Monday 06 April '09 show

  • Article: The Pay at the Top.
  • Article: Something is Rotten at PBS, Russell Mokhiber.

    Last year, former Washington Post reporter T.R. Reid made a great documentary for the PBS show Frontline titled Sick Around the World.

    Reid traveled to five countries that deliver health care for all – UK, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Taiwan – to learn about how they do it.

    Reid found that the one thing these five countries had in common – none allowed for-profit health insurance companies to sell basic medical coverage.

    Frontline then said to Reid – okay, we want you to go around the United States and make a companion documentary titled Sick Around the America.

    So, Reid traveled around America, interviewing patients, doctors, and health insurance executives.

    The documentary that resulted – Sick Around America – aired Monday night on PBS.

    But even though Reid did the reporting for the film, he was cut out of the film when it aired this week.

    And the film didn’t present Reid’s bottom line for health care reform – don’t let health insurance companies profit from selling basic health insurance.

    They can sell for-profit insurance for extras – breast enlargements, botox, hair transplants.

    But not for the basic health needs of the American people.

    Instead, the film that aired Monday pushed the view that Americans be required to purchase health insurance from for-profit companies.

    And the film had a deceptive segment that totally got wrong the lesson of Reid’s previous documentary – Sick Around the World.

  • Video: We Need Single-Payer Healthcare Now! Support HR 676 Today! Thom Hartmann.
  • Guest: Russell Mokhiber, "Corporate Crime Reporter", founder of "Single Payer Action". Healthcare is a right not a privilege. His article about the PBS show about health care.
  • Bumper Music: Bad Case Of Loving You, Robert Palmer (video).
  • Book: "The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper and Fairer Health Care", T.R. Reid, August 2009. Excerpt:
    "There are about 200 countries on our planet, and each country devises its own set of arrangements for meeting the three basic goals of a health care system: keeping people healthy, treating the sick, and protecting families against financial ruin from medical bills.

    But we don't have to study 200 different systems to get a picture of how other countries manage health care. For all the local variations, health care systems tend to follow general patterns. There are four basic systems:

    The Beveridge Model Named after William Beveridge, the daring social reformer who designed Britain's National Health Service. In this system, health care is provided and financed by the government through tax payments, just like the police force or the public library.

    Many, but not all, hospitals and clinics are owned by the government; some doctors are government employees, but there are also private doctors who collect their fees from the government. In Britain, you never get a doctor bill. These systems tend to have low costs per capita, because the government, as the sole payer, controls what doctors can do and what they can charge.

    Countries using the Beveridge plan or variations on it include its birthplace Great Britain, Spain, most of Scandinavia and New Zealand. Hong Kong still has its own Beveridge-style health care, because the populace simply refused to give it up when the Chinese took over that former British colony in 1997. Cuba represents the extreme application of the Beveridge approach; it is probably the world's purest example of total government control.

    The Bismarck Model
    Named for the Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, who invented the welfare state as part of the unification of Germany in the 19th century. Despite its European heritage, this system of providing health care would look fairly familiar to Americans. It uses an insurance system -- the insurers are called "sickness funds" -- usually financed jointly by employers and employees through payroll deduction.

    Unlike the U.S. insurance industry, though, Bismarck-type health insurance plans have to cover everybody, and they don't make a profit. Doctors and hospitals tend to be private in Bismarck countries; Japan has more private hospitals than the U.S. Although this is a multi-payer model -- Germany has about 240 different funds -- tight regulation gives government much of the cost-control clout that the single-payer Beveridge Model provides.

    The Bismarck model is found in Germany, of course, and France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Japan, Switzerland, and, to a degree, in Latin America.

    The National Health Insurance Model
    This system has elements of both Beveridge and Bismarck. It uses private-sector providers, but payment comes from a government-run insurance program that every citizen pays into. Since there's no need for marketing, no financial motive to deny claims and no profit, these universal insurance programs tend to be cheaper and much simpler administratively than American-style for-profit insurance.

    The single payer tends to have considerable market power to negotiate for lower prices; Canada's system, for example, has negotiated such low prices from pharmaceutical companies that Americans have spurned their own drug stores to buy pills north of the border. National Health Insurance plans also control costs by limiting the medical services they will pay for, or by making patients wait to be treated.

    The classic NHI system is found in Canada, but some newly industrialized countries -- Taiwan and South Korea, for example -- have also adopted the NHI model.

    The Out-of-Pocket Model
    Only the developed, industrialized countries -- perhaps 40 of the world's 200 countries -- have established health care systems. Most of the nations on the planet are too poor and too disorganized to provide any kind of mass medical care. The basic rule in such countries is that the rich get medical care; the poor stay sick or die.

    In rural regions of Africa, India, China and South America, hundreds of millions of people go their whole lives without ever seeing a doctor. They may have access, though, to a village healer using home-brewed remedies that may or not be effective against disease.

    In the poor world, patients can sometimes scratch together enough money to pay a doctor bill; otherwise, they pay in potatoes or goat's milk or child care or whatever else they may have to give. If they have nothing, they don't get medical care.

    These four models should be fairly easy for Americans to understand because we have elements of all of them in our fragmented national health care apparatus. When it comes to treating veterans, we're Britain or Cuba. For Americans over the age of 65 on Medicare, we're Canada. For working Americans who get insurance on the job, we're Germany.

    For the 15 percent of the population who have no health insurance, the United States is Cambodia or Burkina Faso or rural India, with access to a doctor available if you can pay the bill out-of-pocket at the time of treatment or if you're sick enough to be admitted to the emergency ward at the public hospital.

    The United States is unlike every other country because it maintains so many separate systems for separate classes of people. All the other countries have settled on one model for everybody. This is much simpler than the U.S. system; it's fairer and cheaper, too.

  • Guest: T.R. Reid, a longtime correspondent for the Washington Post and former chief of its Tokyo and London bureaus as well as a commentator for National Public Radio. His books include "The Chip : How Two Americans Invented the Microchip and Launched a Revolution" and "Confucius Lives Next Door: What Living in the East Teaches Us About Living in the West". Is health care around the world than in America? Thom speaks with T.R. Reid about his documentaries “Sick Around the World” and “Sick Around America”. His new book "The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper and Fairer Health Care" will be published by Penguin Press in August 2009. Russell Mokhiber's article. The countries in "Sick Around the World", U.K., Japan, Germany, Taiwan and Switzerland, all require that primary health care be non-profit.
  • Bumper Music: Doctor, my eyes!, Jackson Brown.
  • Bumper Music: Doctor, doctor, The Thompson Twins (video).
  • Bumper Music: Crazy, Gnarls Barkley.
  • Article: Drunk driver of ambulance gets three months in jail.
  • Book: Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism, Kevin Phillips.
  • Book: "The Emerging Republican Majority", Kevin Phillips.
  • Article: The Tricky 2009 Politics of Finance, Kevin Phillips<.
    "Despite its recent uptick, the stock market has plummeted since Barack Obama's January inauguration. The Republicans seek to blame the man and his policies, with which most Americans take issue. Still, it's more common for the hope invariably surrounding new presidents to spark a rally.

    That was certainly true in the depths of the Great Depression and the 1932 presidential election. Back then, new chief executives took the oath in March, and Franklin D. Roosevelt's first months in office sent the battered stock market indexes soaring. People could almost smell the hope in the Spring air,. By June 1933 the battered Dow Jones Industrial Average had climbed by some fifty percent.

    Democratic strategists and activists should be concerned over the contrast. Although it's too early to reach conclusions, it is useful to take a hard look at what's going on in the ever-changing politics of finance.

  • Guest: Kevin Phillips. Thom asks author Kevin Phillips how did we get here and how do we fix it?
  • Bumper Music: Workin' For A Livin', Huey Lewis and the News (video)
  • Article: Mother-in-law survives rocket attack.
  • "Free market" rant.
  • Bumper Music: This Is Radio Clash, The Clash (video).
  • Music: Ghost Chickens in the Sky, Sean Morey.
  • Article: Pigeons fly mobile phones to Brazilian prisoners.
  • Book: "Its Not What You Sell, It’s What You Stand For", Roy Spence.
    "It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Stand For is an inside look at the secret ingredient of high-performing organizations: Purpose.

    Companies that have a purpose beyond making money are the companies with the best products, most loyal customers and employees and consistent success in a continually evolving marketplace. It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Stand For will guide leaders and marketers through their own journey of understanding how their company makes a difference and how to harness that purpose for greater success.

    Through firsthand experience working with some of America’s most successful companies—Southwest Airlines, Wal-Mart, Whole Foods Market, John Deere and BMW—readers will learn how to discover their purpose and bring it to life in everything they do. With a purpose in place, employee engagement is higher, competition is less threatening, customers are more loyal and innovation flows. It’s the secret to developing a more fulfilling work life as well as a healthier bottom line.

  • Guest: Roy Spence, author of "Its Not What You Sell, It’s What You Stand For". The Secret about making your business work. Scholastic Magazine survey, who you want to be like when you grow up, it changed from public service figures to Bill Gates. Are we all in this ship? South West Airline business.
  • Video: Wage and Hour Law Enforcement: Kim Bobo, Kim Bobo.
  • Guest: "Labor Segment" Kim Bobo. Executive Director for Interfaith Worker Justice and author of "Lives Matter: A Handbook for Christian Organizing," and co-author of the best-selling organizing manual in the country, "Organizing for Social Change." She recently testified before congress about wage theft. Undocumented immigrants are vulnerable, but not just them, for example college students. Can My Boss Do That? is their site.
  • Article: Barack Obama: 'arrogant US has been dismissive' to allies.
    "Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive."
  • "President Obama's controversial comment that America has shown arrogance is raising some eyebrows. But aren't Americans the ones who saved more of the world that anyone else? And in what is said to be an unprecedented move, he used that opportunity to take a shot at the United States." Fox News.
  • Clip:
    "To say Americans are arrogant when Europe wouldn't exist from the very problems they created is the height of arrogance on Barack Obama's part."
    Sean Hannity.
  • Clip:
    "The point is, why would you go to Europe and say that in the middle of France? Why don't you say that during the campaign? ... Put it on your teleprompter. Tell the American people that they're arrogant and do it to their face."
    Mike Huckabee.
  • Clip:
    "I think he ought to get off the campaign trail and become President of the United States. There are ways to make the point that he made without running down America"
    Karl Rove.
  • Bumper Music: Radio Song, R.E.M.
  • Clip:
    "It's a bloodthirsty religion that's practiced over there by a bunch of throwbacks, and we're to kill 'em." Michael Savage.
  • Victoria Jones of Talk Radio News. She didn't understand about needing health insurance to see a doctor, when she arrived in the USA. Obama in Turkey, not at war with Islam. Obama: "Many other Americans have Muslims in their family, or have lived in a Muslim-majority country -- I know, because I am one of them." Michael Savage. Pentagon, Gates budget, cutting back. No new chopper for Obama. Fighter jet.


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