By Jason Taylor
The GOP plans to take meager insurance away from millions of Americans. OK, but let’s face it, the flip side of this ghastly idea is the assumption that the insurance industry must be preserved, and the naïve idea that capitalism and the Laws of Supply and Demand will fix everything. Just ask Rand Paul.
But the Laws of Supply and Demand don’t operate in healthcare as they do elsewhere, Mr. Paul, even if you allow purchase across state lines. This is because the insurance industry (Supply) has a financial incentive not to provide healthcare (Demand), and why it uses a massive bureaucracy, placing a huge financial burden on US industry. Ironically, government-funded Medicare has a tiny overhead, is still run by doctors, and is popular (just ask any senior, even Republicans). Making Medicare generally available would be a massive boost for US industry — $500 billion per year — and a massive boost in standards.
The unseemly spectacle of a group of portly white male senators, each receiving contributions (bribes?) from the insurance industry, each with unparalleled access to healthcare, prattling about the wonders of the free market, reminds me of Sinclair Lewis’s observation that you’ll never get a man to understand something (Medicare for All) if his income (bribes) depends upon him not understanding it. American healthcare is a disgrace, an unforced error not worthy of a great nation, and there is no capitalist solution.
As a nation, we have become gullible fools. All this talk about a free market will solve our healthcare systems problems is poppycock. We have had a free market system for the last 60 plus years, and it has failed. No one has reminded us of the 12–20% increases in the 1980’s which lead to shifting of health insurance costs to the users in the form of higher co-pays and deductibles and shifting more of the premium cost to employees.
I find it funny that even the Capitalist Tool, Forbes Magazine, when talking about great countries to live in regularly points to those in Europe that have well-functioning healthcare systems….socialized medicine, yet feel the need that those systems will not work here.
If the ACA is failing now it’s due to six months of uncertainty and reduction in federal subsidies. In essence, the GOP is harming patients to enact their draconian plan which will harm even more.
Ponder that for a second: the richest nation on earth can’t even help people who get sick. It’s just another symbol of societal disintegration as we race towards greater inequities in income, savings, and well-being.
This abysmal situation with health care is what you get when a campaign and election are not based on intelligent debate, but on the phony belief in “shaking up Washington” and “draining the swamp,” the phony idea that Hillary’s email issue portended dire consequences for the republic, and the magical thinking that a New York real estate developer with family loans and ever-rising market prices is somehow the business guru who will take us to economic nirvana. It was a trumped-up sense of disaster the flyovers bought into.
It all flows from a desire for power, a desire to impose will on others, a visceral hatred toward the black president and the shrill woman candidate, and a party that somehow wins popularity contest after contest with their guns, God, gays (anti-gay, that is) platform. And the phony tax cut virtuosi.
The Democrats need to propose a modified single payer model. Extend Medicare to anyone who needs it. You would purchase Medicare just like you currently purchase insurance. If you want additional “concierge” type coverage, the private insurance market would still exist for that. Medicaid would continue to exist in its current form for those who cannot afford Medicare. The money would be set aside and paid to the private insurance carriers to unwind this industry as it currently exists.
This would be expensive but would be a responsible way to change the health care model. Unfortunately, you would have to overcome Paul Ryan (what does this guy want anyway), the Koch Machine, the insurance industry and the AMA to make this happen. If we can get a Democrat majority in Congress and get the White House back, it can be done. That is a very tall order.
And stop calling the ACA “Obamacare.” There is a core of people who do not understand they are the same. Surveys show people want the ACA, but not Obamacare.
Republicans refer to Obama as a dictator, an economic failure, anything to try and make the GOP look better. The GOP lie is that it is failing because of the insurers that are pulling out. They are losing money, not enough low-risk people are joining, they are young healthy, do not think they need it. They pay the penalty which is less than the insurance. Some believe they are paying for someone else’s problems not their own. The pool of members must have all levels in it, then the costs will even out. The flaw here was making it a public/government joint program.
The GOP was determined to make it a free market system, they are convinced it is the one and only way, if you do not get it, it is your own damned fault. While auto insurance prices are based on the risk pool, everyone is required to have it, or put up a bond if they don’t, the ACA leaves an out, don’t buy, lose your tax return. Many have low paying jobs, the cost can be up to 1/3 of their income. As we know, the free market optimizes profit, keeping people healthy is not the object, the less they pay out the better. Take a look, see who gets campaign cash from them.
We know people will lie and cheat if the price is right. In this case, it depends on which party members have the most scruples. Republicans think it pays to be mean. Let Trump, and the current batch of Republicans know that we will not stand for this. Let them know that healthcare is a human right. If you’re truly pro-life than you’re pro-life from cradle to grave.
Ask your Congressman/Congresswomen, ask your Representatives, ask your Senators… ask them this very simple question: Why is every other country in the world wrong on health care, and America is right?
Don’t hold your breath.