The Widdershins

Posts Tagged ‘single-payer health care

So that the Health Care Bill you create won’t be in the hands of f*cktards like this guy.

It appears from this week’s discussions at the Supremely Conservative Court, that Obama’s Health Whatever Bill is soon to be either overturned, or eviscerated to the point that it can’t pay for the few enhancements it actually offers. The Huffington Post reports:

“Shock and awe” best describes the reaction of legislators and commentators upon hearing the Supreme Court’s closing day of arguments on the constitutionality of Obama’s health care legislation. Democrats as well as the beltway media had assumed the bill was safe, thinking that the legislation fit firmly under the Congressional power of the Interstate Commerce Clause and that justices would be wary of repercussions of single-handedly dismantling the most expansive social legislation since the creation of Medicare.

How wrong they were. From the same justices that brought you Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (the decision that ruled that corporations, like individuals, are protected by the first amendment, which resulted in the unleashing of a wave of super PACS in this year’s elections) and Bush v. Gore, now comes the very real possibility of the end of health care reform.


Reporters, commentators and Democratic legislators were stunned by the Court’s turn. CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin called today “a train wreck for the Obama administration.” Toobin said, “this morning was unbelievable. It was like a given that they’re throwing out the mandate. Anthony Kennedy was like, ‘Well, when we throw out the mandate…’ — Do you know what a huge deal that is?” Although shaken, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid warned that we couldn’t draw any conclusions yet, saying that justices ask lots of questions in many different directions, but that doesn’t mean they’ve made up their minds.

The logistical problem is that if the Court strikes down the mandate, the rest of the law may unravel for financial reasons. Obama’s new citizen protections, such a requirement that insurance companies cover people with pre-existing conditions, a ban on charging more for those with complicated health problems and the removal of insurance payout caps on medical services, are all supported by the insurance premiums of new people entering the market through the mandate.

You have to wonder if these Beltway Bozos ever read anything they don’t already agree with, or listen to their Republican colleagues during those long, LONG sessions in the House and Senate. “Obamacare” has been in their sights since 2010 (the Tea Party won many seats because of its promise to overturn the hated “socialist” bill), and they all seemed pretty confident that their friends on the Supreme Court would grant their desires. Were the Democrats truly so naive that they thought people like Scalia would actually consider the bill on its merits? Or are they just mugging for the cameras? Either way, it’s a truly pitiful sight to see the way both Parties have made a horrible joke out of such an incredibly important issue.

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We Talked, They Listened - And Talked Back

We Talked, They Listened - And Talked Back

Yesterday I, two bloggers from Correntewire (Gmanedit and LibbyLiberal) and a woman who had heard about the protest from the PNHP meeting Libby and I had attended, stood on a chilly street in New York City and talked about half-healthcare for women, the deficiencies of the Health Whatever Bill, and the superiority of single-payer (universal) health care. We were accompanied by two stoic but friendly police officers (you have to let the NYPD know when you’re going to publicly exercise your right to free speech), who guarded Representative Maloney’s doorway from us dangerous hippie types, in case we decided to get WILD and CRAAAAAZY! I designed an eye-catching poster to draw people in, and Libby gathered an amazing amount of information about the bill and created some fantastic flyers to pass out to people. She made 100 copies, and we gave out almost all of them.

We spoke with many, many people. We learned that there were quite a few out there who did not like the healthcare bill – and who objected on pro-choice, or other liberal grounds. We also got a lesson in how NOT to stereotype people when one woman stopped and said she was the president of the Young Republicans New York Chapter, and that not only did she not like Obamacare because she was a Republican, but because she was pro-choice – and so were a lot of her members. “After all, we are women,” she said. She then thanked us for our activism and moved on. I can say with conviction that we were all shocked – and pleasantly so.

Some people saw my poster about half-healthcare for women, looked at us, nodded and said, “I agree,” or “I know,” and got it instantly. We got some “Good for you!” shout-outs, and some people asked us what to do (we said, “Contact your Congressperson.”) Others were confused, thinking we were Republicans (of course, because only Republicans oppose the bill, right?). Many did not know that Carolyn Maloney’s office was in that building, and I don’t blame them, because it’s like a secret lair, with no sign anywhere on the front wall. Speaking of location, we truly lucked out, as there was a health food store right next to our little gathering, and a lot of those who go to health food stores are concerned with…you got it!

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Report from the Field

Last night, I attended the PNHP NYC Chapter monthly forum, entitled “Where’s Labor Been in the Year of Health Care Reform?” LibbyLiberal from Corrente met me there, and we both brought flyers for my Rep. Carolyn Maloney “Yes” vote protest on Saturday afternoon, which she and other Correntians will be attending.

The room was packed, and expectations were high as Bill Henning got up to speak.

“First, I’d like to stop using the word ‘but’ when describing this health care vote. We had a stunning victory on Sunday, and I think we need to see it that way. The alternative is that all of our efforts were in vain, and I can’t agree to that,” he said.

You can imagine how well this viewpoint went over (and he knew it wouldn’t be popular, either – he said “I realize this statement may be received with some derision in this forum.”). Unfortunately, as so many “progressives” do, he had made this health care bill all about him. I hate to fill him in on this, but Obama and the Democrats didn’t listen to single-payer activists. They never planned to. They were shut out from the debate from the very beginning, and Obama was quite clear about his feelings about them. So whether or not Medicare for All became part of the bill, had nothing to do with Labor’s efforts. Labor, and single-payer, never had a chance with this President. It’s painful, but true, and we need to keep telling the truth.

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