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There are 3 types of Single-Payer 'Concern Trolls' — and They All Want to Undermine Universal Healthcare


#1

There are 3 types of Single-Payer 'Concern Trolls' — and They All Want to Undermine Universal Healthcare.

Adam Johnson

With momentum building for single-payer healthcare among Democratic voters and a growing number of 2020 hopefuls, Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled a “Medicare for All” bill last week.


#2

“Concern” distraction is woven tight in Murka’s fascist fabric, from the Eishenhower example to Saint Ron serially reminding us that the cause of acid rain “needs more study”, to Dubya’s concern about Gore’s alleged “fuzzy math” that then became the not so solid bedrock of Dubya’s two terms, to Obama’s 2011 catfood commission admonishing us to remember that “the adults in the room” know more than us children.

The common theme running through all of it is no concern for anything enhancing profits for the 1% and their corporations…concern for anything that doesn’t.


#3

It is not “concern trolling” to point out that legislation that would effectively abolish a wildly profitable (even if you are a “not-for-profit”) multi-hundred-billion dollar industry - second only to the war industry, and subject it or public control, is not going to be easy, and that is an understatement. Governments have been overthrown by the oligharchs for far less. Of course we should pursue single payer, but we better organize, organize, organize and prepare for revolution to get it (and abolish capitalism while we are at it) done.


#4

And of course, this begs the question of whether people want “revolution” or not, the kind of revolution the Left prefers. My take is that the conservatives are slowly winning the revolution right now. Straight up corporate stooges, who don’t even attempt to hide it, are now winning office.


#5

I think the vehemence of the health insurance opposition is a bit overblown compared to say direct attacks on banks/brokerages (not sure why you call health insurance “second” - they are probably not in the top five). I say this because health insurance and insurance companies generally deal in a very similar trade as banks and brokerage companies and they can easily shift their balance of how much they deal in the future money business instead of the future risk business. I take their screaming about single payer (as they are doing in California) to be a way of gaining government supported advantages in making modifications to their business plan.


#6

Insurance IS a major part of the finance industry, and the insurance companies are only one part of the uniquely USAn, uniquely savage-capitlaist healthcare industry triad - directly tied to the massive corporate hospital/medical industry and the huge pharmaceutical industry. Combined, I’d say it is become pretty much the major domestic industry in the US. Per-capita healthcare spending in the US is a bit over $9000 per year for a total of a 2.88 trillion industry, almost 16 percent of total GDP.

Helathcare has certainly replaced steelmaking and glass as the by far number one industry in my city. The massive letters “UPMC” (a huge regional hospital near-monopoly) crowns the former US Steel building - the tallest building in Pittsburgh and “Highmark” crowns another landmark downtown skyscraper.

Single-payer, properly implemented, will largely eliminate the medical insurance industry, and slash revenues by hospital corporations in half, and revenues by pharmaceutical corporations by probably 80%. Do you honestly think they are just going to lay down in the face of this? Recall how the oligarchs in Chile reacted when Allende tried to push through comparable change in 1975.


#7

Exactly. What will actually happen way, way before we can organize enough people to fill the streets and put up barricades in DC - Damascus, Cairo, or Kiev style - the industry will rev up the propaganda machine, scare the US public to death with stories of Soviet-style long lines at hospitals, and “taxes, taxes, taxes” and there will be a massive public backlash against Sanders plan.

And, in the outside chance that single payer was enacted, the capitalists would simply “make the economy scream” with John-Gault-type bosses strikes or Chile/1975 style (or current-day Venezuela) and then take over the government.

That’s not “concern trolling” its called looking at reality straight-on. Fuck capitalism.


#8

I think insurance companies (and lots of employees in it) are opposed to single payer, but it also depends on what we mean by that phrase. They will oppose change no matter what, but if they are permitted to run as nonprofits like in Germany, I suspect some will convert.

Right now, we are just basically kicking around ideas. Well, my feeling is that I think it’s possible that if ACA is amended to include price controls–the real fight–that it’s possible insurance companies would be okay. If hospitals and clinicians were less opaque in their billing practices, some portions of the industry would likely be supportive. Doing that in itself would be a boon to affordability. Again, just throwing an idea out there.


#9

The biggest insurance companies are already “not-for-profit” - BCBS, for example.

And, single payer is only going to work if it has rigorous cost controls on every medical procedure and drug - like Canadian provinces do, order to get the runaway medical costs back down to levels comparable to, Canada. No corporation is going to allow the government to slash their revenue by such a degree.

And we are still not talking about the biggest bogeymen of the US medical industry - the monopolistic regional hospital corporations. W. Pennsylvania no longer has even a single Catholic hospital anymore - they all got bought up and/or closed by the massive UPMC.

Capitalism works like a ratchet, once they grab something formerly in the public domain, it is an incredible fight to wrest it back.


#10

Ummm … that was kinda my point. The Insurance industry is part and parcel of the financial sector and can switch readily to loaning money at any time - and making just as much profit as they do now.

The market value of the health insurance companies is much smaller than the market value of other parts of the financial sector and much smaller than the market value of the energy companies and smaller than the market value of the major tech companies.

Basically, there is about a half of a trillion dollars spent in billing costs in the U.S. Health care system and studies find that around 70-80% of that would go away if we had a single payer system so a savings of about $350 billion total. But the insurance companies are only half of those costs. Remember that for every $1 in billing costs that go through an insurance company there’s a $1 on the other side in doctors’ offices and hospitals and pharmacies. Now the doctors don’t like paying for in-office financial services and they would rather be paid directly by a single payer. The Hospitals and the Pharmacies … same thing - they would rather just be paid by a single payer and avoid all of those financial headaches. So we are left with an insurance industry that kinda likes the $175 billion or so per year they are getting now. But that is counterbalanced by 1) other big players that gain and by 2) obvious alternatives for the insurance companies to still make big bucks.
I just don’t see single payer eating into the capitalist monopoly on power in the same way that the examples you cite in, say 1975 Chile, did. Otherwise why do we already have single payer in most every other OCED nation.


#11

Just for clarity, California stripped BCBS it of its nonprofit status in 2015. The Association itself is an LLC and member organizations license the name. Some are and some aren’t nonprofit. It’s a bit confusing.


#12

While there are doctors that like single payer, there are many that don’t, let’s be honest about that. The AMA has a long and storied history of opposing single payer, let along any light regulation of clinician business practices. For example, opaque pricing is something many practitioners gain from. Here in Cali, clinician organizations were adamantly against fee-for-service pricing disclosure and helped water down a bill to do just that. Hospitals have to disclose upon request, but it’s something almost nobody does. Just want to make a quick note of that. Doctors deserve our respect, but their ranks are filled with businessmen too.


#13

Sure - there’s lots of conservative doctors who oppose single payer from a political perspective. But I was describing Doctors’ attitude toward medical billing. They pretty much all hate it and would rather just get paid without so much red tape.

The opposition of conservative doctors to single payer stems either from greed in worry about how much they can charge or in their misguided perception that they will be restricted by government in giving what they feel is the best care to their patients.


#14

OK, now let’s extrapolate. These 3 types of concern trolling are seen in just about anything a majority of people want, in cases where actual logic and research can’t tell us it’s bad for us. In fact, it’s the DNC’s main tool for fighting progressivism (yes, that would be nice in theory, but. . .)

$15 minimum wage
Universal Basic Income
Stopping war
Switching over to renewable energies
Heck, even stopping police brutality!


#15

" Where would the money come from?" The cutting of the military budget by 60% and the closing of all overseas bases except those located on US territories. That plus totally doing away with the Department of Homeland Insecurity. How would you manage all the corporations disturbed? Simple, the corporations and their bought and paid for stooges in the Congress are always screaming that they want to be free of excessive government. Here’s their chance. The government will now run healthcare, freeing the health insurance companies to sell policies to the wealthy, the gullible and fools.


#16

Trying to get to the bottom of the claim by the Vote No campaign against the drug issue here in Ohio, that voting yes would actually increase drug prices, the closest I’ve come are veiled threats of making us scream, if we should approve it.


#17

Reforming anything is impossible now. We have only disaster capitalism to look forward to. If the question is “My money or your life?” it ain’t going to be your life.


#18

I see a lot of concern trolling above.

And here’s a piece of advice: Rather than calling them health insurers, refer to them as greedy fat cat middlemen.


#19

I am writing a new story. It has been rated UP and VF by the author’s independent rating agency; Ultra Progressive and Very Fun.

The VF very fun rating provides diplomatically humorous story scenes flavored by peace, good health and a fun culture based on healing Earth.

Conservatives present a first order contradiction by supporting regime changes requiring foreign nation building plus a large homeland government managing huge debts for war.

Pirates using the military to gain power over each other’s dreams of dominion are running amuck around the world. Reduced services for actual citizens translates to insecure people who will work for whatever they can get in the meager short life of a commoner serving owners of tall buildings.

Demonetized education, health insurance and public transportation make money for society. The only problem is pirates can’t get the money from the people. Pirates loose their free lunch when people have health insurance like Cubans do.


#20

An excellent article and all the trolls on CD took the bait and came out to play!! LOL