Tuesday, October 5, 2010

HEALTH CARE REFORM AND THE FUTURE OF IT: Single Payer System also known as Medicare

Health Care Reform: A straw that break the camel back!
For all the Progressives that was the cold shower that came out of nowhere after a very stormy love affair they have for over a year with The President, then Candidate Hopeful!
Democrats fall in Love, Republican fall in line!
Never really understand that until this Midterm Election of 2010!
To all of You Progressives before I continue with my line of thought about the issue at hand, let me ask You a very simple question:
   - Are You Progressive who is so disappointed in The President or You are Progressive who is so disappointed in the current political state of the afaires?
Cause  The President is just one Man, in a Democracy You can vote him out; but if You really scratch the surface, do You honestly want to replace him with the alternative under the same economic system???
The failure of the Health care Reform?
What a joke that was!- A thriller of it own kind!
The house pass the Public Option...kind of...but so watter down in the different Commissions and chambers, but they passed at least!
And just when We start breading again... it just stuck in the Senate!
There it was: like a good Diner and a movie but no trill in the guts!
Love We could not squeeze from a single Republican, or so they say...
The reality was The blue dogs Democrat get their cold feet and they pull and push to somehow get warm and ready for the final stroke...and they fall...smoke, but no cigar...no Public Option!
We fell betrayed of course, after all We have a champagne cooling next to our beds...and a strawberries glass... not to mention how much did We invest to make the night perfect!
Oh, come on!
Progressives...grow up!
Get the morning after pill and get off your high horse, OK!
The Health Care Bill no matter how imperfect is, no matter how grotesquely deform it is, we must understand that is just a reflection of the people we have in Washington DC, that's all...
The Health Care bill that pass the Congress and land on the President desk to be sign in Law was a product of bipartisan deals and negotiation, with the sticky fingers of the lobbyists, ridden with goodies to the Health Care Monopolies, sort of like the culture of our Elected Officials, period!
The question You should be asking Yourself in order to get sober is:
   - Imperfect the way it is, yet, when set in place, do we have today better Health Care system then the one we have before before?
My opinion is: Yes, we do! Here is why: If that disaster of a Reform save only one life then  it was worth it, and it Was the President who save that single life!
The change moment happen when The President face the House GOP if you remember, and reap them apart with in debt knowledge on every issues they attack him with, calm and fearless...
And I remember The Health Care "summit" when he said to one of the GOP:
   - "We talking about people who are  making $ 40 000 or less a year if they still have the jobs..."
So making that part of the Health Care Reform crystal clear, let me ask you my dear Progressives:
Did you like the idea of a public option? Did you rather be having a single payer system?
I know, I do!
So when I stop and focus on the Health Care issues I'm actually grateful to GOP and those screaming Tea Party people who scared the bejesus out of the "blue dogs"!
They did all of us a favour indeed!
While we are at the Single Payer system let clear the air and start with the following few questions:
How many people understand what Single Payer system really is?
How many people believe it is a Government takeover of the Health Care?
How many believe it will be a tax burden to all of us?
How many Progressives believe in the myth that it is a Human Right oppose to the not so glorious reality as a Human Privilege?
Well guess what:
The answer is one for all of those question one and the same: it is none of the above!
Single payer system is not a human right, nor a privilege...
First and foremost, single payer system is a different set of mind, higher conscience based on the knowledge that we human discover and conquer the old natural enemies: germs and viruses, generations upon generation of humans pass that trial and mistake knowledge to all of us today and it is a duty of the society to provide the care cause it is a Civilization Heritage of Us all!

How many people among progressives have that set of mind?
Not many, I will add...

Let move to the next step: if we focus at the problem of Health Care we need to dismiss every illusions we have about:
   - Why we, like a society, need a Single Payer System?
The answer is very simple:
   - Single payer system is the cheapest HC system develop everywhere in the world...

CountryLife expectancyInfant mortality ratePhysicians per 1000 peopleNurses per 1000 peoplePer capita expenditure on health (USD)Healthcare costs as a percent of GDP% of government revenue spent on health% of health costs paid by government
  wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Cross-country comparisons of health care cost

   They say the picture is worth a thousand word...so is this data...
   We spend the highest percentage of our GDP on health care witch is THE MOST expensive in the world, but as we can see, that's only half of the health care cost our Government paid to the Health care private participants, meaning, that even so expensive, our HC system don't include premiums paid in order people as well as our Employers to purchase profit based Insurance, nor they include out of pocket expenses people face every time they get sick and need a medical help...
The GOP screams in order to protect their lavish campaign contributors interest, as well as many of the Democrats in the Congress, but  make no mistake:
The future of the Health Care system in America is including everyone in the health care system that is already in place in America, and it is called Medicare!
Yes, Medicare is a single payer Government regulated, operated and implemented system and our senior love it...  and they will love it even more if there is no plan A,B,C,D, no donuts wholes no supplemental insurance...no insurance at all...
All we need to do is send people in Washington DC who believe that every single American should not be discriminated against and deserve a decent Medicare for all...
That lead us to the question of: rising Medicare cost!
What a joke that is: day in and days out the GOP is screaming about that and we Progressives are wiggling like a kids in a school chair on a math test without real answers!
   - Well don't!
The Problems of Medicare are not the aging Populations, coming of age of the Baby boomers, or the fact that people live longer and longer, that is the most pitiful excuse not worth a eon of time spend on reflection on it...
The Medicare cost, as well as the Health Care cost are constantly rising because of the mix of the Public and Private entity collecting the occurring bills!
There is three Monopolies that Are constantly building up the price of medical services:
   1. The Hospitals, private and public...
   2. The Pharmaceutical Industry: the drugs  producers as well as medical equipments suppliers...
   3. The Insurance Companies!
They all are driving the prices of medical cost up for all of us, not just Medicare, cause they are bound like every other Corporation out there to make more and more profit with every passing quarter!
If we dedicate our lifestyle to a healthy green living and we don't need their services, they will rise the prices to sustain their growth! We are nothing more then a cost for them...
In all honesty: they will relentlessly perform better the sickest and worse we are like a Nation!
Now the most important question is:
   -What can we do about it!
My answer is very simple:
Single payer system for all...no insurance, strong public Medical sector where the employees are strong Unionized medical professionals who upon desire can open private practice, but meanwhile they can work as any other Government employee with a set time without looking how many patients they have in a given day, but to make sure their patients well being come first...sort of like in any Western develop Countries...
That will bring the cost pf Medicare down and here is why:
   - If We take the Profits of the  Insurance Companies out of the equation the cost of the Medicare will go down!
   - If We use public aka taxpayers money to build medical infrastructure the price of the Medicare will go down!
   - If We use the buying power of the size of the Federal Government to search for competitive pharmaceutical, including out of the country drugs suppliers, the price of the Health Care in general will go down! 
My Dear Progressives it is an economic laws coming into a place, and those Laws are sort of like a gravity: They happen like it or not, period!
The Problems of Medicare for all of our Citizen are purely of political Nature...as long as we accommodate the Special Interest of the Three Monopolies we will never have a Health Care that will serve our Nation, but our Nation will serve the Health Care providers!
The change will come sooner then we anticipate, cause the health care cost are hurting the bottom line of every other Corporations...they becoming to big to bare in the ever competing Global Market!
So far, GOP will like to trow all of us into the pang of the Health Care Private merciless Industry, but most of the people are becoming aware that there is another option...cheapest and more effective for the Nation...and those views I am sure will eventually prevail...


Let talk about the Corporation without gloves...

No one really like the Corporations, and rightly so: they sucking the daylight of every workers all over the world, so when I say that I am a Progressive of the   -" How much left I can turn" kind and I state further that I admire them, of course You, my dear readers will be more then shocked!

Stay with me a little longer the plot thickens!

I admire the Corporations!
Their whole design is a cunning utilization of the material & human resources.
An ultimate money making machine, got to love that!
A beast that I rather have on leash next to my feet then facing her claws and pangs in the Dark!
How can We tame the Beast?
Knowing her weak spot!

So, if we look for Corporations weaknesses in their internal structure and function we are in for a surprise: they don't have One!
What make their Achilles heel is not inside of the Corporation but outside of their control: it is a whip that make them scream in pain and it is their ultimate demise call Wall Street!

There they rise and fall!

Wall Street is forcing them to find a never ending new way to meet and deepen the bottom line so they can show more profitability, more growth, in order their stock to rise!

How can we protect ourselves then against that cut and slash ultimate no conscience money making machine?

Why don't We make a new "New Deal" with Corporate America?
Is that a possibility?
My answer is Yes!
For one, we can ask the biggest dog in the neighborhood to come to our protection: Federal Government!

Congress can set the new ground rule and The President can sigh them into a Laws that  Corporate America has to follow and Wall Street have to accept like:
   1. Elevating the minimum wage to a standard of living wage using broader CPI
   2. Working day being drop to 6 hours instead of today 8 hours per day!

This two simple legislative measure will restructure our Economy and will solve the unemployment issue on the long run without a dime of a new debt...cause will reach deep into the pocket of Corporate America cash stockpile...

The implementations of those simple measure is not a question of doability, of course is doable:
1938 we get 8 hours and if You read the press of that time, I assure You the business was going Armageddon for sure...yet 70 and more years letter, they still making record profits!
The implementations of those simple measure is not a question of affordability either...
We produce more goods and services today in 6 hours then the Greatest Generation in 8 hours before and after the War, it is called productivity and it had a virtual Quantum leap during the 80' and 90' due to computerization's of the means of production... look at the Productivity Indicators from the leading Economists!

It is a question of the  Awakening of the American Working populations and pressing Congress to stand tall to Corporate America! By working population I understand whoever make a paycheck does not matter if the task is cleaning the school corridors, or working for an estimate Wall Street financial Corporation and ranking a 6 digit yearly salary...Its still a salary, its still working to get paid...

We have to clear some illusions we have about the relations between Labor and business... namely:

It is not theirs to give us anything, it is ours to ask for it, to be aware of our values as Human beings, that we work and contribute much more in the Cake of Our Nation Wealth, and that part call Productivity is not solely due to technological Progress, but to our better skills that follow that Progress respectively... To be a janitor today require operating at least one cleaning machine, not to mention how every single job requirement is specter of multitasking performance in daily activity...Even copy our paycheck cause our Corporation go green, ergo paperless force our work force to know basic computer skills...saves a body or two in Human Resource not just paper...eh!

If we are not aware of our value, we will never be appreciate it, and we will never get any credit in a form of income increase for it, cause we will never be aware to demand anything!

Why? Cause Corporate America will never respect our effort or our time...we are the one who should...

Elevating the minimum wage to a level of a living wage is actually the easiest ever, cause right now every Union use the CPI ( Consumer Price Index measure inflation in a given country following number of items to calculate the cost of living maintaining certain standard of living level also known as COLI...) to negotiate every Labor Wage increase.

Needless to say is that every Union wage increase is linear wage increase to a whole Industry wages, in order to prevent the rest of the Work force going Union...Clever on the part of Corporate America, is in it!

The problem is that in calculating the CPI Corporate America is using the lobbying Power usually over members of both Parties, but GOP mostly, and Congress rarely add but most of the time shred so many items that will accurate the cost of living...

   " Between 1971 and 1977, the United States CPI increased 47%.
In 2009, the Consumer Price Index fell for the first time since 1955."

wikipedia the free encyclopedia, under CPI history

The CPI not just fall down starting with the Reagan Revolution and trickle down poverty economics...the working people standard of living start falling short every year, every decade with the real buying power of their wages cause the CPI become bias by political interest!

"A first-order" bias of the CPI in the other direction has been argued to its failure to measure fully improvements in quality over time:
-change in prices of good and services that are included in measure of Cost of living index COLI;
-introduction of new goods and services if ignored;
-quality change in existing goods and services;
-shift in shopping pattern "
wikipedia the free enciclopedia, under CPI history

Ever wonder why our bills keep rising but officially there is no inflation or the inflation is so low...now You understand...
One thing that need to be changed immediately is the calculation of minimum wage per family of four, two adult and two children as necessary for simple reproduction, according to wildly accept demographic Laws, and not just an individual as it is today...Workers do have families and any jobs should provide a decent support of the worker family! This notion is dated sinse the dawn of  Modern Economics:

   "A man must always live by its work and his wages must at least be sufficient to maintain him. They must even upon most occasion be somewhat more, otherwise will be impossible for him to bring up a family and the race of such workman could not last beyond the first generation... upon this account, to suppose that the lowest species of common labourers must everywhere earn at least double their own maintenance in order that one with another be able to bring up two children... "
Adam Smith, The Wealth of the Nation, page 77.

Next, because every Profession require different set of skills to perform a job, and I don't see why we will not give a voice to every Profession on the bargaining table with Corporate America to lay out its concerns trough massive Democratisation of the Working force, namely that our Government can give to the middle class called: Employee Free Choice Act! 

Unions are powerless in America and that is not just because of their shrinking membership due to the jobs flying overseas, mostly manufacturing jobs, but also as a consequence of ability of Corporate America to stall and actually never meet the Labor Demands until they discourage the Unions members or slowly firing them over the months and years of delays in  negotiations!
Needless to say, Corporate America can afford to do that cause Union come solely, as one individual Union instead as a Workers Labor Organization that will embrace all the Union in one broad Labor Force!

Workers in America need to understand that every profession needs to go Union, it does not matter how tiny the workforce is if they stand together, they can bring down to its knees any Corporations...

Cause the only way to seat Corporate America on the negotiation table and accomplish something will happen only if Workers fight Power with Power!
There is no other way to talk with Corporate America: Workers shouln't beg, plead or ask for compassion's!
Workers should demand fully aware of their contribution...
There is so many unemployed educated young people who can engage in scientific evaluation of the market justification of the input of labor in the profitability of any given Corporation...
If Union set an Agenda they will pursuit in their negotiation that Agenda will make people wanna join Union and become Power in Numbers facing Corporate Power of expensive Lawyers in a fancy suits...

Pure and simple with One Voice!

That is the only way to "Negotiate"with Corporate America!