The Nation has gone insane over the health care debate and both conservatives and progressives are messing it all up!
by Charlie Leck
“So Obama has retreated a little and portrayed this option as a ‘only a means to an end’ that could be discarded. He should not retreat. The public option best enshrines the principle of the state’s commitment to insuring everyone.” [Roger Cohen, NY Times]Well, this blog really isn’t by me. I’m going to promptly point you to a very special column in the NY Times that I think is precisely and perfectly right-on; but first I want to leave my only little reaction to it.
I lived in Paris for a short, wonderful time. When you get to know that city, it never leaves you; it becomes a part of you and then you take it with you wherever you go. That’s what Hemingway was getting at it in his book about Paris (A Moveable Feast).
Well, during that short period of living in Paris, I came down with a thoroughly awful cold, which turned into flu, which had all sorts of terrible symptoms connected to it. A Parisian friend took me by the elbow and guided me to a hospital not very far from where I was living. I expected long lines, massive amounts of paper work and all sorts of complexities involving my American insurance company. Instead, there was none of that. I was ushered right in to see a friendly, efficient and cooperative doctor. I was examined, given a shot, handed a prescription with careful instruction, and sent back to my apartment to go to bed for a couple of days. No payments! No charges! No health forms to fill out! In two days I felt better. In four days, voila, I was back on my feet and doing fine.
Now, I urge you to read Roger Cohen’s column, Get Real on Health Care.
“Nothing illustrates right-wing ideological madness in the United States better than calls from some to “keep the government out of my Medicare!”If that’s not enough good reading for you, I urge you to read this 2007 column by Paul Dutton in the Boston Globe: “France’s Model Health Care System!”
“Perhaps it's time for us to take a closer look at French ideas about healthcare reform. They could become an import far less "foreign" and "unfriendly" than many here might initially imagine.” [Paul Dutton]Now, please, don’t think me naïve! I know the battle for a public option is lost. Obama has surrendered. Any talk from him about continuing that fight is blatant political bluster. What a catastrophe! What gross mismanagement of the legislative process by the Obama administration! My great fear now is that a kitty-whumpus, gerri-rigged, unworkable piece of legislation will be passed and will function so poorly that it, and the baby, will be rapidly thrown out and our nation will be destined to go decades more with no real reform.
I fear the matter of passing health care reform legislation has now become a matter of political pride for the Obama administration and is no longer a matter of true reform and service to the country.