Monday, July 20, 2009

At the Center of the Healthcare Battle

What's at the basis of the health-care battle? It has become crystal clear that those intoxicated by greed do all they can to get their hands on more money. Universal healthcare means less money for private healthcare providers because a government-run program does not have to support an incredible load of pay going to executives nor does it have to pay out profits to investors. It would mean an extreme threat to corporations that take as much profit as they can by giving as little health care as possible for the fees and premiums they take in.

Healthcare costs have increased because hospitals and health insurance companies that existed to keep people alive and healthy have now became little more than a means of making money for corporate profiteers. When privatizers took over non-profit hospitals and insurance companies, they channeled cash to investors and corporate officers by cutting operating funds to doctors and nurses, eliminating necessary procedures whenever possible, and raising insurance premiums and fees to patients. Money that was used to heal the sick in non-profit systems, was now put into the pockets of corporate executives and profit-hungry investors.

True, non-profits have administrative structures in which those who are higher on the administrative scale get paid more. But for the most part, those on top of the ladder don't get the obscenely high salaries and bonuses customary in the corporate world. Instead, compensation with non-profits is roughly similar to that of the civil service system where those on top primarily get paid in accordance to a scale based on greater expertise and/or more experience. The civil service system is proof that managers who don't get outlandish compensations accomplish far more than those in for-profit corporations. Looking at the overall picture, corporate health-care executive pay is an unnecessary overhead, and eliminating it will benefit the essential components of health care, doctors, nurses, technicians and above all, the patients.


Harmon said...

Great point-by-point presentation. I see and I agree with them overall.
There was song out on You Tube that made it to radio airplay about knowing too much and maybe being crazy. Maybe it was about Crazy Wisdom. Two (2) of your favorite thoughts are about "Clarity" and "Understanding". My question is: At what point, or by what method do you achieve or recognize courage, peace, or freedom, in the midst of knowing all the facts or what is true? At times one can really feel helplessness acutely while knowing. Maybe even feel crazy. Would you share your thoughts on courage and understanding in this respect?

I thoroughly enjoy your blog.

Howard said...

Clarity as the gateway to Courage: The opposite of clarity is confusion. Confusion is synonymous with disorientation, and when one is disoriented one does not know which direction is right. To have courage one needs to have clarity in one's thoughts and feelings about being on the right path. This can be illustrated like this: If someone thinks he/she needs to make a change in his or her life, let's say making a move to another location, the person will have difficulty going forward when there are feelings of doubt. Feelings of doubt arise because there may be issues that have not yet been seen or dealt with. Things can only be dealt with effectively when they become clear. Clarity is thus a prerequisite to the certainty needed to take courageous action.

Understanding as the key to peace: Understanding someone else's motivations by knowing the details of his/her circumstances makes one slower to pass judgment on him/her. For example, judging an illegal immigrant for breaking the law of the country entered becomes a different issue when one understands that for the immigrant it is higher law to feed his/her family, and one's understanding becomes even greater when one imagines oneself having to be in the immigrant's situation. This increases the chance for a peaceful approach. And conversely, if the immigrant understands the native's circumstances, it may also help to give peace a chance.

Anonymous said...

Nice entry. It seems to me that the time may finally be ripe for change on this one. The pendulum has swung too far in favor of the profit-making healthcare industry.

- Brigitte

Harmon said...

Thank you Howard.

Anonymous said...

At a recent town hall meeting, a man stood up and told Representative Bob Inglis to “keep your government hands off my Medicare.” The congressman, a Republican from South Carolina, tried to explain that Medicare is already a government program — but the voter, Mr. Inglis said, “wasn’t having any of it.”

This is what we're up against Howard. It's hopeless.....=)


Howard said...

Lou, yes, we're seeing the results of a badly damaged educational system. Forces on the right like to attack the "liberal" system because well-educated people are able to resist demagoguery and cannot be fooled so easily. If you dumb down the general public you can get them to follow whatever the mob of right-wing talk show hosts happens to be spouting.