Reprinted from Reader Supported News
01/18/16: Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders speaks to a crowd at a rally in Birmingham, Alabama, on health care and other subjects.
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My apologies -- this is going to be a short piece. I just want to add a few thoughts to the debate that has re-erupted over single-payer health care.
A little over two years ago, I wrote an article titled "Fight for Obamacare." I argued that, as flawed as Obamacare was, it was still better than what most Americans were getting before the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
It's two years later, and we are learning some things. ACA is regulation. More regulation than existed prior to its enactment, but regulation nonetheless. Predictably, the Health Care Industry is spending a lot of time and a lot of money to find perfectly legal ways to game the ACA. Premiums are up, as are deductibles and all costs borne by the "consumer" -- that's you and me.
No one should be surprised. The primary responsibility of the health care industrialists is not to their customers, it is of course to their shareholders on Wall Street. That's where commodities are traded. Commodities like patients seeking treatment from doctors.
So yes, Obamacare is still better than the wild, wild west pre-ACA Health Care Industry heyday. But it fails on the most important and fundamental level.
Obamacare does nothing to break the death-grip of the for-profit American health care industry on the life-blood of American health care. As long as the point of medicine is profit, it's bad medicine, and the human suffering continues. In fact, rather than challenge the validity of corporate ownership of American health care, the ACA actually codifies it.
The best-traveled conservative Democratic arguments against Bernie Sanders' single-payer plan are that "the time is not right" and that it's not "politically expedient." By that standard, prepare for corporate domination of U.S. health care forever. Because the time will never be right, and you can bet your last dime that it will absolutely never be politically expedient. Who says to hell with that? Show of hands, please ...
Single-payer or an expansion of Medicare are "public options." Something we the taxpayers fund and have at least some control over. Moreover you, I, and every American should absolutely have the right to choose a public option, and expressly not be legally bound to accept the corporate for-profit provider.
It's not brain surgery, it's your right to self-determination.
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