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Congress examines single-payer healthcare EEK SOCIALISM!!!
March 12, 2014 9:06 PM   Subscribe

Six years ago, PBS's feature documentary program, Frontline, aired Sick Around the World, a documentary examining health care systems around the world -- and specifically how all those featured were generally superior to the American system. (2008 MeFi post) Today, the American Senate subcommittee on primary health and aging brought the debate over single-payer care to Washington. C-SPAN has a fine video of the hearing, which features seven witness representing health care systems and think tanks from around the US and the world.

The witnesses included: The hearing was chaired by Bernie Sanders (I-VT), with ranking member Richard Burr (R-NC) providing the Republican angle and perhaps the choicest line of the day, pointing out without irony that "the American health care system has access for everybody. It's called the emergency room."
posted by greatgefilte (57 comments total) 50 users marked this as a favorite

 
David Hogberg, a healthy policy analyst and Fox News darling.

Well, I'm glad to know he's healthy.
posted by John Cohen at 9:15 PM on March 12 [16 favorites]


Something tells me treehorn+bunny might have some choice words for Senator Richard Burr regarding how she feels about being a primary care provider. I know my Emergency Department loves it when impoverished asthmatics are forced to come to the hospital to use it as a back up pharmacy because their insurance company decided to redefine evil.
posted by hobo gitano de queretaro at 9:24 PM on March 12 [13 favorites]


We have death panels. They're called the emergency room.
posted by benzenedream at 9:26 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]


No, they're called insurance companies.
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:34 PM on March 12 [81 favorites]


Sanders' involvement is the only reason I have to believe that this isn't 100% disingenuous. One party is basically in lockstep on a mission to destroy every benefit and entitlement out there and give the money to their corporate backers. This lets them say, "we were there, we listened to the testimony and I don't think anybody can forget what David Hogberg had to tell us all..."
posted by Navelgazer at 9:42 PM on March 12


Courtesy of the CBC, here's a quick and punchy excerpt of Dr. Danielle Martin answering Senator's Burr's inane ideological questions that is worth hearing.
posted by peeedro at 9:44 PM on March 12 [28 favorites]


1. Repackage single payer as JesusCare.

2. Get a team of people to testify about it in every Republican leaning district's churches.

3. Stress how it undermines Obamacare and those evil insurance companies that back Democrats.

4. Demonstrate that it's just like their beloved Medicare but for everyone.

5. Drink yourself into a bitterly cynical stupor of it works.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:57 PM on March 12 [76 favorites]


Don't forget The Daily Show ripping public perception a new one.
posted by Talez at 9:59 PM on March 12 [19 favorites]


Talez: "Don't forget The Daily Show ripping public perception a new one."

"If you're poor, just stop being poor." I can only laugh a little because the alternative is so depressing. Thanks for posting that link.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 11:06 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]


Sanders' involvement is the only reason I have to believe that this isn't 100% disingenuous.

OK, this is the Senate, where the Democrats have the majority, and Sanders is the committee chairman. Burr is only the Ranking Member (of the opposition). Sanders has used his authority to hold a number of hearings on related topics over the past couple of years. Nomination of witnesses can be, I believe, by any member, so the GOP made sure their guys would be there.
posted by dhartung at 11:12 PM on March 12


And their guys will be their cover for spinning this for as long as it takes. I love Bernie Sanders and believe he has more genuine belief in single-payer than anyone else in the Senate, but the Senate is still a place for political theatre and obstructionism, so I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop here.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:20 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]


the American health care system has access for everybody. It's called the emergency room.

1. That's not what that is for, asshole! If people could get timely health care, many things could be fixed before they became emergencies!

2. The whole language template of "[X controversial thing asserted]. It's called [Y other thing]." should be retired.
posted by JHarris at 12:56 AM on March 13 [8 favorites]


If anyone else is seeing broken images on the "Sick Around the World" site (like I am), I apologize. PBS is having problems with their image cache system. I'll file a ticket when I get into work.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:22 AM on March 13 [2 favorites]


It is about time that America joined the 20th Century with Healthcare.
SINGLE PAYER NOW !!
posted by Flood at 4:08 AM on March 13 [10 favorites]


It's amazing just how much they fear a labor market without the cudgel of employer health insurance to keep people in line.
posted by ob1quixote at 4:55 AM on March 13 [27 favorites]


Courtesy of the CBC, here's a quick and punchy excerpt of Dr. Danielle Martin answering Senator's Burr's inane ideological questions that is worth hearing.

Holy smokes, she's like some sort of superhero. Her power is the ability to counter bullshit with the facts *before* the bullshitter can even finish their bullshit.
posted by NoMich at 5:07 AM on March 13 [14 favorites]


i can't get it to play. do i have to be in canada for it to work?
posted by sio42 at 5:18 AM on March 13 [2 favorites]


There's no video to play -- only a "listen" button near the still from the video. It played for me fine, but CSEC may have told CBC that a Canadian lives here.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:38 AM on March 13


Hmm. That's what I clicked and then it tries to load a player and say "this video cannot be played."

Maybe it will end up on youtube.
posted by sio42 at 5:41 AM on March 13




Senator's Burr's inane ideological questions

They're not inane as such. They're leading, and if you're going to ask questions like that you need to do more research, have a more compliant respondent and/or control of the mike, pace Bill O'Reilly.

Republicans know they can't win the argument on health outcomes - the US system may be better in isolated pockets (like survival rates for certain cancers) but is clearly worse than single payer systems on several counts. Far better to appeal to distracting, abstract arguments like quality and choice and freedom, as Burr does.

This is a false dichotomy, of course. Private healthcare is not necessarily better than public healthcare; also, in public payer systems like France there is ample choice of physician while in systems like the UK's, with large public and private healthcare organisations, people who have insurance, which is as little as $40/month, can freely elect to go private or stay with the public system each and every time they commence treatment.

But that's the thrust of the next big argument against widening access to healthcare, which effectively dog whistles as "you are subsidising treatment for the feckless poor and in so doing worsening your own quality of care."
posted by MuffinMan at 5:44 AM on March 13 [2 favorites]


Danielle Martin for PM. (I suspect I'm not the first to day it.)
posted by ~ at 5:50 AM on March 13 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately one more majority Conservative government in Canada and we'll probably start to see a more active dismantling of the single payer system.
posted by Poldo at 5:52 AM on March 13 [4 favorites]


These arguments are going to get worse.

Baby Boomers are old, and in declining health. They have the money. Their 401Ks are heavily invested in insurance company stocks.

For 35 years Americans have been told that caring about yourself first will let the future take care of itself. Asthmatic kids of teenaged moms really should have been born to families who made better choices.
posted by DigDoug at 5:55 AM on March 13 [2 favorites]


The aging population heading for "government" health care includes a lot of people who haven't had or have had inadequate health care for decades.

They need a lot of healthcare, and they're going to retire the minute they are eligible because they are simply to broken down for a Cialis-commercial style "second career."
posted by Lesser Shrew at 6:09 AM on March 13


Unfortunately one more majority Conservative government in Canada and we'll probably start to see a more active dismantling of the single payer system.

Here in the US, after the upcoming mid-term elections, Republicans stand a good chance of becoming the majority in the Senate. Once that happens, we could very well see a quick gun-to-the-head of the ACA before Obama's term is up. And possibly further restrictions to Medicaid.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:13 AM on March 13 [1 favorite]



It's amazing just how much they fear a labor market without the cudgel of employer health insurance to keep people in line.


Well spoken.
posted by GrapeApiary at 6:46 AM on March 13


The John Goodman health care plan - "There is something else we could do to promote universal health insurance: We could allow everyone — regardless of income — to enroll in Medicaid, and at the same time allow everyone on Medicaid to leave the program, claim the tax credit, and buy private insurance. This, of course, is the 'public option' that the Left has been clamoring for. It's hard to understand why conservatives are so resistant to it: If a private insurer can't outperform Medicaid, it doesn't deserve to be in the market."
posted by kliuless at 6:48 AM on March 13 [21 favorites]


Thanks digdoug , but looks like I'll have to wait til I get home. I can't watch.video at work and the cspan site tells me this video (or audio) isn't available for this device.

Oh well. At least I have something to look forward to later! I like a good takedown on healthcare!
posted by sio42 at 6:49 AM on March 13


Healthcare laws eliminating job lock and entrepreneur lock.
posted by Brian B. at 6:52 AM on March 13


...for those wondering, it's not that John Goodman.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:05 AM on March 13 [9 favorites]


It is about time that America joined the 20th Century with Healthcare.
SINGLE PAYER NOW !!
posted by Flood

It's amazing just how much they fear a labor market without the cudgel of employer health insurance to keep people in line.
posted by ob1quixote


It would be nice if American corporate culture entered the 20th Century period, instead of perpetually partying like it's 1899.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:13 AM on March 13 [4 favorites]


...for those wondering, it's not that John Goodman.

"Do you see what happens, Rand Paul? Do you see what happens when you deny healthcare to those who need it? This is what happens, Rand!"
posted by zombieflanders at 7:14 AM on March 13 [25 favorites]


Courtesy of the CBC, here's a quick and punchy excerpt of Dr. Danielle Martin answering Senator's Burr's inane ideological questions that is worth hearing.

Just wow.

"Dr Martin, why do you think Canadians with financial resources come to the US for medical care?"

"There's no evidence to answer this question Senator Burr. I suspect it is because people like you control the public dialogue. But here is study X, and study Y, and study Z which demonstrates why this perception is false, and why wait times would be longer if Canada instituted a tiered system like you have here, and by the way, our outcomes are better."

"Wrong. People come here because they can judge quality for themselves and therefore healthcare is better here. No further questions."
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:22 AM on March 13 [4 favorites]


Baby Boomers are old, and in declining health. They have the money. Their 401Ks are heavily invested in insurance company stocks.

Unfortunately, that little bath Wall Street made the world take a few years back wiped-out a not-insubstantial part of a lot of Boomers' retirement plans. Saying they "have the money" isn't as accurate as it may have been in the past. A lot of Boomers are going to have to depend on Social Security and Medicaid a whole lot more than they had planned for.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:26 AM on March 13


maybe Senator Burr would be interested in the number of US Citizens who travel to Mexico, Canada, and other places for medical tourism.
posted by sio42 at 7:57 AM on March 13 [9 favorites]


A lot of Boomers are going to have to depend on Social Security and Medicaid a whole lot more than they had planned for.

…Along with pretty much everyone younger than they are who's not working on The Hill or Wall Street.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:11 AM on March 13 [3 favorites]


Here's a Daily Show link that works around their geoblocking, for people outside the US.
posted by flabdablet at 8:18 AM on March 13 [3 favorites]


What the Republicans really mean by "choice" is "we prioritize choice of care for the well-off over access to care for the less fortunate".
posted by murphy slaw at 8:20 AM on March 13 [1 favorite]


...for those wondering, it's not that John Goodman

Will it cover injuries sustained while fighting a stranger in the Alps?
posted by the jam at 8:28 AM on March 13 [10 favorites]


Unfortunately, that little bath Wall Street made the world take a few years back wiped-out a not-insubstantial part of a lot of Boomers' retirement plans. Saying they "have the money" isn't as accurate as it may have been in the past.

Eh, not so much. Anybody who stayed in the market throughout the Great Recession is well ahead of where they were in 2008. One calculator shows a compound annual growth rate of the S&P 500 of 6.21% from Jan 2008 to Dec 2013.

Employment rates still suck; the stock market has been doing pretty well and has more than made up for its losses.
posted by Jasper Fnorde at 8:31 AM on March 13


Well that was interesting, thanks for the link. I found it pretty astonishing that both of the conservative panelists flatly refused to answer the question of whether they felt Medicare should be abolished.
posted by gerstle at 9:18 AM on March 13 [1 favorite]


I guess I'm overstating that. Sally Pipes sort of responded, eventually.
posted by gerstle at 9:20 AM on March 13


I'm still waiting for the death panels that Obama promised me. Where are my death panels?!
posted by Flunkie at 10:22 AM on March 13 [5 favorites]


Dr. Martin's testimony is so good, and such a smackdown of Burr's insane statements (which of course doesn't appear to even register with him).

The Daily Show piece is also SO good, and the smackdown of that FoxNews propaganda artist is epic.

But here we sit in our echo chamber once more. Damning evidence of the U.S.'s embarrassing healthcare (#37 in the world! Take that Slovenia!) provided in multiple outlets watched by the demographic that already understand the problems at hand and support the change.

Surely this new testimony will...no, it won't. As long as we have this corporate-run government and newstainment propaganda outlets to help disseminate these non-data-driven "facts" about death panels and people dying in Canada waiting for healthcare and "we have the best healthcare system in the world", we're not getting single payer here.

Best case for ACA was that it was going to be a great bridge toward the single payer system that we need so badly. Worst case for ACA is that flawed implementation of not-far-enough legislation mixed with lots of misinformation would cause this reform to be incrementally repealed. I'm very fearful we are still listing towards the latter of those two.
posted by mcstayinskool at 10:48 AM on March 13 [2 favorites]


The funny thing is that death panels, even if they were real, would be better than what we have now. If we actually had public officials making in full daylight the decisions made now by anonymous administrators in the private insurance industry it would actually be an improvement.

But when I say "decisions being made now" the picture is in fact changing thanks to ACA. The insurance industry employs investigators to find pretexts to cancel the policies of patients who've suddenly become expensive -- i.e. when they actually develop conditions that need to be treated. The preexisting conditions aspects of the new law are cutting the legs out from under that practice.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:50 AM on March 13 [4 favorites]


Some decent video here.
posted by funkiwan at 12:17 PM on March 13


The Daily Show piece is brilliant. I've never seen someone rendered quite so speechless.
posted by knapah at 12:24 PM on March 13 [2 favorites]


I cannot fathom how a for-profit healthcare industry is not immoral. While I don't typically support legislation on moral grounds, I will be on any bandwagon that removes healthcare decisions from a profit motive framework.
posted by valentinepig at 3:45 PM on March 13 [3 favorites]


The Daily Show piece is brilliant. I've never seen someone rendered quite so speechless.

Might have been a little speed manipulation during the goggle-eyed gasping goldfish money shot, but even so: it was indeed a corporate shill just beautifully done over.
posted by flabdablet at 6:36 PM on March 13


As inane a comment as it was, I think the "people just don't know any better" argument works in reverse.

To give you an idea, in Canada, its become a hot button issue that patients should even pay for parking at the hospital.

It's an entirely different frame of mind, and no matter that studies or data that you quote, there's a cultural gap there that is very difficult to bridge.
posted by cacofonie at 7:50 PM on March 13 [2 favorites]




Just to re-iterate. The Democrats have a good chance of losing the Senate in 2014. You know those 50+ votes repealing the ACA that the House of Representatives have held? I'm sure there's another one scheduled for January 5th, 2015.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:27 PM on March 13 [1 favorite]


The GOP will pick up seats in the Senate, and they might even get 10 seats. However, I doubt that they will somehow get the 22 seats necessary to overturn a Presidential veto.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:02 AM on March 14 [1 favorite]


Just to re-iterate. The Democrats have a good chance of losing the Senate in 2014. You know those 50+ votes repealing the ACA that the House of Representatives have held? I'm sure there's another one scheduled for January 5th, 2015.

Good thing they need 67 to override the inevitable veto.
posted by Talez at 8:58 AM on March 14


For two years.
posted by JHarris at 2:05 PM on March 14




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