Short Takes • March 12, 2016: Single Payer Health

Once in a while we run across an article that simply tells it like it is in language we all can understand. We’re providing a link
to such an article by Vincent Navarro that lays out the case for a single-payer health system and what it will take to get it. Share it especially with those who are skeptical.

When it comes to health insurance and health care there is much this article does not cover, however. Some like to think of Medicare as the ideal universal health system and believe expanding to everyone is the solution, but the reality is far from it.

Many, especially young people. may not be aware that Medicare, as the program stands today, still leaves millions of low income people struggling or unable to pay deductibles, co-pays, supplemental insurance, and outrageously high drug costs in a corporate-controlled and delivered medical system. Time was not too long ago that working for a university or a corporation or being in a union would mean access to affordable health insurance right into retirement for those lucky enough to have those kinds of jobs. Today, not so much.

There’s more to good health care than who pays for it, however. The article only partially addresses a small part of the broader problems of quality health care and delivery itself in the U.S., like:

  • Doctors who refuse to accept Medicare assignments, sometimes even dropping patients when they go on Medicare.
  • The shortage of doctors and facilities in many areas that results in long waits, even in emergency rooms, or no care at all available nearby.
  • The closure or combining of hospitals in rural areas that result in traveling long distances for care.
  • The lack of practical clinical research and its control to serve the needs of the people, not the obscene profits of the drug companies.
  • The lack of research and quality control of food supplements and herbal and other self-remedies and related scams that cost people billions of dollars a year and sometimes their health and lives.
  • The need for house calls – once an expected and treasured medical practice in the U.S.

And that’s only for starters. Log in and use the comment section below the song to add your own.

MG House Calls

2 comments for “Short Takes • March 12, 2016: Single Payer Health

  1. MilitantMama
    March 13, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Great song. Another thing I would list is a general shortage of doctors– kept that way on purpose by the AMA. All the better for that high salary they command.

    There’s no good reason we couldn’t train more doctors and have governmental programs that would reward service in rural and other under served areas.

  2. Dogtowner
    March 23, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Doctors already receive funds toward their education costs for serving in rural areas.

    “The lack of research and quality control of food supplements and herbal and other self-remedies and related scams that cost people billions of dollars a year and sometimes their health and lives.”

    Far more people die from prescription drugs than do from taking “supplements.” The deadly supplements are primarily weight-loss drugs that contain stimulants, and far too many people think that if the label says take one, taking five will be even better. Who wants to control supplements? Big Pharma wants to control supplements because it does not like people choosing to help themselves. I have chosen not to be a slave to Big Pharma and refuse to take their horrible medications which cause great suffering. I believe necessary medications should be available to everyone, but I think so-called medical personnel need to be more than drug pushers.

    We will never have decent health care as long as doctors are married to orthodoxy and are taught that business is more important than giving decent care (yes, they are taught this in med school). There are always a few outliers who think for themselves, but the medical-industrial complex is big business in the U.S.A. and it’s not changing anytime soon.

    Written by someone suffering from severe disability due to outrageous medical neglect: reporting symptoms to doctors for years and being dismissed because doctors know nothing about thyroid function except what they learn from salesmen pushing Synthroid.

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