Health Care Reform: Howard Dean calls for a universally available public option -- like Medicare For All

By now, you've heard that Howard Dean has gone off the reservation.
If I were a senator, I would not vote for the current health-care bill. Any measure that expands private insurers' monopoly over health care and transfers millions of taxpayer dollars to private corporations is not real health-care reform. Real reform would insert competition into insurance markets, force insurers to cut unnecessary administrative expenses and spend health-care dollars caring for people. Real reform would significantly lower costs, improve the delivery of health care and give all Americans a meaningful choice of coverage. The current Senate bill accomplishes none of these.

Real health-care reform is supposed to eliminate discrimination based on preexisting conditions. But the legislation allows insurance companies to charge older Americans up to three times as much as younger Americans, pricing them out of coverage. The bill was supposed to give Americans choices about what kind of system they wanted to enroll in. Instead, it fines Americans if they do not sign up with an insurance company, which may take up to 30 percent of your premium dollars and spend it on CEO salaries -- in the range of $20 million a year -- and on return on equity for the company's shareholders. Few Americans will see any benefit until 2014, by which time premiums are likely to have doubled. In short, the winners in this bill are insurance companies; the American taxpayer is about to be fleeced with a bailout in a situation that dwarfs even what happened at AIG.
It looks like Dr. Dean is right and his critics wrong. As they could have done in the first place, the White House and the leadership should stand behind the House bill and, using reconciliation, push it through the Senate with a simple majority. The Republicans used to get a lot more done with 55 votes than the Democrats have been able to accomplish with 60. Time to get this done, but it needs to be done right.

Action: Sign the petition at Stand with Dr. Dean


Anonymous said...

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John Gabree said...

Dear Anon, Write away! -- J.

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