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Monday, 12 October 2015 09:06

Health Care USA, cont'd.

Written by  Jen Sorensen, Steve Blythe and others

Posted Oct 12,2015
Healthcare USA, cont'd

Cartoonist Jen Sorensen's cartoon is 'right-on!' -- and Dr. Stephen Blythe expands on the healthcare issue.
-- SCPA Editor

INDEX
1. Cartoon by Jen Sorensen
2. Comments by Dr. Stephen Blythe, D.O.

LINKS
- Health Affairs Blog by Uwe E. Reinhardt
- Wendell Potter: Of the 50 U.S. hospitals that mark up prices the most, 49 of them are part of for-profit hospital chains
- Jen Sorensen cartoons

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INSERT CARTOONS: coming soon!
with link to Jen Sorensen website

Commentary
by Dr. Stephen Blythe, D.O.
Board-Certified Family Physician and Nutritionist

re: Jen Sorensen cartoon on Health Care….

We have been victimized by these attitudes for decades. When I campaigned for Congress in 2008 on a platform which included a single-payer health system, many of the most vocal opponents of “government-run healthcare” were those receiving care courtesy of Medicare and/or the VA system. The struggling VA system is merely a victim of its success – a good system not supported enough for the huge demand placed upon it. And yet it delivers high-quality, cost-efficient care, and is allowed to negotiate for the best prices on medications and durable medical equipment such as hearing aids. Why can’t we all get that?

Most of us have health care that is based on high profit margins for shareholders every step of the way – from the insurance company to the clinic we go to, to the medications we take, to the artificial hip joint we have implanted. No wonder our care is so expensive and yet not all that good. Everyone is getting a cut. Even our local “not-for-profit” hospital system OWNS a for-profit health insurance company! No one quite knows just how that works – the for-profit insurance company sells you insurance which requires you to use the “not-for-profit” hospital which owns the for-profit company. WHO are the private shareholders of the insurance company? What is their relationship to the management of the “not-for-profit”? What money flows from the not-for-profit to the for-profit – and vice-versa? No one knows except those getting rich. And yet people trust all these folks more than they would trust people elected to represent us? People who are not being financially benefitted by their decisions about OUR health care? THAT is hard to comprehend.

Health care analyst Uwe Reinhart has expressed his confusion about Americans when he said: “You Americans have one of the most democratic systems of government in the world – and yet you are so afraid of your government. It is very confusing — your government is what you make it to be.” If we look at countries that have a national health program, the citizens are truly very happy with their governments and happy to have such support for their care at all stages of life. Eliminating the constant threat of medical bankruptcy allows great freedom — and in spite of the resulting high taxes in these countries, people flourish financially because the poor and middle class are not hammered by medical expenses. You know that great socialist country to our north? The average Canadian net worth is now greater than that of the average American. That should make you think, ay?

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Dr. Stephen Blythe, D.O., is a Board-certified Family Physician and Nutritionist, and is a member of Space Coast Progressive Alliance. He was a candidate for U.S. Congress in 2008.

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LINKS

Health Affairs Blog
by Uwe E. Reinhardt

http://healthaffairs.org/blog/

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For-profit hospitals mark up prices by more than 1,000 percent because there's nothing to stop them

Wendell Potter Commentary: health facility charges run amok
The Center for Public Integrity, by Wendell Potter, June 15, 2015

If you think costs would come down if hospitals were all owned and operated by big for-profit corporations like Hospital Corporation of America, you might want to take a look at a study published last week by the journal Health Affairs.

Of the 50 U.S. hospitals that mark up prices the most, 49 of them are part of for-profit hospital chains, according to the study’s authors, Ge Bai of Washington & Lee University and Gerard Anderson of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. …

http://www.publicintegrity.org/2015/06/15/17474/profit-hospitals-mark-prices-more-1000-percent-because-theres-nothing-stop-them

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Jen Sorensen cartoons

Jen Sorensen is a nationally-syndicated political cartoonist whose work has appeared in The Progressive, The Nation, Daily Kos, Austin Chronicle, NPR, Ms., Politico, and many other publications. The recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, she tweets at @JenSorensen.

http://jensorensen.com/

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Compiled by Team SCPA.

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