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Obama's Claim about Single Payer Health Care

Barack Obama: "I NEVER said that we should try to go ahead and get single-payer..."

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Comments (6)

Steve Crickmore:

Lee..I don't see the contradiction. Many Democrat leaders have said that if they could do it over again, they would go with the single payer plan.(If they didn't they should have). It is simple and elegant, and the overhead is minimal..When I'm back in Canada and I can go to any doctor or clinic or hospital or world -class specialist I feel like and if I talked about payment plans or tried to pay them after being treated, I might be arrested, for trying to bribe a doctor. I have never had a problem with waits. I understand this is a problem, but I've never experienced them or known anyone who has. And the proof is in the pudding.. Canadians, statistic wise are much healthier than Americans.

A 2003 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that the average overhead of U.S. insurance companies is 11.7 percent, compared with 3.6 percent for Medicare and 1.3 percent for Canada's national health insurance program. And the waits in Canada are a result of Canada's low level of health spending - on a per capita basis, about half that in the United States. The efficiency of Canada's national health insurance program coupled with our current high level of health funding would yield the world's best health care system.

Americans can't start from scratch due to historic ideological reasons and because the US has a multi billion dollar private rather inefficient health care insurance business that consists of filling up endless paper work that the Canadian single payer system simply doesn't require. Everyone in Canada has the right for their kids to be treated to free health care as they would for any other public service: public schools, police, trash collection, etc.That what Canadians pay their taxes for. In Canada, there is the additional advantage that there is no resentment to the poor getting free treatment at emergency wards or on government assistance programs, or exploiting the system since everyone is treated equally.. Obama should be given praise not criticism for stating the obvious, even if someone like self styled progressive Hillary with strong financial ties to the health insurance industry, seems miffed that Obama might envy the single payer system.

Lee Ward:

Whether Obama is for single-payer or against it matters less than the fact that he stood there and lied in a national debate.

He'll look like a major league jackass pulling a boner like that in a national debate against a GOP opponent.

Barack didn't do too well under pressure here. Why he choose to lie here -- you'd have to ask him. I haven't a clue why he'd deny being in favor of a single-payer system. You'd think he's be eager to defend his position, not run from it.

Or maybe he just didn't know his position -- a lot of people find themselves unable to figure out Obama's position on issues, maybe he's one of them.

Steve Crickmore:

Lee, I could say Clinton is distorting the truth when she says "Obama opposes a single payer system"...He supports the idea but obviously there is strong resistance to it in the US. Even the Canadian single payer -medicare first tried in 1962 in Saskatchewan met strong resistance from the doctors, required strong political leadership but it soon proved very popular and quickly spread to every province and then was incorporated as a shared plan provincial- federal financing plan by the Pearson Liberal government, a few years later.

I think Obama has been fairly consistent on his statements through the years, on single payer, but it's not something you ago can just go ahead and do, given the current American climate and legacies as Obama says...Anyway, here is Hillary's take on the single payer system for what it's worth ...a little harsher as her wont than Obama's, albeit this is a very left source. she seems more willing to yield to corporate pressure than for instance Obama. Is that considered a strength I don't know? From the Dissident Voice.

"Himmelstein's studies, published in The New England Journal of Medicine since 1986, show that the U.S. could save as much as $67 billion in administrative costs alone by cutting out the 1,500 private insurers and going to a single government insurer in each state-easily enough to pay to cover every uninsured American," read the article.

"Hillary Clinton had heard it all before. How, she asked Himmelstein, do you defeat the multibillion-dollar insurance industry? 'With presidential leadership and polls showing that 70 percent of Americans favor [the features of] a single-payer system,' Himmelstein recalls telling Mrs. Clinton.

"The First Lady replied: 'Tell me something interesting, David.'"

Single-payer didn't stand a chance. Instead, the Clinton administration focused on a corporate-friendly "universal" health care plan.

Lee Ward:

"Lee, I could say Clinton is distorting the truth when she says "Obama opposes a single payer system".

She hasn't to my knowledge said Obama opposes a single payer system. Clinton's claim is that Obama supported a single payer system, and now says he never did.

So where did you get this Clinton quote (you put in quotes anyway)?

This from the debate transcript (about halfway down the page):

CLINTON: As time went on, the last four or so years, he said he was for single payer in principle, then he was for universal health care. And then his policy is not, it is not universal. And this is kind of like the present vote thing, because the Chicago Tribune, his hometown paper, said that all of those present votes was taking a pass. It was for political reasons.

Well, when you come up with a universal health care plan and you don't have any wiggle room left, you know that you're going to draw a lot of political heat. I am not running for president to put Band- Aids on our problems. I want to get to universal health care for every single American.

By the way, Obama's health care plan is not universal. His plan leaves 16 million out of our estimated 45 million uninsured without health care. It's not progressive at all, again - aimed at satisfying the moderates.

And single-payer health care is big government health care -- an unpopular idea this week, especially with the moderate voters Barack hopes to pull in -- which is why Barack is now running away from the idea that he was supporting in that AFL-CIO talk captured in the video clip on this post.

Barack promised the AFL-CIO back in 2003 that he supported single payer health care, and now he's claiming he never said that - but there is the evidence in that clip.

Shades of John Kerry flip-flops... is this why John Kerry endorsed Obama?

Steve Crickmore:

Lee, in fact checking the fact checker, I realize that the fact checker was wrong. It took too much liberty with what Hillary really said and it's summation that she said "he opposes the single payer system" under the heading 'rhetoric' was not accurate.

As for Obama's lack of universal health care coverage Obama says for those uninusred who can afford to pay, a plan will be provided at a reasonable cost...If they refuse to buy the plan and have an income above the poverty level income, unlike Hillary he won't mandate that they must take the plan.. Because he doesn't like mandating adults that they must get a plan for themselves. If they refuse to pay for a plan, we are not sure what will happen, as is occurring now in Massachusettes.

Here is an clear comparison of the two candidates plans in respect to universality... Both recieive 2 Pinocchios each for their candor on the subject.

The Pinocchio Test Neither Clinton nor Obama are being fully candid about the gaps in their health care proposals. Neither plan truly provides for "universal" coverage, although Clinton's proposal probably comes somewhat closer to reaching this goal than Obama's. (hers is costlier and she calls her plan 'universal coverage' ..he calls his 'universal access')..

Lee Ward:

And can you explain Obama's flip-flopping slipperiness on the question of a single payer system?

It's ok for him to say "I changed my mind" but at that point one of his big challenges to Clinton, that she has changed her mind at times, is weakened... so he just lies instead and said he never said he was in favor of a single-payer health care system?



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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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