Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Better Than Nothing?

One of my professors years ago was a round little man who liked to warn us, with a twinkle in his eye, “Making predictions is very difficult, especially predictions about the future.” Will a bill pass, in what form, and then what will the long term implications be? It’s hard to predict.

Dr. John Geyman, former president of Physicians for a National Health Plan, makes a case in Tikkun “The Affordable Health Care for America Act (HR 3962): Enough Reform to Succeed?” He argues that whatever bill this Congress is able to pass will likely set the cause of Single Payer health care back because it “would leave in place an inefficient, exploitive insurance industry that is dying by its own hand, even as [the bill] props [the industry] up with enormous future profits through subsidized mandates.” His argument backs up Dr. Marcia Angell on the Huffington Post who asked “Is the House Health Care Bill Better than Nothing?”.

Not everyone on the Left agrees. Look at Sam Stein’s piece in the Huffington Post , “Goldman To Private Insurers: No Health Care Reform At All Is Best.” Goldman Sach’s analysis for the health insurance industry is that no reform would benefit them the most, and if we end up with a version close to the House bill, that would cause the industry the most financial difficulty. The Senate bill would fall in between from their perspective. Jonathan Cohn in The New Republic asks “The House Bill Is ‘Worse Than Nothing’? Really?” to further argue from a progressive perspective that we still could get reform worth supporting.

Sorting all this out is tough and can be frustrating because there is so much wishful, non-reality-based thinking going on. It is clear that many of the supporters and opponents of the bills, both in Congress and the general public, are clearly deluded, and Single Payer is what has them flummoxed.

On the Left I keep talking to supporters of the public option who claim to be “Single Payer at heart”, and they believe whatever passes will be the camel’s nose under the tent, the slippery slope to Single Payer. Seems delusional. If only they are right….

Speaking of the Right, many of them also believe any bill this Democratic Congress will pass will become the same camel’s nose, the same slippery slope to socialism. Could they be right, too?

There is still work to do. The handwriting was on the wall Saturday 10/31 when anti-abortion Democrats had enough political oomph to get their Stupid Amendment debated and passed while the Progressive Caucus couldn’t muster enough support to bring either the Kucinich or Weiner Amendments to the floor (for more discussion of these amendments in particular, and Single Payer in general, see the HCHP website and blog).

No matter what happens, one prediction is certain: we have to continue to build our movement. Next time around we have to get everyone in Congress who plans to vote for reform this time, to vote for real single payer reform, to push for Medicare Part E – E is for Everyone. And that would prove the delusional ones were right after all.

ROB STONE, MD is an emergency physician and Director of Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Plan in Indiana. He is on the board of directors of Physicians for a National Health Plan.

 

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
Sam Husseini
The Most Strategic Midterm Race: Elder Challenges Hoyer
Maria Foscarinis – John Tharp
The Criminalization of Homelessness
Robert Fisk
The Story of the Armenian Legion: a Dark Tale of Anger and Revenge
Jacques R. Pauwels
Dinner With Marx in the House of the Swan
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Ricardo Vaz
How Many Yemenis is a DC Pundit Worth?
Elliot Sperber
Build More Gardens, Phase out Cars
Chris Gilbert
In the Wake of Nepal’s Incomplete Revolution: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian 
Muhammad Othman
Let Us Bray
Gerry Brown
Are Chinese Municipal $6 Trillion (40 Trillion Yuan) Hidden Debts Posing Titanic Risks?
Rev. William Alberts
Judge Kavanaugh’s Defenders Doth Protest Too Much
Ralph Nader
Unmasking Phony Values Campaigns by the Corporatists
Victor Grossman
A Big Rally and a Bavarian Vote
James Bovard
Groped at the Airport: Congress Must End TSA’s Sexual Assaults on Women
Jeff Roby
Florida After Hurricane Michael: the Sad State of the Unheeded Planner
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Bradley Kaye
The Policy of Policing
Wim Laven
The Catholic Church Fails Sexual Abuse Victims
Kevin Cashman
One Year After Hurricane Maria: Employment in Puerto Rico is Down by 26,000
Dr. Hakim Young
Nonviolent Afghans Bring a Breath of Fresh Air
Karl Grossman
Irving Like vs. Big Nuke
Dan Corjescu
The New Politics of Climate Change
John Carter
The Plight of the Pyrenees: the Abandoned Guard Dogs of the West
Ted Rall
Brett Kavanaugh and the Politics of Emotion-Shaming
Graham Peebles
Sharing is Key to a New Economic and Democratic Order
Ed Rampell
The Advocates
Louis Proyect
The Education Business
David Yearsley
Shock-and-Awe Inside Oracle Arena
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail