Health Problems are Largely Manufactured

In his article, “Hillary Clinton Sugarcoating Her Disastrous Voting Record” [3/15/16 TPP], Ralph Nader correctly enumerates the long list of abuses Americans are subject to by our corporatized health(?)care industry.

In order to make medical fees we pay so much higher than in the rest of the  world two things were necessary: 1) Prevent  a single-payer system in our country. 2) create a shortage of medical providers, most importantly physicians, so that the laws of demand and supply would work for the medical providers, for all  practical purposes eliminating the element of competition and, given the urgency of obtaining medical help, even outrageous fees charged by medical providers and by pharmaceutical companies who manipulated the market would be paid. 

How did the medical establishment create an artificial shortage doctors and medical providers? How come we have approximately 50% less physicians and hospital beds than other industrialized nations?

How come today home calls exist only in black-and -white movies, home calls which often prevent a costly visit to the ER?

When my wife recently visited her sister in Germany she suddenly felt sick with elevated temperature. When she asked her sister to make an appointment at the clinic, her sister indignantly replied: “With your temperature the doctor must come to you!” Indeed, within 30-45 minutes a physician on call came to see her, diagnosed her and gave her a prescription.for antibiotics for which she paid (full price) about $4. 

The artificial shortage which initiated the present crisis was made possible by reducing admissions to medical schools to the point that we have today over 400 people per doctor while other industrialized nations have 180 to 250 people per doctor in a single-payer system which covers dental care and a wide range of rehabilitation programs we

The consequences of this manipulated shortage go beyond excessive charges; it created a vacuum in rural areas where doctors will not go, like in the Midwest or here in the rural Carolinas. When President Obama spoke to the congregation of the African-American church in Charleston, S.C., he mentioned that some people in the Carolina Lowlands never in their lives saw a doctor.What this country urgently needs is not only a single-payer system but to provide funds to raise the numerus clausus, the low ceiling on admissions to the medical schools. 

Paul Saman
Asheville, N.C

Lyons No Progressive

I am a faithful reader of The Progressive Populist and enjoy your journal immensely. However, I must complain about the columns of Gene Lyons who is nothing more than a cheerleader for Hillary Clinton and a Bernie Sanders basher. If I wanted that kind of “journalism,” I would tune into the mainstream media instead of subscribing to your publication. 

Lots of people like Lyons just don’t understand the political revolution that is happening in the USA due to the candidacy of Bernie Sanders. I support Lyons’ right to vote for whomever he chooses, but his smears of Bernie are just ridiculous and simply not accurate.

Millions of Americans like myself are fed up with business as usual and we understand that the Washington establishment, along with their corporate backers, have screwed 99% of WE THE PEOPLE. They have provided perpetual war while the middle class is dying, the working class is struggling, we have too many people in prison and the planet is in peril. This is not the time to vote for a candidate who supports interventionist wars in foreign lands, was an enthusiastic member of the Walmart board and backs frackers, free traders and banksters.  

No, Hillary Clinton is NOT a progressive and pretending she is is an insult to Bernie Sanders who has never taken a penny from lobbyists and voted against the Iraq war, NAFTA, the TPP, bailing out the big banks and all the other fatal mistakes that the Republicans and their enablers like Hillary Clinton have given us. 

If you can’t join this revolution, get out of our way (and don’t pretend you are a “progressive”).

Mark Deats
New City, N.Y.

What’s Bernie Sanders’ End-Game?

Suppose that Bernie Sanders ultimately prevails and is nominated for President. Against Donald Trump, he wins overwhelmingly. The Senate becomes majority Democratic (but not 60 senators). The Democrats get more votes for Representatives to Congress, but Republican gerrymandering means that Republicans remain barely a majority. What a wonderful dream!

After his inauguration, Bernie proposes that the wealthy finally pay their fair share of taxes, by increasing rates on hedge fund managers and other high income earners. Then Mitch McConnell says, “No.”

What does Bernie do then?

The perfect is the enemy of the good. In real life we have to give up some things we believe are important to get other things which are also important. The strength of Hillary Clinton is that she already knows the back doors and side deals necessary to getting anything done in Washington these days. Now that she has embraced Bernie’s agenda, it is time to rally behind her to defeat the Republicans and more toward a stronger and fairer society.

To doubters, you may recall that Barack Obama was elected on a mission of hope and change. He foundered against the Republican policy of “no” until he learned how to play the Washington game to get some things done for the American people. We don’t need a Bambi Sanders to thrash around for two years before he learns how to manage the levers of power.

Hillary Clinton has been warned and she is now motivated. If she is elected and then turns her back on us — well, Democrats can have a destructive Trump moment, too.

Frank L. Schneider
Chicago, Ill.

Donald Trump Backers Are Not All Racists

So-called expert Heather Digby Parton (“No Denying Trump Campaign of Hate,” 4/1/16 TPP) maintains that because 38% of Trump voters in South Carolina wish the South had won the Civil War then this view makes them all racists.

Really? I can guarantee that 99.9% of Frenchman if asked today would say they wish their side had won the battle of Agincourt (1415) – that doesn’t make them racists either. This isn’t analysis – it’s total garbage!

When are subscribers to TPP going to get some intelligent commentary from smart working-class writers instead of bunkum by the champagne socialist chatterati?

Ted Newcomen
Chestertown, Md.

Don’t Hate Trump Backers

We are a long time subscribers to TPP. We have never written you before but were very disturbed by your article about Donald Trump’s campaign of hatred. It seems to us that the article does exactly what it accuses Donald Trump of doing by calling his supporters bullies, bigots and xenophobes  Is someone a xenophobe because they do not want illegal immigration? Is it a campaign of hate when you stand up to media and corporations, including pharmaceutical  corporations? As far as the KKK, is it a politicians job to vouch for the beliefs of his votes and turn away votes that our cast legally. In many ways Donald Trump is a very courageous politician, even if you don’t agree with all of his views. He is the first to challenge the status quo  in big ways and can’t be bought. From TPP we would expect a more thoughtful and balanced article. Thank you

Morton Shane M.D. and Mary Shane M.D.
Laguna Niguel, Calif.

Keep America Safe

Bill Johnston’s “Immigration is Still Making America Great” [2/1/16 TPP] makes a good point where he said, “Thousands and thousands of Goths (Germans) flooded the Roman Empire in the 4th century A.D. Today those folks are Italians.”

Yes, Bill, those Goths did flood the Roman Empire and in 376 AD it was no more. [Editor’s note: Rome fell to the Goths in 476 but the Eastern Empire based in Constantinople lasted until 1453.] Is that what you want to see, thousands and thousands of Muslims flood America? You must know the Muslim end goal is to conquer the world. Read the Quran and the Hadith for reference. Do you want America to be no more? Think before you write. If you so love the Muslims, then why don’t you immigrate to Syria, or for that matter, Iran and become one of them.

Many are like Bill in these United States—uneducated. The masses need to be educated before it’s too late.

Dave Weimer
Burlington, Iowa

Don’t Send Abortions Back to the Alleys

Re: “Abortions, Without Any Regrets” by Connie Schultz [4/1/16 TPP]. Before abortion became legal, I worked as an orderly at the Los Angeles General Hospital. During those years, I saw dozens of teenage girls and young women die from self-administered or back alley abortions.

Most were poor blacks or poor Latinas. Some were white, but also poor. Rich girls didn’t have to die, or become unwilling mothers when they got “into trouble.” Instead, they simply took a “vacation” where abortion was legal. And — presto!  Money performed its magic.

I am a card-carrying member of Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and NOW. 

In addition to screening poor women for female health issues such as breast and cervical cancer, those organizations also work to make certain that our society never forgets the blatant injustices and transparent hypocrisy that were all too common before Roe vs. Wade.

David Quintero
Monrovia, Calif.

From The Progressive Populist, May 1, 2016


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