PDHblog This is a place for members of Progressive Democrats of Hawai‘i to express their thoughts, hopes and exasperations about political happenings.

June 22, 2009

Support Booming for ‘Public Option’

Filed under: National Politics,SHAPES platform — frosty @ 8:59 pm

in a recent new york times/cbs news poll, reuteres reports, 85% of respondents

wanted major healthcare reforms and most would be willing to pay higher taxes to ensure everyone had health insurance.

this is HUGE. most people usually respond to the notion of higher taxes with some level of annoyance or anger. but in this case, the opposite seems to be the case. while i don’t know that we have obama to thank for the results of this poll, though. instead, i think people understand, as some fundamental level, that real and major changes are need to fix our health care system.

and while this 85% is pretty incredible in its own right, 72% said they supported government-administered insurance. now, those 72% supported this option to be competitive with private insurance companies.

while this isn’t the single-payer solution so many of us insist is necessary it’s, in my opinion, just a step away. an argument could certainly be made that that step is actually a very big one, but i don’t think so. if people already understand the fundamental need for a public-option, i think many, if not all, could be persuaded to support single-payer.

in fact, i’ve laid out a good argument picking apart the other options currently being floated, including obama’s public option, in support of single-payer. check it out.

this poll is a great sign, i think, that the public is ripe to become a tsunami of support for single-payer. now all we need to do is make it happen.


  1. Firstly, my friend, the New York Times is well-known to be a notorious liberal rage that is not read by the middle/right of the political spectrum. Like they say, you get what you put in. Sxxt in = Sxxt out. So when you state, “…most would be willing to pay higher taxes to ensure everyone had health insurance” that’s because the majority of those who took the poll know that THEY won’t be having THEIR taxes raised to pay for something they’re already paying for. Typical liberal philosophy: use other people’s money to accomplish your goals. Well, guess what? When Obama made his campaign promise saying that he would raise taxes on only the top 5% of taxpayers, being naïve, inexperienced, and financially mis-informed by his rabidly liberal advisors, he made an error. The top 5% don’t have enough money to do all of what he wants to do. As a result, it will be the middle class whose pocket he’ll be reaching into to pay for things like universal health care combined with a mandated lowering of healthcare quality and delivery. That’s the math and math isn’t something you can argue about. It’s a fact.

    Comment by Manawai — June 23, 2009 @ 8:48 am

  2. Firstly, despite your declaration that the New York Times is a ‘liberal rag,’ it is one of the most widely read newspapers in the country, both in print and on the web. It is a good source of news. What’s more, the poll in question is a NYT/CBS News poll. Will you make the same claim about CBS News as you do about NYT?

    By some accounts a single-payer system of health care would cost taxpayers (all taxpayers, not just the rich) 3.5% of their income. This rate would be much lower for most people than what they’re paying now for health care. So, a single-payer system would lower cost for everyone and would cover everyone.

    It seems to me, you’re inclined to allow the current broken system of health care to continue to bankrupt the very same middle-class you seem to be so concerned about. We need a new system of health care that doesn’t include the private insurance system that has caused much, if not all, of the problems we’re currently experiencing. Experience both here and abroad has proven that our private insurance system, or even hybrid systems, simply don’t work.

    We need a revolutionary change in our system, and we must be willing to pay for it. What’s more, its simply nothing more than rhetoric that a single-payer system would lower the quality of care. We currently waste hundreds of billions of dollars annually in our current private insurance system, which spends money on high executive salaries, advertising, avoiding paying claims, etc., while still not covering everyone. By contrast, a single-payer system would have administrative costs at about 3%.

    Comment by frosty — June 23, 2009 @ 2:40 pm

  3. “Will you make the same claim about CBS News as you do about NYT?” Most definitely!

    I’m middle class and I like my health plans just fine. And I pay for them…every penny. However, I won’t like paying for mine AND yours just because you want me to. Here’s a perfect example: I saw a TV report the other day by a woman who makes documentaries for a marginal living. She doesn’t have health insurance but knows she should and welcomes a universal plan. She welcomes it because she chooses to work in a business that is low paying and therefore spends her money elsewhere rather than taking responsibility for herself. Why should I have to pay for her because she CHOOSES to work intermittently being an “artist”? She’s healthy, educated and can be responsible for her own expenses except that she chooses not to and wants others to carry her. This is so typical of you liberals. You think it’s a right to force others to fund your marginally productive lifestyles. If you were disabled that would be a different story. That’s what welfare is for and the medical services that welfare recipients get for free. I already pay for that. It’s carrying selfish twits that I object to who say “we must be willing to pay” when they really mean “someone else other than themselves must be willing to pay.”

    I love it when you say “by some accounts”. That’s a typical misleading tactic; sighting unknown and unverifiable sources as a reference. One can always find someone to say something to support an argument. And just because a newspaper is “widely read” doesn’t mean it isn’t liberally biased. Try some better logic OK?

    What are you, 12? If you think universal healthcare is going to be lower cost, you are totally oblivious. You have no clue about the real world. It will only be lower cost if it delivers a lower level of services. Government is the most inefficient organism because it doesn’t have to compete with anybody. That’s why governments if unhampered by public worker unions farm out their work to private business that gets it done for less cost. Government workers are the least productive because they don’t need to be. Once hired, they’ve got jobs for life. Unproductive government workers just get worked around and supported by other unproductive co-workers who won’t work efficiently either because nobody else does so why should they? And a projected “3% overhead” is the most inane statement of them all. Show me the proof of that! But you have none! Pure speculation. You simply mouth the unfounded rhetoric of others. Say it often enough and idiots like you believe it, because you WANT to believe it. You say that private insurers waste all sorts of money in advertising, exec salaries, etc. BS! HMSA’s overhead only runs 6.3%. That seems pretty good to me when it guarantees I can choose my own doctors unlike a government mandated plan would offer. Government’s overhead will be much more because they’ll hire way more people than they need because each union worker is less productive than their private counterpart and we all know that in government, worker wages are 70+% of the cost. Government will try to offset their inefficiency by forcing doctors and hospials to charge less which will in turn reduce the quality of care. Effectively, government single-payer plans equal lower quality medicine. It’s the math buddy!

    Pray tell how the current system is “broken” as you say. It’s only “broken” in your opinion because you’re not being carried by someone else. Go back and live with your parents if you’re not already there. It’s people like you who probably went out, had a couple bastard children then your boyfriend got tired of you and now you what other people to support you for choices YOU made to live the lifestyle of a tramp. It’s amazing how close the liberal mentality is to that of trailer trash. If you’re a male…then get a real job and some responsibility. If you have to work two or three jobs to live here, then quit whining and go do it and take some pride in yourself.

    Comment by Manawai — June 24, 2009 @ 12:20 am

  4. The Garden Island
    Published: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 2:10 AM HST

    Truth about health care

    The truth about health care is that about 45.7 million people in America did not have health insurance.

    Of that total, 9.7 million of them are illegal immigrants, 14 million of the uninsured are already eligible for existing government programs like Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP or veterans’ benefits, and 9.1 million can afford private insurance, but chose not to purchase any because they are young and in good health.

    That leaves 12.9 million Americans who actually cannot afford health insurance. So why are we even considering spending well over a trillion dollars on a government intervention into a system that serves over 200 million Americans satisfactorily in order to accommodate less than 13 million?

    It’s because so-called “progressives” know that the more the government provides for people, the more power the government has on making decisions for the people. America became a great nation by following the exact opposite philosophy. If we don’t want to lose the prosperity and freedoms responsible Americans have enjoyed for over 200 years, we need to stop this power grab.

    We should instead preserve the free-market system and focus on keeping costs down through competition (requiring that we keep the government out of the health insurance business), technology, and tort reform (which need to be done by the individual States and not the Federal Government since most malpractice suits are filed in state courts).

    We absolutely do not need another Federal bureaucracy that costs our children and grandchildren their freedom, prosperity and best health care system in the world. We absolutely do not need another Federal bureaucracy that costs our children and grandchildren their freedom, prosperity and best health care system in the world.

    Craig De Costa, Lihu‘e

    Comment by Manawai — June 24, 2009 @ 7:20 am

  5. The above from the Garden Island today. While it is not from the liberal groups that you choose to site, it does make some points about those who are not covered that I’d like to see you dispute with facts. Ciao!

    Comment by Manawai — June 24, 2009 @ 7:26 am

  6. frosty said, “I’m lucky enough to work for an employer who pays for my health insurance. In fact, I’m lucky enough to live in the only state in the nation that requires employers to pay for at least a portion of the health insurance for their full-time employees.”

    Ahhh… frosty my boy….the check for your health premiums may come from your employer (whom I assume is the State of Hawaii) but it is in fact paid by you. Compare your salary to that of your comparable mainland counterparts and see how much lower your salary is. You’re ARE paying for it.

    Comment by Manawai — June 24, 2009 @ 8:36 am

  7. Manawai– Just because you are a conservative troll doesn’t mean you have to be an asshole. Cut it with the name calling, or I will be tempted to moderate you.

    Comment by rachel — June 24, 2009 @ 9:30 am

  8. To “moderate” is to stifle free and open communication by eliminating that which you don’t wish to hear. But hey, it’s your blog so you can do whatever you choose! Aloha no! BTW – I’m not a conservative. I’m a pragmatic centrist. I once was a Republican until I realized that they no longer represented my beliefs. I support a number of issues furthered by the Dems and fought against by the Repubs. But neither party accurately represents my views and I will criticize both parties for stances that I feel are wrong. I apologize if I don’t fit your mold but that’s reality. In fact, the Hawaii Dems harbor some politicians who might otherwise be Republican if the Hawaii party were not such a joke. Being pragmatic and wanting to get elected, they run as Democrats. Nationally, the DNC also has numerous non-liberal politicians. So even trying to pigeonhole a Democrat is difficult. Pigeonholing is just another form of prejudice. Aloha!

    Comment by Manawai — June 24, 2009 @ 12:09 pm

  9. For your edification, here’s a letter sent into the Garden Island News on June 23rd which has valuable insight into government run universal healthcare.

    claire wrote on Jun 23, 2009 1:19 AM:

    ” I was born and raised in Canada. Lived there all my life until five years ago I relocated to Hawaii to live out my golden years in warmth and sunshine.

    I am a retired RN, and I can tell you that Canadian Health care is a mess. No we don’t have giant corporation or CEO getting big bucks, all the money goes to the government. We have doctors leaving in hundreds because the government takes all the money. In fact we get our doctors from South Africa because the Canadian docs go to the US to work. RNs are also leaving as the hospital refuse to give full time position because they don’t want to pay benefits. Where do they go? The USofA.

    You can wait years to have elective surgery like a gall bladder out, months for a CTscan or even to get into see a doctor if you are lucky to find one that is taking patients. The hospitals are over run with elderly people that are not ill but there is no where else to place them as the care homes are all full, so you have post op hip surgeries still taking up a medical bed a year later.

    Hospitals closing all over. Most of the ones in small communties are closed with people often having to travel for 4 to 5 hours to the nearest hospital. No beds available even if you need one.

    Yes the health care cost less but at what cost to your health? Canadian healthcare is not a good system. Right now there are over 5 million Canadians that cannot find a family doctor….5,000,000 sick people that cannot find a doctor because there are none, they are leaving. There are just over 20 million people in Canada, and 5 million of them do not have a doctor.

    First the government took over the health care and then they took over all the insurance companies. You cannot go to a private company to buy car insurance any more, nope the government owns them all. And the first thing they did after promising they would not do it……IS……raise the rates. Yes, health care is not paid to a company like HMSA, but it is paid to the government, they control it all 100%. The government in Canada controls it all, it is a million dollar organization…is that what you want here in the US? For the government to control everything? To become a multi million dollar corporation?
    Think about it…..think hard…. “

    Comment by Manawai — June 25, 2009 @ 7:48 am

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