Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Will Congress reject the American people's preferred healthcare reform plan?

Well, we are about to find out for whom those people in Washington, who claim to be representing us, are really working. It's clear that for the most part the Republicans will vote against anything Obama proposes. They seem to have decided that opposing Obama (to hell with the American people) is their way back to the magic kingdom. There may very well be a number (currently unknown) of Democrats who will also oppose the Obama-proposed healthcare reform initiative. What they will mostly oppose is any public option to the medical-industrial complex. As Paul Krugman said in the New York Times (Monday, 6/22/09):
Honestly, I don't know what these Democrats are trying to achieve. Yes, some of the balking senators receive large campaign contributions from the medical-industrial complex - but who in politics doesn't? If I had to guess, I'd say that what's really going on is that the relatively conservative Democrats still cling to the old dream of becoming kingmakers, of recreating the bipartisan center that used to run America.
I take it what "the bipartisan center" really means is a right-wing consensus, which doesn't take the wishes of the American people into account.

In the case of the healthcare reform initiative the desires of the majority Americans is not in doubt. The New York Times (6/20/09) reported:
Americans overwhelmingly support substantial changes to the health care system and are strongly behind one of the most contentious proposals Congress is considering, a government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurers, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. The poll found that most Americans would be willing to pay higher taxes so everyone could have health insurance and that they said the government could do a better job of holding down health-care costs than the private sector.
As the lords and ladies of Congress decide, for whatever reasons, what healthcare reform they can tolerate (or their sponsors will allow them to support), there are two obvious victims of this betrayal - the health of the American people and democracy, neither of which, I suspect, are of great concern to the rulers. But as we consider for whom to vote in 2010 how candidates respond to the wishes of the people should take center stage.


sanda said...

Noam Chomsky calls it "the democracy gap": the people want medicare for all, single payer and the Pres./Congress (gov't) doesn't.

Contested Terrain said...

Thanks for the note about Chomsky. But I wouldn't think of Congress and Obama as the same thing. I still think he's different, even though I disagree with some of his key decisions.