Friday, September 27, 2013

Fwd: qotd: Peter Morici on an American National Health Service

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-------- Original Message --------
Subject: qotd: Peter Morici on an American National Health Service
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2013 12:22:39 -0700
From: Don McCanne <>
To: Quote-of-the-Day <>

September 27, 2013
First Obamacare, Then a Single Payer System
By Peter Morici

Republicans must live with Obamacare. They have few prospects for
electing 60 senators needed to repeal the law, and unless they work to
make it more palatable — something they have few ideas to accomplish —
the nation is headed for socialized medicine.

The burden to find solutions will take congress to places that
Republicans are very reluctant to go.

The German and other European systems accomplish lower costs and
universal coverage by imposing tight controls on prices for services,
drugs, and devices. Britain's National Health Service doesn't bother
with insurance companies and claims forms — by eliminating insurance
company overhead it accomplishes much lower costs than even the German

Even before Obamacare, federal and state governments, through Medicare,
Medicaid, and other programs, paid more than 50 percent of U.S. health
care bills. That was more than the 9 percent of GDP, and the amount
Britain spends to accomplish universal coverage — without the additional
$4,600 per person American businesses and individuals pony up.

Reducing U.S. doctors fees and drug and device prices down to German
levels won't be easy or likely possible, but politicians, providers, and
businesses still providing health insurance will need a solution —
likely a scapegoat.

Enter the insurance companies that have been screwing down doctor's
fees, hassling everyone with mindless paperwork, and paying executives
like royalty.

The federal government could probably pay doctors, drug companies, and
device manufactures pretty reasonably directly, and without the
insurance company middlemen, through an American National Health Service.

(Peter Morici is an economist and professor at the Smith School of
Business, University of Maryland, and a widely published columnist.)

Comment: Professor Peter Morici, an expert on international trade, is
known for holding no punches. Here he suggests that Republican
intransigence could lead us to an American National Health Service -
true socialized medicine.

In the full article, available at the link above, he explains why
Obamacare is unsatisfactory, likely with the intent of cajoling
Republicans into working with Democrats to improve it. He seems to be
using the prospect of a national health service as a threat to
Republicans as to what could happen if they failed to cooperate. In
doing so, he does present some very persuasive arguments for making the

Maybe he's serious. He does make private insurance companies the
scapegoat. Get rid of them and then what options do we really have?

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