Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

Friday, December 05, 2014

Socialized Medicine



Like air - at this point free, though not always clean - medical attention should be free and abundant for all.  But the free enterprise-niks got their greedy hands on dispensing health care and turned it into a profit machine.  In fact many of those same interlocking corporate entities that own the 'health insurance' gambit are doing alot of the polluting.  They have no real incentive to stop poisoning us.

Last Monday I made my first trip to the Veterans Administration (VA) hospital complex at Togus here in Maine near Augusta.  I had recently applied for coverage and was accepted into the VA program.  I have a few nagging medical issues and thought I should get into the VA system while I am still kicking.

I'd never been to Togus before but it is a huge place - almost looks like a college with their red brick medical campus.  A covered walkway connects the many buildings where thousands of Maine veterans get excellent medical care.

After my introductory appointment with my new doctor I walked the halls of the hospital.  I had some time on my hands because the van that picked me at my door and would return me home would not be available for another two hours.  I had on my new VFP knit cap that I bought while in St. Louis from the national office.  Many of the vets there at Togus wore various service jackets and hats.  I saw no visible signs of any anti-war thinking but knew in my heart that many had to harbor such feelings on some level.

I felt some guilt being able to walk into Togus and have a red carpet thrown out for me just because I had been in the Air Force during the Vietnam War.  I couldn't help but think of all the deserving people across the country that have no health care or are paying a high-price for insurance that in the final analysis is making some corporation wealthy.  Shouldn't all US citizens (human beings) get this socialized medicine?

I read something along these lines the other day by Iowa's outgoing Sen. Tom Harkin who I used to think alot of.  But over the years, like most Democrats in power, he repeatedly let our side down.  Here he acknowledges that the Dems essentially took an unneeded dive when they went with the ObamaCare program (basically a giant corporate subsidy) instead of creating a single-payer health care system for everyone.

Sen. Tom Harkin, one of the co-authors of the Affordable Care Act, now thinks Democrats may have been better off not passing it at all and holding out for a better bill.

The Iowa Democrat who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, laments the complexity of legislation the Senate passed five years ago.

He wonders in hindsight whether the law was made overly complicated to satisfy the political concerns of a few Democratic centrists who have since left Congress.

“We had the power to do it in a way that would have simplified healthcare, made it more efficient and made it less costly and we didn’t do it,” Harkin told The Hill. “So I look back and say we should have either done it the correct way or not done anything at all.

"What we did is we muddled through and we got a system that is complex, convoluted, needs probably some corrections and still rewards the insurance companies extensively,” he added.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Sullen Boy said...

The number one-ranked health insurance in the country is a mont-for-proft company based in Boston where its leaders have been instrumental in rooting our insurance fraud by both providers and policy holders. While I will admit to lots of abuse and disastrous management and oversight in the health care arena (especially the VA), there ware functional and effective approaches in place. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater,

12/5/14, 11:37 PM  

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