Health Care and Rudy

As many of you know, I subscribe to and receive a number of academic and political e-news letters. Below Frank Llewellyn addresses the issue of health care and the inability of Republicans and Democrats to address this problem.  We all know that a third party will never take charge of the White House. That is not their agenda….There job is to influence the major parties.  I will say this, if you are  over the age of 60, I would think twice before voting Republican. Of course if you are rich, you might not care. Since I am not, I hope you have to pay more in taxes so that those with no health care can get it from the government. So what if you have to sacrifice that lake house. ~EC~

“Rudy Giuliani wouldn’t know ‘socialism’ from ‘social skills,’” said the Democratic Socialist of America’s (DSA) Frank Llewellyn. “He must be angling to join Hillary Clinton at the feeding frenzy courtesy of ‘Big Pharma’ and the Insurance Companies,” the DSA national director added.  The socialist leader was referring to the contributions the senator receives from the pharmaceutical industry and her abandonment of any pretense at offering health care for the millions of uninsured.  “Giuliani wants some insurance chum, too,” Llewellyn said, responding to Giuliani’s charge that the health care programs pushed by the Democratic frontrunners reflected un-American and socialist values. “Giuliani is wrong in so many ways that you could generate two top ten lists of crank comments from his press release.”

“First off, he tarnishes the socialist idea by associating it with the Democratic Party,” Llewellyn said, arguing that the Democrats are—with the exception of the G.O.P.—the most pro-capitalist and pro-corporate party in the world, and far more subservient to corporate needs than even the avowedly conservative French and German governments.  More important, argued Llewellyn socialized medicine has little in common with either a private or a public insurance system. Socialized medicine means that everybody has access to health care and all health care resources are allocated democratically to increase the public health. The application of such principles in the United States would be terrific, resulting in vast increases in public health especially in minority communities that have been starved of health care resources and have disproportionately high child mortality rates, he said.  In contradistinction, Giuliani’s approach, largely borrowed from President Bush, would vastly increase the number of Americans without insurance and subsidize the already well off with tax credits of up to $15,000.

 The European healthcare systems that Giuliani criticizes achieve better health outcomes for more people, and especially for children, than does the U.S. health care system, and at less cost. “It is a tragedy that 45 million Americans have no access to health insurance and that almost an equal number has access to health insurance only episodically. It is criminal that few politicians are serious about solving that problem, and just bizarre that the former New York mayor would lump the plans of his opponents with socialist measures,” Llewellyn said. That’s because none of the major Democrats are advancing a plan even remotely resembling socialized healthcare, in Llewellyn’s opinion.  Neither are they challenging the insurance industry. All of the proposed Democratic plans (with the notable exception of Dennis Kucinich’s) leave the private insurance system intact. Socialists argue that the insurance industry with its bloated administrative and marketing costs and its constant effort to dodge paying the cost of providing health care—especially to those most in need—is the chief barrier to increased access to health care and better health for most Americans.

It was insurance company profits that funded the massive advertising and lobbying efforts that defeated the Clinton Administration’s early attempt to improve health care and access to insurance for Americans. Since the Clinton plan—itself barely adequate but an improvement over anything that followed—was defeated, insurance companies have gotten richer and those Americans without insurance have increased by at least a third. Socialists in the United States, for the most part, do support a single-payer approach to health insurance as embodied in the legislation (HR 676) introduced by Representative John Conyers and 74 co-sponsors; most people who support a single payer approach to healthcare or the Conyers bill are not socialists and the bill is definitely not socialized medicine. “Socialists continue to support socialized medicine, but we also support a politically viable plan that meets the needs of the uninsured.” Llewellyn said

  “If Giuliani would like to debate some real socialists about the health care crisis facing the United States, instead of positioning himself in the Republican primary as an alternative to the equally feckless Mitt Romney, we will gladly take him on. Democratic Socialists of America, the largest democratic socialist organization in the United States is engaged in a national dialogue on economic justice that includes support for a single payer health care system. Giuliani just postures while the nation’s poor and uninsured remain at risk.”

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18 thoughts on “Health Care and Rudy

  1. Major flaw: Guiliani never claimed to be a socialist in any form, so attacking him as thought he’s a lapsed socialist is foolish and not relevant to the cause of socialism. The man is a Republican. We should not expect him to be concerned with the health care plight of the underpriviledged. And Carson, as you own two cars, a home, travel a lot and buy books like they’re going out of style (which come to think of it, they might be) you are too rich.

  2. I am not sure taxes are away to correct this issue. I do feel as if the health care industry is taking advantage of us. Dateline did a show on how doctors are being advanced money for endorsing certain drugs. This is criminal. I know what people say about Canada’s health care system, but at least people are getting something without giving up their life earnings.

  3. I have those things: house, cars, etc. But there is a difference in that making me very middle class and that of being rich. It is health care that has already destroyed the poor and is crippiling the middle class. Trust me, a professor’s salary is nice but not rich.

  4. From a global perspective, you are rich. Learn to think globally. It’s good for you. It gives you an appreciation of people and their plight. You don’t have to worry about where dinner is coming from. You have health care. You are not dependent on the bus schedule. In life, there are essentially poor people and not poor people. You are not poor. I am not poor. Carson is not poor. The reason I know this is because we have the time to debate it on someone’s blog instead of working and working and working and not knowing where our next meal is coming from or wondering if we can get to the ER to have someone treat us for that wet hacking cough.

  5. The top 50% of income earners pay 96% of all taxes.
    The top 25% of income earners pay 84% of all taxes.
    The top 1% of income earners pay 36% of all taxes.

    The rich are already getting worked over. While more taxes might be called for, I’d at least like to see some effort made to make sure insurance rates and doctor/hospital fees are not priced like a $50 plunger at the Pentagon. The U.S. government has never impressed me with its fiscal wizardry, so making them the single arbiter of health insurance does not inspire confidence. It’s exchanging one bureaucracy for another.

    I’ve not made up my mind about the government handling all the health insurance, but I’m wary of the slippery slope of creating a nanny state.

  6. Matt S,

    This is no fun….We are agreeing way too much. More regulation would not hurt.

    Kristi: True, I do travel a lot, but 98% of that is work related: research, conferences, etc. Plus, I have grant $ or the College Board pays for it. I have a modest house and two modest cars — you have driven in my car before — it is not an SUV. I agree that I am rich in comparison to LDCs. Still, in less than 35 years I will not be able to afford health care. Then, you will be taking care of me Dr. Sweeney.

  7. Let’s just say the entire health care system was abolished, wouldn’t that leave more money in the hands of those who need health care?
    I mean are they not being taxed for something and then just getting the money back but in a different form?

    My hardcore Capitalist views may seem selfish, but isn’t healthcar (and welfare and social security) just a fall back plan abused by far too many people. Something that promotes apathy in America.
    It seems as though the American dream has become living off welfare or not having to save up becuase you know you will get social security when you get older?

  8. Poor people don’t pay taxes, but because they are poor they cannot afford high medical insurance either. Even with insurance, the remaining cost can be a budget-breaker. They want or need somebody to help them cover their health care.

    While I can see certain welfare or entitlement programs as promoting apathy, I view health care as a different situation. True, even health care can be abused. However, people generally have no say over when they get an illness or injury. I think there may be a place for the government to step in and help, but I’d like to see a small footprint.

    I’d like to see a report on medical costs and why they are high. Who is driving the prices: doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, or trial lawyers? If costs were sane then it would be easier on private insurance holders and the government alike.

  9. I do not think it is so much lawyers alone, though I think lawsuites are part of the problem. Whatever happened to the bill that was to limit such and protect health care officials? I do not trust insurance companies. I think it is the pharmaceutical industry. They are making a killing behind the concept of reserach and design. I do think doctors are making a profit for using such drugs as well.

  10. Research and development is not cheap, nor are clinical trials to get FDA approval. If some profit at the end of the road is the carrot on the stick that beats AIDS, cancer, or the common cold, then I’m okay with that.

    One workaround might be to limit how long a company can monopolize the formula before generic (and cheaper) knockoffs are allowed.

  11. “One workaround might be to limit how long a company can monopolize the formula before generic (and cheaper) knockoffs are allowed.”

    Yes, but patent medicine makes this very difficult. I would like to see the government step in and break up such a monopoly, but that will not happen. Too many legislators are elected because of the investment of special interests: Democrats and Republicans. The government has done this before in other industries but are slow to do so in medicine. Some see this as a step from socialized medical care, which is not bad if companies continue drive health care prices up.

  12. I don’t know how insurance can be to blaim for the fact that a doctor visit (non insured) would cost several hundred.
    Is that not the doctor charging you the higher price.
    And doctors allow insurance because they are given more patients, who come in more often.

    I am wrong on that?

  13. No, it’s not just the doctor charging you the higher price, and even if it it were, he has to. Malpractice insurance is scandalously high, doctors work incredibly hard, and most of them have great amounts of debt to pay off. I realize that money is no trade off for time with one’s family, but at least those men and women who hardly get to see their spouses and children can provide for them comfortably. Also, bear in mind this nation’s obsessoin with status symbols. We see doctors as rich people who can afford anything, but I suspect that a great many of them just have really good credit. Having money, and being able to make the minimum monthy payment on your credit cards are two totally different things.

  14. The issue of malpractice is a problem. Jen, I am not sure about the matter of legislation. I will check it out. As for doctors and income, I am amzed at the number of doctors who do not make a whole lot of money. You see thia all of the time from lawyers. But, there are doctors who mission themselves to help the poor via clinics, etc.

    I am not sure doctors work any harder or longer than others: nurses, businessmen, pilots, etc. They do have a skill that is and will always be in demand.

  15. Doctors have something that none of those other professions have: years of schooling and on call hours. Nurses are never on call, pilots are never on call, businessmen aren’t really ever on call. Yes, they might not be at the hospital, but they have to be ready to go in at a moment’s notice.

  16. We will have to disagree here; I know a number of PhDs who have been in school there entire life and who have more education than an MD, but work for nothing. I still disagree with the myth that MDs work harder.

  17. Then you’re wrong. It’s unfortunate, but people’s health and well-being are what’s hanging in the balance when MDs are working, as much as I love knowledge and learning, that kind of doctor doesn’t kill people or save people.

  18. I would have to agree with Kristi on this one.

    You may be right in that they may not physically work harder, but any job where a little slacking off can lead to someone’s death…is a lot more mentally straining

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