Friday, November 15, 2013

On the Topic of Medicare for All (aka "Single Payer")

Some of what's being spitballed around these days, thanks to the uncertainty of the Health Care Transition mess, is a revival of the notion of Medicare for All, previously known as "Single Payer" (a term only a handful of people ever really understood.)

The objections have been coming thick and fast from plenty of so-called "progressives" who are desperate to make the ACA "work." Ah, willing dupes for the insurance cartel are everywhere, aren't they?

Of course it is asserted that they're all Obots, but that doesn't make sense. I don't know that anyone online who is constantly yowling about "Obots" has ever examined their premise. This being the internet, I suppose questions of that sort aren't asked in polite company, but I don't mind saying there is a distinct whiff of racism in the claim that Obama loyalists are mindless Obots for defending this or that indefensible element of his policy prescriptions and political acumen. Obviously, it was a mistake to give black folk and wimmins the vote, right?

One has to ask "who benefits" from these indefensible policies, and they examine the defenses presented, and all of a sudden, the mindless 'bot argument pretty much falls to pieces. The defenders are, in most cases, those who stand to benefit, and they are not mindless at all; they are engaged in a propaganda campaign to ensure they continue benefiting, and for the most part they aren't black folk at all. Even if they were, it wouldn't matter. The issue is the pitch, what they're selling, and who benefits.

The so-called Obots are those who are benefiting the most from these indefensible policies, such as representatives of the hedge-fund, insurance and banking cartels above all. Mindless? Hardly. They know what they are doing, and they know that way too many so-called "progressives" are too gullible to believe. They are easy marks for con artists.

And many of them will defend the con till their last breath. It's sad.

That said, it's obvious who is benefiting from the cock up of a Health Care Transition that's under way, and it isn't We, the Rabble. It is Our Rulers, in all their glory. They are making money, hand over fist, on the cock up itself and on the really terrifying uncertainty that is being deliberately generated thanks to the cock up. Make no mistake, this was all planned months if not years in advance, and from all appearances, things are going as planned. A lot of people are panicking. Many others have been convinced to blame the victims. The Crisis is building to a crescendo. And you know what the neo-libs say about Crises: never let one go to waste, for they are all opportunities to for ever more creative destruction. Here we go again.

And in the background, some of the hippies who were advocating for single payer/Medicare for All (wonder why it took so long to adopt that slogan; if it had been adopted in the first place, a lot of the confusion about "single payer" could have been avoided. But it wasn't adopted till almost the end of the game....) are raising the issue again.

Of course, it would have been much simpler to go that route, and there has even been some chatter that it might have passed if it had ever been offered on the House and Senate floors. (There are bills, but the measures were never offered for a vote that I know of.)

This really isn't rocket science. The simplest way to do it is to gradually reduce the eligibility age to zero, and when the eligibility age reaches zero, everyone born that year and thereafter is automatically enrolled in a comprehensive health care program -- one like Medicare, but one that provides more and better coverage, rather like the supplements or Medicare Advantage do -- and everyone else is made eligible for expanded Medicare if they want it, which most would, it seems to me.

It could be a two year transition or a ten year one, it hardly matters; what matters is creating a universal health care system that eliminates the insurance cartel's hold on the system. It doesn't mean that private health insurance necessarily goes away -- though it should -- it means that the cartels can no longer control access to and the provisions of the health care system.

If the current mess continues -- and it will continue, guaranteed, as long as important people can make money from it -- the calls for Medicare for All will get louder and louder, and if the revolt against the insurance cartel that's brewing gains steam, we may actually see the insurance cartel throwing in the towel and advocating for Medicare-style universal coverage themselves.

It could get that bad.

We'll see. There are powerful forces intent on ensuring that never happens, but these days you never know. Sometimes Our Betters actually give up on something they thought was going to make them so gosh-darned rich without them doing a thing (such as ACA was intended to do.) Then, when they find it is more trouble than it is worth, they drop kick it into oblivion, and what should have been done in the first place looks like a winner.

We'll see.

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