Skip to comments.Trojan Horses: How Obamacare Actually Paves the Way Toward Single Payer
Posted on 01/06/2014 2:00:26 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
Last week the liberal documentary-maker Michael Moore prompted indigestion across the progressive wonk community by pronouncing Obamacare awful. In a New York Times op-ed, he bemoaned the way the presidents law preserved the health insurance industry rather than replacing it with a Medicare-for-all style single-payer system. The good news, Moore conceded, is that the previously uninsured (and often previously uninsurable) can get finally get coverage. The bad news is that their coverage will often be lousy and pose an enormous financial burden. He ended by calling for activists to lean on state politicians in an effort to beef the law up.
I happen to agree with Moores basic sentiment. For-profit health insurance is on some level morally offensiveat least when its practiced the way we Americans practice capitalism. With a few tantalizing but mostly unrepresentative exceptions, the longstanding aim of health insurers has been to weed out sick people, and to weasel out of paying for treatment if they somehow get insurance, so that the companies could boost their share price, lavish income on their executives, and plow money into annoyingly saccharine TV ads. To its everlasting credit, Obamacare genuinely tries to whip the insurers into shapemaking it illegal to deny coverage to sick people, or to withdraw coverage when healthy people get sick, among other much-needed reforms. But you still have to be skeptical of middlemen who historically spent a mere 60 cents of every dollar individual policy-holders sent them on, you know, health care.1
And yet Im still much more sympathetic to Obamacare than Moore. He thinks its awful. I consider it a deceptively sneaky way to get the health care system both of us really want.
How? Allow me a brief digression: In 1991, Congress created the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, which funded screenings for women who earn up to 250 percent of the poverty level. What Congress didnt do is provide money to pay for treatment if the tests came back positive. The policy seemed sadistically cruel: Suddenly thousands of women would discover they had a life-threatening illness while realizing they could do nothing about it. Both Moore and I would have surely denounced the law. But it soon proved to be a shrewd, if unintentional, opening move. Almost from the moment it was implemented, there was pressure to take the next step, says Harold Pollack, a professor of social policy at the University of Chicago. They constructed a sympathetic and organized constituency with an actionable grievance. Congress approved the money for treatment in 2000.
In some sense, Obamacare is the breast-and-cervical-cancer story writ large. In order to move the law through the Senate, the White House had to make all sorts of noxious compromises, like keeping the overall spending under $1 trillion, which limited the subsidies available to people buying insurance. Hence the kind of horror-stories Moore cites in his op-ed: A 60-year old couple with an annual income of $65,000 who could end up spending $25,000 on health care in a single year. And thats with Obamacare. (This is something of an outlier, but not that much of one.) But the flip side is that the law also created potentially millions of hard-working Americans who will have some health insurance; just maddeningly insufficient health insurance. What are the chances politicians stand up and take notice when these Americans complain?
In the heat of the political back-and-forth with Republicans bent on the programs destruction, this whole Obamacare adventure can feel a little hopeless. But when you look at the big picture, the underlying political logic is clearly toward more generous, more comprehensive coverage over time. Once the previously uninsured start getting insurance, the natural upshot of cataloguing the laws shortcomings isnt to give them less insurance, as my colleague Alec MacGillis pointed out last fall. Its to give them more. Republicans are in some sense playing into the trap Obamacare laid for them. And a few of them seem a bit concerned about it.2
Medicaid expansion is a case in point. Under Obamacare, uninsured people who earn up to 138 percent of the poverty level (just under $16,000 for a single person in 2013), can qualify for Medicaid, at least in states that opt into the law.3 This has a few key political consequences, as Pollack notes. First, it transforms the political constituency for the program. Historically, Medicaid has served extremely poor, frequently minority, patients who either dont vote or support Democrats when they do. That meant the GOP had no hang-ups about squeezing it. But there will likely be millions of white working-class voters on Medicaid in the coming years. (Even in some conservative states, like Arkansas, Kentucky, and West Virginia.) Once that happens, something tells me Republicans will become more charitably-disposed to the program.
Then theres the likelihood that, one day soon, especially if Medicaid becomes more generous, the working-class person who makes 175% of the poverty level will look at his working-class neighbor making 130% of the poverty level and think, wow, his health insurance seems a lot better than my private Obamacare plan. How long can it be before most people earning 175% or 200% of the poverty level are allowed to buy in, too?4
As was always the plan.
It was always the plan. I’m not sure who did not see this coming.
Impeach Obama in 2014. Period.
The US House of Representatives is analogous to a Police Force - - - their main job of Check and Balance is to arrest the perp by Impeaching the perp.
The US Senate is analogous to a Jury of Peers who have the power to throw the Impeached perp off of the taxpayer gravy train, take away his residence, ban him from building a Library paid for by us, and ban him from using his personal Corporate Jet, Air Force One.
Most RINO Americans want to wait, Wait, WAIT! until they control the House, the Senate and the White House.
To those weak-kneeded summer soldier patriots I say Enjoy the Obamanation that you have tolerated since January, 2009.
In similar manner, we Summer Soldier Conservatives continue to tolerate a wimpy, hand-wringing, sobbing, crybaby Speaker of the House Boehner as our sorry chief policeman.
Oh, if only my best friends across the aisle would just play nicey nice - - - is the perfect quote that fire-in-the-belly Socialist-Democrats love to hear from their doormat, cowardly, Obamacrat RINOs.
Yes indeed, as long as we WAIT for things to be PERFECT we will never attack those whose goal is to destroy the US Constitution.
Suck it up you sorry House RINOs, and replace John Benghazi Coverup Boehner with SC Rep Trey Gowdey, or SC Rep Joe Wilson.
Without a fire-in-the-belly Republican Speaker of the House, Obamacrat RINOs will continue to cave in to their best friends across the aisle, to the unbridled glee of every Democrat voter in America!
House RINOs: Pretend that you are paid by taxpayers to fight to enforce the US Constitution.
Fight or go home, House RINOs.
FIGHT or we will send you home!
Impeach Obama in 2014. Period.
The RINO Establishment has been, is now, and forever will be a spineless relic that is incapable of protecting the US Constitution.
Commie Obama came in 1-2009, and by 12-24-2009 he had Nationalized one sixth of the US Economy.
Now, four YEARS later, loyal RINO Establishment stalwarts estimate that it will take a generation (20-25 years) to undo what Commie Obama did in eleven MONTHS.
What does it take for the Loyalist RINOs to draw a line in the sand?
As for concern about loss of political capital and other Leftstream Media manipulating tactics, when in the next 20 to 25 years would be a good time for yall to consider to begin to commence thinking about draining the swamp full of Leftstream Media alligators?
There are more of us than there are of them, so grow a pair and FIGHT the Left Stream Media!
Remember this: Commie Obama is counting on never being held accountable for his violations of the US Constitution.
BTW, Boehner and McConnell have done their best to not hold Commie Obama accountable for 4 years.
Thus, support for the RINO Establishment is to continue to endorse the Boehner-McConnell protection from accountability plan for Commie Obama.
Makes Health Insurance Companies OBSOLETE...
Soon to be ALL Insurance Companies..
However, I don’t think they’ll have the support they intended...
“You guys botched up Obamacare THIS bad and you’re now proposing to run the whole thing?”
FROM "THE OBAMA FILE"...
RE: QUENTIN YOUNG
The primary figure who delivered Obama to the single-payer camp was Quentin Young, an 86-year-old retired physician who was a longtime friend and neighbor of Obama in Chicago. Young joined the Young Communist League as a teenager in the late 1930s. From the mid-1940s through the mid-1970s, he was closely associated with the Communist Party. In October 1968 he was called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee, which was probing the extent of his knowledge about the riots that had erupted at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago two months earlier. The Committee accused Young of belonging to the Bethune Club, an organization for communist doctors; the group was named after Norman Bethune, a communist physician who devoted his services to the totalitarian regime of Mao Zedong
Dr. Young was active in the radical movements of the Sixties and Seventies and led a small delegation to Communist North Vietnam in 1972. In the late 1970s, Young became associated with a Marxist organization known as the New American Movement, which was initially convened by Michael Lerner, an America-hating radical who counseled young people to explore the use of LSD and other hallucinogenic drugs as portals to a greater comprehension of socialist principles.
In 1980 Young founded the Health and Medicine Policy Research Group, a single-payer lobby group whose Board of Directors he chairs to this day. In 1982 Young helped establish the Democratic Socialists of America, which, as the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International, asserts that "many structures of our government and economy must be radically transformed." In 1987 Young co-founded Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), a single-payer advocacy organization where he currently serves as national coordinator. In PNHPs view, government-run healthcare "should be financed by truly progressive taxation."
In 1995 Young attended the now-famous meeting at the Hyde Park home of former Weather Underground terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, where Barack Obama was first introduced to influential locals as the hand-picked successor to Alice Palmer, a pro-Soviet radical who planned to vacate her Illinois State Senate seat in pursuit of a higher elected office. Young quickly became a friend and political ally of Obama, teaching the latter about the merits of single-payer healthcare. In a 2009 interview with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, Young reminisced about the germination of his ideological kinship with the young Obama:
"Barack Obama, in those early days [as a state senator] -- influenced, I hope, by me and others -- categorically said single payer was the best way, and he would inaugurate it if he could get the support, meaning [Democratic] majorities in both houses, which hes got, and the presidency, which hes got. And he said that on more than one occasion ."
Another noteworthy influence on Obamas views vis à vis healthcare has been Dr. Peter Orris, who co-founded Physicians for a National Health Program with Quentin Young. The son of a Communist Party member, Orris in the 1960s was a leader of Harvard Universitys campus chapter of Students for a Democratic Society, the New Leftist organization that aspired to overthrow Americas democratic institutions and remake the nations government in a Marxist image. He later joined the Communist Party (CP) for more than two decades, before ultimately shifting his allegiance to the CP splinter group, Committees of Correspondence, where he remains a prominent figure to this day.
From David Horowitz's
PROFILE: Quentin Young
An admirer of Fidel Castro, Young is proud that two of his children traveled to Cuba as members of the Venceremos Brigades to cut sugar cane and pick oranges. (The Venceremos Brigades were organized by Castro's Cuban intelligence agency, which trained "brigadistas" in guerrilla warfare techniques, including the use of arms and explosives.)
* Longtime supporter of communist causes
* Was active in the anti-war and civil rights movements of the 1960s
* Helped establish the Democratic Socialists of America
* Co-founded Physicians for a National Health Program, an advocacy organization that lobbies on behalf of a single-payer, government-run healthcare system
* Friend and supporter of Barack Obama
* Longtime friend of Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers
Lots more at the link:
Captain Obvious has arrived!!! We’re saved!
The insurance companies swallowed the lure and are now gasping and flopping helplessly in the boat.
Gotta admit its brilliant. The insurance companies either refuse to pay- and get crushed by bad publicity OR pay for it and ask for a bailout- which the public is tired of doing giving the commie bastards cover not to do it. Now, the question is what are we going to do about it. Roll over and take it?
The money quote:
“First, it transforms the political constituency for the program. Historically, Medicaid has served extremely poor, frequently minority, patients who either dont vote or support Democrats when they do. That meant the GOP had no hang-ups about squeezing it. But there will likely be millions of white working-class voters on Medicaid in the coming years. (Even in some conservative states, like Arkansas, Kentucky, and West Virginia.) Once that happens, something tells me Republicans will become more charitably-disposed to the program. “
..... The way ObamaCare is set up .... the insurance companies have become the Proverbial "Middle Man" in the healthcare process.
.... The Pre-ObamaCare process consisted of the patient seeking treatment with his healthcare provider. The healthcare provider would then check with the Insurance company to confirm what treatments were covered and whatever the decision was the decision was left to be basically made by the patient.
.... NOW ..... The patient now seeks treatment with the healthcare provider. The healthcare provider checks with the insurance company to confirm what is covered ...... THEN the insurance company must now check with the ObamaCare representative to make a decision as to what procedures the government will allow. Then once that official government decision is made .... the insurance company will impart that decision to the patient..... the government basically makes the decision for you. However this process of decision making effectively doubles the time between your initial desire to seek treatment and the time that the decision is made as to what is covered.
..... In the future I predict that this fabricated "Incovenience" of having to deal with the insurance company middle men .... it will be passionately mandated to cease .... and in a passionate loving effort to help the patients gain more timely care .... the Peoples Government will then take over all insurance responsibilities .... for the good of the people.
..... The Single Payer system will then be instituted in America.
We can dream but the GOPe is comfy with the status quo and hates the TEA party for shaking things up
Only if you are a moronic communist thug.
If the product - including health insurance - provides value, then why should you supply it without profiting from your efforts to supply it?
And why is it more moral to make money off of food, clothing, housing, cars, life insurance, flood insurance, fire insurance, car insurance?
Why would we want to try and make sure the people who provide our most valuable services cannot make any money off of it at all? We’d end up with great movies, video games, amusement parks...but our food, health care and homes being made by people who are so low-skilled that they got turned down for every job they could actually make money at.
Just like Don't-ask-Don’t-tell...
They would NEVER have gotten openly gay in the military to be OK’d if they went straight for it and said “hey, let's allow openly gays into the military”... *NEVER*
So, they implemented a ‘new’ policy called Dont ask dont tell. (DADT) Many would say this was always the policy- if you keep your mouth shut and do your job, you can serve. No one is supposed to talk about sex on the job anyway (this goes for straights too)
So... they implement DADT. It suddenly is ok to be gay in the military as long as they don't talk about it.
Then, that is not good enough, so they 'repeal' DADT, and go to a whole NEW position, the one they wanted all along: openly gay in the military.
That is like starting at position A, and going to a position B, then ‘repealing’ it but instead of going back to A you go to a new position C.
Usually a repeal means you go back to what was. Not to a whole new position.
Harry Reid did this with the ‘nuclear option’ with a new twist. They put a vote to go from position A to B that required a 2/3d vote, so it failed... Then they claimed that the motion to go from A to B was “out of regular order” and appealed it. (repeal). The ‘appeal’ only takes 50% vote, and so they said since it was appealed you could go to new position B. *NOT* back to A for another vote (in ‘regular order’).
Look for a ‘repeal’ of Obamacare NOT back to private sector health care, but to government health care.
They will try to ‘repeal’ it saying government health care is the result of repealing it.
Somehow... just watch!
They create the crisis and have the solution when the system they target collapses. Cloward and Piven
Thesis + Anti-Thesis = Synthesis
Portrait of a fag...you can almost hear the swish.
Only the naïve conservatives who kept screaming and laughing "Ha! That Obama is so dumb he doesn't know what he's doing! This is a train wreck!"
I knew this was a step before single-payer even when they were "debating" the bill.
And a commie one at that. Both of them.
“But there will likely be millions of white working-class voters on Medicaid in the coming years.”
And, once on Medicaid, government has the ability to seize people’s assets, put leins on homes, and, once they’ve been sucked dry in life, they’ll confiscate entire estates after death. This was/is the aim of Obamacare.
I’ll never believe it was a mistake that the web site was designed so poorly. Obama’s election was won by high tech use of this type of technology. All of a sudden they get stupid? I’m not buyin’ it.
“And, once on Medicaid, government has the ability to seize peoples assets, put leins on homes, and, once theyve been sucked dry in life, theyll confiscate entire estates after death. This was/is the aim of Obamacare.”
People have been avoiding this for years by setting up trusts.
I don’t think they go after assets until after death.
If someone doesn’t want Medicaid they can buy insurance on their own and avoid the exchanges.No one is forced on Medicaid.
Gee, Noam. You write like you had no clue this was the objective.
You need to read FR more.
Eventually the income test will be dropped and Medicaid will become the American version of Canada’s Medicare - which is actually ten provincial-run single payer health care plans.
Vermont is adopting the first such state single payer health care plan in the country beginning in 2017 because it borders Quebec that already has a provincial single payer health care plan.
Its going to take some time for the rest of the country to follow suit. And conservatives will make their peace with it just like Canadian conservatives have accepted Canada Medicare is the Third Rail of Canadian politics. Touch it at your own risk.