When one examines the realities that our economic system dictates on healthcare and more, absent strong regulations makes its inhumanity obvious. Of course, codifying healthcare as a right where everyone must have access to healthcare would force an economic system to adapt to that reality across the board.
An economic system is not divine. It is human-made. If there is a lot of work to be done and services that must be provided, and there are people that are idle and available to do the work, and the excuse for the inability to connect those is that there is no money to do it, then that economic system has failed and must be transformed to one that takes the human realities into account. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
The reason we have not adjusted our economic model to our lived reality is that those who profited from the rigged extractive economy designed to benefit a select few would likely lose a substantial amount of their ill-gotten wealth.
Recently a caller to my Pacifica Network KPFT 90.1 FM Houston program "Politics Done Right," Syed, said that his name appears on an Affordable Care Act policy. He said the cost is 20% of his income. Even with that reality, he is unable to use the policy because of its high deductible, $6,000. Syed wanted a better understanding and I gave it to him.
The reason people are not rushing to and virtually spilling blood for Medicare for All is that it simply seems too good to be true. But it is not.
All one has to do is remember basic math. If one system that administers medical payments require hundreds of duplicate services, equipment, software, & databases, and must make profits for passive investors, and must pay thousands of executives millions of dollars, then it is mathematically impossible for that system to be more efficient than one that must provide the same medical payments without those expenses and overhead. Not even an inordinate amount of fraud in any single-payer system would likely match the legalized fraud of the private healthcare insurance system. It is simply basic math.
Medicare for All vs Current healthcare system
Interestingly, a Koch funded study noted, even as it tries to lessen what the reality of the study's implications, that Medicare for All would cover all Americans for a lesser cost than the current private healthcare system that leaves over 30 million people uninsured. Yes, it is math.
I explained to Syed that Medicare For All is not the free stuff its detractors would have most believe. We all will pay for it with some sort of a payroll tax. The tax, like the income tax, is based on how much you make. As such, everybody has buy-in to the system. All able-bodied people have skin in the game. Most importantly, the cost for the vast majority of Americans will be substantially less not only because of the inherent efficiency of a single-payer Medicare for all but again, it is indexed to your wages. And that is a good thing. The teachers, who instilled knowledge in a banker or broker who provides no product and little service to society in the aggregate, but make more than most teachers in our system where the valuation of worth is corrupt, ensuring they pay a larger share is important, moral, and necessary.
But the most important part is that unlike backdoor rationing by private insurance that tells you which drugs you can take, which doctors you are allowed to see, and which medical procedures you can have, it is you via your doctor and agreed-upon standards that make appropriate decisions. If you choose to buy insurance for the unnecessary things Medicare for All does not cover, private insurance will still be there for you to do so.
Understand what is happening here. The Plutocracy via the healthcare industrial complex is trying to create plausible justification to continue their thievery on the American people. It has been this way from the inception of the country.
Syed made a prescient observation about America, slavery, and healthcare that I was compelled to address. He noted that in studying American history, he realized that slave owners had to ensure the health of their slaves while corporations don't,
Sadly, because slaves were no more than the properties of the slavemasters, they ensured they had healthcare. After all, a dead slave is not only a loss generator of income but a loss of one's capital. In an economic system that values capital over humanity, an uninsured minimum wage worker or inexpensive worker is more valuable economically than a slave as they are expendable when ill and does not create a capital loss when dead. Once again the system is allowed to win.
I found the following text at a Stanford University site that should give one pause.
No less staunch a pro-slavery writer than Dr. Josiah Mott of Mobile revealed the fragility of paternalistic concerns in his attack on the practice of insuring slaves. As long as the Negro is sound, and worth more than the amount insured, self-interest will prompt the owner to preserve the life of the slave; but, if the slave became unsound and there is little prospect of perfect recovery, the underwriters cannot expect fair play—the insurance money is worth more than a slave, and the latter is regarded rather in the light of a super-annuated horse (Genovese, 1974, p. 520).
By attaching healthcare insurance to employment, the same pathology that governed the slaveholders' behaviors is displayed by corporations. But theirs is more hideous, efficient, and antiseptic. The pilfer is not always easily discerned.
Until we detach healthcare from the employer and ensure that it is codified as a right, American's access to healthcare will continue to effectively decline. Medicare for All solves all of our access to healthcare problems.
There is no benevolence from the Plutocracy attempting to serve us with their brand of healthcare insurance. It has always been a hideous wealth transfer engine directly and indirectly. It is one of the reasons for crippled wages and the inability for most to accumulate wealth. We must open our eyes and once and for all stop allowing them to make us neglect math and reality.