Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Apr 27th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Universal Health (S)care

Lisa_JensenHave you heard? President Obama wants to hand over your paycheck to illegal immigrants, indoctrinate your kids, and pull the plug on Granny. Most heinous of all (and you might want to cover the eyes of impressionable children for this one): he wants to guarantee you lifetime health care you can afford.

Oh, the humanity!

Can anything be more loony than the current “debate” over health care reform? Health should not be held hostage to politics. Basic health care  should be a right of every American, not a bargaining chip in political maneuvering. So, along comes Obama with a plan (not even a plan, just the radical idea that a plan needs to be made), and all he gets is grief from the very citizens—working class, non-rich—he’s trying to help.

 

Seriously, how can people argue against health care? In a rational world based on actual truth, what could that argument possibly be? “Don’t you dare offer me health insurance premiums I can afford, or guarantee me compassionate, efficient health care.” Or, “I defend (to the death, literally) my right to pay exorbitant premiums raised at random every year for no good reason, or to sicken and die because either I can’t afford insurance, or no company will insure me for the one condition/disease that actually threatens my life.” What  person with a functioning brain would ever say such a thing?

Pare away all the smoke and mirrors about socialism, a totalitarian state, “death panels,” Nazis, and unbearable taxation, and that bleating sound you hear is from ordinary people voicing passionate allegiance to a system that abuses and discards them. Why? Because the profiteers tell them to.

Talk about a totalitarian state.

The religious right turns out their dutiful toadies (think of the hollow-eyed, slack-jawed drones in Apple’s classic 1984 commercial) to demonstrate against policies in their own best interest with the same old reliable fear tactics it’s always used. And the religious right is the mobilizing, sheep-wrangling arm of the neo-conservative monolith largely funded by such gigantic corporate interests as war profiteers (like Haliburton), global banks, and insurance companies, and whose principle mouthpiece(s) are not even politicians, but media ranters like Rush Limbaugh and the hate-mongering pundits at Fox News.

Back in 1970, when we idealistic kids were marching for peace in the massive bi-coastal Vietnam War Moratorium parades, it made us laugh when critics claimed the anti-war movement was run by dreaded “Communist infiltrators.” Why was it so hard to understand the desire for peace? We thought we were advocating for the most sensible course for human survival. No one needed a Commie agenda to argue for life over death.

There is, of course, a superficial similarity in claiming that corporate interests were behind the demonstrators disrupting town hall meetings on health care all across the country last summer. But in this case, there is no other sensible reason why these people would argue with such passion against a concept of health care that might protect or prolong their own lives, or the lives of their loved ones, some day.

In any case, few of them were there to debate the issue; they were there to shout down debate, raise the spectre of socialism, and fret that their country, their personal concept  of America, was slipping out of their control. (Now they know what at least 52 percent of the American voting public has felt like for the previous eight years.) Their level of engagement with the actual facts of health care reform was on par with the woman who stood up at one of John McCain’s rallies on the campaign trail last fall to bemoan that Obama was “a Muslim.”

This is the end result of fear-mongering from the pulpit, be it neighborhood or electronic. Meanwhile, the corporate interests in bed with the religious right, whose agenda is promoted ceaselessly via Fox News, are able to maintain their personal vision of America, with liberty and justice (and health care) for those who can afford it. That this unholy alliance has been able to scare so many ordinary citizens into believing they’re on the same side is a far more noxious indoctrination than anything ever dreamed up by Karl Marx or Chairman Mao.

That the Republican Party now allows itself to be led by the nose by so disreputable a bunch as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and their many clones, suggests what dire straits the American political process has fallen into. Sarah Palin found it more expedient to quit her job in actual politics so she could jump on the paranoia bandwagon last summer without fear of any sort of backlash from pesky voters. Why slog through years of boring, frustrating political debate, where she might be required to support her position with verifiable facts, when she can be a media celebrity spouting any damn nonsense she wants with no responsibilities or accounting whatsoever?

Despite universal health coverage, capitalism is still alive and thriving in Germany, France, Britain, Japan—just not in the arena of national health care, where the welfare of its lifeblood, its citizens, is not a run-for-profit business. This is less socialism than simple social justice, a shared sense of responsibility that the welfare of the many is as important as the welfare of the individual. In short, humanism. Oh, the humanity, indeed.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

We Can Rebuild You

A look back at how downtown Santa Cruz recovered from the 1989 earthquake

 

International Earth Day—Mother Earth Day

Every April 22, humanity celebrates International Mother Earth Day and Earth Day. As more than a billion people participate in Earth Day activities every year, Earth Day has become the world’s largest civic observance. The massive concern to build right relations between humanity and the living being we call Earth is evidence of humanity’s love of the Mother. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed April 22 International Mother Earth Day, with a significant resolution affirming “the interdependence existing among human beings, other living species (the kingdoms—mineral, plant, animal and human) and the planet itself, the Earth which we all inhabit.” The Earth is our home. Celebrating Earth Day helps us define new emerging processes (economic, social, political) focused on the well-being of the kingdoms. Through these, humanity seeks to raise the quality of life, foster equality and begin to establish right relations with the Earth. We dedicate ourselves to bringing forth balance and a relationship of harmony with all of nature. Learn about planting a billion trees (the Canopy Project); participate in 1.5 billion acts of green. Disassociation (toward Earth) is no longer viable. We lose our connection to life itself. Participation is viable—an anchor, refuge and service for all of life on Earth. Visit earthday.org; harmonywithnatureun.org; and un.org/en/events/motherearthday for more information. From Farmers Almanac, “On Earth Day, enjoy the tonic of fresh air, contact with the soil, companionship with nature! Go barefooted. Walk through woods, find wildflowers and green moss. Remain outside, no matter the weather!” Nature, Earth’s most balanced kingdom, heals us. The New Group of World Servers is preparing for the May 3 Wesak Buddha Taurus solar festival. We prepare through asking for and offering forgiveness. Forgiveness purifies and like nature, heals.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Dark Magic

40 years on the movie beat in Santa Cruz
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Oral Fixations

Blown away by a Tuesday night dinner at Oswald

 

If you could live in Santa Cruz in any era besides now, which would you choose?

Probably the ’70s, because Santa Cruz is such a fly-your-freak-flag place. That was when free love and hippiness was in vogue. Shane Reber, Santa Cruz, Caretaker

 

Sarah’s Vineyard

Sarah’s Vineyard of Gilroy is known for crafting fine wines—and one of my all-time favorites is its Chardonnay. But this time, its Viognier has my vote.

 

Munch

East Coast meets West Coast in new meat lover’s paradise