- Inspired by Utah Savage's excellent personal experience post
- by Democracy Now's excellent segment on single payer healthcare
- and by the Des Moines activists.....today I'm fired up to change US health care!
"Enough is enough!" exclaim Iowa activist friends. With 20,000 dying each year and millions suffering needlessly, a coalition of peace groups has launched a public campaign called "Insurance Profits Make Us Sick." Focused on the abuses of health insurance corporations, their first measure is a weekly vigil in front of Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield headquarters in Des Moines (insurance capital of the USA, I'd say).
The national healthcare crisis in the United States springs from the stranglehold that profit-driven private insurance corporations have on the system. Not sure we're in a crisis? Activists cite these bullet points:
■ 50 million Americans have no insurance or access to medical care and, with the economic crisis, this number is skyrocketing.
■ 20,000 (probably more) die each year due to lack of health care.
■ Millions suffer disability and chronic conditions that would have been prevented by access to adequate health care.
■ Millions who have health insurance are denied necessary care by their insurers.
■ Health care bills (of people who HAVE health insurance) are the single highest reason for filing bankruptcy in the U.S.
■ Untreated disease and injuries hurt those who do have access to healthcare and make us more vulnerable to pandemics.
Does the healthcare industry care about us? Or about profit? These folks say coverage by health insurers is based on profitability not on providing health care for those who need it. The industry makes money by only insuring those who will likely remain healthy and by denying coverage to those who do or might get sick.
■ 20-40% of every health care dollar goes to profits and overhead and things other than anyone's healthcare.
■ Precious health care dollars are wasted on symbols of wealth: anything from private jets, to skyscrapers, to capital investments.
To add insult to injury, they say healthcare insurers lie, hiring lobbyists (with outrageous salaries) to protect their interests. Here's what lobbyists won't tell you:
■ Other nation's national healthcare programs work efficiently.
■ National healthcare will ultimately create more jobs. (They just won't be in the health insurance industry.)
■ No one will have less ability to choose a doctor or wait significantly longer for medical procedures with a single-payer healthcare plan.
■ Mainstream media and members of congress are financially controlled by insurance lobbyists, campaign contributions, and advertising revenue.
These Iowa activists support single-payer healthcare as the viable way out of the crisis.
Single-payer healthcare (H.R. 676) cuts out the middle man (i.e. the health insurance industry) and earmarks all healthcare dollars in one public fund to be used for healthcare only. Experts (and even Presidents Clinton and Obama) have agreed it's our best option, but claim the public doesn't have the political will to make it happen.
Let's prove them wrong and demand equal health care for all. Take it to the streets...the internets...the congress...the media...because:
Healthcare is a human right!