MAKING SENSE OF THE HEALTH CARE REFORM DEBATE
Written by Craig Etchison
Sunday, 30 August 2009 10:40
Health care reform. A topic that should be discussed with quiet rationality because of its importance to all has engendered a stream of invective from a few while the many look for solid evidence upon which to take a position. Vested interests—the insurance industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and the health care industry—spread lies to protect their profits while people suffer and die. The Mainstream media make no attempt to sift the truth from the chaff, the media more a tool of greedy corporations than a watchful Fourth Estate. Many members of Congress take money from the health care industry and write convoluted bills that protect those interests rather than protect the good of the public. In informational meetings, a few shout down the majority, drowning out any possibility of reasoned analysis based on facts. And Thomas Jefferson’s belief that reason would defeat error is never given a chance, thus subverting our very democracy. And how, amidst the noise and the lies, is the average citizen to figure out the truth?
Perhaps the place to start is to clarify the difference between socialized medicine—such as Sweden has—and a government-run insurance program—such as proposed in HR 676, which is single-payer, public funded, non-profit, privately delivered health care, very much like Medicare. The differences between socialized medicine and a public funded insurance program are considerable. Socialized medicine involves the government running the entire medical establishment, from the hospitals and clinics right down to paying doctors, nurses, and everyone else involved in health care delivery. All facets of the system are decided at the government level. I have a friend in Russia who lives under such a system, and it’s not one I would recommend given what she has told me about it. No one—not the president, not the Congress, not a variety of organizations advocating health care reform—is suggesting we move to socialized medicine.
Unfortunately, forces on the right, led by some vocal Republican members of Congress are doing quite a good job at convincing many Americans that socialized medicine is the goal of this reform movement. This rampant fear mongering contributes nothing of value to the discussion and only makes it more difficult to find a solution to the problem presented by a broken health care system. It seems that when the right can’t address an issue based on factual evidence, they scream lies as loudly as possible to obscure their lack of substance. And in this case, never debate the merits of a single-payer plan. As the Republican high commissioner of propaganda Frank Lunz said early on, fear would be the instrument used to defeat health care reform.
What is actually being advocated by many people both inside and outside the health care industry is a government run health insurance program—a single-payer, public plan. The vested interests that roll in massive profits derived from sickness don’t want such a plan, even though such plans have already been hugely successful in this country, Medicare being a shinning example, along with TRICARE, the program for 9.2 million military active-duty personnel and retirees. One of the ironies in the right’s attack on reform is that some recipients of Medicare scream against reform because they “don’t want government meddling with their health care”—so confused by the lies from the vested interests that they don’t even know their Medicare program is government run, and run quite efficiently and effectively.
Why is Big Health Care fighting change? One word: greed. Health care industries make huge profits off sickness in this country, though in a rather perverse way. The insurance industry does all it can not to insure those who are or might become sick, wanting only to take premiums from the healthy, those not likely to call on their insurance for help. And woe unto the small business where an employee needs extensive, expensive medical treatment. The carrier of that business’s health insurance will make it impossible for the business to afford continued coverage. That’s according to industry insider, Wendell Potter, former executive at CIGNA. As he points out, Big Insurance doesn’t care about people or their health. They care only about profits.
[See article for remainder]
Through a combination of luck, skill and prescient pessimism, we have discovered what we believe to be the content of Obama's speech on Wednesday. Many of you are aware of the health insurance concept of 'pre-authorization." Note that the content of the Obama speech, if we are correct, has been pre-authorized by Karen Ignani and the DeathEaters at AHIP (America's Hellth Insurance Pirates.)
Click here for what we believe President Obama will propose on Wednesday.
Of course, the President will probably dress up the content in his own rhetoric, but we at HealthJustice expect the substance to remain largely unchanged.
If you would like to change the course of history (or piss into the wind, depending on your degree of pessimism), then please send another fax to the President and your Congresspeople urging single payer Medicare For All. Here is the quick and easy link to the fax.
Here is a link to all the other quick and easy faxes, all urging single payer Medicare For All in one way or another. Send them all. It's free, it's simple, it's just a couple of clicks.
Go to our shop to see what you might look like after Wednesday. Of course, President Obama may offer a bold plan for rectifying the nation's (lack of) health care. For instance, he might endorse the Republican's concept in the "Healthy America Act." You know. That's the one where health reform is when everybody learns to sit up straight and eat their vegetables.
First Person: On The Road With Mad as Hell Docs for Single-Payer ...
Berkeley Daily Planet
In contrast to HR 676, HR 3200 will leave out at least 10 million people, perhaps more. Moreover, by stating that he wants a public option that will only be ...