BlogHer teams with Sunlight to get healthcare facts out

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blogherThis week BlogHer.com, one of the top women’s online networks, is running a special series, “Beyond Mudslinging.” Blogher is inviting women who blog to come discuss the facts about health care reform, using OpenCongress.org and other Sunlight tools to get the facts behind the rhetoric.

“[We want to] try to move the conversation beyond partisan mud-slinging into a civil debate (or even just a civil disagreement) about the future of health care policy in the United States,” writes BlogHer co-founder Lisa Stone in her inaugural post,  “As spin zones have become increasingly spittle-flecked, many voters — women in particular — are losing patience with drama and losing trust in the players. We want to talk policy.”

As part of the series I will be blogging over at BlogHer throughout the week. Here’s my first post, on how to use OpenCongress.org to read the bill. (Did you know that the word “women” is mentioned just eight times in the entire House version of the health care reform bill, which runs more than more than 158,800 words?)

We’re excited about this partnership looking forward to seeing what the BlogHer bloggers contribute to the health care debate.

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  • The “public option” is farce. If such a bill passes, it will have been written by the HMO, hospital and pharmaceutical lobbyists. It will become the dumping ground for high-risk/cost insured, and will cost as much if not more than private insurance and fail, putting back real healthcare reform for decades more.

    Keep it simple.

    We need one goal, a single-payer system. We will need to phase it in over 10 or 15 years. The simpliest method would be to be to drop the eligibility requirements for Medicaire a few years, every year, until everyone is covered under a Universal, single-payer plan.

    Clinics for elective surgery? Why not. For-profit clinics? Why not, however there is no opting out of the Universal Healthcare system.

    A Sounder Economy and a Healthier Nation

    We pay 70 percent more than the rest of the industrialized world for our healthcare per capita–about 17% of our Gross Domestic Product, and we don’t insure everyone. If everyone were covered here under the current insurance system, the cost could be double what other civilized nations pay, about 20% GNP. These monies could be better spent in our economy.

    The current healthcare system also doesn’t benefit Main Street or the growth of small business and entrepenuership. Many small business owners must forgo insurance for themselves or their employees, rather than put this money toward growth and higher wages.

    Insureds are paying the cost

    The same people who have insurance, but don’t want to see a nationalized health system, are the ones footing the bill for all those without insurance. When people who don’t have insurance don’t get timely treatment orthey are injured, they end up in an emergency room and insureds pay for it. If they don’t, then those insureds as taxpayers are paying for it.

    A significant share of insureds’ premiums don’t go for healthcare. Their premiums are paying the ten’s of millions of dollars that are flowing into Washington, D.C. right now to influence Congress. These premiums have been paying billions of dollars every year to HMO executives. — Two years ago, the CEO of United Health Group tried to pay himself $1.6 Billion with the stock options his board awarded him. Kaiser Permamente’s CEO was making over $250 million in compensation annually over ten years ago.

    The greed and cruelty of the current health insurance system must end. Cruel? Yes, when people are denied claims or sent into bankruptcy because their “coverage” didn’t cover, is cruel. The system is even crueler to those millions Americans without insurance not making a living wage and cost of insurance is out of reach.

    Please write your Congressman and ask for a plan for single payer, or nothing.

  • The whole notion that a “public option” is a socialist government takeover of our Health Care System is beyond ludicrous. A government takeover of the health care system (socialism according to opponents of reform) would be similar to what they have in Great Britian–government owned hospitals, practioners offices, etc. and the government is the employer of record. This is NOTHING like what is being proposed in HR 3200. Let’s get real here.