Just a reminder

Tonight's debate is scheduled for 7 PM and will be aired on channels 5 and 7, so set your DVRs or watch it live and stay informed.

The Boston Media Consortium has scheduled this debate for the Democratic candidates for governor (Berwick, Coakley, and Grossman). This will be the one debate before the primaries where the widest audience will have a chance to watch and listen. There is another debate scheduled for tomorrow on NECN at 6 PM.

And remember, the primary is Tuesday!

Feel free to use the comments to create the Universal Hub drinking game (or buzzword bingo for the teetotalers) in time for tonight's debate.



      Free tagging: 


      Because healthcare debates are fun ...

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      As someone who sees a number of specialists on a regular basis for various and sundry medical problems, Berwick will not be getting my vote because he's a single payer supporter.

      Why, yes, that is enough for me to not vote for him. Carry on.

      I didnt wanna

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      start a debate.. but as someone who accesses numerous medical services, I want single payer. It would simplify everything for me.. especially billing.

      You trust the people that can

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      You trust the people that can't even get a website right to run your health insurance monopoly?

      Massachusetts deserves better than something which will wind up making the UK's scandalous NHS look good.


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      and insurance carriers and doctors who set their own rates depending on who's paying is OK also?

      Sure.. I love that if I am a POS patient, I pay X dollars. But if I have insurance, I pay Y dollars. Why is that? Why is that fair?

      It's not.

      This is what single payer is all about.

      Fairness is healthcare

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      Fairness is healthcare typically means everyone gets access to the lowest common denominator of care.

      Single payer healthcare will wind up with the same exploding costs and declining quality evident in the public school system.

      No because public schools are

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      No because public schools are financed by the real estate taxes city they are in, so they are, in general, better in wealthier communities. Single payer at the federal level (or in this case state) would be more akin to medicare, people in low income cities wouldnt get poorer quality health care service the way they get poorer quality schools.

      For one, wait times

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      Me: Diagnosed with an eating disorder. The week I was diagnosed I was admitted into a treatment center.

      Friend in England: Diagnosed with an eating disorder. On a wait list a few months long to get into a treatment center. In the meantime, is on a waiting list for an outpatient counselor.

      That's a true story, not some made-up, hypothetical situation. Waiting months for services like that is the norm, not the exception, in a single payer system.


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      I have friends in Canada and the UK who would disagree with your story. I rarely hear any complaints out of them, but ones who have come here on H1B's all say the same thing.. the US Healthcare System by comparison is maddening.

      Plus single payer doesn't mean wait times will increase, nor does it mean nationalized healthcare. It just means that.. single payer and removes insurance companies from the equation. (depending on how its rolled our or half botched and gutted like the ACA was)

      Vermont will be the true test in a year or two.. its where they are going. Looks like a good plan too.


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      My doctor friends would beg to differ - granted on the assumption we have a dual private/public system.

      Private pay/insurance - step right to the front of the line.
      Public pay - let's see, I can fit you into the schedule in March.

      And then you have what's going on in NYC - many of the best of the best won't even take insurance - all private patients/concierge service. Check and MAYBE a credit card.

      My niece wants to be a doctor - I asked my 50 something year old Dr. friend what he thought.

      His response - tell her to RUN in the other direction. Going forward it will be less interesting, less lucrative and just a plain hassle. You can argue about 1%ers all day - these are the people I want to be 1%ers. Our lives are literally in their hands.


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      of course he's going to say that, it cuts into his bottom line (his pay). You even say why.. "lucrative" as you say. (which means $$$$..)


      And he's wrong. I know two doctors in the UK. Most say they would NEVER be a doctor in the US. Why? because of the insurance crappola that we do. They get bonuses for wellness of patients and get funding to further their education AND get get even MORE money if the move into a specialty. Its very lucrative to be a doctor on the NHS or CHS. Sure you won't be a millionaire plastic surgeon, but you will be fairly compensated for what you do.

      Plus No longer will doctors and hospitals be able to charge different rates depending on who's paying. Single payer.. its all the same across the board. This is a good thing.

      Sorry that's like asking the board of Wal*Mart how they feel about a minimum wage increase.. of course they are against it, it hurts their bottom line in the end. Its the doctors associations along with the insurance carriers that will fight single payer tooth and nail because it hurts them in their paychecks.

      Healthcare in the US has moved away from doing the right thing for the patients, and have moved to a payola. I've often said, remove the $ aspect of healthcare in the US, and many associated problems will go away.


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      Then you'll see more and more doctors doing what my ophthalmologist friend did.

      One of the smartest people I've ever met. the kind that could pass a test by simply sniffing the text book.

      He opened a hedge fund specializing in health care companies.

      Better for everyone that he

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      Better for everyone that he become a hedge fund manager. Demanding that our doctors be as smart as hedge fund managers is what got us into this mess. No other country expects brilliance of its doctors; we have the most expensive health care in the world by a huge margin, now or at any time, and the worst health in the developed world. That's no coincidence.


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      Let me ask you this. Why is it when I lived in Singapore, if one of the poohbahs needed significant medical care, they always jetted off to NY or Boston, not London?

      Why would they go to the worst health in the developed world? And let's say pro athletes, who can afford any care in the world, have their orthopedic work done here? Why is it that various sheiks and their families rent out entire floors of Boston hotels while they are here for medical treatment.

      Speaking of coincidences, these people are treated by the same doctors that take care of me and my wife (on our high deductible health care plan).

      Are we all stupid? Should we all head to London or Canada for our health care? Something you are saying doesn't equate to what I am seeing.

      I'm really sick of hearing this argument

      . Why is it when I lived in Singapore, if one of the poohbahs needed significant medical care, they always jetted off to NY or Boston, not London?

      That's kind of like responding to the assertion that Caucasians are, on the whole, taller than Asians by saying "nuh-unh, what about Yao Ming?"

      The fact that there are doctors and hospitals in the US that can provide topnotch care to people for whom cost is no object, says absolutely nothing about whether or not our health care system is, on the whole, functional or dysfunctional.

      You need to look at the median. At the median, is healthcare better in the US or in the rest of the developed world? By most measurements, the US is doing a crap job.

      Yes, it turns a mundane essential

      ..societal function into some neocon status bragging ritual with special'platinum coverage.

      I've managed to live six decades with minimal exposure to this money grubbing travesty of big pharma, insurance speculation, research grift and a nation of hypochondriacs first noted by Thoreau in the 1850s.

      His quote was pretty funny, something like.."We can't even go for a walk in the woods without dragging a whole medicine chest along with us."

      Nor does this mess address the extent that many of the big ticket problems are partly self inflicted, like booze and cigs, and others are made worse by corporate food impositions.

      My aunt Barbara was a Christian Science adherent and went bravely to her grave without the benefit of modern medicine. While I'm not religious, I find something to like about that outlook as it makes me focus on living thoughtfully while I am alive as if each day is a gift.

      And as for the election, whoever wins will be a snooze after Patrick. While I like many things "progressives" care about, I agree with Al Giordano that they are a miserable bunch, the left's counterpart to Teahadists.

      I'm pretty loyal to Obama and the carping and wheezing and sniveling from progressives about him has been loathsome. I see the same passive aggressive crap being visited on Walsh.

      Each wing has it's far tips that come to resemble each other. There are style differences like the way Teahadists mainly bellow like John Wayne on crack while progressives carp and snipe like Woody Allen on prozac.

      I'll take the mushy middle, thanks.

      I am the median

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      Not saying there isn't a problem on the bottom (that we are moving toward correcting with new healthcare laws), but the average American on an employer sponsored plan or medicare (mostly) has access to many of the same doctors and facilities that the sheiks and athletes and poohbahs do.

      The two main reasons our system is so ineffective is a) we spend WAY too much on end of life care and b) too many Americans are pigs that don't take care of their health in the first place.

      You need to play more chess Bob - like cybah below - I knew somebody would throw this argument out there. We have lots of problems - single payer (i.e. - the government) won't solve most of them.


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      again you opened your mouth and inserted foot..

      Then you'll see more and more doctors doing what my ophthalmologist friend did.


      He opened a hedge fund specializing in health care companies.

      This says it all. Your friend is looking for a payola, not providing medicine and patient care. He's looking to make bank, and nothing more or less. Of course he's against single payer, it ruins his doctor biz and his hedge fund biz. It would totally kill his lively hood. He's EXACTLY what is wrong with doctors, health insurance, and the US Healthcare System as a whole. Its all about money and less about patient care.

      Sorry Stevil, you walked right into this one.

      Heh, heh, heh

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      Trick's on you. That's exactly what I thought you'd say. Had nothing to do with the pay - he simply hated being a doctor - found it boring. I never said he's against single pay - you just read into that - probably one of the most liberal people I know - he might even support it. I can assure you - he's what's right with doctors most of whom are wonderful smart caring people which is why they did that job in the first place (he actually provides indigent care to the elderly to keep his skills and license current).

      Healthcare in the US has moved away from doing the right thing for the patients, and have moved to a payola. I've often said, remove the $ aspect of healthcare in the US, and many associated problems will go away.

      Remove the $ aspect? You are living in fantasy land. You know all that wonderful health care we have here in Boston? You know that story about the VA in Arizona? Guess what you get when you go to single payer?

      You don't like single payer,

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      You don't like single payer, what type of system do you prefer, as someone who sees a number of (expensive I'm sure) specialists, do you prefer:
      1. a totally free market one where everyone can choose to buy their own market rate insurance (and be dropped if they prefer) and be denied care if they don't have adequate insurance
      2. Subsidized programs like ACA or Medicare/Medicaid (where you can't be dropped) but private insurers are involved (in ACA case) or govt (Medicare/Medicaid)
      3. Just roll the dice and you pay 100% out of pocket.

      No Cable

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      and my OTA antenna sucks *shakes fist at Tobin Bridge*

      I'll just be clicking refresh here to see how drunk everyone is getting.

      You might be able to stream it

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      I don't know about 5 or 7 putting it online, but the Boston Globe and WBUR are part of the consortium and may be airing the debate online. Also, Berwick's website has bloomberg.com/radio listed as well, so you might be able to get it streaming there too.


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      Don't forget that you can listen live on WBUR! That's what I'm planning on doing-- that way I can clean the house at the same time so stuff is at least kinda getting done.

      Drinking Game Suggestion

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      As a longtime wing nut, I suspect this debate will play out as most of those have involving my favorite fringe candidates. The presumptive frontrunners, Coakley and Grossman, will attack each other while trying desperately to exclude Berwick.

      If the moderator allows them to do that, slug down a fifth of whiskey. You'll be happier shitfaced than trying to get anything useful from the proceedings.


      ABC - Anyone But Coakley

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      Because last time she ran, she lost to a truck.

      I'll be interested to see how she does tonight, but I'm in no mood to see her squander a general election again, so she'll have to massively impress me.

      Not only the truck,

      but she seems to care a lot more about her own career than about justice. I can come up with no other explanation for this.

      Also, we've had a number of high profile political corruption cases in Massachusetts lately. How many of them did our A.G., Martha Coakley, prosecute?

      Healy believes in doing the

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      Healy believes in doing the job of a AG within the legal boundaries of the office. Tolman believes he can use the office as a bully pulpit to legislate by decree regardless of legality. He will do nothing but get the state sued and embarrassed in front of federal courts for civil rights violations. I cannot fathom how anyone can sanely run a campaign based on promising to violate the law and usurp both legislative power from the legislature and executive power from the governor!

      This is why outsiders are great

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      The debate format where the candidates get to ask each other questions was REALLY telling to me. Please tell me you all saw the smackdown Berwick laid on the other two with those questions. He's not beholden to anyone politically so he came out unchained and laid them both out.

      He asked Coakley if she lost to Scott Brown because she's too general and wishy washy then what makes this time any different? She looked like Scott backed over her with his truck...again.

      His question to Grossman was more tame, but he still seemed to catch him off guard with it too.

      Meanwhile, Grossman asked Berwick to fellate his ideas in his question and Coakley's question to him was on something they all agreed on which was nonsensical at best.

      This is the same reason why third party candidates need more national debate time for the presidency. Someone with nothing to lose and no concern over upsetting the political apple cart needs to be there to stress what the public actually cares about these days.