President Obama recently mentioned at a town hall on health care reform that he didn’t support a single payer system because it would be too disruptive. He didn’t explain what he meant by disruptive but industry professionals assume he refers to health insurance industry management and employees who would become jobless in short order under a single payer system. It’s not clear if management outnumbers other employees.
Obama is keeping these insurance industry jobs on as part of the government public option plan to persist health insurance industry control over people’s health care. Even without a public option, insurance companies stand to have an even better stake in the health care market. The future looks bright for health care insurance employees who will be able to continue their never ending thankless job of denying health claims to people in need of medical care.
The 45,000 people who die every year due to lack of health care and from denial of insurance as well as the 14,000 daily who lose their health insurance are apparently forsaken for the few hundred thousand jobs in the health insurance industry. What’s a few hundred thousand lives and disrupted families every few years to as many well fed well paid industry office workers’ jobs? We need to have at least one or two industries that continue to make record profits while the rest of us face financial ruin.
The move by Obama is in line with America’s ongoing shift toward corporate welfare socialism. The U.S. is the only industrialized nation that does not have a single payer type system to ensure all it’s citizens have health care and have healthy productive lives. It’s not certain if this fact is the symptom or the result of America slipping into the list of third world countries where 5% or less of the population control 95% or more of the country’s wealth and power. America is no longer considered a democracy by most people who understand the meaning of the term. We are at best an oligarchy, with our government under corporate control by the wealthy few.
In light of America’s failure to deliver health care, despite our advanced technology (only available to the very rich here) we now rank 37th in the world in health care. France is number one.
My suggestion is that Americans stop buying health insurance if they can avoid it. Vote with your wallet. That’s the only thing these people understand.
Los Angeles 10/15/09 – 12 arrested for a sit-in at Anthem Blue Cross offices as Maureen Cruise, Public Health Nurse, explains why single payer is not off the table. Along with a contingent of doctors, Cruise believes universal health care (a.k.a. single payer or medicare for all) is the only option. As Dr. Jo Olson recently told me, single payer is the only fiscal and moral solution. She has been working for a single payer system for the past five years. Nurse Cruise was an L.A. public health care nurse at numerous clinics until they all closed with the recent economic downturn. As she explains, over 100 people die every day for lack of health care in the U.S. More die every day because they are denied health care from insurance companies despite paying their high premiums. Yet we see public free clinics closing. People are forced into medical debt and foreclosure to pay for health care, unlike every other country. “What kind of country does this to it’s people?” she asks.
Nurse Cruise goes on to say that Pelosi’s announcement to the world that single payer is off the table was a ploy to make everyone forget about it and go for a public option instead, a public option written by and for the insurance industry, which spends over a million dollars per day lobbying Congress. The public option, as she says, is an insurance industry bailout, because with our economic downturn and the insurance industry’s annal retentive (my words) policy of raising rates to make up for losses, they are losing customers and so they look to the deep pockets of our government in the corporate welfare state we call America. But as long as we don’t have a viable health care system without the for profit insurance factor, and as long as we don’t have universal health care, people will continue to rally.
It’s interesting that the right tea baggers agree with the left in this area. Both sides agree that government bailout spending is wrong. But the right has been deluded by the right wing bumper sticker mentality media propaganda into believing that it is an Obama socialism agenda at fault. in fact it is a Wall Street corporate socialist agenda, since as cruise and many others agree, Wall Street owns Congress, and seemingly the Presidency as well.
But the bottom line is that, by law and on paper, this is still a democracy for and by we the people, not the corporations; and so the people have taken to the streets, lead by doctors and health care professionals like nurse Cruise, Dr. Olson and many others. They hold rallies and sit-ins around the country and get arrested in protest. Dr. Susie Baldwin calls the public option a government insurance industry jobs program, which leads me to wonder, why can’t the insurance industry make an honest living selling a service that people need? Why must they resort to living off the government, pushing Congress to make laws forcing people to buy their worthless product which amounts to a mafioso payoff to keep their useless thug industry alive. Why must the insurance industry live on government corporate welfare? Are they too lazy to get a real job and pay their way like the rest of us?
As Dr. Paul Papenek told me, people don’t need actuaries or claims adjusters. People need doctors and nurses. Shouldn’t we forsake the misguided careers of insurance professionals, not only for the 45,000 lost lives every year for lack of health care, but also for the high cost and fiscal deterioration of our country due to the exorbitant waste, fraud and spending on health care due to a corrupt monopolistic health insurance industry.