We’ve all been screwed and we’re sick and tired of being sick and tired.
When I first heard that Bernie Sanders was running for President, I didn’t know much about him or what he stands for. As I learned more I realized this is finally someone who believes in supporting the 99% of us (Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and others) and not the 1% or of those who have money and power in the U.S. Once I understood what he believes in and has practiced his whole life, I felt bad that he didn’t have any chance to win. It seemed to be Hillary’s time and having a woman President might be a positive change to the good-old boys network that has ruled the presidency since the beginning.
One of the people whose perspective I respect is Thom Hartmann a well-known radio commentator and author of such diverse books as The Edison Gene: ADHD and the Gift of the Hunter Child, Walking Your Blues Away: How to Heal the Mind and Create Emotional Well-Being (the most innovative books on treating ADHD, depression, and other mood disorders), and his most recent book, The Crash of 2016: The Plot to Destroy America–and What We Can Do to Stop It. In that book he surfaces what more and more people know to be true. Our country is in real trouble and we need real change if we’re going to come out of our downward death spiral.
(On this point, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are in full agreement).
Here’s what Hartmann says in the Introduction to The Crash Of 2016, “The United States is more vulnerable today than ever before-including during the Great Depression and the Civil War-because the pillars of democracy that once supported a booming middle class have been corrupted, and without them, America teeters on the verge of the next Great Crash.” Here’s what he has to say about why he thinks Bernie will win.
If anyone has ever had to deal with a major chronic illness, we know that it’s hard to have energy for anything else when we’re in pain and our lives are overwhelmed just getting through the day. Looking honestly at the state of our country’s health, we have to conclude, as a people, we’re pretty sick.
Dr. John E. McDonough offers an interesting perspective in an article Shorter Lives and Poorer Health on the Campaign Trail. He says, “I would love to hear presidential candidates discuss in at least one debate: the report from the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) called “Shorter Lives, Poorer Health.” The report concludes:
The United States spends more money on health care than any other country. Yet Americans die sooner and experience more illness than residents in many other countries. While the length of life has improved in the US, other countries have gained life years even faster, and our relative standing in the world has fallen over the past half century.
The report’s comparison group includes Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Here are some of the facts that confirm the sorry state of American Health (Sick?) Care:
- Adverse birth outcomes—the highest infant mortality rate among high income countries;
- Drug-related mortality—more lives lost to alcohol and drugs than in any other nation, even when excluding drunk driving deaths;
- Obesity and diabetes—the highest rates of obesity and diabetes among high income nations;
- Heart disease—the second highest rate among 17 peer nations.
A recently released study by the World Health Organization and The Economist Intelligence Unit, “Healthcare Outcomes Index 2014,” examining the health care systems of 166 nations, ranked the United States number one in spending and number 33 in quality outcomes, [my emphasis] placing it among the least efficient systems on the planet, and ranking behind nations such as Lebanon and Costa Rica.
Here was the clincher for me about why I think Bernie will win:
Research over the past five years offers a compelling hypothesis to explain at least part of our nation’s dismal performance—among all advanced nations, the United States spends by far the most on a per person basis on medical care while spending nearly the least on a per person basis on nonmedical social service spending such as education, day care, job training, housing support, nutritional assistance, and more. [my emphasis]. Focusing less on medical care and more on needs relating to the social determinants of health seems to help produce more beneficial population health outcomes than our nation’s prioritization on the reverse.
It seems to me only Bernie is really talking about changing the health system for the benefit of the people. Only Bernie is really committed to social services that will make a difference for all. Hillary wants to incrementally improve Obama care and certainly cares for women and children. Trump and the other Republicans want to do away the small positive changes that have been made. Members of Congress have a lot of good choices for health insurance. Of course some don’t need it. Texas senator Ted Cruz is covered under his wife’s policy. She’s a Wall Street power broker working at Goldman Sachs.
When you have huge amounts of Super Pac money you can try and convince people that Bernie is not a viable candidate or he is too radical or its time for a woman or only a tough guy with billions of dollars should run the country. But this time I think people are not going to be so easily fooled. Too many know they are being screwed and are sick and tired of being sick and tired.
What do you think? Who do you think will win? If you think Bernie will win, tell us why.
Originally posted on MenAlive. Reprinted with permission.
Photo: Getty Images