Single Payer Health Comes To Albany

March 31, 2009

Congressional representative John Conyers and HR 676 pack the Westminster sanctuary on a Sunday afternoon

Anyone with a lick of sense is painfully aware that health care is one of the most critical problems facing America today. The stupid privatized insurance scheme that is currently in place is steadily dragging the middle class into poverty, and the poor into early graves. All this unnecessary misery created so that a handful of parasitic corporate insurance scammers can get richer than they already are.

On Sunday I walked with The Wife over to Westminster Presbyterian Church over on State Street for a public meeting about Single Payer Health Care. I was feeling a bit under the weather so I wasn’t sure I wanted to go. Well, I certainly learned a few things at the meeting, and I got to chat with one of the most powerful politicians in the country, a guy most people in Albany have barely heard of.

I’m talking about John Conyers of Dearborn, Michigan, the second longest serving member of the House of Representatives. He is the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, a committee which has extraordinary power over a wide variety of federal departments, including federal courts and federal law enforcement. He is also the senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus, which this year has finally come unto its own as an influential body.

Representative John Conyers Representative John Conyers

Most people don’t know any more about Single Payer Health Care than they know about John Conyers, it’s just words. What it means is that we would have one and only one health insurance provider for every American citizen. Since this one provider is a government agency, the behavior of this agency would be ultimately subject to scrutiny by the voters and taxpayers.

This is in sharp contrast to the current scheme, where a pack of hungry corporate insurance companies supposedly, allegedly, compete with each other for the American citizen’s money. In practice, these insurance corporations have formed virtual cartels that take advantage of sick Americans by driving up the cost of all services, from the hospital to the doctor visits to the pharmaceuticals.

In addition, these corporate insurers pointedly refuse to insure all Americans. They say in their own defense that they can’t afford to provide insurance for people who are … sick. They only want to insure people who are healthy, because that way they can keep their corporate “bottom line” healthy by not paying out premiums to those who need them.

It’s a savage, stupid and idiotic method of exploitation one might find in a miserable run down third world country. This privatized insurance scheme is a national boondoggle, a parasitic method of extracting wealth from people who work for a living. It should go without saying that America can no longer afford such boondoggles, we taxpayers can no longer nurture thieves and robbers.

Westminster Presbyterian Shortly Before The Event Westminster Presbyterian Shortly Before The Event

Will Single Payer solve the debilitating societal problems caused by privatized health insurance? Mr. Conyers put it this way:

You have to first of all decide that getting healthcare when you need it is a right and not a privilege. So when people talk about “affordable health care,” you’ve just left a hundred million Americans outside the door because they can’t afford anything. What do you do if you don’t have the money to afford affordable health care?

. . . Do we really need to have profit taking in health care? …And now they’re all marketing …everybody’s hustling health care. Well, ladies and gentlemen, we want to put you into a full employment full reaching program, because you need one organization insuring health care, a single payer. One, only one.