stamp your democratic feet

I became aware yesterday of the stand-off brewing in the US concerning Healthcare Reform. Today I heard from my American son in New York who is just finishing up his last year of training to become a doctor.

I wont pretend to be sufficiently knowledgeable to explain what is happening. However like you, I can glean an impression from the deluge of reporting and comment we are being inundated with. Its not a pretty picture.

The basic right, within what is still the wealthiest nation in the world, of every citizen to have access to basic health care, is still being denied. It is being discussed again, thanks to President Obama’s current initiative to implement some major policy changes. What are the chances of success?

Unless ordinary citizens, in their tens of millions, stand up and speak out as one undeniable, booming voice, then what they really want, what they so clearly deserve, is not going to come to pass.

ALL Americans need to wake up to the fact that the greedy bastards in Washington are masters at this sort of conflict.  Their only interest in you is that you might get your hands on what they think is theirs. They have already got most of it and they want more. They want it all. They have writers, comedians, Hollywood directors, actors & musicians, TV commentators IN their pockets. They are bringing every variety of persuasion to bear on the issue at stake. And they will convince you that they are doing it for ‘the common good’.

But of course the truth is that a small number of very powerful men have been getting immensely rich, by systematically denying ordinary citizens the drugs and treatment they have already paid for. Check out

The fact that the President and his administration are up against some very heavy opposition is no surprise. The effect these powerful groups, drug and insurance companies in particular, appear to be having on his core values is deeply disturbing. But just by the fact that I am writing about HE highlights one of the problems.

We cannot unburden all our woes onto Mr Obama’s shoulders. He can speak up for us, but he cannot carry us all. Its time for the democratic process to get up off the sofa, disconnect the entertainment toys, and start working out. Maybe it is not too late to develop some muscles to flex.

Every last citizen CAN phone, write or email the President, and their local representatives and make their voices heard. That is what they now MUST do. Have a look at Robert Reich’s take on this

Yesterday I was thinking that there was nothing we in the UK could do. This is America’s problem. We have had a health service for 60 year for heavens sake! Come on America. Today I feel differently. Its not just health care, but democracy thats at stake here. We can no longer opt out and watch from the sidelines. Unless everyone gets involved, it is not democracy.

Think how governments in recent years have gone ahead and carried out disastrous actions despite overwhelming opposition from the people they represent. The war against Iraq is the obvious example. Why did they do it? I’m afraid it is ‘greedy bastard syndrome’ again.

With our health services already in place, we ordinary European citizens can, at least metaphorically, stand shoulder to shoulder alongside our US cousins and add considerable strength to their cause. Its up to us all. If we all act, and make sure that as many people we know act as well, then there is a fighting chance.

All of us in the ‘free world’ are guilty of gross neglect. A true democracy involves everybody. We have got used to washing our hands of the whole business and leaving it to our elected leaders to deal with. This clearly doesnt work. If you like, look at this way; they desperately need our help.

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4 Responses to “stamp your democratic feet”

  1. Hank Bacon Says:

    Thank you for that well put statement on the insanity happening over here in the US. It is criminal what insurance and pharmaceutical companies get away with, but unfortunately if you have the resources it seems one can get away with murder. At the same time I feel we must not rush into a short-term or quick patchwork fix to the quandary here. With the amount of political pressure for results and president Obama’s legacy largely relying on a health care change, the current system itself as a whole will not be analyzed. It seems lawmakers are looking to patch up the areas they see need fixing and the rest will remain. But I feel for a real change the whole system must be revamped even though that may take quite a bit of work. It’s well known that the US has one of the most expensive health care systems in the world, but there are a number of reasons why ranging from the rising costs of prescription drugs and medical technology to a very complex multiple payer system to the ridiculously inflated litigation towards medical proffesionals. With so many uninsured here there is no means for primary prevention of disease, meaning many present with severe and longstanding conditions that could have been prevented or treated much more effectively and cost effective. In the end MLK jr. said it best, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”

  2. george Says:

    I’m grateful for the MLK jr quote.
    And I appreciate your more informed viewpoint. I am clearly obsessed with how ‘greedy bastards’ mess everything up for everyone else. I’ll grant there are other factors, but there is good reason for my obsession.
    They have been doing it for a long time, which makes them the status quo, and they dont want to give it up!
    So unless they are forced to by sheer weight of numbers, they wont.

  3. Mike Says:

    I can’t help thinking that Drew would still be alive if they had the same sort of system we have.

  4. george Says:

    hi mike
    maybe treatment that would have made the difference is more readily available here…I dont know enough about why he died…by all accounts he was pretty tight lipped about it…
    certainly it is true that a great deal of Americans are denied life saving treatment each year, because it is beyond their means, or because insurance companies renege on their promises..

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