Friday, January 11, 2013

Regrettably Delicious - or why the government won't raise the minimum wage.

Did you ever wonder why we have a "Flu Season?" Is the flu season world-wide, or does it only affect the United States? I suspect the flu season primarily effects the United States for the simple reason that so many people who are part-time food handlers at restaurants and grocery stores are sick or infected most of the time.

But, it's not just the food handlers, it's any retail service employee who is part-time. Fast-food, hospitality workers in hotels and possibly on cruise ships, or even full-time employees who only earn minimum wage.

ClassWarfareExists.com recently reported Wendy's Taco Bell Franchises Cut Employee Hours To Avoid Giving Workers Health Insurance. This is really not surprising, it's been a common practice for decades at Walmart, Lowe's and other low-wage employers.

Compounding the problem is that low-wages and not enough hours makes it impossible for employees to take sick time necessary to prevent spreading disease.

A few years ago I was active with MoveOn.org and we protested in favor of the Public Option or Single Payer health care option that would be basically giving everyone in the country health coverage like Medicaid or Medicare. One benefit would have been relieving businesses of the burden of health care.

Unfortunately, the insurance companies clearly saw it as a threat to their very existence, and they were right to be afraid. Insurance companies have countless billions of dollars from their customers stored up in huge coffers, if not invested in some hedge fund, and their "Death Panels" regularly turn-down insurance claims already, something Sarah Palin neglected to mention when she was making the same claim against the new health care reforms proposed by then candidate Barack Obama before the 2008 presidential election.

We actually were allowed into Senator Roland Burris's office in Springfield to discuss the issue, but nothing changed. The Obama administration decided against the Single Payer system back then, perhaps because they needed the Insurance industry support for at least the next two election cycles.

OpenSecrets.org is a good source to check campaign contributions. Anyway, The question of improving health care coverage for every American keeps coming up and then is pushed aside by some other distraction time-and-again.

It would seem to make sense in the scheme of American worker productivity to make sure all children as school are healthy, and employees at work are healthy, were it not for one single fact: Sickness is profitable.

The health care industry sees a huge profit over the flu season. Why would any politician dare choke the flow of campaign cash from such a powerful industry? Sickness ain't broke!