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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: U.S. | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism
by Stephen Lendman
Obama's signature program is rife with inequities. It makes a dysfunctional system worse.
It rations healthcare. It's unaffordable. It leaves millions uninsured. It leaves millions more underinsured. It compromises privacy. A little noticed disclaimer states:
"You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data transmitting or stored on this information system."
Medical privacy rights are violated. NSA and other US spy agencies will have full access to Americans' medical history. They have lots more than that. More information below.
On October 24, Infowars headlined "CIA-Funded Software Company Manages Private Data for Healthcare.gov," saying:
In-Q-Tel is a CIA venture capital firm. It's "heavily invested into Socrata. (It's a) software company (providing) data collection and management for Healthcare.gov and Medicare.gov."
It announced a "strategic investment and technology development agreement with In-Q-Tel (IQT)."
Both "entities will work together to further develop Socrata's data consumerization platform for internal business analysts in data-rich organizations."
"Users of Socrata's technologies can transform raw data from multiple sources into more sophisticated and useful resources."
Socrata will work with NSA, CIA and other US spy agencies. They'll do so to transform raw data into what's more easily used.
Healthcare.gov obtained information includes place of residence, social security number, bank account numbers, other financial information, medical history, place of employment, earnings, immigration status, military background, criminal record if any, phone numbers and email addresses.
US spy agencies get it all. They can use it any way they wish. Obamacare is more than ripoff healthcare. It violates core constitutional rights. It exploits unprincipally. It does so secretly. It does more harm than good.
On October 24, Acting Man.com headlined "Obamacare Side Effect - Doctors Abandon the Health Care Insurance System Altogether," saying:
Many apparently "had enough." They're opting out. They're fed up with bureaucratic red tape. Obamacare makes it worse than ever. They're going cash only.
They're able to spend more time with patients. They don't need extra staff help dealing with increasing amounts of paperwork.
Doing so requires treating more patients to cover costs. It results in less time spent on proper care.
Doug Nunamaker is a family physician. "The paperwork, the hassles, it just got (too) overwhelming," he said. "We knew we had to find a better way to practice," he added.
He charges flat monthly fees. It's the equivalent of cheap insurance. For children, it's $10. For adults up to age 44, it's $50. Seniors pay $100.
He advises patients to carry high-deductible insurance coverage. It's needed in case emergencies, serious illness or expensive treatments.
His patient list numbers 400 - 600. Before it was 2,500 - 4,000. He needed volume to cover expenses. He's comfortable with more time for treatment.
"My professional life is better than expected," he said. "My family life and personal time are better. This is everything I wanted out of family medicine."
Small numbers of doctors operate this way. Others join them annually. American Academy of Family Physicians data show 4% did so in 2012. In 2010, it was 3%.
A 2013 Medscape survey found 6% of physicians practicing this way. Burdensome Obamacare mandates suggest increasing numbers opting out ahead.
They want less bureaucracy. They want more time for patients. They don't want Washington or predatory insurers telling them how to practice. They want doctors and patients alone deciding.
At the same time, healthcare advocates raise concerns. Cash only medicine perhaps will end up excluding many less well off patients. Everyone should have equal access. Universal single-payer alone provides it.
Bureaucratic red tape is eliminated. Insurers don't provide healthcare. Doctors do. Medicare's original design worked as intended.
Enrolling was simple. It still is. Enormous savings are achieved. Universal coverage assures comprehensive affordable care.
Predatory middlemen are excluded. Doing so saves $400 billion or more annually. Using it for care instead of profits covers everyone.
Marketplace medicine prioritizes profits. It does so at the expense of equitable treatment. It lets private insurers game the system. It lets them rip off enrollees freely.
Commodified healthcare falls short. It has no place in free societies. Obamacare makes it less equitable than ever.
Powerful interests blocked earlier US healthcare reform efforts. In 1917, 15 states introduced health insurance coverage for all legislation.
Eight others established commissions to study doing so. Proposals were weak and confusing. They were dead on arrival.
In the 1930 and 1940s, government-sponsored health insurance resurfaced. The issue remained contentious. Industry giants again blocked change.
Post-war, employer-provided coverage increased. Retirees, the disabled, unemployed, and others were uninsured. Years of debate followed. Medicare and Medicaid resulted.
In 1965, amendments to Titles XVIII and XIX respectively of the 1935 Social Security Act established them. Efforts to cover everyone failed. Prospects today are far dimmer than then.
Obamacare eliminates the possibility. Healthcare giants writing the law designed it that way. On June 28, 2012, a Physicians for National Health Program press release said:
"What is truly unrealistic is believing that we can provide universal and affordable health care in a system dominated by private insurers and Big Pharma."
"The American people desperately need a universal health system that delivers comprehensive, equitable, compassionate and high-quality care, with free choice of provider and no financial barriers to access."
Convoluted arguments upheld ACA's controversial individual mandate provision. Americans have no say. They're required to buy coverage from private insurers. They have to whether or not they want it.
They're cheated. They get much less than they pay for. Independent experts believe America's least advantaged at left in no-man's land.
Federal subsidies are woefully inadequate. They'll get inadequate coverage at best. They'll be denied expensive treatments if needed.
Imagine the world's richest country mandating it. Everyone can get whatever they want based on the ability to pay. Inability means too bad, out of luck.
Ninety-year old Dr. Quentin Young is a longtime Physicians for National Health Program (PNHP) leading member. His newly released autobiograpy is titled "Everybody In, Nobody Out: Memoirs of a Rebel Without a Pause."
"Had I been in Congress, I would have unequivocally voted against Obamacare," he said. "It's a bad bill."
"We rather think because of its ability to enshrine and solidify the corporate domination of the health system, it's worse than what we have now."
Worse or better is immaterial, he stressed. "The health system isn't working in this country - fiscally, medically, socially, morally."
"I don't have any sympathy for the idea that the president had to compromise because his opposition was strong."
"Winning is not always winning the election. Winning is making a huge fight and then taking the fight to the people - re-electing people who are supporting your program and defeating those who aren't."
PNHP examined Obamacare mandate by mandate. It's nightmarish in complexity. It's fundamentally inequitable.
"To this day," said Young, "much to the chagrin of many of our friends who wanted reform, I remain adamant in my rejection of Obamacare."
Young and other single-payer advocates deplore private insurers. They game the system for profits. They deny or delay expensive treatments. They overcharge, underinsure, and exploit people unfairly.
Obama could have done things different, said Young. "He could have stuck to all the virtues of single payer."
He acted polar opposite. He sold out the way he did to Wall Street. US consumers are stuck with what demands rejection.
Millions will learn how much to their chagrin. Young expects a dirty fight ahead to change things.
"I'm sure the battle over health care reform isn't going away," he said. Odds against winning today perhaps are greater than ever.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen [at] sbcglobal.net.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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