January 29, 2019- by Steven E. Greer, MD
Kamala Harris announced her run for president. She gave a town hall talk laying out her platform. Her most important agenda was Medicare-For-All, which is yet another euphemism for socialized medicine.
But is that a bad thing? The Neocons in media certainly think so. Fox News pounced with fake statistics showing that expanding Medicare for everyone would break the bank. They also dodged the elephant in the room, which is that the current hybrid system of Medicare/Medicaid/Private Insurance has already broken the bank and is failing rapidly.
Most people know that Neocons (i.e. Neo-Conservatives) pander to the military-spy-industrial complex to stay in power. But few talk about the Neocons’ agenda to prop up the failing American health insurance industry.
Over the next two years, every propaganda outlet of the establishment will join sides and use scare tactics to make the elderly vote and middle-aged vote for the candidate who opposes Medicare-For-All. For example, CBS News, which went all-in on the StopTrump propaganda campaign, will join Fox News in opposing healthcare changes. The evening news gets almost all of its advertising revenue from Big Pharma and insurance ads.
In reality, private health insurance is a giant fraud designed to steal trillions from corporations who pay those sky-high employee healthcare bills. The CEOs of the insurance companies make obscene money, which is especially distasteful given that they are in the business of denying poor people healthcare services. The out-of-pocket costs effectively render health insurance as fake insurance.
The health insurance companies figured out a long time ago that they can pass rising costs on to consumers, meaning they benefit from huge healthcare inflation. Fee-for-service is great for them. They get a percentage of a bigger pie for “managing” the process.
Obamacare was smeared by the Neocons as being bad and scary because it would “take away your insurance” It was actually the opposite. It was a windfall for insurance. That is why it failed.
Medicare-For-All would theoretically be cheaper than the total healthcare expenditures in The United States, which $3.5 trillion and growing at 5%, if it simply eliminated the management fees of the insurance fat-cat middlemen. Elimination of fee-for-service would dramatically lower costs too.
However, the big downside to socialized medicine would be rationed care. In reality, long waits for CT-scans would be a good thing since they are pointless and actually harm patients with radiation. But denial of orthopedic implants might be a problem, for example. Try to get a hip replacement in Canada or England.
Would an American version of socialized medicine be as bad as Europe and Canada in terms of long waits? That is very unlikely given that the huge drug, medical device, and hospital industries are too powerful to our economy and won’t go away.
However, the one very bad thing about turning over healthcare to the federal governmental would be that the government would then run your life. Try calling Medicare now to complain. Try suing Medicare now. It would be a huge blow to the American society and make the country much more like the rest of the world where strong governments stifle personal freedoms.
The real solution decades ago should have been proper reforms of health insurance to eliminate monopolies created by arbitrary state border restrictions, eliminate theft by CEOs, etc. Each state has an insurance Czar, or regulator, but they do nothing because they are pawns of the system.
So, once again, the corporate friendly Neocons have created their own worst nightmare by making a socialized system the best alternative. It is like the immigration problem. Reagan and the Neocons created the illegal immigrant problem to help big corporations skirt minimum wage laws. It is the law of the Yin and the Yang, and you the individual get the Yang.