Friday, May 29, 2009

Citizen at health care "listening session" calls Baucus' bluff on single-payer healthcare

From DC Blogger:

Steve McArthur is a management consultant.

Read self-employed.

That means he has to buy his own insurance, a Blue Cross Blue Shield policy that costs him $584 a month and carries a $10,000 deductible.
On Tuesday morning, he listened for a long time as Missoulians discussed health care reform at a listening session at St. Patrick Hospital sponsored by U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.

The hearing ranged broadly over the possibilities for reform, but what clearly resonated for McArthur was something Baucus' chief of staff, Jon Selib, said a couple of times.

Discussing why a single-payer system of health insurance wasn't viable, Selib made reference to the more than 150 million Americans who are covered by some sort of employer-provided health care.

“A lot of people like that,” Selib said.

When the time came for questions, McArthur stood up and asked a simple question. Looking across a standing-room-only crowd of about 275, he asked how many were happy with their employer-based health insurance.

Less than 10 people raised their hands.

“The number is bogus,” McArthur said. “It's not working for 95 percent of us.”

McArthur drew resounding applause.

It seems like every time single payer is brought up -- including when I brought it up to a recalcitrant John Edwards last year -- it gets huge applause. Maybe it's time for it to be on the table?