Business leaders must speak up!

Eliminating three words in Medicare law will do it

By Jack E. Lohman

I can hear it now. “Honey, I won’t be home this weekend, we have games to play in the senate… trying to make the public believe we’re working for them while we give the private insurance industry a massive taxpayer subsidy. Kiss the kids for me.”

And that’s from the Democrats!

Even John McCain, who proposed massive “savings” in Medicare when he campaigned, now wants to protect us from democratic efforts to cut the same fraud, over-use and Medicare Advantage subsidies.

His is partisan obstructionism and I hope he wins, but for different reasons.

I hope the $46 million in campaign bribes work as intended and our corrupt politicians kill the current health care bills in Congress. To me, a bad bill is worse than no bill at all. The R’s complain of 2000 pages and dozens of new government departments, and they are right. And having “coverage” you are forced to pay for even if you can’t afford it, is not the “access” we should be proud of.

We need only a minor change in Medicare law; eliminating those three little words “65 and older.”

Medicare should cover everybody, even those on Medicaid, SCHIP and the unemployed. Everybody in, nobody out. Our economy needs it, our businesses need it, and we can cover 100% of our people for the same dollars we are spending today, all by spending the insurance bureaucracy waste on health care instead.

The simplest, most efficient, least costly, most business friendly method of solving our health care crisis is to eliminate the wasteful insurance bureaucracy. Especially small business leaders should embrace a single-payer Medicare-for-all system.

But two critical (sometimes ideological) questions must be addressed:

1) Should this “captive health market” be controlled by the “free market health insurance industry” or should it instead become part of the national infrastructure, as it has in every other industrialized country in the world, and with whom we now compete?

2) Should healthcare even be the responsibility of employers, who now spend 15% of wages on this benefit and have to compete with foreign products that do not have the costs of this burden in their prices?

Surely the Wisconsin Manufacturers Commerce (WMC) and other business associations would most likely say Yes to both. But they have many insurance companies and brokers as paying members who would be negatively affected, so they have an internal conflict between their members that only they can resolve. They also sell health insurance.

But those are potentially serious conflicts that can work against the state’s business community. The resolution is the implementation of a single-payer Medicare-for-all system which would eliminate much of the 15% health benefits costs and provide a bailout for 100% of our corporations, not just the bankers.  That savings could instead be spent on saving old jobs and creating new ones, with obvious benefit to all.

Tidbits

This is NOT a partisan issue. Both Republican and Democrat citizens would benefit equally from a plan done right, but they are being thwarted by both Republicans and Democrats in congress who get money from the insurance industry.

It IS an issue of political corruption. Over $125 million in 2008 alone have been given to political campaigns of both parties, and if this is the way you want your government run you should be very happy.

— We must stop complaining about the corruption in Afghanistan. Political corruption is as bad here and is killing our country in more ways than just health care.

Transparency International listed the U.S. as 19th in their Corruption Perceptions Index. Got that? Our government is 19th in honesty!!! Not first, New Zealand got that, and Canada is 9th.

2 Responses to Business leaders must speak up!

  1. Jo Egelhoff says:

    Just a quick note on your “obstructionism” comment. Chris Bowers (Open Left) detailed all 92 amendments – 47 are from the Democratic caucus, 45 from the Republican. He declared the parties equally “at fault” for delaying the bill. I don’t know that I agree on the “delay” verb (“improve?”), but do agree on the acknowledgment of equal responsibility for time-consuming amendments.

  2. I agree, Jo. Surprised? Many of these are poison pills, each one designed to get under the skin of another faction, and introduced by members from both parties because both parties have shared equally in the $125 million in industry bribes to kill the bill.

    “Improve?” I don’t think that is in their vocabulary.

    “Delay?” No, KILL.

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