Healthcare should be a basic right guaranteed to all human beings no matter, their race, color or creed. It should not be for profit ever… I want people to ponder on that thought for a minute as they either celebrate or bemoan last night’s historic ‘Yes’ vote on healthcare reform. I want people, especially those who insisted that this needed to happen to ponder over this concept… This was a first step…. Lemme repeat that again, because maybe it hasn’t sunk in.. This was a first step..
It’s pretty well-known that I wasn’t in favor of this current healthcare package. No I’m not one of these folks running around with signs calling President Obama a ‘socialist’. Nor was I running around spouting some crazy talking points from Fox News about ‘death panels’ or anything like that… I opposed the healthcare reform package because it didn’t go far enough and it seemed to grant too many provisions to the insurance companies. My goal, as stated Healthcare for everyone-no matter what and for free. What was on the table was a terrible, terrible compromise.
It was a compromise that essentially stripped away all price controls. It was a compromise that took away single-payer (universal healthcare) which Obama said he was down for in ’08 but never mentioned once in office. It compromised public option, which again Obama and our Democratic controlled Senate and Congress surrendered thanks to a few bonehead lawmakers who in my opinion got brought off by the health insurance industry.
According to speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi, this latest bill had 200 GOP amendments attached to it, yet none of those bozos even voted for it. So in other we didn’t need to water this down. If it fails the GOP can claim they never voted for it and if it pans out they can run around bragging they had something to do with it.. Talk about compromise after compromise.
So with all that being said, I fully accept that last night’s vote was a crucial first step. No matter how much I disliked what went down.. I’m down to work and fight to improve this-how about you?
My fear is two-fold. First, I fear that many of those who voted for this will abandon this fight and make excuses like ‘let’s give this some time’ or ‘lets not fight for this now and have it become a distraction during these upcoming midterm elections‘. Later we’ll hear similar excuses and calls for us not to make waves because we have to get people back in office in 2012. There will never be a right time for skittish politicians.
My other fear is that many of y’all who were quick to debate me will remain silent as mummies and not hold lawmakers accountable to this promise of improving the bill. After all the celebration dies down how many of you folks are promising to do whatever it takes to make sure this bill moves forward and that ‘crucial first step’ becomes a second and third step that takes us down a path where this ugly Healthcare bill becomes a ‘beautiful one’. I want to be proven wrong, but if the lack of participation in the last election cycle is any indication of our commitment for continuing the ‘hope’ and ‘change’ Barack Obama campaigned on I’m afraid it ain’t gonna happen.
I do know one thing… the Fox News, Tea Party crowd have not and will not stop organizing. They’re already promising to run and back candidates who will repeal this bill. I know here in Texas, I’m out here doing political education and organizing. For me ’08 never stopped. But where are the rest of y’all? I see the Tea Party folks, but I don’t see you.. I don’t hear our favorite urban radio station personalities keeping us up to speed on the latest bills and maneuvers in Congress.. I hear alot about Lil Wayne going to jail and Al Sharpton vs Tavis Smiley, but what about some chatter about the next steps all of us need to take to make sure health insurance rates don’t jump up 39% like they did in California before this bill even kicks in?
Who’s talking to us about the candidates we should be backing come November? Will it be more Bart Stupaks, Joe Libermans or Bill Nelsons who as Democrats and independents worked to derail this not because it didn’t go far enough, but because they had other agendas-many which were suspect? Will we be looking to back more Anthony Weiners, Bernie Sanders and others who insisted that Healthcare be about our well-being taking precedent over profit? Is that your goal? Or is it all about I got mine, hope you get yours?
I want people to not only keep in mind the promised relentless opposition of the Fox News crowd, but also the recent Supreme Court ruling that now allows corporations to have major influence in the future elections. Don’t think these HMOS are not gearing up to smash and smash hard.. Make no mistake with the economy all jacked up, these Health insurance companies along with the Wall Street banks who are gearing up to fight the reform measures against them have some tricks up the sleeves. Don’t be surprised if some y’all reading this suddenly find yourselves on some corporate payroll talking about how you need a few extra dollars to make ends meet so you wind up doing some sort of activity to carry out the agendas of these corporate institutions..
Don’t be surprised if some Civil Rights type organization is suddenly having their events or special programs for the youth or even a local concert or Non profit is being sponsored by some of these institutions. We’ve already seen this happen with the telecom companies fighting to get rid of Net Neutrality. They been pretty good at buying off.. oops I mean sponsoring organizations and groups for their silence and in some cases advocacy. Don’t think the health Insurance companies wont be gunning for us using similar aggressive stealth-like tactics.
Again are you ready to start taking those next steps? The goal should be that this new bill in its final form is much better than any insurance package you’ve ever had and for far less than you’re paying. Furthermore it should be something within reach for everyone. If that’s not the goal, be warned, it’s just a matter of time before some financial upset has you slipping through the cracks. Don’t wait till then to be fighting for whats right. This was a compromise, lets not forget it.. OUR promise is to improve this bill.. Lets hold each other accountable.
Something to ponder