Okay, those are all good explanations as to why you’re not all in favor of national health care. I disagree with you, profoundly, on the concept that a “welfare state” is Inherently A Bad Thing — if anything, I think the NeoLiberal/Quasi-Libertarian “Free Hand of the Market” experiment has proven just how piss-poor the Private Sector is at delivering any form of Social or Government Service!
Hm. I don’t think we’ve come close to trying the “Free Hand” since the Roaring 20’s. And certainly in health care, there’s been nothing that remotely resembles a free market since Medicare took 50% of the total medical billings in the country and put them under government control.
Some of my compatriots take that last section and argue for an end to all government health care programs. Without a doubt, prices would crash overnight, since so few could then afford surgical procedures and so many types of critical medications; prices would adjust to the market.
However, I believe that horse left the barn some decades ago, and if we tried that now, human lives would be crashing at the same time as prices. Hence my view that we need some sort of universal system that incents the patient to be cost conscious in their health care decisions.
Instead of a society full of well-paying Private Sector jobs with benefits for the vast majority of the American public, NeoLibs have all but destroyed the Middle Class, and left people who used to be able to raise families on a single income scrambling to make do with two- or even three-income households!
Quite right, and if you’re my age (62) you’ve seen the US move in real time from a Leave it to Beaver world where Ward could go off to his mid-management job at the bank (or whereverthehell he worked), and that was enough for a nice home in a nice suburb where June could sit around all day drinking coffee with the neighbors to one, as Ron Carey accurately expresses, 50% of the country is scraping along, and something like 70–80% of us are just one job loss (or big medical uninsured medical emergency) away from major financial trouble.
That bubble got busted in the 70’s, when Nixon cranked up the printing presses to inflate away the Vietnam debt. Real median hourly wage in the US peaked in 1974 and has not approached that level since, although it took a shot at it in the late 90’s when the dot-com boom was feeding people money.
Then, globalization took over, and as you say, this rerouted the money that used to head into the pockets of the middle class into the pockets of the rich. Just this year, for the first time, you started to see grudging admission from our rulers that maybe…..just maybe……those free trade agreements that are in the best interest of the megacorporations and national GDP just MIGHT NOT BE in the best interests of the average american worker.
What a racket. And now automation and online platforming continues that trend of creating “Robber Barons”. Jeff Bezos. A man that creates nothing new whatsoever. All he does is automate and virtualize previously manual retail processes, and money and jobs flow OUT of local economies and IN to his own pockets.
And for some odd reason, people approve of the Amazons and disapprove of the WalMarts. Why? They’re doing precisely the same thing.
All the money has flown upwards, creating a new class of Robber Barons — only this time, there doesn’t seem to be a Teddy Roosevelt to tear down the system enough to make it more equitable. (Much as I like and admire Bernie Sanders, he’s one guy who’s been on the fringes his entire life — and short of a Tom Clancy-style holocaust wiping out most of Washington, D.C.? I don’t see Sanders making the country over in his own image any time soon!)
Well, here’s the rub between you and I, right? It’s quite logical to look at this economic history and say “something’s got to give”, once you realize that most of America is starting to pay for necessities by surrendering their luxuries. So, you have two options: you can rail at the rich and demand that your government force them to surrender their wealth, or you can alter the government incentives that incent corporations to create their jobs elsewhere.
I remain convinced that ANY restoration of a vibrant middle class job market in the US must begin with the removal of competitiveness barriers. Ken Langone (founder of Home Depot) speaks eloquently (and angrily at times) on this topic — that if he went out today to start a big-box home improvement company, he would fail; the financial and regulatory impediments are simply too high.
After THAT……I don’t know. Obviously, with globalism a given and automation increasing, we’re swimming upstream. But it’s well too early to surrender to Sanders’ utopian ideas. There’s no solution there.
Her High Priced Privatized Insurance Provider — wasn’t about to pay for it, because this better procedure would cost them $60,000! In the end, she bit the bullet, paid the $60K out of pocket, and got the newer surgery — because she could afford to.
Yep. Completely agree. Intolerable. My mother died of rectal cancer; I wanted her to come down to MD Anderson for treatment. Medicare told her to fuggetaboutit. Same problem.