Monday, September 14, 2009
The Single-Payer Plan
It is nice to see George McGovern lay out clearly and forcefully the case for expanding Medicare to cover all Americans in Sunday's Washington Post. The Obama said he was willing to listen to all good ideas, but so far he has ignored the one that best meets the 'moral obligation,' as he calls it, to provide healthcare for all. The Obama and many of the dead white guys running the healthcare fiasco don't seem to understand or even to care enough to try to understand that forcing people to buy health insurance, especially from certifiably rapacious corporations is not equivalent to--in fact, is antithetical to--meeting that moral obligation. The rightwingnuts crying over government interference in their Medicare or their lives don't seem to have thought for even a nanosecond that the far greater intrusion of government into their lives is the dictate that they purchase health insurance from a rapacious insurance company or face a steep fine--a plan backed by many of their own rightwingnut leaders and commentators. The plans being put forth are needlessly complex because they are attempts to fix a busted system that increasingly exists to pad insurance company, not to guarantee a fundamental right or overhaul a dysfunctional system. Distilled into another example of big bad government, that confusion feeds the racism of many of the opponents of the Obama. Moreover, the Obama's failure to follow the inevitable logic of his own oratorical brilliance transforms him in the eyes even of his own supporters into an ordinary politician--bombastic, imperious, out of touch, and unntrustworthy. And why not? The Obama is basically backing an idea, insurance coops, that is on its face doomed to disaster, unless you're an insurance company. On the talk shows Sunday morning, the 'public option' in the form of a new government run health program took a beating as it should. The real point, as George McGovern says, is simply to provide Medicare for all. Ain't hard. It's what the creators of Medicare hoped to do all along.