Has Already Been

TimeWatch Editorial
March 13, 2017

Ecclesiastes 3 and verse 15 says “That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.” That text surely applies across the board to so many issues we confront in this life, but in particular, it certainly does apply to the events taking place regarding the debate over Health Care. In the month of October 1973, Godfrey Hodgson wrote an article in the Atlantic Online, entitled The Politics of American Health Care: What Is It Costing You?” His introductory paragraph is amazingly relevant to our time.

The health care crisis is upon us. In response to soaring costs, a jumbled patchwork of insurance programs and critical problems in delivering medical care, some kind of national health insurance has seemed in recent years to be an idea whose time has finally come in America. For those not protected by insurance--and often for those who are partially protected--illness means financial disaster. The quality of American medical care is at issue too. After twenty years of unprecedentedly high spending for research our public health standards have fallen far behind some countries with fewer resources.” Godfrey Hodgson,The Politics of American Health Care: What Is It Costing You?” Atlantic Online, October 1973


What is also tremendously amazing is the fact that at the time Godfrey Hodgson wrote that article in 1973, Richard Milhous Nixon was President of the United States.  The Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation at the University of Michigan website published an article, July 13, 2015 entitled
Nixoncare vs. Obamacare: U-M team compares the rhetoric & reality of two health plans.” Here is how the article opens.

“Few people today would dare call President Richard Nixon a radical liberal. But 44 years ago, he proposed a health plan that went far beyond what today’s Affordable Care Act includes. After the first plan failed, he did it again three years later. And just like today’s heated rhetoric from opponents of the ACA, also called “Obamacare” after the president who introduced it, Nixon’s plans were met with inflamed opposition from the other party.” Nixoncare vs. Obamacare: U-M team compares the rhetoric & reality of two health plans.”The Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, the University of Michigan, July 13, 2015

There has been quite a bit of discussion that included the Nixon Health Care plan, but what is forgotten is the apparent concern that motivated the effort at the time. Listen to how The University of Michigan article continues.

“At the time, Nixon put forth this rationale for his plan: “Those who need care most often get care least. And even when the poor do get service, it is often second rate…This situation will be corrected only when the poor have sufficient purchasing power to enter the medical marketplace on equal terms with those who are more affluent.” Employees around the nation supported Nixon’s plan as a welcome alternative to the single-payer proposals. Both the Nixon plans and the ACA were driven by a desire to provide health coverage for the uninsured segment of the American people, says Freed, and to keep health care costs from continuing to rise out of control.”Nixoncare vs. Obamacare: U-M team compares the rhetoric & reality of two health plans.”   The Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, the University of Michigan, July 13, 2015


The question that continues to linger regarding Health Care is this. How can a government even resist the responsibility to take care of those who are sick? How is it possible for a nation while claiming to be “Christian” continue to ignore the needs of those who are poor, while satisfying the greed of the wealthy? Who are these people who seek to satisfy their political lust for power by degrading the lives of the needy? Where did they come from? It is clear that their wealth must be based upon dishonest aggrandizement, simply put, theft. Which wearing suits and pretending to be moral upstanding citizens. Their stench filled characters are acceptable only by those who smell like they do, as their assets reek of the wages of those from whom they have stolen. There continues to be this morally unwashed group of pointless humanity, who consistently lie, first to themselves, and then to everyone else. Many years have passed since the introduction of the sort of health programs that by now might have assured care for everyone. But the wealthy, clean shaven, degenerates have been consistent to blocking it.

“A simple way of stating what has happened is that after the passage of Medicare in 1965, just about everybody in the world of health policy was persuaded that the United States needed something called national health insurance--even if there was little agreement on what that should mean. Then, rather suddenly in the early 1970s, the mood changed. More cautious views reasserted themselves, both among experts and among politicians. The same reversal of mood which dampened optimism about the possibility of social change through political action generally--in the field of education, for example or in dealing with poverty and urban problems- has now also begun to shape the debate about health care.” Godfrey Hodgson,The Politics of American Health Care: What Is It Costing You?” Atlantic Online, October 1973

Things will certainly worsen, because there is no real desire to help those who are in need of help. Costs have risen consistently, and will continue to rise. Listen to costs in 1969.

“By 1969, some hospitals were charging as much as $150 a day for basic care--in effect for little more than a bed, food, and attention from a nurse when she had a moment. John de Lury, of the New York sanitation workers' union, gave a state legislative hearing a harrowing illustration of what the full cost could come to: "A ten-year-old boy was admitted to the hospital at 3:20 A.M. The boy died at 10:34 the same night. The family of this child was charged $105.80 for drugs, $184.80 for X rays, $220.00 for inhalation therapy, $655.50 for laboratory work. The total bill for the child was $1717.80." Godfrey Hodgson,The Politics of American Health Care: What Is It Costing You?” Atlantic Online, October 1973

This is simply the beginning.

Cameron A. Bowen

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