Have Americans been hoodwinked into believing that the public option is the remedy and ultimate panacea for all things healthcare in this nation? This is clearly a subterfuge, and has gained critical mass through corporate media and the pandering of politicians led by Max Baucus ($3 million plus from the insurance industry).With the so-called public option, we have nothing more than the preservation of the status quo. The insurance industry will continue to make obscene profits, raise premiums and exercise no restraint in the denial of coverage; all underwritten by legislative mandate.
The only real solution to this country’s healthcare nightmare is an expansion of an already proven model: Medicare. In a single-payer arrangement like that of Medicare, we would have guaranteed comprehensive universal coverage for all residents, from birth to death; 95 percent of all Americans would pay less for healthcare, with no co-pays, deductibles or premiums. The myth that patients would have no choice in physicians, providers and hospitals is simply not true. Cost of single-payer when compared to the public option would be a savings of $400 billion, primarily by reducing administrative waste, negotiating budgets for hospitals and purchasing prescription drugs in bulk. Medicare’s track record is a proven one; and with some modifications to infrastructure, single-payer would create a high-quality, universal healthcare system.
The moral and ethical ramifications of the healthcare issue truly define America’s resolve to live up to its promise and creed of justice and equality for all. The task of reform must not be entrusted to Senators or Representatives whose treasury has been underwritten by the very people who stand to gain the most if the single-payer option fails. The failures of deregulation have long and venomous tentacles that have paralyzed and placed a stranglehold on the consumer and fair play in the market place. The concept of the free market is moribund, the victim of greed and derugulation. The benefactors of this laissez-faire regulatory arrangement have cashed in at every turn and exploited labor and plotted the demise of unions in this post-antitrust environment.
The complexities of our current economic collapse are not in isolation or separate from the healthcare issue but in fact are compounded by it. Foreclosures and bankruptcies blend neatly into this caldron of toxic economic stew. It is time to reign in those whose selfish interests have resulted in such great burdens for the majority.
Oct 26 2009 - 8:37am