Health Care

Health Insurance Mandate vs the Constitution

By David Swanson

Does the United States Constitution allow Congress to force people to purchase a product (health insurance) from a private corporation, and fine them or tax them if they refuse? The answer is a matter of debate, but there is little dispute that such an act of Congress would be unprecedented.

Sheldon Laskin, an Adjunct Professor at the University of Baltimore Law School who has argued that the Constitution forbids such a move, describes read more

How's Howard Dean Doing?

By David Swanson

When someone you’ve always considered over-rated and unhelpful does something right, and when someone you’ve had disagreements with points it out, it’s worth noting. So here is a link to David Sirota on Howard Dean.

Sirota even gets right that Dean has progressed over the years. But what I think is worth preserving from recent memories is that Dean helped exclude single-payer from the debate. He limited the range of options to the point where very little room read more

No Vote on Single-Payer

By David Swanson

Congressman Weiner has agreed with Nancy Pelosi not to have a floor vote on his Medicare for All bill. A press release from Congressmen Kucinich and Conyers opposing it helped tip the scale. But Weiner did not ask Pelosi to include in her bill the Kucinich Amendment to allow states to create single-payer. Pelosi made clear that President Obama opposes that, and used the bogus excuse that providing everyone with comprehensive free healthcare would deprive them of the right to read more

Weiner Amendment Vote on Friday Will Fail and Serve as a Cover for Removing Kucinich Amendment

By David Swanson

Word is that the full House will vote on national single-payer Medicare for All on Friday. This vote is a cover for the removal of an amendment that was in the House "healthcare" bill until Pelosi stripped it out. That amendment would have made it easier for states to enact single-payer, and still would if a conference committee is persuaded to reinstate it.

Of course we want to see a vote on a real read more

The Two Percent Robustness

By David Swanson

Imagine public elections in which 2 percent are allowed to vote and Diebold gets to nominate the candidates. Or public parks with guest lists of 2 percent of the public, and private prisons for anyone else who tries to enter. Or how about public schools serving 2 percent of children with fully televised lessons broken up by commercials promoting illiteracy? Welcome to the world of the robust public option.

At first the “public option” was to be a massive but less-than-universal read more

David Swanson on health care debate, Bruce Dixon on the 'public option'

Listen: [mp3] [RealAudio]   Note: Please feel free to download the mp3 by right-clicking the mp3 link and choose the "Save Target As" function.  

This week on CounterSpin: Making sense of the health care debate. In the past week we’ve supposedly seen the comeback of the public option, in some form or another. We’re also told that Harry Reid must gather 60 votes to pass a bill. Is any of this right? And what about a true public health system like single-payer? Author and activist David Swanson will join us to try and untangle these story lines.

Also on the show: Progressives and others interested in truly universal healthcare, read more

Healthcare Hoax from Hell

By David Swanson

Lies, damn lies, and promises from Democrats. An amendment allowing states to create state-level single-payer healthcare has been stripped out of the House healthcare bill, after having passed in committee back in July by a vote of 27 to 19. And rumor has it that a vote on national single-payer that was promised in July in exchange for skipping a committee vote on it will now be denied.

First, the state single-payer amendment.

Back in July, the House Committee on Education and read more

Block Bad Healthcare Bills

By David Swanson, BlackCommentator

So, the Democratic Party has achieved two of its primary goals for healthcare reform (I mean in addition to renaming this charade health INSURANCE reform).  First, they’ve managed to get one Republican to vote for one of their bills.  To their way of thinking, it’s harder to blame Democrats for a lousy law if it’s been supported by one Republican (Senator Olympia Snow this week in the read more