Bernie’s Health Care Proposal Saves Money

single-payer system is an affordable way to expand health care to everyone in America.

by  Fair Observer , November 6, 2015

The Wall Street Journal claimed in a widely read article that US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ campaign proposals may cost the government about $18 trillion over ten years.

Chief among those expenses is Sanders’ intention to establish a universal single-payer health care system, which The Journal, citing a study done by economist Gerald Friedman, said would cost about $15 trillion.

The Journal is right that Sanders’ proposals would require plenty of money, and the quoted figures are fairly accurate. But the newspaper conveniently forgot how much the proposals can also save, both in the short- and long-terms.

For starters, having a single-payer can dramatically increase the efficiency of the American health care system and increase the consumer’s bargaining power against the powerful pharmaceutical industry.

In this video, Friedman explains why Bernie Sanders’ proposals would save, rather than cost, money.


The Candidates on Health Care

Credit Jeannie Phan

Credit Jeannie Phan

The New York Times, Oct. 2, 2015
The Opinion Pages | Editorial

While the Republican presidential candidates have been busy railing against Obamacare, the two leading contenders for the Democratic nomination have staked out radically different ideas on how to improve the American health care system.

Hillary Rodham Clinton has proposed adding useful consumer protections to the Affordable Care Act. Senator Bernie Sanders wants to create a single-payer system that would essentially expand Medicare to cover people of all ages.

Senator Sanders’s bold call for “a fundamental transformation of the American health care system” would look more like the plans in many other industrialized nations that often achieve better health outcomes at lower costs. His home state of Vermont flirted with the idea, but it dropped its plans because of fears that the high costs would harm the economy. A national program could be more cost-effective, but it has no chance of surmounting opposition from Republicans and from health care industries that fear their profits would be cut.


Bill Moyers Essay: Everyone Should Be Entitled to Medicare

Moyers was an aide to President Johnson when he signed the bill for Medicare.

Moyers and Johnson, 1965

Moyers and Johnson, 1965

From the transcript, August 3, 2012

BILL MOYERS: I read a news story this week that sent me on a nostalgic trip down memory lane. This past Monday, July 30th was the 47th anniversary of Medicare, and to celebrate it, the “Raging Grannies,” as they’re known, gathered outside the county office building in Rochester, New York to protest rumored cuts to their Medicare coverage.

RAGING GRANNIES: This old grey granny now needs a test or two --

BILL MOYERS: They praised Medicare in song as “the best deal we have in the country,” and even called for expanding it Medicare into universal health care for everyone.

It seems the Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, was coming up from Washington to raise funds for Republican congressional candidate Maggie Brooks. The “Raging Grannies” wanted to make certain Ms. Brooks didn’t sign on to the GOP budget which includes cuts to Medicare.

For myself, the “Raging Grannies” channeled a familiar voice, the Texas twang of my boss back in 1965, Lyndon Baines Johnson. I was a White House assistant at the time and had been working with the President and others on the team trying to get Medicare through Congress. Even with overwhelming Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, it was one tough fight. Others had tried before us.

Watch the video

From the Care Act to the Able Act, A Rundown of the 2015 Health Bills that Passed

The Oregon Legislature passed five dozen new laws affecting healthcare policy that were covered in The Lund Report, making significant gains in public health, consumer protection, workers’ health benefits and mental health policy.

by Chris Gray, for The Lund Report
July 15, 2015

You win some, and you lose some, as the story goes, and Oregon’s 2015 legislative session was no different.

The Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems walked away as one of the biggest winners, crushing a price transparency bill that would have exposed its members to competition, while the Legislature limited its efforts to increase transparency to a $250,000 tax-funded website that will publish historic statewide averages of hospital price information from the all-payer, all-claims database.

But the hospitals, in turn, lost a battle to the Oregon Nurses Association, and will no longer be able to turn a blind eye to their nurse staffing committees, whose recommendations will now have the force of law. The ONA couldn’t pass a bill to require nurses at blood drives -- after a big win in the House, the Red Cross lobbied to send that bill to a quiet defeat in the Senate. A bill to give nurse practitioners the privilege of performing vasectomies was similarly snipped.

The decision to cut the vasectomy bill was also a rare setback for Planned Parenthood, which had a highly productive session, winning passage of bills that increase patient privacy around health insurance information and make a woman’s access to birth control nearly unfettered.

Here’s a rundown of the many bills covered in The Lund Report in this year’s session, with a comprehensive compilation of the significant healthcare legislation that went the distance in the 2015 session. A separate article will look at the bills that fell short: