Saturday, October 26, 2013

What America Deserves

Better late than never.  Via Physicians For A National Health Program, Huffington Post uploaded (yet another) health care focus from the man with a working mind - Jon Stewart, that is, in the following October 7th interview with secretary for health and human services, Kathleen Sebelius.  While discussing Obamacare (a.k.a. The Affordable Care Act or ACA), Mr. Stewart takes us on a beautiful giant step into the 21st century, saying:
[...] I honestly don’t understand why businesses wouldn’t jump at the chance to decouple health insurance from their responsibility, and why the government wouldn’t jump at the chance to create a single-payer system that simplifies this whole gobbledygook and creates the program that I think America deserves.
At which point, the audience breaks into wild applause and cheers - not surprising since single payer, or an improved Medicare expanded to the whole country, is supported by 65% of the public and most of the medical profession.

Part one:


Part two:


PNHP points out yet another interview on the ACA and the single payer alternative broadcast by Democracy Now! that same day -- an interview with Dr. Steffie Woolhandler who points out,
The computer glitches will get sorted out, but the complexity that caused the computer glitches is baked into “Obamacare.” The exchanges have to deal with millions of enrollees and doing income verification. They have to deal with thousands of private insurance plans. It’s a very complex system. And unfortunately, that complexity also contributes to high expense. The private insurance industry that’s offering the coverage through the plans has overhead costs that are about four times as high as traditional Medicare. And in addition, we’re going to have overhead of about 4 percent added to insurance overhead just for the exchanges. So it’s a complex system, a very expensive system, and when we see the way it’s performing, we understand why we need a simple single-payer system that could save about $400 billion on administrative simplification.

PHNP President Andrew Coates writes on October 10th:
These two big media events are part of a bigger picture that included a strong plug for single payer by Bill Maher on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” at least a half-dozen radio appearances around the country by PNHP leaders, and important commentaries in the print media and on the web, including an extraordinary piece published in Salon today titled “Republicans’ biggest misunderstanding about Obamacare” by Dr. Adam Gaffney,  “Single Payer, Period,” by Drs. Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein at The New York Times “Room for Debate” blog, an extended interview with Dr. Don McCanne at Truthdig, and a striking opinion piece titled “Health law's ailments can be cured by single-payer system” by Michael Hiltzik, a leading columnist at the Los Angeles Times.
Dr. Gordy Schiff’s recent article in JAMA titled “Crossing Boundaries – Violation or Obligation?” – underscores the perils that market-based health care poses for the practice of medicine, notably the physician-patient relationship. I heartily recommend this thought-provoking piece by our past president.

Also, Amy Goodman wrote this follow-up piece calling for a single payer health care system.

Yes, yes, yes - an improved Medicare, including dental and vision, expanded to the whole country is what America deserves.  Health care is a human right and should not be a commodity in a sane and civilized advanced nation.  This can be a lot simpler and easier than some may think.

*Photo credit/via Tikkun/photographer: janinsanfran, Creative Commons/"What happened to social justice in health care reform?"

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