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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Same Shit, Different Day

Do not frickin' believe anybody who yells about a "rush" to reform healthcare in this country.  The struggle, continually defeated by the medical profession (can you say AMA?), the insurance industry, and scaremongering "anti-communist" demagogues, has been going on for nearly a century now, people.  Yup.  And the opposition is still using the very same tactics and the very same overwrought end-of-the-world rhetoric they browbeat our grandfathers with.

Go read A Brief History: Universal Health Care Efforts in the US, and see for yourself.  If you like interactive presentations, there's also A History of Healthcare Reform in the New York Times. 

I like this quote from the first source (it's in the footnotes):
One Canadian lesson — the movement toward universal health care in Canada started in 1916 (depending on when you start counting), and took until 1962 for passage of both hospital and doctor care in a single province. It took another decade for the rest of the country to catch on. That is about 50 years all together. It wasn’t like we sat down over afternoon tea and crumpets and said please pass the health care bill so we can sign it and get on with the day. We fought, we threatened, the doctors went on strike, refused patients, people held rallies and signed petitions for and against it, burned effigies of government leaders, hissed, jeered, and booed at the doctors or the Premier depending on whose side they were on. In a nutshell, we weren’t the sterotypical nice polite Canadians. Although there was plenty of resistance, now you could more easily take away Christmas than health care, despite the rhetoric that you may hear to the contrary.
OMG, I almost wish the can't-see-you-now, country-club-loving, cocaine-snorting doctors would go on strike in this country.  Can you think of anything that would get healthcare reform passed any quicker?  People would be so flamin' outraged at them . . . .

N.B. - Ex-president Teddy Roosevelt - yup, ol' T.R. himself - first brought the idea of national health insurance to Presidential politics when he ran for election on the Progressive ticket in 1912.  Yes, 19-fucking-12, people.  At the time, he argued that America should not lag behind Imperial Germany, which had instituted national health insurance under Bismarck in 1883, with other European countries soon following suit.

And the first sitting President to fight for national healthcare reform was Harry Truman, who sent an extensive legislative package on this subject to Congress in 1945.  (FDR had briefly considered such a proposal when he brought in Social Security and workmen's comp, back in 1934, but pragmatically allowed it to wither so he could get the other proposals passed.)

And still, after all these many years, half the country thinks like this - and they aren't all living south of the Mason-Dixon line, either:




The fact of the matter is that other democracies, in fact every other industrialized, developed nation in the Western world has had some kind of national healthcare plan for the last fifty to a hundred years or even longer. 

So can we ple-e-e-e-e-a-se drop the stupid-ass, backwoods-Baptist idea that the world will come to a thundering, crashing halt if America has it, too?

I thank you.

Propaganda posters from the national creepsite Free Republic.  I'm going to go scrub my computer with Lysol now.

5 comments:

FDeF said...

What is so frustrating is it seems we're preaching to the choir...but hopefully Google does direct readers other than the choir members here.

Ultra Dave said...

Thanks Russ!

David said...

Keith Olbermann (who I totally have a crush on) pointed out in his special comment the other night the fact that no matter what, the right is going to call Obama a Socialist and a Marxist and such. So if it's going to happen either way, why not take that as license to do what you believe in, and actually force some true reform.

And I agree. I voted for change, not for this sort of luke-warm, watered-down compromising.

TomS said...

EXCELLENT post, Russ! Speaking of FDR, did you see "Capitalism: A Love Story"? Rare archival footage is included of FDR advocating for a second Bill of Rights. He sets out his wish that all Americans realize their rights to a decent education, good jobs with living wages and guaranteed vacations, and HEALTH CARE FOR ALL.
Dave (above) I voted for change too...well-put.
Thanks!

Russ Manley said...

Thanks guys. I just dont know what to say about all this, doesn't look good at all. The rich get richer, and the poor get shafted. The way God intended.

Welcome to America.

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