Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Federal Twist

We’ve been witnessing a torrent of twisted logic, lately, in the jousting over the Obama Administration’s health care plans.

The Obama mantra seems to be that in order to get more health care we have to cut it.

This is scaring the pants off old people on Medicare and those in other government programs like Social Security, Medicaid for the poor, Veterans’ programs and Champus, also called Tricare, providing health care to military families.

If Obama really wanted to cut health costs in order to afford universal health insurance, he would be screaming for the single-payer option that has been forced off the table by the clout of the insurance industry.

When he was a candidate for president, seeking your vote, Obama was all for the single-payer plan.

When elected, you saw a federal twist in action when he was joining in, rather than fighting off, the cabal. Now he is a well indoctrinated member of the corporate oligarchy.

He has continued just about every one of the Bush policies, foreign and domestic; not only his health care stance, but equally outrageous the continuation and escalation of the war in Afghanistan while war in Iraq drags on. Obama has even added something new with Af-Pak, which includes Pakistan in the package, and the killing of civilians with pilotless drones.

The tease about closing Guantanamo was just that, a tease, and another promise broken.

Boiling over on the front burner, right now, is the public health care option while keeping the single payer plan under the radar screen.

The way the single-payer health plan works, the government collects all medical fees and then pays for all services through a single government (or government-related) agency.

In Congress, H.R. 676, if passed into law, would replace private insurance companies with just such a publically managed insurance plan. It would prove how superfluous health insurance companies are. They pocket one-third of the money you pay them in premiums which is why they make such whopping profits and why they’ll fight to the death to maintain the status-quo.

Why should there be people making money on your health?

Just about every civilized, industrial nation, and even some third-world countries, have government run health plans; Australia’s Medicare, Canada’s Medicare, and healthcare in Taiwan are examples of single-payer universal health care systems.

In contrast, socialized medicine would be a system in which all health personnel and health facilities, including doctors and hospitals, work for the government and draw salaries from the government, an example being the U.S. Veterans Administration, while U.S. Medicare is a single payer system which is not socialized medicine.

Under the British National Health Service, which also uses a universal single-payer fund, the public owns the health systems and facilities. The term single-payer thus only describes the funding mechanism—referring to health care being paid for by a single public body—and does not specify the type of delivery, or who doctors work for.

The term single payer does not imply a socialized medicine system.

Since Americans are so frightened by the word “socialism”, this is one distinction they’ve got to get under their belts.

The majority of physicians in the United States are in favor of a national health insurance system. A recent study published in 2008 in Annals of Internal Medicine, a leading medical journal, showed 59% of physicians “support government legislation to establish national health insurance,” while 32% oppose it and 9% are neutral.

This represented an increase of 10 percentage points as compared with a similar survey in 2002 in which support for such legislation stood at 49% of physicians.

Among the general U.S. public, recent polling ratings for single-payer are apparently dependent on how the question is asked, ranging from 49% to 65% in favor.

President Obama is taking a drubbing on the issue from those Blue Dog Democrats who should be stacked on the dead-wood pile along with the Republicans.

Blue Dog Senator Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, working on a health care bill, made it clear that “the so-called ‘public option’ would not be part of any deal with his name on it.”

Obama, though, so far has not said he will demand a public option. He also has not said he will veto a package that omits a government-run health insurance program. This late in the game, he is keeping everyone guessing.

But since Obama, himself, was on the take from the insurance industry fat-cats, he may wind up, as well, on the dead-wood pile if that public option doesn’t get into the bill from Congress everybody is waiting for.

People are making book on whether it will or won’t. If not, it’s a no-win option for all Americans, another turn of the Federal Twist.

And I don’t mean that pretty place near Princeton, New Jersey.

STEPHEN FLEISCHMAN, writer-producer-director of documentaries, spent thirty years in Network News at CBS and ABC. His memoir is now in print. See www.amahchewahwah.com, e-mail stevefl@ca.rr.com.

 

More articles by:

STEPHEN FLEISCHMAN, writer-producer-director of documentaries, spent thirty years in Network News at CBS and ABC. His memoir is now in print. See www.amahchewahwah.com, e-mail stevefl@ca.rr.com

October 22, 2018
Henry Giroux
Neoliberalism in the Age of Pedagogical Terrorism
Melvin Goodman
Washington’s Latest Cold War Maneuver: Pulling Out of the INF
David Mattson
Basket of Deplorables Revisited: Grizzly Bears at the Mercy of Wyoming
Michelle Renee Matisons
Hurricane War Zone Further Immiserates Florida Panhandle, Panama City
Tom Gill
A Storm is Brewing in Europe: Italy and Its Public Finances Are at the Center of It
Christopher Brauchli
The Liars’ Bench
Gary Leupp
Will Trump Split the World by Endorsing a Bold-Faced Lie?
Michael Howard
The New York Times’ Animal Cruelty Fetish
Alice Slater
Time Out for Nukes!
Geoff Dutton
Yes, Virginia, There are Conspiracies—I Think
Daniel Warner
Davos in the Desert: To Attend or Not, That is Not the Question
Priti Gulati Cox – Stan Cox
Mothers of Exiles: For Many, the Child-Separation Ordeal May Never End
Manuel E. Yepe
Pence v. China: Cold War 2.0 May Have Just Begun
Raouf Halaby
Of Pith Helmets and Sartorial Colonialism
Dan Carey
Aspirational Goals  
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
Sam Husseini
The Most Strategic Midterm Race: Elder Challenges Hoyer
Maria Foscarinis – John Tharp
The Criminalization of Homelessness
Robert Fisk
The Story of the Armenian Legion: a Dark Tale of Anger and Revenge
Jacques R. Pauwels
Dinner With Marx in the House of the Swan
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Ricardo Vaz
How Many Yemenis is a DC Pundit Worth?
Elliot Sperber
Build More Gardens, Phase out Cars
Chris Gilbert
In the Wake of Nepal’s Incomplete Revolution: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian 
Muhammad Othman
Let Us Bray
Gerry Brown
Are Chinese Municipal $6 Trillion (40 Trillion Yuan) Hidden Debts Posing Titanic Risks?
Rev. William Alberts
Judge Kavanaugh’s Defenders Doth Protest Too Much
Ralph Nader
Unmasking Phony Values Campaigns by the Corporatists
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail