Health Care Reform Made Simple

Donkeylicious explains the House health care reform bill, America’s Affordable Health Choices Act (H.R. 3200).

Health care reform flow chart

So easy even an astroturfer could understand it.

UPDATE: Robert Reich explains that the public option is the key element that would control costs and make reform work for the average American:

Without a public, Medicare-like option, health care reform is a bandaid for a system in critical condition. There’s no way to push private insurers to become more efficient and provide better value to Americans without being forced to compete with a public option. And there’s no way to get overall health-care costs down without a public option that has the authority and scale to negotiate lower costs with pharmaceutical companies, doctors, hospitals, and other providers — thereby opening the way for private insurers to do the same.

UPDATE: The push for a health care public option “is just a wasted effort,” according to Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND). Conrad has taken more more from lobbyists than all but three other senators, including almost a million bucks from the health care sector.

  1. #1 by Kafkaesque on August 17, 2009 - 11:08 am

    More Kafka Richard. By definition an astroturfer would know all the implications you would cite and is just a paid and organized shill to obfuscate what you have shown here. At least that is what you insist.

    When you say it is so easy an astroturfer can understand it, how is it that our leader did not understand what he was dealing with? In fact he caved to Pharma, the legal industry, and big insurance. If anyone is an “astroturfer” it would be him. Or maybe he is just stupid.

    Robert Reich? You should put comments from him away before anyone notices.

  2. #3 by brewski on August 17, 2009 - 11:32 am

    There are a lot of things about this flowchart which are troubling:

    1. Under the “no change” for people currently under Medicare and Medicaid is whistling past the graveyard. As anyone working in a hospital can tell you, the hospitals currently lose money serving medicare and medicaide patients, and they shift those losses onto the backs of insured patients. Ever wonder why an asprinin costs $8/pill in a hospital. It is to make up for the uncollectable and undercollectable (Medicare and Medicaid) patients that the insured patients have to subsidize. So “no change” is pretty stupid.

    2. Under the “Yes” for “Do you currently have employer provided insurance” there needs to be another decision tree. Does your employer’s plan cost it more than 8% of wage cost. If Yes (maybe a third of all employees), then the line goes to a box called “Dumped into the public option by your employer”.

    3. Then for the individuals who will be required to buy their own insurance policies, how will this be enforced? Will it be enforced just as well as we enforce illegal immigration and employment? Can we expect that kind of federal enforcement performance?

    4. None of this chart shows how we will reduce costs at all. Obama has mentioned how we spend so much more than everyone else on health care and get no better results. This chart does nothing to address that.

    • #4 by Richard Warnick on August 17, 2009 - 12:11 pm

      That’s a good analysis. The issues you raise are valid and go beyond what a flow chart can address.

      Like Robert Reich, I support a single-payer, Medicare For All solution. Since last year’s presidential election campaign, we’ve been told that is off the table, and that an individual insurance mandate is all Congress will seriously consider.

      Without the public option, an individual insurance mandate is nothing but a gift to the insurance lobby. Like mandatory auto insurance.

    • #5 by Ronald D. Hunt on August 17, 2009 - 12:23 pm

      Under you list for number 2, that should Read “Dumped to insurance exchange where they can buy a Private plan or take the Public Option”

      Their fixed that for yea.

  3. #6 by brewski on August 17, 2009 - 12:44 pm

    I would also be much much much more in favor of this analysis if there was another decision box:

    Are you a Member of Congress, Congressional Staff, Congressional Employee, President of the US, Executive Staff, Executive Branch Employee, Supreme Court Justice, Court Staff, Court Employee, or a Federal Employee of any kind, retired military under age 65?

    If yes, then you MUST purchase public option or purchase private plan from the same list and terms as the general public out of your own pocket.

    • #7 by Larry Bergan on August 17, 2009 - 3:20 pm

      Only in some parallel universe, brewski.

      It would be nice to live in a universe where we could tell Government employees with perfect health plans they were going to lose them and all hope is:

      a wasted effort
      not going to happen
      off the table
      not going to have enough votes

      So there!

      • #8 by brewski on August 17, 2009 - 8:00 pm

        Obama promised all Americans would have the same plan as members of congress. I am holding him to that. He is so different! Change we can belive in!

        So there!

  4. #9 by Kafkaesque on August 17, 2009 - 1:24 pm

    Little boxes, little boxes…and they all live in ticky tacky and it all looks the same.

    I say that until congress and the executive and all those with their own special plans paid for on our dime, accept the ramifications of this plan and take as their plan, and drop the old one, we as a people should accept a health plan that does not measure up to our representation.

    So here is the challenge, let’s set up health care on the model the congress critters granted and set up for themselves with our money. Anything less is not really worth discussing. We need to get control of the people that are controlling us and tax money, and not just tax money, but the constant creation of money out of thin air by the fed.

  5. #10 by Larry Bergan on August 17, 2009 - 3:30 pm

    Somebody is lying!

    I got this E-mail from DFA that completely refutes the media’s and Kent Conrad’s assertion that the public option doesn’t have enough votes:

    The media is wrong… again.

    Let’s be clear: A Healthcare bill without a public option is D.O.A. in the House. Period.

    To pass any bill in the House they need at least 218 votes but 64 House Democrats have stood up and said they will not vote for a bill without a public option. That means a bill without a public option would only have 193 votes.

    Given the choice between believing the corporate media and Democracy For America…

    Gee, that’s a hard one 🙂

    • #11 by Richard Warnick on August 18, 2009 - 8:20 am

      Keith Olbermann went over this last night. In the Senate, we’re told, there aren’t enough votes to pass health care WITH a public option. In the House, it won’t pass WITHOUT a viable public option.

      • #12 by Larry Bergan on August 18, 2009 - 11:49 am

        Oh yeah, the senate 🙁
        They always get us in one house or the other, don’t they?

        I saw Olbermann last night also, and it was the first time I remember him getting really mad at Obama. I am very disappointed myself and expect a retraction of his statement that the public option is just a sliver of the entire bill.

        We gave Obama more political capitol then Bush ever dreamed of and he had better start telling the Republicans to sit down and shut up.

  6. #13 by Kafkaesque on August 17, 2009 - 3:37 pm

    The public option has as Grover Norquist likes to say, been shrunk to adequate size so it can be drowned in the bath tub, which is his solution for government over spending.

    So whatever you want to believe Larry, the big boys got us by the balls, and it is Obama that pulled down our underwear.

    BTW Larry, I submit that everyone is lying, and that is simply politics in America.

    I have to point out this recent amazing event. France and Germany just saw a .09 uptick in economic growth last quarter, and both administrations that are in power there have said they are surprised, and had nothing to do with it. Unlike our own useless politicians that would take credit for anything that happened if they thought it would benefit the public’s perception of them.

    Both nations didn’t do diddly squat for stimulus either.

    Dude, Obama and his minions have ripped us off, and are going for more….

    • #14 by James Farmer on August 17, 2009 - 6:52 pm

      Hi Glenn:

      How’s it going? Just returned from a week trip to Rocky Mtn. Nat. Park. Awesome!

  7. #15 by Becky Stauffer on August 17, 2009 - 8:48 pm


    Without the public option, an individual insurance mandate is nothing but a gift to the insurance lobby. Like mandatory auto insurance.

    Not unlike the super privatized deal they worked out on prescription drugs for seniors. This is starting to look like deja vu all over again.

  8. #19 by brewski on August 17, 2009 - 9:55 pm

    A huge gift to a special interest group?

    Obama would never do something like that….unless of course it is for the drug companies, or the tort lawyers, or the doctors, or the UAW, or Wall Street, or car dealers, or coal producers……..but other than that Obama is above all that.

    Yes, Becky. It is deja vu all over again.

  9. #20 by Kafkaesque on August 18, 2009 - 6:02 am

    If Becky sees it, then Obama is in real trouble.

    Sure is a different day than the day after the election, when it was morning in America for you Becky, the flowers smelled sweeter, and the world under the benevolent sunshine of Obama was made new again.

    Maybe Bush couldn’t control the people that actually run this country, and neither can Bushbama.

  10. #21 by cav on August 18, 2009 - 7:05 am

    Glenn Beck is a Mormon?

    Trying to placate Republicans has made Obama not only look squishy but naive unfortunately. The health plaln from the beginning should have been mandated for all and single payer or it won’t work anyway.

  11. #22 by cav on August 18, 2009 - 7:13 am

    If public option is passed, it will become single payer within ten years.

    That’s what Big Pharma and Big Healthcare are afraid of.

    If the profits of Big Pharma and Big Healthcare slowly cease being what they’ve come to expect, why should I be crying myself into gun-toting intimidation?

  12. #23 by Becky Stauffer on August 18, 2009 - 7:46 am

    Glenn, I always love it when people start a sentence with “if Becky does . . .” as if I’m the low-water mark. Thanks so much.

    Cav, yes Beck is Mormon. So he is much-loved in Mormondom, where people apparently care more about where you go to church than your actual intelligence and integrity.

  13. #24 by Kafkaesque on August 18, 2009 - 7:54 am

    Until Obama and all the rest accept this plan as their own, and give up their plans of privilege, that we all pay for, no one should support any health care proposal that comes out of Washington.

    Period. All else is settling.

    If you follow the tenet of FDR, “if it happens in politics you can be sure it was planned that way” , Obama never for a moment was going to work for the public(option). He was the put up by the powers that needed him to fool us all. pharma/legal/insurance.

    Only fools will believe that these savings will be passed on to them cav. Did you know that the money we pay the government they invest in and buy private property and companies eating out our substance? The Federal government actually garnishes more money from investment purchases we have paid for with our tax dollars that by direct tax collection.

    We aren’t going fascist/communist. We already are.

  14. #25 by Kafkaesque on August 18, 2009 - 7:56 am

    That would be you Becky, you are the canary in the coal mine. Once you stop singing the praises of a progressive event, it is time leave the mine.

  15. #26 by Devvy on August 18, 2009 - 8:17 am

  16. #27 by cav on August 18, 2009 - 3:17 pm

    From Devvys: “Obese people spent 42% more than people of normal weight on medical costs in 2006, a difference of $1,429, the study found. Prescription drugs accounted for much of the increase.”

    Al Gore and Michael Moore are fat.

    Do the math citizens!

  17. #28 by rmwarnick on August 18, 2009 - 3:30 pm

    Rush Limbaugh is fatter and richer than Al Gore and Michael Moore put together. But none of them need health care help– it’s the rest of us who face bankruptcy if we ever have to set foot in a hospital!

  18. #31 by cav on August 18, 2009 - 3:56 pm

    #22 Kafkaesque. Bush was a fascist.

    • #32 by Devvy on August 18, 2009 - 5:28 pm

      Seems like all the things Bush started, unconstitutional bailouts, civil rights violations, the Patriot act, the wars, massive deficits are all good to our current fascist.

      • #33 by cav on August 19, 2009 - 4:44 pm

        It is refreshing to see a right winger admitting: “…all the things Bush started, unconstitutional bailouts, civil rights violations, the Patriot act, the wars, massive deficits…”

        As to whether all administrations are simply sock muppets of the corporate oligarchy or, Obama is so taken with all the power handed off to him that he’s using it scare some GOP ass, I think it’s a tad too early to say. But by all means, maintain your ‘vision’, and obstruct, obstruct, obstruct.

        • #34 by Devvy on August 19, 2009 - 4:51 pm

          Who says I am a right winger? Speaks volumes of the perceptions that each fringe side has of anyone they feel the need to label. The vision is having the constitution enforced and those sworn to it, upheld to their Oaths.

          • #35 by cav on August 20, 2009 - 7:45 am

            I only feel the need to label occasionally, and not always correctly. My initial scan of your site, the ‘Dynomite’ Redhead and marxist Hilary boldie, spoke to me, I was blinded by your style of self promotion and intellect, but suggesting you are ‘rightwing’ wasn’t very friendly, I admit. Sorry,

            I’ll come in again.

  19. #36 by Larry Bergan on August 18, 2009 - 4:59 pm

    Glen Beck lost many ads, but FOX “news”, (lies and opinions), will still be making all of that cash…


  20. #37 by Devvy on August 20, 2009 - 9:51 am

    No offense, as you realize, that in labeling you negate me, and in negation forget me, and in that leave yourself wide open to attack from a flank you never expected, in the future.

    I figure progressives should know all about labeling and misunderestimation from their last 8 years in the penalty box. Unfortunately it doesn’t appear that way.

    Ben Franklin on learning

    Best way to learn, from the experience of others and elders if they merit such.

    2nd best way; “Experience is the best teacher and fools will learn by no other”.

    3rd way of learning? Never. Appears the Democrat party is in Never Neverland.

    Success in America is part shameless self promotion, Devvy is no exception. bio

  21. #38 by cav on August 21, 2009 - 7:40 pm

    Devvy, “…in labeling you negate me, and in negation forget me, and in that leave yourself wide open to attack from a flank you never expected, in the future.”

    This I find very interesting and, suppose it could be taken as a threat.

    But, sensing your correctness in all things fringe-political, I wonder how you felt when all the DFHs were going on about how wrong the proposed wars in the Middle East were going to be? Did ‘traitor’ ever cross your lips?

    Forgive me if I am again mislabeling, but perhaps there’s some wiggle needed for both our parts.

    Just wondering.

  22. #39 by Kafkaesque on August 22, 2009 - 6:14 am

    Threats are perceived by those that have weakness and something to fear, or it is just that you are paranoid.

    Politics is combat if you had not noticed.

    The rest of your question I cannot make haeds or tails of. dfh?

  23. #40 by cav on August 22, 2009 - 6:43 am

    All three

    It’s a cakewalk! Accept no subsitutes,

    Dirty Frickin’ Hippies. (or the people who got it right, from the start).

  24. #41 by Devvy on August 22, 2009 - 8:23 am

    Never did, dissent is an American right, and the right to speak in anonymity as well.

    DFH’s were not the only ones. Let’s remember, W’s Dad could have quite easily embroiled us completely in Iraq after the first war, but he did not once Saddam was disarmed, and even he(one of the first) advised his wayward son against it.

  25. #42 by Larry Bergan on August 22, 2009 - 12:53 pm

    Wow, Brent Scrowcroft and dad ADVISED our sociopath in chief not to kill millions. Powerful players in human rights, they!

  26. #43 by Devvy on August 22, 2009 - 5:12 pm

    That wasn’t the question Larry, but they are better than most, focus on the now killings prevailing under Bushbama.

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