A ways back in time the vast majority of humanity was sure that the earth is flat. Virtually all of the world’s organized political, governmental and religious institutions were part of the general consensus that joined in the assumption; the world is flat. But even way back then, there were always a few passionately inquisitive minds that questioned assumptions and looked for empirical, objective proof that the world was flat; or not. Over time, bit by bit, evidence was acquired through observation, calculation, experimentation and theorization that, when taken all together, strongly seemed to actually prove that the earth was not flat with sky above and darkness below, but globe shaped, with sky all around; like a ball. However some people stuck with the Flat Earth Theory until the first satellites took pictures of our planet from all around; clearly showing it was a globe.
Those who stuck with the Flat Earth Theory, despite literally centuries of science to the contrary, did so for a variety of reasons. Some did so naivety, ignorance or lack of information; because their limited, small scale view of the land around them seemed to support the Flat Earth Theory. Some knew the truth but supported the Flat Earth Theory because of their fear that if they acknowledged that they had been wrong about the earth being flat; some of their other dogma would be questioned and also found wanting. The Flat Earth believers used every kind of tactic from ridicule, to torture, to suppression the science which proved the earth is not flat, from becoming widely known and accepted; all in vain. The truth has a life of its own and some things are true even if no one believes them to be so at the time, such; the earth is not flat. The sun being at the center of our solar system is an extension of the earth as globe theory that was also denied for millennia, despite it being true, and now is almost universally accepted.
In the 21st. century those who don’t accept the concept of universal, single payer, health care services as being a better, more equitable, less expensive way to deliver health care to all of a country’s citizens than the health care as a profit making commodity model, are in the same position as Flat Earth Theory believers. 21 of the 22 most developed, industrialized nations on this round planet earth have universal health care. The one Flat Earth Theory believing country is the U S of A. By a whole range of objective health care outcome based measurements; all of the 21 universal health care providing countries equal or exceed health care outcomes in the US. Their health care is as good as or better than ours when measured by how well patient’s health problems are treated and how long they live. The cost for this equal or better health care is one half that of the US. That is true whether it is measured in actual dollars or percentage of a nation’s GDP. The US spends double per capita of what every other industrialized nation on our round planet does to provide accessible, comparable health care services to all their citizens; while the US doesn’t yet provide accessible health care for almost 50 million of its people.
And yet despite well documented proof that it is no better, costs twice as much and is far short of universally available; the Flat Earth Theory of Health Care believers continue to say; the US system is the best in the world. They insist that all the other industrialized countries, all the over billions of people who have equal or better outcomes at lower cost, through universal health care are wrong. They claim when it comes to health care services; the Earth is flat! And they do so as a result of same motivations that Flat Earth Theory believers have always had; ignorance and fear. The main reason they offer supporting their opinion is; the US system is better because we typically don’t have to wait as long for non-emergency medical treatment as European or Canadian or Japanese patients do. It is true that the US medical industry is the most robust in the world (although not necessarily on a doctor per capita basis); but it because the American people have pumped uncountable trillions into subsidizing the research, training, facilities, etc, of our massive medical industry. And in doing so, we have provided opportunity for huge acquisition of wealth by members of the industry, at public expense; without any of the benefits of universally accessible health care. Sure our medical industries are excellent; because we have put tons of profit making opportunity at the disposal of these industries without requiring any quid pro quo for our investment. We put up the money; they make the profit. Yes we do have a bigger heath care system; one which we have already paid for and from which can now require the readily available services without the need for us to provide the system with huge dollar amounts of largess any longer.
Eliminating the needless middlemen of the health insurance industry will knock about 1/3 off the cost of health care services in this country for starters. If a patient can easily connect with a medical provider and facility; the provider and facility can then give the patient the treatment they need without any non-medical bean counter watching the bottom line. Too much trust in the honesty of the medical industry you think? Well the US Veteran’s Administration is a huge state of the art provider of top quality medical services that runs honestly with just a 2 to 3 percent administration cost. Yes nobody is getting rich at the public trough; but they attract a high quality staff and the patient care is excellent. If the V A were to be used as a starting point model for cost saving efficiency, patient centered integrity of service and reliable publicly provided health care; we would well on our way to creating both the biggest and best universal health care system in the world.
Eliminating the budget busting sweetheart deal the Republican controlled US Congress (with some corrupted Democrats joining in) during the Bush administration gave the pharmaceutical conglomerates, would be huge second step in providing affordable health care services for all Americans. Because Congress has enabled them (but failed to fund the deal), currently the insurance industry can negotiate incredibly complex drug deals with Big Pharma which are highly profitable for both parties. But the same deal also costs US taxpayers a bundle on drugs provided through Medicare and Medicaid; because our existing single payer options are forbidden from negotiating for the lower drug costs which are available to the insurance middlemen and foreign countries. That is why Americans who can, go to single payer universal health care Canada to get their same drugs at much lower prices than they can in the US. Is this Big Pharma billion dollar give away legislation a good, fair or honest thing? No it fits the classic definition of a boondoggle. Add to that; the US taxpayer provides much of the basic research and testing that Big Pharma needs, while we are given the back of their hand when it comes to drug prices. It is just more boondoggle that can be eliminated by us demanding a fair return on our here to fore uncompensated investment in Big Pharma; which they now pocket and make huge profits.
The subsidizing of education, training, other research and development by US taxpayer money are areas where we should expect and can demand various forms of payback from the medical industry. No one is asking American doctors to work for janitor wages, anymore than they expect doctors to do so in Canada or Europe; and they still get bunches of good doctors, nurses, technicians, and hospital staff, etc. Once again, our already paid for, very robust, health care facilities and systems will be able to provide the opportunity for medicine to remain a true blue chip, always in demand arena of employment.
But if we don’t do some major remodeling of the systems currently in place, with the 77 million baby boom cohort entering their golden and less healthy years; the Flat Earth, private, for profit, health care as a commodity, system will make a few people extremely wealthy and leave the vast majority of Americans, who have been investing trillions, for generations, more under serviced and over charged as compared to every other developed, industrialized country on earth. That is as obviously true as; the Earth is Not Flat!