I remember when the HMO's (Health Management Organizations) were being argued about before their authorization for operation.
I remember all the promises that were made about how HMO's would be so great at taking care of everyone. It reminds us of how cable TV was going to bring hundreds of ad-free programs to every house in America at extremely cheap rates. Well, we all know that with privatization comes all sorts of levels and layers of service with each successive service or higher tier costing more than the next one down. We also all know that first class is way above steerage at the bottom of the boat where it is hot and crowded. We also know that many people can't afford any ticket at all.
Richard Nixon and Kaiser (of Kaiser Permanente) brought the US HMO's. We could have had universal, free healthcare all these years. Instead, the HMO's have made billions and billions off keeping premiums high and care low. Their CEO's have become billionaires in the process. Their top shareholders have added immense wealth to their already sizable investment portfolios. Millions of average citizens have suffered and many have died as a direct result.
We wrote the following in There is No Such Thing as a Conservative-Republican Christian: Jesus is a small-c communist:
Doctors get rich off suffering
Think about this. Why are healers rich, especially in the United States where doctors are the wealthiest professionals in general? Many become very rich off the suffering of others. God bless everyone, but God bless the doctors who treat the poor regardless of how much those doctors are paid. The wealthy doctors are by far mostly conservative Republicans who give huge sums to see to it that their candidates get elected to pass the laws the doctors want at the expense of the poor and suffering so they may become even richer in many cases treating only the rich. This is why there is not universal healthcare in the United States. It is to protect the inhumanity and greed of doctors. It is to protect the capitalist industry of supposed healing even while capitalism pollutes the world making people sick. It is why the United States claims to have medical capabilities that are the envy of the world. The riches facilities that treat primarily the riches patients do have medical capabilities that are the envy of the world. However, the poor in the US aren't treated in those facilities. That's nothing to boast yourself about. Besides, God does the healing. Not you.
This is some of what we had to say in Supplement: There is No Such Thing as a Conservative-Republican Christian: Jesus is a small-c communist:
Chapter 1 The World Bank
Saturday, July 01, 2006:
The capitalist system with its World Bank and International Monetary Fund won't allow nations to be engaged freely within the global economy while those nations have fully cooperative healthcare and educational systems. If a nation such as Cuba has a lower infant mortality rate than the US or a higher literacy rate than the US, the capitalist will insist that Cuba undo the socialized systems in place that made those gains possible before the US capitalists will allow Cuba to engage freely in the global marketplace including in fair and ecologically sound trade with the US. Vietnam had achieved good success with egalitarian healthcare and education, but the World Bank demanded that they drop those programs before allowing Vietnam to engage the global marketplace dominated by the US. That's immoral. It's evil.
Now the Vietnamese poor are falling terribly behind again in healthcare and education. The wealth disparity is grossly expanding again. The people there are being treated as cheap wage slaves once again. The disease of greed inherent in capitalism has struck again.
The healthcare system is vastly better in Cuba than in the US. It is better in Canada, Britain, France, and in apparently 36 other nations of the world. Considering that the US is the wealthiest nation on earth, it should have the best healthcare system. In France, as Michael showed, they still make house calls. France is even more progressive than Canada or the UK. Unfortunately, the French have been put under huge pressure for decades by conservative Americans to change to being more selfish. They have succumbed to some of that pressure. Hence, they have once again elected a more rightwing president.
In France, as the film points out, daycare and a college education are free. We have been advocating for that for the US for decades. I remember being called Communist (in a very nasty tone of voice) in an American History class in college, because I said that the textbooks ought to be provided at no cost to the students.
Naturally, we all do better when any of us does better. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to educate as many people as possible as highly as possible (provided the education is conducive to more giving and sharing and not less, as the conservative Republicans would have it).
In addition in France, they have a 35 hour workweek and a minimum 5 weeks off a year for everyone.
The conservative capitalists in the US hate it and have always work to suppress this information from getting out in the US. It might give the workers ideas of a better life by sharing more of the wealth across-the-board rather than having the richest of the rich make hundreds of times what the average worker makes a year.
As we all should know by now, the income gap in the US has only been widening ever since Ronald Regan's crowd came to town.
Michael Moore deserves much credit for cutting through the smoke screen of the conservative Republicans. He made the arguments simple and clear and understandable. The choice is not difficult at all. It is between selfishness (the Republican way) and unselfishness (sharing way, which is also call communism or socialism).
To clarify here, we are not talking about the large-c Communism that was the one-party, totalitarian dictatorship of the Soviet Union headed up by the dictator Joseph Stalin. We are speaking of small-c communism that is voluntary sharing. That is the system of Jesus Christ, which and whom the conservative Republicans loathe. They loathe Jesus's system and they loathe Jesus therefore and his father in heaven: God.
Michael Moore has done a great service in reminding people that the public schools, libraries, police, and fire departments are mostly socialized in the US. They are what the conservative Republicans wish to privatize, corporatize, entirely.
In addition to those services, the public toll-free roads and sidewalks, are socialized. The sewer system is socialized. You may generally include public parks, street lights, traffic lights, private-residential garbage and recycle collection, and a host of other services in with socialized services.
There is nothing wrong with socialism, per se. In fact, it is a better way than capitalism. The only thing that has been wrong has been the hypnotic suggestion that owning things in common means that people won't take care of what is commonly held. It isn't true.
The people in Canada, Britain, Cuba, and the other nations with socialized medicine take good care of the publicly owned facilities, because they know that they are the public who owns it all together.
Why are people that way in those countries while the people in the US have been holding that people can't be that way? Well, the rich have purchased public-relations and advertising and other people to come up with and run campaigns to trick the people into wrong thinking. The rich also own the media for the most part so that they can censor out all socialist messages. Michael Moore has simply been able to pierce through via independent film-making. Watch them go after him though. He's a real target now, because he's threatening to take away hundreds of billions of dollars from the rich supporters of the conservative Republicans.
Perhaps you are beginning to see why the old wineskin has to go. The US system cannot hold the spirit of giving and sharing. In fact, the Canadians and Europeans and others around the world are going to have to choose one way or the other. Either there is common ownership with everyone, absolutely everyone, caring for the public's property, or choose utter failure. There are no other options.