By Dave Lindorff
The new corporate media and conservative Democratic argument against front-runner Bernie Sanders’ eminently logical proposal for creating a single-payer government health insurance program that he calls “Medicare for All” is that it would destroy the huge health insurance industry and put 1.8 million insurance industry employees out on the street.
That is about the stupidest argument for not making an urgent reform of an outrageous pirate-capitalist system I can imagine!
To get a sense of how crazy this argument is, let’s look back at the history of capitalist development. When the steam engine was invented and ships started using motors instead of being drawn through canals by mule or sailed across the sea by wind-power (a labor-intensive process), did anyone worry about all the mule-drivers or sailors being put out of work by the technology shift? When the automobile was invented, did anyone worry about the collapse of the horse-breeding business, which at the time was huge, or the collapse of the passenger rail and trolly industries? When oil was discovered and refineries began cracking crude into useable oil, gasoline and kerosene, did anyone worry about the rapid collapse of the whaling industry? When electronics and the internet made operators redundant, did anyone worry about an army of unemployed switching and information-assistance operators? No, of course not! All of this “creative destruction” was viewed as progress. Losers from such shifts were expected to suck it up and find new employment.
Currently we are realizing that the coal, oil and gas industries are threatening to destroy the earth, so nations (excepting the US) are working to shut down those industries as quickly as possible, replacing the with clean energy alternatives like solar and wind power. It would be ludicrous to say (as the Trump administration, and some conservative Democrats do), “Well, we can’t save civilization and indeed the entire biosphere of the earth because energy workers will lose their jobs.”
Healthcare in the US needs a revolution
Well, health care is the same. The US health care system is a top-heavy, over-priced disaster costing some $3.5 trillion a year in public and private funds, and about $12,000 a year for a family of four, if you count privately paid insurance premiums, company-paid premiums (which come out of profits, competitiveness and of course worker salary budgets), co-pays, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. It’s a system that despite costing twice what any other modern nation spends on its health care leaves 30 million or one-in-ten Americans without any insurance coverage and another 50 million with costly insurance that doesn’t really cover expenses because of absurdly high deductibles that need to first be met, and because of so many needed procedures and drugs are excluded from coverage.
We can fix that, just as all other modern nations have already done, but…
For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the uncompromised, collectively run, six-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site, please go to: https://thiscantbehappening.net/saying-government-funded-healthcares-too-costly-is-nutsunless-you-think-the-us-uniquely-cant-do-it/