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Single Payer System

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 21, 1993
In Sara Fritz's article on health care reform (Sept. 6) she refers to "a Canadian-style system of socialized medicine." In point of fact, Canada does not have socialized medicine. What they have is a national health insurance plan. Canada has more doctors working on a fee-for-service basis than the U.S. does, proportionately. While it is true that physician fees in Canada are constrained by limits negotiated between physician groups and the government, this hardly constitutes socialized medicine.
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BUSINESS
March 12, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
A U.S. politician's I-don't-need-no-stinkin'-facts approach to health policy ran smack into some of those troublesome facts Tuesday at a Senate hearing on single-payer healthcare , as it's practiced in Canada and several other countries. The countries in question have successful and popular government-sponsored single-payer systems, provide universal coverage and match or outdo the United States on numerous measures of medical outcomes -- for far less money than the U.S. spends.
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BUSINESS
September 10, 2013 | Michael Hiltzik
With the Oct. 1 rollout of a major facet of the Affordable Care Act on the horizon, you'll be hearing a lot about the glitches, loopholes and shortcomings of this most important restructuring of America's healthcare system in our lifetimes. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind: First, the vast majority of these issues result from one crucial compromise made in the drafting of the 2010 law, ostensibly to ease its passage through Congress. That was to leave the system in the hands of private health insurance companies.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 30, 2013 | Robin Abcarian
Maybe too much sex has addled Suzanne Somers' brain. In a much-mocked essay published by the Wall Street Journal on Monday, the 67-year-old self-help author and  star of the 1970s TV show “Three's Company” held forth on what she believes are the evils of Obamacare and the terrible effects it will have on retirees. She didn't really use facts, as such, or even logic, as such. Instead, using personal anecdotes about relatives and friends in Canada, a misremembered newsmagazine headline and apparently fabricated quotes by Stalin and Churchill, she maintained that Obamacare is a “socialist Ponzi scheme.” Here's a bit of what she wrote: “Affordable care will allow for preexisting conditions.
NEWS
October 27, 1994 | DOUGLAS P. SHUIT, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Proposition 186, the sweeping proposal to overhaul the health insurance system on the Nov. 8 ballot, would add a huge burden to the state budget--$72 billion more than now being projected--over its first five years, according to a study released Wednesday. As a result, the study said, the mammoth tax bite called for by the single-payer initiative could grow even larger than its supporters have calculated, amounts already in the tens of billions of dollars.
OPINION
October 15, 2013 | By Jane Mansbridge
Two different narratives have been at play in Washington lately to explain what caused the government shutdown. In the first, House Republicans are to blame for trying to hold Democrats and the president hostage over a law that was duly passed by Congress. In the other, Democrats are to blame for their rigid refusal to compromise on Obamacare. But there's a part of the story that seemingly has been lost in history: Democrats have already compromised on healthcare reform by adopting Obama/RomneyCare in the first place.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 5, 1994
Political cartoonist Paul Conrad's image in today's Times (Commentary, Sept. 27) begs for clarification. Conrad, it wasn't Sen. Bob Dole who killed the Clinton health plan. It was the Clinton health plan that killed the Clinton health plan. And it happened all over America, not Amerika. CAROLINE CLARK Laguna Niguel Re all the congressional "kidney brains" in Washington who "filibustered" or "trashed" health-care reform for their own agenda, I hope their constituency "trashes" them in upcoming elections.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 12, 2000
Re "Health Care: Be Ambitious," editorial, Oct. 8: The only reasonable approach to the reform of health care financing is to institute a single-payer system with universal coverage. Guaranteed coverage for all, not just seniors and children, is the only moral choice. Ironically, a single-payer system would also be more cost-effective than the piecemeal approach in place now. The only loser with government-run universal coverage would be the insurance companies, and that is why reform will not happen until we find leaders with the courage to take on this parasitic industry.
OPINION
October 14, 2004
In its Oct. 9 editorial ("No on Healthcare 'Remedy' "), The Times gives contradictory reasons for opposing Proposition 72: first, that the measure does so much that it would damage the state economy; and second, that the measure does so little that we should reject it and wait for a bigger reform. Denying workers basic health insurance encourages them to defer medical care until conditions become critical. Deferred medical care poses risks for the spread of disease and maximizes costs by focusing on more expensive treatment instead of less expensive prevention.
OPINION
May 5, 2006
Re "An insurance role model for California," Opinion, April 29 It's nice that Blue Shield of California Chief Executive Bruce G. Bodaken recognizes that our healthcare system is in a crisis. But it's only natural that he would favor a solution that would keep his for-profit corporation in the loop. The hodgepodge that Massachusetts came up with does next to nothing to control spiraling healthcare costs. What California needs is what all civilized countries have: a single-payer system with all of us in one big risk pool, as put forth in state Sen. Sheila Kuehl's (D-Santa Monica)
OPINION
October 17, 2013
Re "A history lesson for the GOP," Opinion, Oct. 15 Jane Mansbridge's article should be cast in stone and delivered to every member of Congress and to the president. Mansbridge reminds us that the Democrats already gave huge concessions to the conservatives on the Affordable Care Act by giving up the publicly popular single-payer (expanded Medicare) option. The president and the Democrats have also caved in to the deficit hawks over the last three years by cutting nearly $4 trillion out of the budget.
OPINION
October 15, 2013 | By Jane Mansbridge
Two different narratives have been at play in Washington lately to explain what caused the government shutdown. In the first, House Republicans are to blame for trying to hold Democrats and the president hostage over a law that was duly passed by Congress. In the other, Democrats are to blame for their rigid refusal to compromise on Obamacare. But there's a part of the story that seemingly has been lost in history: Democrats have already compromised on healthcare reform by adopting Obama/RomneyCare in the first place.
BUSINESS
September 10, 2013 | Michael Hiltzik
With the Oct. 1 rollout of a major facet of the Affordable Care Act on the horizon, you'll be hearing a lot about the glitches, loopholes and shortcomings of this most important restructuring of America's healthcare system in our lifetimes. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind: First, the vast majority of these issues result from one crucial compromise made in the drafting of the 2010 law, ostensibly to ease its passage through Congress. That was to leave the system in the hands of private health insurance companies.
OPINION
June 28, 2013
Re "After a healthcare ordeal, man gets a bill from the blue," Column, June 25 David Lazarus gives us another example of the wildly unpredictable billing in our healthcare system. Why a minor injury (no blood or broken bones) should incur a bill totaling about $40,000 (with some of it coming unexpectedly 21 months later) is beyond comprehension. This is largely because of the insurance industry inserting itself between doctors and patients and skimming some benefits from both sides.
OPINION
January 9, 2013
Re "Another surgery - while knee-deep in the red tape," Column, Jan. 6 Steve Lopez asks, "Can't we switch to a healthcare system instead of a paper-shuffling, profit-driven, CEO-bonus-building system?" Great question. There are dozens of for-profit health insurance companies astride the U.S. healthcare "system. " Besides profits for their owners, their premiums must pay for exorbitant executive salaries and benefits, lobbyists in Washington, political contributions, marketing programs, lawyers and lawsuits, redundant computer systems and staffs trained to deny claims.
OPINION
December 13, 2012
Re "The beloved budget buster," Editorial, Dec. 9 Your editorial on Medicare correctly identified novel procedures as one of the drivers of rising medical costs. It prescribed better comparisons of the cost-effectiveness of treatments as an essential part of the cure. The Tufts Cost Effectiveness Analysis Registry, the premier compiler of cost-effectiveness research, gives a further reason for optimism. Its data reveal that one-fifth of novel treatments result in better health and lower costs.
BUSINESS
May 25, 2012 | David Lazarus
Universal coverage, Medicare for all, single payer - call it what you will. It's clear that conservative forces are determined to prevent such a system from ever being introduced at the national level. So it's up to the states. The catch is that to make universal coverage work at the state level, you'd need some way to channel Medicare, Medicaid and other federal healthcare funds into the system. At the moment, that's difficult if not impossible. But legislation quietly being drafted by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.)
OPINION
March 19, 2012
Signs of life Re " Ancient symbols speak to prisoner ," Column One, March 14 Having read a number of letters over time from Timothy Fenstermacher in the Biblical Archaeology Review, it was a genuine pleasure to "meet" him through the article in The Times. I wish him well - he is an inspiration to those who want to turn their lives around but don't know where to start. As a teacher, it reinforces the message I try to give my students: Education is the key, not necessarily to riches but to success.
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