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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Medicare, Medicaid revolt.

Mesquite Nevada Online News Source Mesquite Citizen Journal:

Experience with private sector greed makes it highly likely that people would revolt against a widespread move to transfer Medicaid and Medicare from government administration to private sector profiteering.

Even with Medicaid and Medicare, the United States is the only advanced country that lacks an organized health care system providing universal health care for all members of society.

The Nation's health care, as it currently exists, is more expensive and continually under-performs health care provided in other nations. But this is not, exclusively, the government's fault

Medicaid and Medicare are minimal protections at best. Federally managed Medicare is only available for those age 65 or older or under 65 and have a disability, no matter one's income. The state-federal run Medicaid program is only available for certain low-income groups (children and pregnant women, single parents, people with disabilities, and people 65 and over).
Individuals wishing to have fully adequate care must purchase private sector insurance at an average cost of $15,073 for premium family coverage through an employer. This is a nine percent increase over last year. It would consume 33 percent of income for a family earning the nation's average of $46,326. This makes it unlikely that the average family could afford private sector insurance.

Private sector insurance carriers claim that potential “rules,” under the Affordable Care Act will raise their costs. Of course, advances in medical technology, testing, surgeries and drug research have also increased the cost of health care.

Some ultra-conservatives think that transferring health care to the market place would resolve the problem. Opponents point to profiteering, poor quality, inefficiency, and a range of unethical business practices in the private sector. Circumspect moderates, mainstream republicans, and progressives recognize that it takes both adjustments in the private sector and the government to deliver universal health care.

While government-private sector partnerships are preferred when delivering health care, it's worth considering the quality of government care provided by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to their clients. Once considered the worse of the worse, it was recently awarded the National Committee for Quality Assurance gold seal of approval in all 17 categories.
Currently, the future of government administered health care depends on how the conservative activist majority judges on the Supreme Court rule on the Affordable Care Act. The constitutionality of the Act was brought before the Court by state based Republican Attorney Generals even though a majority of the provisions in the bill were Republican sponsored initiatives under the William Clinton administration.

Depending on how the Court rules, it could mean the elimination of all government provided services, including Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and Veterans medical programs since all these programs have two things in common that the wealthy and the extreme conservatives abhor: government administration and tax based financing.
Far too many Americans depend upon these programs to survive and radical right-wingers want to deny health-care to all those who cannot pay the high costs demanded by private sector insurance companies.

Fortunately, it is the right (and duty) of the people to overthrow a government that acts against their common interests. In the United States this is done through the ballot box.

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