Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 38 Share on Facebook 8 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon 1 Tell A Friend (47 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   22 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

People Want Full Medicare for All

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 8   Well Said 8   Supported 6  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H1 9/27/13

Become a Fan
  (24 fans)
- Advertisement -
Source: Common Dreams


Photo: Public Citizen/cc/flickr 

Freshman Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who somehow got through Princeton and Harvard Law School, is the best news the defaulting Democratic Party has had in years.

As the Texas bull in the Senate china shop, he has been making a majority of his Republican colleagues cringe with his bare-knuckle antics and language. His 21-hour talkathon on the Senate floor demanding the defunding of Obamacare made his Republican colleagues cringe. His Nazi appeasement analogies and threats to shut down were especially embarrassing.

After listening to his lengthy rant on the Senate Floor on Tuesday and Wednesday, one comes away with two distinct impressions. Ted Cruz cannot resist inserting himself here, there and everywhere. And nothing is too trivial for Senator Talkathon. He likes White Castle hamburgers, he loves pancakes; he talked about what he liked to read as a little boy, where he's traveled, what clothes he wears and other trivia.

You'd think he would have used his time to talk specifically about the suffering that uninsured people and their children are going through, especially in the Lone Star State. Or about what could replace Obamacare other than his repeated "free market" solution, which is to say the "pay or die" profiteering, tax-subsidized corporate system.

It was puzzling why he never mentioned that during his two days of talking, over 200 Americans died, on average, because they couldn't afford health insurance to get diagnoses and timely treatment. (A peer reviewed study by Harvard Medical School researchers estimated about 45,000 die annually for lack of affordable health insurance every year.)

The other reaction to Senator Cruz was that many of his more specific objections to Obamacare -- its mind-numbing complexity, opposition by formerly supportive labor unions, and employers reacting by reducing worker hours below 30 hours a week to escape some of the law's requirements -- are well-taken and completely correctible by single-payer health insurance, as provided in Canada. Single-payer, or full Medicare for all, with free choice of physician and hospital has been the majority choice of Americans for decades. Even a majority of doctors  and nurses  favor it.

Single-payer's advantage is that everybody is in, nobody is out. It is far more efficient, allows for better outcomes, saves lives, prevents injuries and illnesses, relieves people of severe anxieties and wasted time spent figuring out often fraud-ridden, inscrutable computerized bills and allows for the collection of pattern-detecting data to spot harmful trends.

- Advertisement -

For example, in Canada, full Medicare covers everyone at half the per capita cost that Americans pay even though 50 million Americans are still not covered. The U.S. per capita figure is almost $9,000 a year and over 17% of our total GDP. In Canada, administrative costs are much lower.

Symbolically, the single-payer legislation that passed in Canada over four decades ago was 13 pages long, compared to over 2,000 pages for Obamacare.

Critics of Canada's system charge it with delays for patients. For some elective procedures, provinces that were under-investing have experienced some delays until Ottawa raised its contributions. Canada spends just over 10% of its GDP on healthcare, by comparison.

But in the U.S. not being able to pay for treatment is the biggest problem. And in the U.S., who hasn't heard of delays in various areas of the country due to lack of primary care physicians or other specialties? I have many friends and relatives in Canada who have not complained of delays for routine, essential or emergency treatments.

For those who prefer to believe hard-bitten businesspeople, Matt Miller, writing yesterday in The Washington Post, interviewed big business executives -- David Beatty who ran the giant Weston Foods and Roger Martin long-time consultant to large U.S. companies in Canada. They were highly approving of the Canadian system and are baffled at the way the U.S. has twisted itself in such a wasteful, harmful and discriminatory system.

- Advertisement -

Mr. Beatty wondered why U.S. companies "'want to be in the business of providing health care anyway' ("that's a government function,' he says simply)."

Mr. Martin, an avowed capitalist, who has experienced healthcare in the U.S. and Canada, according to Mr. Miller, called Canadian Medicare "incredibly hassle-free," by comparison. (In Canada, single-payer means government insurance and private delivery of healthcare under cost controls). Now Dean of the business school at the University of Toronto, Mr. Martin told reporter Miller: "I literally have a hard time thinking of what would be better than a single-payer system."

So why the U.S. is the only Western country without some version of a single-payer system?

Most concessionary Democrats, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, have said in the past that they prefer single-payer, but that the corporate forces against it cannot be overcome. (They use phrases like "single-payer is not practical.")

But with the Cruz crew in Congress going berserk against Obamacare, now is the time to press again for the far superior single-payer model. Or at least get single-payer into the public discussion. Unfortunately, even some of the major citizen groups organized for single-payer, behind H.R. 676, are keeping quiet, not wanting to undercut Obama and the Congressional Democrats.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer, and author. His most recent book - and first novel - is, Only The Super-Rich Can Save Us. His most recent work of non-fiction is The Seventeen Traditions.

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.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

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

Why Obama Gets Four More Years in White House

Romney Is a Corporation Masquerading As an Individual for President

Why not corporate patriotism for a change?

Congressional Tyranny, White House Surrender

Obama Gave More than Republicans Expected Got Less Than They Offered

"The Country You Destroyed": A Letter to George W. Bush

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  
10 people are discussing this page, with 22 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Absolutely. I would only add that the best plan co... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Friday, Sep 27, 2013 at 7:52:59 PM
Therein lies the problem.  You do not need a ... by Doc McCoy on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 11:58:25 PM
Your probabilities and study assume we do not have... by Art Costa on Sunday, Sep 29, 2013 at 2:25:53 PM
We need a single payer system to get healthcare co... by 911TRUTH on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 11:03:18 AM
What is your point?Do you mind that one can get ap... by BFalcon on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 10:02:04 PM
What's my point? Are you kidding me? Did you even ... by 911TRUTH on Sunday, Sep 29, 2013 at 12:22:47 AM
But you do know. It depends on the hospital. If yo... by BFalcon on Sunday, Sep 29, 2013 at 6:31:30 AM
You truly are an idiot.... by 911TRUTH on Sunday, Sep 29, 2013 at 2:26:45 PM
It means a lot coming from you.... by BFalcon on Sunday, Sep 29, 2013 at 10:40:02 PM
"People want the best" seems like we have another ... by Art Costa on Sunday, Sep 29, 2013 at 2:33:24 PM
You are very right.However, most prevention and ea... by BFalcon on Sunday, Sep 29, 2013 at 10:45:09 PM
Excellent article.  That capitalist pig-servi... by Ernie Messerschmidt on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 11:51:06 AM
You are not familiar with the subject, are you?... by BFalcon on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 10:03:48 PM
Oh do the Corporations have too much power if its ... by Michael Dewey on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 12:32:23 PM
Single-payer's advantage is that everybody is in, ... by Michael Dewey on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 12:47:27 PM
And implementation would be simple - over ten year... by Art Costa on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 2:44:43 PM
NO.  NO. NO...What the public wants in this c... by Lester Shepherd on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 5:56:16 PM
"Single-payer, or full Medicare for all, with free... by BFalcon on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 10:50:13 PM
As long as the US has a far profit system the cost... by Michael Dewey on Sunday, Sep 29, 2013 at 7:27:25 AM
My dear folksThe healthcare issue is political, no... by Mark Sashine on Sunday, Sep 29, 2013 at 3:22:53 PM
Until HC is not for profit in the States, the cost... by Michael Dewey on Sunday, Sep 29, 2013 at 5:56:20 PM
A doctor, having taken an oath to treat patients, ... by Ceric on Sunday, Sep 29, 2013 at 10:04:25 PM