Friday, May 15, 2009

Senator Baucus: bought and paid for?

Well, this is one possible answer to my question on why, if Senator Baucus thinks we have such a terrible health care crisis in this country, he isn't (as chair of the hearings) allowing single-payer advocates a seat at the table:
One of the Baucus 13, Kevin Zeese, recently summarized Baucus’ career campaign contributions:

“From the insurance industry: $1,170,313;
health professionals: $1,016,276;
pharmaceuticals/health-products industry: $734,605;
hospitals/nursing homes: $541,891;
health services/HMOs: $439,700.”
In other words: his campaigns have been financed by the for-profit health industry.

Interesting, wouldn't you say?

Let's just take a look at WHY single-payer reduces expenses so dramatically. Here's the United States' system as it currently stands:

Rather messy, no? Convoluted, even.

And here's Canada's single-payer system:

Much simpler. It's the complexity of the US system that breeds an expensive wastefulness, and the profit motive that creates an incentive to whittle away people's coverage and endurance through (again wasteful) quantities of paperwork, etc.

These graphic representations of health care systems are from Neil Davis' book, Mired in the Health Care Morass, which I published last year. Reading that book made it very very clear just why Congress' and the White House's approach on this is so wrong-headed, and doomed to failure--from a health care standpoint. It will work beautifully from an investor's profit-making standpoint, so long as you don't care that people will be dying and sickly and going broke as a result.

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