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Hightower

For $3.5 trillion a year, shouldn’t we Americans have a world-class healthcare system? Yet, while we spend the most of any advanced nation in the world to get care (more than $10,000 a year per person), we get the worst results.

No surprise, then, that the “Medicare-for-All” idea is now backed by 85 percent of Democrats, 66 percent of Independents and (get this) 52 percent of Republicans! So… why isn’t Congress responding to this overwhelming public demand for universal coverage?

I suspect that one big reason for Washington’s big yawn over the people’s plea for sweeping reform is that our lawmakers do not personally feel the financial pain and emotional distress that are inflicted on millions of regular Americans by a system built on private greed. After all, their health needs are met by a double-dose of the socialistic care that they so furiously deny to our families.

First, they are given big taxpayer-subsidies to cover the cost of their insurance with you and me paying about 72 percent of the price. But, second, there’s a secretive medical center located right in the US Capitol building that provides a full-blown system of—shhhhh—healthcare socialism to our governing elites.

Called the OAP (Office of the Attending Physician), it provides a complete range of free medical service for lawmakers. No appointment needed and no waiting—they walk in and doctors, nurses, technicians, pharmacists and other professionals tend to them right away. No need to show an insurance card, and they never get a bill, but they do get what a former OAP staffer calls, “The best healthcare on the planet.” Thus, members feel no urgency to restructure a system that’s working beautifully—for them.

So, to get good care for all of us, we might start by taking away the pampered care that lawmakers have quietly awarded to themselves.

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Populist author, public speaker and radio commentator Jim Hightower writes The Hightower Lowdown, a monthly newsletter chronicling the ongoing fights by America’s ordinary people against rule by plutocratic elites. Sign up at www.hightowerlowdown.org.

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