Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

"Outstanding…Moore Triumphs! Publishers Weekly

Mike & Friends Blog

Katie Robbins

Katie Robbins is the Assistant National Coordinator of Healthcare-NOW! and a firm believer that health care is a human right that must be delivered to all people without financial barriers

February 1st, 2010 11:51 AM

Let Him Know

After a sobering loss for Democrats in the special election held to replace Sen. Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts, probing exit polls about health reform show that the win of Republican Scott Brown who pledged to cast the vote that would kill national health reform, didn’t come from people who thought the national legislation was going too far, but that it wasn’t going far enough.  Among Brown voters, 36 percent thought it didn't go far enough.  Among voters who stayed home and opposed health care, a full 53 percent said they opposed the Senate bill because it didn't go far enough.

The people in the commonwealth of Massachusetts have been living for three years with the same reform the national legislation is modeled after…and it isn’t working.  Even though more people have insurance through the mandate and subsidies for private plans, it fails to provide universal access to health care.  In addition, health costs continue to sky rocket, as it does little to guarantee that people can clear the hurdles of copays and deductibles in order to actually access health care when they need it.

A recent article from the Massachusetts state treasurer, Timothy P. Cahill, cites a recent study prepared by Drs. Rachel Nardin, David Himmelstein, and Steffie Woolhandler of Harvard Medical School showing that the least expensive plan available to a middle-income, 56-year-old individual costs $4,872 in annual premiums. That does not include a $2,000 deductible if the person actually gets sick, or the 20 percent of the person’s medical costs — up to $3,000 a year — he or she is required to pay, meaning that an individual’s total annual bill for health care could reach $9,872.

Cahill continues, “Rather than providing a solution, the Massachusetts health care laws have only created more problems, both on the state’s balance sheet and in struggling households across the state. Our residents deserve accessible, affordable health care that will not jeopardize the Commonwealth’s fiscal health, goals we cannot attain under the current system.”

To really understand the message coming from Massachusetts, let’s take a look back at the historic election in November 2008, two years after “health reform” was implemented in the state when voters turned out in record numbers to support the election of now President Obama and his message of change.   A little highlighted ballot initiative at the time reveals an insight into popular opinion on the state’s health plan.   In all ten legislative districts in the commonwealth, local ballot initiatives supporting single payer and opposing individual mandates passed by landslide margins.  With almost all precincts tallied, roughly 73 percent of 181,000 voters in the ten districts voted YES to the following:

“Should the representative from this district be instructed to support legislation creating a cost-effective single payer health insurance system that is available to all residents, and oppose laws penalizing those who fail to obtain health insurance?”

The measure passed with margins ranging from 65 to 82 percent in support of single-payer health care. 

Unfortunately, the clear support for single-payer in Massachusetts and around the country falls on deaf ears of the current administration.  President Obama, in his recent remarks in the State of the Union address, opened the door for further discussion on the health care debate.  He said, “If anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know.”

The growing movement for universal and improved Medicare has been trying to “let him know” for some time now, and will continue to do so.  Drs. Margaret Flowers and Carol Paris were recently arrested for responding to the President’s call for better ideas on how to reform the health care system.   Dr. Flowers left practice as a pediatrician because she was unable to provide quality care in this system.  They are now urging everyone to join them in letting President Obama know about Medicare for All.

We must find strength and power in our unified demand for improved Medicare for all.  Together, let’s raise our voices and let the President know that Medicare for all, a single-payer national health care plan, will meet his goals of a health plan that will save billions of dollars, tens of thousands of lives, cover everyone, strengthen Medicare, and guarantee free choice of doctor and hospital in access of quality, comprehensive health care with no financial barriers.

Please join Drs. Flowers and Paris, and the growing movement of patients, nurses, and physicians in telling President Obama that we know of a better plan for the nation than the failure in Massachusetts – Medicare 2.0 - improved Medicare for everyone.

Email him or call the White House today.

We've got to let him know.

You must log in to comment.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Log in | Register

Big new story from David Sirota and Pando on top Christie adviser and appearance of corruption at New Jersey's pension fund: REVEALED: Gov....

Apr 17th
12:41 PM
Read More

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States WASHINGTON—The FBI announced today that it has uncovered a...

Apr 15th
3:28 PM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel's top donor bought stock in Marriott just before it was awarded huge contract As schools are closed and pensions cut,...

Apr 9th
2:00 PM
Read More

I'll be at First Time Fest today in New York City at the screening of my first film, Roger & Me. Loews Village 7 at 12:30 pm. Come see it on the big...

Apr 5th
9:48 AM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel cuts public pensions, diverts money to benefit campaign donors If you've read the financial news out of Chicago the last...

Apr 4th
2:19 PM
Read More

Please take a moment today to think of Casey Austin Sheehan, son of Cindy and Patrick, who was murdered by U.S. foreign policy in Sadr City, Baghdad ten years...

Apr 4th
2:00 PM
Read More

ICYMI - I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence...

Apr 3rd
7:38 PM
Read More

I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention...

Apr 2nd
8:27 PM
Read More

I am opposed to the death penalty, but to every rule there is usually an exception, and in this case I hope the criminals at General Motors will be arrested...

Apr 1st
3:55 PM
Read More

How Long Some in the US Will Survive Under New Health Law Donna Smith Those who must access care to live and can afford it are not...

Mar 31st
10:13 PM
Read More

Last night, The Good Wife on the East Coast started 40 minutes late due to the overrun of the NCAA basketball game. If you had your DVR set for the show, you...

Mar 24th
5:41 PM
Read More

Watching films today, looking for the ones I'm going to pick for my film festival this summer. I (and a whole bunch of others!) have this thing we put on...

Mar 23rd
4:48 PM
Read More

When the U.S. Health Care System Keeps Killing, Who Cares Enough to Fight? Donna Smith We have largely forgotten that people are at...

Mar 21st
5:56 PM
Read More

Tell the White House not to give up on Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination as Surgeon General despite the ferocious opposition from the NRA: Don't give...

Mar 21st
5:38 PM
Read More

This criminal would never see a jail cell, nor would his cronies. In fact, they'd later be rewarded with re-election: Presidential Address on War with...

Mar 19th
9:40 PM
Read More

The crime of the century -- our invasion & slaughter in Iraq -- started 11 years ago tonite in this 7pm (ET) hour, March 19th, 2003: CNN Coverage of...

Mar 19th
9:08 PM
Read More

Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa Nick Turse Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian,...

Mar 17th
4:59 PM
Read More

"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world." -- Tony Benn, 1925-2014 Tony Benn in 'Sicko'

Mar 14th
10:07 AM
Read More

RIP Tony Benn, one of the UK's greatest leaders: Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88 Former cabinet minister died at...

Mar 14th
9:53 AM
Read More

Please read this important story from K. Ford K.: Am I the Face of the New American Middle Class? I began to feel I had slipped so low...

Mar 13th
2:24 PM
Read More

Yesterday Dianne Feinstein revealed that the CIA has been spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is all about the report the committee has produced...

Mar 12th
6:48 PM
Read More

Health Care for All Colorado has brought Mercy Killers, a show written and performed by Michael Milligan about our murderous for-profit healthcare system, to...

Mar 10th
1:08 PM
Read More

Health Care Dramas that Sting and Why We Have to Watch Donna Smith The realities Milligan has written into the show cut deep into...

Mar 10th
1:02 PM
Read More

Did you know the Lehrer Newshour on PBS has been produced for 20 years by a company owned by conservative cable billionaire John Malone? Me neither. After...

Mar 7th
8:39 PM
Read More

Mr. Obama, if int’l law is so damn crucial . . . | The Russian intervention deserves criticism. But let’s be clear. The...

Mar 6th
1:21 PM
Read More

Enron billionaire John Arnold thinks everyone should believe him when he says we've got to cut pensions because he's so incredibly rich: John...

Mar 5th
4:20 PM
Read More

More in David Sirota's continuing series on the billionaire takeover of PBS: More PBS conflict woes as activists move to eject David Koch from board of...

Mar 3rd
12:35 PM
Read More

Ukraine: One ‘Regime Change’ Too Many? Ray McGovern Is “regime change” in Ukraine the bridge too far for the neoconservative...

Mar 2nd
9:25 PM
Read More

Latest from David Sirota on Enron billionaire John Arnold smuggling anti-pension propaganda into "neutral" institutions like PBS and now, the...

Mar 1st
12:58 PM
Read More

Subscribe to Mike's Blog RSS

Click here to suggest an article

Mike's Blog

See More Blogs

Vew the archives

View older articles