Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Great Health Care Debacle

When the Democratic health care bill becomes law, most likely this coming Sunday, it will be a betrayal of the principle that health care is a human right. It will be a gift not to those who have struggled for years to keep their health coverage, but to the corporate uberlords who have exploited a universal need to enrich themselves and their cohorts in Congress. It will signal to the world that the United States has chosen to put profit over social justice, something no other advanced nation in the world has done. It will be a blow to progressives, who will be defeated but won't stop fighting for what is right: the right to be treated equally in front of an illness, regardless of one's station in life.

It is a revolting bill. It did not have to be. It did not have to reward the very interests that deserved to punished. It did not have to legislate that health insurance is a duty while health care is not a right. It did not have to bow to corporate interests instead of taking them on. It will do nothing or too little to control costs, absent a public option to keep insurers on their toes.

That is why I have not backed it in spite of repeated pleas by the White House and by a number of representatives who have my name on their mailing lists. I cannot support a bill that so unconscionably and so casually abdicates the tenets of progressivism and of social justice. Single-payer was not even brought to the table and the public option was a chimera created to pacify those who would not readily lend their support to this health care reform but who could be convinced that something pretty ugly was better than nothing. That, incidentally is true. Even this ugly bill is, in some ways, better than nothing (the status quo), which should really clarify for everyone how deep we have sunk this country's sense of what is right, what is morally acceptable.

You should read Solomon and Rothschild to understand what is happening and what needs to be done

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