Two of the most influential people in my professional life– Sidney Wolfe and Ralph Nader– are probably considered out of touch with reality. They speak the truth. They don’t compromise. They hold their ground because they have principles, even when those principles likely harm their cause. If they could only compromise, they could get things done.
Is it better to compromise? Or is it better to hold your ground? Which gets things done faster– a series of small steps through compromise or holding your ground for the right opportunity to pounce on a reality that simply isn’t working saying “I told you so all along.”
There probably is no right or wrong answer.
Despite this ambiguity, I always respect the truth-tellers more than the politicians because I always know where the truth-tellers stand. They won’t waiver. I can trust them and they’ll never betray me.
Dennis Kucinich will always stick to his core principles. No matter the politics he’ll call it like it is:
Clearly, the insurance companies are the problem, not the solution. They are driving up the cost of health care. Because their massive bureaucracy avoids paying bills so effectively, they force hospitals and doctors to hire their own bureaucracy to fight the insurance companies to avoid getting stuck with an unfair share of the bills. The result is that since 1970, the number of physicians has increased by less than 200% while the number of administrators has increased by 3000%. It is no wonder that 31 cents of every health care dollar goes to administrative costs, not toward providing care. Even those with insurance are at risk. The single biggest cause of bankruptcies in the U.S. is health insurance policies that do not cover you when you get sick.
But instead of working toward the elimination of for-profit insurance, H.R. 3962 would put the government in the role of accelerating the privatization of health care. In H.R. 3962, the government is requiring at least 21 million Americans to buy private health insurance from the very industry that causes costs to be so high, which will result in at least $70 billion in new annual revenue, much of which is coming from taxpayers. This inevitably will lead to even more costs, more subsidies, and higher profits for insurance companies – a bailout under a blue cross.
Dennis…you are 100% right. This is a financial bailout of the health insurance industry paid for, again, by us. This should be the age of experimentation. We don’t know how to deliver cost-effective healthcare under capitalism. We should have hundreds of pilot projects all over the United States experimenting with new ways to deliver and pay for health subsidized by the federal government with the goal of disrupting the current system, not sustaining it. Obviously our current healthcare industry doesn’t work. It’s not sustainable. Propping it up for another decade or so with taxpayer money and mandates is a 100% bad idea.
We’re fortunate to have the Ralph Naders and Dennis Kucinichs of the world. They keep it real.