Wednesday, February 3, 2016
I remember tracing the money I got paid at a relatively benign “white collar” job at Video Monitoring Service back to the HMO and Pharma industries. They wanted to know what TV was saying about them. Was there some scandal they might spin, or did TV take the story they planted? Usually, it was the latter, because they bought enough advertising to be able to have veto power over new content, but they hired VMS to check in on the news just in case. As the news presented a debate over national healthcare at the time, I became acutely aware that if, indeed, comprehensive health care reform did occur, these companies would be forbidden from wasting millions of dollars on commercials and PR and planting stories in the news, and that this could very well affect our company and cause me to lose my job. I wouldn’t mind, but I saw many other people—in many other seemingly non-related fields—worry about losing their jobs if the existing system is changed, since the for-profit health industry has become so central to our economic and cultural system. If the proponents of single-payer healthcare had made it clear that this would be connected to a job (re-) training program, or the creation of more useful and productive jobs to fix the nation’s ailing infrastructure, I believe it would have had a better chance…and maybe would even include dental and cranial sacral.