onward to single payer

That’s the Single Payer health plan supported by everyone who understands how the system can work.

Anyone who wants to can easily find out the truths about the health care issue by doing a reality check.

I just don’t understand why people think that corporate-run health care will look out for their interests. Corporations, by their very nature, are in it to make a profit. So, logically corporate run health care needs to maximize premiums and minimize payments so that they can make a profit. Health care corporations

A thoughtful article in The New Republic calls the right-wings manipulations of the health care reform issues similar to the Swift Boat machinations that torpedoed John Kerry’s bid for the presidency in 2004.

Snippets from that article:

Exhibit number one is the treatment of Eziekel Emanuel, the distinguished oncologist and bioethicist who is working on health reform at the Office of Management and Budget. In the course of his writings, which span academia and popular publications, he has argued forcefully and clearly against physician-assisted suicide. Yet somehow Emanuel finds himself accused of–wait for it–advocating physician assisted suicide.

Every year, millions of families struggle to get affordable medical care for themselves or their loved ones–and end up in financial ruin, going without medical care, or some combination of the two. Many of these cases involve diseases like cerebral palsy or Parkinson’s–or other conditions that require ongoing, expensive care.

Insurance companies try their best to avoid taking on these people. Apply for an individual policy with one of these pre-existing conditions and an insurer will reject you if it can. If it can’t–if, say, you’re lucky enough to get coverage through an employer–you may well find the insurance doesn’t cover what you need.

It’d be one thing if the lunatics on the right had a coherent argument for why these initiatives might be ineffective or counterproductive. But they don’t even bother to acknowledge them, preferring instead to throw out scare quotes like this one from Palin: “Who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course.”

Of course, not all conservatives stoop to this level. You can have a rational, if still contentious, debate over health reform with the likes of Stuart Butler (who studies health policy at the Heritage Foundation) or Gail Wilensky (who ran Medicare for George H.W. Bush). But Butler, Wilensky, and others like them aren’t driving the conversation right now. Palin, Bachmann, and their allies are.

We’re stuck in what Josh Marshall has called a “nonsense feedback loop”–a conversation in which Zeke Emanuel wants to kill grandma, health care reform is bad for the people who can’t get health care, and Stephen Hawking has been snuffed out by the British National Health System. Instead of arguments that are unrelated to reality, we’re getting arguments that are the very opposite of reality.

Vehement right-wing opposition to government reform (fueled by those who have nothing to gain from such reform because they gain a great deal from the status quo) is not new. A piece in the Washington Post, In America, Crazy Is a Preexisting Condition shines a spotlight on this pattern of right-wing disinformation dissemination. It’s the old “don’t confuse me with the truth; I know what I believe” syndrome.

The instigation is always the familiar litany: expansion of the commonweal to empower new communities, accommodation to internationalism, the heightened influence of cosmopolitans and the persecution complex of conservatives who can’t stand losing an argument. My personal favorite? The federal government expanded mental health services in the Kennedy era, and one bill provided for a new facility in Alaska. One of the most widely listened-to right-wing radio programs in the country, hosted by a former FBI agent, had millions of Americans believing it was being built to intern political dissidents, just like in the Soviet Union.

So, crazier then, or crazier now? Actually, the similarities across decades are uncanny. When Adlai Stevenson spoke at a 1963 United Nations Day observance in Dallas, the Indignation forces thronged the hall, sweating and furious, shrieking down the speaker for the television cameras. Then, when Stevenson was walked to his limousine, a grimacing and wild-eyed lady thwacked him with a picket sign. Stevenson was baffled. “What’s the matter, madam?” he asked. “What can I do for you?” The woman responded with self-righteous fury: “Well, if you don’t know I can’t help you.”

A comment left on the It’s Your Times website by “Wise Merlin” pretty much covers all the problems with the current health care system in America in language that even the least literate right-wingers can understand.

Meanwhile, closet right-wingers are popping up in the least expected places. According to Alternet.org, John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods has launched a major campaign to defeat a single payer national health insurance system.

Whole Foods, “Primo hangout of liberal Democratic yuppies,” should be boycotted, the article goes on to say.

Mackey leads his Wall Street Journal diatribe against national health insurance with a quote from one of his heroines – Margaret Thatcher: “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

And the problem with Mackey’s campaign is that it results in the deaths of 60 Americans every day due to lack of health insurance.

Mackey is responsible for these deaths as much as anyone.

And we are responsible for putting money into his Whole Food bank account so that he can continue his campaign without resistance.

I know that this boycott of Whole Foods will upset many liberal Democrats.

Where will they buy their organic wines?

And cheeses?

And tofu?

There are options.

Your local health food co-op.

Farmers’ markets.

Community supported agriculture.

Other corporate chains like Trader Joe’s.

So, please, join the Single Payer Action Boycott of Whole Foods.

Don’t cross the picket lines.

Don’t spend another penny at Whole Foods until John Mackey and his right wing friends are defeated.

And single payer is enacted.

Onward to single payer.

Just as in the times of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, President Obama is faced with two connected but separate American crises: the recession/depression of this greedy capitalist economy and the struggle of ordinary citizens to survive on various fronts (health, jobs, education etc.)

According this article:

FDR was not able to solve the economic/capitalist problems of the Great Depression. World War II did that. [Obama is faced with finding a less drastic solution.]

But FDR did make life better for America’s not-wealthy citizens, focusing his New Deal on relief for individuals who through no fault of their own were unable to provide for themselves; recovery of the economy so that business would be able to start hiring people again; and reform of the government and the economy to avoid the recurrence of problems that had risen persistently during the industrial age.

His list of enacted legislation included the Social Security Act and the Wagner Act, which enabled the formation of labor unions.

Highly paid corporate executives, who can afford to sock away millions that slip through tax loopholes and who see labor unions as depriving their businesses of additional profit, don’t believe that FDR’s New Deal was that much of a big deal. And so neither do they support Obama’s administration’s efforts to fix the same kinds of problems that FDR faced. After all, those are the problems of the “common man” and have nothing to do with them.

It is time for us common people to rise up and take our country back from the greedy and self-centered who really have no stake in improving the quality of our lives and our health care.


PS. For those who need a visual aid for health care reform, here’s a great one.

3 thoughts on “onward to single payer

  1. Couldn’t agree more!! I’m 62, have worked full-time for 40 years, have paid my taxes and group insurance costs. I consider myself very fortunate that I have been able to pay these taxes and insurance costs; my complaint is that the money I have paid in insurance premiums goes to handsome profits of the insurance companies and not to cover others that can’t afford these premiums – or for me once I leave my job and can no longer afford coverage. YES to SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE!!

  2. Thanks for the fine post and the links you included.

    Interesting that FDR had the spending required to fund WWII to help turn around the country’s economic woes and yet we’re spending trillions on wars in the Middle East now with negative economic (and social) impact.

    We need a new New Deal, including a health care program that ensures access for all of us.

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