September 14, 2019
A Letter to Elizabeth Warren…

…from Anthony Piel, former General Legal Counsel of the World Health Organization.
Dear Senator Elizabeth Warren,

You and your campaign are doing a great job fighting for all Americans and correcting a decidedly “rigged” political, economic and taxation system. We admire and support you in this fight.

However, you are taking two counter-productive and unnecessary risks that you can readily avoid, while still getting the job done :

(1) Fair Taxation of the Uber-Wealthy. You have proposed a yearly wealth tax of 2 % on net worth above $ 50 million, and 3 % on over $ 1 billion. A majority of Americans, however, consider it “un-American” to tax pre-existing wealth. Nevertheless, they could accept taxing annual increases in wealth as a form of tax on annual income. This would be compatible with the language of the US Constitution’s Sixteenth Amendment which asserts that: “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived.” Proposal: You should consider adjusting your wealth tax rate upwards, but apply it to annual wealth gain only.

(2) Single Payer Health Care System. You have joined others in supporting a “Single Payer” National Health Care System, but you have perhaps moved too quickly to adopt Bernie Sanders’ proposal for “public ownership” of the drug and insurance companies. A majority of Americans will not accept this extreme version of what Bernie calls “socialized medicine.” But it is unnecessary. Because, for all intents and purposes (of patients, hospitals, insurers and other providers), you can have the convenience, effectiveness and cost saving of a standardized “single payer” system by “partnering” with private insurers. There is no need for governmental public takeover of private health insurance.

How can this be done ? Here are two actual examples that deserve study :
(1) Under the National Health System of Germany, which appears to patients, providers and insurers alike as a pure “single payer” system, the national system claims and payments are “mediated” by over 100 private health insurance companies and funds. (2) The World Health Organization (WHO) Staff Health Insurance Plan (SHI), which is operating effectively (and “in the black”) in over 200 countries, is for all intents and purposes a “single payer” system, and here in the USA is “partnered” with AETNA International, a private US insurance company. Results ? Better health outcomes at lower cost.

In any event, these policy and strategy details can be worked out after Democrats and other responsible Americans have taken back the Presidency and both Houses of the US Congress --- but NOT before. We have to win in the voting booth first.

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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at September 14, 2019 04:07 PM
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