MEDICAL/INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX & HEALTHCARE REFORM
The USA is way behind the ball in healthcare reform. The UK introduced the National Health Service after World War II and all doctors and dentists except for a few private practices are employed by the NHS. All Britons, except for those who elect to have a private health practitioner, such as a specialist, receive free medical and dental health care. This includes hospital and ambulance services. There have been a few disparaging news articles about the NHS recently scavenged out by the conservative opposition to healthcare reform in the USA, but by and large the 70 million Britons are happy with their National Health Service. Michael Moore’s film “Sicko” described the UK NHS and healthcare systems in other countries around the world which makes the system in the USA look outrageous. So once again the people of the USA have been under a misconception that they lead the world in such matters and are taken advantage of again but this time in the name of the medical/industrial complex’s holy dollar. Ask Maggie Mahar : http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2009/08/ask_maggie_mahar.htm author of Money-driven Medicine, a film produced by Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Darkside, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) .
By comparison, the USA has had no public option ever, although there is a war veterans service which is free to veterans only. Healthcare and Dentalcare in the USA is prohibitively expensive. The industry has very little government oversight and can do and charge what it likes for healthcare insurance. There is no guarantee that should you fall ill that the insurers will not slap some “pre-existing illness” veto on payment refunds or cancel your policy altogether with no refund of insurance payments.
The healthcare insurance option has varying levels of cover that by and large are beyond the possibility of the average worker to afford and so some nearly 50 million citizens remain without insurance cover and without the ability to pay for expensive medical treatment. The stories of people losing their entire life savings to pay for the medical treatment of a loved one are legend. Having to sell your house to pay for treatment, even with insurance, is common.
Many of the downplayed victims of the USA healthcare system are the doctors themselves, who feel disempowered and restricted in the way they are to attend to their patients. They have been totally taken over by the medical/industrial complex. In spite of the incredible amount of money spent on healthcare in the USA the standard of healthcare is very poor and this is borne out by infant mortality for example which is much lower in many other parts of the world than the USA.
Bill Moyers recently did a thorough and compelling documentary on the current state of healthcare in the USA, see URL: http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/07102009/watch.html .
So why is there such an outcry from Big Pharma, Big Insurance and conservative congressmen, mainly Republican but some Democrats too, on the proposed healthcare reform bill? Follow the money. It has been revealed that many congressmen received financial contributions from parties connected with these industries. The congressmen involved clearly feel a responsibility to support the medical/industrial complex instead of the welfare of their constituents, by opposing the healthcare reform, particularly a public option proposed by President Obama. Currently, the medical/industrial complex is spending $1.4million per day in advertising to stir up opposition and counter the reform proposal, particularly any public option which is likely to reduce their income, investment and current status.
The following interview by Bill Moyers with Wendell Potter, former Executive of Cigna, who was shocked at the actual condition of healthcare in the USA, on a trip home to see his parents in Tennessee. He saw an advertisement in his local paper and went to visit a “healthcare expedition” being held in Wise Showgrounds, Virginia, some 50 miles from his parent’s house. He was totally shocked to see thousands of people waiting patiently to be treated in makeshift surgeries in what were virtually animal stalls, tents and temporary accommodations with pavement and earth flooring. This was the first time he had realized the terrible state of healthcare insulatd as he was within the industry. See the video URLs : http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/07102009/watch2.html and his testimony before Congress Committee yesterday 15/9/2009 URL: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/15/wendell-potter-public-opt_n_287733.html
So follow the money again with this video URL : http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/07102009/watch3.html .
Lobbying is an artform in the USA and watch how people are coerced to support preventing any reform of the current system.
This all emphasizes the great disconnect between democracy and government today… between Washington and the rest of the country. Money and politics are the root of all evil when it comes to sharing prosperity and equality for all, when representatives put corporations before their constituents.
To visit the Whitehouse website and get the facts on the Health Insurance Reform Reality Check, see URL : http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/faq. This sets out the essence of the proposed healthcare reform. This URL : http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/healthreformfliers sets out the benefits of reform for the whole community. It is a thoroughly worthwhile reform and will greatly benefit the people of the USA.
President Obama’s team at the Whitehouse has made information so available and clear it is incredible that anyone could believe the misrepresentations daily presented in mainstream media. His is certainly the most accessible administration in a long time. I hope that sanity prevails and this essential reform is implemented.
Love, light and peace