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Keeping the Public Option Alive

It looks like President Obama has decided to try to save the public health-insurance option. I say great.

I'm more of a single-payer man myself -- and was disappointed to see venerable Congressman John Conyers back away from his previously staunch support of single payer -- but I still think a strong public option constitutes a real step in the right direction for health-care reform. Some estimates say that nearly 200,000 people in Detroit alone are without health care. Statewide, the number rises to about 750,000 people. Health-care reform here is critical to our future. A strong public option relieves the poor and the middle class of a huge financial burden, frees small businesses to pursue growth without the anxiety of how to provide health coverage for potential employees and means Detroiters and other Americans no longer have to worry about going broke if they get seriously ill.

And no, frankly, I don't care how much it costs to do this. We can't afford not to do it. We have no problem squandering billions, trillions even, to fight wars with countries that haven't done squat to us. So why carp about how many more cents on the dollar quality public health care means to the budget? I. Don't. Care.

But I do wonder what you think. Are you glad to see the President finally take this up, even via backroom negotiations? Is it too little, too late? Should we still be holding out for single payer?

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  • 1

    What does this have to do with Detroit, other than tossing in two random local shout-outs to justify you hopping on a left-wing soapbox about a national issue?

  • 3

    You say that you don't care what it costs to impliment a single-payer or public option, but wouldn't it be irresponsible not to discuss those costs and perhaps consider other alternatives? We live in a country with trillions of dollars in debt and a budget deficit of over one trillion dollars. I don't believe that we can any sort of rational discussion without the issue of cost coming into the picture, because someone will have to pay eventually.

    Secondly, you state that 200,000/750,000 in Detroit/Michigan are without health care. You don't clearly state it, but I assume that you mean that these people are not on a managed health care plan. Why is it that not having a plan means that you don't have access to health care? To put it another way, I frequently hear people say that health care is too expensive, but I rarely hear anyone ask what drives the costs to the levels that they are currently at.

    Finally, you want to see that everyone has access to health care, and that is something I strongly agree with. However, when we say that, what do we mean? Do we mean that we want to see that everyone is able to afford to visit a physican and get basic medical treatment and perscriptions or do we want to provide everyone access to the best specialists and treatments that money can buy? A visit to a clinic and some antibiotics are very different from organ transplants and cancer treatment. Where do we draw the line between what is basic and what isn't?

  • 4

    [...] be the biggest concerns of poor and working-class Detroiters. No, I wasn't crazy about his apparent move away from supporting single-payer health care, but he's definitely won me back over by going at Obama with both guns blazing as he has urged the [...]

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