Must-read links on health care reform

I don’t publish enough linkfests at Bleeding Heartland. Here are a few pieces that any Democrat should read before deciding to accept a health care reform compromise without a strong public option. The first three are personal stories.

A cardiologist recommended a nuclear stress test for this middle-aged man with a family history of fatal heart attacks. The scheduled test was canceled after the patient’s insurance company refused to cover it. Who’s getting between patients and their doctors again?

AdmiralNaismith explains how his wife’s embolism left his family “drowning in medical bills, despite insurance.”

Downtowner explains “How I lost my health insurance at the hairstylist’s” and how medical checks she needs are unaffordable now that she is uninsured.

These are not unique stories; thousands of insured Americans face these kinds of problems. It’s not at all rare for insurance companies to cancel the policies of customers who become seriously ill. Never let any Republican tell you that we have the best health care system in the world.

My last two links for today are “strategy” posts.

Ian Welsh discusses the economic and political consequences of passing an individual mandate to buy health insurance with no public option. Spoiler alert: they’re not good unless you think “a regressive tax which will rise faster than wages or inflation” is a political winner.

Bruh3 explains the crucial flaw in President Obama’s negotiating strategy on health care. No one believes he will walk away from the table, no matter how bad a bill Congress sends him.

The floor is yours.

  • From the Files...

    Of the “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” department,

    here’s the good ol’ Harry and Louise commercial for your younger readers from the ’93 “healthcare reform” debate.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…

    I had an interesting intimate conversation with Clinton’s DHHS Sec. Donna Shalala back then.

    Bottom line, to seriously put out a strong public option, beyond the bare minimum given as Title XX and XIX funding, would be political suicide.

    Clinton caved then, Obama caved this time.

    Big Pharma rules… Best question here. Why are prescription drugs so cheap in Canada?

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