Thursday, August 27, 2009

health care debate

Just like every political debate that goes on today in the United States the one for health care is less than honest. It would be nice to live in a world where politicians and the media held honesty and openness as their highest priority. Instead we live in a world of spin, lies, half truths, missing informations, skewed data, kindergarten arguments aimed at stirring up irrational emotional behavior.

For some healthcare in the United States is a problem. 47 million are uninsured and 25% of those with insurance are denied coverage or their insurance is cancelled when they go to use it. That is a fact. Another fact is the model for insurance in the States is private for profit insurance companies are the gatekeepers for getting care. These gatekeepers are driven by profit motives. The more they spend healing people the less they earn, dropping the stock value, making wall street mad. Wall street is king in the States. You do not make them mad.

An honest debate has to talk about this. Is this the model that most Americans like. Does it seem fair that to make money insurance companies have to deny care? As i quoted from Bill Maher, why does a health insurance model have to make money? Other countries run not for profit insurance programs why cant we.

19 or 20 of the richest nations on earth give their country free public health insurance, run by the government, without the need to make a profit, except the USA. But when we find out about this the opposition who would do anything to keep the current system has begin a dishonest dialogue, because they would lose everything if an honest dialogue was allowed.

And the scary part is, that its so hard to know who is having an honest dialogue. All sides look at their opposition and think how can they be so misinformed, how can they be so dumb, i can believe they are buying those bs arguments. And that is exactly what they want.

If we continue to yell, and scream at each other, and name call, if we continue to have a dishonest debate guess what happens? Nothing. Guess who wins? Those who want to keep the current system. Who benefits from the current system? The for profit insurance companies raking in billions every year.

Its a simple debate. The rest of the rich world does it. Citizens in other countries are not losing their homes because of large medical bills. Citizens in other nations are not going bankrupt because of large medical bills. Citizens in other countries are not getting charged outrageous bills for the medication they take and for their hospital visits.

The voices against a government administered option have very small basis for their beliefs. Lets take their reasons one by one.

They dont want the government running healthcare telling people what they can do and what they cant do as far as medical procedures. But in Canada right now, the Canadian government has rarely if ever become involved in medical decisions, the doctors are the one's that deny and approve care. Isnt that what we want? But right now we dont have that. In the States today we have doctors who ask private for profit insurance companies to approve procedures. So ask yourself who do you want to approve procedures. If you say doctors than you must want change because that might not be happening right now. If you say you want government to approve your medical decisions your crazy, no one wants this. Its such a false argument. Americans, do you really think the democratic party wants the government involved in deciding what care you are allowed to have?

One analogy i read is that the government run public option would run much like the fire department. The government foots the bill yet they don't decide what calls the fireman go on. They only foot the bill. The firehouse acts the way it sees fit. Just in case this is not sinking in, right now if their is a fire in your house and you call for a fire-truck the fire house does not call the government to get approval to put out your fire, they just put it out and send the government a bill. So, is everyone happy with the way the fire department is set up? Do you sit around questioning the government run fire-department, wondering whats the deal with that socialist,russian-esque institution? And if so do you wish we had a capitalist, for profit, fire department?

Think about it. The fire department would have a public stock that you could invest in, they would have a ceo with a 10 million dollar a year salary, because thats what ceo's make, and every-time they got a call of a fire in town they would have to decide the cost benefit analysis just like every other for profit corporation.

The more i write about this analogy the more it makes sense. The goal of both the fire department and the health industry is to save lives. So why set up one as a public service to the community paid for by the government, through tax dollars, and no matter how much or little we use the service we all pay basically the same % of our income to fund it, and with the other, health care, we refuse to leave the capitalist model of a profit driven, wall street driven, with a multi millionaire ceo salary.

People in the streets are saying we dont want government run anything. But is anyone complaining about the government managed interstate highway system? Do you wish you have a for profit corporation fixing up only the profitable roads? What about government run safety standards like home electrical codes or automobile safety standards to make sure your car doesnt burst into flames when you use the break, or safety standards at work so there is not a 50% chance of you dying on the job everyday.

What I am basically trying to argue is that every day we take for granted massive amounts of government run things that we use and that kept safe since we have been alive. It might not be so bad. The rest of the rich free world does it.

The "we don't want socialized medicine" argument is pretty much the same as the "we don't want government run healthcare. Since when did supplying healthcare for everyone become a socialist institution? Canada has a government run, so called socialist plan yet they boast more private doctors than we have under a free capitalist system. How can that be? Because our doctors here cannot afford to own their own practice anymore instead they are joining large corporate health corporations.

And what is the deal with seniors who all have healthcare, GOVERNMENT RUN no less, and government run social security, coming out in massive amounts against a government run option. The misinformation has been so strong that some on medicare, a government run program, are fearful their medicare will be taken over by the government?@?#!?#?

The last part of the misinformation campaign is to talk about how long the wait is for government run care in europe and canada. I am sure there are some waits, but the bottom line is people are not dying because of wait times. Those happy with the status quo will tell you about all the canadians and europeans that come here every year for healthcare and argue if its so good their why come here. And the answer is because of the wait time and because of money. Most foreigners that come here for care are wealthy individuals, and our system does work very well for the wealthy. And people that come here might not have a long wait in another country, but any wait at all could be cramping their style. With this point i am trying to point out that if you tried to change european or canadian healthcare from not for profit to for profit they would flip out.

The huffington post website has a great flow chart that showing the dynamic behind the push to drown out the real debate with misinformation and half truths. Most of the misinformation is coming from those with the most to lose, the private for profit insurance industry, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies. They have been bribing, i mean making campaign contributions to business friendly congressman and senators for years to buy their support in times of change like today.

Also ask yourself where are you getting your news? Do you watch corporate funded cable news programs who's interests are aligned with the current model of healthcare, or are you reading stories from people of all walks of life who have seen the horror stories of our current system, or have you watched congressional testimony of insurance executives who quit because they could no longer stand to kill patients by denying coverage to them, or where a mid level insurance administrator who told her story of being promoted after denying a very large claim for surgery.

Its not easy to find a balanced honest debate these days. Our congress is made up of millionaires, our president is a millionaire, most news anchors on corporate run cable news every night are millionaires. Who is out there working for me and you, the middle class and the poor class.

If 47 million million people dont have health care why are they being so quiet and letting those with health care control the framing of the debate.

There are many things wrong with this country and the world. Why is it that anyone who cares and would like to talk about these things is labeled a communist or socialist? I thought the roots of those words come from community and society? If you are a party working to better community and society why is that made to seem evil and wrong? Why is it the corporate media hate people who try to discuss problems in this country. We can never grow if we only focus on our best attributes

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