Monday, December 28, 2015

"Weekened at" Bernie Sanders Pushes Socialized Medicine

Weekend at Bernie Sanders is rising on individual donations. He is not taking in the same level of money as Hillary Clinton, but the groundswell of support will make him formidable in the early primary states.

In his last week fundraising push, Sanders touts single-payer health care as the saving element for the American burdened by rising, exorbitant health care costs.

He is really trying to buy labor votes and establish himself as the left-wing foil to corporate crony Hillary Clinton.

Sanders' latest eblast begins with the following tired screed for "health care as a universal right" blah, blah, blah:

Sisters and Brothers -

That is the language of labor unions, trying to impose a flawed impression that the collectivism of the Left creates a different kind of family. Not a chance.

I want to talk with you about one of the very real differences between Secretary Clinton and me that surfaced during last weekend's debate, and that is our approach to health care in this country.

Yes, I am not Hillary Clinton. Really? His staff seized emails and Internet data, and Clinton as Secretary of State violated the classified status of her electronic communications with two email servers, plus lying about it to cover herself.

I was, and all progressives should be, deeply disappointed in some of her attacks on a Medicare-for-all, single-payer health care system. The health insurance lobbyists and big pharmaceutical companies try to make "national health care" sound scary. It is not.

Yes, Clinton is a Big Government statist, bought and paid for by Big Business. Wall Street interests want the former First Lady, whom they know will keep the bailouts rolling out of Washington DC and flowing into their pockets.

In fact, a large single-payer system already exists in the United States. It's called Medicare and the people enrolled give it high marks. More importantly, it has succeeded in providing near-universal coverage to Americans over age 65 in a very cost-effective manner.

This baloney is patent nonsense. Medicare is a government subsidy, but thankfully nothing like a single-payer system. Men and women can still go to different hospitals, whether public or private, and there are still choices of doctors, however limited. The government does not control every facet every element of the health care industry.

So I want to go over some facts with you and ask that you take action on this important issue:

Right now, because of the gains made under the Affordable Care Act, 17 million people have health care who did not before the law was passed. This is a good start, and something we should be proud of. But we can do better.

Why does anyone read these lies with a straight face? Why does anyone still banter about single-payer universal healthcare? This terrible government program is driving many hard-working yet working-class people throughout the Western World to forego much needed health care, or wait in long lines and suffer.

The truth is, it is a national disgrace that the United States is the only major country that does not guarantee health care to all people as a right. Today, 29 million of our sisters and brothers are without care. Not only are deductibles rising, but the cost of prescription drugs is skyrocketing as well. There is a major crisis in primary health care in the United States.

That's why our health care is much better than other countries, Bernie. Otherwise, we would all look like you, half-dead and carried around by someone else.

So I start my approach to health care from two very simple premises:

1. Health care must be recognized as a right, not a privilege -- every man, woman and child in our country should be able to access quality care regardless of their income.

Making something a right does not make it more readily available. Declaring something a right does not manifest a greater supply of something, of anything. US Senator Rand Paul was correct when he declared that forcing health care practitioners to offer their services would become another form of slavery. Everyone would be enslaved to a sclerotic bureaucracy peddling long waits of palliative care instead of long-term cures.

2. We must create a national system to provide care for every single American in the most cost-effective way possible.

Such a system already exists, and would prosper if the government would just get out of the way. It's called the Free Market.

I expected to take some heat on these fundamental beliefs during a general election, but since it is already happening in the Democratic primary, I want to address some of the critiques made by Secretary Clinton and Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal directly:

Under my plan, we will lower the cost of health care for the average family making $50,000 a year by nearly $5,000 a year. It is unfair to say simply how much more a program will cost without letting people know we are doing away with the cost of private insurance and that the middle class will be paying substantially less for health care under a single-payer system than Hillary Clinton's program. Attacking the cost of the plan without acknowledging the bottom-line savings is the way Republicans have attacked this idea for decades. Taking that approach in a Democratic Primary undermines the hard work of so many who have fought to guarantee health care as a right in this country, and it hurts our prospects for achieving that goal in the near future. I hope that it stops.

Let me also be clear that a Medicare-for-all, single-payer health care system will expand employment by lifting a major financial weight off of the businesses burdened by employee health expenses. And for the millions of Americans who are currently in jobs they don't like but must stay put because of health care access, they would be free to explore more productive opportunities as they desire.

So, what is stopping us from guaranteeing free, quality health care as a basic fundamental right for all Americans? I believe the answer ties into campaign finance reform.

The truth is, the insurance companies and the drug companies are bribing the United States Congress.

Now, I don't go around asking millionaires and billionaires for money. You know that. I don't think I'm going to get a whole lot of contributions from the health care and pharmaceutical industries. I don't like to kick a man when he is down, but when some bad actors have tried to contribute to our campaign, like the pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli who jacked up the price of a life saving drug for AIDS patients, I donated his contribution to an AIDS clinic in Washington, D.C.

The reason why companies can jack up their rates is that government infiltration has stifled competition and innovation.

Secretary Clinton, on the other hand, has received millions of dollars from the health care and pharmaceutical industries, a number that is sure to rise as time goes on. Since 1998, there are no industries that have spent more money to influence legislators than these two. Billions of dollars! An absolutely obscene amount of money. And in this election cycle alone, Secretary Clinton has raised more money from the health care industry than did the top 3 Republicans -- combined.
Now, and let's not be naive about this, maybe they are dumb and don't know what they are going to get? But I don't think that's the case, and I don't believe you do either.

More reasons not to vote for Hillary. So glad that someone is taking hits at Clinton, besides a few of the front-runner Republicans.

So, what can we do about it?

Changing the health care laws in this country in such a way that guarantees health care as a right and not a privilege will require nothing short of a political revolution. That's what this campaign is about and it is work we must continue long after I am elected the next President of the United States.

Health is not a right, no more than health care is a right. Health is a choice based on responsibilities.

And because of the success we have enjoyed so far, I am more convinced today than ever before that universal quality health care as a right for all Americans will eventually become the law of the land.

It is the only way forward.

Thank you for standing with me on this important issue.
In solidarity,
Bernie Sanders

In solidarity - another hollow union term, as though every human being is part of one big happy family, and Big Daddy Government will take care of us.

Big Daddy turns into Big Brother really quickly, and that hand of care will become a boot in our faces forever if We the People do not loudly and clearly rejected socialism, especially single-payer health care.

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