By Michael Haughey, July 11, 2009
There has been a lot of discussion on Capitol Hill this week about how to pay for the “Public Option”. First of all, we want Single Payer, not a “Public Option” run by insurance companies. Second, the question is absurd. But before we get right to the explanation, I must request that politicians do something so that they may hear and understand. I will now speak directly to the politicians (most of them). There is a hand in your pocket. It belongs to a lobbyist for the insurance industry. I want to reach down, grab that hand, and yank it out of your pocket. You see, after that hand deposits money in your “pocket”, or really, makes threats about removing support from your next campaign, it grabs onto your “little brain” and squeezes. The result is a loss of blood to your “little brain”, you know, the one you think with most of the time. Don’t act dumb (no act required, I know), your actions belie the fact that you are in fact thinking with your “little brain”. Now – get away from the hand and let the blood return. Give it an hour.
Ready? Here it is. We pay insurance companies for “health Insurance” now. That’s right – we, the common people, actually pay for our health insurance, that is if we can afford it at all. For this example, lets say that I am paying $600 per month. To the insurance company. Now lets put in place Universal Public-Funded Single-Payer User-Selected Provider Basic Health Care with absolutely no insurance industry involvement whatsoever in basic care. Then I would pay less than $420 after eliminating the 30% plus that insurance companies and the paperwork cost us. I would pay the $420 as taxes to the government, who would be the “single payer”. Now I know math isn’t as important to politicians as it was when I went to school, but try to follow this. $600 minus $420 equals $180, which is how much my cost has been reduced. That’s right – I would be paying less. The Single Payer program would be paid for by $420 of the $600 that I used to pay to the insurance company. Most of us don’t care if we pay that $420 to the government if we are no longer paying $600 to the insurance company. So a full switch to Single Payer means that everyone who can chips in through a raise in taxes that is LESS that what we now pay fore insurance. See how that works? I know some of you think taxes are a foreign religion that you must never give in to. Give it a rest. Taxes are a necessary cost for doing collectively that which we cannot do as individuals, rich people excepted. Wasn’t that easy? Now if you still don’t understand, I suggest you go back through K-12 public school and pay attention this time.
What did you say, “you don’t want government running health care”? Have you listened at all? Single payer means government, really “we the people”, pays for health care. Health care would be provided by doctors, nurses, hospitals, university research programs, and so on. How is it run now? By doctors, nurses, hospitals, university research programs, and so on UNDER the direction of insurance companies who decide what care will be paid for. How do insurance companies decide what to pay for? By doing whatever maximizes profit for their investors and executives. That is, after all, their legal fiduciary responsibility. How do those decisions get made under Single Payer? By the doctors, nurses, hospitals, university research programs, and so on. See the difference? Some countries don’t even have billing departments. They just provide health care, further lowering costs since the billing and collections departments don’t even exist.
Now stay away from that hand and do what must be done. Show that you have some, shall we say, “courage”.
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