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, September 15, 2012

Obamacare versus a National Public Health Care System. A response to Valerie Solem Minnesota Senate District 1 Chairperson.

This "Letter to the Editor" is being submitted exclusively to Northern Watch Newspaper for publication in rebuttal to a previously published "Letter to the Editor."

In the Northern Watch (September 8, 2012; Page 4 < http://www.trftimes.com/news/index.php?option=com_flippingbook&view=book&id=186%3Aseptember-8-2012&catid=1%3Adefault-category&Itemid=18 >  a letter written by Valerie Solem, Chairperson of Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Senate District 1, was published about healthcare; specifically her letter was in support of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare; or, a more accurate description is the "Health Insurance and Pharmaceutical Industry Bailout and Profit Maximization Act of 2010."

The objective with health care is not, as Valerie Solem states, to provide health insurance for everyone. This only benefits the profitability of the insurance industry and assures profitability for the pharmaceutical industry, private hospitals, nursing homes and the greedy doctors for whom health care is nothing more than a racket from which they grow richer at the expense of a population getting sicker with people suffering needlessly and dying prematurely. 

Health care is all about keeping people healthy and helping to get people well when they are sick.

For health care to work most effectively and efficiently at the lowest possible cost the profit motive behind health care has to be removed.

In fact, as can be seen from many other countries, including our neighbors to the north in Canada, health care works the best the more the "for profit" motive is removed from health care; Obama care does just the opposite by enhancing the profits of the health insurance industry, the pharmaceutical industry and greedy doctors.

As an active member of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party, including having served as the elected member of the State Central Committee of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party for Roseau County which is part of Senate District 1 and having frequently been a delegate to state conventions and having participated actively in Senate District 1 conventions, I know first hand how Valorie Solem has worked to undermine taking profits out of health care.

I am also the author of the resolution passed by 72% of the delegates to the Minnesota DFL State Convention calling for single payer universal health care; a resolution that was a compromise because there were the well-heeled in the Minnesota DFL, like Valerie Solem, who refused to support what is really required if we are going to solve our health care problems--- now a crisis with almost 50 million people still without any health care and over 100 million people under Obamacare unable to afford the "Cadillac" health insurance premiums so they are stuck picking up the co-pays which are often so huge it results in people having to declare bankruptcy.

Single-payer universal health care like our Canadian neighbors have would be far superior to what we have now. 

However, to solve this health care mess will require nothing less than a National Public Health Care System.

A National Public Health Care System would create over twelve-million good paying, real living wage jobs for people who would be providing us with health care for free through neighborhood and community health care centers.

A National Public Health Care System would provide no-fee/no-premium, comprehensive, all-inclusive (general medical, eyes, dental, mental health), universal health care from pre-natal through burial. A National Public Health Care System would be publicly financed, publicly administered--- and most importantly health care would be publicly delivered.

In other words, a National Public Health Care System would function of the same principle--- and in the same way--- as public education or Social Security.

In fact, the socialist Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party led by such distinguished advocates for the rights of working people like former Minnesota socialist governors Floyd B. Olson and Elmer Benson along with Iron Range U.S. Congressman John Bernard were advocates of just such a health care system.

The question is always brought forward: How would we pay for a National Public Health Care System?

We could stop fighting these senseless wars and pay for National Public Health Care with the resulting "peace dividend."

We could "tax-the-rich."

We could institute a payroll tax like that which funds Social Security.

No one would suggest we should turn our public schools over to Wall Street to profit from. Who in their right mind would suggest that the parents of each child should have to pay the teacher a fee like we pay doctors. Privatization doesn't work for education and it sure as heck isn't working for health care. 

That Republican Mitt Romney, de facto supports Obamacare as Valerie Solem points out, does not validate Obamacare being legitimate as Valerie Solem would like us to believe.

In fact, the very fact that Romney and Obama support the same "for profit" health care system--- the "Health Insurance and Pharmaceutical Industry Bailout and Profit Maximization Act of 2010" (ACA, Obamacare)--- only goes to prove there is no difference between Obama or Romney; they both come before the American people promoting Wall Street's reactionary agenda of greed before human need--- in this instance of health care it is profits for the few versus health care for all. On the health care issue, like all other issues, no matter if Romney or Obama win the election the American people will lose.

A very sad commentary on the state of our democracy.

And this is why I will cast my ballot for former Democrat Rocky Anderson who is running on the Justice Party ticket for President and Michael Cavlan of the Open Progressive Party for United States Senate. Both of these candidates have fought long and hard for the very modest reform of a single-payer universal health care system like our neighbors to the north in Canada enjoy--- at a cost far less than even the cheapest insurance premium leaving a huge co-pay; and fifty-million people uninsured without health care.

Hopefully, in 2016, we will have a candidate come forward articulating the need for a National Public Health Care System. 

We don't even have to look to other countries for a model when it comes to a National Public Health Care System. We have three very effective--- effective in terms of low-cost and superior delivery to the private sector--- public health care systems in this country: VA, the Indian Health Service and the National Public Health Service; all funded by our tax dollars. 

There is a lot of talk from Obama supporters like Valarie Solem that Obama is like President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Nothing could be further from the truth. President Roosevelt's Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins, was a vigorous advocate of a National Public Health Care System and President Roosevelt had to remove a National Public Health Care System from consideration from the New Deal reforms because the American Medical Association (AMA) demonized Frances Perkins as a "Bolshevik" for advancing a National Public Health Care System. It is time to stand up to these bullies like the AMA and all those who profit financially from people getting sick. 

Alan L. Maki
Director of Organizing,
Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council
58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432
Cell: 651-587-5541

Primary E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net