Should a single-payer system be included among the options for health care reform?


  • ML - 13 years ago

    When people are uninsured because of the cost, the doctors, nurses and hospitals that employ them take a hit everytime they are treated or admitted because they don't pay. The higher health insurance costs are, the more people go without it and the more money the providers lose. If this continues, all the private insurance in the world will not work if there are no hospitals left in states like Montana because the majority of citizens don't have insurance and don't pay. Saving money by having insurance for only those who can pay actually puts the cost on the providers and will put them out of business. It is dishonest to pretend otherwise by putting the insurers short term survival ahead of the survival of the hospitals and their skilled employees. Most Montana hospitals have been laying off nurses all this year!

  • morninmist - 13 years ago

    why does max need those huge amounts of $$ of dollars in his campaign coffers from the insurance industry. go to

    He is a shame --as is Congress and the WH for not listening.

  • Carl - 13 years ago

    Kevin,Setay, Jeff and others......Canada has done all the homework and has an excellent system. You need not look any further . There is no perfection in any plan, but the Canadian system does a very good job providing health care to every citizen. It eliminates the massive bureaucracy that exists here and our current for-profit private healthcare system is designed just for that....profit . Insurance companies make their decisions based on profits, not the well being of the policy holder. The Canadian system has been continually refined now for more than 40 years .The facts are undeniable. Why reinvent the wheel? The American "insurance" based system is an expensive failure. Let's admit it and get on with the job of change. I read today that the Obama administration has the "commitment to help pass health care reform this year" from Karen Ignagni , the leader of the health industry trade group that annihilated support for anti-insurance health care in 1994. Even these powerful insurance lobby groups understand that change is in the air....change they don't want. Our elected officials need to act now to make the necessary changes. They have the mandate from the people. We don't need the support of the insurance industry. Lets look after the health of every single American.As it has been said several times in this thread......INSURANCE IS NOT HEALTH CARE Thank You

  • jeff - 13 years ago

    I understand the need to cover those with no coverage. The uninsured have a profound effect on treatment cost for those who have private or employer subsidized health insurance. Unfortunatley many citizens in this nation feel that our government is capable of designing a health care program in a few months that took decades to design. We have all seen the problems of our only national health care system. The VA has demonstarated that it is less than capable of meeting the needs of our returning vetrans. The biggest problem with single payer coverage is that private insurance will be gone. It will be gone not because the evil corporations can't compete, but because employers will see a way to shed healthcare cost. At this point you and I will have the same coverage and treatment options as an illegal immigrant or homeless person. That is not to say they should not be treated for medically necessary treatment. But those of us who have decent jobs will not be able to just call our doctor and make an appoint like in the old days. Just ask anyone on state aid what they get. I just don't understand why people in this country keep thinking the hollow promises of washington are true. Can anyone point to any promise from a politican that has come true?

  • Setay - 13 years ago

    I'm sure single-payer was on the table and was taken off very quickly after realizing it didn't have a chance in passing. Besides, it's a terrible idea. Taking the private sector completely out of the equation would lead to sub-standard treatment, free health care would attract hypercondriacs, and why would anyone join the healthcare business if there was no longer a profit? There has to be a middle ground. Purely one side or the other is simply naive

  • Nick - 13 years ago

    Me Parese que el senado debe pensar en las personas que no estan casadas, ya que son parte del nuestra sociedad y pagan impuetos como todo los demas, creo que somos iguales y meresemos iguardad de derechos.

  • Bob Haiducek - 13 years ago

    To get single-payer select my name to the left.
    Special message to Montanans: be the first to have your U.S. Congressional District to get to the district goal of 2,299 participants per district.

    We will have a million participants in the Million Letters for Health Care Campaign when we have 2,299 participants in each of the 435 U.S. Congressional Districts.

    --- Regards, Bob Haiducek Bob the Health and Health Care Advocate

  • Bob Haiducek - 13 years ago

    To get single-payer go to
    Medicare for All

  • Wilma Ralls - 13 years ago


  • Arnold Byron - 13 years ago

    Single Payer is our only "real" option. Single payer will guarantee universal coverage. We already have a single payer system. It is called medicare. Single payer is medicare for all. Our government has the ability to maintain a medical bureaucracy and to do so without fail. Other countries do. Our abilities are no less than theirs. And don't feel sorry for the insurance companies. Single payer will take care of our basic health care needs. There will still be lots of room for insurance companies to provide insurance for non-basic issues. The insurance companies will have to become smaller, work harder and take less profit. I was at a rally last weekend. We chanted: hey, hey, what do you say; single payer is the way and What do we want? - single payer - When do we want it? - now. Make your sign, attend a rally, do your chant; even at a local setting.

  • MARY - 13 years ago


  • Maggie - 13 years ago

    To Grace Larson -- MY care is rationed here, right in the USA, because right now I HAVE NO CARE AT ALL. If I get sick, I am dead. Your claims of rationing in countries that have single-payer are simply wrong. Read the responses from Canadians in this thread alone. You don't have the facts straight and you are the one spreading propaganda.

    To Kevin -- the way single-payer is funded is through taxes, and YES I would GLADLY pay higher taxes to get comprehensive care with no premiums, deductibles, co-pays or pre-existing conditions! Even with the higher taxes, everyone would SAVE money with single-payer without having these costs, not to mention that paperwork and confusion would be cut drastically.

    Oh yes -- county, city, and state government will save on their employees' health "insurance" premiums and workers comp and that savings could even be passed back to us as LOWER taxes on property, sales, etc. that funds local and state government. Employers will be more competitive in a global market where we have to compete with nations that DO care enough about their citizens to provide single-payer health care.

    Single-payer healthcare for all. We can't afford NOT to do this.

  • Carl Finamore - 13 years ago

    Private insurance companies recklessly pursue profits with the same wild abandon as Wall St. which explains why 45 million of our most vulnerable are left without any protection. Public health should be government provided in the same way that fire and police protection are too important to be left to a discredited "pay for play" system.

  • donna - 13 years ago

    If workers paid 80% of their current medical insurance plan into a single payer savings entity, they could take home the other 20%. No tax increase to fund a universal plan, and 20% savings to boot! Because insurance companies now spend 24% of our premiums on lobbyists, lawyers, CEO salaries, dividends for investors, some of the largest buildings in most large cities, huge actuary calculation specialists salaries, and inflated administration costs, by eliminating these costs we would have a net gain of4% from each worker to add to the medical pool.

  • 43star - 13 years ago

    Single payer does not mean a Canadian system. If we have PRIVATE delivery, service will go up because of competition and costs down because of efficiency. Any medical restructuring discussion should include at least one of the signers of HB 676 in order to be legitimate.

    When government pays for insurance, 30% goes directly to insurance CEO's, Lawyers who litigate insurance denials, and investors in the company stock-- NOT to medical delivery.

    People have not been commodities since slavery. Our health should not be and object of profit!

  • Beth Sirr - 13 years ago

    Health care reform should mean doing at least as well providing health care for ALL Americans as other industrialized nations do for their citizens--which would mean getting better patient outcomes for 1/2 the cost.

    Instead the politicians talk only about getting everyone an insurance policy. Insurance isn't health care.

    Grace Larson, do you realize insurance corporations decide what care they'll pay for from a list of doctors they choose ? So you can still "choose", they just won't pay if it's not their way.

    I have health insurance and needed surgery last year--only NO surgeon in my town was on my insurers' provider list. Those answering the phone at my insurer, told me, "we don't care if you have to drive 6 hours to go to a network provider".
    So I called around, checked costs and asked about the surgical method which had been proven to have the lowest failure rate which I'd read about in DR Atul Guande's book "Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance".
    My "outpatient" surgery in MT would require general anesthesia, three seperate, 4 hour round trips driving for all the appointments, and cost ~ $8,900 total (I had to pay 20% + deductible+ anything over the allowable--which they wouldn't tell me).
    Instead, I flew once to Toronto--stayed in the hospital 3 days, had an American surgeon, who used local anesthetic (less risk), at the hospital rated best in the world for patient outcomes for my surergy--All for a grand total (including flight) for under $2,400!! (I did trade miles for a $112 ticket).
    No post op complications at all--all the Canadians there were very happy with their health care systme--and seemed genuinely to pity us.
    I was encouraged by them to learn more about Tommy Douglas--voted their "best Canadian ever"-because of his role in founding their nationa; health are system. Google him--there are some short clips.

    The Bible sasy Jesus got mad once--when he found money changers in the temple. We have money changers in the temple of medicine--and they are crippling families and our economy--If politicians mandate we pay these parasites we will need to create a non-participation movement--go back to paying our doctors directly--and throw the lobbyists out of a job.

    After 30 years in direct patient care--the best system I have worked in for quality, equity and cost effectiveness of care is the VA system--Average cost is $5000/vet/annually--same cost past 10 years, better outcomes than private sector despite more medically complicated patients, and doctors are paid based on their patient's outcomes.
    A uniquely American sucess story thanks to Bill Clinton's appointment of Ken Kizer MD, MPH in 1994 to save the VA . Imagine if he'd been in charge of a health care system for the rest of us.
    Beth Sirr, Family Nurse Practitioner

  • Jonathan Matthews - 13 years ago

    The over 1000 private health insurers, each with at least several possible plans, and each with highly payed executives, cause a $350-400 billion dollars a year cost, on top of the cost of actually providing medical care to people. Cut these complicated and expensive middle men out of the picture by instituting a single payer system, and suddenly we have enough money to cover everyone, and there are no "out of plan" doctors, no co-pays, and no out-of-pocket charges when you receive health care. The single payer option is the only healthcare reform option that makes any financial sense and it is the only one that is morally and ethically supportable.

  • Carolyn Scarr - 13 years ago

    I have never seen a line at the Post Office as long as the lines at my HMO's pharmacy -- or one that moved as slowly -- even the one at the Post Office on Tax Day.
    And I would be happy to pay taxes and get services for them. My HMO costs $600/ month which is a lot more than the increase in taxes would be.

  • Bob - 13 years ago

    Max has said we pay twice as much as other developed countries for our health care (most of whom have single-payer systems) and have worse outcomes. Then, he was quoted as saying: "The goal is TO SLOW THE RATE OF INCREASE" health care costs. I was flabbergasted. Don't strain yourself by overreaching here, Max!

    Max, if you clowns in congress can't deliver meaningful health care reform that provides good coverage for all Americans and reduces costs by at least 30-50% (yes, it is possible, think HR 676) then don't do anything!

    I have a question: How do you fire a senator?

  • Kevin - 13 years ago

    Single-payer coverage will only work in dreamland, which is where most politicians live. This is not the United Socialist States of America. Remember, WE are the government. WE fund the government. Money only gets spread around when WE provide it to our government. I, for one, am sick of funding everything under the sun with my hard-earned dollars, so that others may skate through life cared for from cradle to grave. Health care for all is possible now. Just visit any emergency room. Uninsured, and others who can't afford medical services use these places as "First Care" facilities because they can't be turned away. If you want to FIX what's wrong with health care, stop CHIPS, S-CHIPS, and Medicaid. When people stop running to the doctor expecting antibiotics for a runny nose, physicians will have more time to spend on paying patients, rather than wait months to recover monies from some government-subsidized health-care plan. Meanwhile, malpractice insurance premiums are so high because of frivolous lawsuits. Vote instead for tort reform, and physicians won't need to "pass on" escalating insurance-premium costs to patients.
    Think about this: Next time you stand in line at the Post Office, think of visiting a doctor under a government-"managed" system. Now imagine how long you'll be waiting in line once there is "free health care". It's a pipe dream. Nothing is free to those who work for a living. WE PAY for what we get. Who'll decide which procedures are covered? Who shall be deemed worthy of saving? Will we stop treating the elderly at 62? Be careful what you wish for...

  • Steven Miller - 13 years ago

    Grace Larson's comments on health care rationing and not being able to chose one's own doctor in Canada are ill-informed. Both my and my wife's parents (all 80 years old) receive excellent care both preventative and acute in the Canadian system. And, they don't worry about going bankrupt! The government has absolutely no role in who my parents chose as their primary care physician. Of course, there is a waiting period for elective, non-life threatening surgery. But, the most important thing is that Canadians overwhelmingly support their single-payer health system! Canadians believe that health care is a right, not a priviledge based on whether or not you can pay the insurance company. And, importantly the Canadian medical system delivers high quality care as judged by the excellent life expectancy of its citizens as compared to the private, for profit U.S. system.

  • R L Rogers - 13 years ago

    Hey....What is the big rush? And all of you who want this paid for by the "Government" remember YOU ARE THE GOVERNMENT. So expect higher taxes immediately. NO IF AND OR BUTS...YOU WILL PAY FOR HEALTH INSURANCE WHETHER IT IS PRIVATE OF GOVERNMENTAL. Nothing is free. What are you willing to do without. This is what you should be asking yourself. Cable TV, Sport Activities, Education, Vacations, Fuel, Food, Pets, Cell Phones, Life Insurance, Car Insurance, and Internet just to name a few luxuries we enjoy. Don't ask your children because they are already committed to the debt with China.

  • Linda - 13 years ago

    It amazes me when I hear people who believe that all of the data about healthcare and life expectancy are propaganda. Canada has some of the best healthcare in the world. I have known people who left the US to receive care in Canada, but never the opposite. Our life expectancy is less, our child mortality rate is higher, our death rate of mothers giving birth is higher, and yet there are those who want to believe that we still must have the best healthcare. This is simply false. We do pay twice as much as any other country, but our healthcare is below every other industrialized nation. The problem today is that insurance companies decide what can be done, and their ONLY legal obligation is to their stockholders. Single-payer is the only option that could possible work, but the insurance companies have 3 lobbyists for every congressman. The only chance is for the people to use our power. Yes, there is power in the vote, but it may take more than that. The majority support single-payer, and we need to let our congressmen know.

  • Gary E. Morigeau - 13 years ago

    Single payer should be more than an option. IT should be the cornerstone of a new USA heath system! We ALL know that Baucus is in the pocket of the insurance and drug companies! The nearly $500.000 that he recieved form them carries a lot of weight (with Baucus). Other Senators and Congressmen and women also get big bucks from these industries and big surprise, they say they don't like single payer too!
    Now is the time for real change! If we go down the the path of bigger insurance it will be nearly impossible to make a course correction. The insurance companies will only become deeper entrenched and the savings, if any, will be very small.
    We must make it VERY clear to our senate and congress that we want a single payer system. If they continue to resist - Vote them out. It looks to me like I can no longer vote for Baucus. I am looking for someone that has a spine and can provide real leadership!! Use your VOTE - It is the only power we have.

  • Grace Larson - 13 years ago

    Canada & Britian have single payer government run health care. Rationing is common and often based on age and the nature of the person's illness. If their health care is so great how come so many come to the US for care ? One of the Canadian Health officials said their patient care was speedy enough, BUT when she was told she had cancer she flew to UC Davis as fast as she could
    go !
    The Saudis can afford health care anyplace in the world and they choose the US.

    National Health Care will result in slow responses to serious health issues. Government officials will decide what you need and not you and your doctor.

    Doctors will lose any incentive to continue medical practice when their ability to provide care is regulated by the government.

    It is best to research Canada and Britian's health care and speak to those who have it. Those I have spoken to said they pay very high taxes and their care is not nearly as good as what we have in the US.

    There is a lot of propaganda that rates the US way below other countries as far as health care, children's care, etc. And it is propaganda ! Care is rationed in most of those countries and there are very few doctors or medical facilities when compared to our great United States.

    Be very careful what you wish for. I for one don't want to be told what doctors I can see, or that my condition is so bad that they aren't going to spend the money on my care ! That is happening in Canada and Britian.

  • Ann - 13 years ago

    Here we go again with the scare tactics. When are people going to wake up and see that every time the conservative " no we can't party" wants their way we get bombarded with all kinds of propaganda that if you do any research on is at best almost always exaggerated but most of the time just a huge distortion of the truth.
    I want the same health benefits as the people that are supposed to be working for me.

    We all know that the people who get paid large sums of money go to D.C. and it ends up being a party for the lobbyist run by the lobbyists. This is the case in both parties.

    I was born in 1950 and as far as our so called democratic government goes nothing is going to change until we get rid of the lobbyists and apply term limits so we don't have to wait for generations to keep up with the needs of the working class people in this country.

  • Henry A. Hanson - 13 years ago

    I attended the meeting at St Pats and there, as with all the others held throughout the state and nation, the overwhelming majority favor the single payer system. I realize the insurance & pharmaceutical industry pour millions of dollars into the coffers of our elected reps in Washington, we the people still determine who gets elected at the ballot box. Let us strongly remind each and every one of them of that fact. This is about a real grass roots effort. Let's all do our part!!

  • David Peterson - 13 years ago

    Our present medical, insurance, and pharmaceutical system is broke.
    We presently have the worst system in the industrial world. The worst. Infant mortality, health care for the aged and the indigent, are bad enough as to not
    be comparable with the rest of the industrial world. We pay high premiums, co pays, and deductibles, those of us who are fortunate enough to have coverage available. Under the Baucus plan, he is one of the authors, there will be NO improvement or change, only more smoke and mirrors accompanied by more lies.

  • Sue - 13 years ago

    If Baucus is so afraid of single payer healthcare, that it is not even dissussed, I am thinking that this option is something that the majority of us would vote in. The auto industry did not keep pace with the times, it is now the insurance companies ducking what is best for all.

  • Norm - 13 years ago

    I believe Senator Baucus is doing his best to represent Montana. Washington politics are really scewed up so it doesn't surprise me that the most popular option is the least likely to pass. If he says single payer will probably kill all healthcare reform, I believe him. Sen. Baucus knows Washington a lot better than we do.
    It might make more sense to consider single payer down the road once we have some form of health care reform in place. I think it is better to stop the bleeding now and worry about what kind of room we get at the hospital later.

  • Mary Reynolds - 13 years ago

    If the senator will not even allow single payer health insurance on the table to be discussed, to me it is a sure sign he is bought by the insurance companies. He has lost my vote. He should at least explain himself.

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