Progressives have Caved on Health Care
By Berry Ives
May 4, 2009 - 11:34pm ET
I submitted questions to moveon.org's online interview with Howard Dean, trying to nail him down on single-payer. My questions were not among those selected.
I found the whole show to be very disappointing because the single-payer concept was never addressed.
But at least there were two questions from Texas coming from the point of view of supporting single-payer health care. Dr. Dean either doesn't understand what that is, or else he was very disingenuous regarding the single payer alternative. He said we will still have the choice of "single-payer" under the proposed Obama plan. He seems to assume that single-payer is the same thing as having a public option. Far from it.
I don't think he is so stupid as to not know the difference. I used to have some respect for him, but that has now paled into oblivion. He is either inexcusably ignorant or else he is a liar. Single-payer is not the same thing as a public option. He says you can still choose single-payer (the public option), or you can choose a private insurance plan. And if you can't afford the private insurance plan, then we will subsidize your private insurance.
Please Dr. Dean, what about single-payer is being able to choose the public option OR a private? It's just not the same thing, and surely you must know that. As you must have heard somewhere along the line, one of the chief advantages of single-payer is eliminating the inefficiencies of private health insurance. For god's sake, single-payer IS SINGLE-PAYER! It's not multiple payers!
Universal health care was once on the progressive table, but no longer. I can hear the death knell. And if we do manage to cover the presently uninsured, the cost of the whole program will exceed the cost of single-payer by some $350 billion per year.
So do all you so-called progressives feel proud of yourselves for caving in to the insurance corporations and the Obama "bipartisan" political philosophy? What we needed was NON-partisan rational policy formation, not a compromise with far right-wingers who do not support any kind of universal health care. And, you know what, they are winning.
I hope all of you who are making the decisions at moveon and CAF and others feel good about this disaster for progressive health care, which would mean universal health care. I certainly don't, and if I were in Congress, I would vote against it.
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