Monday, June 12, 2006
Reply to a Lament on My Union's Health Care
Unions all over this country are in the same shape. Health care is the issue. Bill Clinton knew it, and his wife had a plan that would have cost 7% of GDP, as TJ recently pointed out. Now we are paying almost 20% of GDP in health care. Trillions every year. For profit health companies like those owned by Bill Frist give 90% of their political contributions to Republicans, as do pharmaceutical companies. Their reward? A 600 Billion Dollar Medicare bill that prohibits us from negotiating for lower prices for drugs.
Howard Dean, who everyone here likes to ridicule because they can't talk issues, had a good plan that would have helped all the working people in this country get health care. You pay into Medicare, you get covered by it. The administrative costs of medicare are very low, about three percent, compared to the costs of for-profit private plans, where administrative costs run about 30% with a big chunk of that going into the CEO's pocket.
Contrary to popular Republican belief, malpractice insurance premiums are a VERY small chunk compared to that healthy bite taken so someone's daughter can drive a Mercedes at Harvard. The profits are obscene, like those earned by Senator Dr. Frist's company. (BTW, Dr. Frist believes AIDS can be spread through tears and sweat)
In a time of cuts from greedy corporations like the forum management, I doubt very much we're going to get the kind of contracts we need to cover it all.
It is time that Americans voted for health care for all.
Now, that ain't a debate about Nero's bar tab. That's a bucket brigade, and it needs to pour votes on the fire these corporate plutocrats are holding to our feet. It's the only way to beat the Diebold factor.