November 1, 2013
“You know, it’s great that people get health care. I want everyone to have health care. I want single payer. I want Medicare for everybody. I want it to be like Sweden. I want it to be like the United Kingdom or Canada. I want everyone to have health care. This program (Obamacare), though, is deeply flawed, and I think part of the problem is we let the insurance industry write the legislation, and when the insurance industry, like they did for the prescription plan, Part B (D), when they write the legislation, they stack the deck so they’re the beneficiaries.
Geraldo Rivera Radio, 11/1/2013 – at the 48:55 mark: http://www.wabcradio.com/common/page.php?pt=Geraldo+Podcasts&id=512&is_c…
By Don McCanne, M.D.
Geraldo Rivera was quite sincere when, on his radio show, he discussed briefly the serious flaws of Obamacare and then explicitly supported single payer – Medicare for everybody. This is from a Republican who also has a show (“Geraldo-at-Large”) on the Fox News Channel.
Recently, much of the media attention on single payer has been coming from conservatives who seem to be threatening us with the prospect of single payer as an inevitable outcome of expanded coverage through the Affordable Care Act. They may be correct, but not for the reasons they imply. Rather than ACA being a step closer to single payer, it moves in the direction of expansion of enrollment in private plans, whereas single payer would essentially eliminate private plans.
The real reason that ACA moves us closer to single payer is that the plans are further limiting our choices of physicians and hospitals, and they are shifting an unbearable amount of the costs to patients. Once a critical threshold of patients experience these abuses, the public will demand that everyone be covered with a public program like Medicare.
During our PNHP meeting in Boston last weekend, Fox News broadcast an attack on single pager (likely only coincidental that it was during our meeting). It represents what seems to be an orchestrated attempt to discredit single payer before it gains further traction. If you watch the 7 minute video at the following link, you may find disconcerting the fact that media professionals apparently believe that the intellect of the average American is so low that they would be swayed by their framing. Anyway, I report, you decide: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AS_eKBjW5QM
On a more positive note, there are many Republicans, such as Geraldo Rivera, who do understand and support the single payer model. We need to expand our message beyond the progressive community by increasing our efforts to communicate with Republicans and with the business community.
Tomorrow, November 7, Geraldo Rivera is going to have as a guest on his program, PNHP co-founder David Himmelstein:
WABC at 10:00 AM Eastern (Click on “Listen Live” or listen later to the podcast): http://www.wabcradio.com/common/page.php?pt=Geraldo+Podcasts&id=512&is_c…
Re-posted with permission from pnhp.org.
The lengths to which the Republican Party is trying to sabotage the Affordable Care Act is nothing short of bizarre. Some might say, evil. But this resistance to providing every American with affordable health care isn’t really about health care. It’s really a declaration of war over who deserves the benefits of being a citizen in a nation-state; who deserves the fruits of being an American.
If health reform is allowed to succeed, reactionary arguments against the government’s obligation to provide for the people’s welfare suddenly fall flat. Why – the public would then ask – is the government so awful if it is guaranteeing me the means to keep myself and my family healthy (and therefore, alive)? Hey, maybe the government isn’t so bad after all, and we should have more of it.
Meanwhile, as attacks on the ACA continue and mainstream news outlets act as if the law is headed for failure, the fearful cries against single payer grow ever more shrill in the conservative media. Anti-health reform zealots are the most frightened of a government expansion of Medicare to all Americans because they know the idea would be extremely popular and would help many Americans benefit economically. Calling the ACA – or Obamacare, as it’s come to be known – “socialist” or “Communist” is merely a distraction, when these zealots know full well that the ACA is based on the free-market theories of a conservative think tank. The distraction is meant to keep the public from even considering a better alternative to Obamacare.
But what is so insidious about attacks on efforts to get the United States toward universal health care is that the reactionaries seem to believe that some people aren’t deserving of health care at all. And so, neither are they deserving of a good education, a good job at a living wage, affordable housing, a decent pension in old age, or even food. This means there ought to be two societies in America: one for those who are entitled to all the resources and wealth in the country, and the other for those who can labor in it, but should expect little or nothing in return. In another age, the former class of people would have been called an aristocracy. If an aristocracy is what the reactionaries want for the United States, then they should just come out and say so.
Re-posted from the Daily Kos.
The Real News Network: Why Are People with Health Insurance Going Bankrupt?
Democracy Now!: Is Obamacare Enough? Without Single-Payer, Patwork U.S. Healthcare Leaves Millions Uninsured