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Wyden Proposal

Comparison of Single-Payer to
“The Healthy Americans Act”

Proposal of Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon
and Robert F. Bennett of Utah

Senate Bill S.334 in 2007-2008, 17 cosponsors
Senate Bill S.391 in 2009-2010, 14 cosponsors
No longer introduced in the U.S. Congress.


Summary

  • “The Healthy Americans Act”
    • would have added bureaucracy, including the government forcing citizens to purchase health insurance from for-profit health insurance companies
      • whereas single-payer maximizes simplicity and efficiency … and the savings to individuals, families and the country
    • was promoted as a guarantee
      • whereas single-payer provides a true guarantee to citizens by providing health care as a human right, just like ALL other industrialized countries

Review of Proposal

“The Healthy Americans Act”:
referencing pages of
the Proposal (pdf)

Observations
about the proposal and how it compares with single-payer

Summary of Wyden proposal’s bureaucracy:

For-profit companies’ bureaucracy:
– Include private health insurance companies

Government bureaucracy, such as these examples:
– Add government restrictions on the marketplace
– Add government forcing citizens to pay premiums with a stiff penalty for non-compliance
– Establish 50 departments called HHA’s compared to the 10 for single-payer
Summary of single-payer lack of bureaucracy:
– Simple and efficient
Page 5:
According to this document, Congress “finds” that personal responsibility for one’s health should include purchasing private health coverage.

Non-profit single-payer national health insurance is the need that the U.S. Congress could have easily identified by reading its own reports about what U.S. citizens both want and need. According to reports provided to the members of the U.S. Congress, 1991 through 2007, Congress should have learned long ago about the need for single-payer.
Page 7:
HHA = Health Help Agency in every state!
We need to REDUCE government bureaucracy!

H.R. 676 will do it with 10 regions, leaving OUT day-to-day meddling by state politicians. Even the one federal agency needs to be largely insulated from meddling by politicians. That will be more readily accomplished by the plan to get rid of existing state and federal programs!
Page 15:
… open enrollment period research and decision-making by and/or for over 300 million citizens!

That activity will help maximize the bureaucracy!

With single-payer we simply get our insurance automatically from pre-natal to end-of-life.
Page 16:
This act will have the U.S. marketplace maintain all current health insurance companies.

One single-payer; one federal agency in a tremendously simplified way of financing. Taiwan studied over 10 countries and came to a knowledgeable conclusion about what is best: single-payer. The U.S. has health policy experts who have studied other countries for years and come to the same conclusion.
Pages 21-22
(and elsewhere in the report):
many aspects of this proposed system must be defined and managed by each of the 50 states

Single-payer: much simpler, efficient organization with 10 regions.
Page 30-35:
subsidies for low income persons

Out with the costly management of subsidies!
Out with paying subsidies!
In with simplicity and just providing automatic coverage!
Page 36:
Wellness and discounts.
More bureaucracy to be managed.

With single-payer private physicians are freed from the current financing complexities and have more time and energy to focus more on wellness for all of their patients!
Section IV and V and VI:
Medicare maintained and made more complex!
State agencies!
Shared responsibilities!

Improved Medicare for All, making U.S. financing simple and efficient.
Page 96:
You should see this complexity to manage! 17-25% for large employer; 2-10% for small employer; additional rate for every employee over 50 employees.

Single-payer frees businesses of the responsibility of managing health care benefits … or the worry about whether or not a business can provide health care benefits.

Review of Promotional Web Page

Claims
about the
“The Healthy Americans Act”
referencing a web page that promotes it
Comments
“.. private health care coverage that doesn’t go away” and “Health care that can never be taken away …”

Proposals other than single-payer can guarantee that consumers (and businesses) will continue to lose twice with more money to for-profit companies and more money in tax spending.

Your health care will never be taken away, since the almighty government forces you to pay for it, but your house might be taken away due to all of the health insurance and medical bills.
Only when health care is automatically provided as a human right can one realistically state that it is guaranteed.
Single-payer provides the foundation for health care being truly guaranteed.
No medical bills are associated with single-payer.
(There might be a relatively tiny amount of a contribution, depending on the final legislation of the law.)
“… generous benefit equal to those of Members of Congress” … but never can be as good as single-payer, which provides ALL medically-necessary care WITHOUT questions! A citizen simply receives it as a human right!
“… including meaningful assistance to low-income Americans.” The LEAST expensive way to cover low-income Americans is to have the SIMPLEST, lowest-cost, most efficient system that automatically covers everyone. That’s single-payer.
“… puts you in charge of your health care choices …”
Yes, you are forced to choose among the health insurance plans from which you decide which one will be the one the government forces you to pay for.
Single-payer only has one plan: Improved Medicare for All.
“… everyone has the same affordable coverage options …” Single-payer only gives one, simple option: Improved Medicare for All.
Single-payer is the only solution that is truly affordable, because it guarantees that the U.S. will finally have what EVERY other industrialized country in the WORLD has: NO bankruptcies due to medical bills.
“… saves $1.48 trillion over 10 years through tough cost containment.” The best starting point for cost containment saves over a trillion dollars in 3 years, not 10. That’s single-payer, which eliminates over $400 billion in excessive administrative costs EVERY year.
“provides incentives for individuals and insurers to focus on prevention, wellness and disease management” One of the best contributions to lower stress levels and to better preventive care is single-payer, where money worries are less and there is no middle-man insurance company between the physician and the patient.
“provides … statistics so that Americans can compare health (insurance) plans” Single-payer requires no one to ever compare plans. There is only one.
“is fully paid for by spending the $2.2 trillion currently spent on health care in America”

We do not have to continue to spend that much money when we spend over twice as much per person as the next highest country!
Single-payer will help us finally get our money’s worth!
“Every American will have the power to choose - and will be required to choose …”

Yes! Forced to choose. Forced to have the costly health insurance premiums taken out of their paycheck and be given to for-profit health insurance companies.
Choice is maximized with single-payer, but it’s choice of doctors and hospitals and professions and other life choices … not costly insurance plans!

We Want Single-Payer Health Care,
Improved Medicare for All!

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