Jesus Would Be an Advocate for Single Payer
Re-POST of 7/2/09, FDL
“Whatever you do to the least among us, you do unto me.”
Jesus would be an advocate for a universal Single Payer Plan. If Jesus were in the Senate today, only he and Vermont’s Bernie Sanders would be backing S 703 for Single Payer. If Jesus were in the House of Representatives, he would have 80 possible comrades on his side on this issue backing HR 676. Jesus was used to standing tall in a true moral minority. Sometimes in a minority of one.
Jesus was a messenger for truth, justice and compassion. And as what happens to most effective messengers telling serious truth to serious power, Jesus was betrayed and crucified. Jesus rose up again.
Jesus would be on the side of 2 out of 3 Americans who actually want a universal Single Payer Plan, though the U.S. corporate media bans any discussion of that, refuses to acknowledge that statistical reality. Just like most of our Congress and the administration pretend that that majority preference isn’t so. (It is crazymaking when those we trust ask us to deny reality.)
Our elected representatives took an oath to protect their constituents, but then it seems the vast majority of them took vast amounts of money from corporate lobbies to abandon that commitment. It’s
been reported that the Democrats received $90 million and the Republicans $65 million from health care and pharmaceutical companies in the last election.
And now our betrayers, who regard such transactions as necessary S-O-P for political survival, are tap dancing fast, eagerly lip-servicing reform with the tease of a “public option,” as if that is remotely similar to the sturdy foundation of a true public health care system. As if that is remotely like what every other industrial nation has. As if that would raise us significantly from a disgraceful international ranking of 37th in terms of quality, or not, health care.
Kevin Zeese of Prosperity Agenda:
" …The senate is trying to fix the equivalent of a broken egg. It cannot be done. But they all have their heads in the sand and their hand in the till. Single payer is making progress. More people know single payer is right than admit it."
Wendell Potter is a former insurance insider revealing manipulations of large for-profit insurance companies that sabotage healthy health care reform.
“the insurers will want to preserve the image they are working so hard to cultivate -- as a group of kind and caring folks who think only of you and your health and are working hard as real partners to Congress and the White House to find "a uniquely American solution" to what ails our system.
What I saw happening over the past few years was a steady movement away from the concept of insurance and toward "individual responsibility," a term used a lot by insurers and their ideological allies. This is playing out as a continuous shifting of the financial burden of health care costs away from insurers and employers and onto the backs of individuals. As a result, more and more sick people are not going to the doctor or picking up their prescriptions because of costs. If they are unfortunate enough to become seriously ill or injured, many people enrolled in these plans find themselves on the hook for such high medical bills that they are losing their homes to foreclosure or being forced into bankruptcy.
As an industry spokesman, I was expected to put a positive spin on this trend that the industry created and euphemistically refers to as "consumerism" and to promote so-called "consumer-driven" health plans. I ultimately reached the point of feeling like a huckster.
Universal v. optional. Not-for-profit vs. profit-making, still as a vital force if a "public option" were introduced. A public option, critics contend, would end up with private companies cherry-picking the healthiest patients, and the public option bearing the brunt of the costlier, sicklier patient care. Haves vs. have nots. Yet again. A universal safety net for all could in a not-for-profit realm be easily afforded with modest taxation.
A good explanation of the benefits of Single Payer Plan is spelled out on the PNHP website (Physicians for a National Health Program).
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.
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.
The article continues that more than $350 billion per year could be saved on paperwork alone. This could provide our comprehensive coverage.
Under a single-payer system, all Americans would be covered for all medically necessary services, including: doctor, hospital, preventive, long-term care, mental health, reproductive health care, 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.
The PNHP article asserts that modest new taxes would replace premiums and out of pocket payments now being paid by individuals and business. That cost could be controlled “through negotiated fees, global budgeting and bulk purchasing.” Administrative costs of billing, marketing, especially high executive pay, and ever-rising profits are now absorbing 1/3 of health care dollars from the patient.
As Congress cries “poverty” over health care funding, this approach should be a major consideration. But it is not since single payer is unbelievably not seriously “on the table” thanks to our lobby-seduced Congress. Even the Kennedy-Dodd bill does not consider any public option.
There is a questionable assertion being made by President Obama, (an outspoken advocate for single payer health care in 2003, not 2009) and others, that most people don’t want too much health care reform because they are so satisfied with their present plans. Sounds like one of those useful non-reality assumptions to me, but convenient as a talking point to the status-quo-enabling media. Ironic, our “change you can believe in” President is using the natural discomfort of change that dwells in all individuals as an excuse not to follow through on promised reform.
And what of the dissatisfied 45+ million citizens with no plan now? And the 25 million considered underinsured? More and more we have a government for part of the people. The less needy people tend to have more of their needs met than the needier ones on the brink of or in crisis. The latter to be swept under the non-reality carpet?
There are four health care lobbyists per national representative. All that energy, attention and money to bribe, intimidate, seduce, disconnect our representatives from duty and integrity. The trustees of our democratic rights do all they can to ensure corporate profit-making at our expense, but later spin and tweak reality to present the illusion of effort and public concern.
Jesus would not have taken the money. Jesus would know the difference between morality and amoral opportunism. Amoral pragmatism. Jesus wouldn’t have abided self-aggrandizing corporatists. Jesus raged at the money lenders in the temple.
Jesus would care that 60 people a day die in America because they cannot afford health care.
Jesus would care that there is one person going bankrupt every 30 seconds in America due to health care costs.
“Whatever you do to the least among us, you do unto me.”
It seems oxymoronic that Congress considers the idea of universal coverage a polarizing partisan one. Comprehensive and universal? Who is really being divisive on this? What about a humanitarian attitude of “a rising tide lifts all boats”? What about “with liberty and justice FOR ALL” in terms of our health care? Our Declaration of Independence said it so well:
.. We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
These rights don’t seem as evident any more to our leadership.
Jesus was about unity. About atonement, reconciliation of humankind with God. The origin of "atonement" is from the word “one” -- “at-one-ment”. Unity. We as a citizenry need to wrap our hearts around the philosophy of universal healthcare. We need a united public asking for comprehensive protection from our supposed protectors whom we pay with our tax dollars. They legally and morally work for us, not the corporations.
Jesus honored all the wedding guests by serving them the finest wine miraculously transformed from water.
What watered down concoction of corporate-toxic kool-aid will Congress be asking us to swallow soon?
Jesus would be an advocate for a universal Single Payer Plan.
What is Single Payer?
You Bet Your Health!
What is Single Payer?
Health, Money and Fear
Remote Area Medical throws America a lifeline:
Great moment in a Dana Gould commentary: