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The path to single payer

"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive."
Sir Walter Scott, Marmion, Canto 6

From the very beginning, we've known that ObamaCare has been about one thing: implementing in the US a single payer health care system like those in Canada and the UK. The Democrats have denied it for some time. President Obama has said in the past and he's saying it again now that if you like your insurance plan you can keep it. This is not true.

Some of the most ardent critics of the bills in the House and Senate didn't like them because as far as they were concerned they didn't alter our current system radically enough. Members like Dennis Kucinich and Jan Shakowski have been up front about getting rid of our private health care system, the best in the world, and imposing a socialized, government run, single payer health care system.

ObamaCare is the path to that single payer system and it's a pretty short walk, quite honestly. This is one way it might happen.

The bill the House that is supposed to come up for a vote this weekend will impose regulations on all health insurance companies that will make it impossible for them to stay in business. They will be required to provide insurance to people with preexisting conditions. The only way any insurance company can stay afloat when it is required to accept the sickest people is if everyone, the young and healthy specifically, buy insurance as well. Healthier people don't require as much health care, so their premiums will go to pay the claims for sicker people.

But here's the problem. The fine for not buying health insurance is less than the cost of insurance itself. Since there's no incentive for the healthiest among us to buy insurance since they will have to be accepted when they do get they get sick, many people will choose to pay the fine, which will go to the government and not the insurance companies.

Naturally, it won't be too long before the insurance companies find themselves paying out more in claims than they receive in premiums. No company can stay in business under those circumstances. If the insurance companies try to increase their rates in order to stop the bleeding, the government will have the authority to call the rate increases excessive and will deny them. The fates of the insurance companies will be sealed. The smaller ones might be bought up by the larger ones. However, since so much of the regulations in the bill are still unknown, there 's a possibility that government regulations may prohibit mergers.

Facing the collapse of the private insurance industry, the government will step in and proclaim the industry too big to fail and take them over a la GM and Chrysler. Then viola, you've got your government run, single payer health care system.

If this happens, it won't be accidental. ObamaCare is setting up the insurance companies to fail even though the president is still telling people they can keep their plans if they like them. It will put so many regulations and limitations that these companies simply won't be able function.

My theory is not that far fetched. In an interview Joe Biden told Jake Tapper, "you know we're going to control the insurance companies."

It's become pretty clear that they are. And we will all be the worse for it.

Cross-posted at KimPriestap


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Comments (13)

While there is nothing new ... (Below threshold)

While there is nothing new here, no news would be good news.

I laugh in the face of all ... (Below threshold)

I laugh in the face of all the media "pundits" who claim all Dennis Kucinich got was a plane ride and peanuts.

That's patent bullshit, he and many others are getting promises a single payer system is down the road.

I'd also bet they will dump as many seniors and non-seniors into medicare as soon as possible.

That's exactly what Mass did four years ago as a way to gain acceptance of the new system, "hey look you're getting shit for free!"

Yes, we're well on our way ... (Below threshold)

Yes, we're well on our way to single payer. That is the ultimate goal.

The State will use this new law to create chaos and then wait for the opportunity to take over. The insurance industry collapse is one justification. The other is lack of access. This proposed law will put hospitals and doctors under great hardship at a time when large numbers of people expect to have great access, and the results will be a State takeover with cries of, "The current system is unfair!" The third and final method is simply cost containment. This new law is a budget buster because they have grossly underestimated the costs and grossly overestimated their ability to steal from Medicare. Those People will propose direct State intervention to control costs.

This is the nose, head, and neck of the camel under the tent.

And just for the record, <e... (Below threshold)

And just for the record, "I happen to be a proponent of single-payer universal healthcare coverage. That's what I'd like to see." - Obummer June 2003

What a lovely thought! Sing... (Below threshold)
Tom DeVilbiss:

What a lovely thought! Single payer is the obvious answer for anyone who accepts the prospect that "...life..." in the phrase "...life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." includes "health". I, personally, don't see how you can escape the fact, but apparently I'm still in the minority.

But, that being said, this author fails to give proper weight of the "Actuaries Fable", that compelling, business argument, numbers will make as our nation adjusts to the new order of things. For a preview, watch how this latest round of premium increases will be sold to the public as so "necessary". Good luck to you, one and all!

We are a long way from single payer I'm afraid! Too bad!

Tom - OK. Show us ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Tom -

OK. Show us a single payer system that works....

England? France? Canada?

Let's talk about outcomes for patients. Let's talk about patients suing to get care. Let's talk about systemic failures that would never happen here (OK excepting the government run VA system would never happen here).

Or are you solely interested in "social justice"?

"We are a long way from sin... (Below threshold)

"We are a long way from single payer I'm afraid! Too bad!"

It's so! It's so because Tom says it's so! So there!

Hey Tommy, try running a car insurance or homeowner's insurance company like ObamaCare. See how long they stay in business.

Naw, never happen in obamau... (Below threshold)

Naw, never happen in obamautopia.

Well, if never means now!

"6 hospitals to sue Mass. over payment shortfalls" all over "RomneyCare."

Gee, just think what will happen when more cuts are mandated? And what will happen in the other 49, (or is it 56) states.

My sister in law lives in S... (Below threshold)

My sister in law lives in Scotland, is in NHS, and 8 years ago we diagnosed with breast cancer, they did the surgery and recovery. In the intervening 8 years she was not scanned to see if they missed anything or if there was any recurrence. So she doesn't feel well and goes in, no she is scanned as there are several abnormalities with her tests. After 8 years they finally to a scan and find that they missed something when they did the breast cancer surgery and now it has metastasized and she has stage 3 lung and bone cancer. This is what you get when everyone gets the same "free" care, we all get crappy care delivered by a system that as the President so eloquently described: you will get your medical care granted to you by the same type of people who run the post office. mpw

I'm sorry to hear about you... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I'm sorry to hear about your sister.

Even worse is that if she has metastatic breast ca that is by definition stage IV.


If they are telling her stage III they are lying. My concern would be that she would not get appropriate therapy based on the likely misstaging. That sucks on top of a situation that already sucks.

Again, I'm sorry.

mpw280:I'm very so... (Below threshold)


I'm very sorry to read about your loss. I know how you feel: I feel that my in-laws in the UK received substandard care, boarding on criminal neglect. The NHS did a pretty job of managing their deaths, but they did next to nothing to prevent or treat the diseases that killed them. Years later, my wife and I are still angry about it.

Cancer screening, treatment, and follow-up are things that the NHS doesn't do well.

According to Lancet Oncology American women have a 63% chance of living at least five years after a cancer diagnosis. European women have a 56% chance. Women in Great Britain have a 53% chance, and many of them have private insurance. American men have a five-year survival rate of 66%. European men have a 47% chance, and British men have a 45% chance.

The statistics reflect the care available to all Americans, not just those with private health coverage. But dry statistics can't adequately illuminate the loss of human life and the suffering this system creates.


We continually are told that health care is too expensive. It's not hard to make health care cheaper: make it bad. Good health care is expensive; bad health care is cheap. Of course, the way to make health care bad and expensive is to get government involved. That way mountains of money go to feed a huge army of incompetent bureaucrats that stifle innovation, protect stupidity, and don't add anything to the quality of care.

Let's talk about single-pay... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Let's talk about single-payer systems like Canada's, France's, or Britain's, Jim.

Funny how the people of those countries would NEVER vote to repeal those systems and go to a for-profit system, isn't it?

Maybe that's because those voters know that, even though the outcomes for SOME kinds of cancer patients aren't as good, overall their countries are better off. Their businesses are more competitive, their life expectancies are longer, their infant mortality rates are lower, and their populations are just generally healthier than ours. And their citizens have the added benefit of not losing their homes, and going bankrupt, because they get sick!

If the US healthcare system is the "best in the world," why is it that no other country wants one like it?

My sister-in-law lives in C... (Below threshold)

My sister-in-law lives in Canada. She comes to the US for health care. She is fortunate to live just over the border to where she doesn't have far to go to get the medical care she needs. My daughter lives just this side of the border, so my sister-in-law uses her address. My thoughts and prayers go out to anyone who is fighting to get decent medical care. Obama care is NOT the answer. If he had his way, we would all fall into a category that we would have to cut our hair to a certain length, only use Charmin toilet paper, can only use CITGO gas, and will be required by law to no longer be able to buy red meat. He is determined to drown my country in debt for many generations, and seems to be proud of the fact that he wants to bankrupt the country. God help us all under this piece of sh*t and his criminal cohorts.






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