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 7, 2009


New York Times - In an effort to defuse the most explosive issue in the debate over comprehensive health care legislation, a top Senate Democrat has proposed that any new government-run insurance program comply with all the rules and standards that apply to private insurance.

The proposal was made by Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, the third-ranking member of the Senate Democratic leadership. . .

The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, asked Mr. Schumer to seek a solution. In his response, Mr. Schumer set forth these principles:

-* The public plan must be self-sustaining. It should pay claims with money raised from premiums and co-payments. It should not receive tax revenue or appropriations from the government.

- The public plan should pay doctors and hospitals more than what Medicare pays. Medicare rates, set by law and regulation, are often lower than what private insurers pay.

- The government should not compel doctors and hospitals to participate in a public plan just because they participate in Medicare.


Anonymous nader paul kucinich gravel said...

The little people must not hear about taking the for-profit insurance companies out of medicine.

Profits trump death?

You know the answer.

"Our" Government!

May 7, 2009 7:11 PM  
Anonymous robbie said...

Schumer, and... all the other Democrats? "Oh no! We'll offer a public option. We'll water it down so it doesn't mean anything, but at least we can say we offered it! But, really people, get serious. If most people had the option to choose a public plan over an insurance plan, they'd do it! Our bosses simply won't allow that."

May 7, 2009 7:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The for-private-profit insurance system is the LEAST efficient vehicle to use to try to deliver healthcare.

Profit is by definition the amount in the price that is over and above the total workcosts that go into providing a good or a service...it is what's left over after all costs are accounted for.

That profit actually belongs to underpaid workers and overcharged customers - not to bosses/owners. Bosses and owners deserve fairpay for their work, and that cost is already included in the total workcosts.

That profit is now simply given away to wealthy owners and shareholders of companies. They threaten you won't have healthcare insurance and good care unless you accept being underpaid and overcharged in order to continue to overpay them extreme overpays.

These rich are bluffing. They are not needed to suck profits off the community - unless you think theives are needed for the health of the community.

May 8, 2009 12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The public has no idea how costly government run healthcare will be. Just wait ... you will be wishing for the good ole days with private insurance!

May 8, 2009 4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:35, Kucinich has had the numbers crunched for years now. They show that it's easy to have coverage for all for what is currently being spent. I think it's you who has no idea just how much other-earned money is going into the private pockets of those who profit-rake off the fact that humans need healthcare to survive and thrive.

May 8, 2009 8:38 PM  
Blogger Schoonte said...

For-profit generates profit, which is above and beyond the cost of doing business. On the other hand, government just generates more cost!

Private health insurance is significantly cheaper than anything that the government runs. Here is my rationale for that statement:

When we terminate an employee and that employee becomes eligible for Medicaid, the state pays the COBRA premiums to keeps them on our plan. It is cheaper for the state to pay 102% of the for-profit health insurance coverage than to have them on the government-funded plan. Beauracracy costs a lot more than profit!

I don't think Schumer's approach is the best resolution, but a single-payer healthcare system is definitely the worst option.

May 11, 2009 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Uncle Brice said...

Schoonte must live in New York. Most states do not have the Medicaid paying COBRA option. New York contracts out its Medicaid program to the private sector.

Health care simply should not be a for-profit business. It is a basic need.

May 14, 2009 3:23 AM  

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