Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend (1 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   11 comments

Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

It's Time For A Real Debate On Health Care Reform

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Supported 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H4 1/8/13


Medical insurers around the country are announcing a new round of double-digit
premium increases, belying the promise that Obamacare would reduce costs of
health care. Although the "Affordable" Health Care Act is not yet fully implemented,
it is reasonable to assume that the further expansion of benefits will dwarf
the promised savings as detailed in the error-filled CBO report Democrats use
to justify the claim. The fact is that the ACA was never meant to be real
health care reform, which can only be achieved through truly universal health
care in the form of a single payer, Medicare-for-All model or something
similar. What it amounts to is a taxpayer bailout of a failing medical
insurance industry.

People who wonder how the tremendously profitable insurance industry can be
failing need only consider the basic fact that as medical insurance costs rise,
fewer people can afford it and profits drop, forcing further premium increases
to maintain profit margins. This is the "death spiral" that single payer
proponents have talked about from the beginning of the health care "reform"
debate but which was ignored by the corporate media and both major Parties. It
is time that taxpayers demand an honest discussion about the one option for
addressing the crisis in health care access and affordability. Congress will
continue to avoid this debate if we do not force them to. We need to make them
fear us more than the anger of their political patrons in the
medical-industrial complex of the insurance, pharmaceutical and corporate
health care delivery industries.

Democratic politicians used a very clever strategy to avoid talking about true
universal health care. At the outset of the debate, they took single payer off
the table, arguing the self-fulfilling prophecy that it was "not politically
possible." Knowing that many of their own members were as dependent on campaign
contributions from these industries as are the Republicans, they deliberately
undermined support for Medicare-for-All by presenting a classic bait-and-switch
in the form of a public option that had no chance of leading to single payer.
The cat was out of the bag when Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer assured the
medical insurance industry that they had no intention of creating a public
option that could compete with for-profit insurance.

It should have been obvious from the beginning, when Senate Finance committee
chair Max Baucus was put in charge of the debate. He was the recipient of $6 million
from corporations in the medical-insurance complex in the election cycle preceding
the debacle. It is no surprise that he had 13 doctors, nurses and lawyers
arrested during the first two days of hearings for "disrupting" the discussions
with the representatives of industry by calling from the gallery for
consideration of a single payer option.

To assure that there would not be mass dissension in the Democratic rank and file, Rahm Emanuel cleverly convinced Democracy for America and MoveOn to make the spurious claim that there millions of members supported the public option, without questioning those members or having any sort of open debate that would have demonstrated the overwhelming
support for single payer that was evident at NetRoots Nation in Pittsburgh in
2009. In the end, Democrats gave up even the pretense of universal health care
in accepting what was essentially Ron Wyden's Healthy Americans Act.

The
insurance exchange, the mandate and other features of Obamacare came straight
from that plan, which was put on the back burner while the phony debate about
the public option was going on. Democratic leaders declared victory and told their
supporters to go home and tell everyone what a good job they did against the
big, bad Republicans and the insurance industry that got millions of new
customers at the taxpayer's expense. Health care costs are approaching 20% of GDP, with no prospects of improvement
in sight.


If Democrats and Republicans do not unite to demand their politicians
have an honest debate on the merits of single payer they will continue to see
personal and taxpayer costs escalate, adding to personal and federal debt in a
time when Congress claims the latter is a crisis. What most Thanks to the fact
that corporate interests control the terms of political debate, most Americans
don't realize that they are already paying more than the full costs of a
universal health care system through taxes, subsidies and personal health care
expenditures.

Taxes for Medicare, Medicaid and the uninsured alone are nearly
enough to fit the bill for a system of universal health care that already
exists in other countries and costs about half what we pay in the American
system that leaves an estimated 23 million uninsured, mostly working Americans.
Other hidden costs include medical bankruptcies, loss of competitiveness by
employers who pay the brunt of the cost of insurance, lost productivity by the
uninsured, failed businesses for entrepreneurs who lose their businesses when
they are sick or injured and on and on.

Peter DeFazio (D-OR) has a well-deserved reputation as a fighter for the average
American, but he gave in far too readily to the fallacy that we cannot afford
to give Medicare to everyone because "it has (financial) problems of its own."
Belatedly, he has acknowledged that the worst of these problems is the
Wyden-supported Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 that gave us an unfunded
Medicare prescription benefit plan under which pharmaceutical manufacturers can
name their own price and the government is not allowed to negotiate. Even now,
he refuses to discuss single payer with members of Physicians for a National
Health Program. I know this because I have repeatedly asked him myself. This explains
why he is still ignorant of the fact that the reason universal Medicare
coverage will save Medicare is that it covers both the healthy and the sick,
creating a universal risk pool so that everyone pays and everyone has access when
they need medical care.

A universal health care system is inevitable unless Americans choose to give up
their own access to health care. Even Republicans can't make that seem like a
good thing. If Democrats don't join third parties and independents in calling
for an honest debate on single payer health care, they will follow Republicans
in the ashcan of history when Americans wake up to their 

 

Take action -- click here to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
Call for a single payer debate

Click here to see the most recent messages sent to congressional reps and local newspapers

http://www.soldiersforpeaceinternational.org

I am a former Army and VA psychiatrist who ran for the US Senate in 2010 on a campaign based on a pledge to introduce a constitutional amendment to abolish corporate personhood. Now that the general public is beginning to understand the (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The real meaning of D-Day

Changing the world-the psychology of belief

Controlling the masses by manipulating conspiracy theories

Getting Americans to understand the facts about Ukraine and empire

Why a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United is inevitable

We are all Russians now

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
4 people are discussing this page, with 11 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

This article focuses on the economic aspects of th... by Rick Staggenborg, MD on Tuesday, Jan 8, 2013 at 10:54:54 AM
with universal or single payer health care is that... by Doc McCoy on Wednesday, Jan 9, 2013 at 11:05:24 AM
Both emotion (compassion, altruism, and social sol... by PCM on Wednesday, Jan 9, 2013 at 3:26:16 PM
Thanks for your comments, Doc. These are exactly t... by Rick Staggenborg, MD on Wednesday, Jan 9, 2013 at 3:28:11 PM
While we agree on the problem we may have differen... by BFalcon on Thursday, Jan 10, 2013 at 10:40:58 AM
Thanks for asking. I am not an expert on the budge... by Rick Staggenborg, MD on Thursday, Jan 10, 2013 at 9:28:12 PM
"a reasonable minimal standard of care." Yet, you ... by Doc McCoy on Thursday, Jan 10, 2013 at 11:07:48 PM
I gave a detailed response to this but for some re... by Rick Staggenborg, MD on Friday, Jan 11, 2013 at 9:33:19 PM
You wrote that "the American system ... leaves an ... by PCM on Wednesday, Jan 9, 2013 at 2:40:11 PM
You may well be right that the number I used is in... by Rick Staggenborg, MD on Wednesday, Jan 9, 2013 at 3:35:34 PM
Thanks to Dominique Lord for pointing out that I i... by Rick Staggenborg, MD on Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 10:03:12 AM