Fixing America In 500 Words Or Less


Chapter 9

SHOULD WE CARE IF
EVERYONE HAS HEALTH CARE?


       Some historians claim disease has wiped out more people than all wars combined.  Yet, in spite of the known historical record, Americans continue to ignore the inevitable consequences of contagious disease; consequences including significant preventable illness even for those with health coverage, large productivity losses and national leading to global plague. ¹

       Some plead we should care about the less fortunate, while others pretend private care is preferable, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  Today, U.S. citizens pay much more for coverage than citizens of any other nation, yet we are ranked 37th in health care quality and even lower in availability.  Some former Soviet bloc and Southeast Asian nations offer better coverage; even Cuba has a lower infant mortality rate.
notes 2-4

       Over 45 million U.S. residents have zero health care; at least 80 million more have highly inadequate coverage.  More and more citizens with expensive plans are being refused coverage for expensive problems.  Every week, more citizens lose employer-paid care and retirement benefits, including long-term coverage for less healthy retirement years.
see also, notes 2-4

       Depending on provider, 10-30% of every dollar spent on private coverage goes to overhead not related to care, while less than 8% for government-sponsored Medicare does, even though Medicare helps the oldest and sickest among us.  Very plainly, private health care as we currently have, is not the solution.
5 (see also 2-4)

       Politicians on both sides of the political charade continue to pretend they care about America's security, while continuing to ignore our immediate health care reality. Whether or not we care about our neighbor is only part of a larger equation, because disease knows no boundaries. Children of the poor can, have and will, infect children of the wealthy.  Medical facts clearly demonstrate that private coverage is no guarantee against contagious diseases.

       In reality, less than 1% of U.S citizens can afford to pay for their own catastrophic needs.  All forms of private health insurance are “shared responsibility” programs, dependent on the majority of those covered to remain healthy, while majority pay-outs go to the sickest minority.

       Yet, right-wing media pretends coverage is not a “shared responsibility”, that we should all take care of our own selves.  People who claim this have never faced $250,000 per year cancer treatments on a working class income. And they clearly don't understand their own immediate financial jeopardy if they were to lose coverage.  Or, what can and will happen to their own children, if their neighbor's children remain uncovered.

       Scientists claim our planet is overdue for a major disease epidemic, while history clearly dictates that all of our politics, education, science and weapons won't protect us against the onslaught of disease.  And the media is clearly failing American citizens by not instructing us accordingly.
see notes 6-8

       Is it fair to say that citizens who do not push for immediate affordable and adequate health coverage for all persons residing permanently or temporarily within our borders, are decidedly unpatriotic?  Is it fair to say they don't even care about their own children?
9

       You decide.
10


NOTES:

1. Recent example of what can happen when millions of people lack sufficient health care: As Venezuelan Health Care System Collapses, Contagious Disease Spreads Beyond Borders.

All Americans, including the super wealthy, the upper, middle and working classes and the poor, would save substantially while receiving better quality care if the United States had a universal healthcare system:  Click Here for a Detailed Explanation.

Why Health Care Block Grants Are a Very Bad Idea

2. a) Per Capita Cost of Universal Healthcare vs. U.S. Private Insurance; b) Comparative Quality of Universal Care vs. U.S. Private Insurance

3. The United States spends over 1/3 more (18% GDP) than France on healthcare (11% GDP), even though unlike the United States France covers everyone within her borders, including immigrants and tourists.  Other European and many other nations with universal healthcare spend even less compared to the United States, while ranking far higher in quality and availability than citizens are stuck with here in the United States under our current greed-driven for profit system.  This demonstrates how overt greed trumps what is best for our own children and grandchildren for generations to come.

World Health Organization; global statistics.   World Health Organization study indicates that human caused pollution harms every single organ in the human body, in addition to harming every animal and plant we consume along with the soil our crops grow in and water that both we and the animals we consume mutually depend on for our survival.  The true over-reaching harm of pollution is far beyond immeasurable; obviously if we eat animals and grow our food in soil adversely affected, this in turn will adversely effect ourselves and our children for generations.  Link to W.H.O. Study.  Again, this clearly demonstrates how in the United States, the overt greed of the few trumps rational and sane policies and what is best for both ourselves and generations to come.

4. CNN.com June, 2007 SICKO fact check--W.H.O. 2006 and U.S. government 2007 health statistics.

5. Various sources provide different figures, depending on what is included as overhead not related to patient care.  Some give a 22-26% cost for private care, compared to 4-8% for Medicare.  However, statistics strongly demonstrate that Medicare costs far less than private healthcare to administer; reasons include high cost of no-bid medications, advertising, stockholder dividends and inflated executive salaries.  Lies heard on Fox News and conservative talk radio about how much more poorly run and expensive our healthcare system would be if it were a national-payer system such as found in European nations, are just that, absolute outright lies, having no basis in statistical or other reality.

6. Historical Sources: The Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant; Encyclopedia Britannica--United States of America and various other historical and health-related articles.

7. Biblical Sources: Matthew Ch. 25--According to Jesus, God will judge nations by how they treat their sick and poor; Ezekiel 16:49--According to Ezekiel, God destroyed Sodom for being a proud and wealthy nation that did not take care of her own sick and poor; 2nd Peter 2:6--According to Peter, Sodom is an example for all nations to take heed concerning and, a nation that does not help her sick and poor is an "ungodly" nation; Isaiah Ch. 3--According to Isaiah, God will cause inept leaders to arise in nations that go the way of Sodom and fail to help the sick and poor:  "For you have eaten up the vineyard; the plunder of the poor is in your houses.  'What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding the faces of the poor?' says the Lord God of hosts."  Revelation Ch. 13--warning to those who resort to violence and war, as being on the wrong side of history, God and human rights. Luke 10:25-37--Samaritan story (Samaritans were viewd by 1st Century Jewish society similar to Palestinians and so-called "illegal" immigrants of U.S. society today); Matthew 7:12--"Therefore, whatever you want people to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." What manner of human being can study the words and deeds of Jesus and continue to ignore whether or not their neighbor has health care?  Who among us, here in the 21st Century "days of miracle and wonder", war and rumor of war, is smarter than Jesus?

8. Even though our own U.S. government is based on "we the people" as a collective nation and, even though the Bible often refers to how people as a collective nation should act, many talk radio and conservative Christian liars pretend that the teachings of Jesus refer only to individuals and do not apply to people collectively as a nation in the form of government programs.  In Matthew 25, Jesus very specifically uses the word "nations", not "individuals". According to Jesus and many authors of the Bible, in regards to nations, what goes around, eventually comes around; this is true regarding helping or not helping, the sick and poor (which are often lumped together as a single cause), as well as in regards to societal violence and waging wars of aggression.  Conservative Christians and others who use the Bible to justify war and even worse, to justify not only ignoring the plight of the sick and poor, but rather, to support and vote for those who build walls to prevent poor people from feeding their families and otherwise, support legislation grossly enhancing human oppression, are very plainly, the greatest liars on Planet Earth.

9. Results from a Harvard study published on CNN in September, 2009 estimate that 45,000 Americans die each year from lack of health care insurance.  These figures do not include those who become extremely ill and then recover, the many thousands more who die from complications from contagious diseases they never would have had if everyone within our borders was adequately covered, or the many millions of adults and children who become ill each year due to the estimated 120 million Americans who have either zero or grossly inadequate health care coverage and thus, fail to get treatment and medicine for common flus and other colds.  Click here for Harvard study information.

Modern medicine can slow and sometimes stop the spread of harmful bacteria with antibiotics. And, modern medicine can stop the spread of harmful viruses with vaccines, as well as slow down the reproduction of harmful viruses with antiviral medications.  The fact that modern humans possess this knowledge and yet Americans refuse to insist on universal health care for everyone within our borders, represents a gross crime against humanity and, a gross crime against ourselves and our own children.  Bacteria and Virus Information.

10. This 2019 article details how the Trump Administration has bent over backwards to reduce and otherwise take healthcare away from our most vulnerable citizens.  Like much of Trump's other agenda, his so-called 'health care' priorites are for the most part, perhaps best described as "pure evil".  Trump's Draconian Attacks on Healthcare Aimed at Our Most Vulnerable Citizens.


Bonus Chapter

IS IT WISE TO HAVE
MEDICARE FOR ALL?

( this bonus chapter contains about 800 words )


       In the Middle Ages, bubonic plague killed 60 percent of the entire European population.  Today, people around the world, including here in the United States, are still annually infected by this plague, commonly known as the “Black Death”.  This contagion, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, has never been fully eradicated and, history teaches us it can spread quickly. ¹

       The Black Death is transmitted by the fleas of rodents like rats, mice, squirrels, by human fleas and lice and by cats, dogs and other family pets. Former conservative Fox News host Bill O'Reilly agrees that leaving our citizens unhoused is extremely dangerous for for every American, regardless of wealth.

       Several U.S. cities are currently experiencing a rapid rise in hepatitis, typhus, tuberculosis and other communicable diseases among homeless populations.  Such highly contagious diseases, as they have in the past, can swiftly spread indiscriminately to working, middle and upper classes alike. Many historians believe the Black Death initially arose among the poorest Medieval citizens, living in open squalor in London and elsewhere. ²

       Scientists have warned for decades that a new global plague is long overdue and, it is only a matter of when and not if one occurs.  In 1918, an influenza epidemic killed 50 to100 million people globally, including about 700,000 in our own nation.  Because of modern air travel and global interaction, medical experts say a new contagion could infect billions of people.

       According to recent reports, penicillin and other antibiotics are losing their effectiveness against mutating viruses and bacteria, including new strains of “super-bugs” behind sexually transmitted diseases. ³  Millions of Europeans, Americans and others are contracting new strains of chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhea resistant to known treatments.  In the U.S. alone, STDs reached an all-time high in 2018 of over 2.4 million people.
4

       American citizens possessing poor quality or no health insurance are generally the same people who don’t receive paid sick days and are living paycheck to paycheck.  Not only can they not afford to seek treatment for common ailments but, because they are barely earning enough to maintain, they often go to work sick.  Meanwhile, they continue to eat at restaurants, shop at stores and attend public events.

       And thus, relatively easily containable contagious diseases leave us all vulnerable, even those with the best quality healthcare money can buy.  In absence of statistical data, no one knows how many billions of dollars of productivity are lost annually in the United States due to contagious diseases; sickness more easily contained if we all had access to affordable quality healthcare.  What is known is that over 30,000 Americans die annually because they can't afford medical treatment.

       We rarely complain about the necessity of taxpayer supported police and fire departments.  But when it comes to contagious diseases, corporations and their bought-and-paid-for political hacks continue to sell us all down a raging epidemic river of no return.

       Who among us would be content to let a neighbor's house on fire continue to burn, endangering every other house on the block including our own, just because the owner couldn't afford fire insurance?  Why then, are we content to let our own physical house be left wide-open and unprotected against contagious diseases; ailments which can spread like wildfire to us all?

       European nations and many others including Australia, Canada and Japan, have set up one of the best known barriers against contagious diseases by establishing universal healthcare.  But our government leaders continue to leave we the people unprotected and vulnerable to diseases that can quickly lead to epidemic proportions.

       Politicians who continue to insist private insurance is preferable are lying against the established global World Health Organization facts:  While France continues to have the number one rated healthcare system on earth, the United States ranks 37th in quality, lagging behind every European nation, Japan, Australia and many others.
5  Meanwhile, our cost per person ranks #1, costing us far more than the citizens of France and every other nation on earth. 6

       Disease is not limited to a conservative or liberal agenda but rather, disease is a commonly shared human problem.  Many of our worst ailments are inherited through no fault of our own.  And when it comes to disease, there are no “alternative facts”.  The fact is that contagious disease remains an immediate clear and present danger to both ourselves and our own children.

       Are we the people of the United States prepared for the onslaught of the next major global contagion, that history teaches us and our scientists continue to warn us, is bound to rear its ugly head soon?  What is more important to us than our own children's health and well-being?  Don't we ourselves and our children deserve better from our elected officials?
7

       Is it wise to have Medicare for all?  You decide.


NOTES:

1. New Cases of Black Death Reported

2. Medieval Diseases Infecting California’s Homeless 3. New Strain of Superbug Gonorrhea

4. Rise of Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the United States

5. Comparative Cost of Universal Healthcare to the Cost in the U.S.

6. Comparative Quality of Universal Care vs. Private Insurance

7. Trump's Draconian Attacks on Healthcare Aimed at Our Most Vulnerable Citizens

Also see above article for more information and linked documentation.




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Copyright © August 20th, 2003 by Richard Aberdeen.
Copyright © Jaunary 7th, 2014 by Richard Aberdeen.
Copyright © February 1st, 2014 by Freedom Tracks Records.

No part of this material may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including printing, photocopying, recording or by any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher and signed by the author. Inquiries: Freedom Tracks Records or requested via eMail.  Essays entitled Revolution and Revolution ~ Side B are open copyright and may be reproduced and distributed as desired.