Sat, Apr

Cut Out the Middlemen: Single Payer Means Healthcare for All


VOICES-Only in America do we have politicians running every two years on a platform of repealing whatever is the current healthcare bill. And Republicans seem hell bent on passing something even worse than what we have now, doing it so fast that it will have a direct negative impact on the pocketbooks of their own voters before the next election.

Every one of the other 33 countries considered "developed" has some form of universal health coverage, most prominently single payer. Only in America, the richest country of them all, do we not have that. Only in America do politicians not have the best interests of the well-being of its people at heart.

In Norway, they have had single payer for a full century. They like it just fine thank you, and they are not at all interested in junking it, precisely because there, as well as in all the other countries that have it, it has proven to be the best way to spend the healthcare dollars available to its society.

Only in America do we have the two major political parties operating as tag teams to see who can come up with the healthcare plan that people hate the most.

Kathleen Sebelius was asked a pertinent question on Meet the Press recently. If the Republicans have their way and their plan fails as well, and the Democrats return to power, would they be able to revive so-called Obamacare? Her answer was no, because the insurance providers will have already fled the system.

We say good riddance to them. Why do we need middleman insurance companies raking off 30% in administrative fees – companies that just jump ship if they don’t get what they want? We say make the existing Medicare system the basic insurance provider for everyone so that everyone has at least basic coverage.

The Republicans are fond of talking about not having the federal government "dictate" to the people in their districts. It's their big talking point, and has been since Reagan. ("I'm from the government
and I'm the boogieman.")

What they really mean is the medical services corporations don't want to have to deal with anyone with actual negotiating leverage, so that they can dictate to us we will pay for our healthcare -- like $600 for an Epipen with less than $1 worth of medicine in it.

The political reality is that one way or another Obamacare is going down, and it's not coming back. So seriously, how many bad health care bills do we have to repeal before we get single payer?

Congress is making a show of asking their constituents what they think of their plan. We say tell them.

Demand Medicare for All NOW.


(Michael N. Cohen is a former board member of the Reseda Neighborhood Council, founding member of the LADWP Neighborhood Council Oversight Committee, founding member of LA Clean Sweep and occasional contributor to CityWatch.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.

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