The "Fiscal Cliff" is a scam. Dismantle the banks, not Medicare and Social Security
"The vote Sunday night [3/21/2010] by the US House of Representatives to approve Obama's health care overhaul was accompanied by declarations that the measure represents the greatest social reform in generations. . .
"After months of closed-door negotiations with insurance CEOs and pharmaceutical executives, Obama made the absurd claim that the measure came 'from the bottom up.' In fact, the legislation was entirely dictated from the top. It represents the opening shot in a sweeping attack on health care for working people."
Kate Randall, "An attack on health care in the guise of reform," wsws.org, Source
Every other industrialized country in the world ensures its population has access to basic healthcare. The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not guarantee access to healthcare as a human right.
Our healthcare system is broken because it doesn't serve American workers, but the fatcat healthcare insurance industry and their bought-and-paid-for-politicians such as Montana Democratic Senator Max Baucus (right), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. Baucus received $413,000 in campaign contributions from the healthcare insurance industry, third only to John McCain (R-Ariz.), with $546,000 and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) with $425,000.
Health insurers and their employees contributed $2.2 million to the top 10 recipients in the House and Senate since 2005, while drug makers and their employees gave more than $3.3 million to top lawmakers during that period, according to an analysis of federal elections data by Consumer Watchdog, a California-based advocacy group.
Nearly 50 million US citizens lack any health coverage; at least 22,000 Americans die unnecessarily each year as a result. 1 Millions more have inadequate insurance coverage.
Twenty-eight industrialized nations have single payer universal health care systems like the type proposed in H.R. 676, a bill introduced by Congressman John Conyers. This legislation provides for privately delivered, publicly financed healthcare. No other nation spends as much per capita on health care as the United States, yet the United States ranks near the bottom among industrial countries in indicators from life expectancy (42nd) to infant mortality (23rd).
Healthcare Insurance Industry
50 million lack healthcare coverage 22 thousand a year die because of lack of healthcare coverage
Contributed $2.2 million to House and Senate lackeys since 2005
Contributed more than $3.3 million to House and Senate lackeys since 2005
Baucus refuses to allow single payer advocates to testify at the hearings he chairs
Reversed his position; now creating a pro-healthcare insurance industry program
The trouble is, most Americans just don't care about the poor, said Christina Patterson in the London Independent. The have-nots are seen as 'failed Americans, Americans who let the side down.' That's why it's so hard for the U.S. to enact any kind of reform that might help the less fortunate. 'Sure, America's got talent, but it's also got some of the most unpleasant, uncompassionate, unerringly ruthless people on the face of this planet.'"
"Is Universal Health Care Un-American?", The Week, August 7, 2009
What's Happening With Healthcare Right Now?
"May 6, 2009 Yesterday morning, eight doctors, lawyers and other activists stood up to Senator Max Baucus. And the private health insurance industry. . . The eight activists demanded that single payer - everybody in, nobody out, free choice of doctor and hospital - be put on the table. And as a result they were arrested. And charged with a so-called “disruption of Congress.”
The Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, Politico, Democracy Now and National Public Radio all carried stories about the protest. C-Span carried it live. And it was widely disseminated on the Internet. Baucus crafted a hearing to kick off the health care debate in the Senate yesterday where 15 witnesses would be at the table to discuss health care reform. The insurance industry was at the table. The Business Roundtable was at the table. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce was at the table. Blue Cross Blue Shield was at the table. The Heritage Foundation was at the table. And corporate liberals like Andy Stern, Ron Pollack, and AARP were at the table. But not one person who stood for what the majority of Americans, doctors, nurses, and health economists want - single payer - was at the table. Not one. When I heard about this corporate line-up last week, I called the office of Senator Baucus. And politely asked that, as a matter of fairness, a single payer doctor be allowed to testify. I was told - no way, Ralph. The deal is done. So, yesterday, at 10 a.m., the Baucus Eight, led by Single Payer Action and other single payer groups, took to the Senate Finance Committee. And directly and respectfully confronted a room full of corporate lobbyists. And corporate controlled Senators. And again asked that a group of doctors who were in the room to support Medicare for all be allowed to testify. The answer again - no, no, and no. . . Time for action. This is a winnable issue. But the American people need to focus on 535 members of Congress. And get mobilized. Single Payer Action is at your service to get the job done."
Obama received more than $2 million from the insurance and pharmaceutical sectors during his presidential campaign, which broke records for donations from fatcat corporations and agencies.
"I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program." (applause) "I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its Gross National Product on health care cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. And that's what Jim is talking about when he says everybody in, nobody out. A single payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that's what I'd like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House."
Obama speaking to the Illinois AFL-CIO, June 30, 2003
"If I were starting a system from scratch, then I think the idea of moving towards a single-payer system could very well make sense. That's the kind of system you have in most industrialized countries around the world. The only problem is that we're not starting from scratch. We have historically a tradition of employer based health care and although there are a lot of people who are not satisfied with their health care, the truth is that the vast majority of people currently get their health care from their employers, and you've got this system that's already in place. We don't want a huge disruption as we go into health care reform where suddenly we are trying to completely reinvent 1/6th of the economy."
Obama in May, 2009
Taking his orders from the cabal that "owns" him, Obama is now touting a mixed public-private healthcare system--which leaves the current lethal system operating to deny health services to workers and reap windfall profits for the healthcare insurance thugs. Seven states, ranging from Washington to Minnesota to Massachusetts to Maine, have tried such a mixed system--and it has failed miserably. A report released by Physicians for a National Health Program and Public Citizen reveals the failure of the Massachusetts model. Preserving the private insurance system--which this model does--is not worth the sacrifice of human lives and health.
Leaving nothing for granted, the healthcare insurance industry is continuing to pour big money into lobbying to keep the current murderous system intact. They shelled out more than half a billion dollars in 2008 alone, according to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics. They're also shelling out megabucks for a publicity blitz and ads attacking Obama's public plan or any health care reform that threatens to reduce their obscene profits from sickness and disease.
"The current system rations care based on an ability to pay. Right now we are the only nation on earth that barters human life for money."
California Nurses Association and National Nurses Organizing Committee co-president Geri Jenkins, 6/10/09 House Education and Labor Committee hearings
Single Payer Now!
Using the amount of money now spent on healthcare in the US, we can put a single payer universal healthcare system in place without spending one additional dime! The United States spent approximately $2.2 trillion on health care in 2007, or $7,421 per person. This comes to 16.2% of GDP, nearly twice the average of other developed nations. Health care costs doubled from 1996 to 2006, and are projected to rise to 25% of GDP by 2025.
Thirty-one percent of current healthcare spending is squandered on administrative costs related to our fragmented payment system with hundreds of different health plans. Over $350 billion – about half of the money currently wasted on overhead and bureaucracy – could be saved with a simplified single-payer administration, enough to cover all the 50 million uninsured. In other words, covering the uninsured is affordable; keeping the current broken private insurance system intact is not.
Single payer universal healthcare used to be called national health insurance. The government collects the money for health care from taxes. You don't pay premiums, instead you pay taxes, and the tax revenue pays all the healthcare bills. Hospitals remain privately owned and operated. Doctors remain mostly in private practice. But their bills go to the government healthcare program, just as they do today with Medicare. But we'd be able to streamline the payment system if we had only one payer instead of Medicare being one among many.
A survey published in the April 2008 Annals of Internal Medicine showed that 59 percent of U.S. physicians support national health insurance. Polls have long shown that a majority of Americans favor some form of single payer healthcare system.
Over the last 30 plus years the number of doctors and nurses has increased approximately 2.5 to 3 times. This increase is proportional to the growth in population. But the number of health administration personnel has increased 30 times!
These increased personnel are not doctors, not nurses, not pharmacists. They provide no care. Many of them are being paid to deny care. So, they're fighting with the doctors and the hospitals to see how few bills can be paid. That's how the insurance industry thrives--by denying care, paying as little out as it can, getting the healthiest patients, and yet getting reimbursed as though these patients were sicker than they really are.
With such a racket as this going it's no wonder that the billions being made from the private health insurance industry and from the drug industry get spread all around Washington. The biggest recipients of insurance money and drug money are the powerful people who chair the committees, who decide what witnesses testify.
As some kind of healthcare system is prepared for passage in Congress, the industry is now saying to Americans, "We could save $2 trillion over the next ten years. Let us. Trust us. We will lower our costs and everything." We've heard that tune before and it has never worked. The healthcare insurance industry fatcats will never cut costs.
The ObaMessiah pretence of an overhaul of the health care system is not designed to provide universal coverage and increased access to quality care but an unprecedented attack on health care for the working class. Essentially, it's an effort to roll back the gains realized with the enactment of Medicare in 1965.
The repuglicans are sending their programmed agents to fake "town hall" meetings to shout out their mindless opposition to any change in the capitalist healthcare
system that now means death for many workers. They're tasked with spreading lies about even this totally flawed Obama "healthcare reform" legislation: that it will mean death for the elderly and that it puts the government between the patient and the doctor.
We must implement a single payer universal healthcare program through which we can save $4 trillion just by eliminating the healthcare insurance industry in one fell swoop. Americans must rise up against the cabal-backed healthcare insurance industry vultures and demand a single payer system immediately!