Tuesday, September 29, 2009

No Country for Old Men, Women and Children

I wrote at length last year about certain corners I thought our Republic had turned. I was contemplating what appeared to be a new national maturity. I naively exhaled after that last presidential election in November, thinking to myself that certain established conventions used to deceive and manipulate our nation into voting against its own interests were finally dismantled or at least exhausted for the time being.

I didn’t count on just how much money the Healthcare industry has to spend, and how much power and influence it has already bought over the long years since President Nixon set the HMOs loose on us like a pack of rabid dogs.

Maybe attacking Healthcare Reform now, and at any of the times since President Truman’s efforts, was a case of putting the cart before the horse; because without getting the lobbyists away from all of our representatives, without campaign reform that actually keeps corporations from buying our House and Senate out from under our tired feet, it doesn’t matter what we need or how badly we need it. With enough money, "we the people" can be made to believe we don’t need anything, and we can be made to fear and refuse the very things that will save our lives. After all, Healthcare is a matter of life and death for millions of Americans, and yet some people are arguing about it today it as if “coverage” were fancy clothing, or an extended awning to be put off in favor of remaining indoors and saving money.

Everyone in America needs to remember that the Republican Party and its members asked no questions about budgets, deficits and the burden we were passing onto our children when President Reagan tripled the deficit, and the GOP again remained conspicuously silent when George W, Bush doubled it again while increasing government bureaucracy to an unprecedented degree.

Rupert Murdoch’s Fox “News” Channel consistently focuses on “character” issues (-real or contrived,) points out hypocrisies and celebrates the moral lapses (-legitimate or spurious) of any Democrat. So why haven’t they pointed out that Max Baucus, the Democratic Senator from Montana received $3,973,485 from the Healthcare industry from 2003 to 2008? In fact it surprised me to know, the only senators who have received more campaign contributions from the Healthcare industry during the same time period were the three major Presidential contenders of 2008: Hillary Clinton; John McCain; and Barack Obama. That’s how much money Baucus is in the barrel for. Think about it: the only people who took more money from the Healthcare companies were people running for President… and one of them won.

That’s how much money one Senator is worth to the Healthcare industry.

According to The Center for Responsive Politics, Senator Baucus has received $852,813 from the Pharmaceutical companies and drug makers, $851,142 from doctors and health professionals, $784,184 from the health insurers and $465,750 from HMOs.

Now, my collaborator on this blog and I have repeatedly pointed out the many reasons why Fox “News” Channel isn’t news: but for once, just once, I should’ve been able to count on Fox “News” Channel, -that dogged bastion of partisanship- to go after a Democrat…
Didn’t I tell you I was naïve?

America’s health has no price my friend.

If President George W. Bush could say to Americans that our lives were worth whatever we could go into debt for, why can’t President Barack H. Obama say the same thing?
Is war really that much more easily justifiable than medical coverage?

You reading this, if you are sick, there is no price we should not pay to keep you, a member of our society, from pain and untimely death. There is no America without Americans, and we’d do well to remind each other and every politician that we’ve elected and that we’ve paid to represent us that we are the country, we are its spirit, its mind, its power and its naked soul.

There is no refuge from this problem:

We can reform Healthcare in such a way that it is no longer an industry that preys on us; destroys our businesses big and small; denies help to the dying –or- we can put it off once again, and in twelve-years time be forced to nationalize it completely in a panic, thereby actually bringing about the bureaucratic nightmares, draconian rationing and inefficiencies many disingenuously claim are common in the United Kingdom, Canada and all those other nations with curiously higher life expectancies than our own.

Maybe we’ll just sail to Byzantium my friends, or better yet, to some other imagined shore where life has no price, variable or set, and the truth is not what somebody says it is, -but a thing we know and use against the people and things that would harm us.



Mycue23 said...

I couldn't have said it better myself. Literally, I mean this may be the best argument for health care reform that I have ever seen. I'm not sure that I'm fit to even share the blog with you. Awesome stuff.

SJ said...

Thanks for inviting me to write on this blog, it's an honor.

Jack Jodell said...

I agree with Mycue23, that this was a fabulous post. I've said it before and I'll say it again: if we do not enact meaningful universal health care reform this legislative session, I will become a true American dissident, dedicating myself to the dismantling of the apparent plutocrtacy which we have become.

I keep my sanity, my spiruts up, and am humbled by and honored to ewad, both you guys' posts, as well as those from Manifesto Joe, Marc McDonald, TomCat, Beach Bum, Yellow Dog, mud_rake, Burr Deming, Stimpson, Gwendolyn Barry, Stimpson, Vigilante, and all other clear thinkers in this blogosphere. Thanks to one and all!

SJ said...

Thanks I appreciate that.
There's a fertile community I've discovered online thanks to your posts and thoughtful repartée. It sure beats walking around mumbling incohently about what's wrong these days.
Let's hope for the best and brace ourselves for the worst. We'll endure, the country will survive and we'll approach that "more perfect union" in small increments if not leaps and bounds.

Oso said...

I echo the other's appreciative comments.
I tried to commit to memory some of your points,to throw back at the teabaggers I work with then decided it wasn't worth the effort.

They can't understand,or I guess better put WON'T understand things I tell them.

Nevertheless an excellent post.

SJ said...

As you mentioned, it's not anything particularly new or novel that I've written, but people still refuse to look at the issue squarely.
In the end, we'll either do this now, or be forced to do it after the next decade when Healthcare costs start to destroy other big industries beside automotive.