Three options for Health Care, Part 3

Now we’re really in trouble… we’re talking “socialized medicine!”

By Jack E. Lohman

The reality is that — one way or another — we Americans, 100% of us, pay for 100% of all nationwide healthcare costs. Whether through increased employer costs that are passed on to the consumers at the cash registers, or through taxation. So, the big question is,

“why don’t we do this the right way from the beginning? Eliminate all unnecessary costs for industry profit and over-use and fraud, and just pay the damned bill and move on to fixing our real national issues???”

Yes, we hear all of these terrible things about Canada’s and Britain’s systems, but we hear it mostly from the for-profit insurance and private interests that also want to make their country’s system privatized and profitable like (God forbid) America’s!

The actual public — the peons and patients — love what they have because it gets the thing done — better, and at half the cost of America’s profit-making system, which is set to satisfy only the vultures.

Polls show that 80% of Canadians prefer their system to ours. Yes there are wait times for non-critical procedures, but not for urgent needs. And they could even eliminate the waits they have by increasing their spending from 10% to 12% of GDP (ours is 17.5%).

The most efficient is the V.A. Medical Center

Think Walter Reed and Bethesda Medical Center, government-run systems that have cared for (the well-respected) Dick Cheney and other government bigwigs. Not too shabby, I would say.

Yea, the V.A. system is currently overloaded because of the wars, but give them all of our private hospitals and physician clinics and they’d do a lot better than our privatized system. And incidentally, let them buy the failing Mt. Sinai here in Milwaukee and start the ball rolling.

Oh, but the right-wing ideologues would have kittens. “Government run??? You’ve got to be kidding!!!”

And clearly they’d have some good arguments. Government bureaucrats are sometimes worse than profit gougers. There’s just no in-between.

Or is there?

Let’s have the Federal Government (taxpayers) subcontract Universal Health Care to Halliburton or Boeing (okay, just kidding but you get the point) or another well-respected non-profit private entity. Expand the V.A. system to all Americans!

We taxpayers would be the only shareholders, and we’d establish a non-partisan board of directors (picked not by politicians but by a combination of health care professionals).

The only incentive will be executive wages, paid on a performance basis, which would be established by the board. With a $1 million CEO salary cap. And employee salaries. The doctors would be salaried (very well, I might add) with only one goal: good, solid, patient care.

And the estimated trillion-dollar-per-year savings?

We’ll find a place for it.

All of this may make sense but it is not accompanied by a campaign check. So making it happen will be difficult.

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