Single payer without compromise

The time has come for the Democratic majority to act in unison to implement universal single-payer medical care in the US. The US corporatocracy, the profit taking machine that dominates every facet of our lives, must stand aside. No sly winks and nudges. No fear mongering. No lobbying, vote buying, or bullying.

Here is how it works in Canada. My thanks to Jon Husband for the link.

Slouching Toward Medicare

For me the odometer rolls over in December. I’ll turn 65 then. I’ve been fortunate all my life where health care is concerned. As a kid, in my parents’ home, I was unconscious of how the medical bills got paid. Those were simpler times, before the corporations ran rough-shod over public and private life, before our national leaders had devolved to a gang of thugs in the pay of corporate masters, before a privileged upper middle-class dominated policy development at the behest of these same corporations. When I was a child the perpetual proletariat of today, informed by propagandists aping the exercise of free speech, had not yet come to dominate political discussion, to drown out informed debate. When I was a child the vicious forces of rapacious greed were hidden in an emerging consumer society, their presence only hinted at by the chimera of a communist menace invoked by heroes and fools alike. Continue reading

August 20 is Elders for Health Care Reform Day

A week or so ago, Ronni Bennett (Time Goes By) called for our reflections on health care reform. She proposed:

  • That next week, on Thursday 20 August, elderbloggers rise up on their blogs in support of health care reform including a public option
  • That we denounce the say-no-to-everything Republicans and their handmaidens, the Blue Dog Democrats
  • That we call out the health industry and their lobbyists who are bribing Congress with campaign donations to maintain the health care status quo and preserve their staggering profits
  • That we fact check the lies, half-truths and exaggerations of the scare-mongering media nitwits who dare to compare the health care bill to Nazi Germany and who shout fascism, socialism and Communism without a gram of understanding of those terms
  • That we reinforce the the fact of the backbreaking cost of health care that will skyrocket so high in the next decade, without health care reform there can be no economic recovery.

Tall order, and it’s not easy to pick a point of entry. The power of honest political organizing was demonstrated with the Obama mandate last November. It seems that to make progress (and we are after all progressives) we have to keep the pressure on congress and the White House to remember campaign promises and to do the right thing.

Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor, has suggested a march on Washington supporting health care reform efforts to be held on “Grandparents Day,” September 13. On September 12 the know-nothings have planned a teabagger march on Washington, so–as Reich says–it could prove to be an interesting weekend.

I’m looking for a scorecard, a tally of who in congress is with us and who is against us. Separating the sheep from the goats now will be useful when congress turns over next November. Clearly we don’t have a large enough majority if congressmen can be influenced by the know-nothings. The teabagger demonstrations are cathartic for the deluded people who have been called out by the corporations, the right wing Christian fundamentalists, and the talk radio obstructionists, and I don’t doubt the sincerity of most people in that mob. But they’ve been lied to, they’ve been mistreated by their organizers, and their grasp of the facts of health care reform alternatives is largely non-existent. Many of them conflate reproductive health issues with the health care reform debate. Many of them are afraid they will be taxed until they bleed. These people, the opposition to meaningful legislation, comprise an alienated minority who are passionate and fearful. They are people who think that if we give somebody a hand then someone else will have to suffer. They have a zero-sum lifeboat mentality. There are far fewer of them than the media coverage would have us believe.

Tomorrow, Ronni will be linking to all the posts she can find about the elder perspective on health care reform. It’s likely that there will be a some cogent conservative voices speaking out. And I expect there will be ranters and screamers from the edges too. I’m looking forward to the discussion.

I can’t find that list of Congressmen and Senators who support meaningful reform but I’m sure somebody is keeping score. If I find it I’ll share the link.

In Support of a Public Health Insurance Option

“A public option is a fundamental part of ensuring health care reform brings about real change. Opposing the public plan is an endorsement of the status quo in this country that has left tens of millions of Americans uninsured or underinsured and put massive burdens on employers. I have heard too many horror stories from my constituents about how the so-called competitive marketplace has denied them coverage from the outset, offered a benefit plan that covers everything but what they need or failed them some other way. A strong public option would ensure competition in the industry to provide the best, most affordable insurance for Americans and bring down the skyrocketing health care costs that are the biggest contributor to our long-term budget deficits. I am not interested in passing health care reform in name only. Without a public option, I don’t see how we will bring real change to a system that has made good health care a privilege for those who can afford it.”
– Senator Russ Feingold, Democrat from Wisconsin

Eat Beef!

In the interest of equal time for carnivores and in response to the recent “Eat Less Meat” graphic in the sidebar, I share with you a marketing message I received today from an organic grass fed beef operation up near Douglas City in Trinity County…

cute cow

As for me, I’m doing my part for the locavore movement. I get my grass fed beef from the Trautman Family Farm a few miles east of here.

(And I still think it will be better for the planet if all of us omnivores moderate our intake of meat.)

If a tweet falls in the forest…

Is twitter down, or is it just me?

Thank you “is-it-down-for-everyone” guys! I was about to do the whole bad connection dance.

(…and *snap* –just like that– twitter is back up and pumping tweets-

National Poetry Slam #NPS2009

The twentieth National Poetry Slam, the Super Bowl of the Spoken Word, gets under way tonight at seven pm in West Palm Beach, Florida. In a sort of bus man’s holiday, the Orlando Sentinel’s Tod Caviness will blog the event live from West Palm.

Of local interest:

Follow @NPS2009 on twitter and look for tweets that have been tagged #NPS200. Last and least, for those who tweak on that Facebook crack, yes–there is a group.