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Republicans cry “socialiam.” But behind that socialized medicine babble lurks a hard-headed calculation about money — all the profits skimmed by the Health Insurance Industry.  Yet, Friedrich Hayek, whose suspicion of the state was visceral, had this to say in “The Road to Serfdom: “Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance — where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks — the case for the state’s helping to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong.”


Something is rotten in American medicine. It should be fixed. But fixing it requires the acknowledgment that, when it comes to health, we’re all in this together. Many on the right would do well to re-read their New Testament - as the late Edward Kennedy said, “What we face is above all a moral issue; at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country.”


Roger Cohen writes that in President Obama's Health Care speech to Congress, Obama said he’d been pondering American character “quite a bit” and did some musing about too little versus too much government. He is too deferential. He should be clear that basic health care is a moral obligation rather than a financial opportunity.  A public commitment to universal coverage is not character-sapping but character-affirming. "Rugged" independent American individualism is strengthened, not weakened, when Medicare makes us healthier.



Why the Public Option Matters”, Paul Krugman, September 8, 2009, New York Times

Most arguments against the public option are based either on deliberate misrepresentation, or of what that option would mean, or misunderstanding of the concept. For example, worrying about the creation of a system in which doctors work directly for the government, British-style, when that has nothing whatsoever to do with the public option as proposed. (Forty years of Medicare haven’t turned the US into that kind of system — why would having a public plan change that?)


The Public Option matters because, like Medicare, its cost are lower.   For example, private insurers pay providers more than Medicare does.   Private insurance have higher marketing cost.  A  public plan is a mechanism for controling cost by providing real competition. And, the public plan is a defense against reform that requires individual mandates forcing people to buy insurance from the existing companies. 


In Bush we’ve had a President who did not believe in the Government he was elected to lead.   Sooner or later Democrats have to take a stand against Reaganism — against the presumption that if the government does it, it’s bad.   That is not the record of Medicare or Social Security.


PBS on Public Option, Former Exec Wendell Potter     Triangle: Gov-Client-InsCo, Sen Baucus, Exec Potter

8min  6min

Dem Senator Jim Cooper on Public Option          Conservative Democrats

2min  6 min


Congressman Anthony Weaner Single Payer Advocate      Democrats, Republicans, Steel, Weaner

5min  10min

Anger on the Left                                                 "Trigger" is Caving in on the Public Option

9min 5min

Senator Reid, Insurance Lobby, Dem Weaner            




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