Badger Poll comes close on health care

Wisconsinite’s views on health care reform

By Jack E. Lohman

Like others, the Badger Poll was taken of normal people who often are not versed in what’s truly behind the high costs of health care.

They were asked:

“Do you favor or oppose creating a health insurance plan that would be available to most Americans and administered by the federal government that would compete with plans offered by private health insurance companies?”

In today’s parlance that’s “a public option!”

Though a very impressive 58% answered YES, a “public option” means different things to different people. To the hopeful it means giving people and businesses the option to enter the non-profit Medicare system at cost, whose prices would be well below the privates and whose coverage is well above.

But to the politicians whose campaigns are funded by the insurance industry, it means “Okay, if we have to do this let’s make it miserable: higher prices, lower coverage, and let’s limit it to the unemployed and exclude companies to force them to stay with the industry. You know, let’s cover 2% instead of the 30% who are uninsured or under-insured. And oh, they’ll have to pay for it, and BIG TIME!”

Importantly, other polls show approval by 70% of the public, 80% of nurses, and 60% of physicians. And when people know all of the facts I expect the numbers will approximate the 90% of satisfied Canadians.

The new “option”

Then they wanted to replace the word “option” and allow 55-64 year olds the opportunity to buy into the Medicare system. But Joe Lieberman, who proposed it earlier and now opposes it, clearly got word that his insurance funders don’t like is. If you doubt the insurancw industry sway look at the recent increase in insurance company stocks for confirmation.

I Much prefer this way of polling:

#1 arguments and question:

Pro: Supporters of a single-payer Medicare-for-all system say that for the same dollars we are spending today, 16.5% of GDP, we could provide health care to 100% of the public, use the same private doctors and hospitals, disconnect it from employment, eliminate the need for COBRA, and free businesses to spend the savings on building and keeping jobs in the US. We’d pay for the system through infrastructure (taxes) rather than wages.

Con: Opponents say that this results in socialized medicine that will disproportionately cost the rich, and Blah, Blah, Blah (I’ll leave the rest to Rush Limbaugh, because I don’t know which of the lies are most believed.)

Now therefore:

Question #1:

“Do you favor the current for-profit insurance system that is tied to your employment, or a single-payer Medicare-for-all system that is not connected to employment and merges all Medicaid, BadgerCare, SCHIP and politicians into one system of everybody-in-nobody-out?”

1) Current system, leave the insurance industry in the loop

2) Medicare-for-all, remove the industry and spend the money saved on health care instead

3) Not sure

Wow, I’m not sure how to deal with the simplicity.  And neither are the politicians, as this asks a question in a way to get one yes-no answer. Their funders are likely not going to like the answer either, because they’ll be on the outside looking in, and the elimination of the insurance industry would mean that the politicians can’t share in future profits.

Damn, that complicates the whole thing! Back to the drawing board.


— If you never ask the right question you will never get the right answer, and congress refused to allow single-payer to be considered. It would have won hands down.

— The senators will have a chance to redeem themselves when Bernie Sanders introduces his bill to replace the mish-mash with a simple single-payer Medicare-for-all bill. But don’t count on our Sens. Kohl and Feingold signing on; both have refused to be co-sponsors in spite of their pretty letters espousing a good public solution. They have chosen to support the party leaders instead, all of whom have received millions from the insurance industry.

3 Responses to Badger Poll comes close on health care

  1. And it’s interesting that Joe Lieberman claims a Medicare opt-in (at cost) will increase the deficit, but when people pay the cost it becomes budget neutral. Sorry Joe.

    But give him credit. When I emailed his website he changed it to “it will lead to government run health care.” What??? Everything will lead to government run health care, some day.

  2. ezag says:

    If you do not deal with cost shifting….nothing works…because there are no price signals from the marketplace. Without those, you only have “cost reduction” measures that ultimately reduce accessibility. Prepare for a tsaunami of 55+ doctor retirements.

  3. 55+ doctors are already leaving because of the current system with CEOs and nurse gatekeepers stepping between the doctor and patient. And it promises to get worse as corporations take health care in-house and CEOs get involved. Stay tuned; the band has only begun playing.

    Call it what you want but only a Medicare-for-all system will protect the medical community.

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