Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Regarding Apocalypse Cow's Comment

Funding a national health care system is easy, surprisingly. A for-profit health care system is insanely wasteful, in the sense that it seeks to provide coverage as well as draw a profit. If you run it as a non-profit corporation (like German "sickness funds"), you get so much more for your money.

Our private health care system is very poorly run, at great waste. Through Social Security Medicare Part D, and state programs like MassHealth, the disabled and low income are skimmed off and covered by the government. Even with by far the costliest people taken by those programs, private for-profit insurers still struggle.

And that doesn't in any way include the 47 million Americans at any given time who don't pay into any system at all, but use costly emergency room visits for things better handled by a personal physician. Taxpayers pick-up that tab.

For those reasons, and many others, we are the only industrialized nation in the world without a universal health care plan. So I think the Socialist Party platform regarding health care coverage reform is dead accurate. And that approach can be used for all types of insurance. So taxes wouldn't have to be increased, except to the extent that people would be paying into a public system instead of a private corporation. If you spend $500 a month on health coverage at work, or through the Small Business Association, or wherever, and you no longer pay that, but instead pay $400 to a public, universal system via taxes, is that a tax increase? I suppose so, but overall you are paying less for health care.

Radically expanded public housing is equally possible for the same reason. For example, I live in public housing and I pay a percentage of my income for rent. If I make more, I pay more. And public and "rent control" housing further makes it possible for working class people to live within 100 miles of where they actually work.

The "guaranteed job" portion of the sentence you quoted is tricky, but founded in the logical notion that if someone is willing and able to work, he or she shouldn't be out of work. That said, this is an extremely complex topic, approached differently by social democrats and democratic socialists.

Naturally, I think there are flaws in the platform...nothing is perfect. I will defend it to the extent that I support it, which is more than any other party's platform. Ron Paul (who is meeting with some success) will hopefully morph into a 3rd party candidate and suck votes away from the Republican in greater measure than we, or any other left-wing 3rd party, will siphon votes from the Democrat in the next presidential election. I mention him because I read his platform a few nights ago and it makes our platform look easily executed. Not to mention the bizarre irony of a former Libertarian Party candidate running on an anti-abortion rights platform. The SP has had a good history, at least in Massachusetts, of working with the Libertarian Party in an effort to make it easier for 3rd, 4th, etc. party candidates to get on the ballot. I just don't understand why one of the most appealing aspects of the LP, which is it's strong stance of civil liberties (instead of just eliminating cabinet departments and the 16th Amendment), has been abandoned by the strongest libertarian candidate ever. Unless he is so successful in the margins because of support from mainstream Conservatives, who are unhappy with the Republican slate because they are not Conservative enough.

Yikes. But that's the way the wind is blowing, to the Radical Right. So at a time when that is happening, it's perfectly understandable that the SP platform would look off the charts Leftie. Keep in mind that the change we are advocating is anti-capitalist, and there is a lot more there than tax the rich and create social programs, although that is part of it.


Apocalypse Cow said...

"Unless he is so successful in the margins because of support from mainstream Conservatives, who are unhappy with the Republican slate because they are not Conservative enough."

Unfortunately, that's what I'm hearing from people, especially in my neck of the woods out in Central Mass. With "Ron Paul 2008" signs all over the place, I had to ask someone what his stances were, and why they were voting for him. He seems to be attracting the isolationists and xenophobes right now.

Apocalypse Cow said...

Not sure where you fit with this, but I'd be interested to see your results:


I have my results in my blog:

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