Monday, August 10, 2009

Role of Government in Healthcare, Our Financial Economy, and National Security Krugman NYT

President Obama needs to start playing hardball and hit hard at both Republicans and Healthcare corporations who paid as high as $1.7 billion dollars in fines for stealing money from seniors on Medicare. They are essentially running the campaign to prevent Democrats from explaining the goals of the Healthcare plan with considerable help from our Republican leaders.

If Obama read John W. Dean's book "Conservatives Without Conscience," he would be aware that no logic and facts will persuade them to change their mind. Don't let them takeover our country again.

In Chapter Two Conservatives Without Conscience pp. 39, scientists such as Milgram at University of California, Berkeley and Altemeyer found earlier "that conservative authoritarian personalities can commit atrocious acts by ignoring their consciences such as those working for the CIA or armed forces ignore their consciences to carry out orders that defy well-known international laws?

Radical authoritarian conservatives just follow orders as Eichmann did according to study in "Hannah Arendt'sbook Eichmann in Jerusalem (1963) which Milgram agrees with. Milgram observed that the lesson of his work was that ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terribly destructive process. ... Milgram revealed that for a remarkable number of people, it is very difficult to disobey authority figures, but quite easy for them to set aside their conscience."

Seniors who voted for McCain by 53% tend to be quite insecure and easier to scare so they react badly to any news that threaten them such as any change in Healthcare provisions for Medicare. Now it is worse because of the financial collapse and the lies and scare tactics put out there by healthcare corporations and Republicans are effective with now two-thirds of seniors opposing reform. If they succeed in preventing an education discussion about healthcare, President Obama will lose.

In the book "OverTreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer," by Shannon Brownlee, a 30 year journalist covering healthcare, she gives a huge number of examples about why overtreatment leads to poorer outcomes because each procedure is a potential risk including infections and death and the good appropriate treatment does for their patients. When there is an over abundance of doctors with the same specialty, operations and treatments mushroom indicating that many of the operations such as unneeded hysterectomies do irreparable harm to their patients for their lifetime.

We can fault our Democratic Blue Dogs, especially Senator Baucus from delaying the bill so opponents could campaign to kill healthcare reform during the August recess by using outright lies by quoting things not in the bill. Senator Baucus is the 4th highest recipient of Contributions from Healthcare related corporations of four million dollars. Since he comes from a sparsely populated state of Montana with mostly poor residents, his support or bribes can go a long way to keep him in office.

The Mayo Clinic is the #1 healthcare provider according to US & News Reports with costs lower than the Medicare average. Primary care doctors and specialists are in one organization and the doctors are on salary so they do not carryout unnecessary procedures to make more money. The same occurs in dozen similarly structured smaller healthcare operations throughout the country.

Not enough effort was carried out well before allowing congress to submit proposed bills from various committees. President Obama should talk about McAllen, Texas which costs twice the average for Medicare with worst and certainly not better outcomes than a comparable city, El Paso with similar demographics which charged Medicare half the cost of McAllen, Texas. These physicians have become very rich and talk about their expensive boats or their investment successes, but not what they do for their high living. In Texas it is very difficult to sue doctors so lawsuits is not the too often given for doctor's and hospital's greed to live the high life.

Medicare is now spending more money than it is taking in and the current estimate is that by 2017 or so, Medicare would be bankrupt. If costs keep increasing at the same rate in healthcare, we would have nothing left for what government does best such as Social Security, Medicare, Veterans Hospitals, FEMA now, National Defense, and other supporting programs.

We have no choice. We must reform healthcare so the Baby Boom seniors and future generations will continue to have the benefits only government will provide. Even now the best healthcare is provided with government involvement with Medicare, Veterans Care, and Congressional Care. See NYTimes Paul Krugman Aug 10, 2009

As we all should know, the goal of Healthcare Corporations is to deny us healthcare to make their excess greedy profits. As I said before Wall Street including Hedge Funds make it hard for CEOs from trying to do the right thing if they are so inclined because as soon as they don't make the Wall Street estimate of earnings, even if it drops by one percent, their stock goes down at least ten percent in one day! We need to also reform Wall Street with more helpful regulations to keep us safe.

Jim Kawakami, Aug 10, 2009, Health, Financials, and Other Germane Topics

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