Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Why Not Single Payer?

On my way home last night I was listening to Amy Goodman on DemocracyNow! (Thank Odin for WETS). She was interviewing a couple of doctors who were fed up with the American Medical Association and critical of President Obama for slamming the brakes on single payer health insurance. Check the transcript.
Dr. Chris McCoy: It’s the fact that the AMA’s sole focus in the last ten years on Capitol Hill has always been, you know, the SGR and physician reimbursement, to the point where they—when they meet with members of Congress, that’s all they ever talk about. They aren’t talking about public health issues, and they aren’t talking about what we need to do for patients. It’s, you know, what can we do for getting providers paid enough...
It is time for these physicians to be ashamed. Our healthcare system is not working.
Dr. Quentin Young: America’s difficulties, indeed the crisis in healthcare, is due to one big thing: the multi-payer and private insurance companies. Everybody knows that. Obama knows that. He said he was for single payer not that many years ago, and if he was starting from scratch, was the way he put it, he would go with it. Well, he is starting from scratch, and the failure to grasp the nettle and really give America the kind of healthcare reform system it deserves is very painful and very dangerous.
Not all physicians are against single payer insurance.
Dr. Quentin Young: Mr. Obama would be wisest to challenge the American people to support single payer, which, I might point out, America’s doctors, in a poll in the University of Indiana last year, April, showed 60 percent of our doctors now support a tax system that provides for healthcare. Doctors have learned there’s something worse than government; it’s called corporations. And we must trade on that insight. And the American public wants it. So, why is there this hesitancy and this currying favor with the reactionaries who talk about socialized medicine? It’s nonsense. It’s American medicine, and it can only grow and serve the people if we have a single-payer system.
Single payer is NOT government provided health care. It is government provided health insurance, like Medicare.

Amy Goodman: We have to break. And when you say, Dr. Quentin Young, single payer, you mean government paying for healthcare, not providing the healthcare.

Dr. Quentin Young: That’s very important. A private system of delivery, such as we have, hospitals and doctors, and primarily in the private sector, but a government-sponsored insurance plan, which works so marvelously in Medicare. And we have to just make it universal, and we’ll get out of this morass.
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