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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

watch it: the 3/27/10 weekly address from President Barack Obama

For a succinct explanation of why the just-passed health-care reform legislation is complete bullshit and a total gift to greedy, murderous insurance corporations, see this rundown from Firedoglake [warning: PDF]. Did you know that:

This bill is almost identical to the plan written by AHIP, the insurance company trade association, in 2009.

Or that:

The bill does not empower a regulatory body to keep people from being dropped when they’re sick.

There are already many states that have laws on the books prohibiting people from being dropped when they’re sick, but without an enforcement mechanism, there is little to hold the insurance companies in check.

Ignorance is strength.

Think I’ll go have a cup of Victory Coffee…

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  • The best thing about the health care reform bill? It makes the Democrats look like winners and the Republicans like 6-year-olds throwing the mother of all temper tantrums. >:-)

  • Nathan

    You seem to have an unrealistic worldview in which the health care system is supposed to be made perfect overnight in the face of virulent opposition. The crying from the far left is more annoying than the hate spewed by Tea Baggers; the Tea Baggers at least have the excuse of being hopelessly stupid.

    It’s movement in the right direction and a first step in what’s going to be a process. If the Dems had lost this, HCR wouldn’t be brought up again for another generation.

  • Neil

    MaryAnn – I enjoy your site, but I’m curious as to why you embed these weekly presidential addresses.

    I can’t speak for your other readers, but…I dunno…seems to me that there are plenty of sites out there with political news on ’em… :-/

  • I’m glad Firedoglake and MaryAnn are pointing out these problems; they show that the legislation isn’t perfect, and highlight what else needs to be done.

    Social Security was originally a severely flawed law as well:

    Most women and minorities were excluded from the benefits of unemployment insurance and old age pensions. Employment definitions reflected typical white male categories and patterns. Job categories that were not covered by the act included workers in agricultural labor, domestic service, government employees, and many teachers, nurses, hospital employees, librarians, and social workers. The act also denied coverage to individuals who worked intermittently. These jobs were dominated by women and minorities. For example, women made up 90% of domestic labor in 1940 and two-thirds of all employed black women were in domestic service. Exclusions exempted nearly half the working population. Nearly two-thirds of all African Americans in the labor force, 70 to 80% in some areas in the South, and just over half of all women employed were not covered by Social Security. At the time, the NAACP protested the Social Security Act, describing it as “a sieve with holes just big enough for the majority of Negroes to fall through.”

    If such a law had been passed today, progressive purists would have decried it as well. Thankfully, Congress could and did pass additional legislative fixes, from the 1930s to the 1980s. Social Security evolved to become a more just law, just as I believe this health care law will.

    I think that Nathan’s position (like mine) is similar to Fezzik’s: “You just shook your head. That doesn’t make you happy?”

    Whereas MaryAnn’s position is more like Westley’s: “My brains, his steel, and your strength against sixty men, and you think a little head jiggle is supposed to make me happy?”

    I think that in terms of health care, when the need for a holocaust cloak (and a wheelbarrow) becomes clear, legislation will be passed to provide for those things. :-)

  • MaryAnn

    You seem to have an unrealistic worldview in which the health care system is supposed to be made perfect overnight in the face of virulent opposition.

    Virulent oppostion? Multiple polls show overwhelming support among the American public for single-payer health care. And that’s even given the ridiculous amount of misinformation about single-payer that the corporate media has bombarded us with.

    If our so-called leaders had any balls at all — or if they were not in the pockets of the health-insurance industry — they would have pushed for an NHS-style system, which is what the majority of Americans want anyway. If the Republicans were honest about “fiscal responsibility,” *they* would have been the ones pushing for single-payer, because the evidence of the entire industrialized world is that single-payer is unequivocably *much* cheaper than the fucked-up system we have now. If the Democrats were honest, they would have been publicly asking the right why they opposed saving *so much damn money* for everyone.

    The *only* explanation for the preposterous “reform” that had just passed is that everyone in Washington is much more concerned with maintaining the flow of money from the insurance industry than they are with the welfare of the nation or its people.

    MaryAnn – I enjoy your site, but I’m curious as to why you embed these weekly presidential addresses.

    Because they’re an important new use of Web video. How many people used to listen to the president’s weekly address before Obama’s were posted on YouTube? A lot fewer than are being exposed to it now, I’ll bet.

    There are no posts here that are mandatory reads. It’s easy to skip over whatever posts you don’t want to read.

  • Nathan

    Well, first, I’m pretty sure there is neither “overwhelming” support nor a “majority” that wants government-run health care right now. If that were the case then the politicians would be feeling the pressure. As it is many Dems feel like they have put their necks on the chopping block with their constituents just getting this HCR package done.

    Second, you have all these ifs that amount to “if life were fair” or “if things were always done for the greater good” and that is all they are: ifs. The political realities (including insurance-industry influence) dictated that this be the first step, as weak and faltering as some see it to be. Many Democratic Congressman probably feel the same way you do, but in the end they realized that they were in a life and death political struggle and they decided to win the political battle, take the ground that they could take, and ensure that the struggle would go on. If they hadn’t, decades would have probably gone by before anyone brought up health care again — not to mention the Obama presidency would effectively be over.

    It’s fine to be idealistic and righteous, I guess, but not to the point that you ignore political realities and forget what side you are on.

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