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Author Topic: Wal-Mart, Intel, AT&T, et al call for universal healthcare  (Read 730 times)

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Offline Miss Philicia

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Nice to see this.  I've long said that not until corporations demand this will it happen.  You can't compete globally as a business when you're saddled with healthcare costs that the state picks up everywhere else.  The right wing arguments in DC will get ejected when the board room big wings start making demands.

source

Quote
General Mills, Qwest call for universal health care

General Mills Inc., Qwest Communications and four other companies joined Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and two labor groups in a coalition calling for health coverage for all people in the United States by 2012.

"We agree that America's health care system needs to be fixed and needs to be fixed by 2012," Wal-Mart Chief Executive H. Lee Scott said Tuesday during a lunch in New York hosted by the three-month-old Better Health Care Together alliance.

The group hasn't suggested specific ways to achieve universal health care coverage. It has said that its members are dedicated to searching for a solution.

The four other companies that joined Better Health Care Together are Embarq Corp., Maersk Line, Manpower Inc. and R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co.

The labor union Communications Workers of America also joined, along with the think tanks Center for American Progress, Committee for Economic Development, and the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy. Other members that signed on in February include AT&T Inc., Intel Corp. and Kelly Services Inc.

The group hopes to launch a publicity campaign this fall, Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, said in an interview. The union is a member of the health care alliance, and Stern is also the chairman of Wal-Mart Watch, which has pressed the retailer to raise pay and benefits.

Two governors -- Arnold Schwarzenegger, a California Republican, and Ed Rendell, a Pennsylvania Democrat -- said states can take the lead in designing measures that cut costs and improve coverage.

Both governors have proposed programs in their states to reduce health care spending and cover more people.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline libvet

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Re: Wal-Mart, Intel, AT&T, et al call for universal healthcare
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2007, 12:30:53 PM »
The real trick to getting universal health care in America will be getting past the right wing ideologues who will either:

a) try to poison pill the legislation to keep it from getting passed to protect the insurance lobby

b) try to insert language into the legislation that will prevent any serious cost control methods (like they did with medicare by not letting medicare use it's bargaining to power to negotiate cheaper prices).

c) try to set up some idiotic system that instead of addressing the problems the insurance companies bring to American health care (cherry-picking, high administrative costs, etc) will create some kind of system that requires everyone to buy an insurance policy from FOR-PROFIT insurance companies which again will be make the legislation more about protecting the insurance companies than providing affordable health care to all Americans) which is again similar to what they did with Medicare D, which turned out to be a huge giveaway to the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies instead of being about bringing affordable medications to those who needed it.


If I had my druthers, I'd opt for a public/private hybrid that has a single payer model.   Hospitals and clinics and doctors and labs and pharmaceutical companies would still be private corporations, but there wouldn't be any more of the nonsensical hodgepodge of a few hundred different insurance companies each with their own formularies and co-pays and reimbursements and forms and rules.  Our government would be our "insurance company".

I know that many people like to point to the WRONG reasons health care is so expensive America.  The one most often heard or read about is the cost of illegal immigrants (the whipping boy du jour for ALL Americas issues right now), but that really is only a factor in hospitals and I suspect that even that impact is largely overblown and based more on the current anti-immigrant sentiment than reality for majority of the country.  Most people get the vast bulk of their care from private practices, private clinics, private labs, and private pharmacies that don't provide any care to uninsured illegal immigrants.

The way I see it, the biggest issue with health care costs is the fact that insurance companies are charging an enormous surcharge on being the gatekeepers to health care and their only motive is their bottom line and it's costing Americans a fortune to pay for the dubious privilege of having them as our gatekeepers.

The other thing is care for the people without any coverage at all which is approaching 45 million people and those with sub-standard insurance that still leaves them with a hefty bill at the end of the day. 

The people without any coverage at all tend to put off illnesses until it has progressed to the point they no longer can and then have to use the most expensive care possible (emergency rooms) to get any treatment.  The people with substandard coverage tend to be the one's who end up not being able to pay their share of an enormous medical bill because of high deductibles and/or high co-pay percentages (80/20 with the customer left with paying 20% of the bill out of pocket) or paying 100% for uncovered treatments.  It is not exactly a secret that 50 percent of all bankruptcies in the US are because of medical bills and 75% of that 50% are people who actually had insurance.

I've often been amused and even a bit perplexed that corporations haven't been champions of some kind of singer payer system that covers all Americans.  In our recent contract negotiations the company I work for acted like we were taking the food right off the table of our wildly profitable company's board of directors by having to pay for health insurance and nearly all companies bitch and moan about the added expense.

But mention universal health care to most of the big corporations and you'd think you had just committed heresy or spit in their faces.

Hopefully, this will be the beginning of trend.

 


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