Doctors Shut Down An American National Insurance Plan A Century Ago
It's propaganda week at Cracked! Keep calm and read on.
We asked readers what products they secretly think are scams. We agree heartily with a great many of your answers, and we're going to link you now to articles that talk more about some of them.
Erika W. called out lip balms and antacids. "Products like these generally only give you temporary relief, however are designed in a way that makes it worse so you continue to use them." Toothpaste (beyond basic, effective fluoride toothpaste) is a bunch of marketing, says Brad J., and Karen B. debunks cleanses: "That’s your liver’s job and unless you’re in liver failure, it’s working just fine."
Adam N. is skeptical of old, expensive wines—and should be, since most wine actually does not improve with age. Mark S. notes that recycling companies don't process plastic but instead just dump it. The idea that plastic can be recycled so easily was always propaganda ... propaganda from plastic companies.
The single most popular answer (other than Fred P.'s, which simply said "religion") was Dave L.'s: health insurance. "You pay just in case something happens," he says, "and if something does happen, they use the money you paid to hire lawyers to figure out how not to pay you." In the past, there was actually a plan for a single national health insurance program, put forward the same time that social security was created, in 1935. It failed due to opposition from the American Medical Association.
Which makes it sound like a national insurance plan would have hurt medical care, perhaps by limiting access to the best procedures. And the AMA did say that, but they also said that national insurance would undermine "the traditional American values of individualism and self-reliance."
That seems very fishy because people's values are really outside the scope of a doctors' concern. In reality, it appears the AMA opposed national health insurance (and in fact opposed all kinds of health insurance) because they didn't want any powerful body with an interest in keeping prices down.
After World War II, they relented and said they were cool with the basic idea of insurance, but they continued to oppose national health insurance, as well as any single-payer health care system, with the last vote on that coming in 2019. Some people argue that doctors would make even more money under a single-payer system, but it sounds like doctors don't think so.
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Top image: AMA