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Written by an American Expat who holds an M.B.A. degree living in Germany!

My email address is:

The German mainstream magazine the Spiegel in its English language edition yesterday published an article which this diary attempts to review, wherein we see a detailed discussion of the bewilderment and baffling confusion, which has engulfed the citizens of the largest economy in Europe, which has become the number 3 exporting nation in the world, as to how it is that thinking civilized people in the 2012 American election may oppose the sensible and indeed minimal health care reforms proposed by the Obama administration from being effectuated fully across America.  

Spiegel quote:
Premature death rates are 68 percent higher in the US than in the best-performing countries. As many as 91,000 fewer people would die prematurely if the US could achieve the leading country rate, the report said. Instead, the study notes that "access to healthcare significantly eroded since 2006," with more than 81 million working-age adults -- some 44 percent of those aged 19 to 64 -- uninsured or underinsured in 2010. This was an increase of 35 percent from 2003 levels.
Let's be clear about just one thing please, it is believed that while 57,000 Americans lost their lives in the Vietnam War, that the nation has remembered their passing with memorials. Yet this writer notes that no such memorials have been built across America to note the passing of the 91,000 dead Americans, who've passed unnecessarily according to the OECD report cited above, simply because they didn't have access to medical type insurance or other types of coverage. To be clear every life lost is important and marks a personal tragedy to the nation which must, can and should be recognized. This must be prevented in the future by immediate universal medical coverage for all Americans as a human right from cradle to grave, just like in every other major industrialized country in the world today. Let's be clear that these 91,000 dead Americans are our brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, fathers and mothers. They are the guy or gal next door. They are human beings who have needlessly suffered and died in the richest country on earth! Because they couldn't get healthcare access. Please help us stop this needless tragedy this election year.

Spiegel quote:
In Germany, PEOPLE ARE BAFFLED by how hostile a country as religious as the United States can be to the principle of mandatory healthcare insurance. Not even conservatives question the system, which business people say gives Europe's largest economy a competitive advantage.
Let's be clear from an American expat's perspective who is living in Germany, not only is it clear that this is baffled the people in Germany who find themselves in a complete state of bewilderment in attempts to understand how it is that the American people can allow this senseless medical tragedy to go on, even to 2012, but that profound bewilderment and confusion is shared by civilized people all across the European Union, who in this regard have come to see America as a de facto pariah state, which has been taken over by the Tea Party led politics that has through the plutocrat owned media so brainwashed the American people into adopting right wing politics, that this needless tragedy of medical indigency is allowed to continue as a recognizable badge of international shame!
Spiegel quote:
As the United States Supreme Court considers whether requiring people to have health insurance is unconstitutional, GERMANS ARE BEWILDERED
 as to why so many Americans appear to be against universal coverage.
Spiegel quote:
They also question the continued portrayal of US President Barack Obama and his health reform backers as socialists and communists, noting that healthcare was introduced in Germany in the 19th century by Otto von Bismarck, who was definitely not a leftist, and is supported by conservative and pro-business politicians today.
He wears his economic exploitation and lack of health care as brain washed badge of pride.

Just because he with that steely eyed gaze says he doesn't blame Wall Street doesn't mean we can't. We aren't brainwashed he is. Here it is also important to note that the Germans and other people in the E.U. who have not been brain washed by the U.S. media find this type of behavior baffling as they don't fully understand to what extent the plutocrat owned media is brainwashing right wing America. His being brain washed is therefore his reaction to denigrating the weaker members of society? If so that doesn't have to be our reaction. In America though we are surrounded by economic intolerance yet we ourselves can be tolerant! We don't have to buy into brainwashed thinking telling us we are only good Americans if, we are economically exploited by Wall Street. Where in we are brought to the point of having to praise our very oppressors for overworking us without access to medical care.


Spiegel quote:
Marini and others say that mandated coverage is something that is simply not questioned in Germany. Furthermore, even the most pro-market politicians wouldn't dare to dismantle the country's health insurance system.
Even right wing politicians across Germany endorse the German standard of medical care access and cost containment in a clear posture where the US spends about 16% of GNP and doesn't cover some 59 million Americans. While in Germany everyone is covered and they spend about 8 or 9% of GNP.  
Spiegel quote:
But in the US, which spends more than any other developed nation on healthcare, an increasing number of businesses are "less competitive globally because of ballooning healthcare costs," according to an article published by the Council on Foreign Relations in March. Indeed, despite the ample spending on healthcare, the system remains inefficient, and the US ranks with Turkey and Mexico as the only members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) without universal heath coverage, it adds.
Let's be clear the free market for profit American medical insurance system is not able to exported to any country outside of the US, because every other major industrialized nation in the world recognizes the US health care system as a failed model.

Spiegel quote:
Don't Religious Americans Love Their Neighbors?

"For me the US is a very religious country. It doesn't matter which religion I look at -- love thy neighbor is a very, very important point in religion," health insurance spokesperson Marini says. For her, the apparent deep religiousness of many Americans doesn't jibe with their unwillingness to be part of a healthcare community.

The truth is American religiosity does not jibe with what right wing religious people espouse, because they are quite frankly ridden with hypocrisy! Therefore their actions appear to be inconsistent and bewildering only to those who do not accept their actions as being frankly fraudulent. Whether religious or not decent moral people do not comport themselves this way. So it is that the GOP led class warfare is neither decent nor moral. They are happy to grab onto any sophistry, even if it bankrupts the nation just to enrich themselves and their friends, whom they depend on to grow ever richer.  
Spiegel quote:
Politician Wolfgang Zöller, a member of Bavaria's conservative Christian Social Union party, argues that Christian principles support a national healthcare system and both are compatible with capitalism.

He wonders how a working class man with a family who doesn't have insurance pays for an operation when he becomes sick.

"The question of health insurance is a humane question," he says. "I want every person -- independent of age, independent of income or pre-existing conditions -- to have the possibility to be helped when he is sick."

American readers should note that the CDU Christian Democratic Union is Germany's most conservative party, as part of the CDU/CSU Conservative party coalition, and as such there are no major parties to the right in German politics. Clearly German conservatives agree with universal medical being an acceptable conservative principle. This is mirrored by conservative political parties all across the European Union, which has an economy and population that is larger than in the United States. As such we should recognize that the for profit American medical system has nothing to do with conservative political principles but rather has everything to do with the fact the GOP is a wholly owned subsidiary of the for profit American medical insurance industry to whom they are beholdened.  
Spiegel quote:
But that is not happening in the United States, according to numerous statistics.

The US ranks last out of 16 industrialized countries on a measure of deaths that might have been prevented with timely and effective care, according to a study released last year by the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that supports independent healthcare research. Germany was in ninth place, according to the "National Scorecard on US Health Performance."

"Otherwise you're left with the famous saying, 'the poor die young.' And I don't want that."

Right wing America and their Tea party minions are always happy to push and extol the virtues of individual responsibility purely to keep from practicing any reasonable collective responsibility in their zero sum game. While they can have their own opinion, they cannot have their own facts. The fact is the individual if made responsible for everything cannot ever fully leverage economies of scale. For this we must be able to exercise collective responsibility. Concurrently collective responsibility also allows us to provide for reasonable cost containment in medical inflation. That's why we need everyone in the pool to garner economies of scale and cost containment. We need universal medical access as a cradle to grave human right for every American today.  

We should also note with a spirit of righteous indignation that given the so called free market approach in the American medical system that this has substantially reinforced worker insecurity. This keeps workers cowed and obedient, as job loss in America also comes with the loss of medical insurance for people with employer based medical care. By contrast in the European Union it's impossible to lose access to medical care due to job loss. As such it creates a more empowered socially stable working class, which creates a more stable affluent egalitarian society.  

To win in America all we have to do is to care about each other and stick together!
If we are looking for change we must look to the Occupy movement to provide that peaceful nonviolent approach to change in helping to elect better progressive politicians to public office. The Occupy movement and the American unions are the last great hope of the American working class dream!!

(I'd like to invite you to follow me at the Daily Kos (or on Twitter.) Just click on the link below. Thank you. )


Also I'd like to invite you to follow the Class Warfare newsletter group at the Daily Kos.

Originally posted to Democrats Ramshield on Sat May 12, 2012 at 05:56 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement and Global Expats.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (110+ / 0-)

    sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

    by Democrats Ramshield on Sat May 12, 2012 at 05:56:33 AM PDT

  •  I would like nothing more than the opportunity (35+ / 0-)

    to truly engage with a group of Germans asking questions like these (müßte eigentlich möglich sein, wenn ich sie finden könnte).

    Very often the views that puzzle them so are far more concerned with dramatic political advantage than they are with any sort of Christian compliance. Most extreme Christian wings  care nothing for 'doing unto others' in any positive way. They are far more interested in punitive engagement.

    Perhaps Germans might like to read stories like this, 'I'm Christian Unless You're Gay' in Dan Pearce's marvelous blog.

    It isn't about loving one's neighbor, it is about justifying hatred and discrimination and radical social injustice. Thank goodness this phenomenon really ISN'T seen so much in Germany or the rest of the world. If only it didn't exist here, either.

    Thanks, DR, schön gemacht!

    "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT

    by BeninSC on Sat May 12, 2012 at 06:15:14 AM PDT

  •  And surely you saw the diary to that 53% guy? (18+ / 0-)

    One of the finest and most important diaries I have ever seen posted here, by Max Udargo. Open Letter to that 53% Guy.

    Was meinten die Deutschen dazu? ;)

    "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT

    by BeninSC on Sat May 12, 2012 at 06:24:11 AM PDT

  •  So they don't understand America (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that's their issue. If they really want to understand let them learn about the society a ltitle more and  stop judging by their own culture and standards.

    Employer provided health insurance is the long established system in the US and people are accustomed to it.  it works for the majority of the population. People do not want to change from something that works for them. What is so hard to understand about that?

    Change is frightening, why wouldn't it be scary to change something that is so important and is basically working for the majority of the population. What is so hard to understand about it.

    There's lots of things Americans don't understand about Germany either but they're not constantly writing articles about it and saying Germany should be doing things their way.

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Sat May 12, 2012 at 06:55:15 AM PDT

    •  Pretty much every statement in your post (17+ / 0-)

      is factually wrong.

      Painting the ivory tower beige.

      by ProfessorWho on Sat May 12, 2012 at 06:58:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  really? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        phillies, Utahrd

        "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

        by eXtina on Sat May 12, 2012 at 07:06:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry, I have better things to do than educate (18+ / 0-)

          you at this time. It's my weekend, after all. But a few Google searches might serve you well. Speaking as a person who regularly travels to Germany and lives with Germans, I will just say this: Germans know FAR more about Americans than Americans know about any other nation.

          Painting the ivory tower beige.

          by ProfessorWho on Sat May 12, 2012 at 07:10:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  you're right I'm convinced (0+ / 0-)
            than Americans know about any other nation.
            what's this got to do with the conversation?

            go ahead and dispute recent polls if you like, saying they're not true doesn't make it so.

            it sounds like you don't even know what the discussion is about

            "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

            by eXtina on Sat May 12, 2012 at 07:16:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  you have better things to do than read (0+ / 0-)

            facts as well that contradict your opinion

            The recent Reason-Rupe poll provides a closer look at the current health care market. 87 percent of Americans report they are covered by health insurance, and 13 percent say they are not. Among those covered by health insurance, a clear majority (63 percent) access health insurance through their employer. 10 percent purchase plans individually, 17 percent have Medicare, and 6 percent are enrolled in Medicaid.

            Most Americans report high levels of satisfaction with the health care they receive, with 58 percent satisfied and 23 percent dissatisfied with their health care.

            Satisfaction with health care is highest among those with Medicare, with 73 percent satisfied and 16 dissatisfied.  Those with employer-provided plans also report high levels (65 percent) of satisfaction with their health care. 53 percent among those on Medicaid report satisfaction with health care, and 27 percent are dissatisfied.

            "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

            by eXtina on Sat May 12, 2012 at 07:24:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  extina cites Koch brothers web site (17+ / 0-)

              The website is part of the Reason Foundation which describes itself as a libertarian think tank group. According to Reason's website one of the prominent people serving on its board of trustees are the Koch brothers. Nothing credible there.

              "Better to fight for something than live for nothing." - George S. Patton

              by tinhut on Sat May 12, 2012 at 07:39:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Republicans that like to smoke dope (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                radical simplicity

                Libertarians are Republicans that like to smoke dope.

                A quick check of shows they are against the drug war, against US military intervention overseas, against the murder of Kelly Thomas and they are Sort-Of in favor of marriage equality.  Reason doesn't think that the government should regulate any aspect of marriage.

              •  . (0+ / 0-)
                Despite rising costs, a majority of U.S. workers say they are very satisfied with their employer-provided health care benefits.

                Further, most workers consider the health plan to be their most important benefit, and they have little interest in
                purchasing coverage on their own.

                These are among the major findings in a nationwide survey of U.S. workers released by the National Business Group on Health, a nonprofit association of 266 large U.S.
                According to the survey, two in three respondents (67 percent) consider their health plan to be excellent or very good. An even greater number (75 percent) value the health plan as the most important benefit versus 14 percent who consider a retirement savings plan to be most important.


                "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

                by eXtina on Sat May 12, 2012 at 02:07:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Questions not asked (4+ / 0-)

              Like, "Would you switch to a public or government-run health plan if it a) did not restrict your access to the medical professionals of your choice, b) cost less in premiums, co-pays, and out-of-pocket expenses, and c) simplified billing?"

              My current, employer-provided healthcare is a nightmare.  The premiums and co-pays keep rising, the billing is byzantine (and often incorrect), and after 15 years, the clinic and hospital system we had been using is now "out-of-network," and we have to start all over with a new set of doctors and clinics.

              Am I "satisfied?"  As opposed to what?  Being uninsured?  Well, yeah.  As opposed to Medicare for all, with the buying power of the government and 130,000,000 customers helping to control prices?  Not so much.

              It all depends on what questions are being asked, how they are worded and -- most importantly -- what's being left out.

              "There isn't a way things should be. There's just what happens, and what we do." — Terry Pratchett (A Hat Full of Sky)

              by stormicats on Sat May 12, 2012 at 05:26:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oy (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Calamity Jean

                "Out of Network," for doctors, and "No longer in the formulary," for medications, are the two most insidious ways of denying care. All the others are more blatant, but these are a bit more indirect - basically forcing you to end continuity of care and/or stop using the medications that have been known to work for your problem.

                I've got one medication that they suddenly won't pay for, even though I've been successfully using this one medication for 25 years, because a different one that has never worked for me in that same 25 years, hasn't failed for me in the last 130 days. But, of course, they won't count the failure during the 3 weeks that I've been on it, because they're already in the middle of discussions with my physician about one that works.

                [expletive deleted]ers

        •  IMHO quoting from a... (7+ / 0-)

          ...libertarian website/magazine doesn't really further your argument. Nick Gillespie is a lunatic. Just saying.

          OVER HERE: AN AMERICAN EXPAT IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE, is now available on Amazon US

          by Lupin on Sat May 12, 2012 at 08:50:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  go ahead and post the surveys showing (0+ / 0-)

            massive dissatisfaction with the current employer provided insurance system. AFter you've done that, provide the logical explanation for why the majority of people would be against fixing something they're massively dissatisfied with

            "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

            by eXtina on Sat May 12, 2012 at 01:19:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        • is (11+ / 0-)

          a bunch of libertarians who think SS is a pyramid scheme. They claim everyone would be better off with private accounts. Among other things.

          You will not make your case here by citing them.

          Perhaps if people knew a little more about how universal single payer systems work, they would understand that we are being ripped off. Even people like me who have employer-provided "Cadillac" insurance policies face co-pays and deductibles that can be significant. Those with less-comprehensive policies often face out of pocket costs that can easily bankrupt them if they or a family member become seriously ill.

          A large percentage of people who are happy with their insurance coverage are that way because they have never used it much.

          "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

          by happy camper on Sat May 12, 2012 at 09:43:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes! (5+ / 0-)
            A large percentage of people who are happy with their insurance coverage are that way because they have never used it much.
            Yes! There's no particular reason to be dissatisfied as long as the health insurance system is an insignificant part of your life.

            The relevant question is not, "Are you satisfied at this moment?" but "How satisfied would you be if you had a major illness? Especially one that caused you to lose your job and with it, your health coverage?"

            •  Many people have no idea. (5+ / 0-)

              Their policy lets them take their kids to the doc for minor stuff with a small copay, but they don't know that there are limits on the amount the company will pay for the big stuff. They only find out after their kid has to spend time in the hospital or requires expensive treatment and they get the bill.

              "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

              by happy camper on Sat May 12, 2012 at 11:31:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  so they have no incentive to change (0+ / 0-)

              why is this so bewildering to Germans?

              Yes! There's no particular reason to be dissatisfied as long as the health insurance system is an insignificant part of your life.
              what's so hard to understand?

              "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

              by eXtina on Sat May 12, 2012 at 01:20:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What's hard to understand (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                UniC, aliasalias

                Americans will clamor and raise arms against public health care without the slightest clue about it. They're willing to put in the effort to make a great hue and cry, but not the effort to find out what they're gnashing their teeth about.

                It's hard to understand why so many people are so willfully and forcefully ignorant about something so basic and uncomplicated.

    •  I have to keep reminding the Germans (21+ / 0-)

      that I talk to over here in Germany that the only Americans who are against health care reform are the CEOs of health insurance companies and the ignorant people who do not see through the propaganda coming from the same health insurance companies.

      This better be good. Because it is not going away.

      by DerAmi on Sat May 12, 2012 at 07:00:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They might be interested to learn that real health (9+ / 0-)

      care reform is going on at the edges...

      Your Turn: The best choice for health insurance is a single-payer system
      Special to the Union Leader
      Published Apr 23, 2012 at 3:00 am (Updated Apr 22, 2012)
    •  The right wing IS constantly (21+ / 0-)

      writing articles about how terrible the care is in Europe.  We wouldn't want any Americans getting ideas about universal health care, now would we?  

      Your contention that employer based health care is basically working for the majority of the population leaves me baffled.
      What about when someone loses their job?  What about if their job doesn't offer insurance?  What if they want to change careers but can't because they are scared to lose health coverage?  What about the umpty millions of Americans who have no where to go but sit in an emergency room?  

      I don't think this system is defensible.  

      It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

      by Radiowalla on Sat May 12, 2012 at 07:14:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the point is the MAJORITY have (0+ / 0-)

        employer based health insurance and are satisfied with it as per the above link. why is it so hard for Germans to undrstand that the MAJORITY are satisfied with what works for them. The people with employer provided insurance  do NOT care about the individuals who are dropping out of the system by losing their job. That is the minority. Do they really find it so difficult to understand that people only care about themselves?

        "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

        by eXtina on Sat May 12, 2012 at 07:19:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  To eXtina - Any original thinking here? (8+ / 0-)

          Are you only ever able to repeat the Fox News talking points here or do you actually have any thoughts of your own on this subject?  

          sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

          by Democrats Ramshield on Sat May 12, 2012 at 07:23:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Really? Fox News said 'people only care (0+ / 0-)

            about themselves? When was that?

            Why do Germans find it so hard to understand that Americans are selfish?

            "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

            by eXtina on Sat May 12, 2012 at 07:29:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  So it's not true that most people have and (0+ / 0-)

            are satisfied with employer provided health insurance? Please provide some statistics.

            "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

            by eXtina on Sat May 12, 2012 at 07:30:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's wonderful, eh? (7+ / 0-)

              And your employer pays 100% of your medical costs, no matter how high them become, so you're never in danger of going bankrupt after getting hundreds of thousands of medical bills?

              The real stats show that more and more Americans who are covered by just the sort of plan you think is so wonderful are in fact forgoing diagnosis and treatment because of the high expense of using that insurance. What good is "insurance" if you can't get treatment when you need it because the deductible and copay are so high?

              •  I do not think it's wonderful (0+ / 0-)

                Americans for the most part are satisfied with it therefore are averse to change.

                Please post some 'real' stats. The ones I posted are only two months old.

                "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

                by eXtina on Sat May 12, 2012 at 09:03:26 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The only "satisfied" Americans... (5+ / 0-)

                  are the ones with their heads in the sand... until they have a REAL HEALTH ISSUE and have to fight against the profit-not-health insurance co. who denies paying their medical bills... per their own contracts.

                  They make more money denying care than providing = NOT HEALTH CARE.

                  American can do better.  Stop the dying and needless pain.
                  Stop people losing houses - not only to bankers greed - but health insurance GREED.

                  •    If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. --Bishop Desmond Tutu

          •  any original thinking anywhere in this (0+ / 0-)

            Diary? When did that become a criterion

            "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

            by eXtina on Sat May 12, 2012 at 01:06:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  A shrinking majority (13+ / 0-)

          I nominally supervise a unit of part time elementary school lunch monitors, and of the seven of us, three have health insurance - due only to the fact that we have spouses with full time jobs that have employer sponsored health insurance.

          A decade or so ago, it was still SOP for part time school employees to have the same benefit package as teachers and central office administrators. Privatizing part timers such as food service, bus drivers, certain custodial/maintenance positions, school based nursing, etc. have led to tens of thousands of previously well-insured employees to join the ranks of the under-uninsured or uninsured. A couple of my colleagues have two other jobs which have them working more than 60 hours a week - and don't "qualify" for health insurance at any employer.  

          When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

          by Egalitare on Sat May 12, 2012 at 08:15:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  How do you define (4+ / 0-)

          "satisfied with it"? Are you automatically removing from the equation those who go bankrupt from medical bills even though they are supposedly covered?

        •  Except it doesn't: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          -Healthcare linked to your job is extremely insecure.  
          -Small business is struggling with the cost, so if they engine of our economy is small business, healthcare costs are strangling them
          -Employer healthcare is becoming more and more expensive  for both the employer and the employee
          -Healthcare costs are causing employers to discriminate against older workers
          -Our system causes even insured people to ignore serious health issues due the fear of the pre-existing conditions clause in their health care policies.

          You clearly rely on bad sources of information, have a REAL conversation about health care with anyone in the areas listed and you would actually learn something.  

          Our system works for no one but the insurance companies.

          To answer the question regarding WHY Americans are against Health Care Reform, I will give you a couple of big reasons:

          -Ignorance based on our propaganda based information system.  Our information about our own system and those of other countries is distorted and wrong. Americans pay 3X's to 10X's more for everything and get lousy results.
          -Racism, our system discriminates against the poor and the unemployed and those people are disproportionately people of color.    A large portion of the White population against Obamacare and Single payer are on Medicare, a government funded system.  They live off the principal that I have mine so screw you.

          •  conversations are not data (0+ / 0-)

            "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

            by eXtina on Sat May 12, 2012 at 01:09:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And you know what they say about unverifed (3+ / 0-)


              An unsophisticated forecaster uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts - for support rather than for illumination.
              •  random conversations are more relevant though (0+ / 0-)

                "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

                by eXtina on Sat May 12, 2012 at 01:22:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  They are not random, they verify what has (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  COBALT1928, Tam in CA, lostinamerica

                  been said to our legislators in town halls across this country.  I sat in on several Obama health care focus groups while we were debating health care legislation and the stories would break the average persons heart.  The cross section of people was the most interesting part, small business owners, people who had health care through their employer, people that were self-employed and people that were unemployed, people on Medicare.  I lived in a wealthy community so what I heard wasn't even the worst of it but what I heard is that health care is not working for the average American, it is not even working for the average health care provider.  It works for our legislators(who have the gold standard in health care),it works for the rich(who don't rely on it) it works for those on Medicare and it works for the insurance companies, it sounds as if that was your sample pool in the "data" so for them 78% is a good number.  

                  •  I've had just as many conversations that lead me (0+ / 0-)

                    to believe people are satisfied with employer health insurance. Typically one gets flayed flogged and burned at the stake here for trying to use personal conversations as data to prove a point.

                    There is nothing to indicate your examples are not the exception.

                    Interesting theory that surveys are useless. (unless they support your position?) I guess all those politicians are throwing away their money on polling data. Or beware of using such data to draft legislation.

                    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

                    by eXtina on Sat May 12, 2012 at 02:18:45 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Personally, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean

          I can't speak for "the Germans" (and Der Spiegel can't either, unless they commissioned a costly large-scale poll for that one measly story, which I doubt). On a fully egoistical position, I'd say I'd rather have the safety of being insured even if failing to land a job right after college, if let go from a job, if the company I work for goes bankrupt, etc pp. While I don't mind my fellow Germans enjoying the same, I needn't be altruistic to support healthcare for everyone.

          Freedom is not just a word. 'Freedom' is a noun.

          by intruder from Old Europe on Sat May 12, 2012 at 05:49:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  To Radiowalla - Good comment (13+ / 0-)

        Look, someone is always going to log on to diaries like this one and repeat the Fox News talking points.

        Here are the simple facts. First, you are right, Americans pay more for medical and don't live as long. The system is broken and everyone knows it. Please keep the great comments coming. Thank you for your support of health care reform.

        sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

        by Democrats Ramshield on Sat May 12, 2012 at 07:20:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If extina is correct (8+ / 0-)

          that " people only care about themselves,"  then the rationale for reform must be framed in terms of self-interest.  

          "Your tax dollars are going to laggards who won't buy health insurance.  If we require them to do the responsible thing and pay something towards their own care, then we and our children won't get stuck with their bills."

          If it appeals to the right wing to force welfare recipients to work, wouldn't it also appeal to them to require individuals to take responsibility for their own health coverage?  

          And, furthermore, for all you lovers of free enterprise:  "why not unshackle American business from the burden of providing health care for its workers?  Let business stick with doing business,  free from the cost and hassle of providing health insurance.  Let American companies compete!"

          And so on...

          (thanx for your diary!)

          It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

          by Radiowalla on Sat May 12, 2012 at 07:43:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well it would and it did (4+ / 0-)

            before Obama came out in favor of it, since mandated purchase of private insurance policies is originally a right wing idea.

            •  And ain't that rich?! (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              COBALT1928, Calamity Jean

              They have real chutzpah to back away from their own positions.  

              It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

              by Radiowalla on Sat May 12, 2012 at 09:43:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  And on any other issue (4+ / 0-)

              ... they'd be screaming bloody murder about picking up the tab for someone else's service, but their big comeback when you point out the huge numbers of uninsured is: "Nobody goes without health care in this country; hospitals have to take you at the emergency room." And while we can't raise taxes or impose regulations on business because "they'll just move away or raise their prices and take it out on consumers," they don't seem to care that we all pay higher premiums and higher hospital costs because poor folks are forced to use the ER as a doctor's office.

              I feel like banging my head against a wall when I encounter the kind of cognitive dissonance tolerance it takes to be a conservative in this country, but then until just a couple of months ago, when my new employer's 90-day waiting period was up, I couldn't afford the doctor bill for the head injury because I didn't have insurance, and if the insurance company determined that previous head-bangings made it a pre-existing condition, I still have another month to go before that would be covered (the joys of working for an employer who self-insures and is thus grandfathered out of the health care law and its provisions on pre-existing-conditions coverage, especially since I have no health issues except pre-existing ones; still, on the off chance I get hit by a car or break a leg or lose a tooth in a bar fight, I can at least now, after more than a year without, get some medical or dental care).

              •  Except it isn't true. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                stormicats, Calamity Jean, Val

                If I go into the ER with ankle pain, at most what I will get out of it is a scan that shows that I have in fact gone ahead and entirely torn through that ligament. And an Aircast. And a referral to the PRIVATE orthopedic clinic.

                And a bill for a couple thousand dollars.

                That's stabilizing treatment, but not full treatment. Real treatment in my case is probably a surgery to graft a tendon in place of the ligament I've torn.

                I can order an Aircast online myself for thirty bucks. So I am doing so, and will wear it until I can afford to go to the orthopedic clinic and say, "This ankle is screwed up. Please give formal medical definition of "screwed up" and formulate a surgical treatment plan." Which is going to require insurance.

                When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

                by Alexandra Lynch on Sat May 12, 2012 at 03:48:14 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Employer based health insurance is terrible. (17+ / 0-)

      There is no logical reason whatsoever why insurance coverage must be tied to employment.  It's coercive, and that's bad.

      It arose out of a way to compensate for wage controls in the Great Depression.  There are better systems, and we should promote good systems.

      -7.75 -4.67

      "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

      There are no Christians in foxholes.

      by Odysseus on Sat May 12, 2012 at 08:01:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wrong! (14+ / 0-)

      Employer health insurance does not work for the majority of the population. And I say this as someone who worked for 30 years as a consultant to business on employee benefits and compensation. The attachment of health care to employment has always been problematic, and has gotten even more so as costs have risen.

      " a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy." Matt Taibbi

      by Getreal1246 on Sat May 12, 2012 at 08:04:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  not so different (0+ / 0-)

      Your employer-provided healthcare is actually not that different from the German system, which started similarly. Big companies used to have the option of running their own non-profit insurance companies for their workers, which were often cheaper that plans available for the general populace. Only quite recently were those opened to everyone, and mandatory insurance introduced.
      The bigger difference is that German non-profit insurers charge a percentage of income instead of a risk-based individual rate.

      There's lots of things Americans don't understand about Germany either but they're not constantly writing articles about it and saying Germany should be doing things their way.
      But they do. I remember a lot of news stories from some years ago telling us our economy was failing because manufacturing was soooo yesterday and we'd better switch to a modern economy of banking and services only.
      Suggesting something is of course fine, as is rejecting advice.

      Freedom is not just a word. 'Freedom' is a noun.

      by intruder from Old Europe on Sat May 12, 2012 at 05:37:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why would an ex-Marine... (11+ / 0-)

    have to work two jobs to put himself through college? The post 9-11 G.I. Bill not only pays for your college but also pays for your housing.

    I had the old G.I. Bill which is not as generous, but it paid for my entire Bachelor's Degree and half my Master's.

    I call B.S.

  •  My German mother-in-law (13+ / 0-)

    who lives in America and has gone full RW nutso, constantly bemoans the evils of socialist medicine because her elderly mother in Germany had to wait one full year before being allowed to get cataract surgery. (In reality, the doctors wanted Ur-Omi to try a less invasive pharmaceutical method before resorting to surgery.)

    This same MIL is married to a Marine veteran and they both enjoy full medical benefits from the VA at taxpayer expense. But all hail, Fox News! Because America has the greatest healthcare system in the world!!

    Painting the ivory tower beige.

    by ProfessorWho on Sat May 12, 2012 at 06:55:55 AM PDT

  •  The Circus of Callousness and Derangement (10+ / 0-)

    at the SCOTUS PPACA arguments has further damaged the image of the United States, I am sure.  What was on display was a peculiarly American derangement and resistance to civilization, the worst part of being an American.

  •  Der Spiegel nails it on US spending (12+ / 0-)

    and progressives need to keep educating about this fact.  We don't HAVE to have a system of health care delivery that has at its heart insurance companies who shunt money off to CEO's instead of the community.

  •  It is not just healthcare (11+ / 0-)

    Unlike Germany, we terminate unemployment coverage and other forms of assistance, such as welfare, after an arbitrary time limit.

    The economic burden of our terribly inefficient healthcare system may push us into reform in that area eventually, even if the ACA is not upheld. But it would sure help if this change were also driven by compassion.

    •  By compassion? How quaint! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      COBALT1928, Calamity Jean

      It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

      by Radiowalla on Sat May 12, 2012 at 07:16:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Compassion also gets you to a better solution (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Radiowalla, Russgirl, Calamity Jean

        The current Republican proposals for fixing healthcare are just another example of what our whole healthcare system is, namely, a desperate attempt to get somebody else to pay. Insurers try to get another insurer to pay or get the money from the patient, by putting in high deductibles and co-pays. Similarly, Republicans want to cap the costs of healthcare for government by providing a fixed subsidy to healthcare consumers and then making said consumers cough up any shortfall. This reduces costs at least in the short run, although by not treating potentially serious conditions, you can have higher healthcare costs down the road. We need a solution that actually delivers care to people who need it, as well as contains costs. ACA is only a beginning step towards this, not nearly as good as what exists in other countries, but IMO better than nothing and much better than what the other party has in mind.

  •  One would think that Germans of all people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    would think twice before expressing revulsion at Americans not wanting to be forced do to things against their will by their government.

  •  The quoted statement of bewilderment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    misses the mark in my view.

     as to why so many Americans appear to be against universal coverage
    Are we, as a nation against universal coverage?

    No, I don't think that is true. In fact, everything in polling suggests that people would favor enshrinement into law of a right to full health coverage for all.

    That would be "universal" healthcare coverage.

    So, what is it that people do not like?

    The mandate - pure and simple.

    Which is not universal coverage - rather it is a mechanism to enforce extension of coverage. Leaving many millions still off the rolls of the covered / insured.

    The knee-jerk response by many of aversion to the chosen mechanism is, I would offer, emblematically American. It is viewed as an encroachment on an individual's choice.

    Now, I do not hold that view to be entirely meritorious or practical, not when we still embrace a system for underwriting health coverage which favors private insurers. But, it is thoroughly understandable - and on a policy basis easily cured.

    By single-payer. By a system that gives us cradle to grave coverage. Rather than a coercive system that threatens fines (whether enforceable or no) for non-participation in the private health insurance marketplace.

    Put simply, Americans do not like being told what to do.
    The mandate tells them what they must do.
    Hence, Americans do not like the mandate.

    Universal coverage on the other hand would be universally embraced - well, with the exception of AHIP and other vampires.

    •  individual choice (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      You have a point.

      In the US, you can choose whether to spend your money on health insurance, buy a house, or gamble it away in LasVegas. In Germany, we do not have that choice. We first pay for health insurance, and if the rest is insufficient to buy a house and a car, then that means we need to rent an appartment and ride the bus. I'm fine with that, but understand that healthy people who want a house badly might have a different view.

      Freedom is not just a word. 'Freedom' is a noun.

      by intruder from Old Europe on Sat May 12, 2012 at 06:08:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Germans seem a little naive and cluless (0+ / 0-)

    don't they know there is no independent non-corporate owned media in this country? Maybe they should do a little investigation before they start their constant finger wagging.

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Sat May 12, 2012 at 07:55:05 AM PDT

  •  religon explains most of it (4+ / 0-)
    In Germany, PEOPLE ARE BAFFLED by how hostile a country as religious as the United States can be to the principle of mandatory healthcare insurance.
    God decides who gets sick and who gets better, and logically the only people who get sick are people who've done something to deserve punishment, while those who get better do so because they've "changed their lives" and "found Jesus".

    More broadly and cynically, fundies and conservatives both love to reduce everything to personal morality: removing any collective or systemic responsibility for either the problem or its solution.  You don't have insurance because you're poor because you're lazy and/or stupid and aren't worth helping.  You have the best for-profit insurance money can buy because you're rich because you're disciplined and productive and are therefore valuable enough to spend money on.

    Both Martin Luther and John Calvin were big believers in natural inequality and that a Christian society should institutionalize this inequality.  Ergo, for the government to promote equality by providing services regardless of income (a proxy for worthiness) goes against God's will.

    What exactly did the Germans expect from a country first settled by religious fanatics?

  •  Americans think correctly that HC is unaffordable (0+ / 0-)

    based on their experience of for profit medicine and the media constantly bombards them with factoids confirming that. People on Medicare see the huge bills that the government pays and it just confirms the argument. I don't how much German doctors charge for procedures(I would guess it is similar) but the difference is that Germans expect the government to pay whereas in the USA people expect to pay their own bills.

    So who is more delusional?

  •  DR - You know I have great respect for you (6+ / 0-)

    Of course, Europeans do not understand an aversion to a human right that is universally established in modern Western nations and in other countries across the world.  It is totally and completely irrational to resist universal health care for citizens in a country that is essentially established for the general welfare and the good of the people.  Health care is a right.  Decades ago, in the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child, health care was among those rights.  Health care is not only the right of children, it is the right of adults in civilized systems (The US military, US Veterans Administration, France, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Scandinavia, etc.)   That the US is being held hostage by the Health Insurance industry and the people and the legislature allow this reprehensible system to continue to harm and kill Americans needlessly is one of the greatest faiures of this nation.  We must be very ashamed of it.  It is, as some would say, sinful.  It is shameful.

  •  Hypocritical Germans (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nchristine, ItsaMathJoke

    Germans are part of a monetary union that inflicts horrible austerity measures on the poorest states in that union. As part of the dictats coming from Germany, those states have been forced to dismantle health care for their citizens in a way that is much, much worse than anything we see in the USA. The organization Doctors Without Frontiers have commented that the health care crisis in such countries is akin to the 3rd world.

    If Germans are, as you say, dismayed by health care in the USA, they should look in the mirror to see how they treat the poorest in their own monetary union.

    There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

    by upstate NY on Sat May 12, 2012 at 08:19:19 AM PDT

    •  to upstate NY - you must be talking about Greece (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The problems in Greece are serious. It should however also be said that Greece only comprises on or about 1% of the economic activity in the Euro zone.

      Also please let's not forget that in Greece the top 1% of wealth holders were essentially allowed to bankrupt the country. This is precisely the scenario we are trying to avoid in America.

      Although Germany has allocated billions to help bailout Greece, it is unlikely that Germany would offer billions to bailout America, if we allow the top 1% of wealth holders to continue to bankrupt the United States so as to only enrich themselves and their friends,who they depend on to keep them wealthy.

      sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sat May 12, 2012 at 08:34:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Greece Portugal other places (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It has more than 1% of the economic activity in Europe, first of all. But secondly, the number of people are also greater than 1%--do the math.

        The point is, Germany's intransigent attitude and its use of vendor-financing schemes and beggar-thy-neighbor policies sends people into a world without safety nets. so why lecture the USA when in the USA at the very least we have Medicaid and fiscal transfers.

        Germany and Germans have absolutely no footing in ever moralizing to the USA.

        There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

        by upstate NY on Sat May 12, 2012 at 08:44:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  to upstate NY - truth doesn't matter does it? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Russgirl, Dude1701, COBALT1928

          It seems that anything coming from outside of the plutocrat owned American media center has no place encroaching onto American ears. To which I would ask whatever happened to freedom of speech by the press. I didn't realize it only applied to US born and bought media, that the American plutocracy can own, control and manipulate.

          Yes there are problems in the Euro zone. Why wouldn't there be, it is part of the planet earth not Utopia. But what does that mean, does that mean that we're not part of the geo-global economy. Unless of course it works to enrich the 1%, because if we're part of the geo-global economy that means if there is a better wheel available somewhere else, then we can use it to improve our own economy.

          The Europeans have figured out a way to provide for cost containment in medical growth by leveraging economies of scale, which brings everyone into the healthcare system through universal cradle to grave access as a human right to medical care. That is a brilliant innovation in market economics. We would be stupid not to learn from it!

          If there is a new vaccine invented somewhere by those foreigners down yonder, wouldn't we be stupid not to use it. If someone invents better, smarter, cheaper more fuel efficient cars, don't we race down to buy them. Well hot diggety dawg, guess what those Europeans have figured out a better healthcare system and the for profit American medical system thinks we're too stupid to use it, import it into America, tinker with it and make it work.

          You know what Americans are tired of being ripped off by the American medical insurance companies. Tired of having their claims denied by corporate bureaucrats. Tired of having millions of Americans without health care.  

          sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

          by Democrats Ramshield on Sat May 12, 2012 at 08:56:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What I'm saying to you is that Europe has (0+ / 0-)

            BIGGER problems. I'd much rather be in the USA at this point than be a European in general, because your average European is under more pressure than in the USA. Things are rosy in a Germany which has preyed on the rest of the continent for far too long--in the same way that the USA used to prey on the world back when we had surpluses, only we were actually MORE generous than the Germans are now.

            Here are your Germans:

            This explains what they have been up to, some of the most cynical policies you can imagine, and all to benefit the rich bankers.

            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

            by upstate NY on Sat May 12, 2012 at 09:03:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Greece (0+ / 0-)

      I am not familiar with the Greek healthcare system. Reportedly, a Swiss pharma company stopped supplying their hospitals some months ago. This was in reaction to three years of unpaid bills. Three years is, to the best of my knowledge, way longer ago than German politicians meddling with Greek spending. If this is so, there must have been something wrong in their system long before the current austerity problems.

      Freedom is not just a word. 'Freedom' is a noun.

      by intruder from Old Europe on Sat May 12, 2012 at 06:16:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They cut their budget by 34% and women (0+ / 0-)

        can't get breast cancer drugs. That's just a small anecdote. The troika memorandum requires huge health care cuts. They are having a huge medical meltdown. Anyone who thinks this is the way it was 2 or 3 years ago is totally mistaken.

        There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

        by upstate NY on Sat May 12, 2012 at 08:03:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's not just the Germans.... (8+ / 0-)

    ....Here is a French article from March 2010 covering the passage of Obamacare:

    article in French

    The catchy headline is -- I'm paraphrasing -- at long last the USofA enter the 20th century -- not the 21st, just the 20th, being the last industrialized country in the world to offer universal medical coverage.

    The article goes on to portray the bleak medical situation of Americans (which they label "medieval") and the modest extent of Obama's reform.

    The magazine also provides a good bullet point summary for uninformed French people who don't know/understand what it's all about here.


    by Lupin on Sat May 12, 2012 at 08:59:13 AM PDT

  •  Why be credulous? (7+ / 0-)

    There is no grass roots opposition to HCR of any significance. There are significant astroturf efforts, of which I believe the photo of the famous list above to be a part. The entire summer of tea bagger insanity against HCR was in large part populated by people associated with either the insurance industry, the pharma industry, or other associated business concerns whose profit margin depends upon a privatized system.

    At this late date we should no longer be accepting that there is public opposition to HCR. People who bother to take the time to learn find themselves supporting reform. The opposition should more accurately be described as apathy. Powerful interests have found a way to obstruct reform at every turn, as has historically been the case since time began. We should not be confusing public sentiment with massive propaganda efforts made possible by unimaginable amounts of cash from corrupt business entities.

    •  to mrblifil - outstanding comment (4+ / 0-)

      Your very cogent comment has certainly served to add value to our discussion here.  

      If American healthcare is suppose to be the best healthcare in the world, why isn't the world buying it, is what I always ask. Why can't they export a for profit American health insurance product internationally.

      To which my point in the diary was the GOP is really a wholly owned subsidiary of the for profit private health insurance sector. No other conservative governments in the world endorse a private for profit healthcare model to the extent that the GOP does. It gives new meaning to the words only in America doesn't it.

      sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sat May 12, 2012 at 09:08:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Solution is always "sunlight". Truth hiding (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      behind big $ to buy off congress so they can get the ball rolling to roll in more dough... at our families lives GREAT expense.

      America appears to only take care of the richest these days because they bought our government and politicians.

      •    "There is in the nature of government an impatience of control that disposes those invested with power to look with an evil eye upon all external attempts to restrain or direct its operations. This has its origin in the love of power.

      Representatives of the people are not superior to the people themselves."
         - Alexander Hamilton - Federalist Paper No.15, 1787.

    •  There is apathy for a reason. (0+ / 0-)

      Many people are insulated from the horrors of the individual market for healthcare insurance by being fortunate enough to be covered by group health insurance. They don't have to pay the whole premium and the amount they do pay is not taxed. They don't think about the fact that they are a layoff away from losing that coverage. So they are not enthusiastic about HCR.

      Disinformation is also a factor. The vested interests that oppose HCR have tried very hard to obscure the benefits and highlight real or imagined problems (such as "death panels"). People hear a lot about the penalty for not being insured and that worries them, but many will get subsidies.

      Last I checked ACA had a < 50% approval rating in the polls. So many in the public are not happy about it.

  •  I can explain what the Germans are puzzled about (7+ / 0-)

    In the minds of the people who are opposed to universal coverage, the United States already has by far the best health care system in the world, so any change in the direction of Europe must by definition be a change for the worse.

    They're convinced that we've got by far the best health care system in the world because they're convinced that EVERYTHING in America is by far the best in the world.  And if you question that, you're a damned unpatriotic communist!  It's almost a matter of religious faith that NOTHING in any other country can be as good as it is here in the good old U.S.A.  The fact that most of the people who hold such views have never actually been to Europe merely reinforces their certainty about the vast inferiority of everything there.

    Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

    by leevank on Sat May 12, 2012 at 09:11:05 AM PDT

  •  The key point they are missing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, COBALT1928, ItsaMathJoke

    is that they are thinking the purpose of our health care system, like theirs, is to distribute services to those in need at the best price the system can manage (regardless of who the bill ends up on).

    It is not.

    The purpose of the health care system in the US is to prevent people who do not deserve health care from getting it. And there is no amount of money too great to pay to keep every last undeserving person from getting that health care, even if it means a great many deserving people getting denied by mistake.

    The right wing is going insane trying to prevent people who are undeserving from getting health care. The miracle of propaganda is that they have convinced people who know they cannot pay for health care that it is a exercise of their rights as Americans to just die when they get sick, because they don't earn enough to pay for health care.  

  •  Let me splain it to them... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, COBALT1928

    it's related to austerity. You know that term, Germany. It's about the belief in small government, so that small government can continue to feed big corporations and banks that behave in a criminally irresponsible behavior.
    Oh, by rescuing these criminal organizations and keeping this wealth-flowing-upward-economy going, it makes the criminally irresponsible politicians look like they are doing something.

  •  Not much High Fructose Corn Syrup in Germany (0+ / 0-)

    The German government doesn't subsidize High Fructose Corn Syrup like the US government does.

    Germans have to walk more or ride bikes.

    Yeah, some Germans need to lay off the beer and weisswurst.

    But Germany doesn't have the health care costs associated with a nation of 150-kilo citizens whose only exercise is the TV remote.

    It's been a while since I was last in Germany but I just think that they are unclear on the concept of how fat and lazy we are here.

  •  as a native German (9+ / 0-)

    who has lived in the U.S. for over 20 years and loves so much about Americans and this country, I do have to say the resistance against having everyone covered by health insurance is one of the things I never have understood and never will understand about the U.S.. It's a complete mystery to me why Americans would voluntarily make it so hard on themselves and each other, when they could easily have a well-functioning system that saves everyone a lot of money, suffering, and constant fretting about going broke for going to the doctor. Rationally speaking, it doesn't make any sense, it feels more like some sort of a weird pride thing to insist on a this perceived personal freedom in the face of all evidence to the contrary. Thing is, I don't mind the little idiosyncrasies of people, I think every culture has them and being irrational is part of what makes us humans so interesting, but when it starts hurting and destroying an entire society I think it's time to wake up and face reality. But in this case, the myth of the personal freedom that somehow arises out of a complete vacuum is so strong and persistent, all the way up the the Supreme Court, that it's going to be a long and arduous process to move the country in the direction of doing the only thing that makes sense, instituting universal health care.

    •  thank you Sven - I had a little exchange (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      citisven, COBALT1928

      with Angelajean this morning and she said so pointedly somewhere  "It's hard to understand a country". I am so tired trying to understand "stuff". I am glad you have much more hope and strength in you than me.

      It's the forever stupid, stupid ! - with h/t to weatherdude's ... "but stupid is forever" diary.

      by mimi on Sat May 12, 2012 at 10:24:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  To mimi - Please read (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        citisven, mimi, COBALT1928

        The American model of private for-profit health care delivery in it's present state has become not only unaffordable and unmanageable, it has become irrational and it's hurting America's prestige internationally, wherein some refer to America as being a right-wing pariah nation ready to eat its own young.

        Americans have always welcomed international criticism and feedback. It was present during every major political struggle to include most recently the civil rights struggle. It was a big struggle and it lasted for many years but the forces of good did not give up, we did not yield and we will never surrender. We will persevere until medical care becomes a human right, just as is the case with the German constitution which incidentally after World War 2 (as you know) was written in large part by Americans.

        As Americans we have always been open to learn from innovation abroad. If someone builds a better mouse trap, we buy it. The simple truth is from an economic perspective, the Europeans in general and Germany in particular have done a much better job than America. Also I point to the French model of health care and the British model of health care as being far more effective. There are other things that we must also learn from Europe, such as Green energy and developing a new environmental consciousness in terms of sustainable living. For all these things we need government working with the American people instead of for corporate governance.

        Please don't ever feel that we can't win, we will and must win. For that we need your support, mimi. In fact we need everyone's support to speak out, to step out and be counted. Please feel encouraged my friend. We are with you. None of us stand alone. Together we will achieve victory.

        sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

        by Democrats Ramshield on Sat May 12, 2012 at 10:39:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yes, DR, I hear you and I think (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          citisven, COBALT1928

          I know what you are describing. You have done it often here at dailykos. The facts are known.

          It's not a lack of support from my side, if I mention that I am tired of reading about this issue based on stories published in Der Spiegel.

          You are American and you do what you want to do, using Der Spiegel to spread the word.

          But it's not my role, as a native German, to tell an American that he should learn something from the Europeans.

          I don't want to get lectured by Americans the same way and be told that we Germans should learn from something from Americans.

          What everybody wants to learn, should be his own choice made freely. Usually people know what is worth learning and what not. No need to shove it into their faces.

          And as long as I am resident in the US, of course I fight for public health care in the US. I think I can be pretty stubborn in my loyalty to this country and its "dreams".

          So, yes, we will achieve victory together, no doubt about it, my friend. :)

          It's the forever stupid, stupid ! - with h/t to weatherdude's ... "but stupid is forever" diary.

          by mimi on Sat May 12, 2012 at 12:04:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  To citisven - Thanks for the thoughtful comment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      citisven, COBALT1928

      You sir are absolutely right. The American for-profit health care model has become completely irrational.

      It makes no sense to anyone except to the people who profit from it, who are prepared in order to keep their money coming in to watch thousands of their fellow Americans suffer and die needlessly every year simply because of greed.

      I think we have a lot to learn from Germany and the rest of the world community, not only in the area of healthcare reform but also in sustainable environmental living. To that end I want to just thank you for the great environmental diaries that you publish. I think you have taught all of us a lot. Thanks for supporting today's diary.  Thanks also for the thoughtful comment which has served to add real value to our discussion here today especially given your international background.

      sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sat May 12, 2012 at 11:08:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  DR I didn't rec your diary, though I am not (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citisven, ItsaMathJoke

    against its content. I just think it's hopeless to believe that anyone would like to hear that kind of criticism from a German magazine here.

    You attract reactions from people that I rather would not wake up. What's the saying: Let sleeping dogs lie.

    The article of the Spiegel upsets those in the US, who would love to have a public option or single payer system and fight for it, depresses those, who suffer under lack of insurance, and it attracts people, who can't handle any critical thoughts from Germans.  

    What Germans might not get is why it's not possible for the US healthcare system to change. They don't understand the political system. And I think if they try to understand it they are not that "thrilled". And that's something Americans don't like either to hear. In the end it's not the German's business. So, let it be.

    Let everybody come to his own conclusions and realizations. It's less divisive.

    There are too many Americans who have an interest seeing Europeans fight among each other. Diaries like these attract those Americans. They come here with a certainty of the cuckoos from their clocks. I am tired of reading the comment threads.  

    It's the forever stupid, stupid ! - with h/t to weatherdude's ... "but stupid is forever" diary.

    by mimi on Sat May 12, 2012 at 10:18:57 AM PDT

    •  I have to agree with you, mimi (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mimi, ItsaMathJoke

      I do think it's a well-meant effort, but ultimately nobody likes to be patronized by people from other countries. I think getting the Affordable Care Act passed was a big step, and even if it gets repealed I think that will be more motivation to push forward than any German news magazine could ever provide.

      •  To citisven (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        citisven, COBALT1928

        I am just grateful that Der Spiegel has made an international model of health care reform available in their English language edition for Americans to read and I am grateful for your support of this diary.

        sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

        by Democrats Ramshield on Sat May 12, 2012 at 10:50:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm glad they have the international version, too (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mimi, COBALT1928, meralda, ItsaMathJoke

          DR, and I think they deserve to be read widely because they really do great reporting and devote a lot of resources to correspondents' original reporting, which is an invaluable asset in today's media world of linking and relinking. I think it would be great if we had more diaries on Daily Kos quoting Spiegel articles in all different departments, not only when they write about the U.S.. The thing is, they're quite critical of a lot of things that happen in Germany, in fact, since its inception they've devoted to critical analysis across the board, and no country, government or institution is spared. In other words, real journalism. So it might be a good idea to write a diary sometime that mixes in some of Der Spiegel's coverage of German affairs, just so that people here don't get the impression that all they do is bash America and praise Germany. They really are equal opportunity bashers.

      •  I wouldn't go so far as to call it patronizing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        citisven, COBALT1928

        if a German author writes in a German magazine about the US healthcare system and the fact that the German population can't understand it. It just shows how difficult it is for peoples to understand each other's countries systems and cultures and historical developments.

        I am also very glad that Der Spiegel has an English version, it should help native English speakers to get a glimpse about how many Germans think and feel about worldwide political affairs.  So, it should be a positive thing for the international understanding of peoples around the world. It also helps for research.

        I can't tell you how often I have an itch just to throw in a diary here, which would basically just repeat what I just read in Der Spiegel. Luckily I can't even do that and most of the time I catch myself before I hit the post button to shout out "how I really feel".... :)

        If I am in Germany I get sometimes the feeling that Germans start being very self-assuredly anti-American, but then if I listen to newly, freshly arrived Germans in the US, I find it funny how after several years being in the country, they still only see the positive things they love about America and deny to see and admit the existence of some of the negative stuff.

        In the end we are pretty much the same as anybody else. You see want you want to see and deny or forget about all the things that don't fit into your world view. Americans and Germans are both pretty good at that, I think.:)

        It's the forever stupid, stupid ! - with h/t to weatherdude's ... "but stupid is forever" diary.

        by mimi on Sat May 12, 2012 at 11:45:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well, i enjoy reading about what the europeans (4+ / 0-)

    think about us and our politics, thanks for the doary.

    "Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing." - Thomas Paine

    by blueoregon on Sat May 12, 2012 at 10:27:15 AM PDT

  •  We (0+ / 0-)

    are against it because it is a tax to the blood sucking health insurance companies for which we get little to no care.

  •  The level of mutual incomprehension (0+ / 0-)

    across the Atlantic is extremely large.

    You can find 'Europeans are silly (or whatever)' coverage of the European social safety net model.  You need to look in low-key conservative sites, typically.  

    However, there seems to be rather more American blase tolerance of European differences than in the other direction.  

    With respect to the particular quotes, there are rather few religious Europeans -- look at numbers on church attendance -- and their ideas on which parts of the messages of various religions are important align poorly with those held by some Americans.

    I am interested to note the position that "American readers should note that the CDU Christian Democratic Union is Germany's most conservative party"; some readers might view the Free Democrats as being more -- in the American sense, not the European sense -- traditional though not Republican southern Conservative.  One might also say that the Germans do not have any conservative parties in the American sense.

    We can have change for the better.

    by phillies on Sat May 12, 2012 at 10:43:23 AM PDT

    •  I don't understand your last sentence (0+ / 0-)

      Germany has the extreme right-wing parties, just that you call them over there what they are, neo-nazis parties or similar.

      Here in the US the tea-party conservatives wouldn't dare to be called like that, though their existence is the fertilizer for the rise of extremist, authoritarian nazi-like groups in the US as well, imo.

      I think what we didn't have in Germany were a right-wing leaning libertarian movement. That is something uniquely American, I believe. And the US neo-liberals had in the last 15 years or so, imo, an influence on Germany's political landscape. Few want to admit that and few seem to research that. The rise of right-wing conservatism in Europe is related to the US conservative's influence on Europe.

      I never understood what the sense of American conservatism is, though.

      It's the forever stupid, stupid ! - with h/t to weatherdude's ... "but stupid is forever" diary.

      by mimi on Sat May 12, 2012 at 12:20:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  German parties (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:


        I agree with your point.  However, the original author said major parties. I wanted to avoid a pointless dispute by naming parties that he would say are not really major.

        However, there is a German Republican Party, that is right wing and has been up to five percent in places.  

        Further to the right are the National Democratic Party (of Germany) (NPD) and the German People's Union (DVU).  Some readers may be slightly confused by the occasional green emphasis in the NPD, but in historical German politics anti-smoking, vegetarian, etc was also a theme of some far right leaders.

        In addition, in a different direction that readers might view as right, there is the Pirate Party (which I would describe as left libertarian) and the Partei der Vernunft (PDV) (which is a classical economic libertarian party that pushes translations of books by, e.g., Hazlett).

        We can have change for the better.

        by phillies on Sun May 13, 2012 at 11:52:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  oh lord, it shows that I am thirty years out of (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Germany's political landscape. You made me look up the current list of German political parties and I admit I have no feeling anymore what each party stands for aside from a little bit of the CDU and SPD and die Gruenen. Quiet frankly I have lost my interest as well. Die FDP is a mystery to me. The last guys I remember from the past were Genscher, Scheel and Lambsdorff. Everything after that is thick fog to me.

          My home country has become a foreign mysterious place to me politically as much as my host country is to me still is uncomprehensible after all these years.

          Other than that I think you misunderstood me. I still can't pinpoint any sort of political ideology of the American Republicans that would be consistent. Right now they all seem like ... . nevermind.

          It's the forever stupid, stupid ! - with h/t to weatherdude's ... "but stupid is forever" diary.

          by mimi on Sun May 13, 2012 at 01:05:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  FDP (0+ / 0-)

      You are correct, and I disagree with the diary on this. There have been several attempts to dismantle German healthcare as we know it, usually coming from the liberal party (FDP). Proposals including a set fee for everyone instead of a percentage of income. Another proposal was a discount for the healthy. At least one CDU or CSU member came up with the idea of penalties for the overweight and smokers.
      We are also constantly reminded that labour costs are waaaay too high over here, to which health insurance contributes large scale.

      Freedom is not just a word. 'Freedom' is a noun.

      by intruder from Old Europe on Sat May 12, 2012 at 06:58:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My German best friend (4+ / 0-)

    here for over a decade still can't believe that we are where we are on health care. She is just flamdoozled by the whole thing. It's like watching a nation bang it's finger with a hammer over and over and yelling at anyone who tries to stop them.

    "But much to my surprise when I opened my eyes I was the victim of the great compromise." John Prine

    by high uintas on Sat May 12, 2012 at 11:02:38 AM PDT

  •  Your picture is ironic...So that dude is so anti (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dog Chains, COBALT1928

    government spending, he was a former Marine....HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, someone really needs to commit these folks, it's idiots like him that make me wonder who the heck is fighting in our military nowdays and why exactly I'm forced to support them.

    There are only 2 things in life I believe about religion: There could be a God and I'm sure as heck not him.

    by Irixsh on Sat May 12, 2012 at 11:15:08 AM PDT

  •  Not "health care" but "Obama" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    Their aversion is not to healthcare law but it is to Obama. Black man with a name like "Hussein" MUST fail and his memory MUST be erased.

    Didn'tcha know that? ...Dear Germany?

    Come on...

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Sat May 12, 2012 at 11:24:08 AM PDT

  •  Can't fathom? Seriously? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Trust me! The largest beneficiary of the qua health reform as it is now written will be the insurance companies.

    Mandated insurance is a bad idea. Give me something I can support like Medicare for all, or AT LEAST(!) a fucking public option!

    When I cannot sing my heart. I can only speak my mind.

    by Unbozo on Sat May 12, 2012 at 04:38:05 PM PDT

  •  Great Diary!!!!! (2+ / 0-)

    Recommended, tipped, shared on Facebook, twitter and google+

    •  To refinish69 - Many thanks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Thank you very much for your support. It means a lot.

      sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sat May 12, 2012 at 06:44:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have been reading the comments and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean

        am just shaking my head at some of them.  I am Canadian.  Our health care system is one of the best.  I can not imagine living in a country where an illness can result in financial destruction and in some instances death from lack of treatment or medications.  Ask any Canadian what one of the core values of being a Canadian is and you can bet one of the first things mentioned will be health care.

  •  If they understood that it's junk insurance with (0+ / 0-)

    a 60% actuarial value, and that millions of those who get stuck with it will still be unable to afford to see a doctor, and that millions more will still lose their homes if they get sick despite having it...

    they may understand why so many Americans oppose it.

    But you won't be trying to explain that, I suspect.

    Your vote is your consent.

    by JesseCW on Sun May 13, 2012 at 02:17:49 AM PDT

  •  to brainwash some Americans is a small scrub job (0+ / 0-)

    without the ants the rainforest dies

    by aliasalias on Sun May 13, 2012 at 01:00:20 PM PDT

  •  great diary , thanks again Democrats Ramshield... (0+ / 0-)

    I look forward to your posts.
    They are filled with information and lively discussion.
    Keep up the great work DR !

  •  Will I ever forget reading about some car (0+ / 0-)

    manufacturer or other, in considering whether to locate its overseas plant in Canada or the USA, chose Canada because Canada provides health insurance for its citizens?

    Faux Noise Nation does not KNOW how well off people in other countries are, that's why they think our failed American model is the norm.  As long as words such as "socialist" and "communist" are flung around, they're going to resist the idea of universal health care.

    We need to get the word out to them.  We're rapidly becoming a third-world country.

    Thanks for this reminder, DR, that the USA is the exception among civilized nations.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sun May 13, 2012 at 04:39:53 PM PDT

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