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Indybay Feature
Private Profit Kaiser v Protests
by Support HR 1384 Medicare for All
Saturday Jun 20th, 2020 9:11 AM
Private profit Kaiser Permanente, a major medical provider in this backward country that still does not have socialized medicine unlike the rest of the industrialized world, sent an Email on June 20, 2020 at 1:12 AM to its members telling us how to exercise our First Amendment right to protest. So that you know that this statement is not contrived, here is the outrageous blame-the-protest for failures of private profit medicine message:
Private profit Kaiser Permanente, a major medical provider in this backward country that still does not have socialized medicine unlike the rest of the industrialized world, sent an Email on June 20, 2020 at 1:12 AM to its members telling us how to exercise our First Amendment right to protest. So that you know that this statement is not contrived, here is the outrageous blame-the-protest for failures of private profit medicine message:

“During this pandemic, if you participate in civic actions and demonstrations, here are steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your community:
Go with people you’ve sheltered with. Keep your distance (at least 6 feet) from others when possible.
Wear a mask or cloth face covering over your mouth and nose (How to properly wear a face mask).
Wear eye protection.
Consider carrying a sign to make your message known.
Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer during and after the event. Don’t share phones or other personal items.
Stay home if you’re sick.”

Let us start our protest of Kaiser with the facts about Kaiser:

As stated at,
https://about.kaiserpermanente.org/our-story/news/announcements/2019-kaiser-foundation-health-plan-hospitals-financial-results
Kaiser’s 2019 income was as follows:
“Total operating revenues for 2019 were $84.5 billion, compared to $79.7 billion in 2018. Operating expenses were $81.8 billion, compared to $77.8 billion in the prior year. Operating income was $2.7 billion, or 3.2% of operating revenues, compared to $1.9 billion in 2018, or 2.4%.”

“Membership as of December 31, 2019, was 12.2 million, an annual increase of more than 81,000 members.”

“We currently serve 12.2 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia.”

According to https://about.kaiserpermanente.org/who-we-are/fast-facts, Kaiser has 9.2 million members in California, a state with 40 million residents.

Kaiser provides million dollar salaries to its Chief Executive Officer and many members of its Board of Directors. See https://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/news/2018/10/15/highest-paid-health-care-employees.html

Its members on Medicare have to pay $144 per month to Medicare, $92 per month to Kaiser and a co-pay for every visit, around $30, and every lab test and X-ray. That means Kaiser is not affordable to those who need medical care most, the 50% of Americans who live in poverty, meaning they cannot provide $2,000 for an emergency within 30 days, and is barely affordable to the 80% of Americans who live from paycheck to paycheck, which includes the 50% living in poverty. This is not medicine; it is greed.

An effort to transfer the wealth from the greedy to the needy is HR 1384, improved Medicare for All, a form of socialized medicine, which currently has 118 supporters, NOT including San Francisco Rep. Nancy Pelosi, while it needs 218 supporters to pass. See https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/1384/cosponsors?searchResultViewType=expanded

Socialized medicine is not new. It has existed in Germany since 1883, and is now in the following countries and regions:
All of Europe, Israel, Rwanda, Cuba, Canada, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, China, Taiwan, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand.

The United States now has declining life expectancy for 6 years, since 2014, when Democrat Obama was president, due to the lack of socialized medicine. His medical program, the Affordable Care Act of 2010, was a tax giveaway to the insurance companies with very high unaffordable deductibles, and with the failure to recognize the fact that insurance is not healthcare. About 45 million Americans have no health insurance in a country of 332 million people. Undocumented immigrants are not covered by Obama’s healthcare, although at the time it passed the House and Senate, both were a majority Democrat.

Clearly, healthcare must be free to all who live here and without regard to immigration status. That is the only way to address any healthcare crisis.

Now we come to the latest healthcare crisis, COVID19, one of 155 viruses floating around, which adversely affects mostly those over age 60, the same as all other diseases. The young people who are the majority of protesters are least likely to get sick from anything. So far in our country of 332 million people, there have been 120,906 deaths in 4 months from COVID19. See https://www.bing.com/search?q=California%2C%20United%20States%2C%20Globalcoronavirus%20deaths&qs=n&form=QBRE&sp=-1&pq=california%2C%20united%20

In the 12 months of 2017, out of 2.8 million deaths in the US, we had 647,000 deaths from heart disease and 599,000 deaths from cancer, the two leading causes of death in this country.

The COVID19 spikes occurred before the protests began in the poorest states which had the least healthcare for the workingclass, and continue to occur in communities which can least afford medical care of any kind, and often do not have enough to eat. Some 42 million Americans do not have enough to eat. Malnutrition guarantees the spread of disease.

Before the greedy private profit American medical businesses tell anyone what to do, they must support the First Amendment to the Constitution which guarantees freedom from and of religion, freedom of the press and speech, freedom of assembly and the right to petition for redress of grievances. Our biggest grievance against the American medical businesses is that they are a private profit business whose primary goal is maximization of profit, which is always at the expense of the lives of the workingclass, the 80% of Americans who sell our labor for less than $80,000 a year. Just as all the Confederate statues and other statues of slaveholders and genocide promoters such as Christopher Columbus are insulting anachronisms, so too is private profit American medicine. The struggle must of course be broadened to put an end to the entire life threatening private profit system, which only a labor movement capable of carrying out a general strike can do, which requires organizing the unorganized.
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