Here are two immutable truths.
* Just about everyone will pay anything to keep themselves and their loved ones alive and healthy.
* Every private business has the goals of getting ever bigger and making ever more money.
Combine this lust for life and lucre and you describe our idiosyncratic American health care system in which charging whatever the traffic will bear is the logical free market response to the willingness of the stricken to pay anything to avoid death and disease.
Every developed capitalist country rejected such a system with barely a second thought as inherently ruinous to both individuals and society. The aim of all these nations was not to enrich health care investors but to keep all their citizens hale and hearty at a reasonable cost to the polity.
They have been successful at this. These nations spend far less on health and achieve better outcomes than we do. They do this by treating health care as both a universal right and a public service. To citizens of these countries, managing health care for profit would be as iniquitous as turning the police and fire departments over to private investors.
Unlike the U.S, these countries do not charge $7 for a band-aid or give a William McGuire, CEO of United Health Care, which cares for no one but merely sells a financial product called insurance, a $1.6 billion (yes, billion) golden parachute on his retirement.
There’s nothing new or radical about such single payer health care organizations. They’re been working just fine for decades in countries from Canada to Japan and just about everywhere in between. President Truman first proposed such plan for the U.S. back in 1948. He was outraged that Americans were being gouged $12 a night for hospital rooms. We would have had it ever since except for conservative opposition.
Bernie Sanders, a socialist presidential contender is running on Harry Truman’s Democratic platform from way back then. In other words, he wants America to catch up with the rest of the capitalist world when it comes to health care.
And why not? Eons of evidence from all these other nations offer proof positive that single payer saves huge amounts of money and provides better care than the extortionate and inane system we have now.
Hillary Clinton, who with her husband has collected $3 billion (yes, billion) over their political careers mostly from other rich folks, also wants to be president. She says she’s opposed to a first world model health care system that would be cheaper and work better than the one we now have, which is by far the most expensive on earth and getting costlier every year. Of course, she doesn’t say it like that. Instead, she’s says we should incrementally approve the system we now have because, get this, a cheaper system would be 'too expensive' and therefore politically impossible.
One of the reason it would be so hard to do is that, as Donald Trump reminds us, business interests have long since corrupted Washington with fat bribes. Many of these come in the form of honorariums for speaking at closed-door luncheons, dinners and forums. For instance, Hillary Clinton was given the amounts below by private health care businesses with a vested interest in the present system. In other words, Hillary apparently doesn’t just believe it would be difficult to change health care for the better, she’s allied with those who oppose that change. She, of course, denies she’s been bought. Yes, and I am the king of Romania.