-by Eric Zuesse
On January 19th, the Daily Poster-- which is by far the best news-source reporting on the Biden Administration-- headlined “Biden Lifts Health Care Plan From Insurance Lobbyists” and reported that the health-care plan that President Joe Biden will be proposing was written by the lobbyists for the mega-health-insurance companies and will include no public option and will include “Nightmare Deductibles And Widespread Claim Denials.” It’s all explained in their news-report. That’s not the type of ‘news’ billionaire-owned-and-controlled ‘news’-media provide. Those mainstream media are just Democratic Party or Republican Party propaganda, because both Parties are controlled by the fewer-than-a-thousand American billionaires, and the billionaires make their money by fooling people about politicians and about public policies, so as to control the Government in their favor, collectively, as the super-rich, and this is why they control all of the major ‘news’-media-- to fool the public.
Here’s just one paragraph from the Daily Poster’s brilliant news-report and analysis:
Biden’s inaugural committee has received donations from at least two major health insurers, Anthem and Centene, which both offer plans on state marketplace exchanges. Centene’s CEO bundled donations for Biden’s presidential campaign, and Biden’s first major campaign fundraiser was headlined by Independence Blue Cross’s CEO.
During the 2020 primary campaign, Biden repeatedly demonized Medicare for All legislation offered by Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Sen. Bernie Sanders, questioning how the country would pay for it and proposing a public health insurance option people can buy into instead. Democrats previously considered creating a public option during ACA negotiations a decade ago-- AHIP secretly bankrolled a successful $100 million advocacy campaign to kill it.
While Medicare for All could actually save the country up to $650 billion annually, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Biden is now proposing some of the most costly and inefficient ways to expand health insurance coverage. The moves could still leave people exposed to substantial out-of-pocket costs-- from deductibles, copays, and coinsurance-- that act as barriers to care.
The Daily Poster always digs deep and exposes the reality, not the propaganda of either of America’s thoroughly corrupt political Parties.
This news-report from me is not written as either a Republican or a Democrat, because both Parties are total sell-outs-- one of which is controlled by Republican billionaires, and the other of which is controlled by Democratic billionaires. I instead write this with actual disappointment that my previous predictions about what type of President Joe Biden would make-- such as “Joe Biden Is as Corrupt as They Come”-- are turning out to have been accurate. I would much prefer that they hadn’t been accurate.
The problem here is that the U.S. Government is extraordinarily corrupt and therefore twice as high a percentage of our GDP is spent on health care as is the case for any other nation on the planet, and yet Americans are receiving health care that’s actually inferior to that which is provided in almost all other industrialized nations. So, we pay more than twice the average, but get below-average health care-- all because of voters voting for corrupt politicians who are basically owned by the billionaires. Americans get mind-manipulated by the billionaires-- their ‘news’-media, their think tanks, their ‘experts,’ their PACs, and their lobbyists. It’s all a scam. And that extra (above the norm, 10% or so of America’s entire GDP, just wasted) which gets paid for our health care is not being spent on other things that Americans need, but instead goes into the pockets of investors and of top executives in healthcare-related firms. And that’s a full 10% of America’s GDP which is wasted that’s not even considering other additional enormous wastes in America, such as our nation’s paying actually around 50% of the entire planet’s military expenses, which likewise is because of the astoundingly high corruption of our Government.
The countries that have the highest life-expectancies, and therefore the best health-outcomes, are the same as the countries that have socialized basic healthcare services, paid for normally entirely through taxes and provided to all citizens as a basic human right instead of as a privilege that’s available only to individuals who can afford it. (Of course, “tucks” and such get charged extra to the patient.) The United States has by far the costliest health care in terms of not only what Americans pay for it but in terms of healthcare costs as a percentage of GDP, and yet the U.S. has the lowest life-expectancy of all OECD countries; the U.S. has the most-free-market healthcare, and also the worst healthcare, among all of the economically developed countries-- all (except the U.S.) of which provide guaranteed basic healthcare services to all citizens: essential services free as a right, not charged as a privilege. America’s combination of the worst healthcare plus the by-far-costliest healthcare is no coincidence; and healthcare profits in America are the world’s highest; so, the present American system is terrific for those stockholders (whose firms hire the lobbyists and their politicians who write America’s healthcare-laws). Because basic healthcare in the United States is a privilege instead of a right, the U.S. is the only economically developed nation that does not have universal coverage, health insurance for 100% of its citizenry, healthcare as a guaranteed right instead of dependent upon the patient’s ability-to-pay. When Barack Obama entered the White House, the uninsured rate was 14.6%; when he left office it was 10.9%; the insured rate when he started was 85.4%, and it was 89.1% when he left office. His repeated promises of “universal coverage” were blatant lies. His plan was in no way designed for “universal coverage”; that promise was a lie from the very outset.
In the OECD’s “Health at a Glance 2015” (which covers 44 nations), the United States scored at or near the bottom for almost all indicators of healthcare-quality, including: Life expectancy, Access to care, Quality of care, Doctors per capita, and Hospital beds per capita. We were by far the highest on Pharmaceutical expenditure per capita. Oddly, three nations, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary, were exceptionally high in both their heart-disease death-rates and their cancer death-rates; plus their life-expectancies were even lower than America’s, and their most carefully medically calculated measured “Quality of care” rankings were also generally as bad as the United States. However, in the latest calculated year, which is shown there, which was 2013, “Health expenditure per capita” (p. 165) was U.S. $8,713; Switzerland $6,325; UK $3,235; Czech Republic $2,040, Slovak Republic $2,010; and Hungary $1,719. So, America’s was over four times as high as the healthcare costs of some of the other countries in its class-- i.e. in the overall worst class. Generally the top-performing nations were: Japan, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Italy, and Switzerland. Switzerland was the second-highest in cost-of-care ($6,325), right below the United States. Norway was third-costliest, $5,862. Sweden was fifth-costliest, $4,904. Japan was 14th-costliest, $3,713. Finland was 17th-costliest, $3,442. Italy was twentieth-costliest, $3,077. The average OECD cost for all the 44 nations was $3,453, which was less than half of America’s obscene $8,713. Whether Obamacare changes any of those U.S. rankings is too early to tell. However, the U.S. is such an extreme “outlier” so that our healthcare system would need to be replaced root-and-branch in order to be competitive with any other nation’s in terms of delivering value-for-the-money, instead of rip-off (which is its existing outlier status-- unparalleled by any other country’s, for delivering lousy value). It is so bottom-of-the-barrel, that it is below the barrel. This is by far the world’s most-free-market healthcare system, but our government spends more per-capita on it than do other nations’ governments that pay almost all of their citizens’ healthcare costs. Wow! In fact, as shown in the chart “9.3. Health expenditure as a share of GDP, 2013 (or nearest year)” on page 167 of that OECD report, the U.S. is the only country where the private sector pays more of the nation’s healthcare costs than does the public sector, the government. America is a libertarian’s paradise. No other nation comes anywhere close to that degree of non-governmental providing of the healthcare function. Every other nation has socialized the healthcare-function to a vastly higher extent than the U.S. has. That’s how corrupt America is.
America’s billionaires take advantage of, and exploit, the American people’s equating “socialism” with “communism,” and, so, Americans fear socialization of the healthcare function, though it would actually provide vastly better-quality health care at vastly lower prices. Americans are so suckered as to believe that the Government is even more corrupt than health insurance companies are-- as if the owners and executives of those insurance companies aren’t the source (and beneficiaries) of that portion of the Government’s corruption.
That’s how we get super-corrupt Presidents, and Senators, and Representatives-- by believing in ‘the free market’ of corruption.
For any American, it’s depressing to see one’s country sink in the international rankings, while its billionaires extract a higher and higher percentage of the nation’s wealth, as has been happening in America ever since around 1980. But it just keeps on happening, and Joe Biden, evidently, has no actual interest in leading the basic change that is needed here, in order to turn that depressing situation around. He’s just the same old Joe he always has been.