FEBRUARY 28, 2012 9:05AM

Jesus Would Be an Advocate for Single Payer

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RE-POST from Firedoglake 7-2-09:

“Whatever you do to the least among us, you do unto me.”

Jesus would be an advocate for a universal Single Payer Plan. If Jesus were in the Senate today, only he and Vermont’s Bernie Sanders would be backing S 703 for Single Payer. If Jesus were in the House of Representatives, he would have 80 possible comrades on his side on this issue backing HR 676. Jesus was used to standing tall in a true moral minority. Sometimes in a minority of one.

Jesus was a messenger for truth, justice and compassion. And as what happens to most effective messengers telling serious truth to serious power, Jesus was betrayed and crucified. Jesus rose up again.

Jesus would be on the side of 2 out of 3 Americans who actually want a universal Single Payer Plan, though the U.S. corporate media bans any discussion of that, refuses to acknowledge that statistical reality. Just like most of our Congress and the administration pretend that that majority preference isn’t so. (It is crazymaking when those we trust ask us to deny reality.)

Our elected representatives took an oath to protect their constituents, but then it seems the vast majority of them took vast amounts of money from corporate lobbies to abandon that commitment. It’s been reported that the Democrats received $90 million and the Republicans $65 million from health care and pharmaceutical companies in the last election.

And now our betrayers, who regard such transactions as necessary S-O-P for political survival, are tap dancing fast, eagerly lip-servicing reform with the tease of a “public option,” as if that is remotely similar to the sturdy foundation of a true public health care system. As if that is remotely like what every other industrial nation has. As if that would raise us significantly from a disgraceful international ranking of 37th in terms of quality, or not, health care.

Kevin Zeese of Prosperity Agenda:

" …The senate is trying to fix the equivalent of a broken egg. It cannot be done. But they all have their heads in the sand and their hand in the till. Single payer is making progress. More people know single payer is right than admit it."


Wendell Potter is a former insurance insider revealing manipulations of large for-profit insurance companies that sabotage healthy health care reform.

“the insurers will want to preserve the image they are working so hard to cultivate — as a group of kind and caring folks who think only of you and your health and are working hard as real partners to Congress and the White House to find "a uniquely American solution" to what ails our system.

What I saw happening over the past few years was a steady movement away from the concept of insurance and toward "individual responsibility," a term used a lot by insurers and their ideological allies. This is playing out as a continuous shifting of the financial burden of health care costs away from insurers and employers and onto the backs of individuals. As a result, more and more sick people are not going to the doctor or picking up their prescriptions because of costs. If they are unfortunate enough to become seriously ill or injured, many people enrolled in these plans find themselves on the hook for such high medical bills that they are losing their homes to foreclosure or being forced into bankruptcy.

As an industry spokesman, I was expected to put a positive spin on this trend that the industry created and euphemistically refers to as "consumerism" and to promote so-called "consumer-driven" health plans. I ultimately reached the point of feeling like a huckster.

Universal v. optional. Not-for-profit vs. profit-making, still as a vital, toxic force if a "public option" were introduced.  A public option, critics contend, would end up with private companies cherry-picking the healthiest patients, and the public option bearing the brunt of the costlier, sicklier patient care. Haves vs. have nots. Yet again.

A universal safety net for all could in a not-for-profit realm be easily afforded with modest taxation.


A good explanation of the benefits of Single Payer Plan is spelled out on the PNHP website (Physicians for a National Health Program).

Single-payer national health insurance is a system in which a single public or quasi-public agency organizes health financing, but delivery of care remains largely private.


The reason we spend more and get less than the rest of the world is because we have a patchwork system of for-profit payers. Private insurers necessarily waste health dollars on things that have nothing to do with care: overhead, underwriting, billing, sales and marketing departments as well as huge profits and exorbitant executive pay. Doctors and hospitals must maintain costly administrative staffs to deal with the bureaucracy. Combined, this needless administration consumes one-third (31 percent) of Americans’ health dollars.

The article continues that more than $350 billion per year could be saved on paperwork alone. This could provide our comprehensive coverage.

Under a single-payer system, all Americans would be covered for all medically necessary services, including: doctor, hospital, preventive, long-term care, mental health, reproductive health care, dental, vision, prescription drug and medical supply costs. Patients would regain free choice of doctor and hospital, and doctors would regain autonomy over patient care.

Physicians would be paid fee-for-service according to a negotiated formulary or receive salary from a hospital or nonprofit HMO / group practice. Hospitals would receive a global budget for operating expenses. Health facilities and expensive equipment purchases would be managed by regional health planning boards.

The PNHP article asserts that modest new taxes would replace premiums and out of pocket payments now being paid by individuals and business. That cost could be controlled “through negotiated fees, global budgeting and bulk purchasing.” Administrative costs of billing, marketing, especially high executive pay, and ever-rising profits are now absorbing 1/3 of health care dollars from the patient.

As Congress cries “poverty” over health care funding, this approach should be a major consideration. But it is not since single payer is unbelievably not seriously “on the table” thanks to our lobby-seduced Congress. Even the Kennedy-Dodd bill does not consider any public option.

There is a questionable assertion being made by President Obama, (an outspoken advocate for single payer health care in 2003, not 2009) and others, that most people don’t want too much health care reform because they are so satisfied with their present plans. Sounds like one of those useful non-reality assumptions to me, but convenient as a talking point to the status-quo-enabling media. Ironic, our “change you can believe in” President is using the natural discomfort of change that dwells in all individuals as an excuse not to follow through on promised reform.

And what of the dissatisfied 45+ million citizens with no plan now? And the 25 million considered underinsured? More and more we have a government for part of the people. The less needy people tend to have more of their needs met than the needier ones on the brink of or in crisis. The latter to be swept under the non-reality carpet?

There are four health care lobbyists per national representative. All that energy, attention and money to bribe, intimidate, seduce, disconnect our representatives from duty and integrity. The trustees of our democratic rights do all they can to ensure corporate profit-making at our expense, but later spin and tweak reality to present the illusion of effort and public concern.

Jesus would not have taken the money. Jesus would know the difference between morality and amoral opportunism. Amoral pragmatism. Jesus wouldn’t have abided self-aggrandizing corporatists. Jesus raged at the money lenders in the temple.

Jesus would care that 60 people a day die in America because they cannot afford health care.

Jesus would care that there is one person going bankrupt every 30 seconds in America due to health care costs.

“Whatever you do to the least among us, you do unto me.”

It seems oxymoronic that Congress considers the idea of universal coverage a polarizing partisan one. Comprehensive and universal? Who is really being divisive on this? What about a humanitarian attitude of “a rising tide lifts all boats”? What about “with liberty and justice FOR ALL” in terms of our health care? Our Declaration of Independence said it so well:

.. We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

These rights don’t seem as evident any more to our leadership.

Jesus was about unity. About atonement, reconciliation of humankind with God. The origin of "atonement" is from the word “one” — “at-one-ment”. Unity. We as a citizenry need to wrap our hearts around the philosophy of universal healthcare. We need a united public asking for comprehensive protection from our supposed protectors whom we pay with our tax dollars. They legally and morally work for us, not the corporations.

Jesus honored all the wedding guests by serving them the finest wine miraculously transformed from water.

What watered down concoction of corporate-toxic kool-aid will Congress be asking us to swallow soon?

Jesus would be an advocate for a universal Single Payer Plan.



What is Single Payer?

You Bet Your Health!


What is Single Payer?

SiCKO Trailer

Health, Money and Fear

Remote Area Medical throws America a lifeline:

Great moment in a Dana Gould commentary:


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I remember President Obama, after he took the oath of office, promising he would never sign a healthcare bill without a public option. Somehow the gentleman no longer has any credibility with me. One day I'll have to write a piece about how, as someone who has spent a good deal of time on stage, I spotted Obama as a bad actor since day one.
Whether or not Jesus would be for this it makes sense and we should be for it or something at least as good if not better.

I'll have to update my past blogs on the topic to add your links, thanks.
I see you've ripped off Obama's trousers and spanked dat ass. Again.
I'm starting to think you have some less than thrilled feelings about our president. Join the club. I'm'a spank dat ass too.

You've made some great points, as usual. Basically when it comes to how unAmerican our America has become I weep. The last few presidents have trickled down on us for so long I'm surprised the whole country doesn't stink of piss. Ahhh, but truth is, after smelling filth for a few hours or so, our noses get used to it and it becomes normal. Which is why people keep voting in these people who don't do what's promised... they can smell the impending urine. I think Bush won twice because he also shit on us. And poop is a solid, piss is a liquid. That's a twofer and people love two for one.

In a way, I think that's what you're saying too. Although you say it in a way that makes sense and doesn't conjure up urine and spankin' the bare asses...

I respect that. Carry on...
Thank goodness none of the idiot wannabes who took issue with Your last blog post on this issue haven't arrived (yet).

Libby, You REALLY do rock, and even in the face of the delusional, disgusting, and morally bankrupt obamabots, You retain Your dignity, clarity, and focused factual grasp of reality, and I am grateful; EXTREMELY grateful for that.

What really makes me sick is the way Obama has Dr Quentin Young, long time PNHP leader in Chicago, and friend and supporter of Obama's career (and major fundraiser). After Obama turned his back on single payer, he ceased to return Quentin's calls.
toritto, thanks for your comment. I originally worked for John Edwards pre 2008 election but then just before election I worked for Obama, but not with a full heart of trust, not by a long shot. After he got elected I felt he was either such a colossal procrastinator not indicting the Bush baddies asap, or he was horrifyingly gonna collude and let it all ride forward, all the dirty overreaching exec power, including the torture program.

Then I began working for single payer, hard, and I saw how horrible Obama was to the professionals, the doctors and nurses, trying to offer their wise and close up experience with our bad health care system as well as how dismissive he was to the far left and wouldn't even acknowledge the issue of single payer. I learned how much would be saved by that then from paying off the extorting vendors with their lobbyists in wasteful, gratuitous spending. I really saw what a "con" it all was with Obama, the entire election as the change candidate. Say anything Obama. Why doesn't that matter to so many people? Can't they admit to having been super punked? I am stunned it has taken people so long, and some are still stuck in denial.

Peter, thanks. Obama used the public option to "wean" the progressives away from the moral vision of universal health care. The pragmatism incrementalism bullshit that started to happen, and those supposed progressives turned so fast on their fellow left leaning progressives, accusing them of being purists and then the perfect as enemy of the good further bullshit. They had more media access, since of course the corporate media would be nicer to the incrementalists, they were so naive and got so playing. The public option was a big old Lucy football for Charlie Brown American citizenry to go for and then Obama/Lucy slipperily moved it away and the citizenry fell on its back just like in the cartoon. But here we are at another election and Obama is doing what he does best, lying to all of us about how he cares about those who are not as wealthy, gonna get jobs back (yeah, maybe a few with sweatshop conditions and wages), yadda yadda yadda!!!

ps to Peter!!! EXACTLY!!! OBAMA IS AN ACTOR!!! WHY THE OLIGARCHS HIRED HIM, SPONSORED HIM!!! I thought Reagan was teflony but Obama really scores. He deserved the Oscar NOT THE PEACE PRIZE for damn sure!!!
zachd, with all the faux-Christianity flying about, you would think the Christian "basics" would get some attention, but they are long ago abandoned by the narcissist xenophobes along with most of the rest of the citizenry, look at the wars -- thou shalt not kill!!! I can't figure out why the so-called progressives don't call the righties on their colossal hypocrisy. Why won't the progressives call on real morality? well, I guess if they did they would have to come out of denial and look at the Dem leadership steeped in corruption and hypocrisy itself.

Those links were set up as you see above in 2009 posted also around when I originally wrote this above blog. It sure still holds up, my blog, and those promos that were so effective in teaching about the sanity and recovery of single payer if BIG MEDIA and Obama would have let the national conversation about the best healthcare for America HAPPEN!!!

Make sure you check out RAGE-EX link. It is a hooooooot! & Sadly so true. libby
Charlie, your comments are as shockingly framed as your blog! Thanks for the visit, my friend! You have a really graphic way of expressing the "learned helplessness" of the citizenry. I call them the twenty-first century "settlers" .. willing to settle for Obama crumbs out of terror that the Republicans will take away even them. Geeeeezzzz. Watching the years go by and the sky is falling Dems declaring we can't find an alternative to Obama, we don't have time or will (lazy and cowardly bullshit) and how the people who want what we as American citizens DESERVE are the problem (easier to go after the messengers at the door of your short-term comfort zone) that will ruin the crumb survival we are stuck in now. With joblessness and homelessness, those crumbs are getting fewer and farther in between, too. Despite windbag Obama's mendacious rhetoric.

Charlie, can't wait to see what you do next!!!! :)
markinjapan, i am so grateful for your ongoing support and your own spirit expressed about the OBAMA SURREALITY!!! as for the ones who go after the messengers, i just figure they are exposing their ignorance and fear, their desperation to continue in denial. one person accused me iirc of being a radical not a liberal. it is not me who is moving left, it is so many who are moving right. like the ENTIRE Dem party has slid to right of center Republicanism. But not just Republicanism, accessories to economic corruption and international war crimes. Obama deserves impeachment, and these stunning deniers want to keep him on the "throne" which should not be a "throne" at all! Executive power run amok. As I told Zachd, check out the Rage-Ex link above. It says it so well. best, libby
Stuart, thanks for the comment. Yes, I remember reading about Dr. Young and how badly treated he was by Obama. Obama is like the nouveau riche who get so wrapped up in the razzle dazzle of their supposed new status that they jettison those who thought they had a mutual connection from the life of just a minute ago. Not even a little loyalty. Like American faux-diplomacy. Opportunism and ambition and impression management is what it is about. Obama keeps his eyes on the media for cues. Clinton paid too much attention to the polls. But Obama isn't even that interested in the people, he wants to hear what the media is saying at the moment. To have them as his puppet masters when they are puppets themselves is so dispiriting. From the economic stupidity of Obamacare and the constitutional law stupidity but really amorality of extrajudicial presumption, along with the USWarMachine ruthlessness, whether Obama is a monster or a wimp, he is a dangerous president. Yeah, so would the Repubs be dangerous. But that doesn't make Obama less dangerous ... to any sane and critical thinker and feeler. imho! libby
Single payer vs. the adjusted payment mandate for Obamacare... hmmm. Without a doubt I'd prefer single payer based on the Medicare/ Medicaid model, but either way I am the poster boy for the need for real health care reform. Last year I fell down the stairs... no big deal got on my feet, went inside, took some naproxen,and applied an ice pack. The last time I saw a doctor was 1993, so I could obviously take care of myself.

Five days later I was in surgery and after seventeen days in the hospital, I had over $120,000 in medical bills. No insurance and undiagnosed type II diabetes took a mickey mouse internal hemorrhage in gangrene, and now I live with a huge debt that I may never live long enough to pay off.

It's not the injury so much as the insult... that bothers me.

Terrible story, jmac. I feel for you.

I was lucky when my cancer hit. I had no insurance whatsoever, but I am a vet…and the VA Hospital in East Orange NJ was where I went.

They diagnosed the non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and treated it with a minor surgery; chemo; and radiation.

That was 16 years ago…and I am still above ground.

The VA is really socialized medicine…maybe not state-of-the-art medicine, but much, much better than no medicine at all.

We need universal medical coverage for everybody. We absolutely must have it. I don’t care if it is single payer…or coverage by some other name…it must cover everybody. And it should cover damn near everything.

We can have it…and I suspect that someday we will, but it will probably be a long, arduous journey—especially if the Republicans get their way.

Obamacare, with all the crap and carping thrown its way, will one day more than likely be recognized as the start of that journey.

Some people want the journey to start and finish in the same step. That is unrealistic…and the people thinking that way are unrealistic.
+1 what toritto said. The revelation that single payer had already been taken off the table secretly while the Obama Administration was still publicly pretending to consider was a turning point for me. Unfortunately there is a sizeable segment of the electorate for whom truth, facts, evidence, and reason simply don't matter. The ones who trumpet their Christianity the loudest are often those who use their "faith" simply as weapon with which to hurt others; those who revere the Bible have read very lttle, they just use it as a club to hit other people over the head with; those whose profess to revere the Constituion actually hate what it says & make up history as they go along to serve their contemporary fantasies. And they all pointedly ignore the real elephant in the room--the power of the giant criminal corporate interests. [r]
"That is unrealistic…and the people thinking that way are unrealistic."

What is unrealistic is that you actually think that you think.
Libby, I understand and share your frustration. I also worked my ass off to get a single-payer scheme on the ballot in my home state, with the predictable results that it was stomped to death by the insurance lobby. Of ALL the mooted provisions of the idealized version of Obamacare, the single-payer was most obviously predestined to fail. I believe it was a stalking horse for getting a few decent measures included and passed. Did anyone really expect the private health insurance corporations to roll over and play dead? Like, "oh sure, we'll just slim down a little and reduce our overheads to compete with Medicare and Medicaid". Maybe Obama's team had some reason for wanting the electorate to think it was still on the table when it was not - who knows for sure?
I wish you would run for office, Libby. You make so much sense.
I thought Jesus-Care was free?

...especially if you were blind or dead.
OMoM, dear God, I am so sorry. And that is the American nightmare happening to oh so many of us. That bill for you is what fills the pockets of the bonus baby monster execs, and what tries to break the spirit of the "objectors" to amorality in this country. I hope you are physically all right. And emotionally sustaining that kind of economic stress. The psychological devastation of that economic avalanche you endured must be profound. You sound awesomely serene and balanced in spite of it. It is insane, your situation, and I am sorry. This is what faux-progressives are willing to do, let people like you and me (I am always hanging from an economic thread) twist in the wind, as they applaud Obama's bullshit incrementalism rhetoric, which really isn't incremental at all, it is smoke and mirrors while Obama or ANY legacy party leader continues to give away more and more to the oligarchs from the citizens! Thanks for sharing that! I hope you have some kind of support legal or health care group supporting your private fight! Dear God!!!!! Have you blogged about that? best, libby
Frank, sorry to hear of your health struggles but happy to hear you had the VA and are still going strong!!!

I guess that is the difference between us, Frank. You see Obamacare as a beginning, I see it as an obstructionist conning and further extortion of the citizens. Other industrialized nations have universal health care. Citizens ... the sanctity of human life ... is not a priority to EITHER legacy party and the quicker the citizens recognize that AND KICK THOSE BIPARTISAN SELFISH AND/OR WIMPY BUMS OUT, THE BETTER!!!!!!!
ordinary joe, you are right. getting "compromise" help for what should be "entitled" citizens from the oligarchical big boys is like trying to get love from a psychopath!

Obama's posturing that he was bipartisanly doing his community organizing for the country in health care was MAJOR BULLSHIT. But he was contracted to be a front man for oligarchs while he was lying his head off campaigning. What did we except? We are captured!
Erica, you make me smile and I thank you. at this point in life I don't have a sturdy enuf temperament. but actually, on the other hand, i think you or I or a lot of people on os and without would make massively more effective politicians than the ones we got, who lost their souls a long time ago, if they ever had them. Friends in the Green Party have stood up at the plate to run in Manhattan and I applaud them!!! Their courage and will.

I feel like I am a collector of relevant info that is not making it to big media, whether fox, bland corporate or msnbc and trying to ripple it out there as fast and coherently as I can as well as being a pain in the ass moralist. we need more of us on the left.

I don't seem to have the patience any more for those in denial. You would think after so much 12-step work dealing with codependency and addicts I could apply the serenity prayer more effectively at times with my political discourse. But we are all works in progress.

Sometimes I think I do see the proverbial forest thru the trees better than others, or at least find descriptions of the forest on the web that need to be emphasized! Growing up a child in a dysfunctional family you sure do get a clear view of the emperors without their clothes, but unlike the parable, nobody listens to you and heeds it very often if ever.

The details among the trees I am sometimes not as good with. But life is an ongoing education. best, libby
spumey, not sure i am following your drift exactly, and appreciate free Jesus-care sensibility when you are dead. Blind?

The irony is with all Sarah Palin's shrieking, the heath industries ARE DEATH PANELS. Get your Jesus-care when you are dead, suckers!!!! That is how it all reads to me.

Other nations don't diss their citizens like this, many, but we murder readily anyone anywhere, that is our might makes right governance, and all of us have been goose-stepping by the homeless for a lot of years now, whose ranks exploded thanks to Reaganomics. Neither legacy party gives a serious sh*t about the homeless or the newly economically devastated ones in this country, even when the homeless and jobless are vets. We are a country without PITY. Our government USES then neglects and/or destroys ... for profit. best, libby
I don't seem to have the patience any more for those in denial.

The trouble with this, Libby, is your insistence that YOU be the decider of who is and who is not in denial.

I suspect you think I, and people who thank as I do, are in denial. And I agree you do seem to have lost patience with those you deem to be in denial.

Personally, I think you are in denial. I have no problem with that…and I have patience with you and the others who think as you do. I hope you finally see the light, but if you don’t—that will be okay with me.

And I have no trouble whatever acknowledging that I may be wrong…and you may be correct—which, of course, is part of my “having the patience.”
I think I spoke too soon,when I commented that none of the idiot deniers had arrived, when along comes the biggest idiot denier of all, and says in his typical sociopathic passive-aggressive way: "acknowledging that I may be wrong . . ."

When was the last time you were right about anything? How's that gingrich is gonna' be the next president preDICKtion doing?

The idiot doesn't rate -doesn't know how; doesn't edit - doesn't know how. Still has that headline post, where he spells the first name of his lord and savior, mr. hopey changey wrong.

fRANK, you're hopeless and hapless.