Sunday, July 15, 2007

Should It Be About Profits?

Health care is at center stage with the movie 'Sicko'. As expected the pharms and radical righters are swiftboating the entire effort. This is a good post that makes a response to them. Read it here.

This is a portion of it.

Pharmaceutical industry profits climbed from $64.4 billion in 2002 to $94.8 billion in 2006. During the same period, insurance companies’ profits more than doubled from $20.8 billion to $57.5 billion.
Some hospitals, too, are blooming with fiscal health. Record aggregate profits reached $26.3 billion in 2004, thanks in part to the astronomical markups they charge patients. The top 40 hospitals added 2,319 percent on drugs, 5,090 percent on medical supplies, and 1,073 percent on operating room charges.
The 20 largest HMOs sucked in $10.8 billion in profits in 2004, with 19 percent for overhead verses 1 percent in the non-profit Canadian national health insurance program.
While these figures are enough to sicken anyone, the number that really scares the health care industry is the percent of Americans who prefer not just universal coverage, but a single-payer government-run system that cuts out private insurance. An ABC News/Washington Post poll put the figure at 62 percent.

The first predictable response of the radical right when it comes to Nationalized Health care is (all together now) SOCIALISM! For some reason they seem to prefer offering support to the for profit model of healthcare. I have heard all the arguments and if anyone would like to make them feel free. It doesn't work as a pure for profit business. The next argument you hear is that government can't do anything right hence we should leave it to private enterprise. Many things that work well are 'socialized'. Many private enterprises fail. And vis versa. That is a non argument.
Next you hear about how much it will cost in TAXES! A total red herring and in the long run this part is something the radical right should favor as friendly to business. Health care should be the shared responsibility of all of us and not up to business owners. Freeing this capitol for business owners would seem to be the cats meow to the radical righters yet they argue against it. What is it they believe in again?
Right now for insurance it costs from 300 dollars a person to over 1000 dollars a month for a smaller family. The taxes would be far less than that. We have systems all over the world to examine. There is no reason we couldn't choose the best and most economical pieces of each of them. The hard work is already done. I think we should keep the private insurance option open to any one that wants to opt for it or wants another choice.
These enormous profits are concentrating more and more of our wealth in one segment of our economy and, while I am far from an economist, I don't think that is good for our economy in the long run.

Is It Impeachment Yet?

Bill Moyers featured conservative, former Reagan official Bruce Fein and a liberal journalist from The Nation on the subject of administrative malfeasance concerning the Constitution and the idea of impeachment.
I am happy to say I got several emails on this. I saw the end of it the other night and have since viewed the whole thing. It is a 45 minute program. If you have DSL the PBS site streams pretty well. Take some time to watch when you can.

Watch it here.

It is vital that we hold the President and Vice President accountable to their oath to faithfully execute the laws of the United States. Whether they like them or not. It is not their prerogative to change or adjust the laws they don't like. To allow this to happen sets presedence. To allow this to continue under any President or party is utterly unacceptable. The argument to hold on to these powers makes far more sense if Bush and Cheney are not held accountable. Those that argue for these powers for the current administration are also making the argument for the next administration. Bush and Cheney MUST be held accountable even if it concludes after they are out of office. We must PROVE we are a nation of laws and not a nation of men.

Are we subjects or are we citizens?