Margaret Flowers of Physicians for a National Health Program sees one major flaw in President Obama’s Affordable Care Act: It did not go far enough. The only solution, Flowers argues in this conversation with Laura Flanders, is to push for universal healthcare by expanding medicare so that it covers all Americans.
Posts tagged ‘reform’
Robert Reich discusses the misconceptions between public and private morality.
from the Center for American Progress
Obamacare is under threat by the Supreme Court and conservatives in Congress. If the law were struck down or repealed, it would have dire consequences for the millions of women who benefit from it. Jessica Arons, Director of the Center for American Progress’s Women’s Health and Rights Program explains.
from The Nation
The idea of the general strike is not reformist simply because it demands changes to laws and working conditions. Rather, as Professor Gayatri Spivak of Columbia University argues in this video, the general strike is one vital tool in the array of tactics that must be used to fundamentally alter the relations between the classes. What’s more, revolution will not come about through a “catastrophic change” as was once imagined, and that concept should be given a decent burial.
I helped write a preservation ordinance once and discovered in my research that you really need to write a clause in there forbidding teardowns while the ordinance is being considered, otherwise there’s always some asshole who will invest a ton of money in destroying his building just to prove a point to the city council about what he thinks of the proposal of the measure.
So there may be many who will be surprised to discover insurers doing things like ceasing to write insurance policies on children in order to avoid a provision of the health insurance reform bill that will kick in later this year and force them to cover children who are already sick, and there may even be those, like the author of this AP piece, who call it an “unintended consequence,” but not me.
My political career began on a cold evening in the dimly lit labor hall of Laborers Local 362 on Cabin Town Road, in Bloomington, IL. It was the monthly Democratic Party meeting and I had no intention of speaking. After representatives from other campaigns spoke, I felt the need to represent my 2004 presidential pick. The words fell out of my mouth with no cadence or inspiration and I’m confident that nothing I said was remembered by the 20-25 attendees who were being pressured by party leaders to send Rod Blagojevich another $500 contribution. But there it was: the 12 words that have somehow come to define my political activism: “The task of my generation is the separation of corporation and state.”
Perhaps the biggest abuse of taxpayer money to bail out a gang of undeserving corporations was the bank bailout. Like many people, I was outraged and nearly driven to put my name back on the ballot when the Democratic-controlled U.S. Congress passed a $700 billion bank bailout to help Bush put the finishing touches on his corporate-state presidency. But I sat back and waited, overlooking the first year of Obama’s presidency that featured the more bailouts, more blank-check spending on Bush’s wars for profit, a wholesale attack on public education, and now, a healthcare bill written by corporations for corporations.
And so, I have come full circle as my next political steps take me back to the beginning and those first 12 words. This piece on healthcare aims to show how the will of the people was replaced by the will of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) while support for Newt Gingrich’s Contract on America grows. Among those following the health care reform process, it is commonly known that AHIP, the voice of insurance companies on capital hill, has played a significant role in drafting the bill.
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Corporate health “reform” has gotten the and his fellow corporate Democrats have pushed their big business-friendly measure –- devoid of any public insurance option to counter the power of the insurance oligopoly –- through the House and Senate, the reigning bipartisan U.S. political-media culture is pushing two childish narratives: the “liberal” Democratic one of an “historic” people’s victory and the “conservative” Republican one of a dangerous and “socialist” “government takeover.”
I got a phone call about the importance of health care legislation from Organizing for America yesterday morning. Now, I’ve quite recently ranted about both phone calls from OFA and health care reform, so I was prepared to lambast the poor volunteer, as soon as she had finished with her request.
But then she did finish her request, which was, specifically: “Will you call your representative and speak to him about the importance of health care reform in whatever direction you think that should take from here?”
So instead of tearing into her I said yes. Although, to be brutally blunt about it it my idea of where health care reform – in it’s present form – should go is some sunshine free area of someone or the other’s anatomy, I didn’t see anything in the volunteer from OFA’s request that would do anything but encourage me to express exactly that.
Which is exactly my point: Way to display clarity of message and leadership on an issue, guys. Although who “guys” are is also in question. Is this the administration? Or is this the DNC? Or is it all of the above?
This strikes me as a clear signal that the administration is taking charge by expanding it’s brialliantly executed circle jerk of a sort of vaguely expressed hopiness that we can somehow achieve real reform, without rocking any important contributor boats, all the way down to the rank and file.
But at least we have Obama’s Awesome On-Line Organizing Community to join the circle jerk, eh?
I’m positively tingling with enthusiasm. And hopiness.
I don’t know why Nate and others keep emphasizing the low profit margins of the insurance companies.
Accounting tricks aside (e.g., counting increased perks as “costs”, etc.), the lavish compensations and bureacratic bloat are devices a “marquis class’ of individuals, who bring NOTHING of value to the system, use to extort “protection” money from vulnerable citizens. By the way, the bottom line is profit VOLUME, which is substantial.
One function of government is to protect its citizens against persons or institutions that can do harm, such as predators in the “healthcare provider” business. Is it that hard for the apologists of the Democratic “healthcare” bill to understand how distressing this is to progressives, or any good government types?
Profit has NO PLACE in a system of basic health care. Let the marketplace work its wonders in cosmetic surgery. The fact that profit margins are now inextricably imbedded in this push for universal healthcare is going to explode this effort down the way, and not very far off.
We know how this is going to work. We’ll be forced to give them our money (and since I’m 50, I may be forced to pay 1/4 of my income to these criminals) right up front – with the government being the collection muscle. And there is nothing NOTHING to force these guys to behave. The sharks will walk off with their compensations, and we’ll be forced back to square zero, with a more impoverished society, and the problems not solved.
The people running these “healthcare” protection rackets have no care for the public, the system, or even their own companies. We’ve already seen CEOs walk off with over $1B in compensation… they don’t have to look back.
They shouldn’t exist. All of these guys in the privateering “healthcare” racket losing their jobs would be a small blip in the unemployment rate. I’d rather some of them use their actuarial skills toward optimizing high-speed rail systems or smart power grids.
Don’t. Not this, not to these thugs. No.