Paul Craig Roberts is one of the better analysts of the American economy. The following is excerpted from one of his regular columns.
It is extraordinary that “liberals,” “progressives,” “Democrats,” whatever they are, are defending a “health program” that uses public monies to pay private insurance companies and that raises the cost of health care.
Americans have been brainwashed that “a single-payer system is unaffordable” because it is “socialized medicine.” Despite this propaganda, accepted by many Americans, European countries manage to afford single-payer systems. Health care is not a stress, a trauma, an unaffordable expense for European populations. Among the Western Civilized Nations, only the richest, the US, has no universal health care.
The American health care system is the most expensive of all on earth. The reason for the extraordinary expense is the multiple of entities that must make profits. The private doctors must make profits. The private testing centers must make profits.The private specialists who receive the referrals from general practitioners must make profits. The private hospitals must make profits. The private insurance companies must make profits. The profits are a huge cost of health care.
On top of these profits come the costs of preventing and combatting fraud. Because private insurance companies resist paying and Medicare pays a small fraction of the medical charges, private health care providers charge as much as they possibly can, knowing that the payments will be cut to the bone. But a billing mistake of even $300 can bankrupt a health care provider from legal expenses defending him/her self from fraud accusations.
The beauty of a single-payer system is that it takes the profits out of the system. No one has to make profits. Wall Street cannot threaten insurance companies and private health care companies with being taken over because their profits are too low. No health-provider in a single-payer system has to worry about being displaced in a takeover organized by Wall Street because the profits are too low.
Because a single-payer system eliminates the profits that drive up the costs, Wall Street, Insurance companies, and “free market economists” hate a “socialized” medical care system.
Think on it. “Obamacare” was developed by the rightwing Heritage Foundation and then implemented by Mitt “I-Like-to-Fire-People” Romney. Obamacare is Romneycare. Yet liberals and Democrats are manning their battle stations to fight for something that they would have opposed if introduced by a President Romney. This is how Obama works, he is a human Trojan Horse, who once passed the gates of Democracy, is subverting everything holy in service to his corporate employers.