(You want to know why you have lousy health insurance or no health insurance? Watch this exclusive Okie Funk video. Turn up the speakers.)
The health care system in this country is broken, and it needs massive and sustained reform.
When Democrats and Republicans joined together recently to vote to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) from $5 billion to $35 billion over five years, they did so out of this pressing and vital need. The bill’s underlying philosophy is that we, as Americans, should at least take care of our children in terms of health care so they can thrive and become our future.
Many working people these days cannot afford health insurance. Those who can afford it often pay exorbitant co-payments and deductibles. Most Americans, even those with health insurance, are one major medical crisis away from financial ruin. Many working Americans go without adequate health care because it is simply too expensive.
The American health care system is based on feeding the greed of many doctors, insurance companies and health management organizations. European models of health care have proven to be much more successful than our system. They are less expensive and provide better care to their patients. Doctors in European countries are also well compensated.
Yet Imperial President George Bush, with support from his warmongering cabal of right-wing extremists, vetoed the bill on purely ideological grounds despite wide majority support. The bill, according to the president, could lead to socialized medicine. Note the word “could.” There is nothing in the bill, which simply insures more children, that argues for socialized medicine or universal health care. There is no trick here, no gimmick. People need health care. SCHIP is a program that helps people ensure their children. The program’s expansion would mean more children qualify for help.
Consider this: Taxpayers spend more in three months for the Iraq occupation than they would spend over five years for this one program. (Look at this site for more comparisons.)
The Oklahoma Congressional delegation voted against SCHIP, of course, on the same ideological grounds as the president they so adore. The Daily Oklahoman has relentlessly editorialized their support for the veto. To his credit, U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, the only Democrat in the delegation, has said he will now reverse course and vote to override the veto in the House. The House will vote on the veto override tomorrow, but the effort is expected to fail. There are apparently enough votes in the Senate to override Bush’s callous disregard for basic humanity.
But should we blame just the politicians? Bush’s veto, if sustained, will go down in historical infamy, for sure, but it also will be remembered as the one event that clearly showed Americans lost their moral foundation at the turn of the twenty-first century. We deny our children adequate health care, test them relentlessly under No Child Left Behind, leave them massive financial deficits, and make them grow up under the philosophy of endless war. That is who we have become under the Imperial Presidency of George Bush.
(Update: The House fell 13 votes short Thursday of overriding Bush's veto)
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