A Businessman Makes The Case For A Single-Payer Health Care System

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By Richard Master for PNHP – With all due respect to President Trump, he is wrong about the single-payer model of health insurance. Single payer — centralized public financing of a continued privately operated health system — will not “bankrupt the United States.” In fact, the opposite is true. Single payer is the only internationally proven strategy to transition the U.S. out of its current crisis of runaway health care costs to economic sustainability, where overall system cost growth is consistent with overall economic growth and inflation. At one-sixth of our economy and over 25 percent of the federal budget, health care will continue to be a focus in Congress until real progress is made and the angst of the American people about the system is resolved. It is clear to most Americans that runaway health care costs translate into flat wages and also a deterioration of real disposable income that drags down our 70 percent consumer-driven economy. But recent efforts in Congress to confront the crisis have been misguided. Congress has focused on cost shifting — moving the burden of our health system away from the federal government to the states and also to employers and to working families across the country, who will pay higher private insurance premiums to cover the expected cost of increased uncompensated care as the system absorbs the loss of Medicaid funds.

The Practical Libertarian’s Case For Single Payer Healthcare

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By Camilo Gomez for Counter Punch – This year, there have been serious discussions about healthcare policy in America. The Republicans’ attempt to repeal Obamacare generated much backlash. The images of disability activists protesting in Congress circulated the world. For many foreigners, it’s a surprise that the richest country in the world doesn’t have any form of universal healthcare. In fact, many of the activists’ goals were not to preserve Obamacare, but support Medicare for all––or single payer. In America, organizations like Physicians for a National Health Programsupport single payer–a tax-funded healthcare system administered by the state that covers health care for all residents. It is logical that this policy is backed mostly by progressives, on the basis of their belief that healthcare is a human right. Not all Democratic politicians support single payer, but the support for it among the Democratic base is putting those who oppose it in a difficult position. Republicans in office are opposed to single payer, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t conservatives arguing for it, too. About 40 percent of Trump supporters back single payer and is worth acknowledging that some Republicans attitudes on the issue are shifting.

Thousands Attend Free Health Care Event In Detroit

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By Staff of WSWS – Thousands of metro Detroit residents, seeking dental and optical care, are attending a free health clinic, which started Wednesday at the Cobo Hall convention center. Hundreds lined up outside before doors opened at 6 a.m. highlighting the medical crisis in the state, where an estimated 600,000 residents are uninsured and far more cannot afford high co-pays and deductibles. The three–day event is expected to attract more than 4,000 people. The Motor City Medical Mission (MCMM) was organized by California and Florida-based religious institutions—Freedom Clinic and United Hands—which have held similar events with volunteer medical professionals throughout the US and other countries. “The primary need is dental care,” Ann Burnett, executive director of the Motor City Medical Mission Project, told the World Socialist Web Site. “Those that come in are in many cases living with pain and can’t get treatment for things such as abscesses. We also have eye exams and can give them reading and prescription glasses. One gentleman came in for dental services and we were able to pick up early stages of cancer, and probably saved his life.

Medicare’s Anniversary Reminds Us The Impossible Is Possible

Medicare-for-All may be closer than many persons think. (Photo: Molly Adams)

By Mark Karlin for Truth Out – Before the establishment of Medicare, many persons more than 65 years of age who weren’t wealthy dealt with a harrowing reality. When they became seriously ill or required a costly procedure, they possibly faced bankruptcy due to lack of health insurance or high deductibles and co-pays. Many also confronted having to go without health care because of costs, sometimes leading to a painful death because of the exorbitant price of medical care without insurance. In fact, the lack of a government health insurance program for the elderly led to seniors being among the poorest age groups in the nation. This past Sunday, Medicare celebrated its 52nd anniversary. National health care coverage in the United States for seniors had been an elusive goal until the program was launched in 1965. For years, efforts to pass Medicare were thwarted by charges that we still hear today against the Affordable Care Act and proposals for single-payer health care. Government health care insurance for the elderly was called “communist” medicine and accused of being “un-American.” Despite his ability to get Social Security enacted in 1935 and launch other government-administered New Deal programs, President Franklin Roosevelt was not able to overcome vigorous opposition to government health coverage for seniors…

Will A Mega-Billionaire Rescue America From GOP’s Insurance Mayhem?

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By Staff of Nader Page – Before recommending a practical way to reverse the devastating impact of Congressional Republicans’ attempts to strip tens of millions of Americans of health insurance coverage, and the non-stop anxiety and dread that comes with such cruel and vicious legislation, note the impact of having gerrymandered (the politicians pick the voters) Washington rulers. The arrogant Republicans in Congress have good health insurance, life insurance, pensions, salaries and expense accounts paid by you the taxpayers. This perversely has led them to drop any empathy their residual consciences might have possessed before they came to Capitol Hill – many as millionaires. At the same time, in a country that spends well over $3 trillion a year on ‘healthcare’, the GOP’s various bills leave millions of families fearing loss of insurance, reduced coverage, larger deductibles, unaffordable co-pays and inscrutable insurance and billing fine-print trap doors. This is producing serious fear, anxiety, depression and in many cases absolute terror for sick children and ailing parents. We have the New York Times to thank for bringing this vast human toll, day after day, night after night, to their readers. In a recent article, reporter Jan Hoffman interviews people who are wondering “whether they would be able to continue screenings and treatment.”

Talking About A Revolution

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By Jim Naureckas for FAIR – It’s long been clear that if we want to avoid catastrophic climate disruption on a scale that threatens human civilization, we need to leave vast amounts of fossil fuels in the ground. Environmental writer Bill McKibben pointed out the math in a crucial 2012 article for Rolling Stone: To avoid disaster, 80 percent of the carbon already discovered by private and state-owned energy companies has to be left alone—to be treated as useless rock, not precious resources. The problem is, the energy companies are some of the richest, most powerful entities on Earth. Corporations are designed to act like organisms with a single goal, maximizing profits. And the fossil fuel industry’s future profits—roughly 80 percent of them—depend on extracting that carbon and burning it, climate and civilization be damned. They have been using and will continue to use their vast influence to thwart any effort to avert that disaster. Does humanity have the collective power to tell the current owners of carbon deposits that they no longer own them—that they don’t have the right to take them out of the ground and sell them as fuel? That’s the $640 trillion question. Doing so is essential to our future as a species—but a massive transfer of wealth of that kind isn’t like a revolution, it is a revolution, and a revolution on a scale history hasn’t seen before.

‘We’re Figuring Out How We Can Mount A National Campaign’ For Single Payer

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By Staff of Common Dreams – I’m ‘absolutely’ introducing single-payer healthcare bill. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told Jake Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday that he will “absolutely” introduce legislation on single-payer healthcare now that the Senate GOP’s bill to repeal ObamaCare has failed. “If people don’t like the private insurance that they’re getting, they should have a Medicare-type public option available in every state in this country,” Sanders said. Asked if he would follow through on his pledge to submit single-payer legislation, Sanders said, “Of course we are, we’re tweaking the final points of the bill and we’re figuring out how we can mount a national campaign to bring people together” “We are the only major country on Earth not to guarantee health care to all people,” Sanders said, “We should … move in the direction of every other major country.” “I believe at the end of the day, the American people will conclude that Medicare for all — Medicare is working now for people 65 or older — let’s expand it to everyone.”

Newsletter: Fight For Health Care Begins

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By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were stalled again this week, due in large part to public pressure including courageous and persistent civil resistance in Congress. This was another battle won to prevent millions more from losing health insurance and tax cuts for the rich, but the fight for a universal healthcare system is far from over. In fact, we have barely begun. 1hcsenDr. Carol Paris writes, “Today, we breathe a quick sigh of relief. But we cannot celebrate a return to the status quo, a system that rations health care based on income and allows 18,000 Americans to die each year unnecessarily.” Dr. Paris argues that rather than focusing on the ACA, we must now advance National Improved Medicare for All (NIMA) – a publicly-funded and comprehensive universal healthcare system in the United States. Imagine the impacts National Improved Medicare for All will have when it is achieved…

Let’s Talk Seriously About Medicare For All

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By Dr. Carol Paris for CommonDreams. Hundreds of people slept overnight in cars, or camped for days in a field. They told stories of yanking out their own teeth with pliers, of reusing insulin syringes until they broke in their arm, of chronic pain so debilitating they could hardly care for their own children. At daybreak, they lined up for several more hours outside a white tent, waiting for their chance to visit a doctor. For many, this was the first health care provider they’ve seen in years. Is this a place torn by war, famine or natural disaster? No, this charity medical clinic was last weekend in southwest Virginia, in the wealthiest country in the world, where we spend nearly three times as much money on health care as other similar countries. Clearly, this system is broken. Like a cracked pipe, money gushes into our health care system but steadily leaks out. Money is siphoned into the advertising budgets of insurance companies and the army of corporate bureaucrats working to deny claims.

Civil Resistance Helped Kill Trumpcare – On To Medicare For All

A protester holds up a sign during a rally against the GOP health care plan, on Capitol Hill, July 26, 2017, in Washington, DC. (Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

By Michael Corcoran for Truthout – In a dramatic vote that took place between midnight and dawn on Friday, the bill was defeated 51-49, to the surprise of almost everyone who was still awake to see it. Less than an hour before the vote, Democrats and pundits had suggested that passage of the Health Care Freedom Act, the Senate’s bizarre “skinny repeal” approach to gutting health care access in the US, was almost inevitable. Three GOP defections, however, sealed its fate. Sen. John McCain, who recently was diagnosed with a brain tumor, became the final swing vote for the second time this week, joining Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Lisa Murkowski in opposing the measure. Earlier this week, to the dismay of health care advocates everywhere, McCain had kept Trumpcare alive with his vote on a procedural motion to proceed with debate on the GOP legislation; this time his vote had the opposite effect. The Trumpcare efforts have often played out like a bad horror movie franchise where the bad guys just won’t die. Just when the main characters feel safe and walk away to pleasant music, an ominous monstrosity such as the Upton Amendment in the House or the “skinny repeal” plan in the Senate reaches into sight, startling the audience members and reminding them that the danger is still very real.

The Plot To Kill Care

(Image: Health care costs via Shutterstock)

By Eleanor Goldfield for Occupy – Medicare turns 52 this Sunday as Republicans lament their slow going efforts to privatize a public service on behalf of the insurance industry and other healthcare profiteers. (This is also Medicaid’s birthday, healthcare for the poor, passed along with Medicare, healthcare for the elderly). That being said, Democrats have made a concerted effort to do the same, they just wrap their efforts in a more caring and affordable facade. As we stare down the possibility of millions more losing access to life saving medicines and treatment, the numbers show that neither the ACA nor the House’s AHCA or the senate’s BCRA will alleviate widespread suffering, deaths or economic hardships. Only one thing can solve the US health crisis: single payer, improved Medicare for All. So, as we come around to Medicare’s birthday, we can’t just watch Congress ready their machetes and slash away at care for the sake of profit. We need to join the fight for improved Medicare for All, once and for all – here’s how.

‘Obscene’: 70 Top Healthcare CEOs Raked In $9.8 Billion Since 2010

"Stock-heavy pay drives CEOs to do the exact opposite of their buzzword-laden goals of creating a 'patient-centered' health system that focuses on 'value,'" writes Axios's Bob Herman. (Photo: Elvert Barnes/Flickr/cc)

By Jake Johnson for Common Dreams – While the Senate GOP’s plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been denounced as potentially devastating to the poor, the sick, women, people of color, children, and those with pre-existing conditions, a new analysis published Monday finds that no matter what happens, the CEOs of large healthcare companies are likely to continue living lavishly. “The median household income in 2015 was $56,515, which the average healthcare CEO made in less than a day.” Bob Herman, Axios Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed in 2010, the “CEOs of 70 of the largest U.S. healthcare companies cumulatively have earned $9.8 billion,” according to a report by Axios’s Bob Herman. Herman goes on to add that the CEOs’ earnings “far outstrip[ped] the wage growth of nearly all Americans.” “The richest year [for healthcare CEOs] was 2015, when 70 healthcare CEOs collectively made $2 billion,” Herman notes. “That was an average of about $28.5 million per CEO and a median of about $17.3 million per CEO. The median household income in 2015 was $56,515, which the average healthcare CEO made in less than a day.”

Newsletter: When Empires Fall

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By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. The Pentagon recently released a report, “At Our Own Peril: DoD Risk Assessment in a Post-Primacy World,” which details its concerns about losing access to resources and “resistance to authority” both at home and around the world as governments lose legitimacy. Faced with these changes, the United States could embrace them, become a cooperative member of the world, transition to a lower-waste lower-energy sustainable existence and draw back the military to use those resources to meet domestic needs. Sadly, that is not what the Pentagon has in mind. There is a saying, when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. The US is the biggest empire in the world; therefore, the Pentagon’s solutions are “more surveillance, more propaganda (‘strategic manipulation of perceptions’) and more military expansionism.” The United States’ reign as an Empire is coming to an end. It is up to those of us living in the US to take action to prevent more aggression and demand that the US dismantle its empire in a way that causes the least harm at home and abroad.

Celebrate Medicare's Anniversary: Join Call For Single Payer

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By Health Over Profit. Medicare’s 52nd anniversary takes place on July 30, at the beginning of the August Congressional Recess. Actions are being planned across the country to celebrate and call for National Improved Medicare for All. Check out the list below for an action near you. Whether your member of Congress is a supporter or not, there is something that you can do. Show a movie, hold a rally, go to their office, celebrate with a party. And bring this message wherever your member of Congress goes throughout the summer recess! The time for Medicare for All is now.

Trumpcare Is Dead. 'Single Payer Is The Only Real Answer'

AP.  President John F. Kennedy gestures during his speech before a rally on medical care for the aged at New York’s Madison Square Garden on May 20, 1962.

By Zaid Jilani for The Intercept – THANKS TO A PAIR of defections from more GOP senators late yesterday, the Republican plan to repeal and replace or simply repeal the Affordable Care Act is dead — for now. But the health care status quo is far from popular, with 57 percent of Americans telling Gallup pollsters in March that they “personally worry” a “great deal” about health care costs. Many health care activists are now pushing to adopt what is called a “single payer” health care system, where one public health insurance program would cover everyone. The U.S. currently has one federal program like that: Medicare. Expanding it polls very well. One of the activists pushing for such an expansion is Max Fine, someone who is intimately familiar with the program — because he helped create it. Fine is the last surviving member of President Kennedy’s Medicare Task Force, and he was also President Johnson’s designated debunker against the health insurance industry. Fine, now 91, wrote to The Intercept recently to explain that Medicare was never intended to cover only the elderly population, and that expanding it to everyone was a goal that its architects long campaigned for. “Three years after the enactment of Medicare, in Dec. 1968, a Committee of 100 leading Americans was formed to campaign for single payer National Heath Insurance.