Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

"Outstanding…Moore Triumphs! Publishers Weekly

Mike & Friends Blog

Donna Smith

Donna Smith, American SiCKO, is executive director of the Health Care for All Colorado Foundation

July 4th, 2013 1:28 AM

It Isn't Universal Health Care If It Isn't Universal

Single Payer health care, SiCKO, Medicare for all, health reform

Learning about the Obama administration's decision to allow businesses to delay full implementation of the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare employer mandates to provide health insurance coverage didn't exactly surprise me. For a very long time now, corporate interests in the United States have taken precedence over individual human rights. Corporate profits, or even more directly the fear of somehow diminishing corporate profits, trumps fears over allowing tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths and hundreds of thousands of bankruptcies every year in America related to the lack of a universal health system.

I often hear the word universal bandied about as if providing the ability to purchase widely and wildly unequal health insurance coverage was the same as having equal access to needed health care. It isn't. Ask any patient who has struggled with a variety of health coverage situations to tell you how different coverage can be from one plan to another, and then extrapolate that out to the wider insured population if you'd really like to understand the morass that is the US health insurance situation.

So long as we are working on implementing a system that is not providing universal health care to all, then it is just not all that surprising to find that the implementation is happening in fits and starts and is unequal in its requirements. If we were implementing, as we should be, an improved and expanded Medicare for all for life system, it would as remarkably simple as it would be universal and equal. What a relief that would be for millions of people who have long struggled against a system that barters human life for money.

I do find it moderately amusing that under the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, corporations are to be given equal free speech rights through unlimited financial contributions to political campaigns but under other circumstances such as the implementation of the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare insurance mandates, corporations are to be given higher privileges than individuals as they are allowed the delay. Look only to who is celebrating the decision for your answers about who benefits most, and in the case of these decisions, the US Chamber of Commerce has been and is elated.

Here's what I said in the Denver Post this morning about the subject:

"Giving big business a year longer than individual citizens on the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare insurance mandates seems to show this administration's continued willingness to favor corporate interests over those of the average citizen," said Donna Smith, executive director of Health Care for All Colorado, which argues for a universal health coverage system going further than Obamacare.

"Giving big business a pass is showing insensitivity to the realities of our dysfunctional health system," Smith said.

Read more: Employer mandate of health care law delayed until 2015 - The Denver Post
The day will come when we will celebrate achievement of health care as a human right and a public good. Here in Colorado, we are advancing our educating and advocating around a citizens' ballot initiative that would do just that. If you'd like donate, that would be great And if you'd like to endorse our efforts. that would be wonderful too.

You see, health care isn't one of those business issues that ought to allow human life to be valued and devalued based on other economic pressures. Access to health care when it is needed -- as a human need -- must be treated as a human right and a public good. Universal means universal and everybody must be in, nobody left out.


Today's count of the health care dead and broke for profit in the U.S.:

The 2013, to date, U.S. medical-financial-industrial -complex system dead: 22,519

The 2013, to date, U.S. health care system bankrupt: 360,984

** These figures are calculated based on the Harvard University studies on excess deaths in the U.S. due to lack of insurance coverage or the ability to pay for needed health care, and the Harvard University study that calculated the high percentage of personal bankruptcies attributable to medical crisis and debt in the U.S. 123 people die daily due to lack of coverage or cash to pay for care; 1,978 go bankrupt every day due to medical crisis and debt though the majority had insurance at the time their illness or injury occurred. This statistic is also based on the 1.2 million bankruptcies in the U.S. in 2012, according to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and calculating those medically-related bankruptcies from that number.

Follow Donna Smith's blog at:

Creative Commons License This content is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

You must log in to comment.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Log in | Register

If you have a moment today, I hope you can read the obituary for my father Francis (Frank) Moore, who died this past Saturday at the age of 92: Francis...

Apr 22nd
6:33 PM
Read More

My father, Francis (Frank) Moore, passed away this morning a few months shy if his 93rd birthday. He was a great dad I am blessed to have had him in my life. I...

Apr 20th
2:58 AM
Read More

Time to put the cuffs on Chris Christie -- not for the bridge scandal, but for this: Chris Christie's $300m pension proposal broke state anti-corruption...

Apr 18th
7:31 PM
Read More

George W. Bush Debuts New Paintings Of Dogs, Friends, Ghost Of Iraqi Child That Follows Him... President Bush has a new hobby -- painting! --...

Apr 17th
7:28 PM
Read More

Big new story from David Sirota and Pando on top Christie adviser and appearance of corruption at New Jersey's pension fund: REVEALED: Gov....

Apr 17th
12:41 PM
Read More

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States WASHINGTON—The FBI announced today that it has uncovered a...

Apr 15th
3:28 PM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel's top donor bought stock in Marriott just before it was awarded huge contract As schools are closed and pensions cut,...

Apr 9th
2:00 PM
Read More

I'll be at First Time Fest today in New York City at the screening of my first film, Roger & Me. Loews Village 7 at 12:30 pm. Come see it on the big...

Apr 5th
9:48 AM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel cuts public pensions, diverts money to benefit campaign donors If you've read the financial news out of Chicago the last...

Apr 4th
2:19 PM
Read More

Please take a moment today to think of Casey Austin Sheehan, son of Cindy and Patrick, who was murdered by U.S. foreign policy in Sadr City, Baghdad ten years...

Apr 4th
2:00 PM
Read More

ICYMI - I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence...

Apr 3rd
7:38 PM
Read More

I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention...

Apr 2nd
8:27 PM
Read More

I am opposed to the death penalty, but to every rule there is usually an exception, and in this case I hope the criminals at General Motors will be arrested...

Apr 1st
3:55 PM
Read More

How Long Some in the US Will Survive Under New Health Law Donna Smith Those who must access care to live and can afford it are not...

Mar 31st
10:13 PM
Read More

Last night, The Good Wife on the East Coast started 40 minutes late due to the overrun of the NCAA basketball game. If you had your DVR set for the show, you...

Mar 24th
5:41 PM
Read More

Watching films today, looking for the ones I'm going to pick for my film festival this summer. I (and a whole bunch of others!) have this thing we put on...

Mar 23rd
4:48 PM
Read More

When the U.S. Health Care System Keeps Killing, Who Cares Enough to Fight? Donna Smith We have largely forgotten that people are at...

Mar 21st
5:56 PM
Read More

Tell the White House not to give up on Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination as Surgeon General despite the ferocious opposition from the NRA: Don't give...

Mar 21st
5:38 PM
Read More

This criminal would never see a jail cell, nor would his cronies. In fact, they'd later be rewarded with re-election: Presidential Address on War with...

Mar 19th
9:40 PM
Read More

The crime of the century -- our invasion & slaughter in Iraq -- started 11 years ago tonite in this 7pm (ET) hour, March 19th, 2003: CNN Coverage of...

Mar 19th
9:08 PM
Read More

Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa Nick Turse Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian,...

Mar 17th
4:59 PM
Read More

"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world." -- Tony Benn, 1925-2014 Tony Benn in 'Sicko'

Mar 14th
10:07 AM
Read More

RIP Tony Benn, one of the UK's greatest leaders: Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88 Former cabinet minister died at...

Mar 14th
9:53 AM
Read More

Please read this important story from K. Ford K.: Am I the Face of the New American Middle Class? I began to feel I had slipped so low...

Mar 13th
2:24 PM
Read More

Yesterday Dianne Feinstein revealed that the CIA has been spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is all about the report the committee has produced...

Mar 12th
6:48 PM
Read More

Health Care for All Colorado has brought Mercy Killers, a show written and performed by Michael Milligan about our murderous for-profit healthcare system, to...

Mar 10th
1:08 PM
Read More

Health Care Dramas that Sting and Why We Have to Watch Donna Smith The realities Milligan has written into the show cut deep into...

Mar 10th
1:02 PM
Read More

Did you know the Lehrer Newshour on PBS has been produced for 20 years by a company owned by conservative cable billionaire John Malone? Me neither. After...

Mar 7th
8:39 PM
Read More

Mr. Obama, if int’l law is so damn crucial . . . | The Russian intervention deserves criticism. But let’s be clear. The...

Mar 6th
1:21 PM
Read More

Subscribe to Mike's Blog RSS

Click here to suggest an article

Mike's Blog

See More Blogs

Vew the archives

View older articles