HEALTH CARE

[Please also read "Is Health Care a Right for Free Loaders?" and "A Parable: The Right to Health Care"]

 

Big money makes good health care a commodity that many cannot afford, even though they work as hard as anybody else--often harder (try being a waitress or waiter to appreciate how hard!)

 

This article says that the reason Big Money wants people to feel insecure in having health care when they need it the most is to make people more controllable by Big Money.

 

All who are willing to work reasonably should have as good health care as they need that is as good as what anybody else receives. All who work reasonably (as described here), including those who work in any way providing health care, should be able to take whatever products and services they reasonably need or desire from the economy--for free. In today's mainstream public discourse, the plan for health insurance that comes closest to the above ideal is known as "single payer health insurance" otherwise known as "Medicare for All."

 

There have been enormous efforts by politicians and the mass media to exclude "medicare for all" as an option and to make people think that Obama Care (the Affordable Care Act), which simply forces people to buy health insurance from private (often for-profit) insurance companies, is the "only game in town." Despite this, a large majority of Americans continue (as they have for many decades) to say they want Medicare for All, not Obama Care (as this poll demonstrates.)

 

But what is in fact happening is the very opposite of what should happen. This is explained by a physician, Don McCanne, a leader in the fight for single payer health care, in his email publication April 9, 2015, as follows:

 

Comment by Don McCanne

 

Employers have discovered that they can relieve themselves of much of the burden and costs of administering their employee health benefit programs, while using defined contributions to shift more costs to their employees, simply by referring them to private insurance exchanges. This is really catching on now with over 100 percent annual growth in the past three years, and an anticipated enrollment of 40 million by 2018.

 

These are not the insurance exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act, but they are private programs established by insurers and other industry consulting organizations. As more costs are passed on to the employees, the adequacy of the plans will certainly deteriorate further. Most employees will find that their increasing contribution requirements for the insurance premiums plus their out-of-pocket costs will become less and less affordable.

 

We continue to hear from politicians and the policy community that we do not need comprehensive reform such as the single payer model since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act is working so well with large numbers of new enrollments in the various sectors of health care coverage. What is being ignored is that the insurance products are deteriorating rapidly, especially with the very large increases in deductibles and the further narrowing of networks of health care providers. That some lower-income individuals are receiving subsidies (often inadequate) will provide little solace for the majority who find that their costs are becoming ever less manageable.

 

This explosion in the growth of private insurance exchanges further advances the ideology of those who wish to place patients in charge of their own spending by making them bear an ever increasing share of health care costs. This shift from solidarity to individual responsibility will be devastating for individuals with future health care needs. And now the venerated employer-sponsored coverage is becoming a major part of the problem.

 

Changing to a single payer national health program would remove control of health care financing from external players such as employers and place it in our hands through our own elected public stewards.* The three trillion dollars that we are already spending is more than enough to provide quality care for everyone. We just have to make sure it is being spent on patients rather than on a glut of administrators and insurers who are eroding the protection provided by private insurance.

 

This article also provides important facts about "Obama Care," aka the Affordable Care Act. It shows how it leaves many millions of people without health insurance and even more with inadequate insurance, while benefiting the Big Money people who own the health industry corporations.

Commenting favorably on the article, "Affordable Care Act: imploding and beyond repair," Don McCanne writes:

"Multiple studies have demonstrated that in the U.S. we could save about $500 billion a year by enacting a nonprofit single-payer national health program that streamlines administration. Those savings would be sufficient to guarantee everyone high-quality care, with no cost sharing, on a sustainable basis."

 

The reason why we don't implement a common sense good health system in the United States isn't because there is no way to do it; it's because the ruling plutocracy does not WANT to do it. Like all of the other big problems in our society, the root of the problem is that we have a dictatorship of the rich and the rich view these problems as GOOD things that help them stay rich and powerful. It will take an egalitarian revolution to make it possible for people who want to solve these problems to actually do so.

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*This statement overlooks the fact that we live in a dictatorship of the rich and until we remove the rich from power with an egalitarian revolution, our "elected public stewards" will be far more beholden to the rich than to ordinary people.

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