[permaculture] Fwd: Permaculture TV - Healthcare corporations confuse their customers, dump the sick - Insider to Congress

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Tue Mar 23 14:25:47 EDT 2010


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Healthcare corporations confuse their customers, dump the sick - Insider to
Congress<http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/permaculture/EHmn/~3/0BoU1s2eL6c/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email>

Posted: 22 Mar 2010 09:30 PM PDT

My name is Wendell Potter and for 20 years, I worked as a senior executive
at health insurance companies, and I saw how they confuse their customers
and dump the sick –- all so they can satisfy their Wall Street investors.

Source: Wall Street
Journal<http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2009/06/24/ex-exec-insurers-confuse-their-customers-dump-the-sick/>

 The U. S. health system spends a higher portion of its gross domestic
product than any other country but ranks 37 out of 191 countries according
to its performance, according to the World Health
Organization<http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=World_Health_Organization>’s
World Health Report
2000<http://www.who.int/whr/2000/media_centre/press_release/en/>
.

“The United States spends more than twice as much on health
care<http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Health_care>as the
average of other developed nations, all of which boast universal
coverage. Yet over 39 million Americans have no health insurance whatsoever,
and most others are underinsured, in the sense that they lack adequate
coverage for all contingencies (e.g., long-term care and prescription drug
costs). However, other systems that are completely or partially based on
social risk-pooling principles are under threat from neoliberal policies
worldwide[1] <http://www.dhrsa.org.uk/>.

Why is the U. S. so different? The short answer is that the U.S. is alone in
treating health care as a commodity distributed according to the ability to
pay, rather than as a social service to be distributed according to medical
need.”

The leading advocate for a single-payer national health insurance system in
the US has been Physicians for a National Health
Program<http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Physicians_for_a_National_Health_Program>whose
website has a basic
primer <http://www.pnhp.org/facts/single_payer_resources.php> on it.

Source: Sourcewatch<http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Universal_health_care>

Wendell Potter: How Corporate PR Works to Kill Health Care Reform

When I testified before the Senate Commerce Committee in late June, I told
the senators how the industry has conducted duplicitous and well-financed PR
and lobbying campaigns every time Congress has tried to reform our health
care system, and how its current behind-scenes-efforts may well shape reform
in a way that benefits Wall Street far more than average Americans. I noted
that, just as they did 15 years ago when the insurance industry led the
effort to kill the Clinton reform plan, it is using shills and front
groups<http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=front_groups>to
spread lies and disinformation to scare Americans away from the very
reform that would benefit them most. The industry, despite its public
assurances to be good-faith partners with the President and Congress, has
been at work for years laying the groundwork for devious and often sinister
campaigns to manipulate public opinion.

Source: PRWatch <http://www.prwatch.org/node/8552>

*Universal health care* is health
care<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care>coverage for all
eligible residents of a political region and often covers
medical <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicine>,
dental<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dentistry>and mental
health care <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_health_professional>.
Typically, costs are borne in the majority by publicly-funded
programs<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Publicly-funded_health_care>
.

Universal health care is implemented in all industrialized countries, with
the exception of the United States<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States>
.[1] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_health_care#cite_note-IOM-0> It
is also provided in many developing countries.
Australia
 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Medicare_brand.svg>
 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Medicare_brand.svg>

Medicare’s logo
 Main article: Medicare
(Australia)<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicare_%28Australia%29>

In Australia <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia>, Medibank — as it was
then known — was introduced, by the
Whitlam<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gough_Whitlam>Labor government on
1 July 1975, through the Health
Insurance Act 1973 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_Insurance_Act_1973>.
The Australian Senate
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Senate>rejected the changes
multiple times and they were passed only after a joint
sitting after the 1974 double dissolution
election<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_federal_election,_1974>.
However, Medibank was supported by the subsequent
Fraser<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malcolm_Fraser> Coalition
(Australia) <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coalition_%28Australia%29>government
and became a key feature of Australia’s public policy landscape.
The exact structure of Medibank/Medicare, in terms of the size of the rebate
to doctors and hospitals and the way it has administered, has varied over
the years. The original Medibank program proposed a 1.35% levy (with low
income exemptions) but these bills were rejected by the Senate, and so
Medibank was funded from general taxation. In 1976, the Fraser Government
introduced a 2.5% levy and split Medibank in two: a universal scheme called
Medibank Public and a government-owned private health insurance
company, Medibank
Private <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medibank_Private>.

During the 1980s, Medibank Public was renamed Medicare by the
Hawke<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Hawke>Labor government, which
also changed the funding model, to an income tax
surcharge, known as the Medicare
Levy<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicare_%28Australia%29#Program_funding>,
which was set at 1.5%, with exemptions for low income
earners.[77]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_health_care#cite_note-76>The
Howard <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Howard> Coalition government
introduced an additional levy of 1.0%, known as the Medicare Levy Surcharge,
for those on high annual incomes ($70,000) and do not have adequate levels
of private hospital
coverage.[78]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_health_care#cite_note-77>This
was part of an effort by the Coalition to encourage take-up of private
health insurance. According to WHO, government funding covered 67.5% of
Australia’s health care expenditures in 2004; private sources covered the
remaining 32.5% of
expenditures.[44]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_health_care#cite_note-WHOSIS-43>
Cross-country comparisons

Direct comparisons of health statistics across nations are complex.
The Commonwealth
Fund <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonwealth_Fund>, in its annual survey,
“Mirror, Mirror on the Wall”, compares the performance of the health care
systems in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and
the U.S. Its 2007 study found that, although the U.S. system is the most
expensive, it consistently underperforms compared to the other countries.[11
] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_compared#cite_note-10> A major
difference between the U.S. and the other countries in the study is that the
U.S. is the only country without universal health
care<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_health_care>

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_compared#Cross-country_comparisons

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