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US Healthcare Reform Is Dead

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Yep, that’s it. It has been dead for quite some time now. Unfortunately, it’s not always apparent *why* that has been the case.

Warning: Political and healthcare-related opinions below, linked to various reputable sources.

Public Option, Single Payer, Medicare for All? The most contentious part of healthcare reform has been the concept of a government run health care plan. HR 676 refers to the idea of “Medicare for All”, extending our Medicare program for seniors to cover all Americans, effectively creating a single payer system in America. As expected, people who didn’t give a crap about running up deficits to blow holes in the sand halfway across the globe were outraged, *outraged* at the idea that we could possibly spend money on healthcare. So much, in fact, that they paraded around like morons, complaining about how large and awful government has gotten. (You know, after they didn’t say jack since the *last* Democrat was president.) A simple google search seems to show that the only places that are worried about Medicare deficits are right-wing thinktanks like the “Heritage Society” and Pravda-like news organizations like “Fox News”. Did I forget to mention that Kaiser and BCBS were up there as well? Trusting insurance companies to control costs in healthcare is like handing over a chicken farm to a drooling fox. No mention whatsoever that estimates of savings with single payer are in the hundreds of *billions* of dollars. And those estimates aren’t some cherry-picked thinktank garbage. It’s from the CBO. PNHP has a substantial list of studies which all seem to conclude that we’re flushing money into private insurance companies. Not to mention that 59% of doctors favor it.

Don’t let that fool you. The Insurance companies *love* this new bill. For all their hemming and hawing, the health insurance complex is almost giddy with this new bill, which would allow them to effectively [dump the lowest income, highest risk people][8] onto a publically subsidized [but privately run][9] healthcare system. All the profits, none of the risk. Sounds like Goldman Sachs 101 to me. In a related vein, one of the major reasons that the banking and financial industry has come out against HR 676 was that part of it

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