We don’t need to go far to find out what we need to do in health care. All we need to do is listen to what the Neocon Republicans say and then do the opposite. Remember…the reason we do not now have health care that works as well as the French, the Germans, the British and the Canadians is that people like John Boehner have been taking and taking and taking from the hospitals, the HMOs, the pharmaceutical companies and the doctors to keep us from getting reasonably priced health care while they make millions, sometimes over our literally dead bodies. Listen to what Boehner has to say.
What’s wrong with this picture? Remember what he said…that British and Canadians have to wait months and months for operations. Simply not true.
Not only has that myth been debunked by numerous Canadian consumer groups, but in a recent poll Canadians overwhelmingly…more than 90%…said that they would never want to change. It is the same with the Brits. Boehner also said that the government plan would starve out the private plans. Well, duh, that’s the idea. The idea is to create a public health care system…30% cheaper and universally available…that will be better than the private plans. Yes, they will go away or become much, much smaller. This will be difficult for Boehner and the Republicans but good for American citizens.
Yes, private health care will be even more expensive…for the very rich who can afford it…for cosmetic surgery…but the People will have good, reliable health care…everyone. You won’t lose it if you lose your job or even if you don’t have a job.
Boehner assumes that only the rich and the upper middle class, about half the country…about 150 million people…are happy with their health care. That’s not true. They are happy that they have health care. But they often pay a big deductible. When they lose a job, they lose health care or they pay huge differentials on Cobra. And there are another 150 million who are worse off than that! Boehner is happy. He has the best health care you can buy. And he has friends at the top of every health insurance company for whom he lobbies in the House.
He says, “Let’s go in and find out how we can better control costs.” We already know how to do that. Cut out the 30% overhead from huge executive salaries and huge markups on drugs and supplies that are passed on to the consumer. VA has about 3% overhead. Social Security, which is similar to the way we would handle universal medicine has at the most 7%. So we can handle everything we are doing now, do it better, and people will be secure and pleased with the service they receive.
But what about the Republicans? They actually have a plan. They have another snappy name for it, “Patients’ Choice Act of 2009.” They love that word “choice.” You can choose whatever you want so long as it is what they want you to have and as long as you have the kind of Republican income that will pay for it. Speaking of “choice”, rememeber Terri Schiavo? She was declared brain dead by a series of medical experts, after several years of waiting to see if there were any remote possibility that she could be revived. But the Republicans didn’t give her husband, the person legally responsible, the “choice.” Tom DeLay marshaled the troops and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives came back to Washington. They went into special session to prepare legislation to stop the husband and the courts and doctors and everyone else from doing what everyone said needed to be done.
Now here’s the kind of choice they have in mind for you.
They sound concerned. They have that doctor up there, Senator Coburn. He’s been around awhile in the Senate. Probably been a Senator since Bush came in at least. How has your health care been since 2000? Much better or much worse? All these guys are working for the big health insurance companies. Even Max Baucus, a Democrat, has received over $5 million from health insurance companies. How much do you think these guys got if Baucus, a Democrat who wasn’t even in power until 2007, got $5 million as the ranking member of the committee that presides over these matters. Baucus won’t even have any clout until Senator Franken is sworn in.
Senator Burr of North Carolina wants to bring more people “under the umbrella.” Well, that umbrella, leaked pretty badly under the Republicans. In fact, it wasn’t really opened at all and all the rain was made by the big earners at the health care companies. How about the 100 million Americans who have no health care thanks to Senators like Burr, Coburn, Imhofe, Sessions, and others. People had “choice” under the Republicans. They simply didn’t have the $5,000 a year to pay for health insurance…if they could qualify.
Congressman Ryan in this press conference brings up Medicaid. Why? Because Medicaid is a second-class system, deliberately underfunded and made for people that the Republicans consider second-class citizens. So the Republicans who made it cheap trot it out at every possibility to show how bad public health care delivery can be. But they can’t protest too much. Medicaid is aimed at African-Americans and it was deliberately underfunded by the Southern segregationalists like Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms and Trent Lott who switched to the Republican Party when Reagan let them know that he would cut back on things such as affirmative action and other legislation favorable to African-Americans.
In the future, Americans, including the poor, will not have anything remotely resembling the pathetic Medicaid system. That system will thankfully be a part of the sad past of health care in this country. Ryan, in a shameful lie, says that he wants to give private health care to the poor. (I doubt if he has every seen anyone who is poor or homeless.) It would be laughable if it were not so cruel. Even the middle class cannot afford private health care. Ryan knows the Republican plan will fail. It is meant to fail. Then we would all go back to the same thing we have now, an expensive, unworkable, unfair and unusable health services delivery system…which is the only thing the partisan hacks on the Republican side have any intention of supporting.
Congressman Nunes in an unabashedly ridiculous comment tries to tell us that suddenly the Republicans will have health care for “…the single mother of three out there…” What does that mean? She has three kids and she’s a single mother. So suddenly the Republicans have a heart. How will she have choice? She can’t afford health care unless she is a physician herself or owns a health insurance company. She won’t be able to afford private health care. If the Republicans try to help the “single mother of three out there” (somewhere) it will be the first time. Nunes does make an important point. He says that she will have access to “her own doctor and her own health care coverage.” Well, that is exactly what she will have under any of the plans that are now in the works from the Obama Administration. Furthermore, everything that Senator Alexander says will be in their proposal is already in the President’s plan. Access, affordabilty, choice….everything. Only it will be less expensive and you can never be turned down.
The real choice is whether you want to believe people who are paid enormous amounts from the health insurance companies to prevent people from having good health care. The people who need good, fast access to health care, are those who are sick. The sick are the people that a “non-profit” or a “for-profit” private health care system does not want as customers. It is no mere coincidence that we are going back to public health care. The good nuns who delivered health care for so long, and the other non-profit charitable organizations did so because they could offer their volunteerism and charity to help a losing proposition. Not until the Neo-Conservative Ronald Reagan era did some of us decide to get rich on the backs of those among us who were sick and vulnerable.
So it is a matter of whom do you believe. Do you believe Teddy Kennedy and Dennis Kucinich who have been working for public healthcare for twenty years? Do you believe a local neighborhood organizer who got tired of inaction by the Neocons and ran as a total underdog for President? Do you believe people like Bernie Sanders and Russ Feingold who fight every day for issues on behalf of the People rather than corporations? Or Hillary Clinton who put everything on the line and was defeated and ridiculed by much lesser people in the health care industry?
Or do you believe all those Republicans now spouting about offering the people “choice” and “access” who were bought and paid for the last time by the Health Care industry. Even now getting behind a man, Rick Scott, a Conservative who has made hundreds of millions by cheating Americans and whose company was fined $1,000,000,000,000.00 for perpetrating fraud on the American taxpayer. (That’s you by the way.)
You want choice? Here’s a choice. Support Republicans and big pharmaceutical companies and big health insurance companies and big HMOs and big hospital groups, and the American Medical Association…and see if anything changes. All these people want to DEFEAT universal, single payer health care. You could get behind Republicans who support big health care interests who charge outrageous fees and markups that give CEOs tens of millions of dollars in salaries every year, while you can’t even get a doctor’s appointment. Of course when you do get an appointment with a real doctor, you need to bring $30 or $40 along. That’s in addition to your health care insurance premiums, and the $5000 deductible and the 20% of the bill over that. And you must pay all that for “access” unless you are disallowed and forced to go to court to get your bill paid.
Or you could simply have money taken out of your check each week and then go to any doctor you want, whenever you want, to solve any medical problem you have or your family has. And you can never lose it or be denied coverage or need ever worry again about what will happen to you or your family if you get sick. That’s the Obama Plan. You’ll have the same security as do the Brits, the Canadians, the French, the Danish, the Germans, the Swiss, the Dutch, the Italians, the Spanish, the Norwegians, Finns, Swedes, and Portugese among, many, many other countries. We always thought we had it better than those countries. Maybe we will one day. It depends on your support for health care by contacting your Senator or congress person and telling them that you want a single-payer, simple, comprehensive and high quality health care system and you’re willing to pay what at least what you’re paying now to get it.
That’s some choice. Instead of the nightmare we experienced with the Bush Administration, we will all have good, reliable health care delivery that will alow us to have the same hospitals, the same doctors, and the same services we get now. It is true that some poor, multi-million-dollar executives will be looking for jobs in other industries. How about the auto or the manufacturing industries? Oops. Too late. The Republicans have already run those out of the country.