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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Inauguration Day Madman

February 11, 2009


Why Single Payer Universal Health Care will Never Happen

Single Payer Universal Health Care (SPUHC) is a pipe dream. It's especially true for those of us who believe that it's the only true way to make sure every single American can see a doctor when they're sick. It's just unfortunate, even in today's climate where almost every American is fearful of losing their job - and their health care coverage - that SPUHC couldn't get past the talking points presented by those only on the furthest Left.

Former presidential candidate and sitting US Congressman Dennis Kucinich (DEMOCRAT-OH) was the only candidate to even talk about Single Payer Universal Health Care coverage. And - let's face it - he was never really a serious challenger to the White House anyway.

The objection to SPUHC is the connotation of socialized medicine. Those on the Right, acting as agents of Big Health Care, know that fear is the only way to get regular Americans to agree with their side in the health care argument. They spend millions of dollars to "inform" us that those other nations with health care for all (which include every other western nation on the planet) are wrong and that we - the United States - have the best of everything right here at home.

And that includes health care.

When those of us who are paying attention bring up nations such as Canada and their health care plan, they tell us things like "Canadians have to wait months before seeing a doctor," or "Canadians come here for good health care services."

Those are just bold-faced lies.

In fact, Canada's health care plan is not socialized medicine - it's smart medicine which treats everyone with health care coverage the same. And since health care is mandatory, everyone is treated the same.

Big health care in the US can find a Canadian or two who doesn't like their current health care system. They quote some of our neighbors up north as having to wait for months before seeing a doctor in an emergency situation. But when those accusations are investigated, they turn out to be false.

Those without emergency medical need in Canada will have to wait their turn. But is that so different than how we see our doctors here in the US? How long does it take you to get an appointment for a "well visit" for your child or for a complete physical for yourself?

It's health care that's the impediment for fixing our economy. While many of us have jobs with health care, it certainly has become more expensive. Health care takes up our time as well with many of us less-than-healthy Americans having to juggle work (sometimes two or three jobs), time with our families and the obligatory argument with a paper-pusher at our health care provider's home office.

Even our employer isn't immune from the plight of their employees' health care dilemmas. Many employers have to have someone who can take care of all health related issues on staff or use their own precious time and do so for themselves.

Even with all of these reasons to install a Single Payer Universal Health Care Plan in the United States, we will never have one - at least not soon enough. The reason is simple: too much money is being spent by those who profit from our health care system as it stands today to make the change. And with that money, they've been able to instill upon us a fear of Socialism/ Communism; a fear of losing the ability to see OUR doctor; and worst of all, the fear of not being better than those less fortunate than ourselves.

It's the last item mentioned which is the most troubling. Many Americans like to believe that they're (we're) special, even at the expense of someone else. And being "special", like they (we) are, they (we) have to have the best health care coverage available... and for the best price. If someone else were to have health care - especially someone not their (our) perceived equal, then "special" becomes "ordinary".

And the health care lobby and Industry need us to be "special".

Until we get out of the "Anything American is the best" mindset which had been promoted ad nauseum by the Bush administration and the likes of Big Health Care, we will suffer through a system of health care which treats the rich and the lucky differently from the poor and the "ordinary".

In short, we need "ordinary" to be the norm.

-Noah Greenberg

In response to the passage of the Economic Stimulus and Recovery Act, Denise writes:

If the Democrats are smart, they will leave the Senate plan intact and bring it to the floor of the House immediately for a vote. The House has enough votes without any Republicans to pass the legislation and the Senate should have the same number of votes it did on the passage of the Senate version. I can't see how three Republicans would not vote for something they worked diligently to work out and pass the first time around. The longer Congress stews on any legislation the worse it gets. It is way past time for the stimulus package to be brought for it's final votes on the floors of each body and Obama to sign it into law. To heck with the next election and the obstructionists.

In response to President Obama's first press conference, Victoria Brownworth writes:

In his press conference Professor Obama reminded us what it's like to have a president who not only went to Harvard, but actually studied there. Alas, while he was working with the press on the economy, behind the scenes he was signing on to one of the most loathsome aspects of the Bush Administration-- State Secrets privilege. Obama has spent a great deal of time wooing Republicans. It would be nice if he remembered those of us who voted him into office and also remembered some of the promises he made to us. One being that he would never invoke this and would in fact overturn it. But that post on his website--once referred to as "The Problem"--is now part of the Obama Administration. Or as the ACLU called it today, "A stunning blow for civil liberties."

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-Noah Greenberg