A CONCRETE PROPOSAL
Costly Freedom in Afghanistan
Opposition to Charter Schools
Fight for Water
Ronald j. Morgan
Health Care Crisis Will Continue
Occupying a House Auction
Race, Gender, & Occupy
Occupied Higher Ed
Unpredicatable Life of the Occupy Movement
Zuccotti Park Press
STATE OF THE U.S.
Investing in Obama
Nicolas J.S. Davies
NOTE: Z Magazine subscribers and sustainers have access to all Z Magazine articles here and in the archive. The latest Z Magazine articles available to everyone are listed in the Free Articles box at the top of the table of contents, and are starred in the list below. Questions? e-mail Z Magazine Online.
Repeal the Insurance Mandate
The organizations It’s Our Economy and Single Payer Action, along with 50 doctors, filed an amicus brief in HHS v. Florida, to challenge the Affordable Care Act (ACA) recently considered by the Supreme Court. They support health care reform, but oppose the insurance mandate. By removing the words “over 65” from the Medicare law, every American could have health care based on a proven public health-care model that has been in existence since 1965. This would control costs and immediately provide health care to everyone in the United States.
Forcing Americans to buy insurance is both unconstitutional and bad policy. Even the most favorable estimates of ACA predict that tens of millions of Americans will not have health insurance when it is fully implemented in 2019. The number of employers offering health benefits will decline under the ACA, pushing employees into the individual insurance market where coverage is skimpier and more expensive. The cost of premiums will continue to rise and insurance coverage will continue to shrink, putting patients at risk of personal bankruptcy if they suffer a serious accident or illness.
The United States already spends enough to provide health care to all. As the amicus brief states: “Studies conducted by the nonpartisan General Accounting Office and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office have consistently concluded that if a national single payer system were implemented in the United States, administrative cost-savings alone would be enough to guarantee universal coverage without increasing overall health-care spending.”
In addition, improved Medicare for all will slow the cost of health care, which, under Medicare, is growing more slowly than private insurance-based health care, despite the fact that it deals with America’s elderly and disabled populations, groups that generally need more health care services. Unlike private insurance, under Medicare the increase is not due to administrative costs and bureaucracy as its costs have been consistently about 2 percent while private insurance’s administrative costs are16 percent.
Instead, the ACA builds and expands the system of private insurance, a system that is among the least efficient of any health-care system currently operating in the developed nations. The HHS v. Florida brief states, “In 2009, 28 healthcare expenditures accounted for 17.4 percent of GDP in the United States, compared with only 9.6 percent in the average OECD [Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development] nation” and “measured per capita, health-care expenditures in the United States ‘are by far the highest among OECD countries’.”
As the brief also points out: “In addition to achieving universal coverage for Americans aged 65 and older and maintaining consistently low administrative costs, Medicare is highly rated by senior citizens who are its primary beneficiaries—51 percent of whom give their health insurance an ‘excellent’ rating.”
If Congress had considered an evidence-based approach to health reform, instead of writing a bill that would funnel more wealth to insurance companies that deny and restrict care, it would have been a no brainer to adopt improved Medicare for all. All the data point to a single payer system as the best way to accomplish universal health care and control costs. Also, mandating that all Americans must buy a corporate product takes corporate welfare to extreme new levels.
Finally, an improved Medicare for all system will give everyone in the United States the greatest control of their own health care; the insurance industry will be removed from between doctors and patients; doctors will not have to convince a profit-minded insurance bureaucrat to pay for a treatment; and people will no longer be threatened with increased premiums, decreased coverage, and financial ruin caused by an insurance industry that puts profits before people.
Forcing people to purchase a flawed product—private health insurance—is not necessary and will not achieve the goals of universal, guaranteed, and affordable health care. There is already a health-care model in the U.S. that will achieve these goals and is constitutional and simple to attain—improved Medicare for all.
Kevin Zeese is co-director of It’s Our Economy and an organizer of the National Occupation of Washington, DC.
Z Magazine Archive
HUMAN RIGHTS - The U.S. Human Rights Network will celebrate its 10th anniversary with the Advancing Human Rights 2013 Conference, December 6-8, in Atlanta, GA.
Contact: 250 Georgia Avenue SE, Suite 330, Atlanta, GA 30312; firstname.lastname@example.org; http:// www.ushrnetwork.org/.
AFRICAN/SOCIALIST - The Sixth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party USA will be held December 7-11, in St. Petersburg, FL.
Contact: 1245 18th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705; 727- 821-6620; info@aps puhuru.org; http://asiuhuru.org/.
SCHOOLS - The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) will host a workshop on the DSC “Model Code on Education and Dignity: Presenting A Human Rights Framework for Schools” at the Mid-Hudson Region NY State Leadership Summit on School Justice Partnerships, December 11 in White Plains, NY.
Contact: http://www.dignityin schools.org/.
ANARCHIST/BOOKFAIR - The Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair will be held December 14, in Eureka, CA.
Contact: humboldtgrassroots @riseup.net; http://humbold tanarchist bookfair.wordpress. com/.
CLIMATE - The World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities is hosting a follow-up event to the 2012 Rio de Janeiro symposium. The gathering will be held in Qatar on January 28-30, 2014.
Contact: http://environment.tufts. edu/.
LABOR - The United Association for Labor Education (UALE) will host Organizing for Power: A New Labor Movement for the New Working Class in Los Angeles, March 26-29. Proposals are due December 15.
Contact: LAWCHA, 226 Carr Building (East Campus), Box 90719, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0719;lawcha @duke. edu; http://lawcha.org/.
MEDIA FELLOWSHIP - The Media Mobilizing Project is seeking applicants for the first annual Movement Media Fellowship Program. The Fellow will work with MMP to produce the spring season of Media Mobilizing Project TV. MMPTV is a news and talk show that tells the stories of local communities organizing to win human rights and build a movement to end poverty.
Contact: 4233 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; 215-821- 9632; milena@media mobilizing.org; http://www.media mobilizing.org/.
RACE - The 7th Facing Race: A National Conference will be held in Dallas, TX November 13-15, 2014. Organizers, educators, artists, funders and everyone interested in racial equity is invited to exchange best practices and learn about innovative models and successful organizing initiatives. Proposals must be submitted by January 24, 2014.
Contact: Race Forward, 32 Broadway, Suite 1801, New York, NY 10004; 212-513-7925; media @raceforward.org; http://race forward.org/.
VETERANS - They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars - The Untold Story, by Ann Jones, is about the journey of veterans from the moment of being wounded in rural Afghanistan to their return home.
Contact: Haymarket Books, PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618; 773-583-7884; http://www.haymarketbooks.org/.
LIBYA - Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution, by Francis A. Boyle, is a history and critique of American foreign policy from Reagan to Obama.
Contact: Clarity Press, Inc., Ste. 469, 3277 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, GE 30305; 404-647-6501; email@example.com; http://www. claritypress.com/.
CHILDREN - Fannie and Freddie by Becky Z. Dernbach is about two bumbling villains who gamble away the savings of the people of Homeville.
Contact: fannieandfreddiebook @gmail.com; http://fannieand freddie.org/.
PROTEST/COMIC - Fight the Power!: A Visual History of Protest Among English Speaking Peoples, by Sean Michael Wilson and Benjamin Dickson is a graphic narrative that explains how people have fought against oppression.
Contact: Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013; 212-226-8760; info@ sevenstories.com; http://www. sevenstories.com.
CHILDREN - Brave Girl by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet is the true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history.
Contact: http://www.harpercollins childrens.com/Kids/.
FESTIVAL - The 2014 Queer Women of Color Film Festival will be held June 13-15 in San Francisco. The festival is currently accepting submissions until December 31.
Contact: QWOCMAP, 59 Cook Street, San Francisco, CA 94118-3310; 415-752-0868; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.qwocmap.org/.
IRAQ/REFUGEES - Ten years after the U.S.-led war in Iraq, thousands of displaced Iraqi refugees are still facing a crisis in the United States. The Lost Dream follows Nazar and Salam who had to flee Iraq in order to avoid threats by Al- Qaeda-affiliated groups and Iraqi insurgents that consider them “traitors” for supporting U.S. forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Contact: Typecast Films, 888- 591-3456; info@type castfilms. com; http://type castfilms.com/.
HUMAN RIGHTS - Lyrical Revolt! III will be held December 4 in Syracuse, NY. The event will feature hip-hop musician Anhel whose album Young, Gifted, and Brown was just released. The event is sponsored by ANSWER Syracuse, Liberation News, and SyracuseHip Hop.com. Performers and artists are encouraged to send submissions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.answercoalition.org/syracuse/.
FOLK - Musician Painless Parker has released his album Music for miscreants, malcontents and misanthropes featuring “Fuck Yeah, the Working Class.”
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://painlessparkermusic.com/.
COMEDY - Political comedian Lee Camp’s new album Pepper Spray the Tears Away has been released.