Capitalists should run most industries privately with as little interference from the federal government as possible.
There are other industries in which the responsibility is best shared between the government and private sector.
Education and mail delivery are two. There can be a nice balance between public and private schools. One offers services the other cannot. Private schools can offer specialties and foci while public schools reflect America with a wide range of interests and abilities. Many families get the chance to choose between the two and can achieve their goals with careful consideration about how best to educate their children.
The function of the government-run post office is to provide competition for the private delivery companies. Can you imagine the cost of mailing a standard letter if Fed-Ex or UPS (upon merging would it be Fed-Up?) were free to set prices? The post office will always be a money loser in its current configuration. It should be restructured to run as a nonprofit organization.
And, a few industries need to be run exclusively by the government. Health care is one.
Most of the problems we have with all varieties of medical delivery are due to the hybrid system born of compromise now in use. The Affordable Care Act was a start and I was an early advocate of chipping away at the huge health care monster, one chink at a time and replacing it by securing new laws and court decisions onto the solid foundation of Medicare–ultimately leading to a workable, single payer system.
My reasoning was that if we followed the model provided by the Civil Rights movement that found success by eliminating segregation and Jim Crow laws one baby step at a time, the resulting health care model would be as successful as the massive efforts toward nondiscriminatory voting rights and equal treatment.
I was wrong. We must totally reform health care into a single payer system managed by the federal government. And, we need to do it ASAP. With the current piecemeal model, all we are getting are more loopholes, more expenses that seem to offset the savings offered by the act, and a lot of rhetoric that isn’t leading us onto the path to a healthier life for all Americans.
The Republican “Voucher-care” program, proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, won’t do nearly enough for cost control and current Medicare guaranteeing insurance to only the elderly leaves too many without a base of support.
The complexity of health care renders private industry too focused on profit and not focused enough on the service. A quick glance at insurance CEOs’ salaries and pensions and investor dividends will confirm gargantuan profits.
We’ve begun chipping away at policy denials, limited coverage, and tackling the huge mountain of red tape that is health care today with the Affordable Care Act.
But, not until we cede the entire system to the government to run as a nonprofit, take advantage of the buying power of 307 million citizens to reign in costs, pay medical providers a good salary, and craft a record keeping/billing system that is consistent throughout the industry will everyone get quality, sustainable medical care.
Simply eliminating “over the age of 65” from the current Medicare law would set us on the right path–no 2,000 page document with which to wrestle and no starting over with an untested program. Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, and SCHIP have been successfully tested on a large portion of our population for nearly 50 years. They all get high marks from participants. That seems like a qualifying test run ready to be put into effect for everyone.
The Medicare-for-All program will be expensive, likely the largest federal budget item, even when modified with sleeker accounting and mass bargaining abilities. Specifics can be left for another discussion.
But, with planning, the 105 million kids younger than 25 and the 40 million seniors can benefit from greatly reduced rates, while the 165 million Americans of working age, over half our population, and their employers shoulder a large chunk of the cost by paying a lot less for universal coverage than they are now for spotty coverage.
By managing a system with a combination of savings and an infusion of affordable revenue we can get the health care management and services we deserve.