Single Payer health care on Bill Moyers Journal

Check out Bill Moyers Journal on health care in the U.S.

Watch the video following the one linked with Public Citizen’s Dr. Sidney Wolfe and Physicians for a National Health Program’s Dr. David Himmelstein. They make a good point, while the insurance industry would have you believe that a nationalized single payer system would limit choice, the reverse is actually true. In Canada for example there are more single doctor practices than anywhere in the U.S.

There are other lies and fibs told by the insurance industry too. For example, that care would be rationed, or that there would be long waiting lines. Been to a hospital ER lately, or tried to book an appointment with a new doctor? That’s right, you wait and wait, and wait some more.

It isn’t just the greed of the insurance industry either, but a whole new class of company that sprung up to handle the complicated billing for doctors and practitioners. I found out just how greedy and complicit the billing companies were when I helped out a bit in the case of the State of Rhode Island v. Dr. Judge. I recall a meeting with the billing company representatives about obtaining data about the doctors billing practices. The company swore up and down that they didn’t have the data, that they only kept a small window of data (3 months) on billing. You could smell the rat from a mile away.

They’re brought along their I.T. guy. One of the thing I learned years ago is that I can tell when someone is lying to me, I get a good read on people right away. And I could tell this guy was telling a lie but wasn’t comfortable with it.

Couple years later I’m in a new state agency and we’re hiring a system support guy. Whose resume comes in but the guy who was the I.T. director for the billing company. He had all the qualifications so we brought him in for an interview. At one point he and I got to talking about the Judge case. He of course was being told to lie by the management of the billing company. The billing company knew full well what the doctor was doing yet never said a word because they were making a profit!

One thing that is a constant in the video though. Any industry be it banking, health care, etc. cannot be allowed to self-regulate. That’s sort of akin to the fox guarding the chicken coop. There are some things governments are very good at, regulation being one of them.

The question remains though. What do we do with all the people that would lose their jobs if we dismantled the insurance and billing systems we have now? Not really my concern but that’s got to be a significant number of people.

But don’t get me wrong, I support single payer health care. It’ll be a hard and disruptive change but it is something we nee to do in order to avoid the ultimate end of total and complete economic bankruptcy. We’re barely surviving the bank debacle, we won’t survive the health care debacle.

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