Santa Cruz Good Times

Thursday
Apr 24th
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

 

Best of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.

 

Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Palate-Stretching 101

A wine education with Soif’s experts As a veteran of many weekend wine “seminars” at Soif, I have to confess that I’ve never known less (going in) and learned more (coming out) than I did last week at the Spanish Wine Tasting with ace rep Brian Greenwood. These are classy, casual events and it’s hard to imagine having this much flavor fun anywhere for $20.

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Sauvignon Blanc 2011 One of my favorite wines is Sauvignon Blanc, and this one made by Martin Ranch is particularly lovely. Bright, crisp and refreshing, it’s perfect to pair with fish and shellfish—and good for picnics as it has an easy screw-cap bottle. There’s nothing worse than setting down your blanket, pulling out your sandwiches—and then realizing you don’t have a corkscrew.

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management