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Cole writes: "The sadism and greed of the American Republican Party was on full display Thursday, as the House GOP voted to destroy Obamacare and remove the coverage for pre-existing conditions (50 million Americans suffer from them)."

Trumpcare will make health insurance too expensive again for the 40 million people who were uninsured in 2008. (photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Trumpcare will make health insurance too expensive again for the 40 million people who were uninsured in 2008. (photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)


Trumpcare Is the Best Advertisement for Nationalizing Insurance

By Juan Cole, Informed Comment

06 May 17

 

he sadism and greed of the American Republican Party was on full display Thursday, as the House GOP voted to destroy Obamacare and remove the coverage for pre-existing conditions (50 million Americans suffer from them). Oh, this sabotage is camouflaged, but the way Trumpcare would work would make health insurance too expensive again for the 40 million people who were uninsured in 2008. People will be shifted into pricey high-risk pools. Ending the individual mandate would ensure that healthy young people were exempted from having coverage, making it impossible to establish pools so private insurers can cover pre-existing conditions or chronic ones and still remain in business.

Apparently what the old white men of the GOP minded most of all about Obamacare was that it removed from the more racist states in the union the ability to shield rich white taxpayers from paying to keep the children of minorities alive. (Their image of the situation is anyway false; half of those living below the poverty line are white).

Here are some of the countries that are better than the US Republican Party:

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran has pledged universal health coverage in Iran by 2018. The GOP is always going on about how Iran is the world’s major sponsor of terrorism (this is not true), but even these bloodthirsty ghouls apparently are better than US Republicans inasmuch as they want to make sure poor children don’t have to just die for lack of money to pay for treatments.

Then there is China, where the government has successfully covered all 1.3 billion citizens. The Republican Party has made its way in the world by promising that if some businessmen are allowed to get fabulously wealthy that will lift all boats. What they said Thursday is that there are 40 million boats they won’t be lifting. But now the Chinese Communist Party has shown that it really can lift all boats.

Given the serious commitment of the Chinese Communist Party to green energy and meeting the goals of the Paris Accord, and the way in which it has lifted over a billion people out of poverty and given them universal health care, it seems obviously a superior party to the American GOP if you don’t happen to be a billionaire. It used to be boasted by the US Republicans that they provided an increased standard of living as well as democratic freedoms, but they don’t seem nearly as committed to either of these goals as Beijing is.

It is not clear why there is private health insurance. There are some things that the market does poorly and should be nationalized, as is the case in most advanced countries. The electric grid is another. The American myth that all government enterprises are inefficient and monopolistic ignores the fact that most large corporations in the US are de facto monopolies and are not particularly efficient.

The one percent who profit from health insurance will also try to tell you that government health care takes forever to see you. America’s privatized system also can take a long time to see you. Anyway, nationalizing health insurance would not stop people from going to a private hospital and paying out of pocket if they wanted to.

Here are the countries with a single payer system, which is defined this way “The government provides insurance for all residents (or citizens) and pays all health care expenses except for co-pays and coinsurance. Providers may be public, private, or a combination of both.”

Norway 1912 Single Payer
Japan 1938 Single Payer
United Kingdom 1948 Single Payer
Kuwait 1950 Single Payer
Sweden 1955 Single Payer
Bahrain 1957 Single Payer
Brunei 1958 Single Payer
Canada 1966 Single Payer
United Arab Emirates 1971 Single Payer
Finland 1972 Single Payer
Slovenia 1972 Single Payer
Luxembourg 1973 Insurance Mandate
Italy 1978 Single Payer
Portugal 1979 Single Payer
Cyprus 1980 Single Payer
Spain 1986 Single Payer
Iceland 1990 Single Payer

None of these countries is bankrupt. In fact, health care costs in these states are lower than in the United States and in many of them health statistics are superior to those of the US. Spain, Iceland, the UK, Portugal and Italy all have a life expectancy higher than the US.

Over a dozen other advanced countries have a two-tier system: “Two-Tier: The government provides or mandates catastrophic or minimum insurance coverage for all residents (or citizens), while allowing the purchase of additional voluntary insurance or fee-for service care when desired.”

Many two-tier countries also have lower health care costs and better health statistics than the US.

The US is the only advanced economy where millions are left without health insurance and are one illness away from bankruptcy and one paycheck away from dying or seeing their children die.

Even developing countries like Ecuador have quadrupled spending on health care and have markedly improved the lives of those living under the poverty line.

Raw American capitalism hasn’t increased the average wage of the average worker since 1970. It apparently can’t provide universal health care insurance to Americans. It is time for the American public to realize it is being taken for a ride. There are several industries that need to be nationalized. The electrical grid and some utilities are on the list, in order to fight climate change. But really, the only proper response to the vicious brutality that is Trumpcare is to punish the insurance companies who bought and paid for the congressmen that voted it in, by just having the government take over their industry.

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-15 # BobboMax 2017-05-06 13:46
Yeah, but none of those places are AMERICA!, so whatever they're doing, it's not as good as what we do in AMERICA!
 
 
+4 # mhapke45@gmail.com 2017-05-06 20:43
Is this supposed to be satire?
 
 
+3 # madame de farge 2017-05-08 20:09
I sure hope so.. It is hard to believe that the Pukes could mess up health care worse than Obama and the Dems...Go figure, the French see their doctors twice as often as we do and stay in the hospital twice as long, but their healthcare costs half what ours does and their TAKES CARE OF 100% of the population....
 
 
0 # reiverpacific 2017-05-09 11:22
Quoting BobboMax:
Yeah, but none of those places are AMERICA!, so whatever they're doing, it's not as good as what we do in AMERICA!


Written in satirical terms, right?!
 
 
+57 # Lgfoot 2017-05-06 14:03
The $500,000,000,00 0.00 a year that insurance companies drain out of healthcare would easily provide coverage for those excluded under the current situation without even considering the savings from a result oriented system of care. The congressman from Florida was right; the Republican healthcare plan is: If you get sick, hurry top and die.
 
 
+38 # Jim Rocket 2017-05-06 14:22
It couldn't be more clear. Thanks Mr. Cole.
 
 
+63 # fresh aire 2017-05-06 14:24
What kind of health care coverage do
1) members of the US Congress and their staffs;
2) members of the US Senate and their staffs have?

If their health coverage is good for them and their staff, why not make that same health care program for the American public?

Or, another way of saying this is:
Congress and their staff must use the same health care program they create/design i.e. enact for the American Public.
What's good enough for their constituents must be good enough for them.
 
 
+6 # Lolanne 2017-05-07 11:37
According to snopes (http://www.snopes.com/members-congress-health-care/), health care for members of congress is rather complicated. They definitely do have some advantages over the public, but their health care is not free. The last line of that snopes article is significant: "If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, members of Congress have a fallback plan. They would be able to return to the FEHBP. Twenty million other Americans won’t." And, of course, the House just got their repeal of the ACA through and it is now in the hands of the Senate.
 
 
+42 # Jaax88 2017-05-06 14:27
Right. It is about time some thoughtful person lays out important facts on single-payer verses trumpcare to show how mean and Scrooge-like the GOP is. It is showing nothing but its mendacious character. I have come to believe the GOP
(not all by the way)and and a good many of the wealthy class are liars and bad folks intent on keeping their status and ill gotten gains intact. They in their roles are bad for the public at large and the country as a whole.
 
 
+33 # maggetybrick 2017-05-06 14:44
WE SHOULD BE ASHAMED!!!!!!!!
 
 
+31 # Colleen Clark 2017-05-06 16:23
Using just this list of 15 countries, which are reported to have national health insurance, and using the CIA data on life expectancy, only Bahrein (76.9), Brunei (77.7) Kuwait (78.0), Slovenia (78.2) and the UAE (77.5) have lower life expectancy than the US (79.8).
All the other countries, small (Luxembourg, 82.3) and large (Japan,85..0) have longer life expectancy than the US and all of them are 80.0 years and more.
 
 
+7 # librarian1984 2017-05-06 17:41
Our infant mortality rate is going UP. And 20% of US children live in poverty and don't get regular meals.
 
 
+2 # madame de farge 2017-05-08 20:11
and we sure do not want to discuss the water pollution and the GMOs....
 
 
+55 # sashapyle 2017-05-06 16:30
Those countries aren't bankrupt because they don't squander everything on the military and their corrupt contractors.
Our only value to Republicans is as victims that can have every moment of our labor and every penny of our earnings squeezed out of us to enrich their golf buddies.
 
 
+4 # RLF 2017-05-08 07:24
That is sooo last century. Our only use to them now is as consumers that they can squeeze and steal from some more. Time for a purge of the upper bourgeois!
 
 
+13 # HStone 2017-05-06 17:14
It's a moral question.

It is immoral for a Christian to enrich himself through the suffering of the poor. It's also immoral for a Jew, or a Muslim.

It's also immoral for a human being.
 
 
+5 # angelfish 2017-05-06 18:00
How embarrassing. I had thought we had made SOME progress as a species but it seems SO many more countries in the Free World have outstripped us in more ways than one! We are inured to the "company Line" that we are the "Greatest" country in the World. Sadly, NOT anymore, when you have a pack of jackals who have overtaken the RePublican Party and turned it into their OWN private Country Club, NO real Americans need apply! We REALLY need to fix this mess or else we will be "goose-Stepped" BACK to the Last Century where we SHOULD have learned the lesson. Like Israel, we'll become a footnote in the History of the World Called, "HOW to destroy a decent, Freedom Loving Country", as so many other powerful, never-the-less, Failed, Regimes have before us!
 
 
+6 # oakes721 2017-05-06 18:53
.
Sowing carcinogenic seeds in pesticides and fracking poisons throughout the lands, with comatose regulators, when the cancers inevitably come, it's harvest time for the portfolios of diversely invested corporations. Farming illness itself to make a killing from destruction, from failing health in the Great American Petri Dish.
.
America's economic engine has become wholly a destructive device. In the darkness of secrecy and deceit, no enemy could do as much vicious damage to a people, to a land called home.
.
 
 
0 # chapdrum 2017-05-09 13:39
We live in a country where it is legal for oil companies to (a) sell oilfield wastewater to farmers, who (b) are allowed to use it on their crops. We live in a country where the known carcinogen BpA (bisphenol A) is used in food packaging, jar lids and cash register receipts. Note that in some markets (in Calif.), there are notices at checkout counters warning customers (that is, people who eat) that some food product packages containg BpA. Instead of removing the known carcinogen, industry is allowed to continue using it and, instead, the onus is on the eater.
 
 
+1 # stevee19304@gmail.com 2017-05-06 22:07
I believe that HR 676, Medicare For All, is still a possibility. I have sent LOTS of emails to Democratic politicians asking them why ALL Democrats aren't pushing for it.
None of them answer. Some of them believe that if it were introduced and voted on, it would lose. Might be better to wait until Democrats control House, Senate, and presidency.
 
 
+7 # elkingo 2017-05-07 01:02
Best all around statement of it yet. What is it gonna take to throw these pigs out of office?
The whole administration is psychopathic.
 
 
+8 # Indie 2017-05-07 07:48
This is valuable information to have. Let us use it to wipe the grins from the faces of those greedy, white Republican politicians in November 2018.
 
 
+2 # heraldmage 2017-05-07 16:56
We need Medicare for all(Part A Hospital paid by payroll tax; Part B doctors & outpatient option self paid premium). It is system that has been efficiently operating for decades with an overhead of 3%.
Under Medicare Part B your premium is means tested. The deductible is set and you have a 20% co-pay. Part B patients can go to any doctor or clinic that accepts Medicare, there is no pre-authorizati on for treatment or diagnostic tests & you can go to a specialist without a referral. Medicare pays quickly although reimbursement is set by Congress.
CMS, Medicare administrators, annual review of disease diagnosis & treatment is preformed by committees of specialist physician, allied healthcare specialist, medial industry & pharmaceutical representatives . Purposed changes to the code are subject to public comment & review before they become permanent. Most for profit insurance companies use the Medicare coding & disease diagnosis & treatment guidelines.
Basically we have a public option, single payer system that is up & running servicing seniors & the disabled. If everyone paid into Medicare Part B premiums & co-pays could be reduced and dental & vision could be added.
If the Medicare advantage programs were eliminated Medicare would be in better shape, but Congress wanted to destroy Medicare by letting insurance companies take the low medical risk patients leaving Part B to be a medium & high risk pool.
 
 
0 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-05-07 20:23
This is an important point --

"Given the serious commitment of the Chinese Communist Party to green energy and meeting the goals of the Paris Accord, and the way in which it has lifted over a billion people out of poverty and given them universal health care, it seems obviously a superior party to the American GOP"

And superior to the Democratic party, too. Or more simply, China has a more democratic government than the US. Russia has a more democratic government than the US. Democracy means government "of the people, for the people and by the people." It is clear that over the last 50 years or so, the majority of the tremendous economic growth in CHina and in Russia has gone to the people and not the ruling elite. In the US the government has rigged the economy so that nearly all economic increases to to the 1%

I'm in China now and have been her for about a month. China is clearly a more prosperous nation than the US. Contruction is everywhere. China is fulfilling Mao's dreams -- a nation that is free, equal, modern, and prosperous. China is progressing.

The US is going backward, becoming less free, less modern, less equal, and less prosperous. This has been the design of republicans and democrats since Reagan. Austerity has undemocraticall y been forced on the American people. They are powerless to change it, although they deeply want to. Obama promised change and he betrayed the. Trump, too.
 
 
+1 # madame de farge 2017-05-08 20:16
Well you know the Chinese execute the people who commit fraud on massive scale. We don't, we even applaud them for their lies to Congress.... and Congress waits with their hands out for the next bribe...
 
 
0 # DongiC 2017-05-09 06:51
So a lot of countries spend more money on health than the US does. We are way ahead when it comes to military expenditures. And, don't guns really count? Just ask the republicans. They prefer weapons to assistance for the poor and disabled and how else to make America great again? It's something else living in the asylum.
 
 
0 # reiverpacific 2017-05-09 11:25
Quoting DongiC:
So a lot of countries spend more money on health than the US does. We are way ahead when it comes to military expenditures. And, don't guns really count? Just ask the republicans. They prefer weapons to assistance for the poor and disabled and how else to make America great again? It's something else living in the asylum.


Or in other words, you get guns to injure, maim or kill folks anywhere but healing care is not s readily available when it's most needed.
 
 
0 # chapdrum 2017-05-09 13:34
A super way to normalize 45 is to use the oxymoron "Trumpcare."
 

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