(NOTE: "Single-Payer" Healthcare means that one person pays the bills. Generally, that means the government pays the bills. Doctors receive information from the government about how much they pay for office visits, procedures, etc., where to send the bills, and the doctors get paid by the government. No insurance companies involved, and no premiums paid to the insurance companies. They contribute nothing, so they are rightfully eliminated from the entire system).
President Obama and the Democrats, in general, have been promising Americans for decades that if only they (the Democrats) had any power at all in the national government, they would make sure that we all have a healthcare system that provides healthcare to all Americans.
Well hallelujah hallelujah. The Democrats are in control. Of the White House. Of the Senate. Of the House of Representatives. And better still, there's no real opposition left. So let's do it, Democrats, let's move forward on one of the most disgraceful failings of our country, the refusal to provide our own people with medical care when they are sick.
I suppose only a moron would be surprised to learn that now they have gained power, by making these fraudulent promises to the citizens, the Democrats have no intention whatsoever to change the healthcare system. It turns out, they were just throwing out the word "change" as a paddle to get the Medical Industry to pay them even more bribes. "Here," the lobbyists said, "Here are millions more of our money. Don't change a thing."
Just like the credit card industry did to stop the Democrats from putting a cap on interest rates and getting rid of the late fees. So Congress abandoned any protection of the consumers and passed some stupid, meaningless, toothless "borrower's rights" laws that do nothing to stop the credit card companies from raping the public, and do nothing to help the citizens. With help like that, maybe we should have just elected the Republicans. What change? This isn't change.
Doctors make a bundle. In addition to their main practices, many of them have sidelines like weight-loss clinics, sports training facilities, they buy MRIs then get their friends to send all their patients to them for testing, they get hospital contracts and staff them with their friends, taking a piece out of everything paid. They even become consultants to soap operas. They're cleaning up, making a fortune. And one way they can continue to do that is to grossly overcharge for their services, keep an artificially-created shortage of doctors so they don't have much competition, and bribe Congress so that nobody passes laws to change this rotten system.
Actually, every time a hospital says they're going to cut back, they always cut back on the nurses who earn a paltry wage and do most of the work. There should be little difference between what a nurse earns and what a doctor earns, but the fact is that nursing has always been a female-dominated profession, and that's why they are paid so little. For example, if nurses make $50,000/year, and doctors make $350,000 (which is minimal where I live), then why not pay the nurses $75,000, pay the doctors $150,000, and have money left over to refund to the patients. They're both making a good living, and the provision of care becomes more affordable.
As far as hospitals go, they have become "profit centers." Built by community funding then eventually taken over by for-profit criminals, this $5.00 for an aspirin is straight-up fraud and theft. Let's take the hospitals back, turn them into non-profit centers owned by the community, and get rid of this smelly mold-like growth that goes by the name "hospital administrators."
Let's talk about the drug pushers -- the legal ones. Guess who funds most of the medical research? Taxpayers do, through the universities. When a university discovers something of value, it is licensed to a drug company, then sold to the public with a 1000% mark-up, or more. Mostly these corporate drug pushers invest in drugs for healthy people who don't need drugs. You want to sell drugs to healthy people so they will stay alive and keep buying the drugs for a long time, providing an income stream. Let's say, for example, that the corporate drug pusher can convince the public that anyone who feels uncomfortable in a roomful of strangers is actually suffering from a medical disease known as Social Anxiety Disorder. But before you panic, here's the good news: THERE IS A CURE!!! Call your doctor (they tell you, in the TV commercial) and get a prescription.
Now why would doctors push this crap on people? Because the doctors get bribes and kick-backs. There is an entire industry known as "Pharmaceutical Sales." Almost to a person they are young and exceptionally good-looking people. They make their living by "visiting" with doctors, flirting, smiling, be pretty or handsome, dining, wooing cooing and noodling, all to get the sale. And they're well-paid to do it. The doctors like having these good-looking young people hanging around. And what the heck, they get lots of free samples so their patients are happy. Every-body-makes-money. Well, except for the patients.
These drug pushers actually calculate the income stream per target -- or patient. Let's say you get someone to buy Drug A, at $30/month, you determine the person's life expectancy, add in a factor for inflation and increase in price of the drugs, calculate it out till the date of death, discount to present value, and you can put a dollar number on exactly how much that patient will pay to the drug company for Drug A during their lifetime. Pretty cool, huh? How can you guarantee the patient will take the drug for life? Have warnings against going off it, for one thing. And maybe throw in a little something extra that will make it uncomfortable for people to go off. They're hooked, baby, and they're going to be paying money to the corporate drug pusher until the patient dies.
Most of the drugs the drug pushers make and sell have nothing to do with health or healthcare, and have everything to do with the question of what is most profitable. My God, Alzheimers is a terrible thing, no question. But most people who get it are relatively well-off white Americans, fairly old. Only about 1.6% of the population of this country suffers from Alzheimers. Even once people reach 90, there is only about a 7% chance they will get Alzheimers in any given year. It isn't quite the epidemic level that one might believe from the news. But why all the advertising, fund raising push for this particular problem? Because there's money in it, that's why.
Relatively well-off people who see mom beginning to slip will spend a lot of money to fund medical research to help mom, because they're terrified they'll get it themselves. But if we really want to help the people in this country, we would be better off starting school programs to provide kids with 3 meals/day of healthy food so they don't end up so fat. Kids are fat because their parents feed them junk, because the food industry has been taken over by people who want to maximize profit, which they do by selling junk to kids. Want to improve our health? Start there.
Viagra. Anti-balding pills. What a pathetic waste that we have millions of children in the world who die from lack of clean drinking water, but the medical industry in the U.S. devotes much of its resources to finding drugs to help men have thick hair and 3-hour erections. And of course the new area of focus for the drug pushers is to try to find a drug for women over 50 that will make them horny all the time. To go along with the old man with the thick head of hair and the 3-hour erection.
The Medical Industry in our country is corrupt. They care about nothing except making money, and they do not care how many Americans die from the gross failure of the entire system. They're in it for the money, they'll get theirs, it's not their problem.
But it is our problem. And now that the Democrats are in complete control, what can we expect by way of relief?
It doesn't look good. Go to OpenSecrets.org (link below) and look under the Healthcare Industry for donations. Go back to about 1990, the Medical Industry paid $20 million in bribes and kick-backs to the politicians. That started to jump up under the pro-business Republican president Clinton, up to $68 million in bribes paid by the Medical Industry to the politicians by 1996. Then we have a huge jump up to $100 million paid by the Medical Industry in bribes and kick-backs in 2000 and 2002.
Somewhere in there, the Republicans passed a law saying the Medicare system would pay for drugs, and forbidding the government agencies from trying to get a discounted price on anything. This was a two-fold level of corruption by the Republicans. First, it was an enormous giveaway to the corporate drug pushers who, in turn, paid enormous kick-backs and bribes to the Republicans. Second, the Republicans want to bankrupt Medicare so they can end the entire program. A two-fer.
By 2004, after Bush had shown his willingness to allow the Medical Industry and all the other criminals to completely loot our country, the Medical Industry paid out $124 million in bribes and kick-backs to the politicians.
In 2008, realizing that the horse was about to change in mid-stream from Republican to Democrat, the Medical Industry paid out almost $165 million in bribes to the politicians (slightly over half of that paid to the Democrats).
One hundred sixty-five million dollars in bribes paid in 2008 alone. Over half of that paid to the Democrats. What do you think are the chances that the Democrats will bite the hand that feeds them? None, unless we make them.
What should we demand? That all citizens have the right to participate in a single-payer health system. Anybody who wants to continue to buy private insurance should be free to do so. People who would prefer buying into a single payer system run by the government, like Medicare, should be free to do so. Let the people have a choice. The Democrats, who formerly promised that they would make single-payer one of the options available, are now refusing to even discuss it. That's because they took bribes from the Medical Industry, and one of the conditions of the bribes was that the Democrats tell the citizens that there will be no single-payer option. Period.
How would single payer work? Just like Medicare does. Everybody who chooses to be a part of the single payer system would sign up, get a card, then go to the doctor when they need to. The government pays the bills. That's it.
Now, should people who work contribute something to the cost? That seems fair. As long as they earn enough money. People who are poor shouldn't have to pay. Since the businesses have stopped paying healthcare for employees, their taxes should be raised to capture some of that savings. But most working people would gladly pay to the government some monthly amount for healthcare.
For self-employed or unemployed people, who have to buy their own insurance, health insurance is illusory: it "exists" so long as you're healthy, you pay money to them and they pay nothing for you, but if you get sick they will jack up your premiums to the point that you can no longer afford insurance, and they will walk away with all your money in their pocket, and leave you to die. I know a guy who had a heart attack at 42, and his health insurance premiums went up to over $1,000/month. He couldn't afford it. I just heard about some guy, 59, just diagnosed with adult onset diabetes, his premiums went from $300/month to $1300/month, so he no longer has insurance because he couldn't afford it.
These insurance companies take premiums for 40 years, but as soon as the person gets sick they raise the premiums to force the sick person to drop the insurance. These insurance companies all are staffed by psychotic mass-killers, and they should be in prison.
These insurance companies contribute nothing to healthcare. They take our money but when there is a medical problem, they do everything in their power to deny paying for the care. They will delay processing a claim for treatment in the hopes that the patient will die, so they won't have to pay. These people and this industry have no business being involved in healthcare.
As far as the whining doctors, with their AMA lobby bribing Congress, all they're in it for is the money. I'd say that if a doctor can treat patients under a single-payer system and earn $150,000/year, they should be grateful because they're still earning a lot more money than most Americans do. And because they always whine about malpractice insurance, and the high cost of a medical education, I'm sure we could work something out to offset those costs, over time, for doctors who participate in the system. For doctors who refuse, fine, let them go treat people who have private health insurance. Rich people.
Demand a single payer option be made available to the American public. The health insurance industry is fighting hard against this because polls show that when people are told what this option would mean, a huge percentage of Americans would choose it rather than continue to be raped by the criminals running the health insurance industry. I would take that single-payer option in 2 seconds if it was available in order to get away from the scumbucket health insurance industry. I've been self-insured for over 15 years, in good health, but all they ever do is suck money out of me and I get nothing in return.
Here's a link to, and some excerpts from, an article by Ralph Nader discussing the single-payer healthcare issue, and the plan of the Democrats to abandon it in exchange for all the bribes paid to them by the Medical Industry:
"Remember the Baucus Eight! - The Single-Payer Taboo"
By RALPH NADER
"Among the giant taboos afflicting Congress these days is the proposal to create a single payer health insurance system (often called full Medicare for everyone). ... [S]ingle payer is only supported by a majority of the American people, physicians and nurses. They like the idea of public funding and private delivery. They like the free choice of doctors and hospitals that many are now denied by the HMOs. "
"There are also great administrative efficiencies when single payer displaces the health insurance industry and its claims-denying, benefit-restricting, bureaucratically-heavy profiteering. According to leading researchers in this area, Dr. David Himmelstein and Dr. Stephanie Woolhandler, single payer will save $350 billion annually."
"Yet, on Capitol Hill and at the White House there are no meetings, briefings, hearings, and consultations about kinds of health care reforms that reform the basic price inflation, indifference to prevention, and discrimination by health insurers."
"There is no place at the table for single payer advocates in the view of the Congressional leaders who set the agenda and muzzle dissenters."
"Last month at a breakfast meeting with reporters, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) responded to a question about health care with these revealing and exasperating words: "'Over and over again, we hear single payer, single payer, single payer. Well, it's not going to be a single payer.'"
Ralph Nader goes on to discuss the hearings just begun in the Senate to discuss health care changes, but not one single person invited to speak will support single payer healthcare. The Democrats have barred any witness who supports single payer healthcare. They refuse to even let the public hear about this option. Demonstrators have been evicted from the hearings for standing up and speaking out for single payer healthcare.
So, what can you do? Call, e-mail, write your representative and senator and your local paper, and speak out in support of single payer healthcare.
Point out the bribes paid to the politicians in Washington D.C. by the Medical Industry (almost $400 Million Dollars paid by the Medical Industry to the politicians in Washington D.C. from 2004 through 2008, most of it as bribes and kick-backs to make sure Congress does not pass any law to help the citizens of this country get a modern, rational, affordable healthcare system).
Point out that the only reason single-payer is being rejected is because of these enormous bribes and kick-backs that have been paid by the Medical Industry to our politicians. Point out that a corrupt government will not stand, will not survive in times like these when the citizens need help, but all we see is the government continuing to give massive hand-outs to the corporations and the rich, and back-of-the-hand to the people. Point out that it may be the right to time to start a new political party, maybe call it the "Honest" party, if the Democrats keep giving all the money to the rich people and refuse to do anything to help everyone else. P.S.: we need dental care included in the bill.
Ralph Nader's full article can be seen at:
And here's a link to a website about the bill in Congress proposing a single payer healthcare system. http://www.healthcare-now.org/hr-676/whats-single-payer/