Skip to comments.On health care, conservatives take dead-end view (BARF AND LAUGH ALERT)
Posted on 07/12/2007 4:46:09 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
If I hadn't known better, I would have thought Fran Eaton's July 1 column, a rant against health care for poor children, was a parody of conservative positions and designed to make them look mean and stupid. But no, her condemnation of anything resembling a nurturing role for government, the "Mama state," as she calls it, was sincere. I find her views deeply disturbing but not surprising.
What do conservatives stand for? Conservatives have fought long, hard losing battles against the abolition of slavery, the right of women to vote, child labor laws, the rights of workers to unionize, Social Security, civil rights, Medicare, the right of women to choose, gay rights and environmental protection. Many conservatives still insist that global warming is a liberal hoax.
Today the vast majority of Americans understand that conservatives were dead wrong on all of these issues. Even on a woman's right to choose, a particularly divisive and difficult issue, the great majority of Americans want to keep abortion legal. And most Americans recognize that government can play an important role in providing a measure of economic security, which is why Social Security and Medicare are the two most popular federal programs ever devised.
Fran Eaton beats the tired conservative drum about the wonders of free markets and limited government, which in essence means tax breaks for corporations and for the rich. This is supposed to create a rising economic tide which raises all boats. Unfortunately, that has not happened. The rich have simply gotten richer and everyone else is worse off.
Average income, adjusted for inflation, has steadily declined for 90 percent of Americans for almost 30 years, decreasing from $27,060 in 1979 to $25,645 in 2005. However, "limited government" seems to be working well for the wealthiest 5 percent of households, which own 95 percent of the value of all stock shares. Meanwhile, "smaller government" means that higher education is becoming unaffordable for working families, escape from poverty is more difficult for the poor and what remains of the safety net for any who fall on hard times is being shredded.
Conservatives are now on the warpath against universal health care. Eaton appears outraged that Gov. Blagojevich wants every uninsured person in Illinois covered by some form of health insurance. I'm also unhappy with the governor's plan, but because it does not go far enough. Consultants hired by the state of Illinois indicated that the best plan (of six studied) would be the single-payer, universal coverage plan which would eliminate health insurance companies and be financed but not run by the state of Illinois. (For details including how such a program would be funded, see Physicians for a National Health Policy at PNHP.org.) Naturally, Illinois politicians were not willing to stand up to the insurance companies and endorse this plan.
Michael Moore's recently released movie "Sicko" is a stunning indictment of our current for-profit health care system and offers a peek into the excellent national health care plans in Canada, England, France and, yes, even Cuba. Moore's movie is so powerful and convincing that it will inspire many Americans to demand single-payer, national health care.
However, don't be fooled by Democratic presidential candidates who talk about "universal" health coverage but refuse to consider single-payer national health care, which would eliminate HMOs, managed care and health insurance companies. No wonder they are spineless. Pharmaceutical and insurance companies have poured more than a half-billion dollars into the pockets of Congress and the White House in the last 10 years. The exception is Dennis Kucinich, who is a co-sponsor to Rep. John Conyers' National Health Insurance Bill, House Resolution 676.
I expect Fran Eaton to write a column trashing the national health insurance plans of Canada and European countries. Six conservative think tanks, including the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation, have recently launched massive campaigns to discredit Michael Moore, his movie and national health care. There will be op-ed pieces, talking heads on television, rants on talk radio and thousands of ghost-written letters to the editors of newspapers blasting the concept of national health care.
Seventeen thousand Americans die every year because they cannot afford health care. More than 45 million have no health insurance. Getting sick is the leading cause of bankruptcy. Even people with good jobs and what they think is good health insurance often go broke if they become seriously ill. These problems do not exist in the other industrialized countries, all of which have national health care.
Conservatives have been wrong on issues from slavery to global warming to the Iraq war and now they are wrong about national health care. Go see Michael Moore's movie "Sicko." Americans deserve better than the disastrous for-profit health insurance industry, which has resulted in the World Health Organization ranking America 37th in overall health, behind Costa Rica but ahead of Slovenia.
George Ochsenfeld is chairperson and co-founder of the Progressive Forum, which hosts monthly meetings on peace, justice and sustainability in order to educate and build community among progressives. He is also a longtime leader in the fight against the proposed south suburban airport near Peotone. He can be reached by email at Ochsenfeld@aol.com.
Umm... Lincoln was a Republican. Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation. How is it that Pubbies are for slavery?
And while I’m not rolling in riches, this author’s view of what constitutes poverty is extremely deluded. If earning over $50K a year constitutes riches, then count me among the few!
I’m so tired of the disenfranchised America tripe these big city loons are peddling. Come to flyover country and see what life is like. We don’t complain. We live within our means. We enjoy making our lawns green and keeping our pools clean.
I guess when you live in an overpriced loft in a city where you can’t protect yourself and the government can’t neither, then being poor, dejected and disenfranchised is de rigeur.
The Dems fought for slavery in the Civil War, the Republicans were an antip-slavery party. Nice try using the conservative/liberal labels buddy.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
Ahhhhh! Child Labor Day . . . one of my favorite holidays!
She didn’t say “republicans”, she said “conservatives”. Big difference.
Very true - Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin were quite “progressive.”
It’s not so much like a “dead end” as it is like a cliff.
Although there are sufficient clues up to this sentence to suggest that the author is delusional, this sentence provides the proof.
One question usually dispels the desire for government run health care: "Do you really want people like those at the DMV to be in charge of your health?"
Fidel Castro himself discredited "national health care". He got, sick, he had to import Spanish doctors to save his worthless backside.
LOL. It was the “England” part of that diatribe that showed me the author has no idea what a blight socialised medicine is.
More leftist propaganda. Yawn...
“Michael Moore’s recently released movie “Sicko” is a stunning indictment of our current for-profit health care system and offers a peek into the excellent national health care plans in Canada, England, France and, yes, even Cuba.”
What Moore doesn’t tell you, and the author conveniently omits, is that these “excellent national health care plans” are all generally in trouble, financially and otherwise. In most of these places, health care might be “free,” but it’s severely rationed and the quality is substandard. It might be ok for minor illnesses and such “health care” as abortions, birth control and dispensing clean needles for drug addicts. But if you need a heart transplant for example, you wouldn’t want to go to any of those countries.
but republican/democrat did not mean liberal/conservative in the 1860s.
that is a more recent concept, probably only since the 1970s
before then, both parties were regional coalitions.
I’d say Dirksen was pretty conservative and Gore Sr. pretty liberal.
There is nothing stopping Michael Moore and like-minded people from forming a voluntary insurance program, open to all interested Americans, that functions exactly as they want. Why do they have to force the rest of us to join it at gunpoint?
The poor, the dispossessed, etc.
I am so tired of hearing about them and their problems and why the liberals need to spend more of my money on them. I am one of the few willing to say it openly, SCREW THE POOR. I have had enough of the social welfare experiminets and want to try a new approach. It’s time to lay siege to the poor and homeless. Make their lives more uncomfortable, let them pay for their own food, electricity, housing, and healthcare.
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