Why Bernie Will Win: We’ve All Been Screwed and We’re Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

21581179719_571bb5a7ab_zWhen I first heard that Bernie Sanders was running for President, I didn’t know much about him or what he stands for. As I learned more I realized this is finally someone who believes in supporting the 99% of us (Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and others) and not the 1% or of those who have money and power in the U.S. Once I understood what he believes in and has practiced his whole life, I felt bad that he didn’t have any chance to win. It seemed to be Hillary’s time and having a woman President might be a positive change to the good-old boys network that has ruled the presidency since the beginning.

One of the people whose perspective I respect is Thom Hartmann a well-known radio commentator and author of such diverse books as The Edison Gene: ADHD and the Gift of the Hunter Child, Walking Your Blues Away: How to Heal the Mind and Create Emotional Well-Being (the most innovative books on treating ADHD, depression, and other mood disorders), and his most recent book, The Crash of 2016: The Plot to Destroy America–and What We Can Do to Stop It. In that book he surfaces what more and more people know to be true. Our country is in real trouble and we need real change if we’re going to come out of our downward death spiral. (On this point, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are in full agreement).

Here’s what Hartmann says in the Introduction to The Crash Of 2016, “The United States is more vulnerable today than ever before-including during the Great Depression and the Civil War-because the pillars of democracy that once supported a booming middle class have been corrupted, and without them, America teeters on the verge of the next Great Crash.” Here’s what he has to say about why he thinks Bernie will win.

If anyone has ever had to deal with a major chronic illness, we know that it’s hard to have energy for anything else when we’re in pain and our lives are overwhelmed just getting through the day. Looking honestly at the state of our country’s health, we have to conclude, as a people, we’re pretty sick.

Dr. John E. McDonough offers an interesting perspective in an article Shorter Lives and Poorer Health on the Campaign Trail.  He says, “I would love to hear presidential candidates discuss in at least one debate: the report from the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) called “Shorter Lives, Poorer Health.” The report concludes:

The United States spends more money on health care than any other country. Yet Americans die sooner and experience more illness than residents in many other countries. While the length of life has improved in the United States, other countries have gained life years even faster, and our relative standing in the world has fallen over the past half century.

The report’s comparison group includes Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Here are some of the facts that confirm the sorry state of American Health (Sick?) Care:

  • Adverse birth outcomes—the highest infant mortality rate among high income countries;
  • Drug-related mortality—more lives lost to alcohol and drugs than in any other nation, even when excluding drunk driving deaths;
  • Obesity and diabetes—the highest rates of obesity and diabetes among high income nations;
  • Heart disease—the second highest rate among 17 peer nations.

A recently released study by the World Health Organization and The Economist Intelligence Unit, “Healthcare Outcomes Index 2014,” examining the health care systems of 166 nations, ranked the United States number one in spending and number 33 in quality outcomes, [my emphasis] placing it among the least efficient systems on the planet, and ranking behind nations such as Lebanon and Costa Rica.

Here was the clincher for me about why I think Bernie will win:

Research over the past five years offers a compelling hypothesis to explain at least part of our nation’s dismal performance—among all advanced nations, the United States spends by far the most on a per person basis on medical care while spending nearly the least on a per person basis on nonmedical social service spending such as education, day care, job training, housing support, nutritional assistance, and more. [my emphasis]. Focusing less on medical care and more on needs relating to the social determinants of health seems to help produce more beneficial population health outcomes than our nation’s prioritization on the reverse.

It seems to me only Bernie is really talking about changing the health system for the benefit of the people. Only Bernie is really committed to social services that will make a difference for all. Hillary wants to incrementally improve Obama care and certainly cares for women and children. Trump and the other Republicans want to do away the small positive changes that have been made. Members of Congress have a lot of good choices for health insurance. Of course some don’t need it. Texas senator Ted Cruz is covered under his wife’s policy. She’s a Wall Street power broker working at Goldman Sachs.

When you have huge amounts of Super Pac money you can try and convince people that Bernie is not a viable candidate or he is too radical or its time for a woman or only a tough guy with billions of dollars should run the country. But this time I think people are not going to be so easily fooled. Too many know they are being screwed and are sick and tired of being sick and tired.

What do you think? Who do you think will win? If you think Bernie will win, tell us why.

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  1. As you pointed out, our health care system is in sad shape, not to mention that innovative doctors who can cure cancer and other serious illnesses are dying under suspicious circumstances. We need radical change in our health (sick?) care system and have for years. We also need radical change and more financial balance for the 99%.

    Bernie is MY MAN and I’m not following the debates too much. This is intuitive for me.

  2. Hey Jed!

    You raise many good points about Bernie (God bless his soul!) and health care. Here’s another piece of our big health care mess, and that is the systematic suppression of natural, naturopathic and non allopathic health care modalities. It’s hard not to feel, believe, and conclude that the health care system in the US exists for the sole purpose of producing and growing profits for the insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

    An individual has to be very committed to finding out why s/he is experiencing a certain symptom because the allopathic medical system trains its doctors to treat symptoms as opposed to causes, which is what a naturopath works to do.

    So many of our health problems are caused because we unknowingly eat something to which we are allergic or which our bodies can’t tolerate. Doctors and scientists who embrace natural healing and root cause diagnostic modalities are finding that syndromes and diseases from everything from Irritable Bowel Syndrome to Autism to Dimensia and Alzheimer’s to Depression can be rooted in nutritional deficiencies, intolerances and allergies!

    But guess what? The pharmaceutical industry can come up with a medicine to treat the symptom and get the insurance industry to pay for it – even though many pharmaceuticals function by working against our bodies’ natural, internal healing systems instead of with them! Many states don’t even allow naturopaths to legally practice. Insurance companies will sometimes pay for acupuncture, but not for long, certainly not for as long as they will pay for an insured by buy some pill!

    (Yes, you’ve pushed one of my buttons!)

    A president, Bernie would be a great thing. I don’t know where he is on natural medicine, but I love his single payer stance. Certainly, I don’t think he would be in bed with the pharmaceutical industry. Also, we all had a good reminder about another difference between Bernie and Hillary this past week when a woman war veteran Congresswoman from Hawaii resigned from the DNC to endorse Sen Sanders .

    Though I don’t remember he name, I remember her comments. She pointed out that Hillary Clinton had been the architect of the demise of Khaddafi in Libya which resulted in a power vacuum filled by the rise of Islamic State in Libya.

    So, Jed, I encourage you and anyone else out there who has made up his or her mind about for whom to vote, to follow the coverage anyway. That Congresswoman’s remarks reminded me of just how big the differences are between Hillary and Bernie.

    Also, thanks for the info on Thom Hartman’s books. That one on healing the mind sounds really interesting. Finally, thanks for the space to rant! Be well!

    Rebecca Suzanne

  3. Seth Jackson says:

    Background first. I voted for Ralph Nader every time he ran since 1996. I seriously considered voting for Obama in 08, at least until I saw his financial team consisting of only Wall Street insiders. Right now I’m listening to the returns of Super Tuesday, and honestly Bernie’s chances seem more and more remote to win the nomination, which seems awfully strange since he’s drawing the largest crowds at rallies.

    I’ve known most of what Sen. Sanders is talking about on healthcare for years. Our modern system really isn’t broken. It was never set up with the patient in mind to begin with. It’s exactly the system you get when you treat healthcare the same way as big screen televisions and microwave ovens, just another commodity. The only silver lining I’ve seen is that slowly, ever so slowly it does seem like the populace is waking up and realizing they’ve been hoodwinked.

    I would love it if Bernie really did become president, even though I’m sure Congress would probably act even worse than it does now, regardless of the controlling party as far as getting anything passed.