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Countering Clinton, Expert Says Sanders' Medicare-for-All Numbers "Do Add Up"



For profit Insurance should NOT be the final arbiter on who gets health care and who doesn't. Yet apart from the moral and logistical implications, the bottom line is that when Hillary (and others who are protective of Big Insurance) insists that single payer for all would cost too much... she's leaving out the key: that without Insurance companies skimming billions off the top (to pay CEO salaries, advertising, and stock dividends), there would certainly be savings!

"Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, a professor in public health at City University of New York at Hunter College and co-founder of the advocacy group Physicians for a National Health Program, said Friday that the "numbers on single-payer do, in fact, add up."

"It's indisputable that single-payer systems in other countries cover everyone for virtually everything, and at much lower cost than our health care system," Woolhandler said. "Experience in countries with single-payer systems, such as Canada, Scotland, and Taiwan, proves that we can have more, better and cheaper care."

"For example, "if the U.S. moved to a single-payer system as efficient as Canada's, we'd save $430 billion on useless paperwork and insurance companies' outrageous profits, more than enough to cover the 31 million Americans who remain uninsured, and to eliminate co-payments and deductibles for everyone," she said."

The mantra that America leads the world in all things as THE purported indispensable, exceptional nation has so many U.S. citizens unable to see the very real benefits that are a given in Europe's Social Democracies.

Michael Moore's new film is likely to expose more Americans to the ridiculous disconnects. So many policies, pushed through under the guise that they exist to protect business and/or guarantee "job creation," in reality only feather the nests of the 1%. Meanwhile these facts of American life REDUCE the living standard of most U.S. citizens.


Nothing adds up for this war bitch but whatever her handlers TELL her!GO BERNIE!!!


Too bad most folks are smart enough to stop for a second and consider other very important ramifications of a single-payer system. Think about how much is paid in automobile insurance and how much of that premium is paid to cover bodily injury. With national health coverage, the cost the insurance companies charge would for auto insurance would have to go down as well. Oh Oh, I feel a tear coming on: they won't have as much money to lobby. Oh, oh but wait, maybe Bernie can actually get lobbying outlawed or at least made irrelevant! I'm gonna vote to give him that chance!


What about improving Medicare. It only pays 80% of the costs for physician bills so people have to buy private insurance if the want the whole bill covered. They also have to buy private insurance to pay for drugs. And annual physical exams are not fully covered so the examinations are not as comprehensive. In addition it costs over $100 a month for Medicare B which covers physician bills. Medicare is very good for hospital coverage but for everything else it isn't that great. And of course there is no dental coverage and dental bills for many people can be very expensive. So while Medicare is a big improvement it hasn't done away with private insurance and for some people it falls far short of what they need to cover their bills.


Using the term 'bitch' just plays into the Bernie Bros meme. Don't do it!


Using the term 'bitch' gives Clinton's supporters ammo for calling Sanders supporters Bernie Bros. Don't do it!


Robert Reich and Gerald Friedman are two economists who have defended the Sanders healtcare plan.


But it's possible that Clinton wasn't lying when she said, "Every progressive economist who has analyzed that says that the numbers don't add up.." Considering that she's redefined 'progressive' as someone who supports neocon foreign policy (More War) and neoliberal economic policies (Austerity Economics), she might think that Reich and Friedman are Trotskyites or Stalinists.


What I find frustrating about where we are right now in the campaign...people are starting to settle into the same old talking points and assumptions. Sometimes I even wonder if the pundits watched the debate last night, because they were repeating the same shit. I listened to On Point with Tom Ashbrook this morning and I'm not sure any of his pundits listened to the whole debate. They kept saying the usual tired themes, "Bernie doesn't explain how he'll pay for it" or "Hillary is so much stronger on foreign affairs than Bernie." He actually does explain how he will pay for single payer, and I don't recall hearing Hillary say how we are currently paying for Obamacare because I guess she doesn't feel she needs to. We'll just keep doing what we're doing...whatever that is. Except that it's not sustainable. It's not efficient to keep using the same model we've been using. Not only for how care is delivered but how much it costs. We need to get the insurance industry out of the equation. We need to stop letting hospitals be FOR profit, we need to stop the pharmaceutical industry from charging obscene amounts of money. And we need to stop letting industry write our policies because they have had at least 30 years of slowly dismantling our safeguards and protections. It will take time to make the changes we need to make. Some times I don't think people are capable of putting all of this information together and connecting the dots. Remember when George W used to say the presidency was "too hard." Yeah, because you have to understand how everything works and what the consequences are.


I think perhaps part of the strategy is to keep the pressure on Bernie and make him campaign too much to compensate for not having Hillary's funding. I think he needs to take a whole day off from appearances and speeches before the next debate. Just simply recharge his batteries because he is relying on the same talking points and Hillary is going after them directly.

Meanwhile he doesn't attack her which is inexplicable. She is counting on him playing nice and yet sneaking in the low blows. She knows what Bernie will say and that is the problem. Bernie needs to recharge his batteries and then he will respond with new phrasing and talking points.

They are running him ragged and it isn't necessary. What he needs to do is respond to Hillary's attacks directly with specific and new counters.


Gee, Hillary lied. What a surprise.


I think you misunderstood my point, although I will admit that some people do get tired of hearing Bernie say his same familiar lines. But he also has plenty of substance. I was talking about the people (commentators, pundits, whoever) who are talking about a debate that just happened and yet they are saying the same talking points and making the same assumptions that they've heard other people say about him. It just makes me question whether they even listened to the debate. He doesn't give details about his ideas? Well, I just heard him give lots of details. He's weak on foreign policy? Well guess what, he's never been a secretary of state. Neither has a lot of candidates who became president. But he is a deep thinker who considers actions and consequences and has good judgement. Did you even listen to what he had to say? Did you hear how prescient he was about the consequences of going into Iraq? Meanwhile, Hillary seems to get away with not giving specifics for her proposals because what...she sounds like she knows what she's talking about?


This is an oldie but goodie....Bill Clinton explaining to an audience in Germany (where everyone has known the truth about healthcare for generations already) back in 2011 (I am paraphrasing here) that the healthcare model Bernie supports but Hillary doesn't would save our economy a trillion dollars every year. For perspective that is hundreds of billions of dollars more than our military budget in savings (every year, after everyone is covered). Bill and Hillary also have to know that many Americans still have no clue. There is no money for them in letting the truth out of their healthcare bag here, and way too much to be made by keeping mum....so "mum's" their word.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former President Bill Clinton said the United States could save more than $1 trillion a year by adopting any other advanced nation's healthcare system.

"That means if we just scrapped our system and adopted any other wealthy country's system, at a minimum we would have a trillion dollars more a year for pay raises, for investment in new technology, to create new jobs or whatever."

I would include the link but for some reason Common Dreams won't let me.


I think the media has already shown that they are not inclined to play fair with Bernie. With the media, I sometimes feel like the victim of a pickpocketing where the only other person around looks at me sympathetically and offers to help me look for my wallet but they just need a minute to finish counting some money that is in their hand.

They do sound sympathetic and that they really do have only our best interests in mind ... Don't they?
They give Hillary the nod.. They know she isn't backing up her claims with facts. No they don't play fair but oligarchy pays well .


the article. This is what I as a lean manufacturing expert trained on
eliminating waste in processes have been saying for YEARS now. The
non-value-added cost overhead. Also, along with the drug companies and
some others in the industry, they are rife with both corruption and
rip-off profiteering (note for example drug prices everywhere else in
the WORLD vis-a-vis the USA.) Crooked and corrupt as hell. Actually, it
is little WONDER that what Bernie Sanders is saying is actually TRUE but
the propaganda machine bought and paid for by big health care industry
will spend egregious amounts to lie about it and tar it as the "dirty
word" "socialized medicine". This is reminiscent of parallel efforts
by the tobacco and petroleum industries to stall and obfuscate with high
finance propagandizing and outright LYING.


There probably would be a boom of utilization of services: So what? Secondly, it would be pent up demand.


Author sez: "The charge that the numbers for a sweeping healthcare reform plan "don't add up" is one that Clinton herself has been hit with in the past, regarding the Health Security Act—dubbed 'Hillarycare'—introduced in 1993 ..."

Well, her plan was constructed so as to preserve private insurance corporations' involvement. Just sayin'.


It astounds me that Americans don't know how universal health care works throughout the European Union. Although most systems are public-private hybrids, the bottom line is that customers get no doctors' bills. Not even if simple blood tests morph into mammoth cancer and cardiac treatments.


Well, once again - the devil is in the details - What IS Sanders' SP plan? There is "SP" and then there is SP ... Is it the 200+ page plan that he "planned" on presenting in Congress, the one that has been critiqued by Stein and Flowers, 2 folks who have been advocates of SP for some time, with Flowers being active in PNHP? Is it one that "builds on the ACA" that Sanders has said he wants to do? Or is it the "gold standard" for SP, as articulated in HR676, (about 20 pages long) presented in the House multiple times, but never introduced by Sanders in the Senate as a Senate bill? Is this article comparing apples and oranges?

I do believe the SP plan PNHP has analyzed is on the lines of HR676 - if that is Sanders' plan, why doesn't he come out and say so? Why didn't he champion it in the Sen.?

If you want the "gold standard" SP plan the one that all these cost savings are predicated on, ya gotta go with Stein in '16 ...

C'mon Sanders, what exactly IS your version of SP?

C'mon CD staff - we need a few more details here...

And why weren't we seeing pieces like this 4 years ago when Stein was proposing it, Flowers was getting arrested for trying to bring it to the Sen. floor, while Sanders was "helping write" the ACA?


Really appreciate your comment. The entire "health care for profit" model is sick, IMO. I agree wholeheartedly that the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies are merely tools used by capitalists to collect an unearned income based solely upon the suffering of individuals.

Medicare already has the systems in place to handle the financial aspect of medical care. As Sanders suggests, expanding Medicare to cover all Americans makes short work of removing the overhead costs associated with the insurance model.

The downside of Medicare as it currently operates is that it serves as a cash cow for administrators to bilk the government / Taxpayers by various methods such as double billing, inflating the costs associated with treatment, and the fee-for-service model that encourages abuse.

When a single payer system does get introduced, there must be cost containment features included in that. The other way of saying that is the government needs to regulate the rates charged for services, and providers will have to justify treatments prescribed. Treatment protocols need to be established by leading professionals in their respective fields. Those protocols need to include a procedure for attending physicians to easily step outside the protocols on an individual basis.

I'm sure the medical profession will balk, but medical salaries need to be regulated as well. This is part of the new paradigm that converts the old neoliberal free market, unregulated capitalism to the new sustainable system of regulated markets that work for everyone. In exchange for giving up unsustainable wage increases, physicians will benefit from a free education and paid living expenses from their freshman year at university to their final year of residency, $0.00 in student loan debt, $0.00 in annual interests charges. If they meet the academic and show promise, why should they worry about finances during a stressful training program that leads to competent health care practitioners that benefit society?