Here is what I wrote my representative, a supposedly liberal Congressman from Maryland: It is free for the copying; maybe others here might like to send similar messages.
Dear Mr Van Hollen,
I have been following the present brouhaha about health care reform and I can't believe what I have been observing.
President Obama wants to "reform" health care. This is good. He worries, as does everyone in Washington, about the additional money this will cost. This is stupid; see below. He plans to save money by having the government do research into which medical treatments are most effective. This is good. He then plans to reimburse doctors more if they use recommended government treatments. This is Absolute Insanity! For it plays right into the hands of those who claim that the government "wants to control your doctor."
Meanwhile, Single Payer, or Medicare for All, gets no mention. You should know the following basic facts, but I repeat them just in case. Every other developed country -- Japan, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, the Scandinavian countries -- has a system where the government pays all, or an overwhelming portion of, the health costs for everybody. These countries pay about 10%(ten percent) of their GDP for this health "insurance". The United States pays 15% (fifteen percent) of its GDP on its health care "system". And we have much worse results, in longevity, in infant mortality, in women's health etc. Also we have about 50 million of our citizens uninsured.
References for the above: www.who.org , and www.pnhp.org.
Why is this? The answer is clear to anyone who has visited a doctor's office, or health facility, or hospital. The paperwork necessary to deal with the insurance industry is enormous, indeed overwhelming. The evidence is clear that the health insurance industry, whose magnates are received in private audience by our president, whose voluntary promises of cooperation our president urges us to believe, are making off with 5%(five percent) of the U.S. GDP.
Can you do something about this? Can you raise your voice? Waves of public insanity sweep this country all too often: think McCarthyism, think Iraq, think immigration hate. Now we have a new insanity: "Oh oh oh!! How nice it would be to fix health care!! But can we afford the overwhelming sums it would cost??" This is awesome nonsense. Simply abolish the health insurance industry, replace it by a government system, with a data system comparable to the wonderful system of Social Security, and we too can shrink our health care costs down to 12% (twelve percent), or maybe even 11 or 10.
But we can't leave the health insurance industry indigent, can we? Even here the remedy is simple. They can be urged to go into the financial services sector, investment banking and the like. Then, Tim Geithner, Robert Rubin, and Larry Summers can take them under their wing, and they, like other bankers, hedge fund managers, etc, can live Happily Ever After.
Alan McConnell in Silver Spring, MD
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