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Intercept : Insurance Lobbyists laugh off single payer healthcare

Inuhanyou

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Jul 26, 2014
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ACTIVISTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY have provided real momentum to the idea of a single-payer health care system, pressing the issue in California and among leading figures in the Democratic Party.

The mere prospect of single payer, however, has elicited swift derision from some corners of the party, with Dick Gephardt, the former Democratic House minority leader, laughing off the idea at a health insurance conference earlier this month.

“Not in my lifetime,” scoffed Gephardt, when asked if the United States will ever adopt such a system.

Gephardt, who serves as a Democratic “superdelegate” responsible for choosing the party’s presidential nominee, was asked about the possibility of single payer at the Centene Corporation annual investor day conference at The Pierre, a ritzy five-star hotel in New York City.

Centene, which merged with Health Net two years ago, is a health insurance company that sells coverage in 28 states. At the conference, which included investors and Centene executives as well as lobbyists, an unidentified participant asked Gephardt about whether the industry should fear being replaced by a single-payer-style system. Such a move, the questioner remarked, would present an “existential threat.”

“There is no way you could pass single payer in any intermediate future,” Gephardt declared. America, he added, has the “greatest health care system in the world, bar none.” And while single payer would provide universal coverage, there would be less quality and innovation without the “involvement of the private sector.”

Haley Barbour, the former Republican National Committee chair, another speaker at the event, chimed in to agree. “Hear, hear. Put me down as agreeing with Leader Gephardt as usual,” Barbour chuckled.

More here

https://theintercept.com/2017/07/01/dick-gephardt-single-payer-health-insurance-lobbyists/

Its important for people to know that opposition to single payer in both parties, something most of the industrialized world has, has nothing to do with legitimate issues regarding its implementation in concept and everything to do with the health insurance lobby's influence and unwillingness to cede their profits and control.

The excuse of the private sector's innovation is particularly egregious as the US government has funded expansion and research into the medical industry already for the longest time without question.
 

kirblar

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Oct 9, 2010
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Its important for people to know that opposition to single payer in both parties, something most of the industrialized world has, has nothing to do with legitimate issues regarding its implementation in concept and everything to do with the health insurance lobby's influence and unwillingness to cede their profits and control.
You are completely wrong.

The reason you have opposition of jumping to single payer is that it would destroy the economy in the transition because you'd be decimating a private sector while simultaneously building up the public sector. You can't do that over a short time period when health care is 1/6th of the economy.

You cannot move to single payer from where the US is currently at. To do that, you need to first do three very important things-

1) Get universal coverage in place
2) Get a public option in place
3) Decouple healthcare from employment

(I am totally on board with all these things, btw!)

Only once you have done all 3 of these things can you actually talk about moving to single payer. These thiongs should be done regardless if you think a swiss-style system is the best outcome or a NHS-style one is better. I'm agnostic on the ultimate outcome- but I think if we get those 3 things accomplished, the system will naturally trend one way or the other and effectively choose itself for us.
 

Laevateinn

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Aug 7, 2013
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Best healthcare system in the world with private innovations like buying patent rights for publicly funded research.
 
Dec 11, 2012
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Crazy how threads like this get no attention.

Dems are pretty much in lock step with this line of thinking. Or more accurately, they're paid to push this view.

One day, maybe this nation won't be so backward.
 

Gallbaro

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May 13, 2008
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Crazy how threads like this get no attention.

Dems are pretty much in lock step with this line of thinking. Or more accurately, they're paid to push this view.

One day, maybe this nation won't be so backward.
Especially North Eastern Democrats.

Really best chance is Dutch option. None of this bronze, silver crap, but one plan everyone had to buy and no"groups" and no "state lines" and no "state regulation."

But unfortunately doctors, trial lawyers, and health insurance companies are largely Democratic groups.
 

thefro

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May 14, 2006
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Crazy how threads like this get no attention.

Dems are pretty much in lock step with this line of thinking. Or more accurately, they're paid to push this view.

One day, maybe this nation won't be so backward.

Gephardt's been a lobbyist for over twelve years for the insurance industry and campaigned against the public option in 2009.

He's not an example of the mainstream Democratic position on health care.
 

NYCmetsfan

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Apr 24, 2010
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Not in my lifetime," scoffed Gephardt, when asked if the United States will ever adopt such a system.

he's 76

Crazy how threads like this get no attention.

Dems are pretty much in lock step with this line of thinking. Or more accurately, they're paid to push this view.

One day, maybe this nation won't be so backward.

It literally is a dying bread. We had a candidate run on single payer. We have states actively pushing for it and newly elected dems aren't pushing this view.
 

Steel

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Jun 20, 2013
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The option that works well in Europe is really a public option, not single payer, in either case. I don't get the obsession with single payer, getting rid of insurance companies all at once doesn't have a tangible benefit and a public option is no worse than a forced government pool.
 

NYCmetsfan

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Apr 24, 2010
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The option that works well in Europe is really a public option, not single payer, in either case. I don't get the obsession with single payer, getting rid of insurance companies all at once doesn't have a tangible benefit and a public option is no worse than a forced government pool.

its the simplistic to do in the US since we already have like 3. Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP we just expand them.

Trying to do a multipayer system is a lot of work, will require a far more laborious transition and will not be as politically popular
 

Nerdkiller

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Aug 9, 2013
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Fucking lol

Came to post the exact same thing
 

Steel

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Jun 20, 2013
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its the simplistic to do in the US since we already have like 3. Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP

You could just use that as a public option. It is not the simplist to do because 1/5 of our economy is tied up in the medical industry and destroying that overnight is idiotic. And single payer doesn't even always have better results(and often times has worse results) than countries that have multi-payer with a government option.
 

NYCmetsfan

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Apr 24, 2010
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You could just use that as a public option. It is not the simplist to do because 1/5 of our economy is tied up in the medical industry and destroying that overnight is idiotic. And single payer doesn't even always have better results(and often times has worse results) than countries that have multi-payer with a government option.

Part A—Hospital Insurance Benefits for the Aged and Disabled[10]

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Sec. 1811. [42 U.S.C. 1395c] The insurance program for which entitlement is established by sections 226 and 226A provides basic protection against the costs of hospital, related post-hospital, home health services, and hospice care in accordance with this part for (1) individuals who are age 65 or over and are eligible for retirement benefits under title II of this Act

we literally need to change take out everything after individuals and we have a new system, a "public option"

and single payer doesn't destroy 1/5 of the economy.

I mean single payer doesn't mean an NHS. Medicare relies on private and public providers.
 

Steel

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Jun 20, 2013
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we literally need to change take out everything after individuals and we have a new system, a "public option"

and single payer doesn't destroy 1/5 of the economy.

It disrupts 1/5 of the economy which is more than enough to cause a recession. I'm also failing to see how your example has anything to do with how hard it'd be do to a public option, which won't bulldoze the current health insurance industry overnight, compared to single payer.
 

Ithil

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Apr 19, 2011
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It quite literally does not have the greatest in the world. This is a factual statement and that guy should be slapped upside the head for his idiotic comment.
 

Flo_Evans

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I fail to see how the insurance industry drives inovation in medicine. Accounting and screwing people over sure, highly innovative.
 

Kickz

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Jul 24, 2010
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I still don't get lobbyists.. Doesn't it defeat the purpose of voting/democracy if a lobby can sway politicians away from their voters wishes?
 

NYCmetsfan

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It disrupts 1/5 of the economy which is more than enough to cause a recession. I'm also failing to see how your example has anything to do with how hard it'd be do to a public option, which won't bulldoze the current health insurance industry overnight, compared to single payer.
it doesnt not disrupt 1/5 of the economy (since about half of the money in that 1/5 is single payer already.

and you are aware that 1/5 of the economy is health care not health care insurance. that is a small portion of the economy and mostly monopolies the government can just replace.

and they're could be a phase in of involvement of the government beyond just paying the bill.

nobody is saying do it overnight anyways
 

Mivey

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Oct 28, 2014
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It's certainly true that our universal health care here in Europe is holding us back. If only we would give it up, and put millions out of any health service they can afford, we could have so much better care for the rest of us. We could cure any disease, increase the human life span by decades (instantly).
Alas, our damned Socialism!!11 and general care for human life won't allow us to do the right thing. :(
 

BajiBoxer

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Dec 5, 2007
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The mere prospect of single payer, however, has elicited swift derision from some corners of the party, with Dick Gephardt, the former Democratic House minority leader, laughing off the idea at a health insurance conference earlier this month.

“Not in my lifetime,” scoffed Gephardt
, when asked if the United States will ever adopt such a system.

Good thing Dick is 76 years old.
 

Timedog

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Oct 15, 2004
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Scientists make medicine and innovation, not the people that make money from medicine and innovation that are in board meetings at Pharma and medical companies. Scientists would still innovate without the people above them making shit tons of money, because they're scientists.

And insurance companies do just about nothing.

We have a bunch of people with little utility who hold immense amounts of power, thus the state of the world.
 

BajiBoxer

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Dec 5, 2007
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it doesnt not disrupt 1/5 of the economy (since about half of the money in that 1/5 is single payer already.

and you are aware that 1/5 of the economy is health care not health care insurance. that is a small portion of the economy and mostly monopolies the government can just replace.

and they're could be a phase in of involvement of the government beyond just paying the bill.

nobody is saying do it overnight anyways

Also would add that a lot of the jobs in the health insurance buisiness would shift over to administering the hypothetical single payer system.
 
Sep 8, 2010
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Scientists make medicine and innovation, not the people that make money from medicine and innovation that are in board meetings at Pharma and medical companies. Scientists would still innovate without the people above them making shit tons of money, because they're scientists.

And insurance companies do just about nothing.

We have a bunch of people with little utility who hold immense amounts of power, thus the state of the world.

Capitalism in a nutshell.
 

pa22word

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Oct 24, 2010
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I don't think single payer has a realistic path on the federal level now or anytime in the next 50 years or so. The health insurance industry is too entrenched and spread across too vast a distance nationally to just overnight federalize the whole thing or whatever. I think if Dems want better health care system they need to realize this and work toward a (I think it's) German style model where we effectively subsidize payments enough through taxation plus have a public option to effectively have universal coverage.

Maybe after a few generations of that we can start talking about federalizing the whole thing, but at the moment I just don't see it as being realisticly achievable either politically or mechanically for quite some time.
 

kirblar

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Oct 9, 2010
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Majority of dems in power seriously have no real ambition at a public option. Never did. Too much money thrown at them.
In '09 the House passed a Public Option and it only failed in the Senate cause Obama and Reid were too chickenshit to kill the fillibuster.
 

CazTGG

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The only people who are laughing, Dick, are those of us whose countries have universal healthcare (including your apologetic neighbours, Canada. Hi, by the way). Only in country whose government has such vast resources like America could someone raise the price of a drug by several hundred percentages because "muh 3 marketz" or say that universal healthcare would hurt the quality of medical care.

But hey, apparently being sick is "a choice" in the U.S. instead of cutting back on military spending and regulating drug prices, among other issues.
 
Nov 23, 2010
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Fucking lol

It's a really sad talking point.

Edit: Even with the ACA in full effect, US health care is a joke and we're shelling out 18% of GDP which is killing business and swamping the economy. The fact that elites in the US have been completely outclassed by educated people in others parts of the world makes you shake your head. Very dumb.
 

pa22word

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Oct 24, 2010
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In '09 the House passed a Public Option and it only failed in the Senate cause Obama and Reid were too chickenshit to kill the fillibuster.
Too chickenshit? Do you not realize that that would have meant the public option would have been dead in 2012 when the repubs took back the senate?

Killing the filibuster on legislation is idiocy. Hate Lieberman all you want im right there with you man, but opening up the Pandora's box that no filibuster entails is not a good idea for when you inevitably enter the minority again.
 

Steel

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Jun 20, 2013
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it doesnt not disrupt 1/5 of the economy (since about half of the money in that 1/5 is single payer already.

and you are aware that 1/5 of the economy is health care not health care insurance. that is a small portion of the economy and mostly monopolies the government can just replace.

and they're could be a phase in of involvement of the government beyond just paying the bill.

Ok, first off let's just get this straight here:


http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/fund-reports/2014/jun/mirror-mirror

Canada, the UK, Norway, France, and Sweden are single payer, the rest are public option or even no public option with mandatory insurance. Note that Canada ranks worse than most countries, and it's even worse than the U.S. on a lot of metrics that aren't cost.

They each do better at some things than others, but by most metrics single payer is not better, the only stand out example is the UK, but they're moving toward privatizing their single payer system, so...

Also, it's worth noting that health insurance employees outnumber employees in any other sector of healthcare. Make no mistake, that's a huge chunk of the economy you want to mess with for no beneficial reason.
 

kirblar

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Oct 9, 2010
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Too chickenshit? Do you not realize that that would have meant the public option would have been dead in 2012 when the repubs took back the senate?

Killing the filibuster on legislation is idiocy. Hate Lieberman all you want im right there with you man, but opening up the Pandora's box that no filibuster entails is not a good idea for when you inevitably enter the minority again.
How is it dead when Obama's re-elected?

The rest of the ACA is actually holding up in his absence in '17 because of how difficult it is to take away from voters!
 

Ziltoidia 9

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Jul 1, 2013
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In '09 the House passed a Public Option and it only failed in the Senate cause Obama and Reid were too chickenshit to kill the fillibuster.

Your right over all, my statement was an exaggeration. I just get cynical at times when I hear about ex-democratic leaders sounding like this.
 
Jul 25, 2015
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sure, insurance companies can give huge sums of money to important members of Democratic leadership after they're done and laugh about how Democrats won't pass what their electorate wants, but money in politics isn't an issue
 

NYCmetsfan

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Apr 24, 2010
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Ok, first off let's just get this straight here:



http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/fund-reports/2014/jun/mirror-mirror

Canada, the UK, Norway, France, and Sweden are single payer, the rest are public option or even no public option with mandatory insurance. Note that Canada ranks worse than most countries, and it's even worse than the U.S. on a lot of metrics that aren't cost.

They each do better at some things than others, but by most metrics single payer is not better, the only stand out example is the UK, but they're moving toward privatizing their single payer system, so...

Also, it's worth noting that health insurance employees outnumber employees in any other sector of healthcare. Make no mistake, that's a huge chunk of the economy you want to mess with for no beneficial reason.

I have no idea how the commonwealth fund did that or why they should be the authority. but the actual WHO puts all of those countries well ahead of the US
http://www.who.int/healthinfo/paper30.pdf

and your confusing my argument. I said single payer because its the easiest thing in the US to accomplish. half of our healthcare is single payer. this bifurcated system is confusing ineffective and if it works in one place (elder care and poor folks) then lets get it to the others rather than continuing trying to reform a system that's clearly not gotten better after decades of reform attempts. i didn't say in all circumstances its better.

you also really obscuring how much those "public options" are in reality pretty much single payer for the intents and purposes of proposing reform the US system. medicare for all is much similar to german model than the current US system.

and third your last statement is like so absurdly wrong

"Also, it's worth noting that health insurance employees outnumber employees in any other sector of healthcare."

It employees about half a million. that's two months of the job growth at the current rate

http://www.iii.org/presentation/insurance-industry-employment-trends-1990-2015-june-2015-081215

while the health care industry absent payers (insurance employes) employee 19 million!

https://www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag62.htm

they're about 2 and half percent of the industry and again they would likely need to be hired by the government

and its absolutely for a beneficial reason. the health insurance industry destroys peoples lives when it denies care. a single payer system would never deny needed care due to ability to pay.
 

kirblar

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Oct 9, 2010
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I said single payer because its the easiest thing in the US to accomplish.
This is horribly, horribly wrong. This is not easy in the slightest, given that we do not currently have universal coverage, an existing public option, or a system completely de-linked from employment.

The amount of tax revenue required to fund it would be immense.

Matt Yglesias went into this on twitter in the past day or two - if you think Single Payer is "easy", you don't know what you are talking about.
 

NYCmetsfan

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Apr 24, 2010
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This is horribly, horribly wrong. This is not easy in the slightest, given that we do not currently have universal coverage, an existing public option, or a system completely de-linked from employment.

The amount of tax revenue required to fund it would be immense.

Matt Yglesias went into this on twitter in the past day or two - if you think Single Payer is "easy", you don't know what you are talking about.

easiest /= easy