Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning
In "Single-Payer and the 'Democracy Deficit'," citing empirical studies, polls and the extensive data assembled by Physicians for a National Health Program, I argued that the current for-profit health care system is not merely corrupt, irrational and dysfunctional, but deadly; that it pits the obscene profits of a few health insurance company CEOs and their Wall Street investors against the health of our people, whose very lives are treated as nothing more than a commodity.
In that article, and in subsequent posts, I noted that those who seek to preserve the status quo are advocating nothing less than a death sentence for the more than 18,000 Americans who die each year simply because they can't afford insurance; that countless others die after being denied vital procedures.
I cited empirical data that demonstrates that so-called hybrid systems, including one with a "public option," are inordinately expensive as most of the monies find their way into the insurance industry coffers by way of subsidies. Single-payer systems, with administrative costs in the 1% to 2% range, are far more efficient than our multi-payer system where 31% is squandered on for-profit carriers.
I pointed to the undue influence of corporate campaign contributions which have corrupted the legislative process, where the likes of Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) have worked tirelessly to keep single-payer off-the-table. In yet another piece, I noted how wing-nut mobs have provided cover for this betrayal of the American people.
Well, here's your chance, America...
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) has asked that you link and sign his petition, which reads as follows:
"Whereas, Universal Health Care was proposed by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1912; and
"Whereas today, nearly 100 years later, 47 million Americans are uninsured and another 50 million are underinsured bringing great social and economic harm to the American family; and
"Whereas, HR 676, authored by Congressmen John Conyers and Dennis Kucinich provides for Medicare for All, a universal, single payer, not-for-profit health care system which means the end of premiums, copays and deductibles; and
"Whereas we are already paying for a universal standard of care but are not getting it because one of every three dollars in the health care system goes to the activities of the for-profit insurance system; and
"Whereas HR676 firmly establishes health care as a Civil Right, consistent with the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States and Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution which defines a purpose of government "to promote the General Welfare," now therefore,
"I HEREBY EXPRESS MY STRONG SUPPORT FOR HR676, SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE, AND THE PRINCIPLES OF ECONOMIC JUSTICE FOR WHICH IT STANDS"
Over the August recess the wing-nuts had their say. Now its our turn.
Ernest A. Canning has been an active member of the California state bar since 1977. Mr. Canning has received both undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science as well as a juris doctor. He is also a Vietnam vet (4th Infantry, Central Highlands 1968).