluctant to comment again. I also hope it did not appear I was not in agreement with your comment.

    Please do comment again as I am interested in seeing how you and the group you’re associated with would go about tackling health care reform.

    If we can get as many ideas together as possible and articulate those ideas into workable plan, I would like to submit those ideas to a U.S. Senator, who I know is a physician and surgeon.

    Thank You

  4. mikeoli says :

    replying to wapiti307
    Thanks for your comments. This is kinda new to me how to do all of this blogging. I was taken back abit with rules? Anyway to answer your questions, see responses next to them in CAPS>>

    1)Did your state’s insurance task force give any exact reasons why they rejected your organization’s health care idea in favor of a Massachusetts-style connector program? THEY WANT TO BE IN CONROL OF THE ENTIRE UNDERWRITING AND POLICY DESIGN PROCESS. I THINK THERE IS ALLOT OF POLITICAL CAPITOL OUT THERE WANTING OWNERSHIP TO ADVANCE POLICITICAL PLAYERS. THE INSURANCE TASK FORCE ACTUALLY VOTED TO ADVANCE US TO THE HUMAN HEALTH AND WELFARE COMMITTEE WHICH REPORTS TO GOV. HUNTSMAN. PAUL RAY PULLED US OFF THE FLOOR LITERALLY WHEN WE WERE TO PRESENT. HE WAS THE CHAIR. THE ONLY EXCUSE HE COULD GIVE US AND A ROOM FULL OF PEOPLE WAS “CONFLICT”. It seemed to me that the cost-effectiveness of your program was indeed something that should not have been ignored. NO DOUBT How would the total costs have been covered by all the local carriers without any customer/policy holder expense and loss to the carrier? I WENT TO EACH LOCAL CARRIER EXPLAINING THE PROCESS FLOW FROM PROGRAMMING TO UNDERWRITING. THEY FEEL THREATENED BY THE STATE PORTAL CONCEPT AND LOSS OF UNDERWRITING CONTROL. SO THEY BOUGHT INTO A CONCEPT THE CONCEPT QUITE EASILY AND BUDGETTED IT. SEE IT IS A PORTAL PROGRAM THAT PULLS THE PRIVATE SECTOR TOGETHER WITH STATE SECTOR BENEFITS LIKE CHIP,ETC AND THROUGH THE UNDERWRITING MODEL WOULD GUARANTEE APPROVAL SOMEWHERE IN THE SYSTEM WITH ONLY ONE ELECTRONIC APPLICATION.

  5. mikeoli says :

    2) What exactly was your organization’s plan and specifically how would it have benefited the people of your state as far as health care coverage is concerned? HARD TO POST THAT HERE BUT I CAN EMAIL YOU THE PLAN OR YOU CAN VIEW IT HERE>> http://www.uahu.org/Pathways_to_Coverage.ppt How would it have benefited health care providers? PROVIDERS WOULD NOT HAVE HAD A DISRUPTION IN THEIR CURRENT BILLING PROCESS OR NEGOTIATED FEES BECAUSE THE CARRIERS CONTROLLED UNDERWRITING PROCESS THUS RISK OUTCOME. Obviously, insurance carriers saw benefits in your organization’s solution. What was their reasoning behind supporting such a plan? STATED IN PREVIOUS RESPONSE How much research and data-gathering did the board that you serve on have to do to arrive at a workable mechanism? ALLOT…I HEADED UP THE PROGRAMMING AND PROCESS FLOW OF EPORTAL

  6. mikeoli says :

    3) As one who works as an insurance agent and as a person who works with underwriters, public health insurance and single-payer proponents view you and the organizations you work with as the enemy. I WOULD SAY THAT IS A FAIR STATEMENT BUT WHERE I AM IN THE MIDDLE OF ALL OF THIS I AM NOT ALWAYS CONSIDERED A FRIENDLY FROM THE INSURANCE CARRIER’S PERSPECTIVE They assign a large amount of blame for the state of our health care system to insurance companies and underwriters. UNDERSTAND THAT IS EASY TO DO. WHAT ABOUT OVERBILLING PRACTICES, OR LACK OF TORT REFORM. HERE IS SOME FACTUAL NUMBERS WITH HUMANA. WHERE DOES THE DOLLAR OF PREMIUM BREAK DOWN THAT IS COLLECTED?
    .35 FOR HOSPITALS
    .21 FOR PHYSICIANS
    .15 FOR DRUGS
    .10 FOR LITIGATION
    .05 FOR OTHER MEDICAL SERVICES (LARGE LIKE SUPPLIES)
    .06 FOR GOVERNMENT PAYMENTS AND COMPLIANCE
    .05 FOR CONSUMER SERVICES LIKE PREVENTION DISEASE MANAGEMENT
    .03 FOR CARRIER PROFIT
    SO YOU TELL ME IF THE FEDS CAN DUPLICATE EFFICIENCY AS WELL WITHOUT DISRUPTING CARE INCENTIVES? SEE NOBODY WANTS TO TALK ABOUT A SMALL POPULACE THAT BUYS INSURANCE BECAUSE THEY NEED IT AND PLAN ON SPENDING IT. DOESN’T LEAVE MUCH OF A BUDGET AND DICTATES UNDERWRITING CRITERIA.

    Those in favor of a single-payer health care plan decry free-market, private sector solutions. They claim opponents of a single-payer system are devoid of any real ideas regarding a health care system that would be of benefit to all Americans. THAT IS CORRECT Single-payer supporters assert that their health care plan is far superior to what we currently have. CORRECT VIEW They point to the health care systems of Canada and Europe as models to follow, which is perplexing since single-payer opponents cite Canada and Europe as models of failure [Video - President Obama on Health Care Reform at the AMA]. GO TO FRONTLINE AND WATCH SICK AROUND AMERICA. THEY HIT IT ON THE HEAD

    ALSO…I SIT ON SEVERAL BOARDS WITH CARRIERS SUCH AS HUMANA AND SEE ALL OF THE DATA. I BELONG TO NAHU AND MY LOCAL CHAPTER IS UAHU. GO TO http://WWW.UAHU.ORG

  7. mikeoli says :

    You may need to email me to notify me of any more questions.
    mikeoliphant@benefitsmanager.net. I don’t always have time to review blogs

  8. wapiti307 says :

    mikeoli:

    Thank you for replying. I didn’t mean to throw the rulebook at you and I apologize. I am glad you provided the information you did, as it was very enlightening.

    In a nutshell, it appears to me that the motivation behind your state’s rejection of your organization’s plan was purely political.

    Like everything else, the attitude of “what’s in it for me?”, instead of one of “how can I best serve the people of my state?” trumps everything else.

    I didn’t watch President Obama’s health care presentation on ABC last night, but I fear that the federal government wants to do exactly the same thing your state’s government wants to do. They want complete control over everything in the health care industry. To allow the government to have complete control over anything is not only a harmful proposition, but it goes against everything our social, economic and political systems stand for.

    Thank you for the link in your comment. I will have to go through the presentation and examine it more thoroughly. If I deem the information appropriate for this blog, may I have your organization’s permission to post it? I will have to contact the blog administrator to get the “okay” to post, but I thought I’d get your permission first, since the information is legally protected.

  9. wapiti307 says :

    My brand of health care reform (an “If I Were” scenario):

    I am a firm believer in government staying out of the health care business. I do believe that government should be a source of funding for private enterprise. I also believe that the government’s job is to make law, levy fines, investigate wrongdoing and punish offenders. That’s the extent of how far I want government to take part in our health care system.

    I would institute a system in which over-billing practices and abuses by health care providers would be dealt with in a manner that holds medical providers accountable without an excessive amount of government interference. Any improprieties, unlawful practices and/or abuses that are discovered or reported would be investigated, tracked and/or offenders would subject to punishment. The punishment would be prison terms (I’m not talking about any country club prisons, either) and heavy fines (by heavy I mean fines large enough to make a significant impression). Prison time would not be subject to negotiation or appeal, period. For a person who had to serve prison time, information regarding prison time would be on his or her permanent record and could never be subject to expunging. The money from any fines collected would go toward various health care “accounts”. Depending upon the seriousness of an offense, the offending provider would serve a probationary period to be determined by a court of law and would not be allowed to pass the costs to consumers because of losses due to fines imposed. The offending company would have to “downsize”, go bankrupt, merge with another company, etc. if that’s what they would need to do to stay in business. Those decisions would be left up to company owners and/or executives. Health care costs would go down; however, that alone would not be enough.

    As for the insurance industry, medical coding needs to be less confusing, excessive paperwork needs to be eliminated and payment for services rendered needs to be more accurate and prompt. That’s what I hear from the health care providers I’ve spoken to. That’s what Medicaid or Medicare is good about, according to the health care providers I’ve spoken to. A private insurance company can simplify its paperwork procedures. It would have to, if it wants to be a competitive force in the market. I also believe that decisions made by an insurer’s case analysts can be simplified. Throw out a policyholder’s current health and pre-existing conditions. Concentrate efforts on suspicious cases (cases that generate more than just a couple of “red flags”) and cases of fraud. Where government can step in is by imposing severe fines for non-compliance to a set medical coding, paperwork, billing, accounting, etc. model (prescribed by law, of course). Money from fines would go to various health care “accounts”. Any criminal offenses on the part of insurance carriers would be subject to the same penalties as those for health care providers. If a carrier suffers financially because of non-compliance and/or fines imposed, they would have to do the same thing that health care providers would have to do (stated previously).

    Tort reform would be an even better way to drive costs down. If frivolous lawsuits could be abolished, except in cases of proven gross negligence or incompetence, that would be a good solution. Any judgments made for or against plaintiffs and defendants would be final and not subject to appeal. Like clamping down on over-billing, tort reform would not be the only solution.

    Medical savings accounts would be another solution. As a matter of an individual’s personal choice, a medical savings account would either serve as a supplement to a person’s health insurance or be a person’s only means to pay his or her health care expenses. I would dare say that the great majority of those who are employed would use the account to supplement their health insurance policies. If a person is serious about saving money for health care, he or she will maintain his or her medical savings account. In cases of catastrophic illness or injury, a patient would be able to apply for a government grant or loan (much like a federal school grant or loan) to cover any additional expenses. However, as is the case for federal school loans, it would be the responsibility of the borrower to pay back the loan. Another “account” would have to be set up for grants or loans for catastrophic medical conditions. For those who decide to use their medical savings accounts as personal expense accounts, it is their tough luck if they don’t have enough money to pay for their immediate medical expenses.

    For those who are gainfully employed and who cannot pay all of their medical expenses in a timely manner, a system would be set up much the same way as what happens to deadbeat parents who have to pay child support arrearages—wage garnishment. After a reasonable period of time (maybe 60 to 90 days?) and if the patient does not make some sort of payment arrangement (for instance, a $200 or $250 per month payment) with any health care providers, a wage garnishment request would be submitted to the IRS and the IRS would garnish the wages of the person who isn’t paying his or her bills. I would even approve of an additional system where a person’s social security would even be subject to garnishment. If a person became unemployed, that person’s unemployment benefits (if he or she gets any) would be garnished at 50 percent of what he or she would be paying if that person was still employed. If a person tries to dodge the system and is finally caught, that person would have to serve prison time (again, not in any kind of country club prison) and would have his or her driver’s license revoked. Prison time would be non-negotiable and not be subject to appeal. An offense would be on a person’s permanent record and could never be expunged.

    President Obama has already appropriated $600 billion for health care reform. He has “found” another $300 billion that could be added to the appropriated amount, over time. Let’s leave the $300 billion out, since that would be accrued over a period of years. That leaves the original $600 billion that taxpayers are already going to be paying for anyway.

    I’d take $450 billion dollars and apportion it out to those who are employed and who are paying taxes. The amount of those in the United States who are employed and paying taxes is about 135 million people. That would leave $3333.33 per person that could be placed in a medical savings account. I would call that a “starter” amount. It would be up to each person to add to that account. I would even allow each person who is employed and pays taxes, to roll a percentage of social security benefits over to his or her medical savings account. Again, that would be the decision of the taxpayer and that person would understand the risks and consequences involved.

    For those who can’t afford a medical savings account, such as the homeless or children who are either orphans or whose parents cannot afford to pay for their health care, $150 billion dollars would be set aside in a medical “account” specifically for health care providers who treat those who cannot pay for their care. Any revenue coming from health care savings to the government, would go to the medical “account” for those who are uninsured. To pay for any monetary loss, it would be up to health care providers would to apply for a “health care cost grant” to recoup lost funds.

    I would even be agreeable to the merging of Medicaid and Medicare into the “account” system. Funding for the “new” retiree health care program (hello money from fines) could go toward another “account” designed for retirees. The taxpayer would still pay for initial funding, of course.

    “Hands Off” legislation would need to be enacted to prevent politicians and government officials from diverting funds away from or taking funds out of any health care “accounts”. Any unscrupulous activities resulting in loss of health care funding would mean severe punishment (and not just a “slap on the hand”) for any offender.

    These are all crazy ideas, I know. This doesn’t cover funds that would come in from persons and organizations who contribute large sums of money to health care charities, hospitals, health care providers, etc. I would prefer to see all of the previously-mentioned ideas put into action, if they could be tested (in a pilot program) and proven to work. If it means less government interference, more control and decision-making for patients, insurers and health care providers, I’m all for it. Abuses of the system would have to be kept to a minimum, somehow. Accountability policies and procedures would have to be enforced on the part of patients, health care providers, insurers and even government officials.

    All of this could realistically be done if self-serving and corrupt politicians, powerful lobbyists and opportunistic special interest groups were left out of the proverbial “loop”. The approval of the American citizenry would obviously be required as well.

    Article Links:

    Health Care
    Health Care: The Industry Steps Up. Maybe.
    Help the Uninsured (Without Going Broke)
    Medicare Going Broke Faster Than Thought
    Health-Care Providers Pledge to Try to Curb Costs

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 25 other followers

%d bloggers like this: