Health Care: One More Time

And the beat goes on. The health care for millions of “un” and under-insured American citizens has become like a ping-pong ball being endlessly batted back and forth across the net of good intentions. It is a process to warm the cockles of any obstreperous bureaucrat’s heart – lots of commotion but nothing gets done. Providing basic health care as a right for all Americans is a difficult battle to win, because those against such a right need not propose but simply oppose. The bureaucrat will always offer endless reasons as to why something can’t be done. If one objection is put down, another one is ready to pop up. In the end, doing nothing will be a victory.The latest and most emotional objection being raised to defeat health care for all Americans is the fearsome involvement of government in our personal choices and life.

Those opposed to recognizing health care as a moral right of all Americans argue that government involvement will “take away and ration” the health care for those already covered. They suggest that the government’s involvement in health care will eliminate the individual’s right of “free choice” —something that most Americans believe is essential to their rights as citizens. Of course, the idea of “free choice” is wonderful, but for most of us in most situations, we know it is more myth than reality.

What “free choice” do the poor and aged have when it comes to health care today? The idea that somehow government involvement in providing health care to those who do not have or cannot get (even if the have the money and are healthy) will restrict others is just as much a myth as is the concept of free choice.

Opponents of Obama’s health care plan claim to support universal health care, but argue that the coverage should be provided by the private sector and not government. That’s a nice idea and I would be all for that, but there is just one small problem. The private insurance sector has had 70 years to provide affordable health insurance protection to all individuals and has failed.

If you can’t afford it, have ever been sick or are over age 60 then you cannot buy private health care in America. That means there are about 46 million Americans who are unable to acquire health care coverage from the private sector. If the private sector is unable or unwilling to meet the needs and legitimate rights of citizens, isn’t it the purpose and obligation of government to step in and do so? Doesn’t passing the buck end somewhere? And remember, we are not talking about the government actually providing health care, but just paying the private sector for the portion of care that individuals cannot afford, i.e. Medicare.

The fundamental conflict between health care provided by the private sector and government is not “free choice” or rationing, but simply profits. The private sector is unwilling and unable to provide health care coverage to the poor, sick and aged because it is simply not profitable to do so. So does that mean those people should not have coverage? If you accept that basic health care as a right if every citizen and the private sector cannot provide it, then it is the obligation of the government to do so.

Well-healed opponents (read health insurance companies) of health care plead that if the government provides national health care then the private companies will be unable to compete and will be driven out of business. One could respond with “so what?” Insurance companies have failed to provide the needed coverage anyway, so why should they continue to exist? But the better response is that far from eliminating the private insurance sector, the proposed plan will actually increase the market and potential profits for insurance companies.

Education is a good parallel example to prove that point.

No one questions that every American child – rich or poor – has a guaranteed right to a basic publicly supported education. That right, first proposed by Thomas Jefferson and enacted nationally at the turn of the 19th century, guarantees education for all—from grade school up to and through college. Hey, who is it that assures the accessibility of basic education to all citizens? It is the combination of local, state and federal governments. No one disputes the involvement of government in education because it is accepted as a right of all citizens. The same would be true if basic health care were to be accepted as a right.

Does government involvement in education mean that every child receives the very best education possible? Of course not. But it does mean that every child does have the opportunity for a basic education. Has this “public option” for education eliminated the private sector from offering education? Hardly. It has, in fact, created a profitable opportunity for private schools and other educational services. If one has the money and the wherewithal they have the “free choice” to “buy” a better education from private schools and universities. In fact, the public and private sectors of education work very well together. The same will happen in the health care sector.

With a government sponsored basic health care coverage to all Americans, insurance companies will be freed from the pressure to offer universal coverage. Much like private schools and universities, the insurance companies will be able to design and offer supplemental coverage (just as they do for Medicare) and “gold-plated” policies for those who can qualify and pay for them. In reality, the market and potential profits for the insurance companies may actually greater than they are today.

And the Moral of the Story …

Bureaucratic, shortsighted and greed-driven insurance companies should wake up and view national health care rights for all as an opportunity and not a threat. The only way health care for all citizens will be a threat to insurance companies is if they continue to resist the right thing to do and find themselves eliminated from the solution. If that happens, they will have no one to blame but themselves.

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One response to “Health Care: One More Time

  1. Why A Strong Public Option Is Essential – By jacksmith — Working Class

    Robert Reich explains the pubic option: http://bit.ly/dDYSJ http://robertreich.blogspot.com/

    John Garamendi on the Public Option and the Grassroots: http://bit.ly/TJMty

    It’s not just because more than two thirds of the American people want a single payer health care system. And if they cant have a single payer system 77% of all Americans want a strong government-run public option on day one (86% of democrats, 75% of independents, and 72% republicans). Basically everyone.

    It’s not just because according to a new AARP POLL: 86 percent of seniors want universal healthcare security for All, including 93% of Democrats, 87% of Independents, and 78% of Republicans. With 79% of seniors supporting creating a new strong Government-run public option plan, available immediately. Including 89% of Democrats, 80% of Independents, and 61% of Republicans, STUNNING!!

    It’s not just because it will lower cost. Because a strong public option will dramatically lower cost for everyone. And dramatically improved the quality of care everyone receives in America and around the World. Rich, middle class, and poor a like.

    It’s not just because it will save trillions of dollars and prevent the needless deaths of millions more of YOU, caused by a rush to profit by the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX!

    It’s not just because every expert in every field, including economist, and Nobel laureates all agree that free market based healthcare systems don’t work. Never have and never will. The US has the only truly free market based healthcare system in the World. And as you all know now, IT IS A DISASTER!

    It’s not just because providing or denying medically necessary care for profit motivations is wrong. Because it is WRONG! It’s professionally, ethically, and morally REPUGNANT!, Animalistic, VILE and EVIL.

    THE REASON THE PUBLIC OPTION IS ESSENTIAL:

    The public option is ESSENTIAL because over 200 million of you are trapped in the forest of the wolves. Which is the forest of the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! With no way out except through needless inhumane suffering, and DEATH. While the wolves tear at your flesh, and rip you limb from lib. Then feast on your lifeless bodies like a dead carcase for transplant parts.

    At the most vulnerable times of your lives (when you were sick and hurting), millions of you have had to fight and loose cruel, but heroic battles. Fighting against the big guns of the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! in the forest of the wolves. All because you have no place else to go. You have no other CHOICE!

    But the PUBLIC OPTION will give you someplace safe to go. And it will give us someplace safe to take you. The public option will be your refugium (your refuge). Where the wolves cannot get at you when your down, hurting, and vulnerable. Where everyone who needs it can find rest, security, comfort and the care they need. Protected by the BIG GUNS of We The People Of The United States. THE MOST POWERFUL PEOPLE AND COUNTRY ON EARTH.

    This is why it is so critical that we do not lead another 50 million vulnerable, uninsured Americans into the forest of the wolves, without the protections of a Strong Government-run public option. We The People Of The United States MUST NOT LET THAT HAPPEN to any more of our fellow Americans. If healthcare reform does not contain a strong public option on day one. YOU MUST! KILL IT. Or you will do far more harm than good. And millions more will die needlessly. Rich, middle class, and poor a like.

    To those who would continue to obstruct good and true healthcare reform for the American people, and who seek to trap millions more vulnerable Americans in the forest of the wolves. We will continue to fight you. We are prepared to wage all out war against you, and will eagerly DESTROY! you. Time…is…UP! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! No Co-op’s! No Triggers! NO INDIVIDUAL MANDATES! without a Strong public option on day one.

    Healthcare reform can be the GREATEST! Accomplishment of our time and century. A time when future generations may say of us, that we were all, AMERICAS GREATEST GENERATIONS.

    BUT WE MUST ACT!

    I therefore call on all my fellow Americans and the peoples of the World. To join us in this fight so that we may finish becoming the better America that we aspire to be for everyone.

    SPREAD THE WORD!

    I have been privileged to be witness as many of you fought, and struggled to take your first breath, and your last breath on this earth. Rich, middle class, and poor a like. Life is precious.

    Whatever the cost. WE! MUST SUCCEED.

    God Bless You My Fellow Human Beings

    jacksmith — Working Class

    No Triggers! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jason-rosenbaum/a-trigger-for-the-public_b_277910.html

    Triggers http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-sirota/weve-seen-these-triggers_b_283583.html

    Krugman on heathcare (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/25/why-markets-cant-cure-healthcare/)

    Senator Bernie Sanders on healthcare (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSM8t_cLZgk&feature=player_embedded)

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