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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

March 9, 2010

A HEALTH CARE PLAN THE DEMOCRATS COULD ACTUALLY WIN ON

Sam Smith

Most of these provisions come from existing legislation or have been proposed by Democratic leaders. They eliminate a number of indefensible proposals including the unconstitutional individual mandate, any tax on higher cost plans, and any cuts in Medicare or Medicaid services - direct or covert. They also eliminate anything likely to confuse or scare voters such as insurance exchanges.

Funding can come by a tax on hedge funds, corporate bonuses and those earning more than $250,000 and by creating a White House commission to propose cuts and efficiencies in the Pentagon budget including an end to imperial wars and recovering the $2.3 trillion that Donald Rumsfeld in 2001 said the Pentagon had lost.

It's far from the bill I would like, but it is one that would be over a thousand pages shorter, full of benefits and short on scary things, and simple enough that even a network news anchor could understand it.

- Negotiate with drug firms for lower prices for pharmaceuticals covered by Medicare and Medicaid.

- Close the doughnut hole in Medicare drug coverage

- Allow young adults up to the age of 26 to stay on a parent's health insurance plan.

- Give the Department of Health and Human Services new authority to help states review annual premium rate increases.

- Encourage states to follow Maryland's example and negotiate prices with hospitals.

- If people like their current plans, they will be able to keep them.

- Ensure that Americans have portable, secure health care coverage – so that they won’t lose care if their employer drops their plan or they lose their job.

- End increases in premiums, lifetime limits or denials of care based on pre-existing conditions, race, or gender, and strictly limit age rating.

- End anti-trust examption for health insurance companies.

- Eliminate co-pays for preventive care, and cap out-of-pocket expenses to protect people from bankruptcy.

- Guarantee health care coverage td every child that includes dental, hearing and vision benefits.

- Provide health insurance for substantially more low income citizens and allow lower middle class citizens to buy into Medicare.


1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need to ditch the current House and Senate plans and implement single payer. Anything else is unacceptable.

March 9, 2010 9:36 PM  

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