Single Payer? Taxes going up?

Fighting Big Money

So with all the excitement in California and New York about imminent new legislation for state single payer programs, the big question still remains. When is the big money coming into those states to defeat these bills? They did it in Vermont. They did it in Colorado. And they will do it in California and in New York. They will say “How will it be funded” “Single Payer is risky”; “Taxes will go up”; “It is ‘too big a bite’ (coupled with a humongous hamburger on the poster; “The government is incompetent”; “We want choice, not a one-size-fits-all system”. And on and on it goes with the the arguments and insults declaring that single payer is not possible in the United States. All this happens even though the studies show that single payer actually saves money rather than increases spending.

The dis-ingenuousness of these arguments is striking when you actually know the reality that single payer costs less, saves money and has better outcomes in most other industrialized nations around the world. We know this to be true. It has been proven again and again. The argument ultimately is not a financial one. Single payer is definitely affordable (unless of course you believe that Americans are really not as intelligent or clever as all those people in the other countries that have it.)

The problem is, that in order to make their ideological argument sound reasonable, those opposed to single payer need to either lie, distort, or make up the “truth”. The “reasonableness” of their argument is convincing but it is not accurate.

Either we believe that every person deserves medical treatment or we don’t. If we start from the premise that everyone deserves care, then we need to figure out a way to make it happen. If we look at all the alternatives, single payer healthcare is not only the most logical it is the only mechanism that accomplishes that goal.

We need to combat the fear that taxes going up means that we will all be paying more for healthcare. The truth is that while taxes will go up, the ultimate cost to the consumer goes down for 95% of us, because we will no longer pay all the fees connected to health insurance (premiums, co-pays, deductibles, co-insurance, cost sharing). When people say single payer will increase costs, it is true. More people covered for more services will increase costs. However, what is consistently overlooked by the naysayers is the enormous savings that will result from the elimination of wasteful spending on administration, and the negotiation to reduce overpricing of medical services and medications. They deny the magnitude of these savings.

The advocates who have been fighting all these years for universal care are not out-of-touch idealists. They are smart hard-working people who have been studying the issue for decades. They know what they are talking about.

Now is the time to make sure that the truth about single payer is planted everywhere so everybody can have healthcare.

Stuck On An Idea

 by Terry Sterrenberg

“Now Is The Time:  Healthcare For Everybody” is really the rallying cry these days. Healthcare activists all over the country are coming through in a big way.  It is amazing what we have done this past year and it is not yet done.  To be a part of it has been more than invigorating.  I literally feel that I have come back to life in some very real ways and the pit in my stomach that started right after the election last year has begun to refill.  However, even though I have new faith in the American people not to jump off the sinking ship, I am still living in the disillusionment of what this country is and has become and the unbelievable spin of those in power who create “alternate facts” and “Truth”.

Some would say that the creation of this alternate “truth” is evidence of mental illness itself.  It is usually called being delusional, i.e. living in your own reality and not being able to distinguish what is real from what is not.  What is truth to one person can appear to be delusional to the rest of us, particularly if the delusional person is not willing or able to let in new information or to accept all the information that is available.  Does this remind you of anyone in your life?  In public office?   Once you think you have the “truth”, it can be a lot like closing your mind and “getting stuck on an idea”.  After all, truth is the ultimate, once you have it no further discovery is possible.

Getting stuck on a particular idea is considered in some circles to be a lagging cognitive skill.  Being adaptable when necessary, changing one’s mind, entertaining new ideas and compromising are considered evolutionary steps in the development of human beings.  These abilities are what make negotiating, problem-solving,  and establishing and keeping agreements possible.  Without them, individuals (presidents), groups, and political parties become stalemated.  Breaking the deadlock requires the skills of dialoguing  and discussing.

Part of my truth is that being respectful and kind, solving problems, and trying to ensure that everyone has what they need in life is better than hoarding things and money, calling people names, and  ripping people off.  Strangely when people call me names and speak disrespectfully to me I don’t really want to understand their point of view. I believe this is true of all of us no matter what political party. There is of course a whole list of qualities and conditions that most of us can agree upon that makes life better.  Bringing people together, and /or living among people  who treat each other with respect, create these conditions, and who have these qualities creates affinity  and life for everyone.

Most truth is completely subjective.  And because of this, we  can chose our truth at any particular moment. Why not chose a truth that makes life better – that creates  healthcare and prosperity  for everyone – rather than chose a truth that separates and vilifies people?

My mother used to say, “Who you hang around with makes a difference”.  I certainly know that  finding others who share my  truth  makes my life worth living.  I have found my common truth in the community of healthcare advocates over the years.  You folks  are some of the most heart centered and giving people in the world and I thank you for your friendship.

Stuck on an idea?  The idea of making healthcare a reality for every person?  That’s a delusion (truth) I can live with.