The Creeping Privatization Of Medicare

In the early 1970s, Senator Ted Kennedy and Congresswoman Martha Griffiths introduced Medicare for All legislation in the Congress.

It could have passed but for the efforts of a doctor from Minnesota by the name of Paul Elwood.

Elwood believed that unless the Republicans did something to control health care costs, Medicare for All single payer would soon become the law of the land.

So in February 1970, Elwood traveled to Washington, D.C. and met with officials in Richard Nixon’s administration to present his proposal for what he called health maintenance organizations (HMOs).

The seeds for a managed care theology that would upend the American health care over the next fifty years were planted.

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How The Grinch Stole Medicare Protest At Humana

Louisville, KY – On Saturday, December 11 at 11:00 a.m. EST, Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care and others will gather outside the headquarters of Humana, 500 W. Main St., Louisville, KY 40202 where they will demand an end to Medicare Direct Contracting, a program that could fully privatize Traditional fee-for-service Medicare without a vote by Congress.

The protest with feature Steven Katz in full costume as the Grinch with the reading and performance of “How the Grinch Stole Medicare,” an original poem from National Single Payer.   Jill Harmer and the Single Payer Singers, Stephen Bartlett and his band, and singer, songwriter John Gage will perform holiday and health care music.

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An Obscure Agency Is Threatening To Hand Medicare Over To Wall Street

In the face of massive support for Medicare for All and the failure of the U.S.’s for-profit health care system, the inevitable fall of the medical-industrial complex can be predicted, if not with precision, with certainty. Everyone is aware of the impending demise, none more so than those in charge of the for-profit health care system and their supporters in Congress, as evidenced by the frenetic activity at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to transfer the traditional Medicare program to the insurance industry as fast as humanly possible. Given this urgency, physicians representing Physicians for a National Health Program delivered a petition signed by 13,000 individuals, including 1,500 physicians, to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra this week demanding the end to the privatization of Medicare.

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Day Of The Dead Protest In Front Of Nancy Pelosi’s House

The coffin they carried was fake, but the “68000” painted on it, the number of deaths suffered in the U.S. this year because of lack of health care, is all too real.

In a Day of the Dead protest, protesters gathered in a slight drizzle at San Francisco’s Alta Plaza Park and marched to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s house, a few blocks away. The signs they carried declared health care to be a human right and demanded Medicare for All. One, carried by “Red Berets” was an American flag with the year other countries had instituted national health care written on the stripes. “WHAT ABOUT US???” was on the bottom line.

One demonstrator wore a black mourning veil over her face. Many carried little heart shaped pins of a black rose, a Victorian symbol of tragic love, danger and death.

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Democrats Have Taken Medicare For All Off The Table

Democrats in Congress and their supporters inside the beltway have taken single payer off the table.

Instead of pursuing Medicare for All they are pursuing incremental improvements in Medicare—also known as Medicare for Some.

They are also pursuing single payer at the state level.

Long time national single payer advocates, like Dr. Anne Scheetz of the Illinois Single Payer Coalition, feel betrayed by both efforts.

Has any single payer group come out against Medicare for Some?

“There is a new group called National Single Payer,” Dr. Scheetz told Corporate Crime Reporter in an interview last month. “It’s just getting started. But we understand that incremental improvements in Medicare are not going to move us closer to single payer and we also understand that working for state based single payer is not going to get us closer to national single payer.”

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Movements In The US Call To Expand Healthcare Access

Organizations across the United States organized protests, cultural activities, community kitchens, teach-ins, and other actions about the issue of healthcare access in the US from September 13-20 as part of the Nonviolent Medicaid Army Week of Action. The diverse actions had the goal of uniting people directly impacted by healthcare denial and linking the different issues related to healthcare such as housing, police violence, access to clean water, and economic inequality. Actions were organized in the states of Alabama, California, Florida, Indiana, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Vermont.

The week of action organized by the Nonviolent Medicaid Army (NVMA) was cosponsored by the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, the National Union Of The Homeless, and the Party for Socialism and Liberation – PSL.

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Report: Among Richest Countries, US Last in Healthcare

The U.S. health care system ranked last among 11 wealthy countries despite spending the highest percentage of its gross domestic product on health care, according to an analysis by the Commonwealth Fund.

Researchers behind the report surveyed tens of thousands of patients and doctors in each country and used data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The report considered 71 performance measures that fell under five categories: access to care, the care process, administrative efficiency, equity and health care outcomes. Countries analyzed in the report include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the U.S.

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Democrats Propose Medicare For A Few More Instead Of Medicare For All

Health care activists were uniformly disappointed, albeit not surprised, when President Joe Biden, in initially proposing the American Families Plan, failed to include in the legislation his major campaign promise to prioritize expanding Medicare.

The response from Democrats was as swift as it was tepid. Instead of fighting for real health care reform, the House and Senate wrote letters respectfully requesting the administration to tweak the plan around the edges: lower the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 60; decrease prescription drug costs; place an out-of-pocket cap on health care costs; and expand coverage to include dental, vision and hearing.

The letter failed to acknowledge the administration’s own desire to make increases to the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchange subsidies permanent, not to mention expanding Medicare to cover everyone, and include all medically necessary services, prescription drug coverage and long-term care.

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Medicare For All Movement To File Human Rights Violation Complaint

The March for Medicare for All Movement released a statement today that the group is filing a human rights violation complaint with the United Nations and will hold a public UN panel discussion later this month. On July 24, thousands of people across the United States in 56 marches and vigils demanded the United States Federal Government to take immediate action on three (3) demands by August 6, 2021. The demands 1) Pass Improved & Expanded Medicare for All Immediately; 2) Recognize Healthcare as a Human Right for all people Regardless of sex, age, creed, race, religion, gender identity, citizenship, disability, geographic location, income, and employment status; and 3) Prioritize Healthcare First in the Federal budget. The failure of the United States to fully protect the health of its population during a pandemic is a violation of basic human rights and dignity.

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Time For Medicare For All

The United States spends far more of its GDP on healthcare than other rich countries yet still has the highest infant and maternal mortality rates, the lowest life expectancy at age 60, and the most glaring inequities, according to a new report released Wednesday by the Commonwealth Fund.

Using a range of criteria to evaluate the healthcare systems of 11 countries—Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and U.S.—the Commonwealth Fund’s latest analysis (pdf) shows that the U.S. once again “ranks last on access to care, administrative efficiency, equity, and healthcare outcomes.”

The lone bright spot for the for-profit U.S. healthcare system, according to the new report, is in a category dubbed “care process,” which includes “measures of preventive care, safe care, coordinated care, and engagement and patient preferences.”

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Happy Birthday, Medicare

2021 is also a very special year in the history of single-payer health insurance and public health in the U.S. because Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) introduced the modern Medicare for All Act of 2021 (H.R. 1976) in Congress. M4A 2021 is new legislation establishing a cutting edge single-payer national health program in the United States that addresses decades of health/mental health-related injustices that have been made even more painfully apparent by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Medicare For All Rallies In 50 Cities

Why is the U.S. an outlier with regard to health care? What keeps the country from adopting a universal health care system, which most Americans have supported for many years now? And what exactly is Medicare for All? On the eve of scheduled marches and rallies in support of Medicare for All, led by various organizations such as the Sunrise Movement, Physicians for a National Health Program, the Democratic Socialists of America and concerned citizens throughout the country, the interview below with Peter S. Arno, a leading health expert, sheds light on some key questions about the state of health care in the United States.

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July 24: National Marches For Medicare For All

We are a coalition of groups that are coming together to march for Medicare for All. Who is in that coalition depends on which city you are talking about. There is no one single group behind this. The list seems to grow every day. Some people are even politically homeless and simply focused on doing what they can to move #M4A forward. We are nonpartisan, but some local parties have joined in the fight! We are proud to say that this type of coming together hasn’t happened in recent memory, if ever.

Our movement was founded from a place of compassion and love. We came together out of frustration with the lack of action from the powers that be. Many of us have our own personal stories as to why we are in this fight. All of us know that healthcare is a right, not a privilege.

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Defense Of For-Profit Health Care Hasn’t Changed In Decades

This month marks the fifty-sixth anniversary of Medicare, signed into law by president Lyndon Johnson on July 30, 1965. The effects of the program were expansive and immediate: three years after its creation, some 96 percent of those sixty-five and older had hospital insurance, up from only 54 percent in 1963.

Today, despite decades of attempts to undermine it, it remains among the most popular of all government programs — vastly outperforming private alternatives in a huge survey recently published by the Journal of the American Medical Association. A June poll also identified high, and in some cases stratospheric, levels of support for various proposed enhancements currently being debated in Congress, including one which would lower the age of eligibility to sixty.

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