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Family Doctors Want Public Health Care Option.


The American Academy of Family Physicians are those, who with some other primary care physicians, such as osteopaths, comprise the roughly 300,000 first providers in the country. On the AAFP web site, an article by James Arvantes, notes that:

“The AAFP has long assailed the U.S. health care system as a nonsystem of uncoordinated, fragmented care that emphasizes intervention rather than prevention and the comprehensive management of care. This fragmentation has led to rapidly increasing health care costs, decreased access and less-than-optimal care, say Academy leaders.”

It is curious and not coincidental that in T.R. Reid’s Frontline documentary, the head of Taiwan’s national health care system mentions that, in evaluating a wide range of national health care options across many countries, he did not evaluate the American health care system. When Reid asked him why not, he simply said, “We did not consider it a system at all.”

But Eric Kantor, Republican representative from Virginia, a shill for the health care insurers, appeared on C-SPAN’s morning call-in program, to parade a succession of “anecdotal” information about failures in the Canadian system to prove that an American public health care system would not work. He tells the audience that the lobbyist-ridden, $11 trillion-dollar-deficit spending Neoconservative Republicans are the legislators that “…the American People are looking to for fiscal responsibility.” This would of course be laughable if it were not for the fact that the Neocons are trying to ruin the health and security of all Americans. Their plan is simple: to short-circuit not only an affordable, accessible health care plan, but also the President’s stimulus plan. The economic effects of the stimulus have clearly begun. Anyone who travels the highway for a living can tell you, some with a degree of irritation, the amount of highway and bridge repair already underway.

Last year the Democrats prevented a cut in the Medicare reimbursement for physicians, which would have been cut by 10.6 percent. Instead ,the Democrats overrode President Bush’s veto and prevented the cuts and added 1.1%. The President’s plan mirrors somewhat the AAFP’s own call for a change in the delivery of medical services.

Certainly there should be more general practitioners. All the changes that primary care physicians want in their idea of what an ideal plan should be are incorporated into a suggested public plan option. Here are the AAFP’s ideas, not exactly a radical Left-Wing lunatic fringe.

–administrators of the public plan must be accountable to an entity other than the one identified to govern the marketplace;
–the public plan cannot be Medicare;
–the public plan must be actuarially sound;
–the public plan cannot leverage Medicare or any other public program to force providers to participate;
–the public plan should not be required to use Medicare payment rates;
insurance market rules and regulations governing the public plan must be the same as those governing private plans;
–the public plan cannot be granted an unfair advantage in enrolling the uninsured or low-income individuals, who presumably will be eligible for subsidies in the new marketplace;
–public and private insurers should be required to adhere to the same rules regarding reserve funds; and
–the public plan would need to contribute to value-based initiatives that benefit all payers.

Who would enforce such rules? Obviously, the government with the cooperation of medical doctors, in an “entity other than the one identified to govern the marketplace.” In other words, an independent body would not only set the public rules but do so in a way that considered only patient outcomes, not the competitive situation with private plans. It would be a “values based” system. In other words, the best treatment, not the best treatment in relationship to the business aspects of the competitive marketplace.

We all need to write to our Senators and Representatives to let them know that we are not fooled by the nonsense spouted on television by lobbyist-paid, health-care-industry paid legislators like Eric Kantor and Senators like Senator Grassley of Iowa. Iowans want public health care. They were the first to vote for the President, and doubtless Grassley would have been tossed out if he had been up for election. Don’t let RepbulicanSenators stomp out the fires that burn brightly for a universal health care system.

Do not believe the comments on rationing or absurd cost figures. We al know now that the CBO was given only private health care plan data to make comparisons. Naturally it would cost out much higher. DUH! Private health care plans are the current problem.

Just remember this: we will go from $6,800 in health care costs to $3400. So, over time, as we incorporate the public health care plan into society, costs will go DOWN. We will all have access to health care. There will be NO RATIONING. The lies about these facts are all red herrings posed by the health care industry and their shills, like Barrasso, Grassley, Coburn, and Kantor.

Write, call, demonstrate and donate, to places like www.ourfuture.org. Go there now. Do what you can. Find your Senator and others on www.senate.gov and www.house.gov. Send them an Email and call their offices.We need to let them know that if they do not respond to what the people want, the people will find elected officials who will.

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