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Single Payer Health Care – As Seen by Its Advocates

Single Payer Health Care – As Seen by Its Advocates ETHAN ALLEN INSTITUTE POLICY BRIEF 017 March 24, 2005

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Press Release

Single Payer Health Care – As Seen by Its Advocates

Single Payer Health Care – As Seen by Its Advocates ETHAN ALLEN INSTITUTE POLICY BRIEF 017 March 24, 2005

03/30/2005
Ethan Allen Institute Program On Universal Health Care

Montpelier. Should the Vermont legislature enact a publicly financed universal health care system for all Vermonters? Pro: Deborah Richter MD. President, Vermont Health Care for All; member of Coalition 21, and long time advocate for universal health care at the national level. Con: David Gratzer MD, of Toronto, Ontario. Senior fellow, Manhattan Institute; author of Code Blue: Reviving Canada’s Health Care System.

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Press Release

Ethan Allen Institute Program On Universal Health Care

Montpelier. Should the Vermont legislature enact a publicly financed universal health care system for all Vermonters? Pro: Deborah Richter MD. President, Vermont Health Care for All; member of Coalition 21, and long time advocate for universal health care at the national level. Con: David Gratzer MD, of Toronto, Ontario. Senior fellow, Manhattan Institute; author of Code Blue: Reviving Canada’s Health Care System.

03/22/2005
Creating a Health Care Marketplace

February 24, 2005 Honorable George W. Bush President of the United States of America The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, DC Dear President Bush: Mr. President, on February 8, 2005, you stated, “We should create a national marketplace for health insurance, so people can shop on the Internet across state lines to get high-quality coverage at lower prices. That makes sense, doesn't it? To break down barriers to create a marketplace for the consumer when it comes to health care.” Yes, it does.

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Press Release

Creating a Health Care Marketplace

February 24, 2005 Honorable George W. Bush President of the United States of America The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, DC Dear President Bush: Mr. President, on February 8, 2005, you stated, “We should create a national marketplace for health insurance, so people can shop on the Internet across state lines to get high-quality coverage at lower prices. That makes sense, doesn't it? To break down barriers to create a marketplace for the consumer when it comes to health care.” Yes, it does.

03/01/2005
Good Medicine?

Health care continues to be a significant issue, even in the wake of the sweeping new billion-dollar prescription drug entitlement signed into law by President Bush last year. While Americans have access to the best health care system in the world, the current third-party payer structure of the health care market has led to significant upward pressure on health care costs, because there are few incentives in the system to contain spending. Both public health care and private health care are in need of serious reform. For many looking to cut costs, purchasing low-cost drugs from Canada or other nations seems like a quick fix for the high price of health care. Unfortunately, re-importing drugs threatens future innovations that can improve the quality of health care in America, while ignoring the more fundamental reforms that are required.

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Press Release

Good Medicine?

Health care continues to be a significant issue, even in the wake of the sweeping new billion-dollar prescription drug entitlement signed into law by President Bush last year. While Americans have access to the best health care system in the world, the current third-party payer structure of the health care market has led to significant upward pressure on health care costs, because there are few incentives in the system to contain spending. Both public health care and private health care are in need of serious reform. For many looking to cut costs, purchasing low-cost drugs from Canada or other nations seems like a quick fix for the high price of health care. Unfortunately, re-importing drugs threatens future innovations that can improve the quality of health care in America, while ignoring the more fundamental reforms that are required.

01/30/2004
Governmental control could hurt patient care

WOULD you rather have the government or your doctor prescribing the drugs you need for heart disease and cancer? West Virginia will be forced to use cheaper drugs that are often not as effective as original drugs if Gov. Bob Wise gets the pharmaceutical plan he wants. When the government buys drugs, it must ration them. The Wise plan could be costly and a deadly mistake. - advertisement-

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Governmental control could hurt patient care

BY Alice Click

WOULD you rather have the government or your doctor prescribing the drugs you need for heart disease and cancer? West Virginia will be forced to use cheaper drugs that are often not as effective as original drugs if Gov. Bob Wise gets the pharmaceutical plan he wants. When the government buys drugs, it must ration them. The Wise plan could be costly and a deadly mistake. - advertisement-

11/03/2003
Michigan State Senator Nancy Cassis Offers Care & Competitiveness Package

State Senator Nancy Cassis (R-Novi) has crafted a package of bills to amend Michigan’s Single Business Tax (SBT). Michigan’s burdensome SBT has been a job killer and currently taxes employers on the health care benefits paid to employees. The Cassis package eases the tax burden and makes health care more affordable, by removing the “health care add-back” from the SBT. Employers would no longer be taxed for doing the right thing by providing health care benefits. CSE members support this important package of bills.

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Press Release

Michigan State Senator Nancy Cassis Offers Care & Competitiveness Package

State Senator Nancy Cassis (R-Novi) has crafted a package of bills to amend Michigan’s Single Business Tax (SBT). Michigan’s burdensome SBT has been a job killer and currently taxes employers on the health care benefits paid to employees. The Cassis package eases the tax burden and makes health care more affordable, by removing the “health care add-back” from the SBT. Employers would no longer be taxed for doing the right thing by providing health care benefits. CSE members support this important package of bills.

09/29/2003
Michigan State Senator Nancy Cassis Offers Care & Competitiveness Package

State Senator Nancy Cassis (R-Novi) has crafted a package of bills to amend Michigan’s Single Business Tax (SBT). Michigan’s burdensome SBT has been a job killer and currently taxes employers on the health care benefits paid to employees. The Cassis package eases the tax burden and makes health care more affordable, by removing the “health care add-back” from the SBT. Employers would no longer be taxed for doing the right thing by providing health care benefits. CSE members support this important package of bills.

http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW
Press Release

Michigan State Senator Nancy Cassis Offers Care & Competitiveness Package

State Senator Nancy Cassis (R-Novi) has crafted a package of bills to amend Michigan’s Single Business Tax (SBT). Michigan’s burdensome SBT has been a job killer and currently taxes employers on the health care benefits paid to employees. The Cassis package eases the tax burden and makes health care more affordable, by removing the “health care add-back” from the SBT. Employers would no longer be taxed for doing the right thing by providing health care benefits. CSE members support this important package of bills.

09/29/2003
Senate Seeks to Alter Lawmakers' Benefits

A bill OK'd Friday guts a preferred PERS status reserved for police and firefighters. How senators voted The Senate passed HB 2407-C by a 16-11 margin. The bill reduces lawmakers PERS benefits by paying them at the regular level, not the higher levels given to police and firefighters. Lawmakers who began serving before 1995 are exempt. Here is how local senators voted: Roger Beyer, R-Molalla: No Peter Courtney, D-Salem: Yes Jackie Winters, R-Salem: No Gary George, R-Newberg: Excused Charles Starr, R-Hillsboro: No What's next? The House will consider Senate amendments to HB 2407-C. The House likely will reject those amendments. Then a conference committee of House and Senate delegates will try to work out conflicting versions of the bill. BY STEVE LAW Statesman Journal The state House and Senate are at odds about whether lawmakers should remain in the state pension system. House members voted in March to yank lawmakers from the embattled Public Employees Retirement System and create a special 401(k) plan for them. Rejecting that idea, the Senate voted Friday to reduce lawmakers' PERS benefits, by eliminating their preferred benefits package normally reserved for police and firefighters. The Senate passed House Bill 2407-C by a 16-11 margin. "It's unjust enrichment" to keep getting benefits as if lawmakers were in public safety jobs, said Sen. Tony Corcoran, D-Cottage Grove, whose committee reworked the earlier House bill. Preferred PERS benefits for lawmakers often provokes howls of protest. It allows lawmakers to get the same pension after 25 years that most public employees take 30 years to earn. Police and firefighters get that treatment because of their hazardous jobs and earlier retirement age. In the past, some lawmakers determined that their long hours and low pay - $15,396 a year- merited the premium level. House members argued it's a conflict of interest for lawmakers to oversee a system that pays them benefits. Corcoran rejected that notion Friday. "My view is that there's nothing inherently wrong with us being part of PERS," he said. "We should live under the same rules as everybody else." Public servants should have a guaranteed benefit at the end of their careers, not a 401(k) account that offers no set pension, Corcoran added. Sen. Lenn Hannon, R-Ashland, who presided over the floor debate, declared he had a conflict of interest in the matter. Hannon also suggested lawmakers all had a conflict of interest "as a class." One provision in the bill illustrated why the issue stirs so much controversy. It exempts lawmakers who first served in the Legislature before 1995. That means six veteran lawmakers who voted for the bill won't see any reduced benefits: Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, Senate Democratic Leader Kate Brown, D-Portland, Sen. Frank Shields, D-Portland, Sen. Joan Dukes, D-Astoria, Sen. Avel Gordly, D-Portland and Sen. John Minnis, R-Wood Village. "They've exempted longtime serving members from having to switch," said House Majority Leader Tim Knopp, R-Bend, who championed the House bill. "It's the exact reason that legislators need to be removed from PERS completely, so they don't continue to deal themselves the best deal." A few days before Friday's vote, Courtney said he wasn't following Senate changes to the House bill and the issue hadn't come up for much discussion. "I think treating (lawmakers) like everybody else might be the way to go," he said. New PERS reforms signed into law will phase out the Money Match system. That means future pensions will be set by workers' final salary and years worked, not the size of their accounts. Police and firefighters get a pension equaling 2 percent of their final salary for every year on the job, or 50 percent of their final salary after 25 years. General service PERS members get 1.67 percent of salary per year worked, or 50 percent of final salary after 30 years. "To take them out of police and fire, I think, was a good idea," said Russ Walker, a PERS critic and Northwest director of Citizens for a Sound Economy. But no lawmakers should remain in PERS, he said. "There's a real loss of trust in government and most public officials, and this kind of thing, I don't know if it serves them well." Walker said his group will turn in an initiative petition next week that would scrap PERS for all public employees and replace it with a 401(k) plan.

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Senate Seeks to Alter Lawmakers' Benefits

BY Steve Law

A bill OK'd Friday guts a preferred PERS status reserved for police and firefighters. How senators voted The Senate passed HB 2407-C by a 16-11 margin. The bill reduces lawmakers PERS benefits by paying them at the regular level, not the higher levels given to police and firefighters. Lawmakers who began serving before 1995 are exempt. Here is how local senators voted: Roger Beyer, R-Molalla: No Peter Courtney, D-Salem: Yes Jackie Winters, R-Salem: No Gary George, R-Newberg: Excused Charles Starr, R-Hillsboro: No What's next? The House will consider Senate amendments to HB 2407-C. The House likely will reject those amendments. Then a conference committee of House and Senate delegates will try to work out conflicting versions of the bill. BY STEVE LAW Statesman Journal The state House and Senate are at odds about whether lawmakers should remain in the state pension system. House members voted in March to yank lawmakers from the embattled Public Employees Retirement System and create a special 401(k) plan for them. Rejecting that idea, the Senate voted Friday to reduce lawmakers' PERS benefits, by eliminating their preferred benefits package normally reserved for police and firefighters. The Senate passed House Bill 2407-C by a 16-11 margin. "It's unjust enrichment" to keep getting benefits as if lawmakers were in public safety jobs, said Sen. Tony Corcoran, D-Cottage Grove, whose committee reworked the earlier House bill. Preferred PERS benefits for lawmakers often provokes howls of protest. It allows lawmakers to get the same pension after 25 years that most public employees take 30 years to earn. Police and firefighters get that treatment because of their hazardous jobs and earlier retirement age. In the past, some lawmakers determined that their long hours and low pay - $15,396 a year- merited the premium level. House members argued it's a conflict of interest for lawmakers to oversee a system that pays them benefits. Corcoran rejected that notion Friday. "My view is that there's nothing inherently wrong with us being part of PERS," he said. "We should live under the same rules as everybody else." Public servants should have a guaranteed benefit at the end of their careers, not a 401(k) account that offers no set pension, Corcoran added. Sen. Lenn Hannon, R-Ashland, who presided over the floor debate, declared he had a conflict of interest in the matter. Hannon also suggested lawmakers all had a conflict of interest "as a class." One provision in the bill illustrated why the issue stirs so much controversy. It exempts lawmakers who first served in the Legislature before 1995. That means six veteran lawmakers who voted for the bill won't see any reduced benefits: Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, Senate Democratic Leader Kate Brown, D-Portland, Sen. Frank Shields, D-Portland, Sen. Joan Dukes, D-Astoria, Sen. Avel Gordly, D-Portland and Sen. John Minnis, R-Wood Village. "They've exempted longtime serving members from having to switch," said House Majority Leader Tim Knopp, R-Bend, who championed the House bill. "It's the exact reason that legislators need to be removed from PERS completely, so they don't continue to deal themselves the best deal." A few days before Friday's vote, Courtney said he wasn't following Senate changes to the House bill and the issue hadn't come up for much discussion. "I think treating (lawmakers) like everybody else might be the way to go," he said. New PERS reforms signed into law will phase out the Money Match system. That means future pensions will be set by workers' final salary and years worked, not the size of their accounts. Police and firefighters get a pension equaling 2 percent of their final salary for every year on the job, or 50 percent of their final salary after 25 years. General service PERS members get 1.67 percent of salary per year worked, or 50 percent of final salary after 30 years. "To take them out of police and fire, I think, was a good idea," said Russ Walker, a PERS critic and Northwest director of Citizens for a Sound Economy. But no lawmakers should remain in PERS, he said. "There's a real loss of trust in government and most public officials, and this kind of thing, I don't know if it serves them well." Walker said his group will turn in an initiative petition next week that would scrap PERS for all public employees and replace it with a 401(k) plan.

06/09/2003
Buckeye Institute to Release Comprehensive Medicaid Reform Proposal

The Buckeye Institute will release Reforming Medicaid in Ohio: A Framework for Using Consumer Choice and Competition to Spur Improved Outcomes. Medicaid has been one of the fastest growing portions of the state budget in the past decade. Reforming Medicaid in Ohio: A Framework for Using Consumer Choice and Competition to Spur Improved Outcomes examines how policymakers can see significant cost savings and improved outcomes through increased consumer choice and competition. Available at www.buckeyeinstitute.org on 3/13/03.

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Press Release

Buckeye Institute to Release Comprehensive Medicaid Reform Proposal

The Buckeye Institute will release Reforming Medicaid in Ohio: A Framework for Using Consumer Choice and Competition to Spur Improved Outcomes. Medicaid has been one of the fastest growing portions of the state budget in the past decade. Reforming Medicaid in Ohio: A Framework for Using Consumer Choice and Competition to Spur Improved Outcomes examines how policymakers can see significant cost savings and improved outcomes through increased consumer choice and competition. Available at www.buckeyeinstitute.org on 3/13/03.

03/13/2003
Buckeye Institute to Release Comprehensive Medicaid Reform Proposal

The Buckeye Institute will release Reforming Medicaid in Ohio: A Framework for Using Consumer Choice and Competition to Spur Improved Outcomes. Medicaid has been one of the fastest growing portions of the state budget in the past decade. Reforming Medicaid in Ohio: A Framework for Using Consumer Choice and Competition to Spur Improved Outcomes examines how policymakers can see significant cost savings and improved outcomes through increased consumer choice and competition. Available at www.buckeyeinstitute.org on 3/13/03.

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Press Release

Buckeye Institute to Release Comprehensive Medicaid Reform Proposal

The Buckeye Institute will release Reforming Medicaid in Ohio: A Framework for Using Consumer Choice and Competition to Spur Improved Outcomes. Medicaid has been one of the fastest growing portions of the state budget in the past decade. Reforming Medicaid in Ohio: A Framework for Using Consumer Choice and Competition to Spur Improved Outcomes examines how policymakers can see significant cost savings and improved outcomes through increased consumer choice and competition. Available at www.buckeyeinstitute.org on 3/13/03.

03/13/2003

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