Why I'm Against Market-Based Health Coverage

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Why I'm Against Market-Based Health Coverage

Mary makes a well-written case for Single Payer health insurance at Pacific Views today.

"America's health care system is imploding. Despite the fact that America devotes more of its GDP to health care than any other developed country, the real outcome for a significant portion of our country is miserable. And despite all the initiatives that claimed to fix the problem, the problem is getting worse."

As someone who administers state Medicaid in Pacific County and who becomes aware of as many uninsured citizens in an hour as an enterprising researcher could find in a day, I consider the above seriously understated.

"Getting worse" actually means something far fouler smelling than what you see in Sicko.

"Universal health care is particularly unsuited for a market-based approach because people are unable to do a lot of comparison shopping when they are sick and the overwhelming need for health care is when someone is sick, not when they are well."

A market-based approach in this country is the failed altruism of corporate capitalism which for decades has trumpeted the idea that the market could and WOULD take care of society's poor. That by definition is an impossibility given the formal constitutional definition for a "corporation."

That definition literally justifies - even encourages - a single-prioritized bottom-line profit-based approach to enterprises supposedly created to accomplish public good because individuals and small communities cannot create sufficient capital to accomplish it by themselves. It's an approach that has everything to do with some sort of corporate right (a la a human citizen/person's right) to the pursuit of happiness - precisely because corporate pursuit of happiness is pursuit of profit, not public good. It would be like giving a giant leech a constitutionally guaranteed right and protection to suck up the life blood of  every citizen and community.

... unless of course one "conservatively " defines "public good" as equal to what's good for business.

I'm against any kind of market-based approach to universal health care.

Our objective should not be the highest priority is what's good for business in this regard. That's the attitude immediately and transparently  revealed  as harmful and inadequate when ideologically, an American president attempted to suspend minimum wage in the Katrina disaster area;

when he immediately asserted opportunity for profit before securing a disaster area;

- suggesting that the public good is best served if profits are prioritized first.

It borders on oxymoron to even suggest that government should be run as a business first and foremost. One primary reason is that profit unreasonably gets asserted as more important than the public good.

Bushco has amply demonstrated the failure of corporate capitalism to successfully care for its citizens or even to wage war (as if waging war were a constitutional obligation rather than  national  expediency) in the most economically wise and efficient manner. The Medicare D Supplement in reality is a massive act of corporate capitalist foolishness birthed by greed and lobby payments - not honest public discourse on the highest public good.

Speaking "capitalistically" and "market-basedly" we do not - when our house catches fire - call the fire department and make arrangements to pay a deductible before they will come. Our taxes have already paid for that.

... or if we hear an intruder in the house, we do not call the police and negotiate a deductible or co-pay term before they come out to keep us safe. Our taxes pay for that.

... Why the hell do we do that to ourselves regarding our most precious personal asset - health?

"Because taxes could go up," defenders of the market-based capitalist religion declare.  To which even non-MBA's like me who have spent hundreds of hours at the kitchen table working out budgets reply,

 "It's all in the budget priorities. We must be spending too much somewhere else, eh? Like perhaps on a paranoid and insecure  but profit-driven wide-eyed defense and weapons industry? 

The assumption is false and we are asleep. Market-based corporatists want us to stay that way.

It is all about bull shit ...the selling of bull shit ... the buying of bull shit ... the lying about bull shit ... and the harming of an entire society by overdosing on bull shit.

When a wild-eyed elderly woman comes into my office saying she's heard terrible horror stories about socialized medicine in Canada I'm ready to throw up or throw my hands in the air.

Think about it. 

 Great Britain apparently (at least per Sicko) launched their version of socialized medicine right after WW II when they were not far removed from financial insolvency.  They ain't even come close to scrapping it.

Why not?

Well hell, because maybe what they've got - what Canada and France have - works fine enough that their national public good and well-being far outweighs whatever problems come up. Regardless of American corporate lies, those problems certainly are not the nightmares our  lobbied-and-prompted politicians, insurers and care providers constantly try to scare us with.

How DO they pay for it? With taxes of course.

Why COULDN'T we pay for it with taxes?  We could, of course.

We might have to give up or cut back to reasonable levels some other kind of spending - like defense.

Of course we could and of course we should.

Those opposed to cutting back military spending are not driven by fear of a massively global military monolith with resources approaching a trillion dollars and planning an all-out attack and invasion of our homeland.  They are driven by a fear of loss of profits.

Get the terrorists yes ... but with honest police work and funded actions appropriate to legitimate need as a wise economic response.

But do we really need full-monte massive military assaults with nukes, 37 divisions plus the 4th, 5th , 6th, 7th, and 8th Fleets and the 98th, 99th and 100th Bomber Wings ... hell no!!

But of course that's another story to debate elsewhere whenever we get serious about sourcing and budgeting much more important issues, like being 37th in global health effectiveness.

Besides, that attack and invasion has already occurred.

It began years ago when we naively swallowed corporate bait and philosophy - without any critical thinking or understanding that lobbyists were serious (they always MEANT business) - hook, line and sinker.

We were attacked and invaded by corporate sharks who only got more openly savage about it after 2000 when Dirty Dingus McBush open the trapdoors and helped the corporate Trojan Horse drop a massive pile of stinking biscuits smack dab in every living room and homeless shelter in America.

So in terms of market-based medicine for America, our medicine-based marketing sharks would be the ones in ICU if we ever woke up,

if we ever narrowed our wide-eyed naïveté

and went shopping for a better system.

© Arthur Ruger 2007

© Arthur & Lietta Ruger 2002-2008. The American Choice is a  political internet journal based in Bay Center, Washington. The views expressed not authored by Arthur or Lietta Ruger are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of The American Choice or SwanDeer Productions. Permission of author required for reprinting original material, and only requests for reprinting a specific item are considered.