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If You Defend USHealthcare System: Perhaps You’re Too Stupid to Live


#1

If You Defend USHealthcare System: Perhaps You’re Too Stupid to Live

Pat LaMarche

Lack of critical thinking: it’s killing us. And if you get alarmed by the headline of a May 22, Sacramento Bee article, it will continue killing us.


#2

Attago, Pat, you tell 'em!

Seriously, that money which "could be better spent teaching headline writers logic and math" would likely be wasted. So many people in journalism seem to wear their lack of understanding of basic math and logic as a badge of honour.


#3

"America needs health insurance carriers like an honest businessman needs a Mafia protection racket. More than thirty-one percent of U.S. healthcare expenditures are squandered on these unnecessary and parasitic middlemen " - Canada's single-payer administrative costs are just 1.3 percent !

The price tag on universal health-care without reining-in and/or destroying vulture corporate for-profit "health care" is high - due to greed and obscenely high pay for non health-related costs and "managers". These include the parasite insurance industry, obscenely greedy pharmaceutical industry and allowing/tolerating corporate profit-motivated hospitals and other health related opportunities for some few to get rich from selling at sky-high costs what should, and must, be considered a human-right!

“the morphing of American medicine from a function of a humanitarian society into a revenue stream for healthcare profits, drug and medical device companies, hospitals, and insurance companies. In essence, we have transformed healthcare in the U.S. into an industry whose goal is to profitable.”

“The five largest health insurance companies – WellPoint, United Health, Aetna, Humana, and Cigna - … earned over $3.3 billion in profits between April and June 2011! Profit in the health insurance industry is the single greatest barrier to building an efficient, sustainable system of healthcare in this country.”

Change the greed of the few and obscenity of getting rich off the suffering of others, and universal health care is well within reach!


#4

More fake news that includes fuzzy math from the mainstream media. "People who don't read newsapapers are uninformed, while those who read newspapers are misinformed" - Mark Twain

In addition to commenting on US "health care" complexity, also recall Trump recently complementing the Australian Prime Minister on Australia's "better health care" ?


#5

It's not stupid. It's selfish and short sighted and derives from a population that has been systematically brainwashed over multiple generations into believing that nothing can be efficient unless someone is making a profit off it.

The skillfully propagandistic belief system that supports this and that keeps people feeling virtuous about supporting a system that acts against their own long term best interests is insidiously intelligent and will continue until either people who know better develop better sales pitches or epidemics start and spread and cause mass fatalities because developing treatments isn't profitably cost effective


#6

The transition to universal healthcare for all is necessary, but we shouldn't gloss over the challenges.

Uniquely to the US, healthcare - both the financing and the medical services, are an enormous profit-hungry multi-trillion dollar industry. This industry will fight tooth and nail - and probably even try to overthrow the government before they would allow their industry to be taken over (in the case of insurance) and heavily price-controlled (in the case of medicine), by the government - either on the state or federal level. Short of overthrowing the government, they can also engage in Chile/Venezuela-style economic sabotage of individual states - or maybe even the whole US - until the old order is restored.

And then there are the millions of healthcare and insurance jobs that will be eliminated through the efficiencies of a government single-payer system. We will need a generous assistance program for all those left jobless.


#7

Let me see, insurance companies receive funds from clients and give funds to clients in need. Single payer takes funds from clients and gives funds to clients in need. Seems they are alike except the latter has no CEOs, far less overhead and less duplication. You decide who gets your money.


#8

Please don't confuse the discussion with actual facts. They're soooooooooo booooooring. Bring me another beer. Buuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrp!!!!!!


#9

Exactly. Single Payer is a health insurance program, much more efficient than what we have now. The way health care is delivered in the U.S. will still need alot of work. Single Payer is socialism. We also have to socialize living healthier, public health care education, disease prevntion and using more sustainable drugs, therapies and medical practices to actually treat disease. But we don't get to the latter until we have actual socialized insurance. SINGLE PAYER NOW!!!


#10

Providing healthcare to those who can afford it thus leaving those who can't to suffer early death, is a means of population control. Dying young is the intent, especially when unfortunate victims are people of color, but the poor white are also included in the calculation of excess population. Be afraid of Trump. He is diabolical.


#11

I'm sorry, Tom:
Single payer health care is NOT socialism. Socialized medicine is when the government owns the hospitals and all of the staff are employees of the government. That's what the U.S. Veterans Administration is. In single payer healthcare everything is paid from a single public fund; this means taxes. This is exactly what traditional Medicare is. We desperately need it nationally, but our system is such that we will not have it nationally until we have it in a state or two. Politicians need t see that endorsing it is compatible with survival. Also the country needs to see that it saves money; and it will. Now 20 to 30 per cent of the health care dollar is wasted by insurance company and provider bureaucracy. Medical care can still be delivered privately, so people can still choose their own physician and hospital. So if several states can enact a system and run it for a decade or so, then the right national leadership can lead the United States t catch up with the rest of the industrial world. Ten or more states are working on it. Here is our effort in Ohio: SPANOhio.org. Of course, it will take a lot of money to fight the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, but with crowd funding, it is not far fetched.


#12

Single Payer is a socialized finance system to fund health care for all. I was quite explicit that it does not include ownership and control of the means of production of the healthcare industry (which would be a good thing). However, it does give people power to exercise control over their health care and provides for universal and accessible health care if it is fully-funded, just as Social Security would provide for decent retirement if it was fairly taxed and distributed.

The U.S. economy is a mixed economy - a heavily socialized capitalist-controlled economy. At least Single Payer would get the worst vestiges of capitalism out of health care: rapacious insurance companies, We'd still have to deal with all of the others, but have a larger power base.

As for going state-by-state, the U.S. is not Canada. The Supreme Court will crush Single Payer under interstate commerce bullshit unless it is federal law. Also, there are other numerous legal trickbags. Caly may have the power to overcome this because of its economic wealth and maybe New York too, But everybody else is dangling in the wind. In any case, I agree with most of what you say substantively and almost any kind of organizing is better than not. But we do need to keep in mind what kind of screwed up political system we live in, structurally and "legally."

Last point. The VA did not and could not develop state-by-state. Nor has any other significant national program that I can think of. We do not live in "United" States in anything but imperial war, capitalism, police-state control and general stupidity. Otherwise we are a disparate collection of many countries and the only way to sanity is to impose things like Single Payer nationally. Or break up the whole mess, which may happen before Single Payer does.


#13

I sent the Bee reporter a link to this...


#14

There is a way to have a single payer system and still pretend to be the capitalist based free enterprise system. The way to implement it is this:
1. Tell folks that we have an individual mandate/responsibility to participate. This means we're all in this together to take the best practical advantage of our buying power. Sure some smarty-pants folks out there could potentially do better for themselves, but it isn't about the individual cost, but rather the collective savings.
2. Costs will be incurred for services that will have to be carried as loans until the reckoning day where we determine the cost to everyone. There is much latitude in this area for negotiating, but it comes down to this, if a company can withhold your first 2 weeks or month of earned salary prior to reckoning/payday, then this is similar.
3. Between November 1 and December 1 solicit bids from major insurance carriers for firm fixed pricing for all products and services. ALL Services, no pre-existing exclusions, because everyone is cared for. The winning low bidder, which can be a combination of firms to achieve worldwide care, pay the bills and are given special zero interest notes from Uncle Sam for the year to cover all costs.
4. Every american's tax bill is calculated based on their portion of the cost with the risk spread over the entire population. This is due and payable by April 15th. Ultimately we could be down in the $5-6K per person year and this is the earned income tax credit equivalent. You work, we make sure you have basic health insurance.
5. Salaries were pre-negotiated so only more hours/patients gains additional revenue. I envision a system where mandatory participation for civil service gains additional benefits later, say after 5 years.
The collective bargaining power would drastically reduce drug coverage, and we'd remain a free market based system, except we'd benefit dramatically from the possible cost savings.