My apologies for missing the release of this a couple of days ago, but "better late than never," right?
Matt Taibbi's "Sick and Wrong" Rolling Stone article is finally available online. Check it out for his take on the USofexpensivehealthcare's fiasco in the attempt to "reform" the health care system. As usual, his writing style is perfect, and his insights/sources are a wealth of information. Too bad the rest of the MSM doesn't have the same level of journalistic quality.
Without a public option, any effort at health care reform will be as meaningful as a manicure for a gunshot victim.And finally:
Leading advocates of single-payer, including doctors from the Physicians for a National Health Program, implored Baucus to allow them to testify. When he refused, a group of eight single-payer activists, including three doctors, stood up during the hearings and asked to be included in the discussion. One of the all-time classic moments in the health care reform movement came when the second protester to stand up, Katie Robbins of Health Care Now, declared, "We need single-payer health care!"
To which Baucus, who looked genuinely frightened, replied, "We need more police!"
The eight protesters were led away in handcuffs and spent about seven hours in jail.
But one of the immutable laws of politics in the U.S. Congress is that progressives will always be screwed by their own leaders, as soon as the opportunity presents itself.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell admitted that "private insurance will not be able to compete with a government option." This is a little like complaining that Keanu Reeves was robbed of an Oscar just because he can't act.
Even more revolting, when Pelosi was asked on July 31st if she worried that progressives in the House would yank their support of the bill because of the sellout to conservatives, she literally laughed out loud. "Are the progressives going to take down universal, quality, affordable health care for all Americans?" she said, chuckling heartily to reporters. "I don't think so."
The laugh said everything about what the mainstream Democratic Party is all about. It finds the notion that it has to pay anything more than lip service to its professed values funny.
Then again, some of the blame has to go to all of us. It's more than a little conspicuous that the same electorate that poured its heart out last year for the Hallmark-card story line of the Obama campaign has not been seen much in this health care debate. The handful of legislators — the Weiners, Kuciniches, Wydens and Sanderses — who are fighting for something real should be doing so with armies at their back. Instead, all the noise is being made on the other side. Not so stupid after all — they, at least, understand that politics is a fight that does not end with the wearing of a T-shirt in November.
Read the whole article and judge for yourself.
Send it to your friends south of the 49th. Perhaps they'll put the T-shirts away and start demanding their basic human rights . . . .
(Cross-posted from Moved to Vancouver)
UPDATE: Robert Reich weighs in on what Obama must demand from Congress.