Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Just Gloom Or Actual Doom?

Wendell Potter, a voice that all Americans should hear during the health care debate, paints a pretty gloomy picture of the events that are unfolding before our eyes in this health care-centered month of August. Whether gloom will translate into eventual doom, we will see soon enough. (You can find out more about Wendell Potter and why his voice is so important in the debate at the Bill Moyers Journal's section dedicated to health care matters.)

Business Week declared in a recent article that the health insurers have already won. The article is as depressing as Wendell Potter's.

In part, this depressing landscape is the result of deals that the White House seems to have struck with PhRMA and with insurers; in part, it is a result of the fact that the White House and Congress, perhaps intentionally, have failed to communicate to the American people the non-negotiable conditions that must be part of the final bill. Says Reich:
The White House is waiting to see what emerges from the House and Senate before insisting on what it wants, maybe in conference committee.

But that's the problem: It's always easier to stir up fear and anger against something that's amorphous than to stir up enthusiasm for it.

Things are not looking good for those who hope in real health care reform instead of, as Wendell Potter says in his article, "lipstick on that pig of a bill." But all is not lost, at least not yet. In the meantime you should, as I have done twice in the last couple of days already, write to the White House to let the president and his aides know that reform without the cost-containment guaranteed by a true and robust public option should spell disaster at the polls for Democrats and for the White House itself.

In his Squandered Opportunity points out that the next president of the AFL-CIO has threatened that the organization he will chair will sit out the next election if President Obama does not deliver on his campaign promises. Let's hope they don't have to.

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