By Paul Craig Roberts/ OpEdNews.com/ February 14, 2019
Whose interests are served when Pelosi sells out health care and Pompeo sells out peace?
The US health system is the most high cost and dysfunctional health care system in the world. The reason is that it is privatized. In the rest of Western civilization the system is socialized.
The reason health care is socialized in civilized countries is not only to provide health care to citizens who otherwise could not afford it, but also to reduce the cost. In a privatized system, a profit has to be turned at every level: the general practitioner, the specialist, the diagnostic facility, the ambulance service, the emergency room, the hospital, the hospice, the health insurance company. All of these levels of profit build up the cost.
In the hybrid system with which the US is afflicted, regulation drives the cost even higher. It is not only government regulation because of Medicare and Medicaid, but also private regulation imposed by private insurance companies. In America, alone in the world, medical care comes second to paperwork.
Doctors working in medical clinics have to dictate the results of each patient seen, the diagnosis, the treatment, and so forth, in sufficient detail to satisfy the payer of the bill, whether public or private. The dictation time eats into the doctor’s treatment time. In other words, the paper work requirements reduce the amount of time the doctor has to see patients. The paperwork also requires nurses to organize and compile it. And this is not the end of it.
Health care corporations employ people to monitor the doctors to make sure the physican dictates enough to create a record that Medicare, Medicaid, or the private insurance company will accept as evidence of billable service.
Even a libertarian economist who views the massive costs upon costs of the American system cannot find any economies to attribute to private enterprise.
In a socialized health care system, none of the many levels require a profit in order to continue to operate. As there is no billing of Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance companies by private corporations, there is no need for the high cost of preventing fraud. Nurses and doctors can attend to patients instead of paperwork. Of course, in any system cost-saving regulations can expand cost-producing bureaucracies, and no system will work well without moral and virtue rules that instill a compassionate and responsible attitude on the part of health care providers.
There is no doubt whatsoever that the cost of health care in the US would diminish dramatically if the US had a socialized health care system in which there is no profit, no paperwork, only health care. And this is why it will not happen.
In the US system, health care is profitable to private interests. They are concerned with their profits, not with the cost of health care to people. It is profitable to all the fraud prevention, public and private, bureaucracies. It is profitable to the members of the US Senate and House of Representatives, as private health care companies are major donors.
If you doubt this, consider that Democrats, or many of them, say that they are for a single payer health care system, by which they mean a socialized health care system in which there is no profit and no regulatory cost. But they are not really in favor of such a system as the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi’s health policy aide made clear to private insurance company executives. Pelosi’s health care adviser, Wendell Primus, pledged Democratic Party support to the insurance industry in the fight against single-payer health care.
Pelosi’s plan is to achieve “universal coverage” via the Obama Affordable Care Act. This misnamed legislation achieves health coverage for Americans by mandating that they purchase private insurance policies for their health insurance. Many Americans have not, because the premium, together with the deductible and co-pays are so high that few can afford to use the policy. The perfect deal for a health insurance company is to collect a premium on a policy whose deductibles and copays make it too expensive to use.
What we need to ask outselves is: Why can’t we Americans get affordable health care? A socialized system could pay high salaries to doctors and nurses to guarantee their commitment. Their education could be subsidized. Pharmaceutical companies can be nationalized. Scientists dedicated to finding cures don’t care who they work for. The entrepreneurial argument is a red herring.
The answer is that government does not serve the citizens. Government is just another private business that serves those whose campaign contributions put senators, representatives, and presidents in office. What liberals, conservatives, and libertarians do not understand is that government is a private activity like a capitalist business, not a public organization.
Government is just another privatized sector. It serves those who pay. As people needing health care can seldom pay, the system is in the hands of the private insurance companies.
The only “health care reform” that America will ever have is the reform that drives the cost of healthcare even higher.
Pelosi’s sellout to the insurance companies is more evidence that the concept of “public goods,” that is, the government’s provision of goods and services to citizens, needs rethinking. For example, consider national defense. In what sense is the massive US military/security complex budget a public good as contrasted with taxpayer-provided profit to a small number of subsidy-seeking private corporations? In what sense does US foreign policy serve the public as opposed to the armaments corporations, oil companies, and Israel Lobby? It is impossible to look at the US government budget and not see that it feeds private interest groups with strong lobbies.
Consider the symbiotic relationship between foreign policy and the military/security budget. The massive Pentagon budget and the massive power of the CIA and NSA require a dangerous enemy. Thus, US foreign policy creates the “Russian threat,” the “Chinese threat,” the “Iranian threat,” the “Al Qaeda threat,” the “ISIS threat,” the “Saddam Hussein threat,” the “Gaddafi threat,” the “Assad threat,” and now the “Maduro threat.” In order to maximize profits, the military/security complex increases the risks of war. In other words, the profits come at an expense greater than the budget imposed on taxpayers. In the case of war with Russia, the cost is the destruction of life on earth.
Propaganda serves the same role in democracies as it does in dictatorships. The public have to be deceived in order for citizens to accept an agenda that serves others than themselves. The public’s patriotism and gullibility pave the way for propaganda’s success. Currently Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton are preparing the public for US military intervention in Venezuela with false claims that Cuba has taken control of Venezuela’s security apparatus, and Hezbollah and Iran have active cells operating in Venezuela. This alleged risk to America has “to be taken down” in Venezuela and “all across the globe.”
All over the Western world the public has been sold out by government; yet only in France is there effective protest.
There are many ways to get a more universal health care system. If we can’t do single-payer (my preference), a fixing up of Obamacare would be a great improvement. We’ll have to see what is truly feasible.
Please NOTE that Paul Craig Roberts is an evil bastard who
works for the Russians and the Hard Core Republicans
as a USEFUL IDIOT Recruiter.
Even Wikipedia has him pegged:
Paul Craig Roberts (born April 3, 1939) is an American economist, author, and conspiracy theorist.    He formerly held a sub-cabinet office in the United States federal government as well as teaching positions at several U.S. universities.
He is a promoter of supply-side economics,
an opponent of U.S. foreign policy,
and a vocal supporter of the current Russian government and its policies. 
You are right, Ray. Paul Craig Roberts has gone off the deep end many times and is often crazy-sounding and a conspiracy nut. I reprinted his piece only because Roberts sometimes makes sense and in this article made very good points, I certainly don’t endorse him on many other subjects.
Dear Brother Arlen:
Paul Craig Roberts has it ALMOST all correct.
The PURE Socialist Model for Nationalized Socialized Health Care Medicine
Which is the same NORWEGIAN MODEL that
Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton first proposed to Congress three months
Before the news media made her attempt to present it in public and
is the ONLY
Correct model for caring for this Nation’s people without bankrupting the nation.
Having said that, this is ABSOLUTELY BEYOND ALL DOUBT the WRONG TIME TO BE
Pushing for Single Payer in this country.
All of the Right Wing Republicans reveal that in their tacit approval of opening up
Discussions for Single Payer.
They are only doing this because all of the King-Maker Oligarchs of this country are
Afraid that the American people are going to take a hard look at the trillion dollar giveaway
To the Super Rich that happened a year and a half ago.
Among themselves, they are all talking
About finding more clever ways of tearing down Obamacare
to finance the huge debt that even
Makes Wall Street nervous now.
IN all of the publications the Conservatives share among themselves,
they see the renewed interest in a single payer
System as their last chance to really crush Obamacare.
BELIEVE ME… I KNOW REAL REPUBLICAN DOCTORS
Who are fully aware of that strategy and
Who are completely behind this strategy to crush the Affordable Care Act.
They already have in place
Tactics ready to set into motion
to finally defeat Obamacare
but they are dependent on ONE THING.
They need the Useful Idiots of the Left Wing
to bring up a serious bill for a radical change in our health care
System that the Left Wing can be forced to take credit for
while at the same time,
the Republican powers in the polls
In the states that will make a difference will still allow the Repubicans the latitude to work their clever plans
To expose and make vulnerable Obamacare
with the same kind of timing they used to give away a trillion dollars.
The Republicans have it all worked out and
they ONLY depend on dividing the Democrats at the same time
They initiate their plans to integrate the destruction of the Affordable Care Act into the equation.
Don’t BE one of their USEFUL IDIOTS.
This is the WRONG time to go for the law that we need far more than
We ever needed Obamacare
the Republicans are counting on us getting over confident and blowing everything
And taking a gamble on the Republicans’ terms and timing.
That is a gamble we will certainly lose because the
Money now in the hands of the Oligarchs of this country
is dedicated in far greater quantities than it took to gain
Them a TRILLION DOLLAR TAX BREAK!!!
Do yourself a little favor and check to see who is paying for the ads for these things.
You’re going to find that Pelosi has intentionally set herself up as the mouse in a cat and mouse
Game to intentionally get the Republicans to chase her in a congressional escapade that will
Reveal their real intentions. If she wins, then we all get to see the Republicans with egg on their faces over the Trillion dollar gift again. If she loses, the Republicans will use the useful idiots who, like me and all other decent people want National Health Care and we Want it NOW
To simply take away the Obamacare Bone that we are presently stuck with chewing on.
Don’t Be A USEFUL IDIOT!