Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Recently at my son's boy scout meeting one of the mother's stood up at the end to make a pitch for a friend; a forty-two year old father of two who also happens to be a Navy veteran, it seems the fellow has recently discovered he is deep into pancreatic cancer and in order to get Chemo therapy treatment the guy has to come up with four thousand dollars a pop and his health insurance won't cover it. The woman was looking for donations. And there are a million other stories out there just as sad, but the Tea Party will tell you we don't need "Obama care" Mitt Romney will pound his privileged chest and announce that his first act as president will be to repeal any health care Obama has managed to slip by a reluctant congress. Newt Gingrich? He spearheaded the successful Republican campaign to destroy even the debate on Health Care reform almost twenty years ago when Hilary Clinton tried to help the American People and why? What do these privileged   members of the 1% have against the rest of us that they want to deny us health care? And more to the point why do so many ordinary Americans vote for these pricks when it is so obviously contrary to their own self interests. This is not deep or complex; it should be as easy to see who is wearing the black hats as it would be if you were to watch 1950's western. Yet so many of us are duped by the childish ranting of the Republican Party and loud mouthed radio talk show hosts that it's almost like high school.          
For generations healthcare has held the people of the United States in bondage. Roughly 17% of our Gross Domestic Product is spent on Health Care and while Health Insurance companies like Aetna or United may only turn profits in the 8 or 9 % range pharmaceutical companies routinely top the lists of the most profitable companies in the world while raising their prices every year on essential drugs by many times the rate of inflation. There are many hospitals with operating margins of over twenty-five percent or more, easily beating out blue chip American companies like GE for overall profitability. One hospital; the Flower's Medical Center in Dothan Alabama recently posted a 53% operating profit and  Dr.'s are grossly over compensated. The result is that no one from the middle class or below, can afford to get sick in this country without the fear of losing their life savings, their home or going bankrupt. Those who can, are by and large still holding onto benefits negotiated by labor unions or originally put into place by employers attempting to compete with deals arranged by labor unions. The sad and Ironic thing here is that the conservative groups standing in the way of health care reform are of three stripes, the wealthy and the corrupt, members of the health industry who currently benefit from inflated costs and whose future earnings may have to come in line with reality if health care reform is passed and those who have good benefits already and so don't suffer. Many of the last mentioned group therefore have the luxury of allowing themselves to fall under the sway of raging demagogues like Rush Limbaugh. The irony is that these people who can make themselves feel good by bashing the less fortunate are generally only able to do so because, in one way or another, their version of the American Dream was bought and paid for by tough guy, socialist labor leaders in past generations. What's sad is that the very people who benefitted from their struggle are allowing the work of the American labor movement to be undone. In much the same way that conservatives in this country pretend to revere our founding fathers, founding fathers that fit the profile of classical liberals who if they were alive today would be reviled by these same conservatives.
                So there's a debate in this country now as to whether or not the Supreme Court should go beyond its intended purpose and cross the line built by the founding fathers between the legislative and judiciary branches of government. At stake? The fate of the very physical health of America which is currently held hostage by privateers and profiteers who maintain their advantage by beating the drum of anti-socialism and bribing our public officials with campaign contributions. Should it really be for the Supreme Court to decide? The same Supreme Court that slipped into bed with George Bush in the 2000 election and refused to allow the re-count of an election which fell within a statistical margin of error? The same Supreme Court which has been majority cherry picked by the right? Even the very premise of the opposition case against health reform is fallacious, the idea of having a tax or universal compliance in insurance is nothing new, what do they think Social Security is?
It's high time the American People got back to their roots and got behind Barak Obama, perhaps the one man in government since Bill Clinton who is really trying to help the American People and not big business. Our founding fathers would be revolting against the legal corruption of our law makers, they would be running the Washington Lobbyists out of town on a rail and in all likelihood tar and feathering Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the gang of conservative demagogues.   America needs a wake up a call before its too late.