Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Spring Fund Drive: Keep CounterPunch Afloat
CounterPunch is a lifeboat of sanity in today’s turbulent political seas. Please make a tax-deductible donation and help us continue to fight Trump and his enablers on both sides of the aisle. Every dollar counts!
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

May 24, 2018
Gary Leupp
Art of the Dealbreaker: Trump’s Cancellation of the Summit with Kim
Jeff Warner – Victor Rothman
Why the Emerging Apartheid State in Israel-Palestine is Not Sustainable
Kenn Orphan
Life, the Sea and Big Oil
James Luchte
Europe Stares Into the Abyss, Confronting the American Occupant in the Room
Richard Hardigan
Palestinians’ Great March of Return: What You Need to Know
Howard Lisnoff
So Far: Fascism Lite
Matthew Vernon Whalan
Norman Finkelstein on Bernie Sanders, Gaza, and the Mainstream Treatment
Daniel Warner
J’accuse All Baby Boomers
Alfred W. McCoy
Beyond Golden Shower Diplomacy
Jonah Raskin
Rachel Kushner, Foe of Prisons, and Her New Novel, “The Mars Room”
George Wuerthner
Myths About Wildfires, Logging and Forests
Binoy Kampmark
Tom Wolfe the Parajournalist
Dean Baker
The Marx Ratio: Not Clear Karl Would be Happy
May 23, 2018
Nick Pemberton
Maduro’s Win: A Bright Spot in Dark Times
Ben Debney
A Faustian Bargain with the Climate Crisis
Deepak Tripathi
A Bloody Hot Summer in Gaza: Parallels With Sharpeville, Soweto and Jallianwala Bagh
Josh White
Strange Recollections of Old Labour
Farhang Jahanpour
Pompeo’s Outrageous Speech on Iran
CJ Hopkins
The Simulation of Democracy
Lawrence Davidson
In Our Age of State Crimes
Dave Lindorff
The Trump White House is a Chaotic Clown Car Filled with Bozos Who Think They’re Brilliant
Russell Mokhiber
The Corporate Domination of West Virginia
Ty Salandy
The British Royal Wedding, Empire and Colonialism
Laura Flanders
Life or Death to the FCC?
Gary Leupp
Dawn of an Era of Mutual Indignation?
Katalina Khoury
The Notion of Patriarchal White Supremacy Vs. Womanhood
Nicole Rosmarino
The Grassroots Environmental Activist of the Year: Christine Canaly
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
“Michael Inside:” The Prison System in Ireland 
May 22, 2018
Stanley L. Cohen
Broken Dreams and Lost Lives: Israel, Gaza and the Hamas Card
Kathy Kelly
Scourging Yemen
Andrew Levine
November’s “Revolution” Will Not Be Televised
Ted Rall
#MeToo is a Cultural Workaround to a Legal Failure
Gary Leupp
Question for Discussion: Is Russia an Adversary Nation?
Binoy Kampmark
Unsettling the Summits: John Bolton’s Libya Solution
Doug Johnson
As Andrea Horwath Surges, Undecided Voters Threaten to Upend Doug Ford’s Hopes in Canada’s Most Populated Province
Kenneth Surin
Malaysia’s Surprising Election Results
Dana Cook
Canada’s ‘Superwoman’: Margot Kidder
Dean Baker
The Trade Deficit With China: Up Sharply, for Those Who Care
John Feffer
Playing Trump for Peace How the Korean Peninsula Could Become a Bright Spot in a World Gone Mad
Peter Gelderloos
Decades in Prison for Protesting Trump?
Thomas Knapp
Yes, Virginia, There is a Deep State
Andrew Stewart
What the Providence Teachers’ Union Needs for a Win
Jimmy Centeno
Mexico’s First Presidential Debate: All against One
May 21, 2018
Ron Jacobs
Gina Haspell: She’s Certainly Qualified for the Job
Uri Avnery
The Day of Shame
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail