It takes only two things to keep people in chains:
The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders.
It simply is maddening, the misinformation you have been receiving about Medicare and Medicare for All.
Those of you who are on Medicare, and even those who are not, understand that the program is an insurance program. Let me repeat that: MEDICARE IS AN INSURANCE PROGRAM.
It takes the place of private insurance.
Like Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and other health care insurance companies, Medicare does not own hospitals, does not employ health care workers and does not own pharmaceutical companies. It is insurance.
You might expect that to be obvious to anyone who has not been living in a cave for the past 50 years, and it especially should be obvious to people who write articles about Medicare.
So, how can we explain the following article that appeared in Reason.com?
Most Americans Want Government-Run Health Care Until They Find Out the Government Will Run Health Care
And when they find out it means higher taxes, support crumbles further.
Eric Boehm|Sep. 12, 2017
Public support for single-payer health care is growing—in fact, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll in July found a majority of Americans support it—but that increase comes with an important caveat.
Most Americans only want government-run health care until they find out that it means the government will run their health care.
Wrong, wrong, wrong, and did I mention, wrong.
Medicare for All is not “government run“ health care. It’s government funded insurance for health care. Is it really possible that the author, Eric Boehm doesn’t understand the difference?
An example of government run health care is the Veterans’ Administration, which is part of the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs is a benefit system for veterans, their families, and survivors that is run by the federal government. As part of the benefit system, the VA owns and operates many VA hospitals across the country.
See the difference? If so, please contact Mr. Boehm at Eric.Boehm@Reason.com, and educate him.
Here is more nonsense from Mr. Boehm:
I thought about that this morning while reading J.D. Tuccille’s excellent piece asking, “Are You Sure You Want Medicare For All?”
He walks through the various ways government-run health care seems to be appealing—it means families no longer have to bear the cost of heartbreaking medical disasters on their own, for example—and the far greater number of reasons why government-run health care would be a fiscal, political, and medical disaster
Sorry to be redundant, but it isn’t “government run health care.” It is government funded health care.
No one says health care is “insurance company run,” so why do they talk about “government run”? There is a reason. It’s part of the scare tactics funded by the insurance industry.
Anyway, the hospitals still would be privately owned and operated. The doctors and nurses still would be privately employed. The pharmaceutical companies still would be privately operated. In short, health care would continue to be privately run, not government run.
Jumping through bureaucratic hurdles for the privilege of accepting substandard compensation isn’t as attractive as it might seem.
That may be why a growing number of physicians refuse to see Medicare patients, others limit the number they’ll accept, and more balk all the time.
Here, Boehm is onto something. The fact is that Medicare doesn’t pay doctors and hospitals enough.
There is no financial reason for this. Unlike privately owned insurance companies, the federal government cannot run short of dollars. Medicare easily could pay doctors double, triple, or ten time what it now pays.
Here, the problem is the myth we often have discussed — the myth that the federal debt and deficit are too large, “unsustainable,” and should be reduced.
It’s utter nonsense, but it is the prevailing lie — the Big Lie — emanating from Congress and the insurance industry.
Under a single-payer system, options for medical providers may be more limited than they are now—there probably wouldn’t be any better-paying private insurers to take by preference to the government system.
There is no reason why options for medical providers may be more limited than they are now. Because the federal government is far better able to afford to provide options than are any private insurance companies, options should be greater with Medicare for All.
But there also wouldn’t be any private insurers to effectively subsidize Medicare patients.
In the case of a single-payer transition, doctors who find the terms of Medicare for All unacceptable may switch entirely to private-pay (if that’s still permitted), while some percentage will leave medicine entirely.
There is no reason why anyone needs to “subsidize” Medicare. Even the existence of today’s Medicare Supplement insurance is based on the myth that the federal government can’t afford to pay the entire bill.
A true Medicare for All program would provide free, comprehensive, no-deductible health care insurance for every man, woman, and child in America.
There is not a single financial reason why the federal government cannot provide such a program.
Sadly, Bernie Sanders has been afraid to say it. He proposed a so-called Medicare for All program that is financially limited.
Considering the potential for switching over to single-payer in The Atlantic, Olga Khazan predicts “Hospitals would shut down, and waits for major procedures would extend from a few weeks to several months.”
This is the classic scare tactic funded by the private insurance companies. Even today, 60% of hospital patients are funded by Medicare, Medicaid, or other government programs:
- Medicare: 40.9 percent
- Medicaid: 17.2 percent
- Blue Cross Blue Shield, other private insurance: 16.5 percent
- HMO or PPO: 14 percent
- Self-pay: 4.9 percent
- Worker’s compensation and other government programs: 2 percent
And even with the unnecessarily stingy payments, most hospitals in America are thriving. (The ones having financial problems generally are the rural, smaller hospitals, and they simply are not receiving enough insurance money.)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are getting ready to unveil a Medicare-for-all scheme.
Expect that issue to feature prominently in the 2018 midterm election as Democrats try to win back control of Congress.
Expect it to be based on the Big Lie that federal deficit spending should be reduced.
Yet despite the Big Lie, that has caused ACA (Obamacare) to be an unnecessarily complex, convoluted Rube Goldbergian plan, still the program covers millions of people the private insurance industry did not cover.
Republicans have botched their efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare so badly that the threat of single-payer is real, and growing.
The “threat” of single payer? Does the use of the word “threat” leave any doubt that this article was written at the behest of the private insurance industry.
Yes, the private insurance companies regard single payer as a “threat,” and with good reason. Their high rates, high deductibles, plan limits, and their refusal to cover sick people and specialized medicines and expensive treatments has made them vulnerable to a plan that offers total, endless coverage for every person, and at zero cost.
That July Kaiser survey suggests that Americans aren’t actually ready to jump on the single-payer train. (The Sanders/Warren “Medicare-for-all” plan would not be a true national single-payer system, but would amount to putting more Americans into government-run health plans. Kaiser’s poll used both “single-payer” and “Medicare-for-all” interchangeably.)
So long as the right-wing debt hawks support the insurance industry rather than the public, and so long as they provide scare (false) information to the public — and so long as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren don’t have the courage to tell the public the truth — we will see such poll results.
The public is being misled by the insurance companies and the debt hawks, and as we repeatedly have said (in previous posts):
It takes only two things to keep people in chains:
The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders.
While 55 percent of Americans say they want a single-payer/Medicaid-for-all plan, those in favor tend to change their minds when they hear that it means giving the government more control over health care, or that Americans would have to pay more in taxes.
Right. People change their minds when they are told, falsely, that the government would control health care and taxes would go up. Neither is true.
Doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies would continue to provide health care, and there is absolutely no reason why taxes would go up.
In fact, FICA could be completely eliminated, and the federal government still could provide Medicare to every man, woman, and child in America.
That tracks with other polling on the issue. A May poll from the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California found support for single-payer state healthcare at 65 percent statewide, but that number dropped to 42 percent when respondents were told at least $50 billion in new taxes would be required to pay for it.
That’s a pretty optimistic view of the taxes that would be required to pay for single-payer in California; the actual cost would be well over $100 billion annually.
No, that is the Big Lie. Neither $50 billion nor $100 billion would be necessary to pay for it. No tax dollars at all are necessary.
The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, creates brand new dollars, ad hoc, every time it pays a bill.
Are you sure you want government-run health care? Many Americans don’t seem to understand the question. But once they do, the answer is “no.”
Sure, once Americans intentionally are given the wrong information, they answer, “No.”
To repeat: It takes only two things to keep people in chains: The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders.
In this case, knowledge is easily obtained. Ignorance is a choice.
What choice will the public make?
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.