May 11th 2009 - Monday
Topic: "Health insurance regulation...death to free market capitalism?" Thom mixes it up with Dr. Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute www.aynrand.org
Topic: "Restoring the American dream" Thom talks with Stephen Zarlenga of the American Monetary Institute www.monetary.org
Topic: "Labor Segment - On the front lines of the fight for health care" Dennis Rivera, Chair, SEIU Health Care Campaign, drops by with an update www.seiu.org
May 5th was the 4th anniversary of my mother's passing. My best wishes go out to you and your family as does the knowledge that the pain does lessen with the passage of time and the sense that they are still with us in a different way grows. Not a day passes I don't feel that she is still watching over me from somewhere.
Now lets make this the country they gave us and drive out the moneychangers from the halls of power!!!
I've had so many "sense of someone's death" experiences, along with a near-death experience and premonitions of things which happen in the future. I have mental connections with others who are hundreds or thousands of miles away --- even people I don't know. I also have a couple of very vivid memories of strange experiences that were in my mind either before I was born, or when I was a very young baby. I can't say I know for sure what all this is about, but it has given me a curious and open mind.
If inequality is a negative social dynamic, how can you take the position that it's acceptable for a minority of people (entrepreneurs and CEOs) in our society to make 30-40 times more than lower level workers? You've said that this 30-40 times difference in income is acceptable to you.
That inequality of income becomes a profound inequality in wealth and social privilege.
OBSERVATION: With all the Trutanich and Prop 1 A-F ads on KTLK 1150AM, one would think that I was listening to a less progressive station . . . While I am happy that advertising dollars are getting to a station that NEEDs them . . . Sigh.
Libertarian paradise youtube:
and thanks for all your condolences and kind comments.
The problem is that we have to many words we bandy about these days without being clear about the definitions. Guess I will have to take inspiration from Thom and write my own book -- Definitions To Move America Forward.
Too much of our culture has been forced down the road of devisiveness because it serves the corporations and the wealthy so well. Divide and conquor is exactly what they need at election time. Let's start coming together on where we agree and THEN discuss the differences.
Important to note we don't have "health care" in this country. We have "disease management". Medical docs are taught about diseases in school, just as I was. Knowing about health/wellness by studying disease is like attempting to know peace through war or knowing Light by studying darkness, or knowing sanity by studying insanity. This is one reason we are the sickest industrial nations in the world. Another interesting note: Two times in Israel and once in Mexico when the Medical doctors went on strike for an extended period of time the mortality rates went down in those areas. When they resumed their practice the mortality rates went back up.
Thom, my deepest sympathies to you and you loved ones.
Once there was a babbling Brook
Its water quite polluted
And Thom would take us time and again
To play while Yaron do'd it.
So dip your toes in yellowed waters
Splash and all shout "Woo hoo!"
Be thankful that our leader Thom
Didn't take us to Lake Poo Poo
One way that insurance companies are ripping off consumers is by staffing phone lines with employees who really can't help you get your claim paid for. When insurance companies deny claims consumers must figure out which parent company they must file a grievance with, which form to use, whether to complain against the insurance company or the medical provider and on and on. The system is intentionally so complicated that people give up before they get their medical care paid for.
Some health care providers are turning into crooks because of the insurance companies. The absurdity of our health care crisis is completely unbelievable. I have lived without health insurance for twenty years relying instead on my library of books on herbal remedies. I have avoided many drugs I would have been prescribed if I could have afforded doctors.
The answer to our health care crisis is relatively simple. The government needs to pay for the education of doctors and enroll real healers not capitalists. We need to go back to a system of neighborhood doctors paid for by single payer insurance and eliminate the ridiculous unneeded paperwork that has immobilized and depersonalized care. Presently, doctors talk to their computers now instead of their patients. They barely even touch their patients.
We need to get pharmaceutical companies out of the business of educating doctors and get back to basic medicine and nurturing care. The simple art of healing has turned into pharmaceutical pimping. It's sick as hell.
We need to demand equal rights to the large corporations. Single payer is the public sector version of self insurance. Let's start phrasing it that way so that when the other side throws out "Socialist" we can respond "As socialist as GM and the other self-insured corporations!"
Amen Loretta. You have hit the nail on the head. It is extremely immoral for docs to be peddling drugs for profit. As physicians we cannot just give lip service to the fundamental principle," First do NO HARM" which is done routinely. It is reflected in the insurance premiums that MDs pay.
Check out this pdf. It will open your eyes. It's a very thorough meta-analysis
The rail system is the US is the ENVY of Europe, that is the freight rail system.
Thom, no one would ride and pay for (even 25% of the true cost) a train from Michigan to Florida.
Look at the population density and area of Europe compared to the US.
Libertarians do not have a problem with public beaches, if that is what each state want. States Rights, keep that in mind before you go off making crazy statements.
Thom, did I hear you recently clain that the Oregon state governmnet was in Republican control up until 4 months ago?!
Another important reason to enact single-payer health care in the U.S.:
How can this country ever hope to rebuild a manufacturing base --- and along with it, the middle class --- without making its products competitive by taking the cost of health insurance out of their prices?
Something has been bothering me ever since the fellow from Ayne Rand was on,,, he stated that JJ Hill was an icon because he built the railroad without any government help or land, which I'm pretty sure is false. If I remember my studies years ago correctly he acquired some 2 million acres of land in Minnesota or Michigan I believe, and then turned around and sold a good bit of that acreage to immigrants for between $2 and $5 per acre... JJ Hill also made it through the depression with his business intact by severely cutting his employees wages, later causing a massive strike with the rail union...
It boggles my mind at how often capitalists seem to espouse those people with successful businesses no matter what offensive tactics these "american business icons" pummel the american people with...
Michael Stubbs wrote "It boggles my mind at how often capitalists seem to espouse those people with successful businesses no matter what offensive tactics these “american business icons” pummel the american people with…"
It's not so amazing, Michael when you consider that their ONLY measure of success is the content of their wallet not their character. They only measure things in terms of individual wealth instead of community prosperity.
That is why their views are so UnAmerican and anticonstitutional and it is time to throw them out of power whether it is at the Federal, State or Local level and get back to governing for The People instead of for The Profits...
Just to remark on how Thom got right back into business at the start of the show, by leaving out pertinent information that unfortunately brings politics into the equation. Living in the Seattle area, the co-pilot in that Buffalo crash, Rebecca Lynne Shaw, received a certain amount of empathetic attention. It may have been that the captain was improperly trained, but one should have thought that his lack of expertise would have been compensated for by Shaw--who, at the age of 24, was a flight instructor on that very model of aircraft. Her voice communications with the tower, just moments before the crash, betrayed no indication that anything was amiss. People can make their own judgments from there.
THX for having Stephen Zarlenga on again, I could listen to him for hours and hours- his book is PHENOMENAL The Lost Science of Money is INCREDIBLE!
also more Ravi Batra please, I really want to hear the discussion on the Kibbutz! If I knew there was always at least the Kibbutz to go live on, my stress would go down CONSIDERABLY!
You mentioned your concern over Obama's Afghanistan policy early in today's show.
I'm pretty sure that you know both Lila Garrett (KPFK radio) and Jodie Evans (Code Pink). Lila Garrett had an interview with Jodie Evans on her show this morning and Evans said that Senator Amy Klobuchar told her that (behind closed doors) Barack Obama tells our elected representatives who oppose his Afghanistan policy that his "numbers" are better than theirs and if they oppose his policy they will suffer the consequences.
The program is already posted in the station's program archive at http://archive.kpfk.org/parchive/ if you want to confirm this. I think Foster was the second guest on the show.
The major story today should be concerning the lead story in my local paper, which was that the medical industry was offering a "sweetner" to Obama and the Senate to ward off major health care reform. The "sweetner"--or rather, bribe--is the "voluntary" cutting of costs by a (very) small percentage. What this means is anybody's guess; it could mean merely a slow-down in rising costs. What can be cut? People are already being denied services. The obvious targets ought to be executive compensation and staff whose "job" it is to deny services. But that is pie-in-the-sky fantasy; I wonder if the Obama administration pressed the industry to make this "concession" so that the Democrats can avoid doing anything meaningful. The fact is we've already seen how "voluntary" promises work in real life, that is to say that it is a fraud. There is no way to enforce a "voluntary" restructuring of the health care system, and if the economy improves, the industry will claim that they don't need to do anything, after all. The only way to force the health care industry to change is to allow a public option for medicare, and without the "voluntary" hubris. Only competition from a not-for-profit provider will force the industry to improve access while lowering cost. The way it is, our system is so idiotic that instead of providing lower cost preventative medicine because many doctors refuse to take new primary care patients, one is forced to go to the emergency room, which a thousand dollars or more right off the top for what may be only $5 worth of treatment.
Oy vey, you cannot choose your doctor. I live in Israel where National Health came some time in the late '90s. As you may not realize the Health Care system was based on HMOs that were established by the Jewish public of Mandate. The biggest of the bunch was run by Histadrut aka the Labor Union which was, in fact, a surrogate for the Labor Party. After the State was established the Labor Party used "their HMO" as way to keep their control of the electorate. Subscriber contributions were directed to the needs of the union and the government would subsidize all the other HMOs, who weren't any better with the way they funnelled their subscribers' contributions. The bottom line of this system was that to be a member of an HMO defined your political affiliation.
In practice each HMO had its advnantages, and those that offered more, often cost more so that some people ditched the politics for what they considered a better plan.
Things started changing when the head of the Histadrut HMO's efforts to promote the Labor Party with subscriber contributions "hit the fan". It took some time, but the government that had been subsidizing the plans for years decided to cut the crap, and take over the system. Now all the HMOs get a subsidy for providing basic health care. Okay, in some cases you didn't have the choiice of your GP--the idea was they "knew their neighborhood". More recentlly the HMOs, under new rules you can switch your GP.
Admittedly, once the money was spread around to all the HMOs, some of what was "free" became a matter of surcharges and co-pays. It's still within bounds. As you mentioned, the HMOs set up plans to cover a full range of other medical services that were covered by the single payment. Even that is within reason. I opted for what my HMO called Complimentary Medical Services for a series of Naturopathy, Accupuncture, and Shiattu for the equivalent of $US 250 over three months. In addition it cost me $US 15 for two cataract operations done my the best opthamologist in the area through the government subsidized HMO.
In closing, Mr. Brook grew up in Israel, if I guess his name correctly may be re reacting to the way the "Sick Fund" as it was called then provided a reasonable medical service often at a price of undermining the democracy in the State of Israel. I don't blame him, but it seems that he would rather see a society run amuck while a few people get richer than an infrastructure that promotes a stable society.
Welcome back and many blessings to your Mother in her transitioning. Salem's Children's Village has yet now another Guardian Angel.