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Iowa 2016: What Will We Do With People Like Me?


Iowa 2016: What Will We Do With People Like Me?

Donna Smith

It all seems an unlikely scenario. It also seems unlikely that a person such as me will have a piece published on Monday morning, February 1, 2016. I don't hold the sway or nearly the level of expertise that so many, many others do in the political world. It also seems such a pivotal time for the nation.


I wouldn't get your hopes up, Donna. We all used to trust John Conyers, too. Remember?

And if I remember correctly, wasn't it Sanders who shafted Single Payer in 2009 after making a deal with Max Baucus?

Single Payer will have to come from the States. And as long as ObamaCare® is the law of the land, that's never going to happen.


Donna, your son is lucky to have one such as you as a mother. All the best.


Here's the thing, leftover: ACA will not pick up the millions (yes, millions) who STILL don't have healthcare insurance. It will NOT pay the deductibles, which are growing every year. It also will NOT keep premiums from rising into unaffordability for those who could not afford health insurance prior to the ACA. So the problem is NOT solved, and is getting worse, every year. People will DEMAND change, and with someone like Bernie in office, along with more progressives in congress, change WILL come.


As it stood and still stands to some extent, the damage done to me by the healthcare system rendered my experience, my knowledge, my education and my hard work laughable.

Never laughable, Donna, never laughable. Love to you and yours. You are an inspiration.


Thank-you Donna. Your words come from your heart and the heart of the working class. Change has got to come and it has got to come soon. Bernie is jut a tiny start. We have got a lot of work to do and most of it will be in the street's not the polling place. Solidarity.


People can demand change. That doesn't guarantee anything. Single Payer healthcare reform is a perfect example.

People demand change. The politicians...and the people who own the politicians...decide what the people will get. Single Payer healthcare reform is the perfect example.

As long as ObamaCare®...which controls exactly what type of healthcare reform any State can undertake...remains the law of the land, Single Payer...nonprofit universal healthcare...can never happen.

It's going to take much, much more than public demand to enact Single Payer healthcare reform. SCIENCE! [PDF].
"The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence. Our results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism."

The system itself will have to change...substantively...structurally...before that can happen. Blind faith in bourgeois reformists and opportunists like Sanders...or Conyers... isn't going to change that.


We do have Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. So it is within the realm of possibility to get single payer or an improved Medicare for all. The big stumbling block is the GOP (and DINOs) and the corporate billionaires who want to undo, destroy, eliminate and obliterate Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and even the ACA. People complain about the ACA but 20 million more people are insured and the pre-existing conditions garbage was eliminated by the ACA. What the F is the matter with this country; every other industrialized democracy has some form or version of universal health care or a national health care system.
Only ONE candidate is even proposing single payer: Bernie Sanders. He gets my vote.


Dear Donna:

Your level of honesty is astounding. I also think you are too hard on yourself. Why internalize what a system run by, for, and about profits sanctions and glorifies?

Many economic wizards believe that the tremendous sums of money literally dreamt up by Wall St. magicians using computer algorithms is about to crash. Big time. All the fake wealth created out of thin air and decoupled from the actual fruit of labors, or any tangible, inherently valuable objects is going to disappear. And when it does, it will profoundly alter the value system that for too long made Money--the DOLLAR--king.

Also, while the onus is on the individual to keep healthy, and certainly eating little to no meat, little to no dairy, very moderate use of alcohol and sugar are ways to facilitate that; no one is prepared to handle the deluge of chemical toxins coming to us all through unlabeled genetically modified food stuffs, the traces of tossed pharmaceutical prescriptions now flowing through public water tables, the radiation in the atmosphere, and the detritus of hundreds of chemicals in our soils.

Human beings are virtual guinea pigs to so vast a chemical overload as to explain the insanely rising levels of Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Autism, Depression, and so much else.

In a system that includes all of these dangerous exposures, the chemical trespassers should help to pay for the damages their products cause.

At minimum, a society that allows makers of toxic products to continue producing those products should have a system of medical redress in place.

Instead, individuals must pony up ridiculous sums for treatment programs that more often than not, manage symptoms while never alleviating cause.

Health care in the U.S. is as much a racket as any other Big Business Enterprise. After all, if Disaser Capitalism pays most profitably, corporate entities will seek out disasters to manage and where necessary... engineer them.


Agreed, just as Saskatchewan originated Canadian single-payer , "US single payer will have to come from the States".

Note that Obama's ACA prohibits the States from enacting single-payer until 2018 and then only on the condition that the US Government approves each State's program.

There is no question that just as the GOP staged the Arnold coup in California to prevent Governor Gray Davis from signing off on single payer in 2003, any GOP President will shut down single payer attempts post haste.

Based on her comments in the current primary race, you can safely bet your last nickle that Clinton will also shut down single payer attempts post haste.

I don't know enough about O'Malley to comment on the prospects of his support for States' single payer attempts.

Three guesses as to the only primary candidate likely to enable States' post 2018 efforts to enact single-payer ?


Holy Discount, Batman! That article is behind a $37.50 paywall!

Interesting abstract, though...


CRAP!!! I'm sorry. Wrong link.
Full PDF here.

I'll edit the original.


Thank you. Can't wait to read it...


There are a lot of single-payer systems in the world and this type of health care system doesn't address every problem. There is no way we will get a single-payer system in the US with the present political polarization so the question will remain how can we improve what we have. Fee for service probably a major derive of costs and that should be examined. Perhaps we need to regulat3 the cost of drugs and allow drugs into the US from other countries such as Canada. We need to do something to avoid medical students having to borrow so much that the can't pay the money back if they go into research or primary care. If premiums can be reduced by lowering costs more people will be able to pay for insurance. The poorest people have Medicaid but people with low incomes who do not quality need more help. Probably the first priority is to prevent the Republicans from repealing Obamacare which has enabled many more people to get health insurance, has guaranteed you are eligible for health insurance despite having existing health problems, and eliminates caps on health insurance so you will not go bankrupt even with health insurance.


Supposedly Vermont tried single-payer and it failed. I don't know the details.


The ability of insurance, public or private, to deliver good service is inherently based on shared risk which means a larger "pool" of insureds creates not only an economy of scale, but enables specialized care.

Unlike California, with 38 million people enabling it to have a State single-payer program larger than Canada's, Vermont's population of 600,000 plus is smaller than any of the top 20 cities in the US, putting Vermont at a serious disadvantage to go it alone.


Every state that moves the single payer agenda forward gets single payer one step closer.

Thanks for the heads up !.


When I saw "Sicko", your son's comment "What do we do with people like you?" and his general selfish attitude infuriated me. I wanted to hit him in the face. Unfortunately, his attitude is not uncommon among Americans who have come of age since the year 1980, when Reagan started the now-normal US trend toward transferring money from social services to the Pentagon, prisons, and police and encouraging a trend in society toward extreme individualism and shallow competitiveness and materialism, now commonly expressed even against family members like in your case. It has also become normal to judge everything on whether it makes money or not and to judge people on whether or not they have made money or not, as you are suggesting your son does to you. When I talk about such things to Americans, I hear over and over that it has/people have always been this way. No, they haven't, and it's not impossible to get people to care about each other again instead of caring only about their individual selves and about money.


You are not alone Donna.

I am just like you and there are many other millions just like you out here. We humans have a tendency to think it is only ourselves who are suffering. We are to blame for our own perils and somehow it was caused by our own personal blunders.

Hey, no one is free from making mistakes but we are also fast learners and some of us learn to rally and we learn from mistakes and take another route, and learn to hang in and surviving the worst.

On top of that, there are the many ill-informed friends, family and acquaintances that are more than willing to put the blame of our situation on us too. I have plenty of those.

I have found out those who are ill-informed and who do not “study” the reality of our country’s systems are the ones who fail and they never knew what hit them.
They have been propagandized into deflecting the blame onto other people. I have lost so many friends just trying to enlighten people who do not want to see the reality of our system, and that it is a country that has failed at caring for its own people.

I have fantasized that maybe I should to talk with a physiologist or psychiatrists that they might help me understand why I do not have friends or a support system. Then I realize this bloke would probably advise me to take some mind numbing drugs and tell me that I perceive myself as a…… (wait for it) ….a victim! Well shit! I am a victim!

I am a victim of a system planned, and precisely executed to make a profit at my expense, and those are the facts.