Long Island Coalition for a National Health Plan

February 22, 2008

The Myth That Will Not Die

Filed under: healthcare, Insurance — Tags: , , , , , — nhplan @ 3:00 am

just another myth Independent Voice

The Myth That Will Not Die
by Joe Kane
March 6, 2003 [with updates for 2008]

What do Senators Trent Lott, Orrin Hatch, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, and all the members of congress have in common? They are all beneficiaries of the Federal Employees Health Benefits plan known as FEHB, an elitist health insurance program that has a grossly misunderstood myth built around it.

I call it elitist, because it can only work for some at the expense of others, never for the whole country. And yet, for more than a decade, some politician is on occasion saying that the FEHB is the model for solving the problem of millions of Americans being without health care coverage.

Of course it never comes to pass as it is a myth, and the number of uninsured keeps increasing, while our health care system stays on its course to collapse. Now once again the myth of the FEHB as a model to solve our growing health care crisis and “reform” Medicare, is being touted again, and tragically by two of my favorite well meaning
Senators, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, as well as President Bush and Senator Frist. (In 2008, Hillary Clinton has gotten on board too.)

Trying to understand FEHB started for me with a famous weekly talk show back in the early 90s, during the debate on Clinton’s Health Plan. Washington reporter Lisa Meyers on Meet The Press, questioned Newt Gingrich about his health insurance. He said he paid about $400 a month. The following night she pointed out: “He pays only $104 a month and the Government pays $404 a month! When asked why he misrepresented the facts, his answer was that he made a mistake.

Duh! Possibly a deliberate lie?

That was my eye opener, so I called the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, (more…)

February 21, 2008

Summary of benefits of “Medicare for All”

Filed under: Health, healthcare, Insurance — Tags: , , , — nhplan @ 4:00 am

The health care debate can be won by forcing the focus of the health care debate on phrases such as:

  • Saving the Free Enterprise System of the doctors
  • Spread the risk – Medicare is a restricted insurance pool of only old people, the highest risk. Basic rule of sensible insurance must be applied to secure its future. Expand Medicare insurance to non-seniors.
  • Cost efficiency of non-profit Medicare – 2% to 3% as opposed to 20% to 30% wastage from middleman private for-profit HMOs.
  • Savings of over $300 billion a year could cover prescription drugs and long term care, while covering everyone.
  • Restoring precious choice of one’s own doctor.

Medicare for All results in shrinking the size of government, so:

No more need for following Federal Bureaucracies:

  • Medicaid
  • Tri Care
  • Kidney DialysisFund
  • Tuberculosis Fund
  • Aids Fund
  • Breast Cancer Fund
  • Native American Health Care
  • Expanded in home services for elderly(EISEP) QMB, SLIMB, and QI-1 for low income people (who are not poor enough for Medicaid)

No more need for the following NY State programs:

  • Epic (Drug assistance for some over 65 years old)
  • Child Health Plus
  • Family Health Plus
  • S Chip

Also:

  • Workmens Compensation and Auto Insurance costs will drop as all medical payments are covered in the new system.
  • Veterans would now have choice of family doctors and other hospitals
  • We can also eliminate the 72% Government subsidy of Government Employees Insurance(FEHBP), plus the Office Of Personnel Management’s 153 full time employees who administer the private plans, each with the 20%-30% wastage

A Single Payer Medicare for All health care plan would have the backing of the 14,000 member Physicians For A National Health Plan(PNHP), New England Journal of Medicine, Thousands of Doctors from the American College of Physicians, American College of Surgeons and many other medical organizations. (The American Medical Association only represents 32% of all Physicians). The new generation of doctors favors a new health care system.
This summary created by:

Joe Kane,
Associate Publisher of Long Beach Independent Voice
Executive Board, LI Coalition For A National Health Plan

and

Dr. James Bernstein,
Past President, LICNHP
Former Professor of Internal Medicine at Einstein College of Medicine
Former President of Long Island Gastroenterological Association at SUNY Stonybroook.

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