Sunday, December 4, 2016

DeVos and Price

It has been said that President-Elect Trump is not a "detail" guy, but more of a "big picture" guy. 
I get that.
I'm kind of like that myself at times.
I know I don't have to be the expert or the best at doing everything, I just have to surround myself with those types of people and support them.

So let me comment of my concerns about the choices the President-Elect is making in the people he is surrounding himself with.
In particular, let me comment on two of those recent choices, Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education and Tom Price for Secretary of Health and Human Services.
They have something in common.

They both believe in privatization.

Good, you might say.
Private enterprise is what made this country great.
It's the American way.
That's what Capitalism is about.
Our schools and our healthcare system need a shakeup.

There is some truth to this.
Many of our schools are in need of improvement.
Our healthcare system is expensive and out of the reach of some.
We should reform them.

But let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

DeVois is a proponent of charter schools. Charter schools were designed to be incubators of new ideas that could then be brought into all public schools so that all would benefit.  They have evolved into private schools who are funded with taxpayer dollars and can often hand select students who will not require extra help due to learning disabilities. It's like a sports team being given all the best players in the league and then winning the championship.
Big surprise.
Except in this case, they often do not even win the championship. Often, they do not outperform the local public schools, even though the playing field is not level.
Why is that?

Price believes we should privatize healthcare. 
To be sure, there are issues with the ACA, with Medicare, with Medicaid, with the VA healthcare system, with social security, that need addressing.
But let me ask a few questions.
Does anyone believe that our seniors or our disabled should have to decide between food and medical care?  Do we believe that nurses should be told to turn away patients if they lack insurance and the ability to pay?  Do we think that large insurance companies and large healthcare corporations have our interests first, our their own interests first?
We should reform our healthcare system.
We should provide care for all.
We should provide financial security for our seniors.
These are not "entitlements."  We have been paying into these programs our entire working lives.

At the same time, we need to control costs, we need to protect access, we need to put small business owners on a level paying field with big business, and big business in this country on a level playing field with big business oversees.
As is education, there is need for reform.
But again, let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

There is a reason some people want to privatize education and healthcare.
Let's be honest here.

There is money to be made.
If there were not, private companies would not want to own schools, hospitals, insurance companies, and drug companies.

But what's wrong with that?
Isn't that capitalism, isn't that what makes this country great?
Except that those who want to privatize our education  and healthcare system want to do it with my money. 
And your money.

They want your tax money, your social security contributions, your insurance premiums.
We should tell them, keep your hands off my money. 
The Price (and DeVos) is not right.

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