Sunday, September 29, 2013

Farewell America: House Republicans Vote to Shut Government


Paranoid Demagogue Ted Cruz 

Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.
A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom. 
-Martin Luther King Jr.

Millions of our citizens do not now have a full measure of opportunity to achieve and to enjoy good health. Millions do not now have protection or security against the economic effects of sickness. And the time has now arrived for action to help them attain that opportunity and to help them get that protection. 
I do not understand a mind which sees a gracious beneficence in spending money to slay and maim human beings in almost unimaginable numbers and deprecates the expenditure of a smaller sum to patch up the ills of mankind. 
-Harry Truman

The campaign for some form of universal government-funded health care has stretched for nearly a century in the US On several occasions, advocates believed they were on the verge of success; yet each time they faced defeat. The evolution of these efforts and the reasons for their failure make for an intriguing lesson in American history, ideology, and character. 
Other developed countries have had some form of social insurance (that later evolved into national insurance) for nearly as long as the US has been trying to get it. Some European countries started with compulsory sickness insurance, one of the first systems, for workers beginning in Germany in 1883; other countries including Austria, Hungary, Norway, Britain, Russia, and the Netherlands followed all the way through 1912. Other European countries, including Sweden in 1891, Denmark in 1892, France in 1910, and Switzerland in 1912, subsidized the mutual benefit societies that workers formed among themselves. So for a very long time, other countries have had some form of universal health care or at least the beginnings of it. The primary reason for the emergence of these programs in Europe was income stabilization and protection against the wage loss of sickness rather than payment for medical expenses, which came later. Programs were not universal to start with and were originally conceived as a means of maintaining incomes and buying political allegiance of the workers. 
In a seeming paradox, the British and German systems were developed by the more conservative governments in power, specifically as a defense to counter expansion of the socialist and labor parties. They used insurance against the cost of sickness as a way of “turning benevolence to power."   


Republicans Rightwing radicals are bent on bringing pain and misery to millions of ordinary Americans.

Read more.

The anti-labor, anti-poor, anti-immigrant, anti-science, anti-intellectual, fundamentally racist, misogynist and reactionary GOP is trying to terrorize the nation into accepting further shredding of the social safety net, further rollback of middle/working class benefits, rights, etc.  A nation of flextime serfs, permanently living on the edge of extinction--at or below the level of the average Chinese worker, in the name of "competitiveness"--this is the real goal of the extremists running the Republican party. (Competitiveness is code for crushing what remains of organized labor and essentially eradicating the gains of the Progressive Erathe New Deal and the Great Society.)

Regarding the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans are trying to delay destroy by linking its defunding to continued funding of the federal government, the ACA is at best a small step forward toward joining the rest of the developed world. The United States stands almost alone among developed nations in not providing its citizens with universal health care.  Washington could have ended the shameful U.S. health care crisis by simply expanding Medicare--making it available to every American.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Don't be fooled by the paranoid demagogue Ted Cruz. The Congressman from Texas--arguably the most politically and socially backward state in the union--is trying to tap into popular discontent from an extreme rightwing position by tying income inequality and unemployment to health care costs. He and his fellow rightists want  people to believe the canard that but for the ACA the economy would be booming again.

FDR'S NEW DEAL created the American middle class.