Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/05/27/can-covid-war-become-fight-health-care-democracy
Talk about subversive! The article fails to mention that, unlike single payer, where the doctors and hospitals remain private, VA hospitals are owned by us, and the doctors are government employees. It’s…you guessed it, socialized medicine. It’s similar to NHS, the health service in that socialist country, Great Britain, a country with both good health outcomes and among the lowest per capita costs in the industrialized world. My brother is among the 77% who really like the system. I’d love to join him.
On the contrary, with COVID-19 plowing the US medical industrial complex, the MSM is pushing The Long Fix, a book by Vivian Lee that will likely be followed by several books that propose US health care fixes that are tantamount to rearranging the Titanic’s deck furniture.
Although the NHS/VA model is successful, M4A is the most cost effective to implement and maintain. Canada has reconfirmed this for the past half century.
A single payer system like Canada’s if it was created by January 1, 1995 is sustainable, but the US joined the WTO, committing to the for profit system forever. they didnt tell us because they knew we wouldnt want to vote for them if they couldnt fix things. Quite unfortunately, you were very wrong about the UK, Canada has a single payer system, the UK does not, it has a public option system and for that reason, uits doomed it to a death by 1000 cuts, because thats what the WTO GATS does. Please read this Note from the WTO Secretariat, Page 11. ~https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/serv_e/w50.doc
Also, please read this discussion in The Lancet - the issue is discussed in this article . You cant have sustainable system, it does not qualify for an exemption if you sell commercial insurance. isnt that obvious from the US situation? All of what used to be called public services are being dismantled if they have commercial competition as that is the WTO rule.
~https://www.allysonpollock.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Lancet_1999_Price_WTODomesticPolicies.pdf The UK should have stayed in the EU as by leaving it they lost the modicum of protection they had from grandathering. I have been tracking this for years. The UK government is claiming its exempt but they clearly are not. Thats what it explained on Page 11, it seems aimed directly at them. BTW, that was more than 20 yrs ago, now we are 20 years further down the road to total privatization. They will end up just like the US.
Not sure that we should resort to this ever present ‘warrior’ and ‘soldier’ metaphor in such a militaristic society we live in. The moral of the story for the existence of the VA, exclusively for the class of people who make a living out of invading other people, is clear. It is a benefit you get for protecting the interests of the empire.
Why don’t we stick to the metaphor of a civilized society that provides equal rights to every one. Soldiers and wars, are the opposite of a civilized society, they are symbols of barbarism and tools of exploitation.
Actually, its the WTO, we get to provide healthcare or do anything we want for active military, but once soliers are no longer active military, if they can buy health insurance our treaty obligations are preventing us from competing with commercial providers of services. Some poor country might want to provide services for our poor - as long as they are healthy (under the laws that applied in february 1998, is whats required)
say this might be conditioned on them traveling and receiving care there, conditioned on people going and getting their health care there. In exchange, they might save 25% or more over what they paid here, with the condition that the terms could change at any time.
The term Medicare for All is really a horrible choice because medicare costs money and we’re likely to have a country of people with little or no incomes trying to make their every penny last, not so far into the future. Also, Medicare and SOcial Security are on a fast track to privatization, its clear, have been for a long time. The government doesnt want the moral hazard of being responsible for something so important as jobs are going away. Nor can it implement any of the New Deal type programs to give them jobs because we’re required to put most of those jobs up for bidding and the low bidding firms get a contractual rightto do them. People who doubt this shoud read a bit of whats been written about whether US and Autralia’s preferences for SMEs owned by minority groups should be able to transfer to the new trade regime. Basically the firms in developing countries that have been banking on these jobs wont have any of it. Their position is that they have been waiting a long time for these jobs and they dont want any more delays. They say that they also were injured by colonialism, etc. so they feel that the alleged debt to them is more important than those of aboriginal or indigenous people or even women, who have already gotten these preferences for decades. I dont know if I am doing a good job of getting this situation across, could people let me know if they dont understand this, I kind of doubt that anybody will. Please realize that almost nobody in the US has even a remote clue as to what is happening, unless they work as a trade negotiator or lobbyist or are a trade activist, (very very few) etc.
Here is a bit more on this. This is a rewrite so there may be some overlap… But its so important I am going to risk it being a little confusing…
This is about whether the government can help people when its already committed those kinds of things to be globalized inorder to prop up developing countries governments…
…Nor can it implement any of the New Deal type programs to give them jobs because we’re required to put most of those jobs up for international bidding and the low bidding firms get a contractual right to do them. Its understood that those firms will be from poor countries, where they are owned by therichest people in those countries. This is invariably a corrupt process. As we see many of the mostpowerful people in the US have business relationships with oligarchs elsewhere This is a direct cosequence of all that corruption in high places. The outcome means that when Americans lose jobs to sudden “opening” of service sectors its likely to be a permanent change that makes all jobs in that service sector much less remunerative for the foreseeable future. So many peoplke who are in services thathave all the work they can handle now may find that within a few years they cant get wrk without leaving the country. This is because the lure of doing work in the US and getting a resume that has some important looking title at (employer or work site in the US) is worth so much to foreign grads that they are almost willing to work for free. Ad sometimes that seems to be exactly what is happening. Also, it counts for nothing if they are a member of a disadvantaged group in this situation. Unles something has changed as of a few years ago it seems to have been decided that all that is going away. Nobody from any of those communities has been arguing their cases. Its as if they didnt know any of this was going on.
So understood that all that is going away. All those goups who thought various powerful entities had their backs, you may be very deeply disappointed and it may particularly hurt as you train your replacements.
People who doubt this should read a bit of whats been written about whether US and Australia’s preferences for SMEs owed to historically disadvantaged groups should be applied to the new trade regime in instruments like the WTO Government Procurement Agreement, services agreement, etc.
At its core those agreements, directly conflict with manypeoples expectations of what government “could” do and its not very ambiguous at all, under the current set of conditions, none of that is permitted. The jobs in segments of the US public sector that are privatized and put up for bidding go to whatever firm tenders the lowest bids, with additional preferences given to LDC firms. (Least developed countries) for a limited time to help them catch up with the riuch countries so they can pay back the Third World Debt.
So, thats not a small debt, its a huge one.
So jobs are gong to be outsourced in large numbers. We have been outfoxed like nobody else has ever been. Ots a major thing, that will likely go down in history as a generous act by developed countries, helping the poor countries rich people get even richer, and sorrowfuly sacrificing the high standard of living in order so that the poor countries could get richer.
None of those countries have the kinds of public healthcare system we want, thanks to us, we made them give up the idea of it.
Its clear to see that exempting large numbers using M4A would be seen as a gross violation of GATS by countries hoping to gain a lot under GPA, etc, because M4A also gets rid of tiers which is of course how we would decide who got what metal level of care, and where.
. Basically the firms in developing countries that have been involved in these negotiations for decade with sucessive Administrations will scream holy murder if it seems like we are abandoning these deals. They will claim that we are doing it to protect these potentially millions of jobs which is expressly forbidden by the texts of these agreements. We might be able to delay it a bit if some huge emergency came up, but only as long as that emergency was literally making fulfillment of the agrerment impossible and NOT if our own government has any hand in extending the emergency or prolonging it. You can bet its going to mean, like everything else that we cant plead emergency to save jobs. Why we all have been blaming Trump (the President) for making the epidemic worse, sealing our own fates. Do people see how slick this scheme is?
Additionally, suppose we tried to preserve some jobs by means of saying that we wanted to develop slum areas or something. Or preserve jobs for long mistreated groups. This is actually a debate thats been going on and its quite informative as to how we are seen by developing countries. they accuse us of trying any and everything to cheat them out of what they feel we promised them. They think its all about them, and wont have any of it. Their position is that they have been waiting a long time for these jobs and they dont want any more delays. They say that they also were injured by colonialism, etc. so they feel that the alleged debt to them is more important than those of aboriginal or indigenous people or even women, who have already gotten these preferences for decades, and now are doing better than any of these groups anywhere else.
Things are totally different than what we’ve been led to believe.