What a mess! The effort to protect the insurance industry at all costs is making real health care reform impossible. Maybe, because the Democrats want to do something, anything, so badly they will find a way to pass something, but if they do it will not work, it will be very costly and the group that will benefit most clearly will be the health insurance industry which will reap hundreds of billions in corporate welfare every year from the deform of health care in America. Of course, incumbents who support it will benefit with campaign donations from the industry. Pay to play politics on display in America.
Margaret Flowers, MD was the first witness to testify at the senate hearing on June 11. Her comments focused on health care as a human right. She pointed out how FDR was the first to try and put in place a social security system that included a single payer health care system. And, how years of trying the “uniquely American approach” of the market solution – for-profit health care – had failed the country and put health care on a path to government deficit with health care costs already a cause in two-thirds of bankruptcies. She urged the senate to not tinker with a broken system but instead to take a new path and adopt a national health plan with single payer as the financing system.
Sadly, there were four doctors on the panel and only one, Flowers, who spoke of health care as a human right. Perhaps the AMA was the most despicable. Not only did they oppose single payer – something supported by 60% of doctors according to a survey of the AMA data base – but they even opposed the weak public insurance option. The AMA spokesperson said they would only support market approaches. No wonder the AMA is shrinking rapidly. While not long ago it represented 70% of American doctors, they are now down to only 30%. At this hearing, their callous disregard of the needs of patients and their disregard of the opinions of doctors showed why they are a shell of an organization.
Sen. Sanders pointed out the historic breakthrough of having the first witness for single payer being allowed to testify as part of the health care reform discussion. The audience began to applaud, Sanders warned “be careful, you might get arrested.”
The day before this hearing a House subcommittee held a session on single payer health care. One witness Dr. Walter Tsou, a University of Pennsylvania professor, former health commissioner and an adviser to Physicians for a National Health Program responded to the claim that single payer was too radical saying "Our most famous radical document begins with the words, 'We the People.' Not 'We the Insurers,'" he said. "It is time for our own generation's revolution."
And, it will take the people speaking out and getting active to make real health care reform possible. If you don’t want to see another massive transfer of wealth to the insurance industry while Americans continue to lack health care, you need to take action. Tell your representatives that you want a national health plan funded by a single payer system. The insurers are working hard, the American people have to work harder. The time is now.
You can take action by clicking here (http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/1312/t/9277/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=27262).
Kevin Zeese is the executive director of ProsperityAgenda.US which is working for an economy for all and not just the elites.
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