UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

May 13, 2009

READER COMMENTS

Excerpts from reader comments

COURT OKAYS FORECLOSURE ON GOTTI ESTATE . . . BUT AFTER DELINQUENCY ROSE TO $650K

How strange. During Reagan's recessions my contracts evaporated and nobody was hiring. So I lost my house after only a year. The whole mortgage was only 1/10 of her delinquency and the amount I fell behind was only a few thousand. But that was enough to finish me off. I guess they realized that I was just a low-life prole work unit, not a real person like her who merited extensive forbearance. - Mairead

OBAMA'S HEALTHCARE REFORM MALPRACTICE

So Mass. wants to go to a capitation plan. Capitation is the surest way to guarantee substandard health care. All of the for-profit providers will cut services everywhere and will nickel and dime doctors in order to increase profits by keeping as much as possible of the capitation payment. Delta Dental tried that with dental insurance and backed out of it because the providers refused - they couldn't provide adequate dental care if they accepted the capitation. This is just a way for insurance companies to make more money, not a way to improve care. - Dave

WHY SINGLE PAYER IS OFF THE TABLE

Here in the Netherlands, and I believe in Switzerland as well, the system has a hybrid public-private character; the government determines coverage of the base health insurance policy, which is obligatory for everyone. The insurance itself is managed by private insurers, who compete on the basis of deductibles and restricted or unrestricted doctor-choice; they are of course prohibited from refusing coverage to anyone.

Nader argues for a single-payer system in the US because of far lower administrative costs, yet in certain countries, administrative costs are kept down without removing the private sector from the loop. It would appear that the way HMOs in the US are currently structured is particularly inefficient. - Colin

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