CORRUPTION WATCH-Millions of Americans on the Left are being scammed by the call for “Single Payer Health Care.” We have naively allowed ourselves to be so polarized by the endless hogwash from both parties that we will believe anything. The Left is consumed with insane Tweets from a mentally ill President and by the stupendous avarice of the GOP in Congress; a majority of Americans have lost the ability to think.
First, there is “healthcare,” something everyone needs all the time. Whether you are thinking about it or not, you need health since health equals life. Providing healthcare is completely separate from paying for healthcare. So when people hear a call for “Single Payer Health Care,” they hear the call for a bird crossed with a horse. Since mythology has such a creature as Pegasus, many people believe that Single Payer Health Care must also exist. It does not.
Why the Call for Single Payer will Lead Us to a Dead End
The primary result that will come from calling for Single Payer Health Care is the certainty that the Dems and the GOP will never cooperate. The term “single payer” means “no insurance companies.” The “single” in Single Payer is the government, i.e., no insurance companies and that means no cooperation will be possible.
Who pays the bill has nothing to do with what you get. If we had Single Payer automobile finance, wouldn’t you like to know whether you get a broken down 1970 Pinto or a new Lexus? That’s the Pig in Poke that Single Payer gives us – the government will pay, but never mind what kind of healthcare, if any, you will get.
Whoa, Nelly. I am not arguing in favor of insurance companies. I am pointing out how we are all being politically bamboozled by both sides. As long as the health insurers make gazillions of dollars, the American people are the losers. It is imperative that we recognize the misleading buzz words from the Charlatans on the Left and from the fraudsters on the Right. If only the Democrats were as assiduous at questioning the Bernicrats as they are at attacking Speaker Paul (Body by Fisher, Mind by Mattel) Ryan, then we might have a little light on the subject. Neither Bernie nor Pauly can stand up to scrutiny. Hence, we get endless obfuscation.
Single payer is not a form of healthcare and it is not a commitment to extend healthcare to everyone. It only means that all healthcare providers submit their bills to one entity who pays or denies the bill.
The Starting Place is Universal Health Care
The only moral starting place is Universal Health Care. The operant word is “universal.” Anything less means that Americans are willing to allow people to needlessly suffer and die. The moral commitment to Universal Health Care comes before we figure out how to pay for it, just as President Kennedy’s goal to put a man on the moon came before we had any idea how to do it.
Who Provides Health Care? More People than You Think.
Who provides healthcare? The first healthcare provider is you. It does not begin with the doctor or the hospital, but starts with each individual. It is as basic as parents’ making certain their children get adequate nutrition. The next step is for society to recognize that some parents are not providing a decent diet, which is why we have free breakfasts and lunches in schools. Healthcare is both an individual and a societal obligation. When it comes to minors, society steps in to provide what the homes does not.
While there should be follow-up in order to find out what is wrong at home so that the schools must feed children, first we feed the kids.
The schools play a primary role in healthcare, making certain children are educated in health and in their duties to help others maintain their health. Wolves show more concern for the welfare of their pack than many Americans show for each other. Since exercise positively correlates with good health, schools need to incorporate more physical exercise into each day. The quality of daily exercise varies enormously around the country.
The Next Area Is Preventive Medicine
This duty is primarily societal since individuals cannot manufacture vaccines. We are doing better these days than we did in the 1950s and 1960s when children routinely contracted two types of measles, whopping cough, scarlet fever, chicken pox, the mumps and often bronchitis and even pneumonia. Now, however, childhood obesity has become a more serious problem which needs addressing. While homes can start down the road to prevention, this aspect actually falls heaviest on the medical community.
Finally We Are Getting Around to Medicine
After we realize that healthcare requires proactive behaviors on the individual and societal levels to make certain we are structuring our communities in healthy directions, we need to address those medical problems which far transcend the capacity of family and friends to handle. That is when we reach the level of hospitals, doctors, specialists and expensive drugs along with the need to provide a framework for drug companies to develop new drugs. Here, we have to address the issue of how to pay for medical care since these costs are far beyond what a family or a community can incorporate into their regular budgets.
The Need for Medical Care Seldom Coincides with the Ability to Pay
We have to recognize that “Fee for Service” is fine for changing the gas and oil in your car or repairing your car’s fender after an accident, but Fee for Service cannot be the game plan to pay for the medical component of healthcare. While a wealthy businessman may be able to pay for routine matters and even cover his son’s broken leg, rare is the family able to afford the long-term care for cancer. Fee for Service has limited applicability and only functions for people with high disposable incomes and relatively manageable medical bills.
The overall reality is that a Fee for Service system is a disaster. It leads to an outrageously high number of bankruptcies. When families can least afford the stress and when they most need support, they lose their homes. Those who oppose Universal Health Care are helping to send millions of families across America into the death and bankruptcy lotteries.
Healthcare can as expensive for a family to buy as an F-1 Bomber in case of war. A Fee for Service system is similar to an invading army that can wipe out thousands of American homes each year. We don’t recognize what is happening because the destroyers are sitting in Wall Street offices, not marching down Maple Street with black and red armbands clamoring to throw the Jones family onto the street.
Yet, for the most part, Americans have unwittingly allowed the Fee for Service model be the dominant way we pay for healthcare. If there could be a worst system, it might be to give 30% of every healthcare dollar to some stranger whose main function is to stand at the hospital door and say whether or not you may enter. And yes, most Americans do participate in such an insane system. Remember, health insurance companies provide zero health care!
We have managed to devise a system in which people who do not provide an iota of healthcare make billions of dollars siphoning off money which should be spend on healthcare. (By the way, Kaiser Permanente is not an insurance company.)
The number of Americans who do not know the difference between a healthcare provider and an insurance company is astounding…but not really surprising. Again, this is because both parties regularly confuse providing healthcare with paying for healthcare. The powers that be do not want the public to know that Aetna and the other health insurance companies provide zero healthcare. If they knew about this, some Americans might ask, “Why am I paying so much money to Aetna?”
The answer is that people pay billions in premiums to health insurance companies in order to make the executives vastly wealthy. They are in business for the same reason Microsoft is in business, i.e. to make money. Microsoft, however, provides a product, but insurance companies provide nothing to the consumer. Making money is fine provided a company offers a service or product people need. Who needs 30% of their healthcare dollar being diverted to a multi-millionaire so he can buy a new private jet?
Both political parties draw their campaign finances and extra perks from individuals and companies that are making hundreds of billions each year from this crazy system in which millions of people are intentionally excluded while a handful of others who provide no benefit to anyone become multi-millionaires and even billionaires.
Will We Ever Extricate Ourselves from this Morass?
To do so, we must:
(1) Recognize that providing healthcare and paying for healthcare are entirely separate matters.
(2) Admit that the sole moral option is Universal Health Care.
(3) Once we re-orient our priorities, we all need to cooperate to devise a healthcare delivery system that reaches everyone with constantly improving healthcare and devise a way to pay for it. Almost every other industrialized nation has been able to accomplish this task, except for the USA.
(Richard Lee Abrams is a Los Angeles attorney and a CityWatch contributor. He can be reached at: Rickleeabrams@Gmail.com. Abrams views are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.