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Welcome to Code WACK!

featuring host Brenda Gazzar


Shining a light on America's callous healthcare system

and what we can do about it.


Now streaming on Nurse Talk Media and Progressive Voices!


Powered by HEAL California


Nov 1, 2021


Join Code WACK! for the second of two podcasts featuring Thom Hartmann on America's healthcare fiasco and what we can do about it. 

After all, how does it help the nation’s health to have insurance industry executives sucking millions of dollars out of the system while Americans deny themselves healthcare because they can’t afford it?

And why have our political leaders abandoned us to this mess?

Host Brenda Gazzar and Hartmann, America’s No. 1 progressive talk radio show host and New York Times bestselling author, continue their discussion of his newest book, “The Hidden History of American Health Care: Why Sickness Bankrupts You and Makes Others Insanely Rich.”   


Click for transcript



Thom offers a tongue-in-cheek suggestion that we simply buy out the health insurance sector:

“…it's not the most serious suggestion in the book, but it's like one of these kinds of ‘in case of emergency break glass.’ The problem is that every time you talk about a single-payer healthcare system or anything like it, um, you've got this industry, this almost trillion dollar a year industry that literally is spinning off five, six, $7 billion a month in profits.



The other problem with bringing up Medicare for All is the age-old question becomes “How do we pay for it?” Thom points out how changes in tax rates on the nation’s highest earners have left us in debt, completely unnecessarily:

“In fact, if Reagan had never cut taxes and then the two big subsequent ones, the George W. Bush and Donald Trump tax cuts, if those had never happened, we would have no national debt right now.”

So we do have the money to bring about real change. However we decide to fix our healthcare system, it is clear that we must act, according to Thom. Our current system is not only harming Americans, it’s also harming our nation’s ability to innovate and compete economically. 



COVID seemed like the opportunity for a national conversation on this, yet despite the devastation it wrought, Americans seem to believe the hassles and high costs of our healthcare system are “normal.”  They most certainly are not!

"The number of people who have to declare bankruptcy because somebody in their family got sick in Canada is zero. In Germany, it’s zero. In France, it’s zero. In the UK, it’s zero. Here it was a half a million..., well last year it was over 700,000 as best we can tell. And this year it's probably going to be over a million...I'm just astonished that Americans just assume that this is normal. This is not normal."


You can check out Tom’s new book “The Hidden History of American Health Care: Why Sickness Bankrupts You and Makes Others Insanely Rich” and subscribe to Code WACK!, your podcast about America’s broken healthcare system on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen. 


Thom Hartmann Biography

Thom Hartmann is a progressive national and internationally syndicated talk show host whose shows are available in over a half-billion homes worldwide. He's the New York Times bestselling, four-time Project Censored Award-winning author of about 30 books in print in 17 languages on five continents. Leonardo DiCaprio was inspired by Thom's book "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight" to make the movie "The 11th Hour" (in which Thom appears), and the movie "Ice On Fire."

Talkers Magazine named Thom Hartmann as the 10th most important talk show host in America in 2019 and has been in the top ten for over a decade and he is the #1 most important progressive host, in their “Heavy Hundred” ranking.

His radio show is syndicated on for-profit FM and AM radio stations nationally, on nonprofit and community stations nationwide by Pacifica, across the entire North American continent on SiriusXM Satellite radio (Progress, Channel 127), on cable systems nationwide by Cable Radio Network (CRN), via subscription audio podcasts, worldwide through the U.S. Armed Forces Network, and through the Thom Hartmann iOS and Android apps. The radio show is also simulcast as TV in real-time into nearly 40 million U.S. and Canadian homes by the Free Speech TV Network on Dish Network, DirectTV, on cable TV systems nationwide, and live on both YouTube and Facebook.



Medical Bankruptcies Statistics 2021 Update, Balancing Everything


Medical Bankruptcies by Country 2021, World Population Review


The State of Healthcare Industry, Statistics for 2021, PolicyAdvice.net


Pandemic profits: top U.S. health insurers make billions in second quarter, The Guardian


Hidden History Series, Thom Hartmann


Find more Code WACK! episodes on ProgressiveVoices.com and on the PV App. You can also subscribe to Code WACK! wherever you find your podcasts. This podcast is powered by HEAL California, uplifting the voices of those fighting for health care reform around the country. I’m Brenda Gazzar.