Friday, November 30, 2012

Typical Two-Faced Political Bullshit: Fiscal Cliff (The Rich Man's Crisis)

$400 Billion in Cuts over the next decade, to be taken from the rest of the pie (mostly Medicare)
President Obama has proposed a $3.8 trillion 2013 budget.  He is currently negotiating with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to make needed cuts in the budget.  First on the chopping block is Medicare and other entitlement programs at a minimum of $400 billion to be cut.

Typical two-faced political bullshit
He has offered this as a bone to conservatives who will have to also deal with increased taxes, which serves as a bone to liberals who now have to deal with deep cuts into Medicare.  

Yet no effective Congressional authority will ever venture to even suggest cutting our health care overhead with a single payer system, a system that works to keep health care costs under control in every other industrialized country.  Medicare, without the corporate insurance industry overhead, would cost the government just 4% as opposed to the current 13% to 20% of health care costs, when the insurance industry takes its cut. Instead of having to pay exorbitant health insurance premiums, people would pay a 4% income tax to cover 100% all their health care needs, medical, dental, vision, and medications.  When they are out of work, they would still be covered.

All employer health care costs are eliminated by a single payer system.  Gone.  

Privatized corporate insurance has an overall 30% overhead for administrative costs (claims denials, advertising, and Wall Street profits).

A single payer system would be a major stimulus for the economy with $2.6 million in new jobs, $317 billion in business revenue, and $100 billion in wages (Single-Payer/Medicare for All. An Economic Stimulus Plan for the Nation; Robert Fountain, IHSP, NNOC/CNA).

Neither does anyone in Congress venture to ever discuss the $600 to $900 billion of future veterans' health care costs.  Over 50% of returning troops are eligible for disability.  600,000 have been treated since 9/11 so far (The True Cost of 9/11; Joseph Stiglitz).  Is this part of the entitlement programs to be cut? 

Doctor's, nurses, and other activists, have been calling for a single payer system for years (got healthcare?; documentary film).  Yet Congressional committees refuse to consider this option or send it to the budget office for fiscal comparison studies.  Nearly 60% of doctors and over half the public are for a single payer system (PNHP).

The aversion to single payer is the dreaded S word: socialism.  But there are many democratic countries that have single payer systems.  A government health care insurance program would cover all people for all medical expenses just like police, fire, highways, libraries, schools and many other government services that serve to guarantee a minimum standard of life.

A recent 2012 Harvard study found that 48,000 Americans die annually for lack of health care, and nearly 50 million Americans have no health insurance. The ACA (Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare) is suppose to give health care insurance to an additional 30 million. But some of this will be offset with these budget cuts, plus the unregulated health insurance industry gouging us with exorbitant premiums, deductibles, and denials.

The privatized corporate health care insurance industry is more accurately an American sick care profit center.  The sick care pharmaceutical, health insurance, medical device, and cancer industries serve their investors well by keeping people sick, on medications, chronically ill, and in need of expensive treatments.

People in America, unlike any other country, are forced into medical debt to stay alive.  Many have to sign over their houses.  Medical debt is responsible for over half, and up to 88% of bankruptcies and foreclosures (PNHP on medical debt).

So now Obama proposes to cut Medicare.  How many more will have to die for lack of health care?  What will the impact of Medicare cuts be on health care in America?  Why do we not cut deeply into war, which has cost us trillions and will cost hundreds of billions more in veterans' care?

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