It takes only two things to keep people in chains: The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders..
The Democrats and the Republicans each have sabotaged American health care, though in different ways.
Before we discuss the sabotage, here is a bit of background:
In one sense, health care for Americans is a fairly simple concept. Doctors, nurses, hospitals, other health care workers, and pharmaceutical companies do the actual work.
No one has suggested that be changed. The entire battle in Congress concerns just one question: Who pays for it?
No one is opting for “socialized medicine.”
Though that is an epithet deceptively used by those who despise all forms of federal spending, socialized medicine would involve government ownership of hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, with doctors and nurses being government employees.
Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA, Obamacare) are not socialized medicine. The closest we have to socialism in America are such functions as our public schools, police, fire departments, public parks, the military, and the Veterans’ Administration, wherein all parts of the program are government owned and directed, and the employees are government workers.
Socialism is not government paying for things. Socialism is government ownership.
All of the current controversy regarding the “repeal and replace” of Obamacare has to do with one, simple little question: Who pays?
There are three methods of paying: Some American people can pay the doctors, hospitals, etc. directly. But for the vast majority of us, the cost of treatment for serious illnesses would be unaffordable.
Even the most basic healthcare — annual checkups — can be beyond many people’s budgets.
So, we created a second system: We and/or our employers pay indirectly. We pay insurance companies, which in turn pay the health care providers.
But there are three problems with that indirect system:
- The insurance companies are nothing more than middlemen. They do not provide health care. They simply accept money from the public, remove their profits, and pay what’s left to the health care providers. This system adds extra middleman costs beyond the health care costs.
- People who already are sick, cannot buy insurance at an affordable rate.
- Poorer people cannot afford insurance at all.
The first two systems — American’s paying directly, or insurance companies paying as middlemen, both ultimately require the people to pay.
The result has been that too many Americans either have been doing without health care, so they sicken and lead lives of misery, or die early. Or they are left financially destitute.
Not only is this inhumane, especially in the wealthiest nation on earth, but allowing people to sicken puts a drag on the economy and so, negatively affects us all.
There is a third system: The federal government pays. This is known as “single-payer,” which is as opposed to the current multiple-payer system.
Fortunately, we live in a Monetarily Sovereign nation, in which the federal government has the unlimited ability to create dollars.
The federal government is not like state and local governments. It uniquely creates dollars by spending dollars.
The federal government does not spend tax dollars. Taxpayers do not pay for federal spending. The federal government actually creates brand new dollars, ad hoc, every time it pays a bill.
When you are paid by the federal government, it sends instructions (not dollars) to your bank, in the form of a check or a wire. These instructions tell your bank to increase the balance in your checking account.
The instructions to your banks are: “Pay to the order of [your name]. That tells your bank to increase your checking account balance by the amount indicated on the check.
At the moment your bank does as the federal government instructs, brand new dollars are created and added to the nation’s money supply.
The federal government’s instructions always clear because they are approved by the Federal Reserve Bank, which is owned by the government. Thus, the federal government can create endless dollars because it approves its own checks. That is why no federal check ever has bounced or ever will bounce. The government writes the rules and approves what it does.
No tax dollars are not involved in the instructions. Unlike the monetarily non-sovereign state and local governments, which do use tax dollars, the federal government neither needs nor uses any form of income.
Even if the federal government didn’t collect a single dollar in taxes, it could continue paying its bills, forever.
The federal government has the power to completely eliminate the FICA tax and still fund Social Security and Medicare into perpetuity.
So, the federal government, having this unlimited ability to pay bills, can eliminate the middle men (the insurance companies) and pay all the doctors, nurses, hospitals, other health care workers, and pharmaceutical companies, and do it without collecting a dime in taxes.
The federal government has the power to fund a comprehensive, no-deductible Medicare plan for every man, woman, and child in America, and even include long-term care — all at no cost to the American public.
It has the power to do this without collecting a penny in taxes, because it creates new dollars every time it pays a bill.
With that as a background, here is the sabotage:
The Democrats’ Sabotage of the health care system:
The Democrats commit their sabotage of the health care system by pretending that the federal government needs and spends tax dollars (aka “The Big Lie.“)
While state and local governments do need and spend tax dollars, the federal government does not. But the average citizen doesn’t understand the difference.
So the Democrats designed a plan (Romneycare, Obamacare, ACA) that feigns the need for taxpayer dollars. It unnecessarily copies private insurance by forcing healthy people to pay in advance for coverage later.
That is known as the “Individual Mandate,” wherein you either must pay for private health care insurance or pay a fine which supposedly would be used to fund Obamacare.
For a Monetarily Sovereign nation’s plan, the individual mandate not only is wholly unnecessary, but it provides a false basis for objecting to Obamacare. The supposed need for the individual mandate sabotages American health care.
Because of The Big Lie, that federal taxes are needed to pay for federal spending, Obamacare was created as a complex, convoluted Rube Goldbergian mess, almost incomprehensible to all but the most astute policy wonks.
By contrast, a simple program providing comprehensive Medicare to everyone would require much less labor and far less misunderstanding by the public and by health care providers.
The Republicans’ Sabotage of the health care system
In addition to duplicating the Democrats’ Big Lie that taxpayers fund federal spending, the Republicans go much further.
The Trump administration has actively sabotaged Obamacare at many levels. The Secretary of The Department of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, has converted his department from an agency that helps people acquire health care into a powerful, ACA-sabotaging force.
The Department’s function now has transitioned into a Department for Denial of Medical aid to the Poor.
Tom Price Open To Waiving Obamacare’s Individual Mandate
The move by the Health and Human Services secretary would hobble the Obamacare exchanges.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price would not rule out Sunday the possibility of using his regulatory authority to waive the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate that requires all Americans to buy health insurance or pay a tax.
The mandate may result in higher individual costs for Americans who previously went without health insurance, but it also functions as a check on overall costs for people who get their coverage on Obamacare’s individual insurance exchanges by bringing healthy people into the risk pool.
Eliminating the mandate unilaterally is liable to create chaos in the individual exchanges as insurers scramble to offset the departure of healthy enrollees.
By pretending that the federal government cannot afford to pay for health care, the Democrats created the individual mandate. Then the Republicans, continuing to mouth the Big Lie, wish to eliminate the individual mandate, but not replace it with federal funding.
For seven years, the Republicans tried to kill Obamacare and the many millions who depend on it, by voting it out of existence. While that has not worked, they currently try to destroy the program by starving it of funds.
Price has already taken action to effectively discourage enrollment in the Obamacare exchanges. Under his leadership, HHS has used funds earmarked for promoting the Affordable Care Act to blast it on social media and downplay the law’s benefits on the federal agency’s website
Price declined to comment on the possibility that HHS would withhold cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers that subsidize exchange plans for Americans with incomes under 250 percent of the federal poverty level.
Trump implied that he would hold the payments hostage to a successful Obamacare repeal bill. Previous threats not to proceed with the payments sent tremors through the insurance markets.
Ending them would prompt insurers to increase premiums for typical plans by 19 percent, on average, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, and create major disorder in the exchanges.
President Trump has stated he would “allow” Obamacare to implode, but he has gone well beyond “allow.” This is outright sabotage, intentional and intense.
The billionaire President actively is trying to destroy the only health care plan for the poor. His followers say people should be “self-sufficient.” Translation: The federal government should pay for nothing.
As individuals, we are expected not only are to pay for our own health care but our own roads, our own Research & Development, our own Military, our own atomic energy, our own clean water, our own forest management.
In “conservative-world,” we all must be self-sufficient; the government should spend nothing — especially nothing to help the poor.
The Democrats have sabotaged health care for the poor, out of a combination of ignorance and cowardice. Those Dems who understand Monetary Sovereignty simply are afraid to explain it to the populous, lest they falsely are accused of being “socialists.”.
In contrast, the Republicans sabotage health care out of animus. As the “Party of the Rich,” the GOP will do everything possible to widen the Gap between the rich and the poor.
Watch for Trump/GOP sabotage of the poor to get worse and worse, until health care for the poor disappears in America.
This is the American disgrace.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
The single most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the have-mores and the have-less.
Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.
Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:
Ten Steps To Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich can afford better health care than can the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE A MONTHLY ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA (similar to Social Security for All) (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB (Economic Bonus)) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012
Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONE Five reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefitting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE FEDERAL TAXES ON BUSINESS
Businesses are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the federal government (the later having no use for those dollars). Any tax on businesses reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all business taxes reduce your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and business taxes would be a good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.
The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.