Enough is Enough

When is Humanity Going to Get That We’re All in This Together?

Dennis Kucinich’s Health Care Plan

Posted by honestpoet on January 16, 2008

I think health care ought to be one of the major issues in the election, and Kucinich seems to have some good ideas. Here’s an excerpt from this article in the Atlanta Progressive News that gives the details.

KUCINICH: SINGLE-PAYER UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE PLAN

“When people tell me that national health insurance is the right answer but is not politically feasible, I tell them that the opposite is true,” Kucinich wrote in a statement on healthcare-now.org. “Passage is inevitable – it is only a matter of time.”

Kucinich is also for the second year now a co-sponsor of HR 676 in Congress, a bill sponsored by US Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), to enact single-payer universal health care nationwide. The bill number is the same in the 110th Session as it was in the 109th.

The bill had 79 total cosponsors but failed to get out of Committee in the 109th Session, with new cosponsors joining on each month. Georgia’s US Reps. Sanford Bishop (D-GA) [a centrist], John Lewis (D-GA), and Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) were all co-sponsors.

Here’s how HR 676 works: The bill would expand the existing Medicare program so that every person living in the United States and U.S. territories could receive publicly financed, privately delivered health care. Each person would receive a United States National Health Insurance Card with ID number.

Services include inpatient and outpatient care, emergency care, prescription drugs, durable medical equipment, long-term care, mental health services, dentistry, eye care, chiropractic, and substance abuse treatment.

Under this act, there will be no co-pays or deductibles. Everyone has their choice of physicians, providers, hospitals, clinics, and practices.

To fund the system, the act would repeal the Bush tax cuts for the highest income earners and establish a 5 percent health tax on the top 5 percent of income earners, a 10 percent tax on the top 1 percent of income earners, and a one-third of 1 percent transaction tax.

There would also be an employer and employee payroll tax of 4.75. Federal and state funding rates for existing health programs would remain unchanged.

“If you leave the halls of Congress, go to a barbershop or a bus station, everyone has a horror story,” Joel Segal, Senior Legislative Assistant to Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), said of the current health care system.

“Universal health care is inevitable,” Segal added.

“A majority of people in this country are not benefitting from the current system,” Rita Valenti, an Atlanta resident who has advocated for single-payer health care for two decades, said.

“People are so embarrassed when they get used by insurance companies,” Margie Rece, a mental health nurse who also advocates for a single-payer health care system, told APN.

Of course, Maj, in the health care industry as he is, doesn’t think anyone’s plans really deal with the reality of the situation. He believes that the president can’t really fix that problem, but only has power to take us into war (or not). In which care Kucinich is also the best choice, because he clearly is the one least likely to do so.

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10 Responses to “Dennis Kucinich’s Health Care Plan”

  1. cpacek said

    I 100% disagree with Kucinich’s plan. I am just sick of hearing what the government wants to give away. No wonder we are becoming a weak society. Everyone wants a handout instead of a hand up! Allow people to keep more of their money and stop taxing the rich so that they don’t want to be rich. If it was not for people who are rich then a lot of us would not have jobs. Stop taking their incentive away. With health care I personally do not want to pay for someone who is not interested in taking care of themselves. If you want to be a drug addict fine I just don’t want to enable you to do it. If you want to weigh 500 lbs. fine, I don’t want to pay for your chronic health problems, I smoke that is my choice and no one should have to pay for my cancer treatments if and when I get cancer. I certainly do not want to pay for some girls abortion when fathers rights are being taken away left and right. Lets get rid of the taxes and business will bring about their own insurance benefits. And people will also be able to afford it on their own. It is not the health system that is 100% to blame. Let’s look at the HMOs they are the ones who are making the decisions on what they will and won’t pay for. Also before jumping without looking into socialized health care lets really look at those countries who have it and not just take Micheal Moore’s word for it. Let’s check out a VA hospital and determine if the soldiers and getting the treatment and care they deserve before we want this for the rest of us. Remember the scariest words ever spoken “Hi we are here from the government and we are here to help!”

  2. honestpoet said

    LOL! No, the government isn’t exactly famous for its efficiency.

    And I agree that people need to be more responsible for their own health, but at the same time I think it’s a hallmark of a compassionate society to take care of its members. Education and perhaps some incentive for non-use of medical benefits would be better than leaving people unable to afford to get health care. The truth is that anyone who wants free health care can get it now, but from clogged state hospitals only, or from emergency rooms at hospitals that get stuck with the bill and pass the costs on to paying customers. Is that fair or better?

    And it’s just plain moronic to say that some people don’t want to be rich because of the tax burden. Egads. They have plenty left over. Have you ever dealt with poverty? Have you ever helped someone with even a hand up and gotten a good look at someone dealing with poverty?

    In the end, a healthy citizenry is a productive citizenry, which means more money for everyone. Also, untreated mentally ill people do very bad things (seen the news lately?). Untreated physically sick people can act as disease vectors. We need to solve the health care crisis for the same reason we have public sanitation. You may not care if your neighbor keeps a messy house, but if the mess spills out into the yard, or they dump sewage in the river you use, you’re going to learn to care.

  3. Monte said

    Good points, HP. I was pleased to offer a platform resolution at my precinct caucus in support of HR 676.

    Cpacek: And I assume you don’t want to pay for the Mom who’s been dumped from her insurance because she has had breast cancer, and now can’t get it at any price? Or the GM guy on disability whose benefits have recently been cut? These are the people your approach shuts out.

    Please do examine the records of countries with single-payer healthcare programs. The USA ranks below thirty-seven of them in quality and doubles most of them in cost per capita, according to the World Health Organization.

    What’s it like to live with these plans? Read up at Be Amazed: a personal story from western Europe about healthcare. Would you be spending more to care for deadbeats? Check out Jane Bryant Quinn: Yes, we can all be insured.

    Get the facts, friend – they’re not what we’ve thought – not at all!

  4. honestpoet said

    Thanks, friend. You know, we hear all the time that American medicine is the best in the world. I guess many don’t realize that’s just marketing!

  5. (S)wine said

    I think it’s pretty naive to think the “rich” will “want to stop being rich” if less taxes are levied. Besides, NOTHING is really a hand-out, considering how much taxes we pay (about 35%) and how little…uh, nothing we get in return. Fiscal responsibility, especially in this admin. has gone down the toilet. The problem is, healthcare is ALWAYS an issue with all these bozos…and they’re all bozos. Nothing good ever gets passed. Everything good always is promised. By the way, I wonder if Kucinich was there to catch the UFO over Texas the other day. Mhm.

  6. honestpoet said

    I’m afraid I don’t know what UFO you mean.

    No, he was saying they’d want to stop being rich if MORE taxes are levied. As if.

    And my family pays in the top bracket, much more than the wealthy ever pay, which I wouldn’t mind if it actually went to helping people, but to pay almost half our income, which my husband works very hard for, to a government that uses it to drop bombs on brown people, really peeves me.

  7. cpacek said

    From what I have read most of you took the time to state your point of view and I appreciate that. It is ok to disagree but as long as we can have a discussion without name calling I am willing to listen to your point of view. All of you brought up some good pints that I am willing to ponder. I still don’t think I believe in a national health care policy. But THANK YOU for your input I will think about it.

  8. […] Stephanie Mencimer wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptKUCINICH: SINGLE-PAYER UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE PLAN. “When people tell me that national health insurance is the right answer but is not politically feasible, I tell them that the opposite is true,” Kucinich wrote in a statement on … […]

  9. honestpoet said

    Good for you, C., for being open minded! Never forget, when dealing with topics like this, that there is a very good chance that the opinion you hold has been at least partly formed by misinformation put out by people with special interests.

  10. Good info. and reading. I would definitely bookmark you to check for new updates.
    Thanks,
    Dean

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