hearts and minds

December 20, 2007

Cure the Health Care Crisis in the USA

All people need health care to achieve, maintain, and (if necessary) restore health. Health insurance is not health care.
The problems we have with our health care system (high cost, and gatekeepers that deny treatment, restrict choice, and discourage proper care) cannot be corrected with our current health insurance apparatus.

Just as private mercenary corporations have no incentive to prevent or end war, and private prison/security corporations have no incentive to reduce crime and recidivism outside their walls, so private health insurance corporations have no incentive to approve needed health care. The primary competitive incentive of the health insurance industry is to cut costs and increase profits by restricting and denying health care to those that will or do need it.

We can no longer afford, private health insurance corporations controlling health care and deciding who can and cannot get what treatment, when, and from which doctors. Keeping the insurance apparatus we have results in the U.S. having by far, the highest per capita cost of health care, and the worst health care outcomes in the industrialized world. It’s incredible, but true, that we all pay more than universal comprehensive health care would cost, in order to let the insurance and managed care corporations “just say no” to needed health care. Letting those profiteering gatekeepers say “No” to health care for some doesn’t save us money. It costs us money – and it harms our health.

It’s about values
marketplace values and the value of certain investments, versus human values, family values and the value of life and health. Which side are YOU on?

See Hearts and Minds -health care crisis for six concise articles that provide factual background and a clear statement of the case for, and the myths and propaganda against, the only way to, at once, improve health care outcomes in the United States, provide high quality health care for all regardless of changes in employment status or medical history, and reduce the per-capita cost of health care expenditures in the United States.

The two part series titled Big Bucks Talk and Health Care Walks (part 1 and part 2) provides particular information and reference sources about the current initiative to cut costs and increase access to health care for everyone in Wisconsin. Don’t miss this 2-part summary that provides the basic story behind the “bare essentials” above.

See also the following national and Wisconsin reference sources regarding the health care crisis:
Physicians for a National Health Program
Health Care – Now
Wisconsin Health Security Act
Healthy Wisconsin
The Business Coalition for health care reform
The Rockridge Institute.

“This ongoing experience of startling significant inequities in our society, particularly brought to my attention in the field of health care, but also evident in education, employment, criminal justice, finance, and other areas, has revealed to me a society and its leaders pathologically unable to face their responsibilities and take effective action, and who instead persistently seek to deny responsibility, hide problems, and blame the victim.”
Glenn Winter, M.D. – Caring for the Uninsured and Underinsured – A Communication from the Front Lines


  1. thanks for sharing…very good!!

    Comment by Beth L — December 20, 2007 @ 7:21 pm | Reply

  2. Thank you. I started a blog on this very topic. The insurance industry and politicians would have us believe that health insurance is health care, but the truth is they are two different things.

    Comment by Esther — December 20, 2007 @ 10:25 pm | Reply

  3. You are so right — what so many people are getting now is not health care! It does seem as though the biggest issue is why we have allowed the marketplace to control our health care system. And now, in Grafton, there are plans to build another hospital so close to Columbia-St. Mary, a decision that could result in higher health care costs for those of us who live in this community. This decision was a market decision, not one that takes into account the needs of the community.

    We need single payer health care now!

    Comment by Marliss R — December 23, 2007 @ 4:38 pm | Reply


    I’m convinced that more money is spent on energies for them TO NOT pay for things. The health care industry is warped and is ROBBING many hard working families for their own personal gain. Healthcare in America is CORRUPT AND NEEDS TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE. It’s become a money maker and the passion to assist those in medical need has fallen by the wayside. REFORM IS ESSENTIAL to keep hard working families from going bankrupt and receiving digs on their credit scores.

    Comment by Angela M — December 31, 2007 @ 9:43 pm | Reply

  5. Excellent piece, Clyde, and great follow-up comments. For anyone who cares I would recommend reading this online book. You don’t even have to buy it.


    Jack Lohman

    Comment by MoneyedPoliticians — January 4, 2008 @ 9:42 am | Reply

  6. Good info. and reading. I would definitely bookmark you to check for new updates. Thanks.

    Comment by Dean C — February 11, 2008 @ 2:42 am | Reply

  7. […] Wisconsin Citizen Action, and … Move-On … declared that the single-payer solution was “off the table” […]

    Pingback by Public Option, Insurance Co-op, Mandatory Insurance Purchase – Who Cares about the Fine Print in a Health Care Reform Bill? « hearts and minds — August 18, 2009 @ 2:14 am | Reply

  8. In addition to my previous comment, here is one last suggestion to the current system for improvement.
    4. Create a standardized insurance policy description that requires a policy to display what it does and doesn’t cover in understandable terms.
    An insurance company can still create whatever other documentation it wants to describe it’s coverage, but the standardized version will help consumers to compare “apples-to-apples” insurance coverages — and know succinctly what they are covered for, especially in advance of purchasing a policy.

    On the other hand, Canada has had government-run health care for years and their citizens are overwhelming apathetic over the long waits, mediocre care, and sometimes denial of services in the reality of government rationing. Yours and your family’s own health is no longer you own decision. Your choice in the matter is gone. And — anyone who thinks that you can have government health care AND private insurance had better be exceedingly wealthy because that’s the only way that you’ll be able to afford the insurance that remains — once the vast majority of employers switch to government health care to reduce their costs.

    Comment by D. Winter — September 9, 2009 @ 10:22 pm | Reply

  9. Apparently I need to recap what I previously entered on Item #7.
    You claim that health insurance is not health care. Strangely, my insurance company accepts my premiums and reimburses my health care expenses as agreed and the system works exceedingly well.
    If you want to improve health care in America, here’s how it should be done.

    1. Tort reform. Multi-million dollar malpractice suits need serious reduction. Standardized malpractice financial settlements should be instituted.
    Much of the cost of health care charged by providers is to offset the cost of malpractice insurance.

    2. Allow insurance companies to sell policies across state lines to increase competition, and thereby improve service.

    3. Remove state and federal requirements for insurance health care policies to cover redundant and unnecessary coverages, thereby reducing costs.

    5. Consider the voluntary option for individuals to sign up for what Shanhai & Singapore calls “Medi-Sav” or medical savings accounts (MSA). Once signed up, individual’s payroll has an automatic percent deduction applied to their own health care spending account, from which they can route payments to medical facilities for their care. Individuals can also voluntarily increase their percent payments or make cash payments to their account. Individuals can monitor their account at any time and work to budget their expenses. These contributions can be tax-free and medical facilities can accept these payments similar to cash payments, which are quite often reduced from standard fees.

    Comment by D. Winter — September 9, 2009 @ 10:43 pm | Reply

    • What is your affiliation with the health care industry, D. Winter?

      It appears you have either not read, or have ignored my other articles in the health care crisis series.

      Comment by clyde winter — September 10, 2009 @ 1:10 am | Reply

  10. […] Marginalizing and eliminating the single payer solution from consideration in the President’s plan and strategy has eliminated a progressive reply […]

    Pingback by President Obama’s Inspiring and Historic Speech on the Health Care Crisis « hearts and minds — September 11, 2009 @ 1:53 am | Reply

  11. we are on the same page – thank you for the good and helpful article.

    Comment by Marjie T. — January 23, 2012 @ 2:16 pm | Reply

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