If you want affordable healthcare and you want it before you die, it's time to take the narrative away from the Kochheads and Fox News. It's time to stop letting them pretend we are small people with small imaginations who are stopped by scary narratives with no basis in fact, and instead to step up and understand that we CAN reform this healthcare system in a way that will be great for this nation and also for ALL of the people in it.
In the clip above, we have a typical Fox and Friends segment, where a person from an official-sounding organization sits down with one of the hosts to have a Very Serious Discussion about scary Kamala Harris' remarks on Medicare for All. Mattie Duppler is from the Koch-funded "National Taxpayers Union" and a Republican strategist of some sort.
This post is not about her, but I do want to zero in on a couple of key moments:
"What [Medicare for All] means is that it outlaws private insurance," Duppler told Earhardt with a knowing glance.
This is a lie. No one is saying it outlaws private insurance, and other countries with universal healthcare also have private insurers for supplemental policies. They are just not the center of the universe.
After pretending HSAs and FSAs are somehow very popular things that everyone loves because they can save their money to pour into healthcare costs, Duppler once again lies. "Medicare is the first and only provider for healthcare insurance," she says. Again, this is a lie. But it plays well with the scared set.
Of course, there are several proposals out there, but I want to focus on the bigger picture. Are we a country of wusses now? Are we just too timid to do big things anymore? I ask this because other countries have actually made radical changes to their healthcare systems and it worked. It actually works for the people!
For example, here is an article published just this week in the New York Times about Taiwan's leap to single payer (Medicare) and how it worked, BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT AFRAID TO DO BIG THINGS. Apparently Fox News thinks we're just a country full of weenies who cower in their house and whine all the time.
Less than 25 years ago, Taiwan had a patchwork system that included insurance provided for those who worked privately or for the government, or for trade associations involving farmers or fishermen. Out-of-pocket payments were high, and physicians practiced independently. In March 1995, all that changed.
In the end, Taiwan chose to adopt a single-payer system like that found in Medicare or in Canada, not a government-run system like Britain’s. At first, things did not go as well as hoped. Although the country had been planning the change for years, it occurred quite quickly after democracy was established in the early 1990s. The system, including providers and hospitals, was caught somewhat off guard, and many felt that they had not been adequately prepared. The public, however, was much happier about the change.
Today, most hospitals in Taiwan remain privately owned, mostly nonprofit. Most physicians are still either salaried or self-employed in practices.
The health insurance Taiwan provides is comprehensive. Both inpatient and outpatient care are covered, as well as dental care, over-the-counter drugs and traditional Chinese medicine. It’s much more thorough than Medicare is in the United States.
As I've explained since my very first post on this site in March, 2010, the Affordable Care Act broke the pre-existing conditions barrier and opened the door to establishing health care as a right. Now we have to tackle the big problem of delivering it and doing it in a way that is cost-effective and good for people.
Private insurers are not that answer. Not only aren't they, but the American people know it. THEY KNOW IT.
Fifty-three percent of registered voters in a new Hill-HarrisX survey said they would be more likely to back a presidential candidate who supports expanding Medicare to include all Americans. Twenty-three percent said taking that position would have no effect on their vote, and 24 percent said it would make them less likely to support the candidate.
They know it, because we aren't the wussy little whiners Fox News thinks we are. This is the United States. WE DO BIG THINGS. There is no reason that we cannot do what Taiwan has done.
All it takes is choosing to ignore the whiners on State TV and rise up. We can do this. Let the billionaire blusterers on Fox News pretend we're all just scared to do anything while the rest of the nation steps up and does the right thing.