You and I and virtually everyone knows how important Medicare has been to the health and the economic well-being of every American family over the last couple of generations. Where would our families be without Medicare? Where would your family be? What would have happened to your elders, in this and in the previous couple of generations? What would have happened to your life style and to your children’s futures – if Medicare for elders and the disabled had not been signed into law some 45 years ago? Can you even imagine what your family life would be like without Medicare today?
I’ll tell you, if you can’t – Life in almost all American families would be cold-blooded. We’d have agonizingly difficult decisions to make. Should we provide health care, and even continuation of life, to the elders and disabled members of our families? Or should we provide basic needs of food, shelter, clothing, education … and health care, for the younger family members (to say nothing of rainy-day savings, retirement planning, and amenities, luxuries, and vacations). Uncounted millions of families would have experienced severe privations, and bankruptcy, had the insurance corporations, and their corporate and political allies, been successful in preventing the Medicare bill from becoming law 45 years ago. (Be sure to investigate which politicians and members of Congress, of which political parties, opposed the creation of Medicare at that critical moment, and which politicians, of which political parties, have tried, over the last five decades, to discredit, cripple, or kill Medicare, using a variety of false pretenses, before you swallow without question their successors’ deceptions and lies right now.) Unfortunately, and tragically, those corporate and well-heeled opponents of Medicare did succeed in preventing us from getting Medicare to apply to everyone back in 1965. And things began going downhill since then, for those not protected by the Medicare administration of health care.
With the growing health care crisis we have today, the simple, obvious, solution is to (belatedly) strengthen and expand Medicare and extend it, with no co-pays and no deductibles, to cover ALL Americans. The cost of doing that is LESS than what we are currently paying for this system that is being administered by insurance corporations for their own profits.
The two hyperlinks in the previous paragraph link to my first two-part series examining the health care crisis, researched and published fully seven years ago. The particular facts and statistics supporting those conclusions have only worsened, and made the case stronger, in the intervening years. For example, in the last sentence of the opening paragraph of the article “Cost, Quality, and Choice in Health Care in the U.S.“, the latest peer-reviewed research has established that (corrected for factors other than insurance coverage) not 25 percent, but 40 percent higher fatality rates occur among those without health insurance, and that not 18,000, but now 45,000 Americans die annually due to the lack of health insurance. Those statistics are made even more ominous when one realizes that often in America (and only in America!) illness or injury results in loss of both employment and health insurance, which results in denial of needed appropriate health care. So, drop your illusions. Because you happen to have what you think is “good” health insurance now, doesn’t change the fact that you and virtually ALL American families are playing Russian roulette with our insurance corporation administered for-profit, employer-based health care system.
Medicare is neither a government takeover, nor is it a drastic makeover of health care in America.
Medicare is simply the people taking the administration of our health care away from insurance corporations.
Those corporations have failed miserably to provide comprehensive health care security.
Allowing insurance corporations to inefficiently and incompetently administer the health care system, for their own profits, is costing us all three to four hundred billion dollars wasted annually, and 45,000 lives lost tragically every year.
The fact that Enhanced Medicare for All (HR 676) has been denied even public hearings in Congress by BOTH parties, is proof positive that we do not have government that is of, by, and for the people. The stark, simple truth is that we have government that is by and for the corporations and the lobbyists. Shame on Congress. And shame on us if we Americans don’t straighten this out.
It’s high time for us to say to the insurance corporations who have appointed themselves the gatekeepers of our families health care, “You won’t allow our Congress to hold public hearings about strengthening Medicare and making it available to all? You won’t even allow our Congress to put a decent public option in the compromised health insurance reform bill to let anyone chose Medicare instead of one of your for-profit policies? YOU’RE FIRED!”
It’s time for us to say to any elected legislator, and any political party, that protects and defends insurance corporation control of our health care, and does not demand public hearings on the 30 page bill that would strengthen and extend Medicare to ALL Americans, with no co-pays and no deductibles, “No public hearings on Medicare for All? Not even a vote for the record? And not even a public option to choose Medicare instead of mandated for-profit insurance? YOU’RE FIRED!”
That’s the solution to the health care crisis. It’s staring us right in the face. It’s an administrative system that has been proven right here in America (as well as in all the rest of the industrialized world) to improve health care outcomes, reduce costs, strengthen the economy, and promote the general welfare. Obviously, the best way to protect Medicare for elders and the disabled is to strengthen Medicare and to extend it to cover ALL Americans. Medicare for all would eliminate the crazy quilt patchwork of health care administration we have now, or that the Congress is thinking of imposing, including employer mandates and you being stuck with your spouse’s boss’s choice of insurance policy (as long as she hangs onto both that job and you). Medicare for All would make unnecessary all the band-aid federal government programs like COBRA and Medicaid and SCHIP and state programs like BadgerCare, and even city programs that try to close some of the gaping loopholes that people are falling through. HR 676 would cover everyone in every family for life. The cost of such comprehensive health care guaranteed for all, administered by Medicare would be no more than the loophole-ridden, patchwork, obscenely inefficient administration of health care is currently costing us. And it would cost way less than the currently proposed crippled “reform” in Congress that would not even provide a sham of a “public option” as an alternative to the wily, corrupting, deadly greedy insurance corporate gatekeepers of our health care system.
Click on the pnhp link and/or the peaceteam link to conveniently and quickly remind our elected officials that health care (as well as our government) should be of, by, and for the people, not by and for the corporations and the lobbyists.