Tuck away the many horror stories of the wrong limbs being amputated, things being left in surgery patients, terrible infections picked up in hospitals and totally wrong diagnoses. More relevant is a bureaucratic hospitalization horror that far too few Americans covered by Medicare are aware of.
Thank God for Republican policy advisers, one of which has noticed that in roughly ten years, single payer will be the only option — they won’t be able to 86 the ‘public option’ then. But until that blessed moment, our dearest Congress and their enabler president will have delivered the booty on to the health insurance companies. And not only that, but now 50+ million Americans — many of who cannot afford to, will be railroaded into paying for ‘health care’ (this must be more of that Wall Street math that we’ve all heard of, that you apparently need a PhD. to decipher)! And should they be so lucky as to even be able to somehow scrape the duckets together to buy ‘health insurance coverage’, they will fear using it because they don’t want to be buried in the additional cost burden of co-pays for the services that they do appraise themselves of. This ’system’ makes the ‘Soviet gulag’ one almost look sane!
Filed under: Corporations, Corporations Really Suck, Dandelion Salad Featured Writers, Dandelion Salad Posts News Politics and-or Videos 2, Health Care, Politics | Tagged: Fenley-Sean, Insurance, single payer healthcare HR 676 S 703 | 1 Comment »
by The Other Katherine Harris
The Other Katherine Harris’s blog
Jan. 1, 2008
Next time the vampire of estate tax “reform” rises, threatening to drain us of billions to satisfy the three families in a thousand who have to pay any, here’s a chunk of garlic that might help drive it underground: A secondary market in large life insurance policies has developed — which means any coverage not needed to cover tax liability can be offloaded now. At a huge profit.
While I was researching something else this morning, a fortuitous path opened to this little-known fact. As detailed HERE, an 83-year-old widow recently sold a $20 million policy on which she’d so far paid about $1.7 million. Its cash surrender value would have been less than half a million, but an investor coughed up $4.3 million and almost surely won’t have to wait long to collect nearly five times as much.
Both buyer and seller made out like bandits in the deal — and imagine how this newly contrived marketplace will sizzle, if more estate tax cuts are enacted, too. We might as well make that “if” a “when”, as far as the firm behind the press release is concerned (specialists in bringing such parties together). The Ashton Group predicts Congress will raise exemptions and slash rates sufficiently for “billions of dollars’ worth of existing life insurance policies to be sold over the next several years.”
Obviously, as with all these devious schemes that financialize paper, only the filthy rich can play (unless mutual funds start buying into them). Also pretty obviously, life insurance companies will soon wise up and stop selling gargantuan policies based on old statistics that show five of every six life insurance policies lapse before any payout is due. They’re on the hook for all extant policies, though — and bound to raise everybody’s premiums. Depending on how badly they’re stung, we could get stuck with the tab for another bailout to benefit the ultra-wealthy, too.
Adds extra dimension to the cause of opposing estate tax reduction, doesn’t it?
There’s also the niggling notion that this ghoulish market could expand, as tapped-out folks formerly on the upper end of middle class look to their life insurance as a life-raft for coping with debt they can no longer bankrupt out of. Not a pretty picture. Except of course to the blood-suckers. What do you bet they’d be pleased to buy it, never mind the prospect of destitute kiddies and widows? Death is something investors can bank on a lot more securely than subprime mortgage payments, particularly if the seller is getting on in years or suffering health problems.
Health Care For All – NOW – TAKE ACTION
Oct 12, 2007
See bottom of post to also view very important video produced by OneCareNow to educate people in California about SB 840 – CA Single Payer bill. It goes into detail about how Single Payer works in general starting 4 minutes into the video. This is a MUST SEE FOR EVERYONE because the principles discussed also apply to HR 676 – the national Single Payer bill.
Single-Payer National Health Insurance
Single-payer national health insurance is a system in which a single public or quasi-public agency organizes health financing, but delivery of care remains largely private.
Currently, the U.S. health care system is outrageously expensive, yet inadequate. Despite spending more than twice as much as the rest of the industrialized nations ($7,129 per capita), the United States performs poorly in comparison on major health indicators such as life expectancy, infant mortality and immunization rates. Moreover, the other advanced nations provide comprehensive coverage to their entire populations, while the U.S. leaves 46 million completely uninsured and millions more inadequately covered.
The reason we spend more and get less than the rest of the world is because we have a patchwork system of for-profit payers. Private insurers necessarily waste health dollars on things that have nothing to do with care: overhead, underwriting, billing, sales and marketing departments as well as huge profits and exorbitant executive pay. Doctors and hospitals must maintain costly administrative staffs to deal with the bureaucracy. Combined, this needless administration consumes one-third (31 percent) of Americans’ health dollars.
Single-payer financing is the only way to recapture this wasted money. The potential savings on paperwork, more than $350 billion per year, are enough to provide comprehensive coverage to everyone without paying any more than we already do.
Under a single-payer system, all Americans would be covered for all medically necessary services, including: doctor, hospital, long-term care, mental health, dental, vision, prescription drug and medical supply costs. Patients would regain free choice of doctor and hospital, and doctors would regain autonomy over patient care.
Physicians would be paid fee-for-service according to a negotiated formulary or receive salary from a hospital or nonprofit HMO / group practice. Hospitals would receive a global budget for operating expenses. Health facilities and expensive equipment purchases would be managed by regional health planning boards.
A single-payer system would be financed by eliminating private insurers and recapturing their administrative waste. Modest new taxes would replace premiums and out-of-pocket payments currently paid by individuals and business. Costs would be controlled through negotiated fees, global budgeting and bulk purchasing.
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The Healthcare Solution: California OneCare (R1)
The solution to the healthcare crisis in California is Senate Bill 840 (Kuehl) which would provide comprehensive healthcare coverage for all for life for less. This film explains how it works.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the issue of health care, the three leading candidates for the Democratic Presidential nomination are all on the same page: the wrong page, Democratic candidate and Ohio Congressman said today.
“There isn’t one iota’s difference between the plans put forward by Senator Clinton, Senator Obama, and former Senator Edwards because they all keep the for-profit health insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies in control of the health care system,” Kucinich said. “The only thing ‘universal’ about their plans is that they universally fail to address the real reason 47 million Americans are uninsured and another 50 million are under-insured: for-profit insurance companies get rich by gouging people and by not paying for health care.”
Kucinich is the co-author and co-sponsor of a bill (HR 676) that would establish a national, not-for-profit health insurance system that would guarantee coverage to all Americans, including medical, dental, vision, mental health, long term care, early child care, and preventative health services. Under the Kucinich plan, there would be no premiums, no deductibles, and no co-pays, and no denials of services. The legislation has been endorsed by the 14,000-member Physicians for a National Health Program, the California Nurses Association, labor union locals, and award-winning film-maker Michael Moore, whose “SiCKO” documentary is a scathing indictment of the for-profit health care industry in the U.S.
“If you don’t have the courage to take on the insurance and pharmaceutical industries,” Kucinich said of the other Democratic candidates, “don’t try to fool the American people by pretending to offer real reform. The Clinton, Obama, and Edwards plans will ensure that for-profit companies remain in control, and they will be rewarded and enriched with federal subsidies to reduce the prices they charge. Instead of gouging the consumers, they’ll be gouging the taxpayers.”
Kucinich also objected to the “mandates” proposed in the three plans. “These candidates want to force individual citizens and employers to buy health insurance, using the promise of tax credits to make the coercion more palatable. We shouldn’t be mandating that people buy private coverage, we should be guaranteeing coverage for our citizens like other enlightened industrialized nations do.”
Kucinich noted that Americans spend more than $2 trillion a year on health care, and upwards of $600 billion covers costs that have nothing to do with care: profits, dividends, exorbitant salaries, executive compensation, stock options, advertising, paperwork, and coordination and duplication of services among the many private companies.
“Take that money out of the pockets of the for-profit companies and put it into providing a national health care plan that covers everyone for everything,” Kucinich said. Comparing and contrasting the differences among the Cinton, Obama, and Edwards plans “is a phony debate,” he charged. “If they’re afraid of offending their campaign contributors from the for-profit health care industry, or they’re concerned about whatever personal investments they have in that industry, they should be honest about it and just say so.”
He continued, “I can’t be bought, and I can’t be bossed, and that’s why I’m the only candidate willing and eager to challenge the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies. The sooner we get the profit out of the system, the sooner every American can have access to comprehensive health care. It’s a right, and this nation has a moral and social responsibility to provide it.”
Aug. 28, 2007
Dennis Kucinich on his Universal Healthcare plan. http://kucinich.us
August 08, 2007
Joe talks to Senator Biden about yesterdays forum in Chicago held by the AFL-CIO. Earlier in the program, Keith analyzed the debated, but the segement was too lengthy for you tube (as it generally is). You can catch that segment on my blog:
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