Cut the Health Care Middlemen

Written by Adriel Hampton. Posted in Opinion, Politics

Tagged: , , , , ,

Published on June 01, 2009 with 4 Comments


Thirty-one percent of every health care dollar spent in the US
is profit for the private health insurance middlemen who deny coverage
to anyone who may actually need health care!  Result: 46 million Americans
do not have health insurance.  It’s time for the US to excise the middlemen
from the health care delivery equation.
Photo by Luke Thomas

By Adriel Hampton

June 1, 2009

We’re getting close to real health care reform in Washington, but the private health insurance industry has come to the table to make sure it doesn’t really happen. The health care middlemen are working night and day to ensure that President Obama’s goal of making health care a right for every American doesn’t hurt their bottom line.

And yet, to ensure real change, we’re going to have to hurt the bottom line of the insurance industry, and hurt it bad. That’s why H.R. 676, a single-payer health bill in Congress now, prioritizes taking care of the workers who’d be displaced by real reform. That’s because getting the huge corporate bureaucracies out from between you and your doctors is going to require some pain.

That pain of repurposing the workers at the heart of the corporate health care bureaucracy, like the pain required to move autoworkers into clean energy industries, is very real. But it’s more than offset by the suffering of 18 percent of Americans who find themselves unable to pay for needed medications and care. It pales in comparison to the national crisis of 46 million uninsured Americans, and it’s change we can survive for a better future.

Both Lt. Governor John Garamendi (a former Insurance Commissioner who knows a little about the corporate health bureaucracy) and I support H.R. 676, the simple single-payer option that would give all Americans the same kind of comprehensive and affordable coverage enjoyed by the Japanese and other advanced democracies.

The only way to have real reform in the face of the dogged efforts of the corporate health industry and its lobbyists is for us to keep up the pressure at the human level. In one positive example of the desire for change, my friend Francis Somsel since April has recruited some 1,400 people for an effort to make health care a Constitutional right in the U.S.

You can help. Please call your Congressional representatives and ask them to support H.R. 676, and, if you are in the Bay Area, please make your voice heard this Saturday at the San Mateo Health Care Forum.

Adriel Hampton is a journalist, Gov 2.0 and new media strategist, public servant, and licensed private investigator. He is running for U.S. Congress in the 2009 special election for California’s 10th District.

More Info

Where’s Nancy Pelosi on HR 676?

Adriel Hampton

Adriel Hampton is a writer, investigator, strategic consultant and mindfulness practitioner. He runs The Adriel Hampton Group Ltd. in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and was a founding member of NationBuilder. Adriel is founder emeritus of SF Tech Dems and a board member at Legination Inc. Before joining NationBuilder, Adriel worked for SF City Attorney Dennis Herrera, and for the SF Examiner, Hayward Daily Review and Lodi News-Sentinel. He also founded SF City Camp and Gov 2.0 Radio, and, in 2009, ran for Congress in the East Bay.

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  • Morning Adriel and Fog City Viewers,

    I look forward to reading these Monday morning up-dates from the Hampton campaign. You do have a gift for clarifying things, boy. “Re-purposing the workers at the heart of the health care bureaucracy” is the most succinct description of the problem I’ve seen. That alone would save 25% of the costs of the present system. “It can’t be done.” is a common answer by the bloated leeches who feed off basic public needs from health care to energy. Same answer, as you note, from Detroit. Same answer also from PG&E where workers are told that Public Power would cost them their jobs (bullshit). Keep up the fight.

    And, regarding the election in your U.S. Congress D-10 race. What are the projected timelines? When will Tauscher’s nomination likely be considered? Completed?

    Every American should see Michael Moore’s ‘Sicko’.

    h.

  • No Bullroar

    Unfortunately, through legalized bribery, the military/industrial/corporate/financial complex (which includes big insurance) has finally succeeded in achieving its most cherished goal, i.e., defacto control of government.
    This means that universal health care (single payer) will never, EVER, even be considered, let alone implemented.

  • Richmondman

    This article sounds great, but it relies on the assumption that government will be more efficient than private enterprise, even without profit. Unfortunately, based on my 50+ years living in (and dealing with government in) San Francisco, I believe this is a flawed assumption. Also, I doubt a national single-payer program will be instituted under Obama’s administration. He never advocated for it during his campaign – that was Hillary Clinton’s and John Edward’s issue. Obama said he wanted to increase the number of persons covered by private insurance by working with insurers to lower costs.

  • Richmondman, Obama did in fact advocate for single-payer health care during his presidential campaign, but he later backed down.

    He said before single-payer could be enacted “we’ve got to take back the White House and we’ve got to take back the Senate.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpAyan1fXCE

    Well, he took back the White House and the Senate is close to provisionally seating Al Franken for a 60 vote filibuster-proof Democratic majority.

    The big question remains, will Franken being seated change Obama’s position on single-payer? Smart money says no, but the pressure to remove the middlemen is growing.