Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein on HCR

Going Down the Same Old Tunnel

Having surrendered in advance to the private insurers and drug companies who profit from our dysfunctional health financing system, President Obama and the Democrats who lead Congress couldn’t rally the American people to support their woeful plan against Republican attacks.

The Democratic plan could only offer unpalatable funding options — stick consumers with ever-higher health costs, raise taxes, or drain money from care.

In the end, the Democrats’ back room deals produced a scheme reminiscent of the ones crafted by Mitt Romney (in Massachusetts, 2006) and Richard Nixon (Washington, 1972) -– but even less effective than those.

A simple single payer program could save $400 billion annually on insurance-related bureaucracy and profits, and tens of billions more by driving down drug prices. That’s more than enough to cover the uninsured and to upgrade coverage for insured Americans, without increasing health spending.

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