Friday, March 5, 2010


Carl Parker sez:

The founders of the United States of America were extremely wise in listing as number one the right of free speech. Despots like Hitler's propaganda ministers realized that if you could control the source of information to a population, you could control the majority of political thought.  The Nazi propaganda ministers understood full well if you tell a lie often enough and continually, it will generally be accepted as the truth.

Lobbyists receiving billions of dollars to control the direction of our government have learned the same lessons well.  Unfortunately, telling the big lie with a straight face time after time without adequate rebuttal can convince too many people the big lie is the truth.  The health industry has honed this technique to a fine art.  Unfortunately, too many people believe clichés of this particular special interest that on close examination will not pass examination for the truth.

One of the first and biggest myths propagated on the American people is that we have the best health system in the world.  Numerous studies have debunked this myth.  While it is probably true we have better educated doctors and better technology in our medical system than any nation on earth, it is not true we have the best health care delivery system in the world.  If you don’t believe this, go to an emergency room and tell them you have a serious heart problem and ask them to refer you to a specialist.  By telling them you do not have insurance or thousands of dollars in the bank, you will not get to see specialists, you will only be sent home with their best wishes for continued bad health.

Cuba, a communist nation, provides medical care for a greater percentage of its citizens than does the United States.  Numerous countries throughout the world have a better survival rate for newborns.  Study after study reveals better health care delivery systems in numerous countries throughout the world than exist in America. 

The second big myth propagated by conservatives through the use of special interest money is that if we would insulate doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies from being held responsible for their errors and negligence in courts of law, everything concerning America’s health care system would be “hunky dory.”  The theory is that if doctors were not fearful of being sued for their mistakes, and if hospitals could proceed with assurance they were immune from being held responsible, the cost of medical care in America would plummet.  Texas has basically tried this experiment.  Except in rare instance it is virtually impossible to hold doctors and hospitals responsible for injuries done while employing negligent or “shoddy” medical procedures.  The Legislature has artificially set the limit for damages.  The average person cannot afford to employ legal counsel, experts or wage a fight to seek recompense.  For example, if a hospital were to leave you totally blind, remove the wrong kidney or cut off the wrong limb, damages for loss of quality of life is limited at $250,000. A retired person could receive virtually nothing for having been robbed of the quality of life in their senior years; all based on Austin politicians’ judgment, not that of 12 peers in a jury box. 

What’s worse, so-called tort reform and limitation of damages apparently has saved ordinary citizens minute amounts on their health care costs so as not be measurable.  Health care providers on the other hand are reaping a windfall.  Company financial reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission health insurers, for example, have enhanced their profits 56% during the year 2009 and have insured fewer people.  For example, Cigna Corporation, Aetna and Humana covered 2.7 million fewer people than they did the year before and racked up combined profits of over $12.2 billion.  While coverage for sick people shrunk and became more expensive, salaries, bonuses and administrative expenses went up, along with profits.

The most recent big lie which some are attempting to sell to the public is that by allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence political elections, it will make no difference and is in the public interest protecting free speech.  One only has to contemplate how many political ads $12.2 billion profits of the health industry could buy to influence an election against a public servant who dared to put the people ahead of special interest big money.

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