Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Kennedy Healthcare Reform Bill Explained

for the Politically Illiterate

Call it whatever you want to:
  • Public Health Insurance
  • Government-Run Insurance
  • Obamacare?
  • Socialized Medicine
Whatever. It's time we had it.
'Nuff said.


  1. So simple, even Sarah Palin could understand it. But first she'd have to listen.

  2. Well, it's great if you actually listen to what is said. After watching McCain's town hall the other day most of those opposing the public option were lost in conspiratorial fantasies about allowing illegals access to the plan and continuing fears over the "death panels" wanting to put all the old people to sleep like sick dogs.

    Reason has taken a holiday and if some bill isn't passed by September with the midterm campaigns cranking up we may not have any bill.

  3. Sorry, Vig. This is going to be another long comment, but I think this is important information so we can educate ourselves.

    The only industrialized nation without a health care system is The United States[but you knew that already...] This list is compiled by date.

    Norway 1912 Single Payer

    New Zealand 1938 Two Tier

    Japan 1938 Single Payer

    Germany 1941 Insurance Mandate

    Belgium 1945 Insurance Mandate

    United Kingdom 1948 Single Payer

    Kuwait 1950 Single Payer

    Sweden 1955 Single Payer

    Bahrain 1957 Single Payer

    Brunei 1958 Single Payer

    Canada 1966 Single Payer

    Netherlands 1966 Two-Tier

    Austria 1967 Insurance Mandate

    United Arab Emirates
       1971 Single Payer

    Finland 1972 Single Payer

    Slovenia 1972 Single Payer

    Denmark 1973 Two-Tier

    Luxembourg 1973 Insurance Mandate

    France 1974 Two-Tier

    Australia 1975 Two Tier

    Ireland 1977 Two-Tier

    Italy 1978 Single Payer

    Portugal 1979 Single Payer

    Cyprus 1980 Single Payer

    Greece 1983 Insurance Mandate

    Spain 1986 Single Payer

    South Korea 1988 Insurance Mandate

    Iceland 1990 Single Payer

    Hong Kong 1993 Single Payer

    Singapore 1993 Single Payer

    Switzerland 1994 Insurance Mandate

    Israel 1995 Single Payer

    United States NONE NONE NONE NONE

    In case this chart is unreadable, please
    visit Universal Health Care. Some Single Payer plans are listed as "Single Payer/Two-Tier."

    Please keep this information handy when you call your Conservative representatives vocalizing your support for H.R. 676—the Kucinich Bill. I belive H.R. 3200 is aligned with Big Pharma.


    The following information lists definitions of the various system types of Universal Health Care.

    System Types:

    Single Payer: The government provides insurance for all residents (or citizens) and pays all health care expenses except for copays and coinsurance. Providers may be public, private, or a combination of both.

    Two-Tier: The government provides or mandates catrastrophic or minimum insurance coverage for all residents (or citizens), while allowing the purchase of additional voluntary insurance or fee-for service care when desired. In Singapore all residents receive a catastrophic policy from the government coupled with a health savings account that they use to pay for routine care. In other countries like Ireland and Israel, the government provides a core policy which the majority of the population supplement with private insurance.

    Insurance Mandate: The government mandates that all citizens purchase insurance, whether from private, public, or non-profit insurers. In some cases the insurer list is quite restrictive, while in others a healthy private market for insurance is simply regulated and standardized by the government. In this kind of system insurers are barred from rejecting sick individuals, and individuals are required to purchase insurance, in order to prevent typical health care market failures from arising.

  4. Thanks

    I had no idea where to put this link. Apologizes for any inappropriateness.

  5. If this country decides that it's going to keep (and/or expand upon) the Medicare system (and I'm perfectly persuadable here), then we're really going to have to 1) strenuously go after the abuses/fraud and 2) institute far more in terms of cost controls. We just can't continue to afford paying for new and expensive drugs/treatments that end up giving literally ZERO added benefit. Hey, I'll admit it here. Nobody likes to use the word, rationing. But that's quite O.K.. I'll say it. We need to ration.

  6. As Ezra Klein has pointed out, the U.S. health-care system already does ration. Every system does, because resources are always going to be finite. In the U.S., the rationing is based on ability to pay.

  7. I agree. We DO ration (in essence). But we have to do so in a much more equitable and intelligent manner. I highly recommend Dr. Emanuel's book, "Healthcare, Guaranteed".

  8. Ever the ideologue. Party over people!