Is Obamacare Socialized Medicine?

To understand Obamacare, you must first know the difference between universal healthcare, single payer, and socialized medicine.

Universal healthcare simply means that everyone is covered and is guaranteed to receive a basic level of fundamental health services equivalent to, or better than, the coverage that most private health insurance plans include today.  Universal healthcare can be implemented either through competing private health insurance companies or by a single government agency.

Single payer means that there is one entity responsible for paying the bills for our healthcare.  In theory, single payer could be done through one private health insurance company, but in the USA that would be a monopoly and illegal.  So, for us, single payer means having one government agency to pay our healthcare bills.

Socialized medicine, by definition, combines universal healthcare with single payer.  That’s why its most common and politically correct appellation today is “Medicare For All.”  You can have universal healthcare without single payer, as in Obamacare, and you can have single payer without universal healthcare, as in Medicare and Medicaid.  However, you cannot have socialized medicine without both.

Obamacare, historically, goes all the way back to a 1989 Heritage Foundation proposal.  The Heritage Foundation is a very conservative, right-wing think tank which backs universal healthcare through private health insurance companies as a way of blocking two things: government negotiated drugs prices and a public health option.  Through the years, this proposal went through many variations, some of which included subsidies, and some of which included penalties for non-participation.  However, after decades of debate, it finally became law during the Obama administration, with subsidies for the poorest among us and penalties for everyone who did not participate.  Thus, though historically it’s a republican proposal, paradoxically it was named Obamacare because of when it passed.

Many people believe that Obamacare is socialized medicine, but it’s not.  Obamacare is a failed attempt at universal healthcare through a mandate that everyone who is not covered by a federal healthcare program, like Medicare or Medicaid, must have a private health insurance policy.  However, Obamacare did not include a single payer by government agency and, therefore, was not socialized medicine.  In fact, it is a concession to the original republican backed Heritage Fund proposal that successfully blocked the public option and prevents our government from negotiating drug prices to this day.

The misconception that Obamacare is socialized medicine is one of many misunderstandings affecting our health and politics.  To learn more about socialized medicine – its pros and cons – and the cost of transitioning our country to it, please attend one of the following free presentations:

Saturday, June 10, 2017 – 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
African-American Research Library and Cultural Center
2650 Sistrunk Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
954-357-6282

Saturday, June 17, 2017 – 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Main Library – 6th Floor
Bienes Center Ceremonial Room
100 S Andrews Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
954-357-7444

Saturday, June 24, 2017 – 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Imperial Point Branch Library
5985 N Federal Highway
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
954-357-6530

Sunday, July 2nd, 2017 – noon to 1:30 p.m.
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Boca Raton
2601 St Andrews Blvd
Boca Raton, FL 33434
561-482-2001

These presentations are a free, public educational service provided by Dr. Robert Ben Mitchell, D.O., without any sales, solicitations or fees.  If your group, organization or business would like to learn more about socialized medicine, please contact Dr. Mitchell at 786-262-5750 or trafn@yahoo.com to arrange a free presentation.

Facebook: Socialized Medicine Now

The Rushin’s Are Coming!

The Rushin’s Are Coming!

Rushin’s, the new American political movement based on a “One planet, One People” philosophy, advocates inclusion over exclusion, healing rather than hurting, and sharing instead of depriving.

Our platform, a living document, includes:

1. Indigenous People’s Reconciliation: Indigenous peoples of the United States have been displaced from their history and heritage. Rushin’s support social, economic, and political reconciliation for all Indigenous Americans.

2. African American Reparations: African Americans of the United States have endured centuries of structural racism. Rushin’s support social, economic, and political reparations for all African Americans.

3. Capitalism With A Conscious: From its inception, the United States of America has been dominated by an in-equitable, “profit-over-people” economic system. Rushin’s support the peaceful transition to an equity-based capitalism which eliminates poverty and limits profiteering.

4. Environmental Protection: Earth is our only home, and we need it far more than it needs us. Rushin’s support the protection of all local, state, national, and global environments.

5. Sensible Gun Control: Guns represent the most violent form of common interpersonal aggression in America today. Rushin’s support sensible gun control which balances individual, state and federal needs.

6. Socialized Medicine: We are only as strong as our weakest link, and we are only as healthy as our sickest individuals. Rushin’s support universal access, single payer, government healthcare in the United States.

7. Globalization: We are one people on one planet: together we stand or divided we fall. Rushin’s support the continued peaceful and inclusive globalization of all peoples and all nations.

join us on facebook at The Rushin’s Are Coming

Return of the Public Option?

Here is hope for all of us who have been finding it hard to get excited about rallying around compromised-to-death health care reform efforts.

The Hill: Public option revival gains steam

Daily Kos: Specter Signs on to Public Option/Reconciliation Push

Politico: Reid would back a public option in reconciliation

Not sure I believe it yet, but glad to see an effort to get something real done.

What do you think? Comeback story, or last gasp?

News Analysis Roundup on Saturday’s Health Care Vote

So the Senate is moving forward, and once again congrats are due to all the grassroots activists who have been keeping the pressure on. Still, it’s a little unclear how much it really means, given the procedural hurdles that still lie ahead and the shakiness of the support from the likes of Sen. Lieberman. If I understand this right, the reform forces beat a filibuster to block the start of debate but could still face one to block actual progress toward vote?

Huffington Post:

Ryan Grimm: Sealed With A Kiss: Dems Unite To Beat GOP Filibuster

Mitchell Bard: It’s Too Early to Celebrate the Senate Health Care Vote

New York Times on Blanche Lincoln:
Senator Cements Role at Heart of Health Debate

Here is the basic NY Times news story and one about the procedural maneuvering ahead

Ron Brownstein of The Atlantic calls Sen. Reid’s version of healthcare, which many progressives see as too deep a compromise,
A Milestone In the Health Care Journey. The Atlantic is also running a poll asking How Important Is the Vote?

Updated List of Healthcare Reform Events

Some additional healthcare reform-related events popped up on the calendar shortly after Sunday’s BlueBroward email broadcast went out, so I wanted to call attention to them, and also to the “Barack the Beach” healthcare reform rally coming up on Nov. 7.

Monday November 2nd

Health Care Reform Cannot Wait! (OFA)

Monday November 2nd, 2009 11:30 AM

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday – starting at 11:30 AM, – we will be collecting pledges of support for health care reform at the West Regional Courthouse at the intersection of Pine Island and Broward. And on Saturday afternoons, we will be in front of the West Regional Library for 4 hours to get pledges, starting at 11 AM. We know it’s hot out there, but we’re asking you to come out for a couple of hours and help in this effort to ensure that Congress enacts real health care reform this year, – real health care reform that includes the choice of a public insurance option! Let Alan Ehrlich at 954-472-6211 know if you can join us.
West Regional Courthouse – Plantation
RSVP: http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/detail/letsgetitdonehealthinsurancereformnowevents/gpk4c5

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HBO Documentary Watching Party (OFA)

Tuesday November 3rd, 2009 7:00 PM

Come join the incomporable North Beach for Progress to watch the HBO documentary, “The People Speak; the election of Barack Obama” on November 3. The film begins at 9:00PM, but show up at 7:00 to meet and greet and relive the good times and talk about what’s coming next.

This will be a potluck, so make and bring your VERY BEST DISH. When responding to the invitation, indicate what you will be bringing so we don’t all bring salads or cookies or whatever.
Home to be offered!!! – Miami Beach
RSVP: http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/detail/documentarywatchparty/gpcmmv

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YES WE DID Documentary Watch Party (OFA)

Tuesday November 3rd, 2009 7:00 PM

Reconnect, Celebrate, Look Forward! Come out and join OFA Volunteers who worked hard to elect President Obama, as we celebrate the anniversary of President Obama’s election and his administration’s successes. At 9pm we will watch the HBO documentary about this historic campaign and discuss what we can accomplish if we all continue to work together!

Bring a dish or bottle to share, and join us!
Sarah & Kelley Shanley’s Home – Coral Springs
RSVP: http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/detail/documentarywatchparty/gpckkb

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Wednesday November 4th

Health Care Reform Cannot Wait! (OFA)

Wednesday November 4th, 2009 11:30 AM

Every Wednesday, starting at 11:30 AM, – we will be collecting pledges of support for health care reform at the West Regional Courthouse at the intersection of Pine Island and Broward. And on Saturday afternoons, we will be in front of the West Regional Library for 4 hours to get pledges, starting at 11 AM. We know it’s hot out there, but we’re asking you to come out for a couple of hours and help in this effort to ensure that Congress enacts real health care reform this year, – real health care reform that includes the choice of a public insurance option! Let Alan Ehrlich at 954-472-6211 know if you can join us.
Wesy Regional Courthouse – Plantation
RSVP: http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/detail/healthcarecanvass/gpkglr

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Stand For Healthcare, An Educational Forum (OFA)

Wednesday November 4th, 2009 12:00 PM

Take your lunch break to fight for the Public Option! We’ll be hosting an Educational Forum/Flyer Hand-Out on the Public Option, utilizing public officials, legislative candidates, and other high-profile supporters to inform and educate the people of West Palm Beach of what the Public Option really entails, who is supporting that option in our community, what we need to see in the final bill, as well as hand out flyers to help the populace understand what a Public Option does and doesn’t mean. Our current roster includes representatives from the SEIU and the Palm Beach Democratic Party!
We’ll be hosting this event in conjunction with MoveOn.org members.
Sanborn Park, south of Mizner Park – Boca Raton
RSVP: http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/detail/healthcareorganizingevent/gpck2z

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“November 4th House Party: YES WE DID – YES WE WILL” (OFA)

Wednesday November 4th, 2009 6:00 PM

Come out and join OFA Volunteers and your friends and neighbors who
worked hard to elect President Obama as we celebrate the anniversary
of President Obama’s election and his administrations successes while
also looking forward to what we can accomplish if we all continue to
work together. This event will be an opportunity to reconnect with old
campaign friends to not only celebrate but also to hear more about the
work OFA is doing to make the change we all worked so hard for last
November a reality!
I am making lasagna and salad, you bring dessert.
Valerie’s House – Miramar
RSVP: http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/detail/november4thevent/gpc3cv

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“November 4th House Party: YES WE DID – YES WE WILL” (OFA)

Wednesday November 4th, 2009 6:00 PM

Come out and join OFA Volunteers and your friends and neighbors who worked hard to elect President Obama as we celebrate the anniversary of President Obama’s election and his administrations successes while also looking forward to what we can accomplish if we all continue to work together. This event will be an opportunity to reconnect with old campaign friends to not only celebrate but also to hear more about the
work OFA is doing to make the change we all worked so hard for last
November a reality!
RSVP with phone number please…

Bring a dish or dessert to share!

“The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America – I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you – we as a people will get there.”

“I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to – it belongs to you.”

~ President Barack Obama, November 4th 2008
Linda and Gary Berger’s home at L’Hermitage Condominium Tower One – Fort Lauderdale
RSVP: http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/detail/november4thevent/gpcm3x

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Thursday November 5th

Friday November 6th

Health Care Reform Cannot Wait! (OFA)

Friday November 6th, 2009 11:30 AM

Every Friday – starting at 11:30 AM, – we will be collecting pledges of support for health care reform at the West Regional Courthouse at the intersection of Pine Island and Broward. And on Saturday afternoons, we will be in front of the West Regional Library for 4 hours to get pledges, starting at 11 AM. We know it’s hot out there, but we’re asking you to come out for a couple of hours and help in this effort to ensure that Congress enacts real health care reform this year, – real health care reform that includes the choice of a public insurance option! Let Alan Ehrlich at 954-472-6211 know if you can join us.
West Regional Courthouse (Plantation, FL) – Plantation
RSVP: http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/detail/healthreformphoneboothevents/gpklkd

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Network Friday’s (OFA)

Friday November 6th, 2009 6:00 PM

Network Friday’s are a group of professionals trying to make a difference,in reference to Health Care,Communities,and other pressing issues.

We would also like to launch a fundraiser for unprivledged children who are unable to receive adequate care.
Q Lounge – Aventura
RSVP: http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/detail/fundraising/gpckcz

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Saturday November 7th

2nd POT LUCK “BARACK THE BEACH” HEALTH CARE REFORM RALLY (OFA)

Saturday November 7th, 2009 10:00 AM

Back by popular demand and due to the success of our last HC Rally & Pot Luck, we will be having our 2nd BARACK THE BEACH Health Care Reform Rally and POT LUCK on Hollywood Beach! Bring your passion for HCR and your spirit of fun and let’s spend another beautiful day sharing and educating the public on why we need to support the passing of a Public Health Care Option by December!

The day will include:
Phone Booth banking
Canvassing
Signing Delcarations of Support
Signing letters to Senator Nelson
Eating and having FUN! So bring your beach toys, blankets, UMBRELLAS/TENTS, COOLERS w/ICE, RADIO, utensils, plates, etc… and don’t forget your favorite POT LUCK DISH so we can all eat, and let’s spend a day together having fun and pushing for support for HCR!

WE WANT HCR PASSED BY DECEMBER SO WE ONLY HAVE ONE MONTH TO TAKE OUR FINAL STAND!
Hollywood Beach – Hollywood
RSVP: http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/detail/healthcareorganizingevent/gpchj3

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Health Care Reform Cannot Wait! (OFA)

Saturday November 7th, 2009 11:00 AM

On Saturday morning, we will be in front of the West Regional Library at the intersection of Pine Island and Broward for 4 hours collecting pledges of support for health care reform, starting at 11 AM. We know it’s hot out there, but we’re asking you to come out for a couple of hours and help in this effort to ensure that Congress enacts real health care reform this year, – real health care reform that includes the choice of a public insurance option! Let Alan Ehrlich at 954-472-6211 know if you can join us.
West Regional Library – Plantation
RSVP: http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/detail/healthcarecanvass/gpkgg7

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Wednesday November 11th

OFA Organizational Mtg.–IMPORTANT! (OFA)

Wednesday November 11th, 2009 6:30 PM

This is one of our last organizational meeting opportunities before Congress votes on the final health insurance reform bill and the holiday season begins.

PLEASE COME OUT and find out what OFA is doing in your neighborhoods and how you can help make sure health insurance reform becomes a reality within the next month.
Jim Ward Community Center – Plantation
RSVP: http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/detail/healthcareorganizingevent/gpckgh

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The Atlantic: How American Health Care Killed My Father

This is a long piece, but a very interesting analysis of the problems of health care economics that no one is really talking about. The author isn’t necessarily hostile to the reform proposals and hopes they will do something positive; he just thinks there are deeper problems. His focus is on distortions in the doctor-patient and hospital-patient relationship driven by the insertion of the insurance agency (whether private or government) as the intermediary that pays the bills, which stops the patient from acting like a price-sensitive consumer or being treated as a customer entitled to customer service.

Here’s how the editors introduce the piece:

After the needless death of his father, the author, a business executive, began a personal exploration of a health-care industry that for years has delivered poor service and irregular quality at astonishingly high cost. It is a system, he argues, that is not worth preserving in anything like its current form. And the health-care reform now being contemplated will not fix it. Here’s a radical solution to an agonizing problem.

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200909/health-care

Krugman Sees Baucus Plan as Possible ‘Starting Point’ After All

This analysis surprised me, as someone who was inspired to mock Sen. Nelson for believing the Baucus proposal has any value at all. Krugman writes:

There’s enough wrong with the Baucus proposal as it stands to make it unworkable and unacceptable. But that said, Senator Baucus’s mark is better than many of us expected. If it serves as a basis for negotiation, and the result of those negotiations is a plan that’s stronger, not weaker, reformers are going to have to make some hard choices about the degree of disappointment they’re willing to live with.

Of course, those who insist that we must have a single-payer system — Medicare for all — won’t accept any plan that tries, instead, to cajole and coerce private health insurers into covering everyone. But while many reformers, myself included, would prefer a single-payer system if we were starting from scratch, international experience shows that it’s not the only way to go.

Read More

How Floriduh Just May Take Our Country Down, AGAIN.

Max Baucus said yesterday that “We have the votes, it can pass the Senate.” and everyone is talking about only 59 Dems. Well….I have a possible clue. Senator Mel Martinez of Floriduh recently resigned and his seat was filled by Republican Governor Charlie Crist’s ex-cheif of staff, George LeMieux. He was sworn in on last Thursday. LeMieux is place holding for Gov. Crist who will be running for that Senate seat next year, and will not be running himself.

From: http://www.tampabay.com/news/george-lemieux-sworn-in-as-floridas-new-us-senator/1035116

Health care: LeMieux praised President Obama’s call for insurance exchanges but said the overall cost, about $900 billion over a decade, was troubling and avoided answering a question about a government-run insurance plan, which is abhorred by Republicans.

But in our own Friday Sun-Sentinel there was an article headlined “LeMieux backs key Obama proposal after swearing in” by William E. Gibson. I have the actual paper but can’t find the article online. But what it says is he has a willingness to reach across the aisle, thought the exchange idea was like Charlie’s Cover Floriduh! Plan (find an interesting review of it here http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/6/23/172150/659 ) , didn’t know if he would support a government supervised insurance plan to compete and was concerned about cost going over $900B.

It’s just a thought, but amazingly possible since LeMieux will not be running for anything next year and is beyond corrupt. And the Baucus bill came in at $880B. This could be the 60th vote Max says he has that’s flying under everyone’s radar.

Would anyone be surprised if it just might be Floriduh, AGAIN, that takes down this country?

Sen. Nelson: Disappointed in Your Support for the “Baucus Bill”

I wrote you a couple of days ago, trying to state in a positive way my hope that you would provide some constructive leadership in search of meaningful health care reform. But … what are you thinking? You’re calling the proposal from Sen. Baucus “a good start,” when it is shaping up to be the bill no one from either party can support?

Why would you back a plan that appears to be nothing but a gift to the insurance industry? One that does so little to contain costs and so much to increase the burden on middle class families?

Some of my liberal friends assume you’re a shill for the insurance industry, in which case I may be wasting my time writing to you. I’d like to believe you have honest concerns about driving down the costs of the plan that ultimately emerges from this process and prevent it from inflating our nation’s deficit. If so, fine, fight to make sure that what ultimately passes is a fiscally responsible plan.

But please don’t stand as a roadblock to legislation that would use a public insurance option as a way of driving down costs. No one has presented a co-op program or other compromise that would have the same impact. And no government plan is going to be so generous that it will put all the insurance companies out of business. They will do just fine if they show they know how to deliver actual value to their customers.

Instead of starting with the Baucus plan, take one of the public option bills and be a hero by making it more responsible. If there is pork buried in those thousands of pages of legislation, expose it. If you have other ideas about how to make the numbers work, make your amendments.

But don’t come out the other end of this debate as one of the people who supported a reform that was worse than no reform at all.

Update: Reply I received on Sept. 18, presumably a form response to everyone who has complained

Dear Mr. Carr:

Thank you for contacting me about health care reform. In his recent speech to Congress, President Obama also provided us with a clearer view of his desires for health care reform.

What the President described is pretty close to the draft of a bill I’m helping prepare as a member of the Senate Finance Committee. This legislation will let folks who are happy with their insurance keep what they’ve got, including veterans and seniors on Medicare. It will also create State-based exchanges – a nationwide marketplace – where those without coverage, or those who are unhappy with what they have, can get it at an affordable price.

The bill will hold insurers’ feet to the fire, requiring them to cover everyone and preventing them from dropping someone who gets sick. Additionally, it contains several measures aimed at reducing overall medical and prescription drug costs and eliminating waste and fraud in the system.

I plan on improving the bill through amendments that will, among other things, help pay for reform of our health care system. One of my amendments would require drugmakers to provide rebates to Medicare, just like they do for Medicaid. This would save Medicare a ton of money and help reduce out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for many seniors. Further, by eliminating the tax break drugmakers get for TV and other advertising, we would see another $37 billion to pay for health care.

Regardless of where anyone stands on the specifics, I think we all can agree that the system we have can be unfair and too costly, and needs to be fixed. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue. Please don’t hesitate to contact me in the future.

Sincerely,
Senator Bill Nelson