Monday, April 21, 2008 2:36 PM

‘Show Me’ Some Single Payer Healthcare

American SiCKO Donna Smith, left, shares a light moment with Mayor Joe Adams of University City, MO, before a rally and march in support of single payer healthcare reform. University City is the only municipality in Missouri that has passed a resolution in favor of single payer reform, even though there is a single payer bill in the Missouri Senate right now.
Citizens in the ‘Show Me’ state lived up to their billing when more than 150 people turned out on Saturday night at the St. Louis Ethical Society to watch ‘SiCKO’ and to hear more about healthcare from American SiCKOs Donna and Larry Smith. The event was a huge success with guests enjoying free popcorn and lemonade provided by volunteers and lingering for more than an hour for a lively question and answer session led by Donna.

CLiCK here for blog post from St. Louis...

American SiCKOs Donna and Larry Smith stand in front of City Hall in University City, MO, where a rally and march preceded a SiCKO showing and address as part of the healthcare weekend hosted by Missourians for Single Payer (MoSP) and co-sponsored by The Ethical Society of St. Louis.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 6:52 PM

An Arm, A Leg And A Life

Co-payments Soar For Drugs With High Prices

Health insurance companies are rapidly adopting a new pricing system for very expensive drugs, asking patients to pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars for prescriptions for medications that may save their lives or slow the progress of serious diseases.

With the new pricing system, insurers abandoned the traditional arrangement that has patients pay a fixed amount, like $10, $20 or $30 for a prescription, no matter what the drug’s actual cost. Instead, they are charging patients a percentage of the cost of certain high-priced drugs, usually 20 to 33 percent, which can amount to thousands of dollars a month.

CLiCK here for the full article...

Friday, April 11, 2008 1:06 PM

A History of Bad Healthcare Plans

A very insightful piece about what is wrong with the Clinton-Obama health care plans, and the plans of their predecessors...

A major problem -- if not the major problem -- for many people living in the U.S. is the difficulty of accessing and paying for medical care when they are sick. For this reason, candidates in the presidential primaries of 2008 -- the Democrats more often than the Republicans -- have been recounting stories about the health-related tragedies they have encountered in meetings with ordinary people around the country (an exercise conducted in the U.S. every four years, at presidential election time). These stories tell of the enormous difficulties and suffering faced by many people in their attempts to get the medical care they need. I have been around long enough -- I was senior health advisor to Jesse Jackson in the Democratic primaries of 1984 and 1988 -- to know how frequently Democratic candidates, over the years, have referred to such cases. The only things that change are the names and faces in these human tragedies. Otherwise, the stories, year after year, are almost the same.

CLiCK here for the full article...

Friday, April 4, 2008 1:50 PM

More On Healthcare Under McCain...

Paul Krugman weighs in...

Elizabeth Edwards has cancer. John McCain has had cancer in the past. Last weekend, Mrs. Edwards bluntly pointed out that neither of them would be able to get insurance under Mr. McCain’s health care plan.

It’s about time someone said that and, more generally, made the case that Mr. McCain’s approach to health care is based on voodoo economics — not the supply-side voodoo that claims that cutting taxes increases revenues (though Mr. McCain says that, too), but the equally foolish claim, refuted by all available evidence, that the magic of the marketplace can produce cheap health care for everyone.

Thursday, April 3, 2008 4:04 PM

Healthcare Under McCain?

McCain to follow Republican tradition of letting patients fend for themselves

There's a sense of deja vu about McCain's proposal. Haven't we been injecting competition into the health insurance markets for a very long time? Even the establishment of the government Medicare and Medicaid programs in the 1960's had a pro-competitive edge, because it removed from the commercial markets the most expensive and the poorest paying cases, leaving them with the most lucrative consumers to insure. The Health Maintenance Organization movement of the 1970's was another injection of that competitive hormone into the insurance markets in the form of prepaid group plans which combined insurance with the provision of care. What additional forms of competition has McCain invented that health economists never dreamt about?

The truth is that not all competition is helpful to consumers. I know that this is not an idea free-market conservatives like, but it's possible for competition to actually hurt some consumers.

CLiCK here to read more of this post from The Nation...

Also, check out Elizabeth Edwards on the McCain health plan over at Think Progress...

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