Health care for all ages

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By Wendy Binnie

Health care is and should always be a human right. It’s time the American people received factual information about the realities of health care and not the deceit and corruption pervasive in our current system; read “The Commies are coming – The Commies are coming.” This is the right of any citizen of the world – and no, it’s not expected to be free. How could it be?

The government has no money of its own. We have the machinery in place, in fact,  the two government-run programs that seemed to work quite well in delivering excellent products are Social Security and Medicare Parts A and B. The delivery system is already in place and with insurance companies out of the picture, the cost would be appreciably lightened. When the original Medicare was first proposed, the AMA had collective strokes and heart attacks; now they are on record as being receptive to this new proposition. It would be paid for as Medicare and Social Security is now – a deduction from the worker’s paycheck. All would pay and those who require that extra ‘bedside manner’ are free to join a private system as wealthy British and Europeans do. When LBJ envisioned ‘The Great Society’ for our country, it was his finest hour. But it will take future historians to recognize the greatness of what he did – instead, the rotting albatross of Vietnam still hangs around his neck.

The Medicare and Medicaid programs were signed into law on July 30, 1965 in Independence, Missouri,  at the Truman Library. Former President Truman was honored by LBJ for his leadership on health insurance, which he first proposed in 1945. The most significant legislative change to Medicare, called the Medicare Modernization Act, was signed into law by another President from Texas, George W. Bush, on December 8, 2003. This historic legislation adds an outpatient prescription drug benefit to Medicare and makes many other changes which help nobody but the powerful pharmaceutical companies and their lobbyists. There was a time in American history when many of our services were for-profit, free market industries. Americans learned that a centralized banking system, pensions for the elderly, police protection, fire protection, schools and so forth should be provided to all citizens, not just those whose employers decide to provide it and many other former ‘industries’ should have some degree of government regulation if not complete federal governance. This served everyone and not just those who could afford it. By removing the health care monster from the backs of the corporations, who are now reeling under its load, it may well help them and our country attain its former industrial glory.

The pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies are raping U.S. citizens and making obscene profits doing so. Those who deal with these for-profit companies and groups inflict a pain almost as torturous and inhumane as chronic pain. Opponents of a Universal Health Care system claim the government would limit your doctor selection and you’d have to wait exorbitant lengths of time for care. We need to read with jaundiced eye the dire reports of those in other countries suffering horrendously at the hands of their ‘commie’ governments. If you haven’t seen the movie, ‘SICKO’ – go. You don’t have to like the film maker to be educated. SICKO is a fantastic, accessible resource that shows the poverty of the ‘richest’ nation’s treatment of their poorer half and then juxtaposes that with the ease and inexpensive nature of universal health care utilized by every other western or industrialized nation. Most of what you see and are told is easily corroborated – John Stossel’s program to the contrary. Unfortunately, Stossel has been observed leaning heavily to the right on major issues, ridiculing Moore and touting the excellence that competition and profits bring our health care system is both dishonest and untrue. One lady, Julie Pierce, whose husband was literally sentenced to death by their insurance company, felt she had to respond to Stossel’s hatchet job. He called her story a ‘Sick Sob Story.’ Her letter to Stossel can be googled and readers may decide for themselves.

In countries with socialized medicine, it’s not true that severely ill people die because they can’t get a hospital bed. This is just absolute bull methane. In Germany, you can even go to a ‘Kuranstalt’ to lose weight, and their system pays for it. The majority of Americans are totally misinformed and uninformed about UHC; which is, of course, the idea. Germany’s ‘Kuranstalten’ are world famous. A European doctor may decide obesity is bad for his patient’s health. In fact, it’s a lot easier to cure someone’s obesity than it is to clear out their arteries and give them a bypass by the time they’re just about to die. Trouble is all of this would have to be explained to the people with no partisan bias. As of now,  the insurance companies and big drugs don’t give the rear-end of a rodent. The list of industrialized countries (and some who are still taking baby-steps toward industrialization) who embrace UHC reads like a map of the planet. Are they populated with borderline Commies who have outrageous taxes and horrendous doctors? And are these countries waiting rooms filled with sick, sick pinko people? How absurd. The two ‘modern’ countries without UHC are full of waiting rooms containing the healthiest, happiest, longest-lived people in the world - the U.S. and Mexico. NOT!

As I was saying …

Wendy England Binnie a novelist and op/ed columnist lives in Oak Trace Villas. This piece was written before the election of President Obama.