Posts Tagged ‘health care’

Health care and the benefits of citizenship

November 20th, 2013

The lengths to which the Republican Party is trying to sabotage the Affordable Care Act is nothing short of bizarre. Some might say, evil. But this resistance to providing every American with affordable health care isn’t really about health care. It’s really a declaration of war over who deserves the benefits of being a citizen in a nation-state; who deserves the fruits of being an American.

If health reform is allowed to succeed, reactionary arguments against the government’s obligation to provide for the people’s welfare suddenly fall flat. Why – the public would then ask – is the government so awful if it is guaranteeing me the means to keep myself and my family healthy (and therefore, alive)? Hey, maybe the government isn’t so bad after all, and we should have more of it.

Meanwhile, as attacks on the ACA continue and mainstream news outlets act as if the law is headed for failure, the fearful cries against single payer grow ever more shrill in the conservative media. Anti-health reform zealots are the most frightened of a government expansion of Medicare to all Americans because they know the idea would be extremely popular and would help many Americans benefit economically. Calling the ACA – or Obamacare, as it’s come to be known – “socialist” or “Communist” is merely a distraction, when these zealots know full well that the ACA is based on the free-market theories of a conservative think tank. The distraction is meant to keep the public from even considering a better alternative to Obamacare.

But what is so insidious about attacks on efforts to get the United States toward universal health care is that the reactionaries seem to believe that some people aren’t deserving of health care at all. And so, neither are they deserving of a good education, a good job at a living wage, affordable housing, a decent pension in old age, or even food. This means there ought to be two societies in America: one for those who are entitled to all the resources and wealth in the country, and the other for those who can labor in it, but should expect little or nothing in return. In another age, the former class of people would have been called an aristocracy. If an aristocracy is what the reactionaries want for the United States, then they should just come out and say so.

Re-posted from the Daily Kos.

Yes, Obamacare will help millions. But here’s why we must move beyond it.

November 6th, 2013

The Real News Network: Why Are People with Health Insurance Going Bankrupt?


Democracy Now!: Is Obamacare Enough? Without Single-Payer, Patwork U.S. Healthcare Leaves Millions Uninsured

Why does America need single payer? Watch this video.

October 18th, 2013

Author John Green explains why healthcare costs in America are so out of control:

h/t Patheos Progressive Christian Channel with a good commentary about the video here.

Canadian business leaders baffled by healthcare battle in the U.S.

October 15th, 2013

Opinion writer Matt Miller had an interesting article in The Washington Post recently quoting entrepreneurs in Canada saying how bewildered they are over American resistance to expanding access to health care. These Canadian businessmen say they love “Canada’s single-payer system for its quality and cost-effectiveness,” and don’t understand America’s confusing patchwork of health plans and administrative bureaucracy.

And this healthcare battle is threatening to take down the entire United States economy. Two weeks ago, the so-called “Tea Party” wing of the Republican Party, led by Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, engineered a shutdown of the federal government after the White House rejected GOP demands in Congress to defund the Affordable Care Act. Now, Congressional “Tea Party” members are refusing to agree to raise the federal debt ceiling unless their specific demands are met. If the crisis isn’t resolved in the next two days, the U.S. will default on its debts. All this over helping millions of Americans gain access to affordable health care! Such a situation would be unthinkable to our friends in Canada.

But what the Canadians perhaps don’t realize is that for opponents of universal health care (who see the ACA as a terrifying step toward single payer), a dysfunctional system is all about maintaining control. Take “job lock.” Canadians can easily quit a job they no longer like without fear of losing their health care. Before the ACA, that wasn’t the norm for Americans. But universal healthcare opponents, especially those who lead large corporations, don’t like the fact that Americans can now more easily leave their jobs, and have the option of setting up new companies that will compete with their former employers. Second, the big health insurance companies also like to maintain control over how much profit they make. They certainly don’t like all the new nonprofit health insurance companies that are now cropping up on the state ACA exchanges. Finally, health care is wealth. Sick, desperate and poor people make an easily manipulated and exploited population for multinational corporations seeking a cheap labor force. So, universal healthcare opponents aren’t crazy. They know exactly what they’re doing and what they want.