Streams

Options for Health Care

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Finance Committee yesterday voted down two amendments to require a public option in the new health care bill. But supporters of a government plan say that all the options are still on the table. Washington Post national political reporter Shailagh Murray has been reporting on the negotiations.

Guests:

Shailagh Murray
News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Comments [41]

Calls'em As I Sees'em from "McLean, VA"

Voter -- I am just following your suggestion. As I posted to you a couple of weeks ago - “thanks for clearing up the matter for those who care. As I said, I tried to give “jtt” a quick and understandable answer. Thanks for adding more info. I'm a native NYer, hence my continuing interest in NY politics. I still vote in NY and have ever since I went off to Thailand back in the early 70s. As a native Virginian you must realize how confusing VA political jurisdictions are to explain. You may also now that Langley, VA is pretty much fully absorbed into McLean, VA and the institution in question is officially in McLean. While “Langley” remains a metonymy for the clandestine services in popular culture, the people inside don’t often refer to it as such. In addition, essential elements of that entity are, as most people know, scattered at military bases and other installations and reserves around the region. At various times when I had business in NVA/DC I was in Springfield, Reston, Oakton and DuPont Circle. When I am down in the Hampton area I am either on campus or in town.” At the time of our last conversation I was transiting through facilities near Hampton, hence my momentary contextual confusion.

PS - Please keep alert to my posts - you may actually learn a thing or two about the FUBAR and SNAFU policies that Barry and the Dems are trying to cram down our throats.

Sep. 30 2009 12:06 PM
Jim from Morristown, NJ

Why was this bill given to the relatively conservative Finance Committee? Why wasn't it referred instead to the Health, Labor, Education, and Pensions Committee, where it would seem more logically to belong?

Sep. 30 2009 11:46 AM
hjs from 11211

voter
maybe he's just in some cube typing away for the insurance companies or one of those GOP subsidiaries?

Sep. 30 2009 11:24 AM
hjs from 11211

calls'em

some valid points but why should profit come before life. what is a life worth to you.

we need a culture of life in this nation not a culture of greed!

Sep. 30 2009 11:13 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

Umm, Calls’em,
Where exactly are you? Which city, state, country, planet… anything? You seem to be hopscotching around Virginia and giving the Old Dominion a bad name.

Sep. 30 2009 11:09 AM
hjs from 11211

william 32
so do u also agree we should have a single payer system?

Sep. 30 2009 10:54 AM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from "McLean, VA"

Brian - (5) - where is the “context” and fair discussion that WNYC always promises during its’ fund raising campaigns? It is unprofessional to tell only one side of the story 95% of the time. (6) This is a failed plan under a failed administration. If it manages to go forth it will immeasurably hurt the health care system and the country’s economy.

And - lol - Obama and his big ass disbarred wife are on another vacation, this time in Denmark. He really should be trying to bring the Olympics to Detroit where, under that Democrat admin unemployment is officially 28% but, probably much higher. Perhaps Michael “Fatso Millionaire” Moore will open a soup kitchen or too to feed the hungry in his native state. If he skipped a meal a day he could feed thousands of children.

Sep. 30 2009 10:53 AM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from "McLean, VA"

Brain - (1) - if this plan(s) is/are so god WHY THE SECRECY? Obama promised transparency, but there have been more cover-ups of executive actions and legislation under this admin then under Nixon. Where is the “change” promised? Is “transparency” just another Obama lie? (2) - if we need public health care to help the 45 million people (and that figure is strongly disputed) who don’t have care, why are we wrecking THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM THAT SERVES 260,000,000 MILLION PEOPLE - that’s 85% of the population? Why not fix what is broken rather then breaking what works? (3) - where is the discussion of the TAXES, FEES, FINDS, JAIL TIME, INVASION OF PRIVACY, RATIONING and just plain bad services that the public option will have? Where is the discussion of the fact that this is just a “foot in the door” tactic? The public option is designed to drive out all other options within five years. This current admin and the Dems in Congress are real pieces of work. They lie about their goals. They lie about the costs. They lie about the reduction in service to everyone. I guess if their mouths are moving, then they are lying. (4) - when we talk about all the “money” that insurance and drug companies make you never talk about how almost all of that money is plowed back into the economy -- to human beings - in the form of benefits, salaries, rents, business expenses and dividends. These are not privately held companies - MILLIONS OF AMERICANS OWN THESE COMPANIES in their stock and bond portfolios, mutual funds and state and private pension plans. When Obama illegally stole GM and Chrysler from its’ stock and bond holders to give to the Unions, he illegally screwed millions of hard working Americans out of billions of dollars. The people of America are not some group of rich evil capitalists.

Sep. 30 2009 10:52 AM
william darcy from NYC

I don't like the fact that these old, white(mostly), rich Senators are gonna be forcing poor families to buy into their campaign contributor health plans.
People have to stand up and vote these senators out of office. Obama and the politicians say "Now all Americans can get the health care all of we here in gov't get". Well many people won't be able to afford it.

Sep. 30 2009 10:40 AM
hjs from 11211

BrettG
guess which states have the highest teen pregnancy rate?

Sep. 30 2009 10:38 AM
Nick Lento from NJ

This reporter from the Washington Post may as well be a flak for pharma and he insurance industry. She couldn't even bring herself to recall the "Harry and Louise" ads, calling them "Thelma and Louise". lol

The sellout to big pharma by Obama AND Menendez is a disgrace. Most Democrats screamed bloody murder when the Republicans passed Medicare part D (which mandated NO negotiations for drug prices...NONE!!!)

Last Thursday I got a call from "The American Pharmaceutical Industry" trying to get me to call Menendez to influence him to vote their way. Here's a link to the blogpost I wrote at the time http://www.bluejersey.net/userDiary.do?personId=393

I tried calling in just now to raise this but the call died on hold.

I really do suggest that WNYC allow people on the air who are advocates for REAL/SYSTEMIC reforms. What we get now is watered down insurance company bs.

Why is this "PUBLIC" radio station selling out to corporate interests?

There is a whole other side to the debate on health care reform that gets short shrift/tokenism from WNYC. Why?

Hell, I'd be willing to bet that MOST OF YOUR LISTENERS WANT A STRONG PUBLIC OPTION AND/OR SINGLE PAYER!!!!!!

What is WNYC afraid of? Why do you cover this as if you were the Washington Post or Fox News?

Shame on you!

Sep. 30 2009 10:36 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

I agree, if there is no public option, there should be no mandate.
On abortion: If legal and safe abortions cannot be provided, then Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, fertility treatments (and anything artificially creating life against God’s designed method of reproduction), and medically unnecessary circumcision should not be covered as well.

Sep. 30 2009 10:34 AM
BrettG from Astoria NY

A repeat to longstreet. Well, we lead in rooking employers & individuals out of heavy cash to subsidize private insurance companies. That has to stop.

Whatever "metrics" longstreet thinks are important probably account for WHO ranking us on Health Metrics in a tie for 37th after Cuba.

& curiously, we rank 28th in the World in broadband upload speeds [Korea is #1] per speedtest.net & 30th in download speeds [same source ranks Lithuania 1st].

If we fail to measure ourselves in all measures that our competition uses, we end up like Detroit.

Sep. 30 2009 10:33 AM
hjs from 11211

voter 24
WELL SAID!

Sep. 30 2009 10:31 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

Here is Glenn Greenwald on Shailagh Murray's revolting 'journalism':
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2007/10/20/kurtz_murray/

Sep. 30 2009 10:27 AM
BrettG from Astoria NY

Another insurance shill. The WaPo Faux Fox Villagers are just asleep for pay.

The only reform is HealthCare Not Insurance. She neglects to mention that Medicare Advantage also subsidizes insurance companies!

Stop public subsidies to overpaid, inefficient Private Insurers.

Provide medical care - not insurance! Let the private insurance/PHarma companies et al. lose their various public subsidies so that we no longer lose 45K people each year from the disease of "no insurance." It's immoral & bad for our businesses.

Sep. 30 2009 10:26 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

Shailagh Murray is just not being very honest. She is misrepresenting the pattern of lobbying and expenditure by health insurers and big pharma. Her paper, The Post, has done some of the WORST reporting on this.

FAIR and Dean Baker (of CEPR), among others, have detailed at great length the misrepresentations and outright falsifications of The Post.

Just as today we see journalist-advocates of the war in Iraq hedging to explain away their earlier support, the likes of Murray will be hedging in 10 years to explain away their atrocious reporting after the medical system of the US has entirely collapsed.

Sep. 30 2009 10:25 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

Longstreet,
“230 year history of doing things ourselves”?
How has land been secured for and how have the vast majority of canals, sea ports, rail lines, and airports been paid for?
Where did the interstate highway system come from?
Who artificially keeps farming in the United States viable? Who provides free grazing lands for livestock?
How do the poor, elderly, terminally ill, and veteran receive healthcare?
How do the poor and middle class get educated?
How do people in flood prone areas get insurance? Where to levies come from? Where do reservoirs come from?
Who puts out fires, fights crime, provide drinking water, and literally take the s**t out of your house so you don’t have to?
Who fights your wars and protects your borders? Who helped finance the American Revolution?
Who insures your bank account when the banker fails, inspects meat, inspects agriculture, controls drug safety?
Who sets standards so buildings don’t fall down or trap people in fires? Where’d that bridge come from?
Parks… National, state, and municipal… Private industry will do that and all of the above for us!
Yeah, every American’s an island.

Sep. 30 2009 10:24 AM
antonio from park slope

Brian, I would like to see a debate of the public option vs. the highly regulated insurance point of view; like the one Howard Dean has been advocating while on his recent book tour..
http://www.nhpr.org/node/26946

Sep. 30 2009 10:23 AM
CJ from NY

If there is no public option then there should be no mandate!

Sep. 30 2009 10:22 AM
Brittany from Park Slope, BK

Why should insurance and health care companies have a say in the political process?? All of those people involved have a voice as individuals. It skews the system if we give the companies a louder opinion than the people who the congress is supposed to represent.

The system is flawed. The rich & powerful get 2 votes to the ordinary person's 1.

Sep. 30 2009 10:22 AM
KC from Brooklyn

Ms Murray: When did it become the reporter's job to make excuses for politicians' corruption? First you avoid even bringing up the bribes, then you spend half your interview time justifying them? You are supposed to REPORT. Where did the money come from? Who got it? That's all. If senators want to explain it to their constituents, fine. But that's not your job.

Good job forcing the issue, Brian.

Sep. 30 2009 10:22 AM
CJ from NY

Seriously, if there is no public option then it appears that Government is trying to get money via mandate from people who don't have benefits without actually offerering viable, affordable coverage.

Sep. 30 2009 10:21 AM
charles harris from island heights nj

The government has a public option namely deploying more primary care centers. This would assure (not necessarily insure) everybody primary care with pediatricians primary care doctors, internists and gynecologists and dentists. This public option is HERE without discussion. We have 8000 mof them now., Deploy another 30 to 40 thousands

Sep. 30 2009 10:20 AM
Peter from New York City

The Cigna exec who defected recently said these companies only responde tho their stock price, so the more they cut off care the better off they are. Your Post journalist keeps saying the public auction is "too far," "too disruptive" too damaging to the insurance companies. What have these companies done to us? Denied care! Cut off people.

Sep. 30 2009 10:18 AM
Ben from Brooklyn

What is this bill without the public option other than a mandate on the uninsured to get insurance?

Sep. 30 2009 10:18 AM
Robert from NYC

And it shouldn't be part of the institute of government. Don't just shrug it off as, "well, that's the way it is" say "it shouldn't be that way and let's stop it"!

Sep. 30 2009 10:18 AM
Edward from NJ

The far left thinks a public option will fix everything because it will be a wedge in the door to achieve universal single-payer healthcare.

The far right thinks a public option will destroy everything because it will be a wedge in the door to achieve universal single-payer healthcare.

See, they CAN agree on something!

Sep. 30 2009 10:17 AM
KC from Brooklyn

Yay. A caller who seems to be much better informed than the Washington Post reporter(!).

I think I know why newspapers are dying...

Sep. 30 2009 10:17 AM
Robert from NYC

Hear, hear. probe the Senators connections to industry

Sep. 30 2009 10:17 AM
CJ from NY

No public option... no point!

Sep. 30 2009 10:16 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

WellPoint isn't "deeply connected" to the insurance industry. It is the LARGEST health insurer in the US.

Sep. 30 2009 10:16 AM
hjs from 11211

BL
why would someone vote against something "popular?" IDEOLOGY! but fear not the GOP is dying

Sep. 30 2009 10:16 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

Shailagh Murray is lying when she says the health insurance industry supports a bill. They have been lobbying against it. She knows that. Millions have been spent to undermine reform.

Watch insurance industry stocks today. They're going to soar.

Sep. 30 2009 10:15 AM
Robert from NYC

Well, isn't Ensign and ahole? Didn't that statement prove it! I mean who put him in office for chrissake? Wasn't it the "populace"? Who does he legislate for if not the "populace" who put him there.

Sep. 30 2009 10:14 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

It's time we recognized Baucus, Grassley, Hatch, Snowe for what they are -- Health Insurers' Willing Executioners.

How seriously can we take anyone from the Post when the Post has been so consistently opposed (in op-eds, editorials, and news stories) to the public option?

Paul Krugman and many others have already noted that the 'trigger' option is nonsense.

Let's face facts. The Senators opposed to the public option are in the pay of the health insurance industry. They're traitors.

Sep. 30 2009 10:14 AM
KC from Brooklyn

So...Baucus's millions from insurance companies wasn't a factor? Could this elephant in the room be just a little bigger? Why isn't that even coming up here? Bizarre.

Here's Baucus on why he voted against it: "We can’t get 60 votes for a public option so I have to vote against it."

What a joke. "I'm not voting for it because I think maybe it won't pass later."

Sep. 30 2009 10:14 AM
Jim from Brooklyn from Brooklyn

Shailagh Murray: Blah, blah, blah, incrementalism and bipartisanship. Blah, blah, blah.

Sep. 30 2009 10:13 AM
Jemal from Jamaica

A public option is the only viable way to significantly reduce costs across the board. Business Week had a great article last month which detailed how health insurance lobbies, which have contributed millions to congressional campaign coffers, are pushing for state by state co-ops which would not pose nearly the threat to their market domination.

Quote: "With less heft than a proposed national plan, the state medical cooperatives would pose a far weaker competitive threat to private insurers."

Sep. 30 2009 10:12 AM
antonio from park slope

I would be in favor of a debate of public option vs. a regulated insurance paradigm. That is what Howard Dean has been mentioning while on tour for his new book...
http://www.nhpr.org/node/26946

Sep. 30 2009 10:11 AM
longstreet from NYC area

Please bring the government option back.
Uncle Sam and both political parties are such wonderful stewards of what they already forcibly takes from us, right? So, give the political establishment more power, control and money.
Save us from this crisis! Don't let it go to waste!
Forget our 230-year history of doing things ourselves. Yes, individual liberty made us the country that we are, but the Dear Reader says we need transformative change and a new beginning. That trumps our heritage, which only happened to make us number one in every metric that matters, the only superpower and the envy of the world. No matter.
All of that has to go away now.

Sep. 30 2009 09:09 AM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.