Obama On Health Care: Is it A Comprehensive Betrayal?



The shrunken and eviscerated public option in the Obama health care plan may now be discarded in favor of something called a health co-op. The mounting toll of concessions to drug companies and bailouts of private insurers contained in the Obama plan have transformed it, according to Rep. John Conyers, into “crap,” and threaten to make Obama a one-term president. Republicans, all the while, are fighting Obamacare every bit as resolutely as if it were Medicare For All, drumming up disinformed protesters for health care town meetings. And the embargo of single payer media coverage continues, despite its being the majority sentiment of Americans. This is the year of health care reform. Or not.

 Obama On Health Care: A Comprehensive Betrayal – Where Do We Go From Here?

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon


obama_healthcareAt some point in last year’s presidential election campaign, Barack Obama went on Bill O’Reilly’s show to concede that maybe the war in Iraq, and Bush’s murderous escalation of that war, the so-called surge, were not such bad ideas after all. Obama met with the admirals and generals and came away declaring that withdrawal from Iraq really meant withdrawal to secure bases inside Iraq. A US troop pullout would not happen until well into his second term, if then, with the accent on the “if.”

Casting the wishes of most Americans and the overwhelming majority of his own party under the bus, Democratic leaders and the corporate media told us all, was the wise, the realistic, the pragmatic thing to do. The election, they said, would be waged on domestic policy, on health care. Barack Obama has again and again doubled down on that set of promises, declaring that his first term should be judged on whether he manages to deliver comprehensive, affordable health care to everybody, including the nation’s fifty million uninsured.

Seven months into his administration, Barack Obama has never been the antiwar president. He was the first president in American history to keep a Secretary of Defense appointed by the other party. Obama is not the anti-warrantless wiretapping president, or the anti-torture president or the anti-NAFTA president, or the pro-public education president, either. He bought GM but refused to use it as a lever to create a new passenger rail industry or green jobs, instead crushing the auto workers and forsaking his promises to make it easier to organize unions. Obama has transferred, as Glen Ford points out, $12 trillion dollars to fraudulent Wall Street banksters, more than all previous presidents combined. Beyond the lovely wife and family, and the novelty of a black president who speaks full sentences in correct English, not much is left of the man or the cause tens of millions thought they voted for.

It looks like Barack Obama won’t be the health care president either. Obama’s health care plan is so full of concessions to drug companies, so crammed with a constantly growing list of bailouts and exceptions for insurance companies that the White House is deliberately withholding information on it from Obama’ own supporters. Organizing For America, the remnant of the Obama campaign and inheritor of its 13 million strong email and phone list, is calling supporters to canvass and turn out for health care “town meetings,” but dares not tell people exactly what they are supporting. For a while it was something called “the public option,” which would compete with and keep the insurance companies honest. Now it’s something even cloudier, called a health co-op. Among the known

No less a progressive stalwart than Detroit’s Rep. John Conyers announced his deep disappointment with Barack Obama before a crowd of progressives last month in Washington’s Busboys and Poets restaurant. Obama, he opined, could be a one-term president if he doesn’t manage to deliver on health care.

Conyers is the sponsor of HR 676, the Enhanced Medicare For All Act, which proposes the expansion of the highly successful Medicare program, along with enhancements such as dental coverage to all Americans. President Obama has admitted many times in recent months that Medicare For All, also called single payer, is the only way, and the least expensive way to cover the uninsured while at the same time bringing costs down. But with few exceptions, leading Democrats, themselves in the pay of health insurance companies and Big Pharma, have declared that Medicare For All is “politically infeasible.”

With corporate media shutting off all points of view to the left of the president, and Republicans fighting even the hopelessly compromised Democratic plans as if they were single payer, the public is presented with an utterly distorted picture of the health care debate — pro-Obama legislators being shouted down by right wing white seniors on Medicare worried about government coming between them and their doctors, and liberal Democrats pleading for civility. It’s worth remembering that the same people calling for amiable and civil discourse on health care have ruthlessly censored any mention of single payer from the broadcast airwaves. Even the White House has disinvited the president’s own family doctor for his single payer sentiments, and removed the testimony of single payer advocates from White House transcripts and video.

For the moment, argues Dave Lindorff, single payer advocates have more in common with some of the deluded Republican protesters at public health town meetings than they have with Democratic legislators at the front of the room. They know they’re being lied to and they know that the proceedings are sham and theatre and they are acting accordingly. Maybe we ought to be doing the same. We ought to insist on a floor vote on HR 676, and demand that our representatives support it. We also have to demand that states be free to pursue their own single payer experiments.

It’s time to stop listening to Democrats who say Medicare For All is “politically infeasible” despite its being the democratic will of most of the American people. On their lips, political feasibility is just another name for whether it can pass the legislature this session. Political feasibility is not even in the language of movements for social change. The activists of the 1950s and 60s Freedom Movement knew very well that their demands were not politically feasible. Should they have shut up until Congress and the Supreme Court caught up with them?

Barack Obama may well make himself a one-term president by adding health care to the growing list of his betrayals, and he might come close to handing the Congress back to Republicans as soon as next year. Those are the wages of comprehensive betrayal. If that’s what they want to do, we can’t stop them. We’ve got our own work to do, going forward, and regardless of what they Democratic leaders and corporate media imagine is politically feasible.

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Healthcare Debate Impacts Hip Hop Artists-many who are Uninsured




RevYearwoodpanel-225Not many people know that reknowned producer J-Dilla who died two years ago from Lupus was uninsured. Thats horrific when you consider he produced multi-platinum selling songs for everyone ranging from Busta Rhymes on down to Janet Jackson to De La Soul and Common.  One would think a man of his fame would be insured like the record label executives who own part of and oversaw the placement of Dilla’s music.
As shocking as it may seem, Dilla is not an usual case. Several years ago the Hip Hop community was called to action to raise money for popular producer Sam Sneed who worked alongside Dr Dre at Death Row Records and produced tracks for artists like Snoop Dogg.  Sneed developed brain cancer and had no insurance. Because of fundraising efforts some of Sneeds bills were able to be paid and he eventually recovered, but sadly his plight was indicative of what so many ordinary folks are going through.
When I think of the untimely deaths of  Texas Hip Hop legends Pimp C and DJ Screw, I wonder if their on going bouts with drug addictions were something that could’ve been dealt with differently with proper healthcare that has prevention as main focus and not reaction which is what happens when we go into emergency rooms.  When I think of legends like Cowboy of Grandmaster Flash & Furious Five, Professor X and Sugar Shaft of X-Clan or Big Pun, I have to wonder if accessible , affordable healthcare could’ve made the difference for them.

Hip Hop pioneer Paradise Grayis uninsured and suffers from type2 diabetes. He walks a thin line day in and day out with his health

Hip Hop pioneer Paradise Grayis uninsured and suffers from type2 diabetes. He walks a thin line day in and day out with his health

The sad thing about the situation surrounding X-Clan is that Paradise Gray who is one of the two living members  left currently suffers from type2  diabetes. He too can’t afford health insurance and talks about the trials of having to go to a clinic wait for hours and he’s not always bale to get ghis medicine. he walks a thin line day in and day out with his health.

He noted that in the case of the late Professor X aka Lamumba Carson, had gone to the hospital 3 days before passing but wasn’t given a penicillan shot which we later found out could’ve saved his life.. 

 In the video we see Reverend Lennox Yearwood of Washington DC based Hip Hop Caucus addressing the issue of Healthcare. Sitting alongside him is Ma Duke‘s J-Dilla’s mother and Phife Dawg of Tribe Called Quest who recently had serious health  concerns that he is just beginning to recover from.

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Breakdown FM: Healthcare or Healthscare-Which Way Should We Go



daveyd-raider2Today in Inglewood, California there are huge crowds showing up for a free healthcare at the Forum.  The lines and crowds are so large that people are being told by all the major news stations in LA, not to come down.  People have been given tickets  and appointments to be seen by this large army of volunteer doctors stretching until next week. This free health clinic is spending time with people, many who haven’t had a check up in over 10 years because healthcare except for extreme emergencies is out of reach.

Its important to keep this in mind as you listen to the podcasts and watch the videos outlining the debate around Healthcare Reform. Currently we have people saying that there is no need for Healthcare Reform. They say the system is good as it stands now. Perhaps those who hold such a pious attitude should tell that to all the folks clamoring to get to get to the free healthcare clinic in Inglewood. The large amounts of people is a clear indication of the numbers of people uninsured and under insured..

With all that being said, below are are sounds and sights of various perspectives outlining the perspectives folks are having on the Healthcare Debate. The first podcast focuses on people who held an Obama Health Scare Rally in Danville, California. They think the system is ok and they certainly don’t wanna deal with any Obama’s plans. The second podcast comes from a young activist who drop jewels about Single-payer and why its needed. We then have 4 videos featuring Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Former Governor Howard Dean and Dr Salomeh Keyhani.

This was taken from a healthcare forum from last month where folks talk about the need for more medical workers, the importance of having a public option and the truth behind ‘rationed care’.

We encourage to look at different facets of the healthcare bill for themselves.


Here’s apage that shows the misinformation about the so called Death committee


-Davey D-


We ran into some folks holding what they described as a ‘grassroots’ impromptu’ rally opposing Obama’s Healthcare plans in Danville, California. A lot of half truths and misinformation was passed along in this discussion, but we felt it was important to hear just where folks are coming from.. This is part of our continued coverage on healthcare reform..

Listen to the Breakdown FM Show Below

Obama Health Scare Rally in Danville, California


We sat down and spoke with longtime Bay Area activist Rosa Cabberra who works in the healthcare industry. She gave us an insightful breakdown of Single Payer. She explained why it was the best option yet not on the table. She talked to us about impacting the political will of elected officials who have been reluctant to push for single payer for fear of Republican pushback…

Listen to the Break down FM interview here

Healthcare Reform Debate-What is Single Payer and is it the Best Plan? 


US secretary of Labor Hilda Solis talks about Health reform in her address to the Campaign for America’s Future. She focuses on the need to hire more medical workers and to support the plan for having a public option.


Governor Howard Dean speaks about the importance of having a public option in this Healthcare debate. He talks about the resistence expected from Republican opposition.


Dr Salomeh Kayhani speaks to the myth of rationed care. She shows how insurance companies do rationed care and why a public option is important..


We continue listening to the discussion by Dr Salomeh Keyhani as she breaks down the myth of rationed healthcare. She concludes by talking about the types of over the top tactics the GOP opposition is willing to engage.


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