Sunday, July 30, 2017

School Scope: Why Not Medicare for All?

My column in The Wave, Rockaway's local paper. Published July 29, 2017

School Scope: Why Not Medicare for All?
By Norm Scott

I write this on the morning before the Senate Republicans are about to vote on their version of death panels. And I’m thinking…..

Imagine a medical care system where you can get your health taken care of without worrying about finances. I’ve been in the midst of dealing with some not too serious (so far) medical issues and as a Medicare (with GHI supplement) patient I haven’t paid a dime, despite lots of visits to more than one doctor. And every doctor I use accepts Medicare – apparently they can manage to live on what they pay.

Should I feel guilty about costing our economy money I might not have been willing or able to spend otherwise? Not when we see that if I lived in just about every other advanced nation, not only people over 65 but everyone would have the same system I have. The major difference is that in these foreign systems the costs to the system and for drugs are significantly lower.

I'm amazed at how the so-called liberal press lets the Democrats off the hook. Eduardo Porter had a good piece in the NY Times about single payer health care around the world in a letter to Republicans ( He might as well have included most of our Democratic Party leaders. This article should be read out aloud in every hall of legislature and also to convince the public -- instead we hear all about Russia all the time. This would be the best way to fight Trump and the Republicans but the Dems spin their wheels. Their “better deal” will not turn out to be that much better as long as they are bought by big pharm and other corporations.

In a single payer system, there is a big bump in taxes, but no one has to buy health care and there are no insurance companies to take a profit. And big pharm has to come into line on costs. Pretty much a win-win for almost everyone. So why not here? Ask our own local politicians, weather Republican or Democrat why they aren’t doing more to educate their constituents on this issue to counter the propaganda from big pharm, insurance companies and the politicians who are bought by them?

What country is Porter talking about? Rwanda. Can you imagine the day post Republican health care when we flock to Rwanda to get better care?

Teachers to Eric Ulrich on supporting Bo Dietl - Say It Ain’t So
Teacher's union has hijacked our classrooms. When I'm mayor, teachers will pass drug tests and performance evaluations. I'm not for sale… Bo Dietl tweet.

Last week I posted an Eric Ulrich tweet supporting Bo Dietl for mayor. Dietl has made it a specialty to attack teachers and the teacher union. I think Ulrich owes the teachers in his district an explanation.

Arthur Goldstein had some comments about Dietl at his blog, NYC Educator (

Circus clown/ Arby's pitchman/ mayoral hopeful Bo Dietl is on Twitter making statements about what things will be like when he's mayor. There's some teacher at John Adams accused of allowing a student to sit on his lap, and Bo is outraged. Bo…says teachers caught having sex with students shouldn't be paid. The only problem is that this teacher has not been caught having sex with a student, and no one is saying otherwise. Inconvenient for Bo, though, is that allegations have to be proven here. You know, there's that whole innocent until proven guilty thing in the United States. Bo has had it with all that mollycoddling, evidently, and just wants to declare people guilty of whatever. As for drug tests for teachers, I don't support them, but Bo has got another thing wrong here: Performance evaluations? Teachers already have performance evaluations.

For proof that Dietl is blowing smoke up his ass on teacher evaluation:

Norm blows smoke wherever every day at

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