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Obama and Single Payer

Last Monday the Obama administration had a  forum on health insurance in Los Angeles, and a picket line outside demanded single payer. 60% of the citizens of the United States want single payer health insurance. A majority of the doctors, nurses, and health economists want single payer, but Obama has come out against single payer. The health insurance industry, which stands to make great profits if corporate health insurance is expanded, doesn't want single payer. One can come to the conclusion that Obama is ignoring the clear majority of citiizens who want single payer.

The New York Times reported on April 6, 2009, that "infant morality has been declining in the United States. but 28,000 children under the age of 1 still die every year." The Times reported that 28 countries including Japan, Singapore, Canda, Cuba, and Hungary all have lower rates of infant mortality than the United States.In 1960 United States was only 11th in infant mortality statistics. Clearly health care in the last 47 years has been declining in the United States.

 I'm for sinple payer myself, and decided that from here on out I'll will only vote for candidates who support single payer, so I hope Obama decides to drop his present health care plans which I think are horrible and support single payer instead.

 Both my mother and brother have been sick this last year and a half:  my brother has been hospitalized twice with pneumonia and my mother broke her hip. So I've watched my brother and mother in the hospitals and then nursing homes.  The hospitals and surgical staff my relatives have had have been very good and exremeley expensive, but the corporate nursing homes have been a horror show. So health care issue is very close to me, and I've watched patients suffer from horrible nursing homes for months.

 One small story. The day I was moving my mother from the nursing home which cost $20,000/month to a board and care she was getting together for her last lunch in the cafeteria with her lunch friends.All the ladies were in wheelchairs waiting for the food  a patient in a wheelchair in the room started screaming and screaming. None of the staff didn't anything while the screeching shook the room. Lunch is very important for the patients--the only time they're alltogether to socaialize with others. The patient kept screaming, a piercing sound, stopping all conversation. Nobody did anything. The RNs, the most educated nurses, never do any  nursing on the floor since RNs are always behind the desk away from the cafteria. My mother's friends looked more and more upset as the screaming continued. One woman said, "This is insane." The Licensed Vocational Nurses, the next most skilled nurse whose major job is not to nurse but to hand out medications, did nothing.The screaming continued.  The Certified Nurses Assisstants, the poorly paid immigrant women who do 99% of the nursing, did nothing. AFter about ten minutes finally a Certified Nursing Assistant wheeled the screamer out of the room--they should have done that ten minutes previously. I got coffee to the ladies at the table to try to make them feel better in my mother's last nursing home meal.

 We do need extensive reforms. but the key to any reform is to get single payer. Othewise instead of our country being 28th in health care--worse than Cuba--we'll have worsening health care and in a couple more years our infant mortality rate will be 38th with thirty eight nations having better infant mortality rate than we do.

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$20,000/month care makes you scream indeed!

I think the US deserves strong debate on single payer or not rather than simply following the majority opinion or the systems of foreign countries. I think President Obama is wise. I say that because Japan has been almost always following the systems or the trend of foreign countries without enough own debate. Things work in the U.S. does not necessarily work for Japan. The country is suffering with the after-effect of the change in employment or unemployment style. Japanese are not as peaceful as before.

Three years ago, I felt quite comfortable with Japan’s health care, but I was comparing only with the US, not with other nations, and I also didn’t know much about Japan’s situation. Last month, scary news about elderly care was erupted outside of Tokyo. A nursing home was built and funded by the Tokyo City government but no one seemed to following up on their management and care. They had only a few care takers with many patients, and some patients wondered around the town on their own, and town folk had to report it repeatedly. It takes time to really understand the systems and its problems.