The Alliance For Natural Health

The Pulse of Natural Health Newsletter

Stay informed about what is hot in Washington and the states about natural health

New Healthcare Bill?

45

A novel legislative concept may be gaining some traction. Action Alert!

Here’s the gist of it. Rather than develop an alternative federal system, just turn health insurance over to the states. If California wants to create a single-payer system, allow it to do so. If another state likes Obamacare, let it keep it. If another wishes to create a consumer-driven system, then allow that.

In a recent interview with Breitbart News, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum outlined the plan, which seems to have originated with him. It involves diverting Obamacare block grants to the states based on the number of citizens who are low income but not covered by Medicaid. This would allow individual states to customize their health plans to the needs of their constituents. States that wish to do so could create the kind of consumer-driven system, free of Obamacare mandates, that ANH believes is the best way to increase individual choice while driving down overall health care costs. Or they could offer both this and the present system to consumers.

Santorum expects at least some Democratic governors and members of Congress to get on board. This may be optimistic. But they could have an incentive to do so inasmuch as Obamacare subsidies disproportionately go to states such as New York, California, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Lawmakers from other states could see this as a way to get more federal money. These four states will of course completely oppose it.

Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) are crafting legislative language and working to gain support. Under this approach, Congress would give states guidelines to ensure adequate coverage; for instance, requirements covering preexisting conditions would stay in place. If this forces everyone into the same risk pool, it won’t work. But states would supposedly be free to craft their own system to best address the needs of their citizens.

ANH would much prefer just keeping Obamacare and at the same time offering a consumer led system that would be available to residents of all states. But this new approach would be better than the existing system, which is at risk of collapse. Allowing states to do their own thing would also provide many experiments that would be useful in establishing what works and what does not. States would have to take this seriously because they compete with each other. Those who make the wrong choices would see their economic prospects fade while other states add employers and jobs.

Action Alert! Write to Congress and tell them to support the new plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. Please send your message immediately.

 

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  • Audfam

    What’s the rush? I’m of the understanding that Bernie Sanders will be introducing a Medicare for All health care bill within the next couple of weeks! Allowing states to control health care may sound like a great idea, but this plan still involves insurance companies dictating health care, will still be tied into employment, moving from state to state would be a horror show (it is now, imagine if every state has a different program!) Universal Health care is the only way health care can be equitable for all.

    • TeeJae

      “Bernie Sanders will be introducing a Medicare for All health care bill within the next couple of weeks!”

      You answered your own question – that’s the rush.

  • earthcaretaker

    Bad idea. Universal healthcare is the answer.

  • Karen Kraft

    This is a terrible idea. It creates a problem that we already have when traveling to other states into a much bigger problem. Universal health care is the only solution.

  • patgo

    What’s with this “universal health care” business? Three comments, all saying the same thing. Universal health care will LOCK US IN to the same failed medical Establishment that is killing over 100,000 patients a year with overmedication. The problem is the pharmaceutical industry, aided and abetted by GMO foods (Monsanto, et al). Health care will not be affordable OR health-restoring until GENUINE COMPETITION is allowed. This means letting the CONSUMER decide WHAT KIND of health care he wants. If he wants alternatives, make that possible. All three of these commenters are ignoring the fact that a universal system SHUTS OUT those who want alternative care, like us. For us, standard Medical Establishment care was a dismal failure. One of us almost became one of those 100,000, and the repercussions and suffering have been severe for nearly two years since then. Universal health care would put the pharmaceutical companies in full control. THEY ARE THE PROBLEM, NOT THE SOLUTION.

    • Ellie

      YES!

      • patgo

        She gets it! Thank you!

        • Ellie

          No! Thank YOU!!!

    • Rene

      YES!!! We all must have the freedom to decide the kind of care that we want. NOT SOCIALIZED medicine….with a cattle approach. We all know how Cattle are treated. Liberty, Freedom and justice for ALL.

      • patgo

        We are still working on surviving. We’re not there yet, and the outcome is uncertain. But we will do everything in our power to expose the corruption, and clean out the swamp, so people can have decent care and be healthy again. The corrupt cartels profit off illness, and do not care one whit about the well being of the people they supposedly serve. Single payer health care is starting to reveal its true colors. People who cost too much need to be eliminated. They will find ways to kill them. Unfortunately, things happen. You can do your best to stay out of their clutches, but it doesn’t always work. Most likely case: serious injury in an accident. Other adverse events can happen, too, and even if you’re informed, you cannot necessarily protect yourself. When you are in the hospital, they own you. They can do anything they want, and they’ll get away with it.

        • TeeJae

          “Single payer health care is starting to reveal its true colors.” How can it if it doesn’t exist?

          “People who cost too much need to be eliminated.” Only systems with a profit motive (like the one we have now) would do that. Yes, it is absolutely happening now.

          • patgo

            I’m not talking about single payer HERE. I’m talking about England, for instance, where they refused to allow the parents of Charlie Gard to take their own son out of the hospital, where he was held hostage until shortly before he died, “liberated” only by a judge to go have his ORDINARY CARE discontinued. That reveals exactly what single payer would do. Expensive patients will just be killed. 20th century medical history is rife with mass killings of those who are too expensive, even if they had willing caretakers. Charlie Gard’s parents HAD THE MONEY, and had found a potential treatment, and he was STILL held prisoner. That’s what single payer does. It holds the patient prisoner, takes children from their parents and other willing caretakers, to be eliminated because they are not fit.

          • TeeJae

            You know what “20th century medical history” consists of? The HEALTH INSURANCE INDUSTRY.

            You’ve been sorely misinformed about Single Payer. I suggest you educate yourself.

          • patgo

            You grow tiresome. Take your own advice.

            I am well informed, and I have fought the system. MEDICARE IS A NIGHTMARE! You want EVERYONE to be subject to that same nightmare. No thanks! I am not interested in being a slave, or letting the government practice medicine without a license ON ME.

      • TeeJae

        In a purely free market, competition is a good thing. But the healthcare insurance industry is anything but pure. The crony capitalists (in their greedy pursuit of evermore wealth) have corrupted it beyond recognition.

        Sorry to say, but free market capitalism – in all industries – is a thing of the past.

        • patgo

          Definitely NOT a thing of the past. In health care, for instance, there are new models. Take concierge medical care, for instance. You choose a primary physician, pay a small amount each month (less than insurance) and get unlimited access to care. For another, groups who get together and form organizations that share medical costs with members and don’t involve insurance at all. Members submit their medical bills as they actually exist, and the costs are divided up among all. There are several such groups. These are free market solutions, and they are being implemented.

          Yes, the healthcare insurance industry is full of crony capitalism, PROTECTED BY GOVERNMENT, the very government you want in charge of EVERYONE, regardless of whether it will provide the kind of care people want and need or not. There is NO ROOM in that system for US. We use alternative care. We use herbs and supplements and other alternatives.

          • TeeJae

            You know what a truly free market healthcare system would look like? SINGLE PAYER. Do some research.

          • patgo

            I’m used to ignorance, but yours takes the cake! Where did you learn Newspeak? Freedom is slavery. Black is white. Love Big Brother.

            A truly free market healthcare system is one where the CONSUMER pays for WHAT HE WANTS. The consumer is not a single payer. It’s hundreds of millions of payers. Got it?

          • Belinda Eastmond

            TeeJae, I’m with you all the way on universal single-payer health care. But how is that anything like a free market healthcare system? That’s the beloved fantasy of the GOP – everybody gets just as much health care as they can afford. Or do you really believe that the free market model will work in health care better than it’s working in the (traditional) energy field, or banking, or the pharmaceutical industry today?

          • TeeJae

            Single payer is a free market system in that the providers (doctors, hospitals, drug makers, device manufacturers, etc) are still private, profit-driven entities competing for your business. If you’re not happy with their product or service, you’re free to choose another (including going out of network and paying the provider directly).

            The important thing is to remove one of the profit centers from the equation – the insurance industry – to bring down costs.

      • patgo

        We need a constitutional amendment separating medicine and state!

        I made more extended comments about specific problems with many different examples I know about in a discussion on this site on the “new healthcare bill” article. If you look at my comments by clicking on my name, you will find those comments. They are a ways down. Read the entire thread.

    • TeeJae

      While BigPharma is most definitely part of the problem, Medicare-for-All IS absolutely the answer. If you read through Sanders’ bill, you’ll see it includes a provision to negotiate drug prices. “Free market,” insurance-run healthcare does not, leading to skyrocketing costs.

      There’s so much corruption and cronyism in the insurance industry (because it exists to make money), that it’s impossible to legislate or regulate anymore. The only thing left to do is eradicate it. It serves no good purpose anymore (except for its 1% owners). You think it gives you the “freedom” to decide your care? Think again. IT decides your care based on how that care affects its bottom line.

      • patgo

        Sorry, you just don’t get it. We have never HAD a free market. Big pharma has had a stranglehold on the industry for a very, very long time. You can’t claim that it leads to skyrocketing costs. It has NEVER BEEN TRIED. I don’t favor the current idea of insurance. I have other thoughts entirely. Bernie Sanders is looney tunes. Medicare-for-all is a trap. It would lock US into a system that has failed us TOTALLY, caused us intense suffering, and DENIED the care of choice. We are having to pay out of our own pocket for treatments Medicare should cover and refuses. These treatments don’t enrich big pharma.

        Sure, lots of cronyism. But single payer would be LOCKED IN with cronyism. It would lock US in. As things stand now, alternative treatments are still available; we just have to pay for them ourselves. With single payer, THOSE TREATMENTS WOULD BE UNAVAILABLE TO ANYBODY whether they paid for them or not. We can still decide our care; we just have to pay for it ourselves. With single payer, we would be UNABLE TO DECIDE.

        • TeeJae

          You don’t seem to understand how single payer would work. I’m telling you, read Sanders’ bill for yourself. Don’t believe what mainstream media tells you. They have an agenda to protect the insurance industry.

          • patgo

            Bernie Sanders is a COMMUNIST. He wants to ENSLAVE US. I am not interested in anything he says or does. (Yeah, I know he has one or two good ideas. Most everyone does. A stopped clock is right twice a day.) I don’t even pay attention to mainstream media. What makes you think I BELIEVE them? The government IS PROTECTING the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies. That is why I want government OUT OF HEALTH CARE ENTIRELY.

          • TeeJae

            If you don’t consume mainstream media, where do you get such nonsensical ideas about Sanders?

          • patgo

            I didn’t say what you think I said. If someone wants the government involved, let him have it. If someone wants the for-profit insurance industry involved, let him have it. I want neither. I want freedom of choice. What an odd concept! And that’s what I have been saying all along. Freedom of choice means competition, and the best methods will win. We have computers. There is no reason that I can think of that each individual or family cannot have the type of political system he or she or they wants/want. Each files a preference and is taxed accordingly. Those who want welfare get taxed for it. Those who want government health care get taxed for it. Those who want neither don’t get taxed for either. They get to choose a non-governmental solution. Oh, I forgot. You can’t have all those perks if you don’t rob the rest of us, because the money has to come from someplace.

            We were forced to pay FICA for decades. Give us our money back with interest. I’ll invest it in private health savings, with an option for catastrophic insurance. There are other choices. Concierge medicine, for one. Health co-ops for another. The members divide all health bills evenly among themselves, and each person who needs medical care submits the bill to the co-op for distribution. I’d like to buy a share in an alternative system with hospitals that provide emergency surgery, but use herbs and supplements instead of drugs in all possible places.

            Freedom of choice. You can have what you want, and I can have what I want. You don’t need to force your system on me.

            What nonsense ideas about Sanders? He has explicitly said he is a communist. Compulsory communism is slavery. If you want communism, choose it. Go live on The Farm, form your own commune, or go live on a kibbutz. I am not interested in living under communism. Sanders wants to make it compulsory. What’s to understand? Why do you think these ideas are nonsense?

          • TeeJae

            Your ideas for a reformed healthcare system are interesting, but I don’t see them becoming a reality in today’s political and economic climate.

            Sanders describes himself as a Democratic Socialist. That’s a far cry from Communist. Can you cite any instances when he’s “explicitly said he is a communist?” This is news to me, so I’d like some proof.

          • patgo

            Google this article in the New York Post:
            Don’t be fooled by Bernie Sanders — he’s a diehard communist

            I don’t care if you see my ideas becoming reality. I will still push for them, because I think this is the only way to keep everyone happy.

            Unless you’re a communist. I don’t care if they’re happy.

            Anyway, socialism is only communism lite. It is intended to lead into communism one step at a time. Read the Communist Manifesto.

          • TeeJae

            The NY Post? I thought you said you don’t follow mainstream news. Good lord, no wonder you’re so confused. Not only is that article chock-full of historical misinformation, but nowhere does it say Sanders “explicitly said he’s a Communist.” Care to try again?

          • patgo

            I found that with a search engine, dummie! You may be taken in by the charms of Bernie Sanders, but I AM NOT. I doubt seriously if this information is misinformation. It sounds like what I know from a multitude of sources. I would say being a member of a Communist front is a pretty explicit statement. If you want me to agree with you, drop Bernie Sanders. I have no use for him whatsoever. Even if he IS right occasionally. A stopped clock is right twice a day.

          • TeeJae

            If you don’t want the government involved, and you don’t want the for-profit insurance industry involved, what type of healthcare system do you propose? Who would run it? How would it work?

  • sllawrence

    Basic healthcare is a human right and should not be dictated by insurance companies or by your employer. Every citizen deserves the security of health care wherever they are in the country. We should not have to worry about whether we are in the “right” state in order to get basic health care needs met. Medicare for all makes sense because the infrastructure is already there. It is a proven program and has been working since the LBJ administration. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel; just start signing people up to the same basic, national health care program. No “approved doctor or hospital zones” or complicated rules. Right now, we have the very wealthy who pay thousands a month for “boutique” medical care on call. And then there’s the rest of us. #Medicare for ALL! Contact your Congressional leaders and demand it! (And don’t be fooled by ‘Medicaid for all’or ‘public option.’ Do some research & comparison; you’ll see why! ) #Medicare for all!

    • TeeJae

      Exactly. In fact, the official program Sanders is promoting is NIMA
      (National Improved Medicare for All). Go to PopularResistance (dot) org
      and search for “time to fight for health care for everyone.” Great info
      there.

  • holisticpoet

    The real problem is not the pharmaceutical industry. The real problem is us the people. If we refuse to use the pharmaceutical industry we cut off their power. Are you doing it? China spends only a tiny fraction of what we spend on healthcare. That is because they have an herbal based non patentable healthcare system. Look around see who’s doing things right and go with that. In 2005 the World Health Organization looked at all the different types of medicine around the world and chose Traditional Chinese Medicine as what they wanted to see for world medicine.

    • patgo

      We refused to use the pharmaceutical industry, for all the good it did. We took NO DRUGS WHATSOEVER for DECADES. We even stopped using aspirin, the only drug we used more recently than two decades ago. But we had an emergency that got one of us in the hospital, where they put the patient on FOURTEEN DRUGS BEHIND OUR BACKS. When you are in the hospital, they can do anything they want to you, and you are powerless to stop them. This ultimately made it necessary to use another drug, and we have been trying to wean ever since, without success.

      Alternative hospitals where this doesn’t happen? They don’t exist.

      Chinese medicine has its limitations, but is far preferable to what we have now.

      • Rene

        Very True!! If you are admitted to the hospital for any reason and are in need of an antibiotic for a non life threatening condition they will undoubtedly put in your arm a fluoroquinolone drug, whose intended use was only for LIFE THREATENING condition as a last case resort!

        But since the ANTHRAX scare after the Twin Towers in NYC were attacked and the fears of Anthrax exposure in public places…etc. The “Go to Drug” was fluorquinolones. Thankfully Anthrax was not deployed into public arenas…however production was increased of these drugs and conveniently flooded the market as the “new Go to Drug” for minor infections. But these drugs are “not” your average antibiotic. They are a c
        Chemotherapeutic Antibiotic. Destroys the DNA of the bacteria, but does not distinguish from our DNA and the bacteria. Cells death is the mechanism. The outcome can be devastating after 1-3 tablets or the 5th bottle over a few years of repeated exposure. Black Box warning for retina detachments, and spontaneous ruptures of tendons, micro tears of muscle-skeletal tissue, Ligaments, tendons, Permanent Peripheral Neuropathy, and Neurological problems. The cause effect of these adverse events not made due to the delayed deterioration after consuming or receiving IV of these drugs. As much as 6 weeks later the wheels start come off!

        The elderly are given this poison all the time. The destruction left in its wake from sea to shining sea is horrific. This is equal to the vaccine safety issues, the GMO issues, and on and on.

        The point being the Medical System is so polluted, and barbaric, dishonest, and dangerous….expensive, and useless for all the disease that have been created by BIG AG, and Pharma. We HAVE to have ACCESS to REAL medicine for the chronic conditions of today’s world.

        • patgo

          Funny you should mention fluoroquinolones. We had a UTI, and they offered Cipro. I flatly refused! I don’t even know why the UTI occurred, since the catheter had been pulled long ago (we MADE them do it; it is SO CONVENIENT not to have to change briefs all the time!) Anyway, I told the social director they needed to be VERY CAREFUL not to prescribe Cipro because of how dangerous it is, yet they are prescribing it routinely. I said, you’re looking at legal liability for that. We accepted a penicillin type antibiotic instead. Good thing I was aware of the problems with Cipro, but I read widely, unlike most patients.

          The irony is that penicillin type drugs can cause bullous pemphigoid, which is what we are fighting now. Nasty, nasty skin disease! But at the time, we had no knowledge. And there were three other drugs, all given prophylactically, behind our backs, that can cause it. I spent part of last night filling out an adverse drug report on one of them. All these drugs are pure poison, and there was no reason to give them. Medical literature supports doing NOTHING AT ALL as a viable choice, which is what we would have done if we had been properly informed (where, oh where is informed consent?)

          Until we DO have real access to real medicine, the problems with the health care system will just get worse. One thing most people here advocating single payer don’t realize is that the pharmaceutical industry doesn’t wield the clout in other countries they do here. Drugs are relatively inexpensive elsewhere, and that makes a tremendous difference. We are forced to use a drug now, for the skin condition, that costs about $5 a pill, even though it’s cheap to produce, it’s an old drug, and development costs are long since paid for. Insurance company put me through HOURS of [email protected] trying to get them to cover a brand name that was safe to take. The generic they were willing to cover contains sodium lauryl sulfate, a SKIN IRRITANT. For a SKIN CONDITION. And they still demand a $95 co-pay every month, even though I bought the drug out of our own pockets and used a coupon, saving them reimbursement costs. The co-pay is absolutely insane, totally outside the means of people who depend on social security and have no other resources. And they forced drug coverage on us in the first place, even though in general we do not take drugs, and assured us they would pay for drugs. And now suddenly they’ll only pay 60%, because of the donut, which should have been eliminated by taking out the policy. They’ll getcha one way or another. It’s a total racket. Totally fraudulent, but they get away with it. Thanks to government regulations. That’s why government needs to get OUT of the health care business entirely, and let us use the free market, including alternative treatments.

          One reason they use so many drugs in the hospital is that Medicare will cover them in full, so they go crazy, knowing most people will think they are forced to continue when they go home, and they can continue to milk the public for the benefit of pharmaceutical companies. They give drug upon drug to alleviate side effects caused by drugs that they never should have given in the first place. All based on fraudulent studies, and burying the honest ones.

  • Ted K

    Read the Constitution! Maybe I missed the paragraph where is says that the Federal Government is supposed to supply Healthcare. Personal accountability has been lost in this country. As of today my healthcare expires and I’m unemployed too, but I still don’t want the government involved.

    • Wayne_Spencer

      It’s very plain, in the very first line of the Constitution; “..,promote the general welfare,” General welfare includes healthcare.

      Even without such specific provisions in their constitutions, other Western Countries are providing universal healthcare coverage. Are Americans too dumb to provide healthcare for their citizens, or the metric system to help our young aspiring future scientists, or for a solid infrastructure to prevent natural disasters, or even something as simple as high-speed rail?

      • patgo

        “Promote the general welfare” does NOT MEAN forcing people to accept harmful medical treatment and lose access to treatment that WORKS. We are living examples of the stark difference. There is no specific authority in the Constitution for any federal involvement in health care whatsoever. Without that SPECIFIC AUTHORITY, “promote the general welfare” DOES NOT PROVIDE THAT AUTHORITY.

      • TeeJae

        You can thank the fossil fuel industry for our lack of high-speed rail.

        Americans are only “dumb” because they allow themselves to be brainwashed by corporate/mainstream media. That’s the WORST place to get factual information.

  • Jeff

    This GOP “plan” is just stupid and anyone who thinks that it has any merit is stupid too. The problem is that, and this is a Heritage Foundation argument, everyone must be in the market. Not a state by state market but a national market.

    The fact is that the ACA has slowed the cost increase of health care but it didn’t go as far as the Heritage Foundation’s plan simply because the GOP obstructed its development and then acted to ensure that the ACA couldn’t function as intended, such as Rubio removing the reinsurance, the risk corridors, that the insurance industry needed to help with the costs that it couldn’t account for in the beginning.

    What we need is universal healthcare either as a Medicare for All or to force everyone to buy insurance in a system that controls the skim that insurers take from premiums, such as severely limiting the excessive pay to executives. So, don’t write to anyone to support this BS.

  • Wayne_Spencer

    Oh yes, divide and conquer, that’s always been the “conservative” approach. It’s a lot easier to lobby each state to kill any hope of universal health care than to take on the feds.

    What this alliance seems to want is to make sure the profit stays in health care, whether it actually supplies any real healthcare or not. As long as the American public stays ignorant, we will remain poor. The term “universal healthcare” seems to scare these people to death.

    Can you imagine traveling on vacation out of state and finding that your health care policy isn’t any good out of state? In most cases, that’s the way it is right now, today. Don’t believe me? Call your insurance carrier right now and find out for yourself.

  • Erik Stark

    I do believe anything Rick Santorum proposes should be disregarded outright. He is a true evil twit imbecile. Okay, maybe anyone can have a good idea, but honestly I think the main problem with giving states the power to do this is a convoluted mess of 50 different health care systems, ultimately driving up the administrative costs of health care to astronomical levels, and creating a system where the crappy states will try to ship their patients to the better states rather than fix their own messes. At some point, quality, affordable, consistent and available health care, from coast to coast, has to be the starting point for what is considered good health care in this country. Anything other than that is just kicking the can down the road.