Saturday, May 16, 2009

An example

Some people wonder, "how could Medicare For All be so less expensive to provide than individual insurance?" Well, the fact of the matter is that every attempt to privatize a society-wide expense proves less efficient than providing it via government employees. This has proven true for everything from providing janitorial services at VA hospitals to running water systems -- invariably, if you turn it over to private enterprise, expenses soar through the roof and the quality of service plummets. We now have two decades of experience that privatization of government services does not work... government ended up providing those services in the first place because private provision of those services had failed, and re-privatizing them just lets them fail again.

But, you say, health insurance has never been run by the U.S. government. Really? Uhm, yeah, Medicare, bitches. It exists because, well, the private market for health insurance for the elderly collapsed in the late 60's, and the choice was either a buncha wrinkly prunes dyin' on the streets, or everybody gathering together as a society to provide health insurance for them. And since said wrinkly prunes happen to be our mommas and daddies and grannies and grammas, kicking them out to die on the streets wasn't an option. Except for Republicans, of course, who booed and hissed Medicare then as "socialized medicine" and did their darndest to stop it, because Republicans just *love* dead bodies. They, like, get woodies and cum all over their undies at the thought of dead bodies. For Republicans, dead bodies are, like, the most erotic thing their necrophiliac little moral-less "minds" can imagine, and the thought of all those dead prunes just made them jump up and down with glee and caused laundries everywhere to wonder why they suddenly got flooded with jizzum-stained boxers and briefs.

Which is the exact same thing the tighty righties are doing now about the current collapse of the U.S. health insurance system, a system which is astoundingly inefficient (here's an example) and which doesn't even cover half of all Americans (who either receive government-provided health care via Medicare, Medicaid, VA, Tricare, etc. or don't have any insurance at all). A supposed "health funding" system that can't even manage to cover half of Americans, and which is astoundingly inefficient at covering even that half, has to be said to have failed. Note that Medicare/Medicaid/VA/TriCare/etc. don't exist because Congress lurves them some socialism, they exist because private insurers wouldn't cover prunes/poor people/veterans with service-related problems/families of veterans/etc. and government (i.e. "we the people") had to step in to keep there from being lots of dead bodies all over the place. So the very *existence* of these government programs is because private health insurance has failed as a mechanism for funding health care in America. It's time to admit reality, and end this failed experiment in private health insurance that everybody else in the world has given up on except America, where, apparently, the fact that Republicans jizzum their tighty whities at the thought of dead people is more important than the health of America and Americans...

-- Badtux the Single Payer Penguin

Now added to the health care Axis of Evil: Senator Max Baucus, D-Insurance Industry, who arrests anybody who proposes single-payer health insurance in his presence. Way to be a Stalinist asshole, Max!


  1. "Uhm, yeah, Medicare, bitches."

    That just made me laugh, thank you B/T.

  2. It's funny how the "righties" lobe to talk about military service. The military is basically a socialized government bringing health care, food, and housing to all it's members.

    I've had socialized health care my entire life.

  3. According to the OECD, the top ten happiest countries in the world all have socialized health care. America? Not so happy. Did not make the top ten.

    Doesn't it bother you that your taxes pay for the "best health care money can buy" for your elected officials, but you don't have any?

  4. while a serving member of the U.S. miltary, assigned to NATO staff, one winter while on an exercise in the north sea, i became very ill.

    the sickness turned out to be a virulent form on pneumonia, it was beyond the capability of the small destroyer i was on so they helo'd me to stavanger, norway. the only questions i was asked about were those which had to do with my illness.

    my fever continued to spike and the norweigens airlifted me to a larger hospital in oslo. there, with i.v. fluids, and antibiotics i recovered nicely.

    the cost to the U.S. taxpayer?


    in norway they believe that the best available health care is a divine human right.

    until we reach a place where that is the base we operate from, i doubt that a truly universal system of health care will happen.

    until we start, as a society, believing that healing the sick is a duty of all of us. it won't happen.

  5. American society is not ready to eliminate private health insurance and go 100% Medicare despite the merits of your argument.

    I do believe the economic crisis will see American society can get behind an effort to lower the retirement age to 60 for Social Security and Medicare to open up jobs for younger workers.

    The U.S. has some form of health care for all all of its citizens. Its just that emergency room care for sore throats is ridiculously inefficient.

  6. Escape, if you mean "American's elite oligarchs are not ready for Medicare For All" in your previous statement, you are correct. If you *really* meant "the American public", you are wrong. Over 60% of Americans when surveyed support Medicare For All. Even when told that it would require a 5% increase in their Medicare payroll tax, over 55% of Americans support Medicare For All.

    In short, the notion that "Americans aren't ready for Medicare For All" simply does not fly. It's a lie. What is true is that our senators and Congressmen, recipients of government health care, don't seem to see any reason to extend that same benefit to the rest of Americans. Interesting, isn't it?

    Finally, emergency care is *not* health care. A diabetic friend of my mother was reduced to begging at the doorsteps of charities for insulin for treating her diabetes, and sometimes went without. That eventually killed her kidneys, which resulted in her being rushed to the emergency room every few days because she collapsed because she couldn't afford dialysis either. Which eventually killed her. The irony is that she worked as a nurses' aide in a nursing home, before she got so sick because of lack of health care that she could not work anymore. Your notion that emergency rooms will cure any illness is not true. Emergency rooms will only do the minimum necessary to keep someone from dying right there on the spot -- no more. The usual result if you have a chronic disease like diabetes or cancer is that you die if you don't have health insurance, because the emergency room simply will not treat you for a chronic disease. Any system which results in dead bodies cannot be held to be moral or effective except by people who, like, get woodies and jizzum all over the floor over the thought of dead bodies... but that's what we have right now -- a system which results in tens of thousands of dead bodies (at least) every year.

    - Badtux the Stats Penguin

  7. Really? Uhm, yeah, Medicare, bitches.I love it when you get angry - righteous anger from the left - so unusual - so soul-stirring.

    Keep telling 'em, BT.

    Rock on. (Rocket it to them!)


  8. This is a great post, thanks Badtux. I have tried to find out what the administrative costs for Medicare are and it ranges from between 3% and 5%, compared to the (low, I believe) estimates of 10-20% for privately insured persons.

    This is how the "debate" on single payer is going:

    Baucus’s Raucous Caucus: Doctors, Nurses and Activists Arrested Again for Protesting Exclusion of Single-Payer Advocates at Senate Hearing on Healthcare.


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