Health care corruption…

Why are politicians always on the receiving end?

By Jack E. Lohman

This is not a pretty sight. In 2008 members of congress received $46 million from the insurance industry and $400 million from the complete health care complex. You might ask, Why would this money be given if it didn’t buy or block policy? Aren’t these patient dollars to begin with?

The last thing in the world the insurers want is a good public system competing with a good private system. Neither do the politicians. The private system cannot come close on price because of excessive costs not seen in the public plan. Like broker commissions, high CEO salaries, high shareholder profits, marketing and actuarial costs, and even their lobbying and campaign contributions that must be passed on to the patient.

The privates want to do away with the public option and so do the politicians. Not just because of the $46 million in bribes that they’ve already received from the industry, but because going forward private entities can continue loading up their campaign coffers, and public entities like Medicare cannot give political cash.

Politicians will always prefer private over public for this reason. And this is why they prefer mandates to buy “private” insurance, even if some is taxpayer subsidized. But “mandates” are just more of the same waste we’ve been trying to get rid of.

Why else would they block more efficient health care? In this case the politicians get a share of the private system but zero from the public system. They even get a piece of the taxpayer-subsidized dollars, and they get some patient dollars as a sweetener.

Aren’t politicians great?

And of course even if we win this the insurers will continue bribing the politicians to weaken whatever efficiencies we achieve, just as they are doing in Canada to destroy their system. A weak system gives both parties another shot at the prize, and that’s also why they seek to preserve the right to make campaign bribes.

As long as we keep playing with the words we give them wiggle room. Public option or not, single payer or not, mandated insurance or not… they can keep dancing around the real issue. Money. They are getting paid campaign bribes to cannibalize the system to the benefit of the insurers and to the detriment of the public.

We MUST start calling this what it is… political corruption. It may be an “issue,” but its one that generates loads of campaign cash.

Until we achieve full public funding of campaigns, it is what it is. Live with it, or change it.

3 Responses to Health care corruption…

  1. John R. Peterson says:

    The single payer health care system in Canada is not what some have made it out to be. The lady who was featured in some ads (pro status quo) on U.S. networks has denounced the fact that she had been edited out of context and stated clearly that she supports the Canadian system regardless of its imperfections.

    In Canada the health care system is administered by the provinces and not by the federal government; the federal government only allocates funds to the provinces. It was the federal government which made it mandatory for the provinces to provide the service to all residents. Big government is no more popular up here than it is south of the 48th. I thought it worth mentioning.

    Personally I have paid for health insurance in the U.S. when I lived and worked there (I’m a US citizen) and have used it (was hospitalized once) when the cost was affordable to both individuals and employers. I am now living in Canada and can tell you that the $600CDN it costs for universal health care here nowadays, keeping in mind that universal means no denial of coverage period, makes a world of difference. You can make your own calculations; make sure you’re sitting down when you do.

    The peace of mind the universal system provides residents here also contributes to less stress, a significant health factor alone. I have been in surgery four times, two of which were life and death circumstances, and I could not get reasonably affordable coverage were I still residing in the U.S., if I were even able to get it.

    None of the people covered by this plan would consider changing for what our U.S. neighbors have. I have wealthy friends who can afford the cost of U.S. plans but they feel the same as everyone else. There is a shortage of physicians and nurses here just like in the U.S. so it’s not perfect; the system will pay for the rare cases of those who must seek services outside of Canada, but then US HMO’s have been reported to send some patients (pleased with the service) to India for treatment because the net cost of their treatment was prohibitive.

    CNN made a series of reports on health care systems in Europe and Canada this past summer, comparing them to the American one. The results debunked the notion that U.S. Health Care is the best and made it abundantly clear that it was the most costly. All the major industrial countries have figured out the cost issue and have opted for an affordable universal system. The voters in those countries have also chosen health care to be a right and I hope the US voters do the same.

    I read and observed that emergency rooms of hospitals are overwhelmed at times both here and in the US but I noticed that there is here, at least in Quebec though I trust it is the same in other provinces, a network of private and public clinics that goes a long way in alleviating the hospital’s emergency rooms situation. The state pays the private clinics which have physicians participating in the universal program but there are also completely private clinics with physicians who have opted out of the program, only a very few; the latter are paid solely by the patients.

    I have American friends who have also made their home here and they like the system; one of them has also resided and worked in France for years and would praise that system if asked.

  2. Thanks for your feedback, John. It’s very helpful to hear it directly from a Canadian resident rather than American special interests that want into our pocket… and you guys are standing in their way. The truth won’t help them so they make up lies.

    Yes, Canadians may have wait times, but that’s because they squeeze more out of their system than we do. And your fix is simply to spend more money than you do. Increase your spending by 10% and wait times will disappear. Our problem is far more serious.

    But maybe in the end, with all of the lies we spread, your politicians will be encouraged to spend those dollars and improve your system. The US may continue being the losers, but hopefully Canadians will win something from this.

  3. Jimmy Guy says:

    The health care program that we have in canada as mentioned by peterson is helpful for him, however in situations like myself it is not.My friend was a lawyer and was sued because a patient supposedly did not want to be treated with the antibiotics they used. My brothers sons girlfriends daughter passed away because the doctors couldnt see her fast enough. Yes isrtuggled in the u.s but i am seriously debating whether to move back there.
    There health industry does have plenty problems on its own but i dont agree with a more universal plan anymore now that I fully undrstand all the losses and corruption we face with the government. I dont see how nobody saw this before hand. Governments are corrupt we see it all the time, in movies and stuff exspercially but something fishy is going on here and I;m not going to stay around to find out what it is.
    So as my conclusion thanks John for this article, I agree with you on some level, in general however all health care industries have there faults but universal programs do not fix it as people are let out to believe.

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