13 January 2008

Dems should be for single-payer

At that conference yesterday, I was saddened to hear State Rep. Jim Reisberg (HD 50) talk about how 80 percent of U.S. health care expenditures go to care for chronic diseases, and how almost all chronic disease is caused by lifestyle choices.

It was part of a message of personal responsibility — good enough, but it was also part of a message of blame the victim. Urging personal responsibility should be part of the single-payer message of reform, but it's important to do it in a way that empowers rather than blames.

Rep. Reisberg also defended pharmaceutical profits (in the name of research) and agreed with a woman who talked about the justice involved in making sure that insurance companies can compete across state lines -- emasculating regulations that some states have in place to attempt to rein in insurance company profits and get community ratings.

He's a member of the Health and Human Services Committee. Nicely told me to keep up the good work at the end of the workshop.

On the other hand, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter gave a good response to my asking if he was for single-payer health insurance. Ritter had talked earlier about the sisters who had educated him, and I reminded him that Michael Moore also had a Catholic education, and that when Moore is attacked about "socialized medicine," his come-back is, "Do you mean 'Christianized' medicine?"

Ritter said that we need to keep educating Coloradans about health care systems, so that reform won't fail.

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