Bernie schools Anderson Cooper: Now that Ivankacare has crashed and burned, we thought we'd revisit a question we posed two week ago:
What explains the disappearance of the group known as The USA 9400? You saw health care discussed many times in the past few weeks. Did you see this important group mentioned even once?
For ourselves, we never saw the group explicitly cited. The closest we came involved Bernie Sanders' appearance with Anderson Cooper last Friday night.
Who are The USA 9400? They're the amazingly large number of dollars spent in this country, per person, on health care every year. Rather, in the recent year 2015, when the OECD's very strange, disappeared numbers looked, in part, like this:
Per capita spending, health care, 2015In his new column today, Paul Krugman discusses the problem caused by the "high deductibles" sometimes found in Obamacare insurance policies. Obviously, the background to all such problems with our American health care is lodged in that remarkable spending figure for the United States.
United States: $9451
United Kingdom: $4003
For unknown reasons, it costs $9451 to provide health care to the average American. This is massively more than what it costs in comparable nations.
This explains why premiums and deductibles are so high—why it's so hard to provide universal coverage and care in this, our exceptional country. And yet, The USA 9400 are essentially never mentioned, even when the problems of health care and coverage are holding center stage.
Did you see The USA 9400 mentioned at all last week? Frank Richly, we did not! The closest we came involved that chat between Sanders and Cooper.
You can read the whole interview here. In answers to three of Cooper's six questions, Sanders cited the need to lower the bloated prices we pay for prescription drugs in this country. In response to Cooper's second question, he even offered this:
SANDERS (3/24/17): Anderson, I am talking to you tonight 50 miles away from the Canadian border. We can get there in an hour. They manage to provide health care for every man, woman, and child in their country at half the cost per person than we do.On its own, a "Medicare for all," single-payer program wouldn't lower our health care spending to the level of Canada. But Sanders made an accurate statement about this remarkable state of affairs:
The cost of prescription drugs in Canada significantly lower than it is in the United States. So the question is why are we not moving forward with a "Medicare for all," single-payer program guaranteeing health care to all people which will be much more cost effective than what we presently have?
Canada provides health care for every man, woman, and child in their country at (slightly less than) half the cost per person than we do.
Sanders said it; Cooper heard it. The transmission ended right there. Here's our guarantee to you, the misused American citizen:
You will never see Anderson Cooper do an actual "news report" in which he dumps his cast-of-thousands panel and simply informs his viewers about the apparently crazy level of American health care spending.
You will never see Cooper present the numbers we have presented above. You'll never see him ask actual experts—not Jeffrey Lord!—to explain the craziness of those numbers, the craziness of that U.S. figure as compared to all the others in the developed world.
You'll never see Cooper do that! You will see him pretend to debate Lord night after night. But you'll never see Cooper tell Lord to scram so he can discuss those remarkable numbers.
You'll never see Cooper do that! And not only that:
You will never see Rachel Maddow present those remarkable data. You'll see her mug and clown and embellish and entertain, night after night after night.
But you'll never see her present those astonishing figures! The USA 9400 are among the missing, the disappeared, on her entertaining, corporate-fueled TV show.
Why don't you ever see those data on these cable "news" shows? We can't answer that question, but we can tell you this:
You haven't seen The USA 9400 in the New York Times either!
Two Sundays ago, you did see Anu Partanen, a Finnish journalist, write a long essay about the wonders of Finnish health care. (Plainly, the Finns are among the world's leaders in relentless self-affirmation.) Along the way, in paragraph 16, you even saw her write this:
PARTANEN (3/19/17): Overall, Americans spend far more of their hard-earned money on health care than citizens of any other country, by a very wide margin. This means that it is in fact Americans who are getting a raw deal. Americans pay much more than people in other countries but do not get significantly better results.If you read all the way to graf 16, you got to read that sentence. Even then, you see the actual numbers, which would have looked like this:
Per capita spending, health care, 2015Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow! Subtracting, that's almost 5500 missing dollars per person per year! No wonder insurance is dear!
United States: $9451
In those numbers, you see the basic mystery of American health care. But, for reasons we can't explain, you will never see such numbers in the New York Times—and certainly not on the paper's front page, where those remarkable numbers belong.
Why won't Rachel tell you these things? We can't answer that.
That said, she's being paid maybe $10 million per year. (You aren't encouraged to know that.) Evidence suggest that corporate groups maybe don't, for whatever reason, want you to worry your little heads about The USA 9400, an important disappeared group.
No one can solve our health care problem! Also, no one is permitted to tell you about that important group!
Final point: Chomsky had a term for this. It was called "manufactured consent."
For that reason, he was disappeared! Do you ever hear him mentioned by your favorite entertainers?