Paul Starr on Health Care 2009

Friday, December 04, 2009

Former senior advisor for President Clinton's proposed health care reform plan, co-founder of The American Prospect, and current professor of Sociology at Princeton Paul Starr discusses this year's health care reform efforts.


Paul Starr

Comments [14]

hjs from 11211

please tell josh how it's better here!

Dec. 04 2009 12:13 PM
hjs from 11211

everybody "knows" it. enough said OK! i've heard it. and everybody HERE "knows" it!

sarcasm doesn't work well here. but it gives a laugh, at least.

Dec. 04 2009 12:12 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Josh: I think hjs was being sarcastic.

Dec. 04 2009 12:02 PM
Josh from Brooklyn


first of all, I've lived over there. Please tell me why it doesn't work. You admit they have a better quality of life and longer life expectancy. They also have lower infant mortality rates, spend half of what we do. The US has trillions in debt, 1/5th of our country doesn't even have coverage to begin with (they are covered about 98%), and people go bankrupt over bills. medicare will be bankrupt in 2017. There are doctors who own 20 bed hospitals who pay in a month what the internist pays in a year for malpractice, and never ever get sued. Med school is free, not $200,000.

Please tell me, what is better about here.

Dec. 04 2009 11:39 AM
hjs from 11211

but everybody "knows" it doesn't work over there. in spite of their longer lives and the better quality of life in general. still it's just better here in the greatest country in the world.

Dec. 04 2009 11:28 AM
mc from Brooklyn


What he means by a dumping ground is that sicker people will end up on the public option because it will offer them care for less money at first. There is nothing wrong with that, but when there is a concentration of sick people in a pool it drives up the cost of the plan as the claims come in for these sick people. You need to have a bigger pool, with some healthier people whose costs would be lower.

We also need to find a way to get greater value for our dollars in the care we receive. We pay too much for everything.

Dec. 04 2009 11:14 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Thanks for having Paul Starr. I am so sick of the rhetoric coming out of Congress. It is all about bashing the government on the Repub side and all about "competing with the bad ol' insurance companies" on the Dem side. No one is talking about the profiteering of the medical industry itself.

Dec. 04 2009 11:01 AM
yourgo from astoria

the public option is necessary and mandatory. do not support it if it is not part of the bill.
The benefits to the american people far outway the losses to the insurance companies. Also if the government pays for americans health it will lead to the governement creating a healthier enviornment for poeple through legislation to lower health costs like, foods, pollution, etc. We need to solve this problem so we can move on to other things.

Dumping ground for the sick makes no sense, sick people need to be treated

Dec. 04 2009 10:59 AM
mc from Brooklyn


Thank you. It has been a long time since I read something so sensible and fact-based on these posts.

Dec. 04 2009 10:57 AM
Anon from Staten Island

The reason the public option isn't good enough is because the Democrats walked into the trap laid by the right-wing and the Blue Dogs, who continually pushed for changes and compromise, but did NOT do so in good faith. Their goal was to emasculate health care reform to the point that the left wouldn't suport it. The Democrats should have stood firm and not compromised, period. At least then the wishes of the majority of Americans would have been met. Instead they bowed to the vocal minority in a futile attempt to reach a bipartisan agreement. You can't compromise if one side is not interested in a final resolution.

Dec. 04 2009 10:56 AM
Josh from Brooklyn

By the way, the VA and native american populations are a carbon copy of the British system and medicare is a copy of Canada's (they even call their's medicare)

Dec. 04 2009 10:56 AM
Josh from Brooklyn

I have to agree with Dr. Starr. Most European counties that have universal coverage are NOT socialised (save Britain). They all use private insurance companies. The difference is, they are non-profits, and rates are set (doctor's negotiate with the insurers and the government). They are all different. Premiums are paid by employers and employees taken from their paycheck like here. The public option would raise rates, because the smaller companies would kick their employees to the plan. Those who don't get insurance from work, have to buy insurance on their own, but can't get on the public option if they make too much money. The insurers can't deny care if you're sick, but they can charge rates so high, people have to go to the public option, hence they can still cherry pick. Only when the profit motive is taken out, will rates come down. Few european contries have bills. France doesn't even have medical files, its all carried on a credit card like card where every doctor has a coputer to read your history. Rates for procedures are posted on the wall so you know what you owe (only britain is completely free). This is why their costs are so low and efficient. The public option will make everything so much more expensive because it gives a private US insurer even more free reign

Dec. 04 2009 10:54 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Starr is right. The public option is likely to attract the sickest people, leading to higher costs. Also, the reason for a public option has been lost. It should not be to "compete" with private plans--that just fragments the market even more. It should instead act as a model, refusing to pay for expensive ineffective treatment and drugs the way the VA does. Don't hold your breath.

Dec. 04 2009 10:52 AM
John from NYC

While I strongly support the Public Option will be disappointed if it is not in the final bill. I understand the legislative process.

I am willing to give up the Public Option for now if the insurance companies give up anti-trust exemption and the implementation of these proposals is brought sooner and not 2014 as is now planned.

Dec. 04 2009 10:47 AM

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