Sidney Crosby and Team Canada Takes Olympic Hockey Gold

Congratulations to Team Canada on taking Olympic gold in hockey Sunday in Vancouver.

Congratulations to Sidney Crosby on netting the winning goal in overtime.

Congratulations to the U.S.A. with the youngest team in the tournament, clinching an overtime bid with 25 seconds left in the third period.

With the exception of the Miracle on Ice (which I have yet to see in color) and game seven of last year’s Stanley Cup Finals, that was the most amazing hockey game I’ve ever seen in my life.

O Canada! Indeed.

Health Insurance Industry Shill Newt Gingrich Wants You to Stop Demonizing Other Shills

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is a shill for whoever is padding his wallet.  Make no mistake, the most frightening thing for Newt Gingrich and other health insurance industry shills is the fact that taxes will have to rise for people who make over $250,000 a year.

That’s just a fact of economics.

On this week’s Meet the Press, Newt Gingrich said the Democrats are demonizing those showing up to protest at town hall meetings.  That would include, I presume, the man who bit off another man’s finger at a health care rally:

California authorities say a clash between opponents and supporters of health care reform ended with one man biting off another man’s finger.

Ventura County Sheriff’s Capt. Frank O’Hanlon says about 100 people demonstrating in favor of health care reforms rallied Wednesday night on a street corner. One protester walked across the street to confront about 25 counter-demonstrators.

O’Hanlon says the man got into an argument and fist fight, during which he bit off the left pinky of a 65-year-old man who opposed health care reform.

A hospital spokeswoman says the man lost half the finger, but doctors reattached it and he was sent home the same night.

She says he had Medicare.

The protestor who bit off the man’s finger was demonstrating against health care reform.

Remember, Newt Gingrich tried to kill Medicare in 1995.  Had he succeeded, where would that leave grandma today?

Since 1995, Republicans have done everything and anything to weaken and dismantle Medicare and any other government program that keeps money from the health insurance industry, that weakens the health insurance industry’s ongoing efforts to capitalize on your health.

Look, the Republicans waged a war in Iraq without paying for it.  Any Democrat who dared to protest the war in Iraq was completely demonized by the Right Wing Conspiracy.

The health insurance industry shills want to keep money in their own pockets, making sure that the United States of America remains the only democracy on the planet that does not provide health care for all.  And everyone else is providing health care at half the cost the United States is spending.

Here are the most recent statistics from the World Health Organization for the United States and other democratic nations:

Statistics for the United States:

  • Total population: 302,841,000
  • Gross national income per capita (PPP international $): 44,070
  • Life expectancy at birth m/f (years): 75/80
  • Healthy life expectancy at birth m/f (years, 2003): 67/71
  • Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births): 8
  • Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population): 137/80
  • Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2006): 6,714
  • Total expenditure on health as % of GDP (2006): 15.3

Statistics from Canada:

  • Total population: 32,577,000
  • Gross national income per capita (PPP international $): 36,280
  • Life expectancy at birth m/f (years): 78/83
  • Healthy life expectancy at birth m/f (years, 2003): 70/74
  • Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births): 6
  • Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population): 89/55
  • Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2006): 3,672
  • Total expenditure on health as % of GDP (2006): 10.0

Statistics from France:

  • Total population: 61,330,000
  • Gross national income per capita (PPP international $): 32,240
  • Life expectancy at birth m/f (years): 77/84
  • Healthy life expectancy at birth m/f (years, 2003): 69/75
  • Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births): 5
  • Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population): 124/57
  • Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2006): 3,554
  • Total expenditure on health as % of GDP (2006): 11.1

Statistics from the United Kingdom:

  • Total population: 60,512,000
  • Gross national income per capita (PPP international $): 33,650
  • Life expectancy at birth m/f (years): 77/81
  • Healthy life expectancy at birth m/f (years, 2003): 69/72
  • Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births): 6
  • Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population): 98/61
  • Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2006): 2,784
  • Total expenditure on health as % of GDP (2006): 8.4

Statistics from Germany:

  • Total population: 82,641,000
  • Gross national income per capita (PPP international $): 32,680
  • Life expectancy at birth m/f (years): 77/82
  • Healthy life expectancy at birth m/f (years, 2003): 70/74
  • Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births): 5
  • Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population): 106/55
  • Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2006): 3,328
  • Total expenditure on health as % of GDP (2006): 10.4

The world’s other major democracies spend almost half on health compared with what the United States spends per capita, and they’re all living longer than we are — even the Brits.  In some of these countries, for-profit health insurance is illegal.  You can run a company and sell all the widgets you want, making wonderful profits, but you can’t run a health insurance company that exists to take people’s money and then stand between a doctor and patient, refusing money for treatment.

Do you know the term the health insurance industry in the United States uses for those instances where they actually have to provide payment for medical treatment?  They call it a medical loss.  The health insurance industry in the United States actually measures the medical-loss ratio.

Every other democracy provides health insurance, in one way or another, through their government.

Remember all of these FACTS the next time you hear Newt Gingrich or any other health insurance industry shill criticize reform efforts.