hearts and minds

July 22, 2009

Defend our Healthcare and America Now!

Filed under: Ethics & lobbyists,Health care crisis,legalized bribery — Hearts & Minds @ 3:36 am

The healthcare your family needs is based on medical necessity, as determined by health professionals chosen by you, without interference from health care system administrators.
The healthcare your family member deserves (in today’s lingo) is based on the fine print in a contract with an insurance corporation, the business decisions made by an employer, and the money, status, and family assets remaining that are available to the person needing health care.
The question facing us is, “Should America’s health care system provide health care to families that they need, or should it provide health care that individuals deserve?”

Administration and management of our health care system by insurance corporations, based on business decisions made by employers, is irrational, inefficient, wasteful, and costly. It results in unnecessary suffering and loss of life. The irresponsible and failed administration of health care by insurance corporations has resulted in a consistent decline in health care outcomes for American families since the mid-twentieth century, when compared to the health care outcomes performance of some three dozen other nations of the world. Despite this, Americans now pay twice as much per capita as the health care costs in those same countries. And all those countries provide guaranteed comprehensive health care for all, without the threat of personal bankruptcy accompanying serious illness or injury in the family that confronts American families.

Health care in the United States has become a cruel game of Russian roulette, administered by insurance corporations. Under this corporate control of health care, the employer gets to choose what health care “plan” (if any) to offer your family, and the insurance company gets to choose the fine print, loopholes, exemptions, annual and lifetime limits, pre-existing conditions, pre-treatment approval, acceptable doctors and facilities, acceptable treatment plans, and deductible and co-pay amounts, that may or may not result in your family getting the health care you need, and may result in your family sinking beneath the surface financially.

The irresponsible, failed, and rapidly deteriorating performance of the entire health insurance industry in administering our health care (measured against the yardstick of the best interests of the people), while rolling in record profits, makes one thing crystal clear:

People need health care, but … people do not need health insurance.
Corporations need health insurance, but … corporations do not need health care.

More explicitly:
We do not need “affordable health insurance (mandated) for everybody”.
Only the health insurance corporations, their major stockholders and top executives, and the politicians and political parties who get massive campaign “contributions” from them, need that.
What we do need is “comprehensive health care guaranteed for all”, administered in the best interests of the people, and the doctors and nurses and professionals who provide it with integrity.

The stark simple truth (proven here and around the world) is that comprehensive health care guaranteed for all, administered by an American government that is of, by, and for the people (instead of by and for the corporations and the lobbyists) costs less, and provides better health care outcomes, than does a system administered by corporations entirely for their own profit.

That’s right. Experience in America and around the world over the last four generations has proven that providing health care that is “needed” by you (and by everyone in your family, and by everyone in the nation), as determined by you and the doctors chosen by you, on the basis of medical assessment, is LESS costly, just in terms of total dollars spent, than is providing only the health care that is “deserved”, as determined by contract fine-print and by what’s left of what your family owns..

Those who insist that health care should be provided to people on the basis of what a corporate gatekeeper decides they “deserve” must be willing to have the people in America PAY MORE, SACRIFICE MORE, and SUFFER MORE, than we would have to pay, sacrifice, and suffer for a health care system administered to deliver comprehensive health care to all based on medical assessment by your chosen medical professionals. Hundreds of billions more dollars per year!

Why have “our” elected representatives been unwilling to even talk about, much less seriously consider, the one reasonable, relatively uncomplicated proposed solution to the health care crisis – the only one which can and will provide better health care outcomes, true choice of doctor and treatment, guaranteed comprehensive health care for all, better employment opportunities for Americans, AND lower overall financial cost?

The lack of sponsors for HR 676, Enhanced Medicare for All, and S 703 is due to the legalized bribery of campaign “contributions” to members of Congress (113 million dollars last year alone), together with the over 125 million dollars spent by for-profit health care corporations (more than ANY other industry) in lobbying 535 members of Congress in just the first 3 months of this year. They are currently spending 1.4 million dollars A DAY to get and keep the single-payer solution (and now the public option) off the reform agenda. To them, a good health care reform would be to mandate that everyone in the country must buy one of their contracts, while leaving them in charge as the gatekeepers of health care, and the intermediaries between the people and the doctors. That power produces big profits.

Enhanced Medicare for All, “Nobody out, Everybody in”, will, in contrast, end the stranglehold the insurance corporations have on health care. It will end the terrible life-long game of Russian roulette all American families play with the insurance gatekeepers. It will end the shameful waste of massive resources that has made health care costs in America rise to double the average of all three dozen other modern industrial countries that have better health care outcomes than we do now in the U.S.A. It will end the suffering of people who now continue to delay medical intervention and early detection, and who avoid and decline treatment, because of the cost, inability to pay, and fear of destitution.

The HR 676 single-payer solution to the health care crisis simply replaces the very complex administration of our existing health care system by many health insurance corporations, with a single-payer Medicare style administration. We’d have the same doctors and nurses, working for the same clinics and hospitals. One big difference is that with Enhanced Medicare for All, you would actually get your choice of health care providers, instead of the insurance and HMO corporations getting to preselect your choices for you. But that would also end the incessant lobbying and the continuous flow of hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign “contributions” distributed widely, if unequally, among the elected legislators of the United States, and the two major political parties, by the sickness business corporations.

Whether or not we “deserve” the health care we need, no one else will get it for us. Certainly not the corporations and the lobbyists. And very few politicians of the two major parties will step out of line and stand foursquare for truth and the people. American families must now demand the health care we need, and not allow the lies and propaganda to fool us again. Here are eight excellent sources for more information to help us win:

“Health Care – Now!”
“Physicians for a National Health Program”
“Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care”
“Health Care not Warfare”
“National Nurses Organizing Committee”
“Unions for Single-Payer Healthcare”
“Business Coalition for Single-Payer Healthcare”
“Five Myths and Three Principles”

“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., from: “Caring for the Uninsured and Underinsured – A Communication from the Front Lines”

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11 Comments »

  1. Anyone who thinks the current discussion about health care in America is going to improve the system significantly hasn’t been paying attention. There are several examples of good health-care systems which are cheaper and more effective than ours, as measured by consequences in time, money and lives preserved. Our infant mortality rate itself is shameful. The most effective and economical systems worldwide seem to be single-payer systems, and informed Americans would probably welcome such a system; the trouble is that insofar as Americans are “informed” about the subject, they have been “informed” by people who profit from the system “as is,” by people who take the label “conservative” upon themselves, with the idea that being “conservative” means preserving power for the people who already have it and avoiding its dissemination to people who don’t.
    I’m beginning to think that Obama, in whom I as others vested such hopes, is a smug talker with little substance or strength of will.

    Comment by Seth S — July 24, 2009 @ 9:52 pm | Reply

    • I do not disdain the discussion, Seth, because we can all enter into the discussion if we so choose. And the discussion is way better than the virtual silence about the health care crisis that (until now) has existed for so long, including six years ago when I began my series of articles examining the health care crisis. The best and most important way for us to discuss the issue is by helping raise the level of awareness of all the people concerning the truth and the myths surrounding the health care crisis. The best time to do so is right now! Strike while the iron is hot.

      I don’t think the important thing for us to figure out is an accurate insider analysis of the character of our President or of any other elected official. The important thing is for the people to become well-informed about the issue, and take effective action to get a health care system that serves the needs of the people, and to get a government that is of, by, and for the people, rather than by and for the corporations and the lobbyists. Winning this struggle about the health care crisis in America isn’t up to the elected officials. (If it is, we’re already lost, as you point out.) It’s up to us. Barack Obama just said correctly that this struggle over the health care crisis isn’t about his political fortunes. It’s about the people getting a health care system that serves our needs.

      I’ve always focused on the issues themselves, not speculations about famous politicians I’ve never even met.

      Comment by clydewinter — July 25, 2009 @ 12:36 am | Reply

  2. This bill is just wrong. Why put expenses on the elderly. They done there part. Most of them serve this country to make it is today. President Obama is not doing a right or mortal thing here. Why would anyone support this. That is just plain crazy.

    Comment by ruby t — July 28, 2009 @ 4:16 pm | Reply

  3. […] get our families health care security and our government in our own hands, for a change […]

    Pingback by Defend Your Health Care Rights – 5 Myths and 3 Principles « hearts and minds — July 29, 2009 @ 11:06 am | Reply

  4. Six U.S. Senators (3 Democrats and 3 Republicans) have accepted “campaign contributions” totaling over 3 million dollars from health insurance and pharmaceutical corporations, and these six, in particular, are working hard right now for those “donors” (instead of for the people) doing all they can as Senators to keep the insurance corporations in charge of our health care.

    They are Senators Max Baucus (D-MT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Mike Enzi (R-NV), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Olympia Snowe (R-ME). Senator Max Baucus, who refused to allow testimony regarding the single-payer solution to be presented to the Senate Finance Committee considering the health care crisis, has been “given” over one million – two hundred thousand dollars ($1,200,000!!) by health insurance corporations and big pharma corporations.

    The only single-payer bill that has been introduced into the U.S. Senate Country Club has been S 703. S 703 was introduced by the only Independent in the U.S. Senate – Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Sanders is the only Senator who is not a member of either the Republican or the Democratic Party. No Senator of either major party has yet introduced a companion bill to Enhanced Medicare for All (HR 676) in the Senate, and no other Senators have co-sponsored Bernie Sanders’ S 703.

    Comment by clyde winter — July 29, 2009 @ 11:39 am | Reply

  5. How can theses crooks be stopped? They are suppose to represent the people, and all it amount too is they end up filling thier own pockets.

    Comment by Brenda E — July 29, 2009 @ 2:52 pm | Reply

    • It won’t be easy, but it is absolutely necessary. And not just to get health care for the people instead of for corporate profits, for a change.

      If we don’t stop them now, things will only get worse – and worse. And it will get harder to put a stop to it.

      It depends on the people learning the truth, organizing, and taking action.

      Comment by clydewinter — July 29, 2009 @ 4:13 pm | Reply

  6. This is not about health care. This is about power for a few. These people don’t care about a health plan, they care about taking away our liberties. 80% of Americans are happy with their insurance plan but that isn’t important to the politicians. Remember the government has NEVER run a successful program of any kind and Social Security and Medicare are the perfect example. Yes, we need insurance reform but I not social medicine. It doesn’t work in other countries why would it work here. Are we so stupid that we can’t learn from the experience of others. This boils down to a few American’s want health care but want someone else to pay for it.

    Comment by vickie b — August 2, 2009 @ 9:58 am | Reply

  7. […] equating advocates of the single payer solution to the health care crisis with knuckleheads who propose ending […]

    Pingback by President Obama’s Inspiring and Historic Speech on the Health Care Crisis « hearts and minds — September 11, 2009 @ 2:23 am | Reply

  8. […] a major mistake was made in allowing the Medicare for All solution to the health care crisis (HR 676) to be taken “off the table” before there was even a public discussion of it. […]

    Pingback by A Government Takeover of Health Care, with Higher Costs, and even Worse Care?? « hearts and minds — October 26, 2009 @ 1:38 pm | Reply

  9. Great post. I found it especially useful. Thanks.

    Comment by David M. Lasley — February 9, 2012 @ 12:09 am | Reply


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