The Affordable Care act must succeed!
Original post made by Jane on Feb 20, 2014
Please support the ACA, and fight back against the extreme right.
on Feb 20, 2014 at 6:58 pm
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I'm not saying I support the right on this, who are just being idiots about healthcare, when it's life, death, and our economic future at stake.
However, you are completely wrong that "all decent industrialized countries already have" single payer.
That's just not true. All decent industrialized countries have some form of affordable care for all. Universal, affordable care, often with better service, choice, and outcomes than we have here now. Sometimes, with even better perks, like vacations in resorts to recover from surgery, all covered by insurance, and still cheaper than our coverage.
But it's not true that they all have single-payer. Some of them use all private health insurance companies. Some have more privatized systems then ours.
The one thing that every other industrialized nation on earth has except us, in addition to affordable universal care, is that they all now have nonprofit INSURANCE. Not non-profit delivery -- doctors, hosptials, labs, in many of those systems can still profit, but no other advanced nation has for-profit insurance. Our own system went out of control coincidentally when the for-profit insurers began to dominate, before that the insurers were primarily non-profit.
I'm always surprised by how many intelligent people think when I say that that it means people volunteer for providing healthcare. Being non-profit just means they don't use health insurance as an investment opportunity. So they don't pay investors. As T.R.Reid says in his seminal book about healthcare, there is a fundamental and irreconcilable conflict between paying investors and paying for people's healthcare.
If you allow insurers to make 20% of the healthcare economy as profit, they have an incentive to allow that economy to be very large. And indeed, our healthcare economy now eats up 20% of our overall economy, and some 40% of it goes to healthcare administration -- that's now around half a trillion dollars annually. It's money they have to spent to CONTROL the system in order to maximally extract their profits from as large a system as we can bear. No other nation on earth does this, they've all learned their lessons.
Reid points out that in Switzerland, where the healthcare is run by private for-profit companies (and where they have one of the most expensive nations on earth with a minimum salary of around $30/hr, yet their healthcare system costs half per capita what ours does), their companies run the healthcare sector like charities, using their performance as a kind of advertising for how well they would do with their other for-profit insurance products. Switzerland tried allowing their insurers to profit for healthcare -- guess what happened? Costs began to skyrocket and people began to go bankrupt.
No one around the world is 100% happy with their system, but in ultra-democratic Switzerland, when the above happened, they held a referendum and stopped the healthcare profiteering. Guess what? The skyrocketing and bankruptcies subsided. We are now the only advanced nation with medical bankruptcies, and we have the highest per capita costs.
It couldn't be more clear what the solution is, because for every problem we know raises costs some, like smoking or obesity and diet, there are nations with that problem worse than we have, where they cover everyone, have better outcomes, and cheaper healthcare. Don't get me wrong, those things are worth addressing, it's just the main elephant in the room is the profiteering of health insurance.
Unfortunately, Obamacare only codified that. So it's likely to do what happened in Massachusetts after which it was modeled: help cover everyone, but not reduce costs.
on Feb 22, 2014 at 8:22 am
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> As T.R.Reid says in his seminal book about healthcare, there is a fundamental and irreconcilable conflict between paying investors and paying for people's healthcare.
This is the bottom line, or rather, the bottom line in the bottom line on this. The Right seeks to regulate the hell out of everyone's life while they talk dishonestly out the other side of their mouth about freedom and liberty.
By making everything about money and profit, they just seal those in power in power and force everyone else to die or find their best place in an economy that simply does not have room for everyone, and then focus on those who are happy and healthy and ignore everyone else.
T.R. Reid said it ... first a society has to decide that coverying everyone, i.e. treating human beings as human beings, is a desirable goal, and then they will figure out how to do it and make it work.
I think ObamaCare is an improvement, albeit nearly insignificant improvement, but for those whose life it saves, they will be the new evangelists of slightly widening the circle of those who are treated a small bit better, and much will be made of this, however, the real problems as usual will not be addressed, discussed and mostly actively covered up.
The problem is under the model of our economy, under the aegis of "capitalism" everything must be reduced to economic terms, and every society that has ever existed has never wanted to or been able to do this. There is a fundamental flaw in the very idea, and from this falls out virtually all our problems and the inability to even think about any kind of meaningful change or reform.
What the Right gives up if they acknowledge there are other things than money is the control that is so easy when you have money to use as a non-violent weapon against people. It is much easier to kill millions of people by depriving them of money and then calling them losers than it is to grab them and murder them - and it keeps everyone in line and gives a rationale - as long as real discussion is disallowed.
The trick that has been played on almost every enslaved society on the planet is militarily occupation, taking of lands and then forcing the dispossessed to have to pay rent in a world they were born into that gave them everything. Simply to survive people have to become workers, and be exploited, because there are no lands for them to go to. Most of them have no real skills or understanding of the system, and if they all did they all would revolt, but as long as the stratification and division of people remains, some do OK under the system, well enough to sell the others out and be happy about it. It is what America and the West is based on.
There is not any better game in town, but we are at a point now where it does not work any longer, and we all know it is not fair, just or even human. I agree with T.R. Reid, the first step is to decide people should be treated like human beings with respect. And by the way, we ought to start treating our lands and animals better as well.
on Feb 22, 2014 at 11:42 am
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ObamaCare is essentially insurance company regulation - you must cover pre-existing conditions, college age kids, rebate overcharges etc... in exchange for giving the insurance companies for customers.
The far right's war on Obamacare is almost funny when you think about it. They've had 20 years since HillaryCare to come up with something, the only thing they did come up with was RomneyCare, essentially ObamaCare.
When Hillary is elected (see John McCain's recent statement,) will they rename it HillaryCare?
Seriously: Medicare buy-in for all. It's time to reduce the portion of our GDP that goes to economy- (and blood-) sucking insurance companies.