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It’s the For-Profit Health Care Industry Telling Us We Can’t Afford Medicare for All

It’s the For-Profit Health Care Industry Telling Us We Can’t Afford Medicare for All

Salomeh Keyhani

The most important question about Medicare for All is a simple one: If other industrialized countries can afford to offer high-quality universal health care to their citizens, why can’t the United States?


From the article:
“…many of our political leaders across party lines are not serving us, but rather the health care industry.”
“… too many politicians continue to side with corporations over the people they represent.”
“Many political leaders, in collaboration with the health care industry, sow false narratives. They claim that “Medicare for All” means rationed care and limited choice of physicians.”
“We need leaders who represent us and not the for-profit health care industry.”

But Dr. Keyhani never points to WHY “our political leaders” represent the profiteers and not us:
The systemic corruption that allows “legal” bribery in the form of “lobbying” and “campaign contributions,” plus the endless propaganda that is churned out by these industries.

Her analysis of the interrelation and dynamics among the industry, the politicians, and the people would be strengthened if she included this bribery and persuasion money element with the pricing and profit money element.


The propaganda against a national universal healthcare system has been around for decades. Back when I was working and didn’t have healthcare we were told of the failures of other country’s systems. They were lying. In the insane profit capital of the world profit is king. We could have a plan that works for everyone. We don’t as long as idiot politicians take bribes from big Pharma and profit motivated hospitals. Nationalize healthcare and cut expenses by 40% or so. Even single payer, like medicare is these days will save 25-30% overall. The only folks not wanting this are corrupt politicians and brainwashed people that believe what has been told to them for decades. Since the 60’s when Medicare was passed.


I have to laugh - otherwise I’ll cry. These displays by those opposed need to be recognized for what they are: usurpation, especially of context.

I take as essential lesson from the predatory practices since Citizens United, to be the penultimate “externalization of costs” in claims of ‘context’. Take a small part of an argument, spit on it and stick your rhetorical label - then divert attention before the spittle dries and the reasoning evaporates. This is the viagra version of filibuster. Don’t even bother to bring it to the floor.

RT has a brief report on four cases of egregious scornful theivery - in many cases for patents for medicine research paid for in the millions by US taxpayers.

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Ah, Medicare is good but you still have to buy supplemental insurance, for certain drugs, exams, etc. And, the paperwork, the wait time - Yikes!
If a a drug has been around for 20 years, it shouldn’t cost $200 for a daily pill, either.
When, really, is Enough finally going to be Enough?


I’m truly concerned that the term “Single-Payer” or H.R. 676 has been replace by “Medicare For All”. It is my understanding that the latter STILL has ties to the insurance companies and has a co-pay. I hope I’m wrong but there isn’t whole lot of clarity out there about the subtle differences. Anyone know FOR SURE?


When the corrupt government is overthrown and a sane, fair, and compassionate government takes over. In other words: probably never.


WHAT IS HEALTHCARE???IS IT TAKING A BUNCH OF PILLS??? WHAT ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH----How does mental health effect over all health???

We need healthcare centers in every neighborhood because we live in a very SICK country–from suicides to the infant mortality rate. The healthcare center should offer community gardens and open space–meditation gardens—part of the plan here is that people volunteer—this is part of the HEALTHCARE.

But Clyde_Crebbafrabitz: when Congress sells out what people barely have now, and begin cutting jobs----------dystopian novel time!
When fewer people have healthcare—hospitals will close down. Disease and death will be rampant.Doctors and nurses will be kidnapped and secreted away where the disgustingly wealthy are hiding out.
People will be locked away to produce, not soylent green -----but SACKLER PILLS so everyone will off themselves and no one will care or notice. However, with the plethora of people dropping dead all over the country------it will be like the 17th century plagues in London— dead bodies create their own death in poisoning the air. EVERYONE is at risk… and should Americans try to escape to other countries, other nations have already copied Trump with, " no immigrants allowed!" . : 0 Rich Americans are screwed too— no where to be somebody!!! Wow, finally an equal playing field, but a distressing one where even money can not hold the promise of escape.
So, after a time, for those who did not fall to disease, a way was found to eat food and water that was not poisoned!
So— maybe a new republic will arise ACIREMA pronounced as ( ac ire ma ) America pronounced backwards… which makes sense because America is running in the wrong direction, now -------so changing directions might result in a salvageable word! The people of the corporations will of course, be burned at the stake for a new rendition of Crispy Critters-----so finally they will have served a purpose and benefitted part of humanity. Life is weird so you just never know. : )

I have an idea- how about right to die with dignity instead of being forced to “live” in a nursing home, take pills and be on oxygen.

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Can you say Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act? 20 years +, too. The guidelines make sense, as well.
I’ll never give up my citizenship here. What does autonomy mean without this right, anyway?

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I’m in the health care delivery system too. I have stopped taking ALL insurance especially including Medicare. WHY? I really want to be there for older folks and I don’t mind taking less money but the hoops and forms are hell on earth. Medicare once sent me 30 pages for an address correction…to the correct address. I once had a professional Medicare biller bill Medicare for about 2 dozen patients, around $5K, and I never got one dime back nor could I ever find out why. I swear you could send them a stack of bills perfectly filled out, but they have a meeting that morning, and suddenly your billing is all wrong. Another crappy thing they do is constantly change code numbers so you have to buy a new thick book every year. Somehow they have the idea that improving health care is coming up with a whole new stack of numbers every year. I don’t know what it is like in Canada now but another doctor from Canada told me she used to send in a post card size bill and be paid promptly. Here you go back and forth continuously with any insurance company and again especially including Medicare as they throw hoop after hoop at you. One patient whose wife worked at an insurance company said their motto was "delay, deny, divert.’

Our government is extremely corrupt as pointed out above with elections, legislators and lobbyists running this government. Our government is Fascist in the true corporate-dominated sense of the word. Right now our government is literally killing us with chem trails, pesticides, fluoride, toxic vaccines, microwave/why-fry everywhere and on and on - all corporate-profit based. How and why would you expect a healthy health care system from such a bought-off, corrupt government? I would be afraid of any medicare-for-all from such a sick government, who knows what new means they may come up with to eliminate the ancient, useless eaters. Ezeikial Emmanuel, Rahm’s brother, says no significant medical intervention after 75 of age. Maybe they’ll want to ratchet that age down too.

Our health care system is sick. So is our government. It will sure take a lot of activism and awareness to NOT create a sicker health care system from such a sick enviro. Proceed with caution and care! Gopherit


Out of curiosity, where did you get this understanding? Neither H.R.676 nor S.1804 (house and senate bills using the term Medicare for All) had insurance companies involved with covered services past the transition period. The replacement house bill (H.R.1384) goes further in terms of services (H.R.676 didn’t cover long term care I believe, but I’m no expert - I do plan on getting through all of H.R.1384 though) and of course maintains the shut out of private insurance covering the same set of benefits. Here is the relevant passage (https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/1384/text):

SEC. 107. Prohibition against duplicating coverage.

(a) In general.—Beginning on the effective date described in section 106(a), it shall be unlawful for—

(1) a private health insurer to sell health insurance coverage that duplicates the benefits provided under this Act; or

(2) an employer to provide benefits for an employee, former employee, or the dependents of an employee or former employee that duplicate the benefits provided under this Act.

(b) Construction.—Nothing in this Act shall be construed as prohibiting the sale of health insurance coverage for any additional benefits not covered by this Act, including additional benefits that an employer may provide to employees or their dependents, or to former employees or their dependents.

I personally wasn’t keen on the term Medicare for All as I think it makes the fight more confusing (people will attack Medicare as being a) incomplete - many need supplemental private insurance, b) a bureaucratic mess (as @Gopherit points out). But I think the name is a done deal now.

Obviously the new Medicare will have no such issue as with supplemental insurance, but on the issue of bureaucracy, I hope the universality will push them to be more efficient (everything should be paperless at this point). We should be able to run it as smoothly as Canada - I refuse to accept we can’t do as well. For those (usually on the right) who claim our government can’t do anything right - that doesn’t sound like they love this country very much does it? If there are issues on billing, let’s fix them. We have way worse issues now with the system we have.

It seems the more I read the more confused I get about the difference between “Single-Payer” and “Medicare for all”. here is something MORE to read, if you are interested:

I think I’ve seen that one before - it also indicates no private insurance is allowed for procedures covered by the universal public plan. Why anyone would buy insurance for things not covered (which supposedly would be things like cosmetic surgery) is beyond me. I would think reconstructive surgery after a car accident would still be covered pretty well. Maybe insurance to upgrade to a private hospital bed would be ok.

Basically, there is no difference between Single Payer and Medicare for All. They both require a lot more words to spell everything out (what is covered, are the payments fee for service or lump sums with operating budget control, are providers allowed to make a profit or not, etc.) but the main defining characteristic - universal coverage with a single payer (the government) paying the bills is identical. I preferred the name Single Payer and call it Americare or something new, but it was not to be. It doesn’t matter that much - the name is set now I think and now is the time to fight hard starting with pushing away this Medicare for America garbage. Unfortunately it’s hard to tell who is on what side. My litmus test is “are you primarily pushing Medicare for All (as defined in H.R.1384 or the announced upgrade to S.1804) and willing to consider alternatives (50+ or whatever) if you can’t get the votes or are you primarily pushing some sort of Medicare for America buy in plan and signed on to the other bills just for messaging purposes?” I know for sure Bernie is a yes on the first question. I still hope Tulsi will use stronger language next time she talks about this because right now The Hill (https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/436162-medicare-for-all-where-2020-dems-stand) has her as someone unwilling to give private health insurance the boot (though to be fair, I think she is spouting the typical politician speak for the narrow avenues that might be left over in a full Medicare for All implementation in which case she is with Bernie). I had thought Warren was with Bernie but her language is sometimes wishy washy too. I don’t trust Harris (who the Hill says is willing to give up on private insurance, but she backpedaled which this author doesn’t know? - I’m not a huge fan of The Hill). I don’t trust Booker or Gillabrand either. O’Rouque has abandoned us and Buttigieg was never with us.

I fear that if this doesn’t happen now I may never see it in my lifetime. What boils my blood is all the people who are against this that it would help. Americans must be some of the most masochistic people on the planet. If they would just wake up, research, and THINK!

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Well if by now you mean mid 2021, then maybe that’s true. It definitely won’t happen before then. I’m 55 and I want to see it in my lifetime so if it isn’t 2021 (either because Trump wins or because we have a lousy House and Senate or a lousy Democrat in office again), I will hope for later. I will never give up hope. And come closer to the primaries I will be calling out all the D party losers who aren’t with us any chance I get.



It is all about the Profits.

Health Care Providers do not give a damn about our Health they only worry about the payments on their Mansion and Summer House.

It is way beyond time to take the Profits out of Health Care.

We need a Group Healthcare Policy like major corporations have, only we need it for 300+ million Americans, it is called MEDICARE FOR ALL.

Old Man BERNIE can lead us to this type of Policy if WE THE PEOPLE do not allow the Country and the NAY Sayers destroy him.


Insurance industry is the biggest parasite on our healthcare system along with Big Pharma

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Yes, I heard about Oregon and some other states. I agree with you. The fundies do not want this law anymore as they say only g-d should decide who dies and lives. They are NUTS! I also believe that if someone is “living” in abject poverty they should have the right to die with dignity also . I think the Netherlands allows this but I am not sure.