Two events, coming together, the release of Michael Moore's "Sicko," and the presidential primaries, along with a very good article in the Los Angeles Times, "Sicko" leaves top Democrats ill at ease, and a very crumby article in the Los Angeles Times, on the Business Page, Tough Rx: possible ways to fix Medicare mixed with available spare time, Lin's going off to a benefit for cancer survivors.... a fashion show, to raise funds for St. Joseph Hospital, allow a few more moments for self-indulgence. I should say that its my sport "off-season," as the Bruins and Trojans, Basketball and Football, are on "hold." Le Mans is over, and the Chino Planes of Fame Airshow is gone for 11 more months. So, time for a little "hell-raisin'"
I'm pissed off (note the ironic choice of words).... really pissed off, at the Democratic candidates in their weak-kneed approach to health care reform. Maybe it's the malady of an idealist to want to go all the way to a solution as opposed to the politician's "compromise amongst the possible." I don't expect the self-reliance, up by the boot straps, private sector worshipping Republicans to offer anything like "reform" in health care, and of course they don't know that there is a problem.... unless they get to test the emergency care-trauma center system, by mere chance.... then, they become the momentary "no atheist in a foxhole." So, I turn to the Democrats, and first, pragmatically, they have to be elected. Forget election finance reform for a moment, as we must deal with the reality of getting elected under the present system. Yet candidates, in the spotlight, are in a unique position to educate. And the leading Democratic contenders, Clinton, Obama and Edwards fail in the area of health care reform. Only Kucinich has it right.
Alone, in the highly industrialized economies, we, Americans, lack Universal Health Care.... coverage for everyone. We have 45,000,000 uninsured and, many, many millions more, UNDER-insured. COE address this problem by keeping the insurance industry at the helm. The fox gets to guard the chicken coup, and, yes, there are a few feathers on their wily snouts. Competition is great for music videos, lipsticks, and automobiles, but privatizing has its limits... Haliburton, are you listening, there, in Dubai? Medicare and Medicaid have done more good for more folks than anything I can think of, and they work because they hold administrative expenses, executive salaries and advertising to a minimum. Gosh, they focus on health care! Delivery of the service to the sick! Not wellness ads, or public service features to trump up business... getting people to doctors offices, physiotherapists, in and out of hospitals, etc. This focus on HEALTHCARE! saves 15% that, in the private sector, buys tickets on the 50 yard line for CEO's, and dividends to stockholders. If the 15% were plowed back into HEALTHCARE, it would go a long way, maybe all the way, to getting health care to the uninsured. Will it cost money? Hell yes! What do you get for nothing.... outsourced healthcare from third world, ESL-speakers, who may or may not be able to communicate with you effectively, and they will be communicating with an increasing number of non-U.S. trained healthcare workers who may believe that deference to a doctor is more important than the principles of the nursing profession.... that is, that the patient comes first! Privatization and profit kill professions!
Health care and terms can be very confusing to those outside of the field, and politicians and stake holders often add to the confusion. I would like to tell you and anyone who reads this, that there is a group of physicians, 14,000 strong in the U.S.A. who not only believe in Universal Health Care, but in SINGLE PAYER UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE. http://www.pnhp.org/ The difference, politically, is only one that Denis Kucinich amongst presidential hopefuls, cares to make, as the stakeholders, many doctors, insurance companies, for-profit HMO's, etc., regard any move to eliminate the middle man as a threat to their pocket books. Single Payer eliminates the overhead and complexity of multiple insurance companies and drops overhead, saving money without adding any costs to the system. "Socialized medicine" is the bogey man in health care as was the "Red Scare" to the exercise of constitutional rights in the McCarthy Era, or "The War on Terror" to civil liberties today. Professional obfuscators.... I think they are called "marketing experts," "pundits," and "talking heads," spread the word and slap on labels, and soon Big Pharma and Big Insurance will have their Goebels personas and media resources at work to damn Single Payer as socialistic (yeah! So what?), communistic (that's so old!) or, how's this... an Islamofascistic plot?) Remember, you heard it here!
Okay, I'm going off a bit. Before someone recommends lithium, and rather than spout on forever, here's a link to a site that is a great "debunker." Physicians for a National Health Plan - Single Payer Health Care. It's more than Universal Health Care, and don't let Hillary, Barach or John confuse you. Kucinich has it right.... but America isn't ready for Denis, and he may not be the best choice... JUST THE BEST HEALTHCARE EDUCATOR!
I feel better, now, and I will do a few other chores... writing to my Battle of Britain pen pal, and checking on a couple of sick friends, and seeing if my English-illiterate, new kidney transplant recipient, who lives alone and is depressed (and he has Medicare-Medicaid) but I can't find a psychiatrist to see him... on a Sunday, C'mon... and, then there'[s my wonderful sunflowers. Pictures to follow, time permitting.