In Sickness and In Health

Friday, August 21, 2009


In discussing national health care plans, reporters, politicians and especially critics have been fond of invoking the failed Clinton plan of '93 & '94. Paul Starr, Princeton professor and author of The Social Transformation of American Medicine, says the history of national health care and its discontents is at least a century old and that for proponents and critics alike, most everything old is new again.

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Comments [5]

Francisco from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Something on a podcast from CBC made me think of this:

Sep. 28 2009 06:40 AM
Dave from San Jose, California

Still think that this problem won’t affect you? Jon Cohn, in his book “Sick” documents examples of wealthy people with excellent medical insurance that were turned away from ERs that were so full of uninsured patients they couldn’t accept a well-insured heart attack or auto accident victim! Some of these well-insured people died because they had to go to a distant ER. Read the book.

The for-profit health insurers “contribute” millions of dollars to Congressmen and Senators to protect their enormous profits instead of the health of US citizens. Get the facts--go to; Influence & Lobbying » Industries » Finance/Insurance/Real Estate » Insurance » Top Recipients. Guess what-- both parties are at the money trough! Get the facts.

The for-profit health insurers fund front-groups like FreedomWorks to disseminate disinformation, propaganda, and outright lies to scare the gullible, “low-information” public. Since there don’t seem to be any investigative journalists on NPR, try watching Rachel Maddow, who has been tracking the money connections from health-insurance front groups back to the for-profit health insurance companies.
Forget politics, and which pundit you like or don’t like--start thinking for yourself and ask the question that detectives do--“Who profits?”.

Watch Jon Stewart, who on his August 21 show very politely disproved Betsy McCaughey’s false claims about “death panels”. He just asked her to show him the section of the bill that mentioned “death panels”, and she couldn’t.

The for-profit insurance companies have been using the “socialized medicine” scare tactic for 40 years to protect their profits. Don’t be so gullible and fall for it again.

Aug. 24 2009 02:19 AM
Dave from San Jose, California

With all due respect, Professor Starr demonstrates that he doesn’t understand in the least what is going on with healthcare reform. It is not about ideology or politics, Mr. Starr.
It is about political corruption and “special interest” influence. It’s all about the money!

It is about protecting the profits for the for-profit insurers who now provide 90% of US health insurance. These companies aren’t evil, they are just following their corporate charter to maximize profits, and they are doing just that--the top ten health insurers saw profits increase by 400% over the last eight years!

How do you think the for-profit insurers make so much money from health insurance?
By denying coverage, cancelling policies, or just not paying big medical bills. It’s like a Ponzi-scheme--they take your money and then they don’t do what they promised.

Don’t be gullible and fall for their propaganda.
Focus on the facts--nearly 50 million men, women, and children in the US are now without ANY healthcare coverage. Most of us working stiffs are one pink slip away from not having health insurance coverage. And if you lose your employer-sponsored health insurance, you may not be able to get any insurance at all.

If you do manage to find an insurer that will take you (and you better be in perfect health, not too old, and with healthy parents), you may have to pay five or more times what you paid with your employer-sponsored plan! And your for-profit insurance company can cancel your coverage at any time, or refuse to pay the bill. Nearly 70% of bankruptcies in the US are caused by medical bills--and the majority of those filing bankruptcy HAD health insurance! Get the facts--look it up.

Aug. 24 2009 02:19 AM
David Benjamin from Richmond, VA

I appreciated the historical insights of this report. But the bias of the writer comes through when a phrase is used such as "common sense changes" about health care. This seemed to imply that any or all of the various proposals were valid to anyone with common sense. One man's common sense may be another's nonsense. Why not be more impartial and just say "changes?"

Aug. 23 2009 10:27 PM
J Hoover from PA

Your story starts with the premise that the health care reform being proposed is the correct one. You didn't interview any of the folks who feel differently, and you didn't really look into the concerns of those who are opposed. You just assumed they were wrong without hearing their side of the story. Bad journalism for a show on journalism. You just end up talking to your own rather than enlightening.


Aug. 23 2009 06:56 PM

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