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Hospitals: Crony Capitalist Mess

189

The horror stories are legion.

A 64-year-old woman had chest pains and was taken by ambulance to a non-profit hospital. After three hours of tests, she was told she had indigestion and sent home. She did not have insurance. Her bill was $21,000.

Another patient was told he had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He went to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The total cost for an examination, an initial dose of chemotherapy and a treatment plan (fee due in advance) was $83,900.

This patient was charged $1.50 for a single, generic Tylenol tablet, when an entire bottle can be purchased for that price elsewhere. A chest X-ray cost him $283, though the hospital typically charges Medicare patients $20 for the same test.

The son of an ANH-USA board member was throwing up and was taken to an emergency room by concerned friends. The initial bill was $8,000. The insurance company reduced the price to just under $2,000, which didn’t even include the doctor’s bill. An uninsured patient would have been charged the full $8,000.

Different hospitals charge vastly different prices – even from other facilities in the same area. One hospital in New Jersey, for example, charges nearly $100,000 for a procedure to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; thirty miles away a different hospital charges $7,000.

For consumers, this is a bewildering, Kafkaesque system that is often impossible to navigate. How did we get here?

The vehicle behind these absurd prices is the Chargemaster, a hospital-specific compendium of all the items that a hospital can bill a patient for (or a third-party payer like an insurance company or Medicare). The prices are not determined by supply and demand but are purely administrative decisions. Hospitals are not required to make their Chargemaster public.

Here’s how it works, or rather doesn’t work. Insurance companies work out deals each year with hospitals to determine what insurance will pay for hospital services, on the premise that insurers have a lot of patients that will be needing hospitalization. So Blue Cross/Blue Shield can negotiate a reduced rate for its members that is significantly lower than the price listed in the Chargemaster.

Medicare works a bit differently. By law, Medicare payments are supposed to approximate a hospital’s cost of providing a service, including overhead, salaries, and equipment. But nobody really knows or cares what these costs are.

This system works brilliantly—for hospitals. According to one journalist, “In hundreds of small and midsize cities across the country…the American health care market has transformed tax-exempt ‘nonprofit’ hospitals into the towns’ most profitable businesses and largest employers, often presided over by the regions’ most richly compensated executives.”

Indeed, earlier this year we reported on ballooning medical bureaucracies that are increasingly taking control over medicine. We have also reported on how Medicare pays much more to hospital affiliated physicians, which has resulted in hospitals taking over formerly private practices and creating local monopolies.

Washington supports all of this because campaign contributions make this a paying business. Lobbying by the pharmaceutical and health care industries, combined with organizations representing doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, and other health services, totals $5.36 billion since 1998, far exceeding the totals spent by the defense industry ($1.53 billion) and the oil and gas industry ($1.3 billion) over the same timeframe.

ANH-USA has argued for a consumer driven health care system that enables people to buy insurance meeting their particular needs, and that incentivizes behaviors that help people stay well. Such a system would free the health insurance market of Obamacare regulations that are driving up premiums, while allowing those who wish to do so to keep their Obamacare plans.

 

 

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  • Kristie Layne

    I use medical and dental tourism to have inexpensive and quality care performed abroad.
    For example: Breast cancer lumpectomy, one week hospital, plastic surgery to replace breast implants that could have ruptured during surgery, all charges, exams, tests, fees and medications plus six weeks of radiation therapy, cost $10,000 (approx.) in Hong Kong. Surgeons were Harvard medical and Standford grads. Allianz (int’l. based in Ireland) was my insurer. My surgeon’s secretary billed them for all, they sent her one check that she disbursed. I got a receipt. Never got ONE bill.
    I hate USA health business. Prefer to go abroad and get healthCARE instead.

    • patgo

      Good solution, but not the best. How about healing your cancer at home? Much less expensive even than $10,000, and no chance the cancer will come back. And if it does, repeat. I know a woman who cured her cancer over the weekend just by eating the right kind of foods. I have used these methods myself, with astonishing results. There are at least 30 different ways to cure cancer that you can either do totally by yourself, or with very inexpensive supplements.

      But Big Pharma has made sure that this information doesn’t get out. Even resorting to assassination of doctors who provide such treatments.

    • Dr William A Pellow

      Interesting! My wife and I had insurance from NASE (National Association of the Self-Employed) when Obamacare came in. When we signed up it had an option for us where we could get care anywhere in the world, which we took. When she later came down with breast cancer we chose an alternative cancer treatment in Tijuana, Mexico. They paid for several years until Obamacare came in, then in the midst of her therapy they notified us that Obamacare made our insurance illegal and payments were cut off in the midst of her treatments. I paid easily $100,000 personally for her care until she died last January. I can’t say enough ill about Obamacare. Perhaps the secret is to get your health insurance outside of the US system.

  • orangputeh

    Medicare for All!! We have the highest cost of healthcare in the industrialized world but still have millions receiving nothing. Our lowered life expectancy and death rate at birth reflect this lack. Insurance companies exist only for profits.

    I’m in favor of doctors making a set salary with no extra pay for usage of high tech equipment. Some hospitals tell doctors to start using more high tech equipment so that they can make more $$$. There should be competitive bidding for the cost of pharmaceuticals. Drug companies also exist for profits.

    Obamacare was a start but it was written by insurance companies. Why should taxpayers be subsidizing whatever insurance companies want to charge? They will keep raising their premiums and co-pays until only the rich can afford care.

    • peety one

      Wrong, setting doctors’ salaries would be a requirement set by government, it’s called socialism–fed gov are the ones that messed this up in the first place and have allowed it to get out hand. More fed gov involvement is most certainly not the answer. More competition and transparency is the only way the consumer comes out ahead, which obamacare has killed both. Obamacare was the start of nothing–it was attempting to “fix the sympton not the root problem–other than a foot in the door to singlepayer healthcare, which is what they’ve wanted all along. They screw it up and keep trying to fix it by forcing more involvement, then low information voters shortsightedly label fed gov the hero.

      • orangputeh

        -“fed gov are the ones that messed this up in the first place ”

        I totally disagree with you. Medicare is working very well for seniors over 65. It saves money on the enormous paperwork that a large number of insurances charge, saves on not having to report money to investors, saves on not charging an ‘arm and a leg’ for care. Insurance companies exist to make money and there is no way to hold them accountable for their rate increases. Patients have no way of finding ‘the best company’ for any illness. People when seriously ill don’t want to go insurance shopping. Left to their own devices they dropped as many people as possible when they got ill, saved money. One of the advantages of ACA is that companies now can’t drop people for having pre-existing conditions.

        Drug companies charge outrageous prices because they want more profit money also. The medical profession is dominated by drug companies. Americans take more drugs than any other country and we are nowhere near the healthiest.

        There are many alternative ways to heal but they are not recognized because when people heal they no longer are ‘a walking ATM’ for the medical profession. The National Institutes of Health now has an alternative healing section. It is underfunded but it is proving that Qigong energy healing works.

        • patgo

          Medicare is NOT WORKING FOR US. We are paying thousands out of our own pockets because of Medicare policies, that only cover generic drugs with toxic ingredients, have horrendous co-pays and penalties, not to mention deductibles, and all those policies are reflected and magnified by the insurance available to add on, as you suggest. You haven’t spent the COUNTLESS HOURS I have spent arguing with a health insurance company added on to Medicare, to pay for a drug that IS NOT TOXIC because of so-called “inert” ingredients.

          These so-called pre-existing conditions can USUALLY be cured by very SIMPLE and INEXPENSIVE alternative care, but it’s illegal for doctors to offer it; they will lose their livelihood if they try. And some are actually being ASSASSINATED for offering alternative care because they can no longer stomach the poisonous drugs the pharmaceutical companies sell. Yes, the medical profession is dominated by drug companies. And who made that possible? OUR GOVERNMENT, the same one you want to cover health care for EVERYONE.

          And by the way, Qigong is a SPIRITUAL practice, and it is NOT COMPATIBLE with my faith. The fact the NIH now offers it? Whoop-te-doo! I want to make my OWN choices, not the ones the NIH approves of.

          • orangputeh

            “Medicare Is More Efficient Than Private Insurance

            Medicare delivers health care more efficiently than private insurers. Medicare’s public accountability and bargaining power give it the ability to drive system change and control skyrocketing health care costs, while profit-driven private insurers have offered no solution.”

          • patgo

            Medicare is NOT at ALL efficient. Case in point: they spent over $30,000 on hospital care to avoid paying for a treatment that would have only cost $5000. Why? Because it’s not in the approved list for the condition (even though we have a clinic in town that SPECIALIZES in offering the treatment for THIS condition). BY LAW, they are NOT ALLOWED to negotiate better drug prices.

            Profit-driven private insurers would be influenced by competition. But competition is not allowed under Medicare.

            We have Medicare. I would give ANYTHING if we could have put our FICA taxes into a health care savings account instead. We would have had plenty of money to pay for our preferred treatment, and we would have RECEIVED IT.

            One of the doctors on our case even TRIED to GET the treatment we preferred. She was unable to do so. It could have been done at the outset, and they had the equipment, but I didn’t even know they had it.

            In a subsequent hospitalization, I asked for the treatment AGAIN, and I was ignored.

            We will get it on our own, and pay for it ourselves. We have no choice.

            Second example: we can’t take a drug with a harmful “inert” ingredient, but the health care policy refused to pay for a more expensive drug that didn’t have it. Total cost of that drug would have been under $700. I WARNED THEM THAT IF THEY DID NOT SUPPLY THE DRUG WE COULD TAKE, THE PATIENT WOULD END UP IN THE HOSPITAL. He did. Cost to the insurance company: $25,000. The insurance company is supplementary insurance for Medicare!

            If you don’t understand this, wait until you have a few experiences of your own. That is, unless you simply go along with whatever they want to do to you, and take the consequences.

          • orangputeh

            You have had some very unfortunate experiences with Medicare. I’m sorry to hear that. A variety of private insurance companies exist but there is no competition to lower prices which are going so high that many people can no longer afford to go to doctors. If competition worked, the premiums and co-pays would be lowered. That isn’t happening.

            Obamacare doesn’t work because it was written to benefit insurance companies. They do not want competition and lowering of profits. $$$ is all that counts. They used pre-existing conditions to drop as many people as possible so that they wouldn’t have to pay for treatments or medications. All other industrialized countries have socialized medical care that covers everyone, and at a rate that is much cheaper that that provided by privatized insurance companies.

            I have had experiences of my own. I have a rare disease called neurofibromatosis type 2. It is a genetic nerve disease that is so rare many doctors have never heard of it. I was in a natural history study at the National Institutes of Health for four and a half years. I shrank a brain tumor and my hearing had improved. I used a variety of alternative healing techniques to achieve this goal. I was thrown out of NIH and was incorrectly labeled so severely mentally ill that they were concerned that with time I’d become a threat to myself or others. I continue to heal but it isn’t recognized by the medical establishment. I pay for all of this out of my own pocket. Fortunately, I now have a doctor who is a regular physician but has his own pharmacy to distribute alternative supplements. He has stated that he believes that I am healing.

          • patgo

            Obviously, competition that never happens doesn’t work! Duh! The government has pretty much guaranteed there won’t be competition. Alternative care is squelched, and you have to pay for it yourself. And there is no serious competition among elements of the medical Establishment. Don’t write off competition that never happens in the first place.

            I am glad I do not live in “all other industrialized countries”.

            Interesting to read about your experience, and good on you for finding natural answers. This doesn’t surprise me. Did you take any medications before the onset?

            Our experience with Medicare was far from unique, we learned. We talked to lots of other patients. Some had Medicare, some were provided for by other government programs. Everyone who got stomach tube food got the same trash we did. Everyone had elevated blood sugar as a consequence. Everyone got insulin shots. Everyone who ate food by mouth got high-carb GMO food that was cooked to the point where vegetables were mush, and meat would serve as hockey pucks. One hospital we used advertised for treatment of obesity, but served the same high-carb diet to those patients. If someone didn’t order “enough” food, in the opinion of the kitchen, they’d put a sugar dessert on the plate. We had to repeatedly turn in such things, refusing to eat them. The food was so bad that it ended up serving both of us because the patient couldn’t tolerate to eat most of it. This is mandated by law, folks!

            We were told repeatedly how lucky we were to have an effective patient advocate. We got many changes for us personally. The social director said he had never worked with such an effective patient advocate before and he had learned a lot. Eventually the hospital started supplying the real food for stomach tube.

            We had to fight another battle when all criteria for decannulation had been met, and they refused to decannulate. They trotted out all the horrible things that would happen if they did. My research showed the LONGER a person had a cannula, the more LIKELY these were to happen. They used what I call terror tactics to get the patient to continue to accept the cannula. After it was removed, the opening healed without incident, the incessant coughing and mucus production ceased. (But not before the patient had to fight off MRSA in the lungs, oh, and I forgot to mention the pneumonia he got a couple days after the patient got a breathing tube down the throat. MRSA is prevalent because of anti-bacterial soap and skin products, also mandated by law, and the skin products are full of toxic chemicals.) But it did apparent permanent damage to the vocal cords. Tube fed patient were not allowed anything by mouth. They often begged for water, but nobody paid any attention. Not even a drop was allowed. The thirst sensation in the mouth was pure torture. One fellow kept crying out, “agua, agua!” They ignored him. He was dead two days later. They gave him sedatives to calm him down, and it killed him. Keep in mind that most medications contain magnesium sulfate (a horrible ingredient) and it dries out tissue. Some medications themselves also do, so in addition to no moistening of mucus membranes in the mouth and throat, you have that problem. This also caused damage. Formerly, the patient could eat spicy food (which is VERY GOOD for you, since spices are medicinal), but now can no longer tolerate them. I could go on. You get the picture. This is STANDARD OF CARE, folks! And you can’t fight it. They do it to everyone.

          • dreamjoehill

            “BY LAW, they are NOT ALLOWED to negotiate better drug prices.

            Profit-driven private insurers would be influenced by competition. But competition is not allowed under Medicare.”
            Changing the law to require Medicare to negotiate lower prices is the answer to that one, not abolishing Medicare. Breaking the stranglehold of Big Pharma is step one in healthcare reform.

          • patgo

            I totally agree we need to change the law to require Medicare to negotiate lower prices, and have asked my congresscritter to propose this law. No answer. I totally and absolutely agree that we need to break the stranglehold of Big Pharma. That said, you are changing horses in midstream. I didn’t say Medicare should be abolished. I said I want a choice. I want all the money we were taxed over the years for Medicare to be put into a health savings account, together with accrued interest, so that we may use it as we think best.

        • peety one

          Medicare is one of the most corrupt gov run systems we have in place. Have you read ANY news about how egregiously it is taken advantage of by unscrupulous doctors? There are no safegaurds in place to monitor the system nor is there any incentive to do so since it’s taxpayer money. Sure the doctors are eventually cuaght but after they’ve made off with millions of ill-gotten funds from the taxpayers. Gov is not capable of successfully and efficiently running these types of progrmas out sheer indifference and incompetence.

          If your house was on fire (a pre-existing condition in homeowners insurance) would you expect to be able to buy a policy while it was burning? That is just silly and defies the essence of insurance. That argument is growing tiresome. Again if we didn’t have a healthcare system problem the insurance problem wouldn’t be an issue, it would be affordable. They are treating the symptom not the disease.

      • dreamjoehill

        Obamacare isn’t deficient because there’s to much government involvement. It doesn’t work because it was written to benefit health insurance corporations.
        Many other nations, like Canada, have government run healthcare and their citizens are much more satisfied with their healthcare.
        For profit, capitalist healthcare is simply a system of mass murder for he poor.

        • patgo

          WHO KILLED CHARLIE GARD? A socialized health care system, that’s who.

          By the way, can that claim that people are more satisfied with their health care. Ever hear of Stockholm Syndrome?

          • dreamjoehill

            What a dumb comment. Come back when you have facts and rational arguments.

          • patgo

            I’ll bet you don’t even know who Charlie Gard was. Talk about not having facts. If you knew who he was, you would know why what I said makes sense.

          • dreamjoehill

            Well since you introduced the name Charlie Gard, it’s up to you to explain its relevance, Einstein.

          • patgo

            Since you have left the realms of civility, and resorted to name calling and disrespectful behavior, YOU use a search engine to find out HOW socialized medicine (i.e. single payer) killed him. He didn’t even reach his first birthday, and he had NO SAY in the kind of care he received. I will no longer talk to you, though I may talk PAST YOU if you try to flummox our readers.

          • dreamjoehill

            You do hissy fit well, but can’t hide the fact that you don’t know how to construct a logical argument based on evidence.
            Poor thing.

        • peety one

          That’s exactly why it’s deficient. You say in one sentence that it’s the govt’s fault that ocare sucks and in the very next you say that is because of the authors. Who were the authors? Contradiction doesn’t afford credibility in your defense of the problem. nice try.

          • dreamjoehill

            Obamacare was based on a Heritage Council proposal that emphasized the role of PRIVATE insurance companies. It was modeled after Romney care in Massachusetts, instituted by a GOP Governor. Also, the private insurance companies and Big Pharma were very involved in writing the ACA.
            There, you’ve been educated, but I think you’ll prefer to wallow in the mud of extreme right wing propaganda.

      • Obamacare was just a boondoggle to keep the medical-industrial profits healthy & private while PRETENDING to be a huge reform AND throwing a few more crumbs to the poor AND allowing the IRS to reach into the bank accounts of those whom they felt weren’t buying enough private insurance for themselves, without any due process whatever.

        We could do MUCH, MUCH better than that.

        • patgo

          Obamacare was DESIGNED to persuade people to accept single payer health care. It’s worked wonders with your thinking already.

    • jeremy

      I hate to say it, but you are delusional. Obamacare was a start? No, my very naive friend, it was not a start, it was the beginning of the end. Obamacare was DESIGNED to FAIL. Repeat that over and over until it sinks in. The whole point of Obamacare was to drive ALL of us (except the uber wealthy) into a single payer system that does NOT work.
      On the other hand, what WILL work is pay as you go for the simple things, and catastrophic insurance for the “big things.” the consumer would be many many many dollars ahead, and the corrupt system would start to collapse.

      • NancyW

        Couldn’t agree more! Finally someone is brave enough to point out how all tax paying Americans got douped with this ridiculous bill. Of course everyone was fine with Ms. Pilosi stating that they (Congress and Senate) would “read the bill to find out what is in it after it is passed”. The blatant “spit in your face” politician behavior makes me sick. They are laughing all the way to the bank, on their way home for yet, another recess from their terribly taxing jobs! Wake up America and pay attention and demand your representatives that you pay for DO THEIR JOB or they get voted out!

        • jeremy

          a better soluton would be to abolish the Fed Govt. When the Govt “shut down” because the debt ceiling was reached, i polled people randomly to find out HOW the shutdown affected them. Overwhelmingly, the response was “no effect.” The Fed Govt is the problem in every aspect of our lives. we should abolish it and just be states, the way it was intended to be from the start.

          • patgo

            I went the day before they shut down the parks, otherwise, I wouldn’t get in. They closed the restrooms. I got interviewed about my reaction for TV.

          • dreamjoehill

            You spew some a very ugly right wing libertarian propaganda, but I have one question. When you close down the Federal government, are you also closing the Pentagon?

          • Alan Lambert

            Jeremy is indeed professing an immature sillyness—but you, Joe, as before, seem addicted to “Progressive” name calling. Haters like you greatly add to the unhealthy division that has overtaken this country.

          • jeremy

            and you, ALan and Joey, are demonstrating that you are A-holes. This country was NEVER intended to have a federal govt with this much power. it is the reason we are in nonstop wars which if EITHER of you understood history, you would know how this is going to end, VERY BADLY But you don’t know history. You are both pompous arrogant, IGNORANT and narrow-minded. you might have missed this, living in your cocoon, but countries are breaking up into smaller countries. Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia don’t exist now. the USSR doesn’t exist either. Factions in the Iberian peninsula have been pushing for autonomy for decades now. This trend won’t stop. and yes, I would get rid of the pentagon. Each STATE should be responsible for defense. As Jefferson pointed out, standing armies and central banks are the GREATEST threats to liberty. We have BOTH because of the Federal Govt. without the standing army, we wouldn’t have our sons (and now our daughters) fighting banker wars for the financial benefit of the very very few. , Without the Federal reserve robbing us blind, we would have incredible prosperity. YOU TWO should pull your heads out and get EDUCATED before spouting off useless opinions. what you know collectively could fit on the head of a pin

          • dreamjoehill

            The way you right wing dopes appropriate left wing rhetoric is always amusing, hater..

        • Rick Harris

          Am I mistaken; or, did a majority Republican congress vote for “Obamacare”? It seems to perfectly fit their agenda. Health care for the uberich.

          • lberhow

            It was Obama and a Democratic congress that passed Obama Care with the two Republicans from Maine. How old are you if you can’t remember something that recent.

          • In his first two years, Obama had a Democratic Congress. He even had 60 votes in the Senate. Then the people of Massachusetts elected Republican Scott Brown in order to prevent Obamacare from passing the Senate. So Harry Reid cheated to bypass the 41-vote Republican filibuster, and Obamacare passed the Senate on a party-line vote. In 2010, the popular reaction against Obamacare brought a Republican landslide, and Democrats have not controlled either house of Congress since then.

      • dreamjoehill

        All other developed nations have single payer, socialized healthcare or heavily regulated insurance markets. They al have better results, greater access to healthcare for the poor and less expensive systems.
        Capitalist healthcare is a vampire that feeds on the blood of the masses!

        • Alan Lambert

          Perhaps the best attribute—until lately—of this country was the freedom from excessive bureaucratic intervention by Govt. Lately, narrowly focused, blinders on, people who think like you have been doing their best to bring that down. You are simply wrong.

          • dreamjoehill

            That’s your opinion, but it’s an ignorant one that is used to justify barbaric inequality.

          • patgo

            That’s an ad hominem attack. Alan wins the argument!

          • dreamjoehill

            Your biased, and I could care less who you think wins.
            And it was not ad hominem, Einstein. I attacked his opinion, not him.

          • jeremy

            it’s not an opinion. its a fact. you are wrong consistently wrong.

          • dreamjoehill

            I agree that the drivel you write hardly qualifies as an opinion, but I try to give the uneducated the benefit of the doubt.

          • patgo

            INEQUALITY IS NATURE. You cannot fix it by destroying those who work hard.

          • dreamjoehill

            Providing universal healthcare does not destroy people who work hard.

          • patgo

            LEARN SOME ECONOMICS. Universal healthcare costs a lot of money. It bankrupts a nation. That hurts people who work hard. Our national debt is killing us. The interest payments come out of YOUR pocket (unless you are a recipient), and our current share of national debt is over $65,000 PER PERSON, including babies. That will eventually totally destroy everything, INCLUDING THE ABILITY TO GET HEALTH CARE. For EVERYONE. These nations that provide universal healthcare are going broke. Europe is imploding economically. PAY ATTENTION TO THE NEWS. I don’t know how to get you to wise up. I am totally frustrated. You vote, unfortunately, and you help put these ruinous policies in place.

            And it’s not that good an idea anyway. Did you know that when doctors go on strike, the death rate in hospitals goes DOWN? We are being killed by TOO MUCH HEALTH CARE, in the form of drugs, invasive tests, and other malpractice.

            It is my job to help the needy DIRECTLY. It is not your right to have government point a gun in my face and demand I provide health care for someone I’ve never met.

          • dreamjoehill

            “Universal healthcare costs a lot of money. It bankrupts a nation” Yet nations with universal healthcare spend far less per capita and obtain better results than the US. Your right wing talking points prove nothing.

            It is my job to help the needy DIRECTLY. It is not your right to have government point a gun in my face and demand I provide health care for someone I’ve never met.”
            it’s called taxes and social policy. if you don’t like it, you can vote too. I’ll be supporting candidates who support universal healthcare, and I could care less about your sociopathic rant.

          • patgo

            Nations with universal healthcare are GOING BROKE! READ THE NEWS, for cryin’ out loud! I don’t care how much less they spend; it is destroying Europe!!!!!!!!!

            Sociopathic? For wanting to work hard, use MY money to help MY children, and because we were forced to pay for public indoctrination centers (so-called “public schools”) where people like you got an “education”. And if I didn’t pay? My home is taken from me WITHOUT COMPENSATION. That’s unconstitutional, but never mind!

            And you either work hard and are victimized by the same system, or you’re victimizing the rest of us. And you call ME sociopathic?

            I’m not writing to you. I am writing PAST you, to the people who read these comments and are still capable of THINKING.

          • dreamjoehill

            “I don’t care how much less they spend; it is destroying Europe!!!!!!!!!”
            Clearly you don’t care about making a logical argument based on evidence. You’re a waste of my time.
            Clearly you never received an education. “People like you” are ignorant anti-social bigots. Selfish morons who hold deep seated psychotic delusions of victimization.

          • patgo

            Folks,

            Be very, very, very careful. This is the tactic of tyrants.

            In the Soviet Union, labeling a person as mentally ill was the first step. Incarcerating dissidents in mental hospitals was a method of silencing them. I see it happening in our own country.

            Psychiatry and psychology are religious cults. They are based on western atheism, Freud, et al. They do not acknowledge the existence of God or sin. Much mental illness is due to guilt or remorse. Neither of these so-called disciplines apply to Asians, other cultures, or Christians. The definitions are culturally determined.

            The government can, and does, incarcerate people without due process for thought crimes. I had a personal experience when a family member was incarcerated. She is Asian, and she was acting Asian, but they neither knew nor cared. Asians who are not Americanized do not recognize any validity in western psychology, so-called “science”. I sat with her as she was interviewed by a psychiatrist. I then sat in on the kangaroo court, and testified. The psychiatrist lied on the witness stand about the interview. The woman was supposed to receive the assistance of an attorney, who did not show up until the trial, told me I knew more about the case than she did, and I should defend her at trial. Which I did. I also filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in federal court. It was dismissed without even a hearing. The government is in collusion. If you are incarcerated, they will try to fill you with exceptionally poisonous pharmaceutical drugs, some of which actually make people suicidal and homicidal. Many of these drugs are behind the mass shootings. It has been shown that nearly all of the shooters had been using psychotropic drugs (usually SSRI), or still were. They are a danger to the public. And the methods they use in interrogations, group sessions, brainwashing and other techniques, are strictly atheistic.

            When they decide to incarcerate you, you lose ALL your constitutional rights. If it disrupts your life, as it did hers (she lost her job), it’s “oh well!” They DO NOT CARE. They are in it for the money and the power. Alone.

            The person I am responding to has bought into this. Because I disagree with him, I am psychotic. That is the first step, folks! But remember, when the tyrants take over, they will exterminate anybody and everybody, including people who agree with them (because they are a threat to their power).

            Treat this for what it’s worth. Its purpose is to silence me and exercise tyranny over me and you, the readers.

          • dreamjoehill

            I never claimed you should be drugged or locked up for your delusions, but you certainly are suffering from delusions of victimization. Too much time at alt-right Natural News?
            In any case, I am strongly opposed to the political influence of the psychiatric profession. from my left wing perspective, it functions as a means of oppressing and disempowering the working class.
            I just completed a successful court battle to prevent my ex from putting my pre-teen son on SSRIs.
            You make a lot of hostile and wrongheaded assumptions based on your ideological bias.

          • patgo

            Folks,

            This writer engaged in the first step to silencing those who disagree with him, and then seeks to justify his actions by saying he opposes the same things I do. Confused thinking? And then makes the same ad hominem attack as before.

            When my home is taken from me without compensation, and I am kicked out into the street, because I either cannot or will not pay for the public schools which indoctrinate people such as him, with these economically unsound ideas of utopia, am I deluded? Or am I REALLY a victim of a system that blatantly violates the Constitution? You decide.

          • dreamjoehill

            Ok, I tried to relate to you as a fellow human being, but your paranoia does not allow that.
            Opposition to public schools is about as regressive as it gets. Your politics are utterly sociopathic and deranged. You may want to go back to the dark ages, but I won’t allow you and yours to take me with you.

          • patgo

            Tell that to the inner city kids who graduate illiterate.

            It took me six months of half hour sessions to teach each of our children to read. They are all excellent readers, generally reading on the sixth grade level by the time they enter first grade. Find me a dozen public schools that can say the same. One or two, maybe.

            Entrapment, folks! He set out the bait (I agree with you about THIS) and then when I didn’t take it, he goes back to his ad hominems.

            Oh, and by the way, more than two million homeschooled children have parents who agree with me. Who is the sociopath here? The one who wants everyone to be forced into illiteracy by DELIBERATE anti-pedagogical techniques, or the person who sees this for what it is? Government indoctrination.

            It’s a fact, folks! The public schools are funded by taking ancestral homes away from elderly widows on meager social security, and are DESIGNED to create an illiterate population, and I can demonstrate that six ways to Sunday.

            A neighbor of mine used to buy tax liens. They’re a lucrative investment, mostly made by rich bankers (and I have yet to meet the leftist who likes rich bankers). When she bought a tax lien on an elderly widow with no money, she was terrified she would have to kick that little lady out into the street. The lady’s son paid the tax lien. What about elderly widows who have no such sons? She never bought a tax lien again. Some people have a conscience, and some people don’t.

            Another neighbor was a career teacher in public school. She asked me once, “Do you homeschool your children?” I said, Yes. She said, “Good for you!”

            And by the way, public schools eat teachers for lunch. One of our sons taught there for a year. He graphically illustrated his claim that they are toxic to learning by having to take a week off to regain his mental equilibrium. He was brought in, in October, to replace the choral teacher who suddenly skipped. He had three high school choruses, mostly made up of students who couldn’t even carry a tune, who took the easy elective. He brought two of those choruses up to such excellence that both won second place in a regional competition in another state. And trained SIXTEEN solo vocalists in a year. And they got rid of him, even though he had a two year contract. Why? Because he refused to get a teaching certificate!

          • dreamjoehill

            Yeah sure, let’s take public schooling away from tens of millions of kids because some schools perform poorly. my son attends public school and is s straight A student.
            Of course there are many faults with the way public schools are funded, but that doesn’t justify advocating abolishing public schools.
            You’re a born again Christian, right? That’s why you home school.

          • patgo

            See, here is another example of what happens when you jump to conclusions. Public schools are educational welfare, the one form of welfare even conservatives have bought into. Being a straight A student doesn’t mean much these days. They hand out A’s for mastering a much lower level of material than they did when I went to school. Achievement tests have been dumbed down. If we abolished public schools, ALL children would start getting an education again, just like they did before public schools were founded.

            Define “born again Christian”.

            We homeschooled because neither the public schools nor the Christian schools met our standards, and we couldn’t afford to send our children to a really good school. And besides, I wanted to enjoy their progress. It’s our DUTY to teach our own children. Most people shirk their duty.

            We belonged to a homeschooling group where everyone got together so the kids could socialize. We had Wiccans, atheists, and lots of other religions. I don’t recall meeting any Christian families there.

          • dreamjoehill

            ” If we abolished public schools, ALL children would start getting an education again, just like they did before public schools were founded.” You have a seriously inaccurate view of history. Prior to public schooling most people were illiterate.
            You can homeschool if you want. no one is stopping you. So what we’re really arguing about is taxation to fund education. Your opposition to such taxes indicate that you are a sociopath and that your concern for others stops at you and your family and maybe your immediate community. You try to avoid that conclusion with your absurd falsification of the history of educational achievement prior to the founding of public schools.
            My son is extremely bright and learned to read at age 3. At age 1-1/2, he could already read numbers and the alphabet. At that age, one of his favorite activities was reading the license plates on cars.
            I have taken an active role in his education in cooperation with his public school teachers and stellar results have been achieved. My son got his A’s at an academically accelerated public school. Your arrogant attempt to minimize his achievements with your anti-social anti-public school rhetoric is utterly vile.
            BYW, if you decide to make a campaign of eliminating public schools, prepare for the fight of your life. A lot of parents would take your attempt to subvert their children’s educational opportunities quite personally, and might quite rightly have a very strong negative reaction.

          • patgo

            Where do you get this notion that prior to public schooling, most people were illiterate? Most children were taught to read, by their parents, with the King James Bible. There were schools available, and philanthropists paid for the education of children whose parents couldn’t afford it.

            The taxation method to fund education is unconstitutional. No property is to be taken for a public purpose without just compensation. There is NO compensation if they take your home for non-payment of property tax, even though the tax is for a public purpose.

            Once more, you play into the hands of tyrants by calling me a sociopath. These are the kinds of accusations used to justify putting people in mental hospitals to SILENCE DISSENT. And even though you SAY you don’t advocate doing this, you are AIDING AND ABETTING IT with such accusations.

            Your son got his education from YOU. He continues to self-educate in school. I am happy that he learns well, that he has a parent who cared enough to nourish him. But the STANDARDS in the schools have been drastically lowered, so his A’s do not mean the same as the A’s people got in the accelerated program I had access to, courtesy of the shame and humiliation of Sputnik I.

            As for eliminating public schools, IT IS HAPPENING. In my state, a child can receive a scholarship to the school of his choice, paid for by donations that are 100% tax credits to state income tax. This will eventually shut down the public schools in my state. Other states are starting to follow suit. There will be no fight. Parents will voluntarily remove their children, and the public school system will collapse. And it saves the government money, because most other schools are far less expensive than public schools. So even though it’s a 100% tax credit, it enhances state budgets. A win-win situation. Most parents will willingly take their children out. No fight will ensue. It will just be slow, and I hope we don’t have our home taken in the meantime, because we cannot afford the property tax (in any amount). Social security simply isn’t enough to cover that tax. For anybody.

            And by the way, WHEN our home is taken, we will both die in the street very quickly. One of us is totally disabled. Unless the government provides housing for us, which will cost a lot more than the property tax would have. Some token efforts have been made to deal with this situation, but it is far from enough.

            We never took one red cent from homeowners for our children’s education. And they are paying taxes, too. They are good citizens. We deserve to be tax-free at this point in our lives.

          • dreamjoehill

            First, women and slaves had much lower literacy rates.

            2nd, the hallmark of public schooling is that any student in the community is accepted regardless of income or ability. How can that be accomplished w/o public schools?

          • patgo

            And your first point is?

            In several countries, private networks of citizens teaching EACH OTHER to read created a LITERATE population, women included. It didn’t cost anyone any tax money whatsoever. We have groups like that in the United States, but only for adults. If people started teaching CHILDREN to read privately, on the “each one teach one” principle, we wouldn’t need the vast majority of schools. Just make available libraries where people can actually learn stuff, and show them why it is worth their while. I have personally taught not only our children to read, but also other children.

            In our community, there is a scholarship fund for any student to attend the school of choice, focused particularly on needy students. It is paid for by donations from taxpayers, who get a 100% tax CREDIT for more than $600. This costs the government LESS money because most people choose other schools, which cost less than public schools. Regardless of whether any student is accepted, IF THEY DO NOT EDUCATE THE STUDENT, what’s the point? Since 1/3 drop out before graduation and 1/3 graduate functionally illiterate, I’d say it doesn’t matter that they accept all students.

            Look at Marva Collins. She started a school for the worst students, a private school, and turned out highly educated people. Without taxing my property or threatening my home.

            Why do you keep defending a failed institution? Your son does well because YOU HOMESCHOOLED HIM for awhile before he started in school. He can have all the ability he wants, but if you didn’t foster it, he wouldn’t have achieved as he has. Homeschooling is by far the most effective method. God gave the job of teaching children to the PARENTS, not the government.

            And why do you keep defending an institution that requires that students be FORCED TO SUBMIT BODILY TO THE INJECTION OF POISONS? Thereby, they learn to accept and seek out medical care from our failed system that only enriches pharmaceutical companies.

            You really need to think about this and do some research.

          • dreamjoehill

            “Why do you keep defending a failed institution?” That’s a presumptuous statement. Not all public schools are failing. most do a pretty good job. Some staes., like New Jersey, have less than 10% dropout rates.

            I don’t know where you get your 1/3 functionally illiterate stat.

            “God gave the job of teaching children to the PARENTS, not the government.” says you, but your religion based belief is unconvincing to me. Schooling helps to make up for parents who can’t or won’t teach their children. It provides far more resources for most children than home schooling would. Of course parents are important; I would never argue otherwise, but not all parents are educated or good teachers. Many parents work long hours.
            You want to generalize from your situation to all situations, but that is a logical fallacy.

          • patgo

            Yes, I have religious beliefs, which are widely shared. The truth is, if all the people who believed in my religion pulled their children out of educational welfare, the schools would collapse. there have always been alternatives for children whose parents can’t or won’t teach them. And by the way, most are, a little at a time. That’s why the nation has more than 2 million homeschooled children. As the schools continue to run roughshod over the rights of all students and parents, it will accelerate.

            Those who want homeschooling and can’t do it themselves, can form co-ops. I have seen this work well. And as I said, people can teach other people’s children to read, and the “each one teach one” model DOES work, and works well.

            Read Samuel Blumenfeld.

            Most public schools do NOT do a pretty good job. I will never forget a comment made by a very close friend, “I do not think the education I am receiving is particularly good.” We were in accelerated classes, and she still felt that way. Made me think. Tragically, she was killed by a train while working for the Peace Corps. The more I thought about her comment, the more I agreed. Her mother required her to read one piece of classical literature for every science fiction book she read. A very good start.

            Parents wouldn’t have to work such long hours if the government weren’t taxing us to death. Most mothers work just to pay the family’s taxes. They’d be better off staying home and raising the children right so they don’t become a burden on the taxpayer. And yes, I am a feminist, and if the father wants to do that, it’s fine with me, but the fact is, most mothers would RATHER stay home and raise the children.

          • dreamjoehill

            I’m with you on one parent staying home, but I’m basically anti-feminist. US feminism is anti-male and since the 60’s it’s been a deep state project to divide the working class and weaken unions and the radical left. And in case you didn’t know it, the identity politics obsessed “left” of today is not the radical left.
            The biggest burden on the taxpayer is the military industrial complex.
            I support universal publicly funded education. On a societal scale, there is no substitute for it.

          • patgo

            I do not support THAT feminism. I am a pro-life feminist. It puts a whole new slant on things. We are not anti-male.

            The biggest DUTY of government is to protect us from our enemies, foreign and domestic. The “military-industrial complex” produces that protection. Most people don’t know it, but President Jefferson actually sent the American military after the Barbary Pirates on foreign coasts and defeated them on the high seas and foreign coasts. Those were the terrorists of his day, rooted in the same “religion” as our current terrorists.

            You support universal publicly funded education? Do you know what that DOES to FAMILIES? It takes children away and gives them to the STATE. Take Sweden, for instance, which seizes homeschooled children and KEEPS them AWAY from their parents indefinitely. You yourself taught your own son. You would be PRECLUDED FROM THAT under such a system, as would we have been.

            Sure, there is no substitute. It’s how tyrannies take over nations. Happened in Germany. It’s happening everywhere now. The only solution is to get government OUT OF EDUCATION entirely. There is no legitimate role for government in “educating”; all it does is indoctrinate to support the nanny state, which is absolutely no better than the pharmaceutical industry in medicine. Children in public schools are taught to ACCEPT SLAVERY. We have a swamp in medical care. We have a swamp in education. Both need to be DRAINED. Don’t seed them with alligators, for cryin’ out loud!

            We need a constitutional amendment separating medicine and state, and one separating school and state.

          • dreamjoehill

            “The “military-industrial complex” produces that protection.”

            Ridiculous. For the most part, the MIC exists to protect overseas investments. Plesae wiki Gen Smedley Butler, USMC, the most decorated marine. He exposed this aspect of US military policy 80 years ago, and it has only gotten worse. Odd how you oppose the democratic, public service aspects of the state, but support the State’s most authoritarian and aspects. Typical right winger. It’s the first and most important reason that I despise the right wing POV.

            “It takes children away and gives them to the STATE.” You may think that, but it’s paranoid nonsense and absolute hysteria from my POV.

            I still teach my son, but as a supplement to his high quality public education.

            The public schooling as tyranny argument is just not convincing to the vast majority of people.

            And what is it with you right wingers and calling every one else slaves. Such obnoxious arrogance. from my POV, you are a slave to superstition, but I haven’t brought that up till now out of respect, but if you want to throw overheated rhetoric so can I.

            “We need a constitutional amendment separating medicine and state, and one separating school and state” That would leave us all at the mercy of the corporate oligarchs.

          • patgo

            The “military-industrial complex” provides our national defense. I still don’t know why I should pay any attention to Smedley Butler. He is entitled to his opinion and I am to mine.

            Sorry, but I have seen with my own eyes how the government takes children away. I have worked with victims. This is REAL, and it’s happening here.

            You aren’t very informed about what a high quality education is, apparently. I can tell you from personal experience that nearly all of the education I have was SELF-ACQUIRED, outside the classroom. I was taught to read with phonics, and that made all the difference. They don’t teach phonics in most public schools. They teach look and guess, and this is INTENTIONAL because it creates ILLITERATE PEOPLE. I taught myself to read 14 languages, play two musical instruments, and I taught myself the law well enough to achieve many victories in the courtroom, representing myself. I taught myself enough about medicine and health to protect us from the worst ravages of the oligarchs you mentioned, until we fell into their hands through no fault of our own. Other family members taught themselves electronics, computer programming, and many, many other skills. And they make good money doing what they taught themselves. Regardless of what kind of education your son is allegedly getting in public school, I can guarantee you it is nowhere comparable to what *I* think a good education is. Sorry.

            Yes, we are all slaves, to the tax-and-spend government, that takes the fruits of our labors from us, and gives us nothing of value in return. Next?

            We are AT THE MERCY of the corporate oligarchs NOW, courtesy of government protectionism. Ever hear of crony capitalism? That’s what we’re talking about here. And you’re advocating TOTAL CONTROL by the government, which means TOTAL PROTECTION of crony capitalism. If government got out of health care completely, I would be able to get the kind of medical care *I* want, unhindered, and other people like me, and we would show the nation which kind of care is EFFECTIVE, and that would weaken and destroy those oligarchs.

            Wake up and smell the coffee!

          • dreamjoehill

            “I still don’t know why I should pay any attention to Smedley Butler. He is entitled to his opinion and I am to mine.”
            Because he is speaking from experience. Because he is the most decorated marine in history. But no, you’d rather spout platitudes. You’re so cocksure of your every belief that you don’t need to consider facts and other, more informed perspectives, like Butler’s. That’s not a sign of an educated mind. It’s a sign of a closed mind. So perhaps your education is not the gold standard that you arrogantly profess it to be
            You babble on about slaves, and tax and spend government, but gobble up the Pentagon brainwash and have no problem with the wasteful and corrupt military industrial complex. you even put the words in quotes, as if it is disreputable, but it originated with Eisenhower’s farewell speech. I guess you know more than him also, based on….nothing but boilerplate militarist propaganda.

          • patgo

            There you go with the ad hominems again. Please learn a new tune.

            I am entitled to my opinion.

            I have experience, too. Being the most decorated marine in history doesn’t make him an authority on THOSE issues. To say so is a fallacy.

            I do not regard my education as a gold standard. It falls far short of what I wanted it to be. If it were what I wanted it to be, I’d be a concert pianist, I’d SPEAK 14 languages instead of just reading them, I’d have knowledge of chemistry, and I’d be much quicker on my feet answering fools like you.

            I form my own opinions on the military industrial complex. I know at least some of it from the inside, and I know what the problems are. You’re not beginning to address them. I do not pay attention to the Pentagon or to boilerplate militarist propaganda. Disagreeing with Smedley Butler doesn’t make me closed minded or ignorant. Sorry.

          • patgo

            There you go with the ad hominems again. Please learn a new tune.

            I am entitled to my opinion.

            I have experience, too. Being the most decorated marine in history doesn’t make him an authority on THOSE issues. To say so is a fallacy.

            I do not regard my education as a gold standard. It falls far short of what I wanted it to be. If it were what I wanted it to be, I’d be a concert pianist, I’d SPEAK 14 languages instead of just reading them, I’d have knowledge of chemistry, and I’d be much quicker on my feet answering fools like you.

            I form my own opinions on the military industrial complex. I know at least some of it from the inside, and I know what the problems are. You’re not beginning to address them. I do not pay attention to the Pentagon or to boilerplate militarist propaganda. Disagreeing with Smedley Butler doesn’t make me closed minded or ignorant. Sorry.

          • dreamjoehill

            War is a racket. It always has been… A few profit – and the many pay. But there is a way to stop it. You can’t end it by disarmament conferences. You can’t eliminate it by peace parleys at Geneva. Well-meaning but impractical groups can’t wipe it out by resolutions. It can be smashed effectively only by taking the profit out of war.

            Smedley Butler

            I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

            Smedley Butler

          • patgo

            Who is Smedley Butler? Why should I care what he thinks? Why should I trust his word?

            In case you haven’t noticed, a certain “religion” is inspiring terrorists to commit atrocities against innocent people. Some countries have been overrun or heavily populated with these people, and it is not safe to live there. It can be horrible. They want to take over our country. Our military is preventing them from having access to our roads so they can plant IEDs there, and our roads are safe to drive. If you haven’t noticed this, you are blind in one eye and can’t see out of the other.

            Regardless of whether wars protect super rich people and their holdings, they also protect the rest of us. And the efforts this man asserted he expended certainly didn’t prevent Cubans from living in a cesspool of violence, oppression, and tyranny, now did it?

            Take your propaganda someplace else. On second thought, keep dishing it out to me. I won’t buy into it, and it will cost you time you could use to flummox someone else.

            Our Constitution REQUIRES OUR GOVERNMENT to protect us from violence here at home and abroad. That includes everybody: the super rich, and you and me.

          • dreamjoehill

            “They want to take over our country. Our military is preventing them from having access to our roads so they can plant IEDs there, and our roads are safe to drive. ”

            You have it backwards, it’s the US and NATO that has invaded Muslim nations. It has overthrown secular governments and has supported extreme right wing jihadists in Iraq, Syria, and Libya against secular regimes that were a bulwark against the jihadist movement.

            US attacks in the middle east have nothing to do with fighting jihad and everything to do with overthrowing strong, nationalist governments using jihadist proxies and Us troops in order to maintain the dominance of the dollar and western oil companies.

            So you are the blind one, and you are the one spewing fact free militarist propaganda.

            “Who is Smedley Butler? Why should I care what he thinks? Why should I trust his word?”
            With your superior education, one would think that you could figure that out for yourself, but you prefer to wallow in close minded ignorance. You prefer to spout false propaganda that is used to justify the deaths of millions of Muslims.
            For that, I despise you and your false and brutal version of Christianity.

          • patgo

            That “secular ruler” trained the jihadists who destroyed the Twin Towers. We should have let Petraeus manage the entire nation. He established peace and cooperation in the portion he managed. Then the usurper pulled out our troops and the bloodbath that ensued has been brutal. I have researched this topic extensively, and you will NOT pull the wool over my eyes about any of the reality there. Saddam had WMD, sent most to Syria while Bush got permission from the UN (we saw them by satellite), and still had some left, which WE FOUND. Those attacks have everything to do with fighting jihad, and our usurper betrayed us to the jihadists as a matter of lifestyle. I didn’t get this from militarist propaganda, but from embedded reporters and other such sources.

            We haven’t killed millions of Muslims, but that “secular ruler” and other Muslims have.

            And this has nothing to do with my Christianity, false or otherwise.

            I did my homework. You obviously haven’t done yours.

          • dreamjoehill

            “The Muslim terrorist apparatus was created by US intelligence as a political weapon” – National security adviser to the Carter administration, Zbigniew Brzezinski
            “The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al-Qaeda, and any informed intelligence officer knows this. But, there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an intensified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive TV watchers to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the United States.” – Former British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook

          • patgo

            Sorry, I have no use for Zbigniew Brzezinski. They’re both dead wrong. I have inside information.

            Your credibility is shot to pieces already. Why do you keep working on digging the hole deeper? I am not impressed just because somebody famous said something.

            And by the way, I think Bush lied when he said there were no WMD in Iraq. I am sure he knew there were. I have never figured that out, since he was usually truthful. But he also said Islam is a religion of peace, and that is dead wrong as well.

          • dreamjoehill

            Claiming “inside info” that you don’t reveal is a deceptive propaganda tactic. All the publicly revealed sources contradict your POV on the Iraq invasion and subsequent War on Terror.
            Brzezinski designed and implemented the US policy of arming jihadists. He’s not just somebody famous saying something. Your attempted rebuttal of Brzezinski’s quote is an indication of either ignorance, dishonesty or both.
            So far you’ve provided zero credible evidence to support your claims about the misleadingly named “War on Terror” which is actually a war over middle eastern oil reserves and trade in dollars.

          • patgo

            It is only a deceptive propaganda tactic if it’s FALSE. I assure you, it is QUITE TRUE. I have family members who have been eyewitnesses, I have photographs, and I have read the writings of a number of freelance embedded reporters whose background I trust. Brzezinski, on the other hand, is an anti-Semite. ‘Nuff said.

            I feel no compulsion to convince you of anything. It is clear that you are sorely lacking in an understanding of basic economics, and evidently you read conspiracy theorists, who are more interested in sensation than truth.

            Your repeated ad hominem attacks are vexatious. I’m done with you.

          • dreamjoehill

            “Your repeated ad hominem attacks are vexatious. I’m done with you.”
            Good riddance. You are merely cluttering up this space with lies that were disproven years ago. I’m quite familiar with the “arguments” advanced by you right wing extremists. You have added nothing knew to my knowledge.

          • dreamjoehill

            fbxl5 • 12 hours ago

            “They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying, lobbying, to get what they want. Well, we know what they want.

            They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I’ll tell you what they don’t want:

            They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking.

            They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking.

            They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That”s against their interests.
            George Carlin

          • patgo

            That’s precisely why the government likes public schools. They teach children to avoid critical thought in favor of indoctrination to support government tax and spend schemes.

          • dreamjoehill

            That is an exaggerated over-generalization, in other words not true. it’s illogical nature is ronic
            coming from someone who bemoans a lack of critical thinking skills.
            Try again. Perhaps if you work on being more specific, your statement can be revised beyond its prima facie irrationality.

          • patgo

            I know this is a can of worms, and you want me to jump right in. Does your son study science? Is he taught the scientific method, and to QUESTION everything, or is he taught scientific DOCTRINE? False conclusions about evidence, presented as fact, which is an undercurrent under our miserable health care system. How many languages has your son learned in school? Is he being indoctrinated into behaviors that will cause grave harm to his life? Is Planned Parenthood in there promoting contraception, for example? Is he being subjected to Common Core? Was he taught standard algebra, or set theory? How about plane and solid geometry? Do they read the classics, or books full of gore and profligate living? Do they READ? Or is he like our oldest son, who read on a sixth grade level when he entered first grade in a public school, but totally lost interest in reading in two months? You better believe we yanked him out of the public school and never looked back. None of our other children ever saw the inside of a public school classroom.

            Is your son getting indoctrinated into your haywire economic views, and into the desirability of getting as much “medical” care from the pharmaceutical-industrial complex as he can? If you taught him economics, I shudder. If you didn’t, the public schools will indoctrinate him, and I still shudder.

            Can your son defend himself in a courtroom against corrupt judges who no longer present objective justice? Does he know about jury nullification, or if he were on a jury, would he take the judge’s word for what the law says?

            Does your son know where to gather the plants and how to use them for food and medicine?

            Can he identify species of birds, fish, plants, mammals, and many other living things? Does he understand that taxonomy is a system created for our convenience that is not proof of any relationships between organisms?

            Does he understand the nature of evidence, and how to evaluate the validity of ancient texts?

          • patgo

            Oh, by the way, I see you didn’t answer my question. How do you define “born-again Christian”? I would certainly not apply that label to myself. I have some real problems with the teachings I believe are being promoted by people who use that label for themselves.

          • patgo

            I should point out that the public schools are largely responsible for the American public’s acceptance of Big Pharma. Children are forced to submit to painful violation of their bodies by injections of immunizations that contain toxic chemicals. That’s a rather pointed lesson as far as I am concerned. The only other major factor is television advertising of Big Pharma’s products to the general public. That should be outlawed.

          • patgo

            Oh and by the way, because we DID help our children, they never took a cent out of YOUR pocket, either, even when they were in desperate need. Being put there by a SOCIOPATHIC woman who wanted all kinds of government benefits and couldn’t get them with the father in their child’s life, so she set out systematically to destroy him and drive him off, even holding THEIR child incommunicado with her own father, who didn’t even know if she was dead or alive. And you want more of the same! Half our trouble in this country is that we pay people to drive fathers out of the home, and with all those absent fathers, children are raised as sociopaths, who are not productive, provide sperm donations for more dependent children who require money out of YOUR pocket, and the rot goes on.

            I’ve mentioned the inability for people to drink safe water in Flint and Detroit. Keep in mind that SAFE WATER is the primary way to combat disease! It’s the first thing reasonable people try to provide for folks in the third world, to combat DISEASE. With no disease, there are no medical costs.

            And because we helped our children, that woman never got any money out of YOUR pocket, or anybody else’s. She had to make do with what she and her mother could EARN by honest means, and the child was provided for without any money out of your pocket. And since our ability to help our children is limited by heavy taxation, and our ability to take care of our own health needs was stolen FROM US by confiscatory taxation into a fund that Congress has robbed repeatedly for their pet pork, the system is insolvent, and ultimately, MILLIONS of elderly people will be out in the street, dying.

            And you call ME a sociopath!

        • jeremy

          wrong on all counts. We don’t have capitalist healthcare When we DID, it worked fine. Now we have crony capitalism, and that is a lot closer to communist than capitalist.
          No, the single payer nations do not have better healthcare. They have typically plenty of primary care and a lethal shortage of specialists so much so that people wait for many MONTHS to have necessary procedures done.
          Take your commie dreams elsewhere.
          in socialized medicine, there is no incentive for the CONSUMER to use the resources wisely, so they don’t. They burden the system with absolutely needless visits to the doctors. THis is common sense. if it isn’t YOU Paying the bill, you would leave the lights on and open the door with the A/C on. when it’s YOU paying the bills, you are careful with the money. COMMON SENSE dictates a system where the consumer has skin in the game. socialized medicine is a complete failure.

          • Well, perhaps you can explain why people in single-payer nations live longer, healthier lives than Americans do.

          • patgo

            Because Americans are being filled with pharmaceutical poisons, that’s why, courtesy the protectionism of OUR GOVERNMENT. And you want our government do WHAT? Force everyone into single payer with OUR GOVERNMENT in charge?

          • No, I want the gov’t to pay for the health care, even long-term care, for people who need health care, even if that health care was caused by Big Pharma.

          • patgo

            So what you want is to force ME to pay for YOUR health care, at the point of a gun. I imagine you would not come to my house and point a gun in my face and demand my money (or am I mistaken?), but you are perfectly willing to let the government do your dirty work for you. Remember where the money government has comes from. It comes from the pockets of people who work hard. If I don’t pay, I go to jail. The government doesn’t generate money. It only takes money from the productive, splits it in half, gives half to bureaucrats, and uses the other half to humiliate the recipients. And buy votes. You may not “need” for me to pay for YOUR health care, but your proposal still violates my First Amendment right to freedom of religion. MY religion REQUIRES me to help others IN PERSON, with love, in the name of Jesus. When you take my money from me by force, then I don’t HAVE that money to fulfill my religious mandate. I never meet the recipient, cannot show any love, and the name of Jesus is forbidden.

            You have no right to do that, not even for a “good cause”.

          • …like you aren’t already paying for it for half of Americans already?

          • patgo

            Ah, I see! I have been subjected to punitive, confiscatory injustice in the past, so let’s have MORE of it! Yeah, right!

            We often had no income whatsoever. We NEVER took a CENT from the government. It hurt us very badly. But the taxes never stopped. We had to pay $30,000 one year, and we are far from prosperous. That money, if we had been able to invest it, would have provided the medical care needed by us AND our children, in perpetuity, and we would never have been forced to accept the “medical care” that was forced upon us, which cost us so dearly, in suffering, pain, anguish, and yes, in the pocketbook, because we were unable to pay for the PROPER care that we required. Productivity was lost. We have had to rely on family to help. They have responsibilities of their own. They’re paying through the nose as well. Jill, THESE ARE REAL PEOPLE these policies are hurting. If you have ever worked, IT HURT YOU and your loved ones. And the ultimate cost? LOST JOBS FOR THE POOR. Look at how few people were able to get work during the years of “progressive” policies, versus what is happening now. Confiscatory taxation and burdensome regulations sent our jobs overseas. Detroit is totally destroyed. Many other cities are in bad shape. In Detroit and Flint, you can’t even get safe drinking water out of the water pipes.

            And you want more of the same! WAKE UP!

          • lberhow

            Crappy excuse.

          • Why? Wouldn’t you prefer to GET SOMETHING for your money?

          • lberhow

            If you like socialism so much move. I will not live under a socialist gov.

          • You’re living under a socialist gov’t NOW. It’s just the top 1% who are getting the goodies from your gov’t. Your regressive tax dollars at work.

          • jeremy

            Jill, right off the bat our children are screwed over by the system. Dr. Neil Miller gathered information provided by about 400 studies and PROVED that the more immunized a child is (starting at birth), the more likely that child is to DIE. The death rate climbs as the number of shots given at once increases. Correlation isn’t necessarily causation.
            A lot of toxic drugs that are allowed in the good ole USA are ILLEGAL in the European Union.
            Peter Schiff is hardly the only person who suggested a very sane alternative that will put the insurance companies back in their proper perspective: Pay as you go for simple things, catastrophic coverage for anything else, and subsidies for the poor. II’m sure a mechanism of HSAs would work just fine.
            As was pointed it, the Fed spent a million dollars PER PERSON just to roll out Obamacare. Could have just given each person a Million dollar HSA account and called it good.

          • Yes; single-payer countries “require” (IF you want them) about half as many vaccines as the US does, because they limit costs (and profits). Which is also why they limit or ban a lot of toxins which we allow. We don’t, BECAUSE sick people are profitable, and because our vaccines mfgrs have been exempt from tort law since 1976. Follow the money.

          • jeremy

            patgo made a very clear-cut case for why we do NOT want the govt in charge of medicine. If you seriously want to know what is going on, watch “Christopher Bollyn, 911” on you tube. THEN, armed with knowledge of what and WHO we are up against, you can become a useful activist and help change things peacefully because the alternative to peacefully is going to be very messy. I would prefer peacefully. peacefully isn’t going to happen until a significant proportion of the populace becomes enlightened. I did my part. that’s a hint.

          • The fact that we do NOT have single-payer, that our gov’t is FIGHTING IT tooth & nail, is proof that we do not have the gov’t we want.

          • lberhow

            Obama care was designed to cause single payer.

          • LOLZ! Well, that’s what they SAID…

          • LOLZ! Well, that’s what they SAID…

          • lberhow

            Our problem there lies at the feet of the FDA.

          • …the FDA is the GATEKEEPER for the for-profit medical-industrial complex.

          • dreamjoehill

            “We don’t have capitalist healthcare When we DID, it worked fine”

            This is just blatant libertarian propaganda unsupported by any evidence. Capitalist healthcare creates extreme inequality. What modern nation has unregulated capitalist healthcare? None.

            A few people may overuse their health benefits under single payer systems, but there is no evidence that this is a widespread problem. Most people don’t enjoy going to the doctor.

            The “skin in the game” BS is simply right wing propaganda used to justify drastically unequal access to healthcare.

            “socialized medicine is a complete failure” More idiotic libertarian sloganeering. All other advanced nations other than the US have socialized medicine or heavily regulated private insurance markets with generous assistance to the poor.
            You libertarian psychopaths want to go back to the law of the jungle.

          • patgo

            People are saying the system isn’t over-used because people don’t like going to the doctor. Then why is it that MILLIONS are taking deadly statin drugs, and go to the doctor to get the prescriptions? Propaganda, advertising, PROTECTED by the government. The government is allowing the pharmaceutical companies to get away with outright FRAUD. The FDA is owned by the pharmaceutical companies, who market these deadly drugs. Because of this, pharmaceutical companies continue to sell these, and now wants EVERYONE to take them. It’s called “preventive medicine”. And our government pushed that on the people in the name of cutting costs. And how did it work? Costs climbed out of sight and are staying there.

          • lberhow

            Statins do not prevent heart attacks. They cause muscle problems among other side effects. Guess what, the heart is a muscle. They also increase the risk of stroke.

          • patgo

            Either you’re reading out of my playbook, or you took the words right out of my mouth. Statins are so deadly, they should be BANNED. They serve no legitimate purpose, not even in people who heredity toward very high cholesterol. I have talked several people out of taking them. If we each did this, they would become history. If you have a loved one who is taking statins, the most loving thing you can do is talk them out of it. Anything else is consigning them to serious illness. They actually dissolve muscles! The material passes through the liver and kidneys, and can cause liver and kidney failure. The brain is made up primarily of cholesterol. Statins can cause dementia for this reason alone. They deplete CoQ10, which is ESSENTIAL for heart function. Most doctors don’t prescribe supplements because the pharmaceutical companies are afraid this will tarnish the image of statins. There are so many other things statins can do to harm the body I can’t possibly list them all here. This is all backed by medical studies I have personally read.

            And the insurance companies that refuse to cover drugs that are free of dangerous ingredients, for my loved one, cover statins so well that people will pay only a couple dollars for a month’s prescription. Walmart sells Lovastatin for under $3 a month.

            And people think we have true medical care, available to some but not all. People who never get a prescription for statins are the lucky ones, no matter what other health problems they face.

          • If Trump really wants to drain the swamp, he should start with FDA.

          • patgo

            Amen!

      • No, the whole point of Obamacare was to keep the for-profit medical industrial complex firmly in place, while pretending to be a huge reform (by enlarging the circle of poor who rated more crumbs to be tossed their way).

  • Alan Lambert

    You are all missing the point—“NON (ie VERY) profit” hospitals are a perfect example of the impossibility of the capitalist model working if restraints are in place. Take them off and see what happens—a new law—ALL medical providers of any nature must publish easily obtained and read descriptions of ALL medications and procedures provided (including charges for general—ie room, food, general nursing overhead charges). In a great big flash of AHA’s, you would see prices plumet, availability skyrocket, bad actors out of business, and choosable varying costs for varying levels of service (fancy rooms etc). In addition to publishing easily findable information, PRIOR to booking a patient, the provider needs to have a copy of potential major charges signed by the patient. and ABOVE ALL, there are to be no preferential deals with insurers or other large groups of payors. (as a capitalist, I really don’t like this provision, but without it the independent medical consumer would get screwed.) Lobbyists for non-profit medical providers should not even exist. I can just about guarantee that such a law will never pass.

    • dreamjoehill

      Unrestrained capitalism is a horrible and inhumane system of delivering healthcare.
      The current crisis in US healthcare results from the privatization and de-regulation of hospitals spearheaded by the Frist family and their ilk, Senator Frist was GOP head of the US Senate while his family was heavily invested in for profit hospitals.
      All capitalism is crony capitalism. Your libertarian propaganda is a nasty capitalist fairy tale.

      • Alan Lambert

        Your semi-hysterical rant is typical of so-called Progressives. Grow up and think, rather than name call. You clearly seem not to understand Capitalism, or Socialism. You also do not understand helpful vs unhealthy retraint.

        • dreamjoehill

          What an utterly irrelevant comment chock full of personal invective.
          You’re areal jerk Alan. Typical arrogant right wing bully boy.

        • TeeJae

          In fact, dreamjoe seems to have a better grasp on it than you do. Or maybe you’re just in denial of how the system works now.

  • As a health economist, I agree that a consumer-driven health care system would be a great improvement. But consumer choice does not mean much if consumers can’t get information about the available options – and under the current system they can’t. Instead of competing, hospitals collude to prevent anyone (like me) from comparing their prices and performance. Some of my older data would have allowed me to perform such comparisons, but it would have been illegal to do so. Now they mask the identities of individual hospitals in my data.

    This article accurately describes how the system works in 49 states. It’s different here in Maryland. Our cost control system prevents hospitals from playing this game of grossly overcharging and then giving negotiated discounts to insurers. Instead, a hospital has to bill all patients at the same price. Ironically, the regulated system in Maryland better simulates a free market outcome than the oligopolistic free-for-all in other states. So, if you don’t have health insurance and have to go to the hospital, Maryland is the best state to live in.

    But it is difficult to maintain this sort of system. New York used to have a system like Maryland’s, but hospitals learned how to game the system, which eventually brought it down. Hospitals with excess capacity would keep patients a day or two longer than necessary so that they could increase the bill. New York’s average length of stay was about 50% longer than in the rest of the country. That was obviously not sustainable.

    • Alan Lambert

      Right on–at least one other person gets it!

  • Just another in the already LONG LIST of reasons why we need single-payer health care for all.

    • NancyW

      Just so you understand, single payer means everyone who works and pays taxes on their income will pay much, much more than presently paid, as SOMEONE has to pay for all of this coverage. Canadian healthcare is so bad due to this that people come to the U.S. all the time for surgery & health care needs as the waiting list is so long no one can wait that long. They just die waiting. “if it sounds too good to be true….it probably is”

      • Well, single-payer does work best when it’s PROGRESSIVELY & adequately funded. Naturally, since 2% of Americans own around 90% of all of America’s wealth, it’s astonishing that the other 98% have to pay any taxes at all; they hardly own anything. But of course we are paying taxes, and we’re already paying for health care for over half of Americans; it would be nice if the rest of us got some actual health care out of it as well.

        It’s a lie that Canadians come to the U.S. for healthcare, though.

        • patgo

          Do you know where JOBS come from? From the wealthy. They have the money to hire people. Tax them, and decrease jobs.

          It is NOT A LIE that Canadians come to the U.S. for health care.

          Do your homework! I have done mine. You don’t know what you are talking about.

          I do not want to be taxed for my health care, and I do not want the government paying for my health care. I do not want the government deciding what health care I will receive. That’s my decision. When government runs it, I don’t have a say. In fact, we ran into this with Medicare. A doctor gave fourteen drugs in the hospital behind our backs and against our will. The consequences were horrendous, still nearly two years later, and I don’t know if it will EVER be straightened out. It has cost us thousands of dollars we don’t have, just to combat the consequences. And we specifically TOLD them to discuss the treatments with us, and they not only did not discuss them, they gave things we rejected against our will, even when we specifically asked them to STOP. And even though I would like to sue for malpractice to pay all those bills, no lawyer will touch it. Why? Because it’s standard of care. In other words, they abuse EVERYONE, so they get away with it.

          I do not want this. I have a right to refuse this. Single payer means I have NO rights. No thank you. If you want some monopoly, you go volunteer. Leave me out of it.

          • Well, the “Job Creators” are doing a really lousy job, because there are NO full-time jobs out there for HALF the working-age population, and half the jobs out there pay less than $38K/year, but I’m sure they appreciate your efforts on their behalf.

          • patgo

            And who was in charge while all these jobs ceased to exist? The very “progressives” you want to have total control of MY health care.

          • In the U.S. , health care is already has a monopoly. If you don’t believe me, just try to start your own hospital, blood lab, med school, malpractice insurance company, pharmaceutical company, etc., without first having a lot of illegal drug money to launder.

          • patgo

            And you want to make it 100 times worse! No, it’s not quite a monopoly. I can still buy all the natural remedies I want. No questions asked.

            What part of this don’t you understand? You RIGHTLY distrust our government, but you want them to have TOTAL CONTROL of MY health care, and yours. Contradictions, anyone?

          • It’s the single-payer countries which don’t allow the for-profit corporations to define the Standard of Care, and which actually take an interest in what works and what doesn’t, because they don’t want to pay more than they have to (though perhaps that’s only when their taxation is progressive).

          • patgo

            So you favor soaking the rich, destroying jobs, and letting Big Pharma control your health care? Big Pharma is in control. They mark up drugs up to 10,000% (that’s PERCENT) over production cost to pay for “development and research” that is “mandated” by the FDA. They don’t charge that in those single payer countries, because they’d never get it. But the point is: HERE IN THE UNITED STATES, SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE WILL BE OWNED BY THE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES. You already show distrust for our own government. Wise up! THIS GOVERNMENT YOU DISTRUST WILL RUN SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE, and the swamp has not been drained.

            One drug we were forced to accept because of the DAMAGE other drugs did, given behind our backs and against our will, is an old drug, research long since paid for, very cheap to make, and they charge many dollars per pill. This amounts to up to over $1000 a month. Who has that kind of money? We don’t. But if you opt for the “cheap” version, you will be forced to accept “inert” ingredients that CAUSE the very condition we are trying to treat. And guess what! The insurance company won’t pay for anything except the generic with the toxic ingredients. That’s another way they get you: the companies that manufacture these so-called “inert” ingredients have a stranglehold on pharmaceuticals. Did you know that this particular ingredient, sodium lauryl sulfate (check it out on Skin Deep Database) causes skin irritation, and for this reason it is used in mice to test the effectiveness of skin products (which by the way also include numerous harmful ingredients, a real horror show)? And this particular ingredient is included in over *7000* different medical products. And even the pharmacists aren’t paying any attention. When I make them aware, they are horrified!

            And the FDA lets them get away with it. You want the FDA to be in charge of YOUR single payer health care system? With no recourse, no alternatives? The FDA is doing its level best to OUTLAW all natural remedies. Case in point: you have to ask for Sudafed at the drug counter. You can’t just get it off the shelf. The active ingredient occurs naturally in the Ephedra plant, which grows in my area. I know where to get it, and I have personally harvested it and used it. And it caused us NO PROBLEMS. So the FDA outlawed something I can harvest for myself. The laugh’s on them, and all the people who don’t live in my area.

          • Health and profit are opposite goals. When the whole point of “health care” is profit–and even w/ Medicare it is; it’s just the gov’t using your regressive tax dollars to buy 2nd-rate care from the same for-profit entities–healthy people are not profitable. Gov’t set up this plan net the for-profit entities more customers & throw more crumbs to the poor & cool the political climate. We need to get rid of the perverse incentives & guarantee that EVERYONE can get DECENT care if they want it, even if they’re not rich, without going bankrupt and/or disinheriting their children.

          • patgo

            The medical profession is supposed to serve. But a doctor, nurse, etc. must be able to earn a living. That’s not “profit” per se. Please be clear: if you think that you have a right (or anyone else does) to a service that someone must pay for, and you are unable to pay for it, you enslave the person who does pay for it. I think this is a major reason why health care is none of the government’s business. It is the job of the churches, synagogues, and families. We CANNOT guarantee that EVERYONE can get DECENT care. It is simply impossible. That’s reality. And while we’re at it, define “decent”.

            Oh, and by the way, if I take good care of myself, should I be obliged to pay for someone who refuses to do so? I refused to get drug coverage because I DO NOT WANT TO PAY FOR OTHER PEOPLE TO POISON THEMSELVES. And in my opinion, pharmaceuticals ARE NOT DECENT CARE in the vast majority of instances.

            You seem to recognize the government has made a mess of health care so far. That being the case, why in the WORLD would you advocate single payer, where the government is TOTALLY in charge?

          • LOL! Are we “enslaved” to teachers, firemen, police, politicians?

            “Decent” care–for the sake of argument–is as good as Sweden’s, and at the same cost.

            OTHER gov’ts manage to do a fine job of paying for health care; just not OURS. OTHER gov’ts do a lousy job of bombing other countries. Pick your priorities.

          • NancyW

            Again, Jill, do your homework! Have you taken a look at Sweden lately? They are going bankrupt! Just like Greece.
            Again, GOVERNMENT IS our tax dollars and idiots are making all your healthcare decisions for you. And by the way, she is so right about BIG PHARMA! They are killing people by the thousands each day and getting filthy rich while doing so. Have you watched any prescription drug commercials lately?
            They are running rampant on all stations and telling you “here are the side effects and this drug most likely will kill you”! as they run a heart warming video behind the “warnings” to distract people and make them feel all warm and fuzzy. Still, easier for most folks to pop some pills instead of trying alternative methods and taking some responsibility for their own health! The FDA is a segment of our “government” and they sold out to Big Pharma a long time ago. Trust in your own self and your abilities rather than counting on our “GOVERNMENT” to take care of you.

          • patgo

            It would be almost impossible to find anything where I disagree with you. Advertising WORKS. That’s why people use it. It gets people to buy stuff they otherwise would have no use for. It’s being used to brainwash people into taking poisonous drugs. Most importantly, you are so right about Big Pharma, and once more, I remind everyone that a single payer system in the United States will be controlled by Big Pharma.

            It’s already a huge problem. If you have to go to the hospital, COUNT ON BEING POISONED by toxic pharmaceuticals WITHOUT YOUR PERMISSION. Count on being fed GMO foods. It’s the only kind available, particularly for people with stomach tubes. The primary ingredient in stomach tube food is CORN SYRUP. You know what marshmallows are made of? CORN SYRUP! They feed you CANDY and call it “food”. It’s such a problem that they ROUTINELY give insulin to people who have NO blood sugar problems without this food. It happened to US. And you know where the corn syrup comes from? GMO CORN! And while you are getting this “food”, they will also feed you as many poisonous drugs as they feel like, and you will be none the wiser.

            I have repeatedly seen the figures. Big Pharma kills about 100,000 people annually, with poisonous drugs, “properly prescribed and properly administered.” And it almost killed the person dearest to me in the world, and two years later, he still suffers life-threatening medical conditions. Try blisters all over his arms and legs, that require he take another toxic drug just to control (we’ve tried every natural remedy we can think of), and life-threatening internal hemorrhage. I don’t know if we’ll ever restore his health. It is terrifying.

            And that’s what she is advocating we be FORCED to accept. ALL OF US.

          • patgo

            Sweden is going broke. Not only that, but they take children from their parents for homeschooling. What’s there to admire about their system? So you trust other governments but not ours? The fact remains: a single payer system would be run by OUR government, not Sweden’s. Sweden has a work ethic our general population doesn’t, and that makes a difference.

            I am enslaved to teachers. If I don’t pay them, I will have my home taken from me without compensation, and be kicked out into the street. That’s slavery. Our children are enslaved to teachers, who teach them the kind of thinking you seem to be demonstrating, which is a form of brainwashing. And you tell me: do you REALLY think you are free of the negative influence of politicians? They can make laws that enslave you, and they already have.

            You haven’t defined “decent”. What is it about Sweden’s health care that makes it decent? The availability of all kind of pharmaceutical poisons? Do they offer alternative care? Is it readily available to everyone? Or do you have to accept what we regard as standard care to get care at all?

          • NancyW

            Patgo, I couldn’t agree more with your sentiments! My sister just passed away on May 12th and she was put through unbelievable bouts of chemo and radiation, even though she was diagnosed with late stage 3 lung and brain cancer with secondary cancer of lymph nodes! At the end, as I watched her little body shrink down to skin and bone, no hair and so weak she couldn’t even speak, the doctor kept doing radiation treatments twice a day!! She was given less than 2 weeks to live by another very qualified oncologist in P’cola Florida, and yet her doctor in W.V. who did the double radiation agreed to surgically placing a feeding tube in her side the night before she died! Again, you can’t bring a law suit against these doctors no matter how bad it gets, because there are so many horrific medical malpractice events happening, they still call it “standard of care”. You have to be a millionaire to even think about finding someone to take your case or a Senator or Congressman/woman. Really sad! Heartbreaking to see my sister end her life that way. This is our state of medical care in the greatest country on earth thanks to greed and lack of caring.

          • patgo

            I am sure you are aware that chemotherapy makes cancer SPREAD, and the new cancer is resistant to the chemotherapy. Somebody ought to stop this! One of my loved ones was diagnosed with lung cancer. It probably wouldn’t even have been a problem, but they insisted on doing a biopsy on a small lump, which probably would otherwise have lain dormant for many years, as it already had. Biopsies spread cancer, too. When they offered her chemo, I was present. I asked the oncologist how much chemo would prolong her life. He got out a little booklet, looked through it for 10 minutes, and then said, “I don’t know.” She declined treatment. She died less than a year later, BUT she was fully alert and without pain until the last few days, when she required only the smallest dose of painkiller, and she continued to be alert and happy until two days before she passed. And even then, she would arouse herself and say something if she needed to. The hospice administrator came to me afterwards and apologized for how they had given me grief over her comfort herbs, and said, “You have really opened our eyes.” We saw countless people come in drugged silly because of all the pain their TREATMENT caused. She was alert enough to reconcile with God. How many of those people passed without that opportunity because of pharmaceutical poisons? Make no mistake. Pharmaceutical companies make a KILLING, literally, from chemotherapy.

        • NancyW

          Jill, Progressive and adequate both mean TAXPAYERS pay for it. Why do people think the “Government” is some fella named Uncle Sam who has a huge vault filled with money just waiting to give it up?! My husband and I have worked hard all our lives and paid way more taxes than we should have just to make our lives good. We are not wealthy, but I honestly don’t think robbing from the “rich” to give to the poor is a solution either. Why do people want to punish the wealthy when they pay over 70% of the taxes paid in our country? I am not defending them, but neither do I think that if my neighbor makes twice as much money as I do because he earned it, that he should share the difference of our incomes with me and my husband. See where I’m going with this? I see morbidly obese people all over the grocery stores every time I go, in their riding carts, buying tons of junk food. I see people smoking as if they have never heard of cancer and I see people buying tons of alcohol and drinking like they have no better sense. These are the folks that are causing all of us to pay much higher premiums on health insurance and a lot more out of pocket for all of us, even if we are doing all we can to take care of our health. Insurance companies are a big part of the problem, as well, and the overcharging of most medical facilities, but I don’t want a “nanny state” type of health care. If it’s “FREE” healthcare, you give up all your choices of your healthcare. That simple. And yes, I personally know many Canadians that come here for their healthcare.

          • patgo

            Would Jill come over to my house, point a gun in my face, and demand I give her my money? Probably not. But she’s perfectly willing to let the government do her dirty work for her! Like far too many other voters. If you don’t pay “your” taxes, you go to prison.

            If we had been allowed to take our FICA money and put it into an investment account of some kind, we would have hundreds of times as much money as we started with, and we wouldn’t NEED insurance. We could CHOOSE our treatments instead of having them forced on us. The health condition we originally faced could have been cured by hyperbaric treatment, but it’s not “approved” for that condition, so they never even mentioned it was available. They drugged the patient silly, destroyed his health, and now we have to pay for the treatment ourselves. Which we were able to do because someone in the distant past put away a small sum of money for us, and it grew over the years, and we just learned about it. It’s our only hope. And if Medicare had paid for it, it would have saved them tens of thousands of dollars in hospital costs. But they don’t have the brains to realize this, so they provided care we DIDN’T want at the expense of the only treatment that would have been effective. All because bureaucrats practice medicine without a license, deciding WHICH treatment you will be given, against your will, behind your back, and in spite of your objections clearly and plainly voiced.

            Does she want BUREAUCRATS deciding what treatment she gets, or would she rather have HONEST DOCTORS decide? Doctors who haven’t been bought by the pharmaceutical industry? She wants to make the very problems she decries MANDATORY on all of us!

    • patgo

      DEAD WRONG! The ONLY thing that will bring down prices is competition. Single payer is by definition, monopoly. No competition.

      • dreamjoehill

        Unregulated Capitalism is s terrible way to deliver healthcare. It causes huge inequality, monopoly and high prices.
        The nation’s with the best healthcare systems are all single payer or heavily regulated.

        • “Unregulated Capitalism” is a strawman. No such thing has existed in the US healthcare market since the 1960s. And when it did exist, there were no monopolies or high prices. Monopoly and high prices can only result from crony capitalism, i.e., highly regulated capitalism under which the government picks the winners.

          • dreamjoehill

            Unregulated capitalism is what you are advocating, no? So how is it a straw man?
            Libertarianism is a pack of fairy tales used to justify the oppression of the masses by a very small number of very wealthy capitalists.

          • You are just doubling down on your strawman and upping the ante with a bit of boilerplate Marxist rhetoric. You have not actually said anything of substance.

            In the real world, wealthy capitalists do not like free markets. They invest in government regulation that favors their interests and keeps potential competitors down. It is government favoritism – aka crony capitalism – that causes injustice and inequality. Government is the problem, not the solution.

          • dreamjoehill

            ” It is government favoritism – aka crony capitalism – that causes injustice and inequality. Government is the problem, not the solution.”

            Typical backwards libertarian propaganda. History clearly shows that unregulated capitalism leads to barbaric inequality and poverty, something you libertarians aren’t really concerned about.

            You still haven’t explained how unregulated capitalism – which you are advocating and is at the center of our debate – is a “straw man.”

            You are just doubling down on your unsupported propaganda and upping the ante with a bit of boilerplate right wing libertarian rhetoric. You have not actually said anything of substance

          • As I said, “unregulated capitalism” is a strawman. It is a figment of the socialist imagination, and I have not advocated it. Furthermore, I’m not a libertarian. So everything you are saying is missing the target.

          • dreamjoehill

            ” the real world, wealthy capitalists do not like free markets. They invest in government regulation that favors their interests and keeps potential competitors down. It is government favoritism – aka crony capitalism – that causes injustice and inequality. Government is the problem, not the solution.”
            This is boilerplate libertarian propaganda.

          • Now you are just mirroring my criticism of you. You can’t even come up with original language, let alone original ideas. And you still have not said anything of substance.

          • dreamjoehill

            Your “criticism” was incredibly vacuous. I mimicked it to demonstrate its utter lack of content or meaning.

        • patgo

          This is the talk of someone who is either delusional or uninformed. Healthcare systems that are single payer DO NOT WORK WELL. They quickly become bankrupt, and do not answer the real needs of patients. Eventually, they start killing expensive patients. I do not trust a doctor who kills. No one has a right to corrupt doctors that way.

          I use alternative care almost exclusively. A single payer system would NOT HELP ME AT ALL.

          A single payer system IS A MONOPOLY. And it is one that is not answerable to the people it supposedly serves. Do you know why Canadians come to American for health care if they can afford it?

          There will always be inequality. But we can drive prices down so more people can afford decent care, ONLY THROUGH COMPETITION. A single payer system is the ANTITHESIS of competition.

          • Monopolies, by definition, exist for PROFIT. The whole point of single-payer is to limit profit (or eliminate!) profit, since profit adds nothing to care.

          • patgo

            When governments have a monopoly, they profit. Where does all the money go that they force you to pay in taxes? They don’t even have to produce a desirable product to get it. You are forced to buy. Clue: it goes to bureaucrats, who VOTE for more such policies. Monopolies exist WHENEVER the market is controlled by ONE ENTITY. It can be a corporation, or it can be the government. PROFIT is not part of the definition. The whole point of single payer is to ENSLAVE the people, including ME, forcing us to accept the ONE FORM of health care they deem desirable, and in the United States, it is DRUGGING PEOPLE TO DEATH WITH POISONS.

          • dreamjoehill

            “This is the talk of someone who is either delusional or uninformed. ” your immediate resort to personal attack is typical of right wing extremists.

            “Healthcare systems that are single payer DO NOT WORK WELL.” Nonsense. Such systems are working well in Canada and many other nations. Your unsupported opinion is basically worthless here.

            “Eventually, they start killing expensive patients”

            More unsupported hysteria.

            “A single payer system IS A MONOPOLY. And it is one that is not answerable to the people it supposedly serves. Do you know why Canadians come to American for health care if they can afford it?”

            If Canadian healthcare is so bad, why are far more Canadians satisfied with their system? You are simply spouting ignorant right wing propaganda.

            “One-fourth of American respondents are either “very” or “somewhat” satisfied with “the availability of affordable healthcare in the nation,” (6% very satisfied and 19% somewhat satisfied). This level of satisfaction is significantly lower than in Canada, where 57% are satisfied with the availability of affordable healthcare”
            Yeah, US healthcare is better for the very wealthy, which are really the only people you libertarians care about.

        • patgo

          Who said anything about UNREGULATED capitalism? One quarrel I have with libertarians is that they do not recognize that a sufficiently large corporation has the SAME consequences as big government, but in the case of big government, we have a Constitution we can TRY to enforce. With a sufficiently large corporation, there is no such control.

          Medical care once WAS “unregulated capitalism”. It worked very well. Who’s saying the best healthcare systems are single payer or heavily regulated? I WANT ACCESS TO ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS. Under NEITHER system you advocate would this be available.

          • dreamjoehill

            I would also like to see what are now “alternative: treatments incorporated into a single payer or socialized healthcare system. What prevents that? Big Pharma.

          • patgo

            I do NOT want alternative treatments incorporated into single payer, because it would CORRUPT them. As things stand now, they are affordable. They cost less than co-pays to Medicare. WHO would be in charge of single payer? BIG PHARMA. You think it’s not so? Well, think again. They already have their claws deeply buried in government. Enact single payer, and they’ll be in charge of EVERYTHING. Alternative care would DISAPPEAR.

            Take your dystopian visions someplace else. I have a right to freedom of choice, and you wish to deny me that. If you want to partake of the system, do it. But don’t force me into it by single payer. I’ve had quite ENOUGH of the MEDICARE SINGLE PAYER system.

            YOU don’t get to decide what kind of system I have to live under. Decide for yourself, and leave me out of it.

          • dreamjoehill

            “YOU don’t get to decide what kind of system I have to live under” Nope, but the government does, and that’s a fact. The decision on the nature of the healthcare system is a collective one.

          • patgo

            Our Constitution is supposed to protect us from the likes of you, and from the tyranny of the majority. If you try to impose that on me, you have forced me to fight for my life. And I will. Health care is SUPPOSED to be a PERSONAL decision, not something the collective imposes on people.

          • dreamjoehill

            “Our Constitution is supposed to protect us from the likes of you.”
            You can always make a personal decision not to access any healthcare option; so try to calm down. Maybe try some chamomile tea

          • A competitive market is more effective at disciplining corporations than government regulation. A large corporation is comparable to government ONLY if that large corporation faces no competition. But I agree that an unregulated monopoly is about as bad as big government. Even a regulated monopoly can be pretty bad – especially if it gains effective control of its supposed regulator (as has happened with the FDA).

          • patgo

            You are spot on in everything you said.

            I like to pit large corporations against the government. Let them fight each other and leave us alone.

            Did you ever see the original movie Rollerball? It presents a society run by corporations that are not controlled by government. They ARE the government. Not a pretty picture.

            I keep telling libertarians, that large corporations that offer essential goods and services become indistinguishable from government. One important difference, though. Government can be constrained by the Constitution, SOMETIMES. There is NO such constraint on cartels.

            The pharmaceutical companies and Monsanto control the FDA. We need to persuade Trump to drain that swamp, even as you said.

      • There’s been extremely little competition in “health care” in the U.S. for around a century now. Congress basically ceded control of the whole shebang to the AMA, with NO oversight, and then set up the NIH, CDC, etc. to provide a front for the fat cats who OWN the medical-industrial complex to hide behind and to shield them from competition.

        • patgo

          I totally agree with you about lack of competition. And your solution is? To make it IMPOSSIBLE for there to be ANY competition, through single payer health care. You’re being contradictory!

      • Fact: ALL single-payer countries with single-payer spend around HALF as much, per capita, as we’re spending now.

        • patgo

          It isn’t as simple as you make it out to be. Why do they spend half? Two reasons, and there are others. First, American pharmaceutical companies aren’t gouging the patients and insurance companies in those countries, with markups of thousands of percent over manufacturing costs. Second, denial of necessary care. I had a friend in Toronto who couldn’t get a root canal she needed for six months. She suffered in agony in the meantime. (On the other hand, she could get a second trimester abortion in two days.) Most Canadians who can afford it come to the United States for care because of the delays. Many people die before they get needed treatment, that would have prevented their deaths.

          I assume you wouldn’t want Monsanto and the pharmaceutical companies to run the single payer system. BELIEVE ME, if we had one, THEY WOULD. There is a word for this type of system. It’s called FASCISM. It would leave me and my loved ones with NO CARE, because we use alternative care. I cannot tolerate most pharmaceuticals, and there are other family members who can’t, either.

          The Constitution does not grant Congress authority to have ANY SAY WHATSOEVER in health care. I happen to like the Constitution. It has guaranteed the maximum freedom and prosperity the world has ever known.

          You won’t persuade me. I KNOW that if there were a single payer system, my loved ones and I would get NO care. Because they would DICTATE what kind of care people have to get, and it’s not what we need.

          • Fascism must go, with or without single-payer.

          • patgo

            Single payer IS fascism.

          • Single-payer countries are cheaper largely because they place arbitrary limits on what the medical goods & services are going to cost, their docs get free educations & free or very cheap malpractice insurance, and because they don’t deny necessary care (because that would be MORE EXPENSIVE in the long run). Canada (& the UK) don’t cover dental, which is why their results aren’t as good as that of countries which do. (Medicaid doesn’t pay for root canals, either. But it does pay for tooth extraction,) Root canals may not be the healthiest alternative of the two–not that any American, for-profit dentist will tell you that. Perhaps dentists who are going to get a comfy salary whether they do root canals or not would be more likely to be honest about these details.

          • patgo

            I don’t approve of root canals. They are very dangerous. I was just offering an example. Any dentist/doctor who gets a comfy salary no matter what they do will become careless. They won’t be held accountable.

          • It is true that the Constitution leaves whatever subject which isn’t mentioned in it to the states. However, it allows for amendments. E.g., the original Constitution didn’t allow anyone who wasn’t a white male with a certain amount of property to vote.

          • patgo

            What we REALLY need is an amendment separating medicine and state. But government involvement isn’t constitutional NOW. I’m fine with that. I am NOT FINE with what the government is doing to health care. You know they botched the job, but you want them to do more of the same. Why?

          • Re: alternative care: even if you never, ever use the care that would be paid for in a single-payer system, you would save money/have more money to spend on what you want to spend it on, whether it’s alternative health care or Disneyworld, because all single-payer countries try to save money. Their idea of “required care” is that if you decide to get the care, it will be paid-for: pretty much the opposite of what happens in the U.S. Naturally, how WELL they do this depends largely on how much profit they take out of the profit-making end of things and/or how progressive the taxation is which funds care for the non-rich. You are ALREADY paying for health “insurance” (which might or might not actually PAY for actual care) for politicians, bureaucrats, teachers, municipal workers, everyone in the military, veterans, prisoners, the indigent, and ALL of it containing large percentages of nothing but PROFIT to private corporations which peddle “insurance” & “malpractice insurance”, and pay huge subsidies in taxes to allopathic medical schools & residency programs in hospitals, & to run the NIH & CDC, which are nothing but gatekeepers for Big Pharma & the rest of the for-profit medical-industrial complex.

          • patgo

            No, I would not save money if there was a single payer system. The money comes from the taxpayer. I am a taxpayer. We paid an exorbitant amount in taxes and have nothing to show for it. Their idea of “required care” is whatever profits pharmaceutical companies. Hyperbaric oxygen is treatment of choice for many conditions, but Medicare won’t cover it. Why? Because then it would eliminate all that money people would pay on pharmaceutical drugs. If we ever have a single payer system, alternative care will be OUTLAWED. It’s happening in Europe, where formerly it was much more freely available than it is here.

            You already know Big Pharma owns everything. You are advocating giving them MORE control. Make no mistake. A single payer system would be OWNED by Big Pharma. They have already taken over the FDA and the USDA.

            Wake up! You are advocating the very things you decry. Why? Didn’t they teach you to think in school? (Dumb question. They don’t teach thinking in public schools, which we are also forced to pay for. They indoctrinate. They’re doing a very good job, if the discussion here is any indication.)

  • patgo

    He had to be in the hospital four days. They did a CT scan, gave two antibiotics, and four days of care. The bill was $83.000. The insurance company settled for $25,000. That was also outrageous. The care was excellent, but there is something wrong with this picture. The other hospital awhile back put him on tube “food” that was made up of nothing but marshmallows, a few token vitamins, maltodextrin, and whey. It makes people so sick they become diabetic and have to have insulin. Buying our own food was expensive, and it took a week to get it. They also gave 14 drugs, most of which we would never have agreed to, but they did it behind our backs. Through IVs and stomach tube. This caused acute respiratory failure. They almost killed him. Later, he got bullous pemphagoid, which has been linked to four of these medications, including one we specifically rejected. This article is spot on.

  • Anna Van Z

    Get real – it isn’t “obamacare” that is hampering affordable care! That statement is a thinly-disguised wingnut screed. The REAL problem? Healthcare for profit. Period. Look at every other developed country that covers their citizens – ALL of them – at a fraction of the cost. SIngle-payer Medicare is the best solution, AND the most cost-effective solution right now. But all the cons and wingnuts with their “free market” delusions keep this kind of sanity out of U.S. policies.

    • Alan Lambert

      You are partially correct, but the profit motive, carefully restrained, has produced this country’s fabulous former successes. Totally unrestrained it is a field day for crooks. …AND, I don’t want to have to wait 90 days for an elective procedure (take a look at Canada–some of whose citizens come to the US to get reasonably accessible care.

    • Completely wrong on every count. You are uncritically repeating socialist propaganda.

      ALL healthcare providers and payers selfishly pursue their self-interest. That goes just as much for government bureaucrats as for private insurers, hospitals, and doctors. The socialized healthcare in other countries is cheaper, but you get what you pay for. It always comes with long wait times, rationing, and, yes, death panels.

      The real problem is comprehensive health insurance coverage. It doesn’t really matter whether that coverage comes from the government or private insurers. It creates excessive demand for services, since those services are perceived as free. And it imposes an extra layer of administration between the patient and doctor, which slows things down, soaks up money, and interferes in decisions that properly belong to doctor and patient. The best solution would be to abolish “insurance” as currently conceived, which is really little more than an income transfer scheme with a hungry middle man (insurers). Insurance, in the literal sense, is intended to share the burden of high-cost, unforeseeable risks (e.g., cancer or a serious car crash), not routine doctor visits. Switching from a regime of comprehensive insurance to catastrophic insurance would bring down both insurance premiums and doctor bills.

      • Anna Van Z

        Nope! You are uncritically repeating capitalist propaganda.

        (Sorry about your cognitive deficiencies, better luck next life!)

        • Groundless insults – and not even original or interesting ones.

          I never do or say anything uncritically. (I am sometimes accused, with some reason, of being too critical.) Furthermore, I have been working as a health economist for over 20 years. I have my own well formed opinions, so I don’t need to repeat what anyone else says or thinks.

      • patgo

        Socialized health care is what is behind the KILLING of Charlie Gard. Most people know his story. Do you want to be forced to put your child into a hospital where THEY will take over your authority as parents, and decide whether your child lives or dies, and HOLDS YOUR CHILD HOSTAGE? That’s what happened. Not only was treatment available in the United States, but I know of several NATURAL METHODS that would have helped his condition. And it was probably caused by his mother getting pharmaceutical poisons while pregnant in the first place. They removed ordinary care (and I saw this same thing happen in one of the hospitals we used, the one we trusted most) and forced him to die. Charlie Gard was so enslaved in England that not even the European Court would set him free. WHO OWNED CHARLIE GARD? The hospital, that’s who. The parents had the money for treatment, but they would not release Charlie from his PRISON so he could go get this treatment. That’s death panels. And that is what we will ALL face if we allow our country to become single payer. The next time your doctor walks into your hospital room, will he help you or kill you? You won’t know! And the terror you experience will be to no avail. It will worsen your condition, and you will live in terror the rest of your days.

        Comprehensive health insurance coverage is EXACTLY the problem. It does create excessive demand for services. And that’s why it bankrupts a nation. Your characterization is spot on.

        • I followed Charlie’s sad story. But the same thing already happens routinely in some parts of the US. Doctors have taken to abusing the diagnosis of “suspected child abuse” to kidnap children from their parents, and many local governments back the doctor over the parents. A medical diagnosis should not (and technically does not) have legal standing since it bypasses due process, but hospitals, local officials, and even some courts are permitting this abuse.

    • Rick Harris

      Finally, someone hits the nail on the head. Sweden, Norway, Denmark. In terms of natural resources, what advantage do these countries have on the USofA? When was the last time you bought something from Norway?

  • Erik Stark

    Again, ANH, your logic seems faulty. A consumer driven health insurance still doesn’t deal with the gross profit taking of our Medical Industrial Complex. Until charges are standardized for procedures and capped at a maximum, having a consumer driven health insurance will still keep millions screwed when they actually have to pay the bill- the part their consumer driven health insurance won’t pay for. A Medicare for all system has to be the start of this, where prices are standardized. Then people can add to, or subtract from, this base coverage, with a private insurance model. But any corporate run insurance (including the aforementioned consumer driven kind) will ultimately fail if the rest of the for profit medical system (hospitals, medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, etc.), aren’t brought to heel.

    • A competitive market is the most effective way to bring medical providers to heel. Under the current system, the government facilitates and enforces the collusion that makes everything so expensive and inefficient. More government regulation will make things worse, not better, because it will prevent competititon.

      • Erik Stark

        No doubt the government is colluding. But competition isn’t going to bring the Medical Industrial Complex to heel. It may lower some prices initially, until they start creeping up again. Every industry that increases competition ultimately creates mergers, acquisitions, lobbyists, payoffs, etc. The facts remain that only a universal system of price controls that prevents gouging and gross profiteering will work. It is in fact what every other developed country finally had to develop to control costs. The absurd comments up and down these posts about Socialism propaganda sickens me. Here’s the facts- in terms of what we get for our health care dollar, outcomes, and general health of our population, not to mention satisfaction with the health care system, we are near the bottom. Most countries have a public/private partnership where there is a base care (universal care) which can be added to, if desired, with private insurance. As far as long wait times, nothing is longer than no insurance at all and every system that incorporates for profit models will ultimately exclude parts of the population. Catastrophic insurance is great, until you need more and either go bankrupt or fall back on Emergency Room visits- the most expensive health care in the world. It is true the government is in cahoots with corporations because we allow our politicians to be bought and paid for. That must be addressed no matter what system we choose, as well as the fact that the government currently suppresses alternative health and true prevention at the behest of corporations who stand to profit. But one way or another, having a for profit, even competition based system, as our only model for healthcare, will likely fail in the long run without any limits on costs that can be charged.

        • patgo

          This is a reasonably good analysis. I would disagree with a few things. Millions may appreciate Medicare, but it is because THEY DO NOT KNOW ANY BETTER. They do not know what REAL medical care is like. That’s long gone. The fact that we got so many changes for us personally in one hospital, and the stark improvement in the patient with EACH ONE is illustrative of that.

          We have never had true competition. True competition would recognize and foster alternative healing methods. We need a system of hospitals that offer alternative care. They would give people herbs and supplements instead of drugs, feed them healthy food, and restrict medications. No prophylactics! No such hospitals exist. Until they do, we won’t have genuine competition.

          The line between non-profit and for-profit is very, very fuzzy.

          I have never advocated no government regulation. I recognize that true freedom only exists when we can pit large corporations against government. Let them fight each other and leave us alone.

          Single payer is TYRANNY, UNLESS you can opt out of single payer entirely, and go strictly private. That won’t happen. Tyrants cannot allow it. The alternatives would prove so effective they’d be out of business, and they crave power. Over everyone. I advocate a system where emergency rooms are available free of charge (supported by government taxation), but only for life-threatening conditions. Other than that, you choose whether you want to be in the government health system, or the private, alternative one. You are allowed to set up health savings accounts. Concierge medicine becomes common, and offers low-cost alternatives to people who cannot afford the current prices. THEN let’s see what competition can really accomplish! It’s never been tried. So don’t condemn it. 🙂

    • patgo

      I see you have no clue about Medicare. We didn’t either, until we actually tried to USE it. The co-pays and penalties are HORRENDOUS. And we can’t shop for a better deal. There isn’t one. The for profit medical system is PROTECTED by the FDA and USDA. That’s why prices are so high, and why people are forced to accept them. You want the government that protects these pharmaceutical companies to be in charge of ALL health care? No thanks!

      • Erik Stark

        My concern with all this talk about “competitive market” is that competition doesn’t necessarily mean affordable over the long run. It may lower prices in the short run and in some areas more than others. But competition is still for profit health care. Over time it will likely creep higher and higher, via mergers or other mechanisms, to raise the bottom line. Competition by itself is great and would certainly be better than the for profit government encouraged monopolies in place right now. But the healthcare systems in the world that consistently rate highest (France for instance) have both. They have a Universal system, and a private system that you can supplement the basic coverage with (where competition comes in). The health care coverage is delivered consistently cheaper and better than our system delivers it. This isn’t my imagination. Go read the facts and visit the country. Conduct your own research. Ask if anyone wishes they had the US model or a for profit model (even with lots of competition) as the only option or if they’d like to go back to the way it was before. As far as Medicare, you may hate it but there are millions in this country who appreciate it. There isn’t any medical system in this country (regular health insurance, VA, Medicare, etc.) that doesn’t suck for some people, and others like it . So really the discussion should be about quality health care that is affordable and consistently delivered from one end of the country to the other. Any system that does that is a good one. Almost every other developed country is doing a better job at that than we are so if that isn’t the starting point of the discussion, then we’re already off the beam. Many countries (Switzerland the latest) had for profit medical systems and insurance systems just like we did and all have moved on. There isn’t one poll in any developed country taken by any organization that shows that the citizens want to go back to a for profit model as the only system of health care delivery. It’s true no health care system is perfect. But there are some that are atrocious, and we’re at the top of that list (hey, we’re finally at the top..) The answer to crony Capitalism and government in cahoots with Corporations isn’t no government. That always protects the richest abusers of the system in every case and I’d appreciate someone showing me a country you’d like to live in (first world status and living standards) that has no government regulations. No regulation is in fact a recipe for monopolies and abuse by the powerful because it has happened in every case every time. Our system, however, is so corrupt that it basically is the corporations running the government, and the country. The point of single payer as a minimum (and you can add private insurance on top if you desire) is that it removes corporate influence. It’s a starting point. Having the right people in office who support ethics, campaign finance controls, accountability, revolving door restrictions (like 10 years..!!), etc., is also a good starting point. The answer is good government which means accountable, not for sale, where the people are actually the constituents.

  • tbran10

    I learned yesterday from a state legislature that Medicare pays out 50 BILLION in fraudulent payments because it doesn’t do a audit on the front end. But..this is small potatoes compared to the 500 Billion paid out to over treat, over medicate and over hospitalize the terminally ill in their last 6 months of life on earth. Trump wants to fix the system. Now you know why there is so many protestors out there against change who wants to preserve the ACA, which is not affordable because of these abuses plus the high over head created by the insurance companies and big Pharma.who has a lock on the high cost of branded drugs. Same drugs cost 1/3 in Europe.