Intense Corporate Lobbying Against Medicare for All
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Universal healthcare for all Americans is a major cutting-edge issue of our time about a fundamental human right, along with food, shelter, and clothing.
Most patients and doctors support what providing healthcare for everyone is all about. Nothing less is acceptable for citizens and residents of the world's richest country.
America is the only developed nation without some form of universal coverage. The cost of healthcare in the US is double the annual per capita amount in other developed countries because corporate profits matter more than social justice.
Insurer middlemen cost US households over half a trillion dollars annually. It pays for overhead, underwriting, billing, sales and marketing practices, excessive executive pay, and huge profits.
Yet no one visits their corporate or branch offices for treatment when ill or injured. Polls show over 70% of Americans support universal healthcare. Only 20% oppose it.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, "Medicare is a very popular program, so the idea of expanding it to everyone is popular as well," adding:
"The advantage of Medicare-for-all, which is much closer to how the rest of the world provides health care to their residents, is that you can achieve universal coverage at a lower cost" — by eliminating unneeded insurer middlemen.
Not according to the American Medical Association (AMA), the largest organization representing medical professionals.
Its so-called "vision" is committed to "health insurance coverage," along with letting Big Pharma and large hospital chains operate unrestrained.
It calls Obamacare, leaving millions uninsured, most others underinsured, and the world's most expensive healthcare system by far in place, "preferable to pursuing Medicare-for-All."
Most Americans are dissatisfied with the predatory for-profit healthcare system because of how insurers, drug companies, and large hospital chains exploit it for maximum profits, mattering more than human health and welfare.
By eliminating unneeded insurer middlemen and restraining predatory drug giants from price gouging consumers, hundreds of billions of dollars can be saved annually while delivering world-class healthcare for all Americans.
Most nations operate this way, providing some form of universal coverage. The idea of it coming to America has industry lobbyists in a frenzy to prevent it.
A new Public Citizen report titled "Fever Pitch: Surge in Opposition Lobbying and Advocacy Validates the Credibility of the Medicare for All Movement," explained the following:
With support from members of Congress, "single-payer health care is at the center of the public debate like never before."
As a result, industry lobbyists are going all-out to prevent a fundamental human right from becoming reality.
From Q I 2018 to Q I 2019, "lobbying on Medicare for All increased dramatically, almost entirely due to a surge in lobbying activity by organizations that oppose it. This indicates that opponents of Medicare for All are newly scared about its rising prospects," adding:
"The diverse and powerful array of trade groups, conservative activist organizations, GOP-linked establishment groups and health care industry interests launching an all-out advertising blitz against Medicare for All further reinforces this reality."
In the year-over-year period to Q I 2019, the number of lobbying organizations against Medicare for All increased from nine to 61.
In the same period, the number of individual lobbyists rose from 29 to 270.
The newly formed "Partnership for America's Health Care Future (PAHF)" is a key industry supported group for preventing universal healthcare in America — funded by insurers, drug giants, and large hospital chains, prioritizing profits above all else.
Its mission propaganda falsely claims it aims "to build and improve upon what's working in health care (sic) and fix what's not (sic)," adding:
"We want to work together to lower costs (sic), expand patient choice (sic), improve access (sic), enhance quality (sic) and foster innovation."
"And whether it's called Medicare for all, buy-in, or a public option, one-size-fits-all health care will never allow us to achieve those goals" — a bald-faced Big Lie about what's vital for all Americans, everyone in, no one left out of the US healthcare system the way it is now.
Public Citizen (PC): "Some of the most visible opposition to Medicare for All comes from major players in American conservatism, including the US Chamber of Commerce, the Koch (Brothers) network, and GOP strategist and money-wrangler Karl Rove."
According to PC's Craig Sandler, "the increase in lobbying against Medicare for All serves as validation from our opposition that this movement has arrived."
Intense lobbying and advertising propaganda further verifies it. PC tweeted the following:
"Groups hiring the most lobbyists against #MedicareForAll:
Pharma Research & Manufacturers of America,
Chamber of Commerce,
American Medical Association,
Biotech Innovation Organization,
Federation of American Hospitals, (and) Blue Cross.
Here's the best part – they're still going to lose."
PC's Eagan Kemp said industry officials "are running scared. They know the public is lining up behind Medicare for All—which would improve coverage for every American."
"Now big money opponents are trying to leverage their political power to beat back Medicare for All, not on the merits, but through insider lobbying and front groups" conducting a propaganda blitzkrieg against a fundamental human right.
The vast majority of registered Dem voters and most Republican ones want Congress to prioritize enacting Medicare for All. Dozens of Dem congressional members back it.
Key leadership members of both parties oppose changing the system to something far more equitable. So does Trump, certain to veto universal healthcare legislation if crosses his desk.
The struggle for all Americans to have affordable healthcare has miles to go to become reality — a super-congressional majority needed to override a presidential veto.
Clearly it's an idea whose time has come, focusing on healing the sick and injured, benefitting doctors and patients alike, prioritizing health over corporate profits.
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