MISSION: To improve our security and to reform politics.
Mesplay for President
I recently took the following pledge, initiated by
I promise that I will:
1. Make developing a universal, non-profit healthcare system a priority
during my elected term.
2. Support legislation for a non-profit healthcare system for all Americans.
3. Avoid delays in providing the non-profit healthcare system that
Americans urgently need.
4. Accept accountability for this pledge, knowing that my re-election is
at stake if I do not uphold it.
Medical attention is a human right not yet recognized by the United States
government. Nearly every other industrialized country on the planet has
National Health Care. We are tied with South Africa for last place. In
the same manner that we have a socialized military that at best provides
for some aspects of our physical security, single payer health insurance
is necessary to ENSURE THAT ALL PEOPLE WITHIN OUR BORDERS RECEIVE AT LEAST
A BASIC LEVEL OF MEDICAL AND DENTAL CARE. Quality care can be accomplished
in a cost-effective manner guaranteeing high salaries for practitioners
without burdening the middle class any more than we already are by high
costs, poor performance and by having to contribute both to private
(company health insurance) and public plans (social security). Our current
system of treating health care as a commodity is failing tens of millions
of citizens. Haphazard coverage renders us all susceptible to
The cost of current health care is attributable to advertising and
administrative costs (think "many forms to fill out") that can be
streamlined and reduced, as well as the actual cost of medical attention
in terms of supplies and salaries. Legal suits, or the threat thereof,
also add to the cost in terms of malpractice insurance. Medical attention
will still cost us, in terms of taxes and perhaps fewer choices, but we
already pay literally and figuratively in terms of anxiety over the high
cost of coverage when it is needed. Moreover, small and medium-sized
businesses, which are the work-engine of any economy, are already forced
into providing privatized coverage or passing the charges onto their
employees. The private sector, treating health care as a lucrative
industry, is not interested in providing coverage to all.
Green Party advocacy of National Health Care is one issue in which we are
on the political "left." Health care is a basic service that more
properly ought not be left up to the whims of market forces. Even in old
age one is forced with a dizzying array of alternate plans and
exclusionary clauses (fine print). Moneyed interests, be they private
insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, or other exclusively
profit-driven players in our current system dominate the "debate" as there
is no medium though which disenfranchised citizens can communicate their
concerns. The political field could provide a venue for such discussion,
but it is currently dominated by big money and snap-shot analyses. I
really do believe that the only way we will have more adequate health
coverage in this country is for physicians who are truly interested in
living the Hippocratic Oath to become politically aware and active and to
donate their services when they can.
Figuring out exactly what to do about health care in this country is an
on-going issue of debate. I recently read an interesting article in Green
Horizon Quarterly, to which I subscribe (GREEN HORIZON QUARTERLY: Welcome)
on the American Health Care System (A Disaster: What must be Done? by
Thomas H. Naylor, GHQ, Spring/Summer 2006. Naylor is Professor Emeritus
of ECONOMICS at Duke University). In his insightful article Naylor says,
"[i]f there are any solutions to our health care problems, they will only
be found at the local community level not in Washington or in the State
House." In Green circles when we talk about different ways of improving
health care the emphasis is too much on centralized control. The author,
from Vermont, argues for delivery of health care services decentralized to
the town level. I've also had a look at health care proposed for the
somewhat rural state of Maine. Local control is especially key to any
success in remote areas. Pat LaMarche, who ran for Governor of Maine, had
a program deserving of further review (
www.pat2006.com/issues/healthcare/plan.php ). Pat was the Green Party
Vice Presidential candidate, last time around.
WITH CHANGES TO THE CLIMATE AND THE LIKELY INCREASE OF DISEASE VECTORS
SUCH AS INSECTS WE WILL WANT TO HAVE A GOOD PUBLIC HEALTH PROGRAM IN PLACE
AT THE LOCAL, COMMUNITY LEVEL. To not do so will be costly in human terms.
The future economic cost of such care can be mitigated now by designing
communities better able to, at a ground level, meet anticipated
catastrophic challenges. Indeed, when disaster strikes (hurricanes,
tsunamis, earthquakes, terrorism) within days the number killed due to
hunger, thirst, exposure and disease propagation can match or exceed the
number killed by the "initial" event. Helping societies become as
self-reliant and self-sufficient as possible means that people are
prepared and know what to do after their three-day supplies of canned
goods run out. Sustainability is a security issue with a health
component. This is not understood by our so-called leaders with their
sheltered outlook and their emphasis upon centralizing power and rewarding
campaign contributors by ear-marking bills and granting favors with little
regard for the common good. Waiting for the feds to help during time of
extreme crisis is the wrong approach. Got water? Got a place to go to the
bathroom if the water is cut off? (and how about your neighbors?). Poor
post-catastrophe hygiene causes misery (almost as much as political
For an example of simple techniques that can make a big difference to
public health see also http://www.coughsafe.com
Mesplay for President
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