In Michigan the Push for privatized education continues

Representative Tim Kelly and Senator Ken Horn are working together on a bill to punish public school boards if they refuse to sell out to private, for profit schools.
At first glance one might think this is a necessary law. The schools are suffering from debt throughout the state and selling unused buildings will alleviate some, if not all that debt.
But this is leading to a for profit school system in this state. You may say, what’s wrong with that?
Well, let’s compare this with another system that has been privatized in the not too distant past.

Take a look at the cost of health care in America today. Outrageous don’t you think?
What happened? Here is what happened.
In 1973, Nixon did a personal favor for his friend and campaign financier, Edgar Kaiser, then president and chairman of Kaiser-Permanente. Nixon signed into law, the Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973, in which medical insurance agencies, hospitals, clinics and even doctors, could begin functioning as for-profit business entities instead of the service organizations they were intended to be.
The Chamber of Commerce and other right wing groups will pound it into the masses that competition will drive down prices and make the services more affordable for all. While in fact just the opposite has taken place.
Healthcare costs have reached levels beyond extreme in the 40 some years since going private.
We can expect the same for education expenses my friends. A day when only the wealthy few will be able to afford sending their children to K-12 schools is not far off.
Beware my friends, beware. Greed is only good for Wall Street.

Add to this the chart below depicting income levels compared to productivity for the past 50 years and you can see the danger of following the for profit goals of the few and the mighty.

Income vs. productivity for the past 50 years

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One year’s hospital insurance $5.00

English: Diagram showing that it is possible t...

English: Diagram showing that it is possible that a firm in perfect competition makes an abnormal profit, if P > min(ATC). In the long run, however, only normal profits will be made, since P will equal min(ATC) exactly. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That was the price listed on a certificate from St. Marys Hospital in Saginaw, Michigan circa 1883.

There were restrictions, no care for drunkenness and you were not admitted if you had a communicable disease. Patients were cared for in wards and disease could spread rapidly under those conditions.

The story says the fee translates into about $116.00 in today’s dollars. Any chance we could get a year’s hospital coverage today for $116.00?

No sir, in today’s economic environment hospitals are no longer in business to aid in the healing of the sick and injured. Hospitals today are in business to make a profit. This for profit environment began way back when Nixon was president and a member of his cabinet came up with the idea of health care for profit. It has grown immensely over the years and of course the completion is fierce with mergers and advertising completing the picture.

The result of this privatization-for profit mode is an inflation busting increase in health care costs for all. This smacks in the face of those who profess to the free market philosophy of competition drives down prices.

Another area where for profit enterprises have driven up prices beyond inflation is education, check out the current tuition rates in any college, private or state funded.

Those on the right are pushing for more privatization of schools, Social Security and even prisons. As the two examples above show us, privatization does not bode well for the hard-working middle class but does seem to provide a tidy profit for the few and the mighty.

Think about it my friends and consider joining me in some monthly midweek chats coming soon. 🙂

Healthcare in the United States

Disease?

Disease? (Photo credit: armigeress)

When Richard M. Nixon was president, one of his cabinet members came to him wanting to talk about health care. Nixon reportedly told him to get lost he did not want to talk about national or government health care. The cabinet member stood strong and told Nixon he had an idea on how to make it a profitable enterprise. This word, profit, caught Nixon’s ear and we as a country began our long and devastating journey to a healthcare system built and designed for profit above care.

Side story now…

I was talking to a gentleman who is on Medicare and has supplemental coverage last week. This fellow was in Grand Rapids, Mi. with his wife, and his son. They were at a hospital where his daughter-in-law was undergoing induced labor to bring on the birth of her child.

While waiting patiently, the gentleman thought he would go to the emergency room and see if he could get some help in removing a barb from a barberry bush that was stuck in his finger and beginning to fester. He had tried to remove it himself with no luck.

The doctor took one look, numbed the finger and promptly removed the offending barb.

A month later the gentleman received a bill for services rendered. The total charge for the procedure was $1400.00 with a charge to him of $140, Medicare and his supplemental paid the rest. He grumbled to himself and paid the bill.

How much profit do you suppose was made in this short procedure?  And what amount of that was needed to cover expenses incurred by the hospital when they provide service to uninsured patients?

Back to profit in healthcare industry now

We are beginning to see more and more cases of antibiotic resistant infections taking hold in not only America but in the world. When antibiotics were first introduced 50-60 years ago they were miracle drugs fighting off infections and curing most illnesses. But because of abuse of these drugs their effectiveness has dwindled.

Big Pharma working on a profit above all modus figured out that there is more profit in creating and selling drugs for chronic diseases then drugs for temporary illnesses. An antibiotic is generally only used for two or three weeks but a chronic disease requires lifetime dependency.

NPR has a story explaining this in more detail here….. http://www.npr.org/2013/10/22/239247134/antibiotics-cant-keep-up-with-nightmare-superbugs

Healthcare is an area the people are not being taken care of using capitalistic procedures. Think about it, and then scream or call your congress person and tell them sometimes profits have to come second to service.

Thanks friends, and have another great day!

Al Jazeera

Sarah Palin: Recklessly Hot!

Sarah Palin: Recklessly Hot! (Photo credit: Radio_jct)

Here is my brief opinion of the new network news that started broadcasting in the U.S. yesterday.

Only watched for a bit and now I know the following.

Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years, verdict will be appealed.

Milan is suffering from massive flooding, rainfall in the past month more than London gets in a full year.

India has dropping value of the Rupee, said to be caused by poor financial management.

Afghanistan beat Pakistan in soccer game; match was set up in part to improve relations between these two.

U.S. soldier that killed 16 in Afghan village going to trial, Afghans say if he had been an Afghan he would have already been hung.

U.S. soldier that killed 13 in Fort Hood trial continues, it will be interesting to compare the results of these two trials.

It is winter in Australia and their election is coming, one issue being debated down under is a carbon tax.

Syria appears to have used chemical weapons on the people, use took place about the same time UN inspectors entered Syria to check on the use of such weapons.

Richard Nixon’s secret recordings to be released today; will we learn anything new?

Fukushima, radioactive water leaking into the ground and the ocean; condition has been upgraded to “serious incident”.

They had additional stories regarding wildfires and school shooting in Georgia; nothing about Sarah Palin*.

*Sneaky trick here, Sarah Palin seems to draw in the viewers.

All in all, initial opinion is this is something we in the United States have needed for a long time.

Check it out you may like it.