I've regularly berated Dear Leader for not pursuing single-payer national health care. As part of that, I've regularly mentioned the lack of cost controls in Obamacare, including stating that electronic patient records may have been a neoliberal's techie idea of what might work as cost control, but actually don't, at least not so far. I've also talked about cost controls as an issue in general, such as when Vermont decided to end the idea of a state-level single-payer system.
That said, I'm now ready to think that, if we'd had a president with both balls, and convictions, back in 2009 (the only conviction Obama has is for being worse than Bush in the War on Terror, as I see it, along with being worse than Bush in thinking technology + capitalism will solve anything), we should have gone to a "Medicare for All" or other single payer system.
To exactly what my header says.
A full government-run health care provider system. And, not just one that makes doctors, nurses and other medical staff into government employees, but one that nationalizes for-profit hospitals, which are their own type of vulture, and (since the NFL is a non-profit organization) carefully controls non-profit hospitals.
We need to drop a neutron bomb on the entire current U.S. health care system, raze it to the ground, and make it publicly controlled. (Just like Obama should have taken over banks in 2009, but there you go.)
What's brought me to this point?
A column by Chris Tomlinson noting that within Wall Street's own "1 percent," it's led by two industries: High-tech (no surprise) and health care.
And, this piece showing one health care company CEO getting $100 million, in 1 year. Back in 2009, when Obamacare was being discussed!
And, per my patient records link, not only is it not saving money, it's costing money and the companies who make programs for such record-keeping are making a killing.
We should have had a president with balls and convictions enough to say something like this:
Dear Americans: The only way I can reasonably see to take full control of spiraling health costs, to not only cover all Americans with medical insurance but also to keep that cost from spiraling onward and upward, is to create a true National Health System, like Great Britain has.
Therefore, I am asking Congress to pass complete overhaul legislation where doctors, nurses and other professionals who want to be paid by our Medicare for All program will become government employees. In turn, we will provide generous assistance with medical education tuition, financial stability and speed in cost reimbursement and more.
This is how you force cost control through the whole system.
Doctors and hospitals would have to tell pharmaceutical companies: Sorry, we can't afford anything but generics until you lower your costs. Ditto for makers of medical devices. And, don't boo-hoo that that might cost a lot of American jobs. The pharmaceutical companies have international plants already; ditto for device makers.
Insurance companies like United Health and its $100M CEO could make money only by charging rich individuals cash. But, that would be true under a single-payer system even without the NHS. It's just that an NHS would start at the python's mouth and force the pig of cost control into the whole health care python.
And, if even some Democrats had opposed that, you could have negotiated down to "Just" a single-payer system, with doctors remaining private employees, but with rates and charges under more control than now.
Beyond all the above, Obamacare's been as much clusterfuck as success. And, enough of "Obamacare" has actually had its implementation delayed that we don't even have it, not fully.
Of course, that's another one of Dear Leader's biggest problems — he has consistently negotiated "compromises with himself" in public before ever bringing legislation to Congress. It started with the stimulus bill in 2009.
And, if you think using Twitter as a callout is the modern version of TR's "big stick," that further shows the technie-neolib cluelessness/sellout.
Per the one label on this post, I have long called such stupidity "salvific technologism."