Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

More on Health Care

Republicans claim the U.S. health care system is the best in the world. Any worker knows this is sheer nonsense. The health care system is a mess. In fact, the health care system is just as rotten as the capitalist system itself because like everything under this system the primary motivation is profit; there is no escaping this basic truth.

Many people now question the advice from doctors because they wonder how much of what the doctor bases a diagnosis on is motivated by profits.

Everyone has their fingers in the health care trough.

No one can deny that health care is a big, big business.

Pharmaceutical companies are advertising their products on T.V., radio, newspapers, and on the Internet... they are telling people what drugs they should advise their doctors to prescribe. Isn't it supposed to be the doctor's job to tell the patient what medications are needed? Not any more.

Hospitals urge doctors to get their patients to use high priced diagnostic testing procedures on the basis of keeping the technology in use... much like a traffic cop's monthly "quota."

Once the doctor gets you into the "system" there is no getting out... it is on to the next text... from there on to the next specialist with one doctor prescribing this, another that.

Just renting a wheelchair demonstrates the profit gouging behind the entire fiasco being passed off as health care.

A wheelchair rents for about $125.00 a month. Medicare pays 80%. Medicare will not purchase the wheel chair for thirteen months for the patient. A new wheelchair costs $870.00. Do the math. Between the government and the patient a $870.00 wheelchair that is way over-priced to begin with ends up being rented out for over twice the retail price and the patient and Medicare end up buying a used wheelchair for even more. It is no wonder the Medicare system is so costly... yet even with profit gouging like this it is far better than anything else in this country when it comes to health care.

Figure it out; how can any health care system end up in anything but a mess when a wheelchair that retails for $870.00 that is over-priced to start with ends up costing the government and the patient over $2,000.00? Many more examples could be provided.

Is this the kind of Medicare for all we are seeking? Not at all. We need to put an end to the profit gouging orgy of the health care industry at level; from the insurance company rip-off right on up through the profit gouging orgy of the hospitals, HMO's, pharmaceutical companies, and even hospice "services." Hospice is another big rip-off... making money of of killing people when the rest of the health care industry can no longer profit.

What we have in this country is cradle to the grave health care rip-off when what we need is a cradle to the grave no-fee, comprehensive, all-inclusive, single-payer, universal health care system to get us on the road to a full scale socialized health care system.

The only reform that has any chance of success in the way of health care is to break away from the strangle-hold the insurance companies and HMO's now have on our health care system. There is no other way.

For years the American Medical Association has been calling single-payer health care a "Bolshevik" plot. The AMA took out advertising in major newspapers for years with this accusation.

What many people do not know is that Frances Perkins, the first woman to ever hold a presidential cabinet position who was appointed by FDR insisted that health care be part of the New Deal reform package. the AMA and the insurance industry and big business lobbied against this... we should have universal health care now just like we have Social Security.

Besides not wanting to forgo tremendous profits to be made from health care, there is another reason big business, the insurance companies, the United States Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, Republicans, most Democrats, and the AMA are so deathly opposed to single-payer, universal health care or socialized health care; they understand that once every single person in this country has access to such a universal program people will understand that there are many benefits to socialization and people will begin to question if other industries might not run better if brought under public control; and this is the primary reason big business and all of its partners have fought tooth and nail against anything that smacks of socialized health care.

Note: Check out the right-wing talk shows... where is most of their venom directed? Towards politicians who advocate single-payer, universal health care or some variant of socialized health care.

Even Hillary Clinton is being accused of being a Marxist by the hosts of the the right-wing talk radio.

Unfortunately, many advocates of single-payer, universal health care are trying to distance their support for single-payer from socialized health care... some cringe at the suggestion that single-payer is a step towards socialized health care without explaining what is wrong with socialized health care. This is unfortunate because as working people, our goal is a health care system the puts the health care needs of people as the one and only priority; we don't give a damn about the survival of insurance companies nor do we care if the HMO's go broke... the public sector can manage the health care system very nicely; this has been proven over and over again. In fact, health care systems work as they should when the profit motivation is taken out of the picture at every level.

I was quoted widely by the media when I said the present for-profit health care system is as rotten as the capitalist system itself because it is a product that has grown from a system that places profits above all else. Some people cringed at hearing this basic truth. The right-wing cried out... "see, those people advocating single-payer, universal health care are a bunch of socialists;" in my case this happens to be true... it is time more socialists begin advocating for single-payer, universal health care.