Barack Obama on Public Option: Insipid or Inspiration?

Corporate forces, long before the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, carried out a coup d’état in slow motion. The coup is over. We lost. The ruling is one more judicial effort to streamline mechanisms for corporate control. It exposes the myth of a functioning democracy and the triumph of corporate power. But it does not significantly alter the political landscape. The corporate state is firmly cemented in place.
-Chris Hedges, TruthDig.com

Cornel West, a personal and great inspiration to me and many others has put Obama’s record directly to him. Is Barack going to be just another custodian of the American Empire in its decline or will he take a stand for the wretched of the earth, poor and working people, and the principles that inspired so many of us during his candidacy? Good question.

John Conyers, Dennis Kucinich and other congressional leaders are calling for a restoration of single payer/public option in health care reform. Since we will lose the Republicans, and some Dems over this, the President ought to take a stand. In a recent poll (Dec. 2009), 60% of Americans supported the single payer/public option. Is it any wonder that the 80% of Mass. voters who support it and the 53% who think the current Senate bill doesn’t go far enough voted for Scott Brown? Wake up, Rahm Emanuel!

Health care became diluted and impotent due to the lobbying efforts and arm-twisting of Big Pharma, Big Insurance and the health care lobby. We Americans spend upwards of $9,200.00 per person, per year on health care with very few office visits. Canada, with the single payer option, spends around $3,500 per year with approx. 45 office visits per person, per year! I have lived in Canada for going on four years and have only fantastic things to say about the treatment I’ve received. I do have complementary coverage as well as the provincial plan (in CAN provinces manage the health care system). And I had a potentially catastrophic health scare last year, am a middle-aged man; no “death panel” argued for my demise. Death panels are red herrings, and after all of this time of following the money, we ought to know better. The gov’t doesn’t have a stake in our illnesses, insurance companies do.

Without drawing a brave and inspiring line in the sand, and with the additional encouragement (as if they needed any!) of the Supreme Court’s devastating decision last week our economy, our health care and our democracy (arguably, already deceased) are sunk.

Voters across the spectrum support policies and politicians who take a courageous stand. We will have your back, President Obama – but you have to have ours.

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~ by Thom on January 27, 2010.

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