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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 1/22/18

Medical Insurance is a Cruel Industry. Here's how to end it.

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During the past 110 years, advocates of universal health coverage--Medicare for All--have been focused on elections, petitions, conferences.

Today we're still told that we must wait for sufficient Democrats to be elected in order to have universal health coverage. Here's why we can't wait for elections.

Eighty years ago, president FDR pushed to enact universal health coverage and failed, even with overwhelming Democrat majorities in Congress.

Fifty years ago LBJ also had big Congressional Democratic majorities, but was only able to get Medicare and Medicaid.

Forty years ago Jimmy Carter's Democratic congress did not back his cautious Medicare expansion.

Twenty-five years ago Bill Clinton also had a Democratic congressional majority but quickly lost it when Hillary pushed corporate health-care "reform."

Eight years ago Obama revived a modest corporate/federal plan. Even though he had a Democratic congress, Republicans stabbed it.

Today, American insurance companies are owned extensively by foreign investors. They care little about American health. Their cash and lobbyists corrupt many congressional Democrats as well as Republicans.

Seventy million Americans and American businesses are being crushed by rising costs of medical insurance. They can't wait for elections to save us.

As well, 50 million Americans with little or no medical insurance can't wait for elections to save us. This includes 180,000 children in Pennsylvania.

Therefore, angry Americans are organizing health co-operatives to meet our basic needs. We can't wait for polite conferences and petitions to lead us. Moral indignation is not power.

These co-ops gradually expand services as more members join. At full size, we will build clinics and hospitals. This is how Americans were insured before corporations shoved co-ops aside.

And this is how Canada's national health plan began. Local co-ops, then regional co-ops, then provincial co-ops all proved their integrity. Then they organized all Canada to demand their human right to healing.

Most states, like Pennsylvania, prohibit self-financing medical co-operatives. Insurance regulations protect profitable monopolies. When regulators serve insurers, they are rewarded with corporate jobs. Thousands of lives are lost every year for lack of medical attention. The law has become a cage for us to die in.

We asked PID to authorize us as a pilot program. We drafted regulations for the grassroots co-op sector. We were denied. We begin without them.

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Paul Glover teaches Metropolitan Ecology at Temple University. He is founder of Ithaca HOURS local currency, Philadelphia Orchard Project, Ithaca Health Alliance, Green Jobs Philly, Citizen Planners of Los Angeles, and many other groups. He is (more...)
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