We the Saps - They’re Doing It To Us Again!

Health care is a continuing and growing crisis in this county. The issue has turned critical in Minnesota now that King Timothy 1st has threatened to abolish GAMC and deny medical care to the sickest, oldest and most vulnerable citizens in the state. President Obama promised to change the way health care is provided in this country and make adequate, affordable health care available to all our citizens. His first effort in this great change was to convene a round table meeting in Washington and invite all the stakeholders to come and participate. Prominent members of the medical-industrial complex attended this meeting and made the surprising announcement that they also wanted to make health care affordable for all Americans. Anyone sophisticated enough not to believe in the Tooth Fairy, Santa Clause and the Wee Little Folk should have been immediately suspicious  of this pronouncement. Or as the poet Virgil said, “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.” (no offence to our Greek friends) This is the same bunch that scuttled the Clinton’s health care reform efforts.  And they are determined to do the same thing again. At the heart of the Obama plan is a public health care option. This will be a comprehensive medical and hospital plan offered by the government. The public will then have a choice to purchase this insurance or to maintain their private insurance coverage. The effect of this will be to provide real competition to private insurance companies who will then, in the best spirit of free enterprise, be forced to offer more affordable and better quality products. Free enterprise is the last thing that the medical-industrial complex wants. They have a strangle-hold on the throat of medical care in this county and they are not about to willingly let go.  The New York Times newspaper recently uncovered a plan by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina to produce and air more “ Hairy and Louise” type ads designed to destroy support for the public option. No lie will be too big nor any distortion too brazen for them to use in their effort to maintain their monopoly.

If any of you take comfort in the democratic majorities in the House and Senate to insure passage of the public option I will remind you of how quickly  the Senate leadership and rank and file abandoned President Obama’s effort to close the notorious prison at Guantanamo Bay in spite of their pious pronouncements during their recent campaigns. If you want comprehensive and affordable health care you cannot rely on politicians to get it for you. This will not happen unless the voice of the people is louder than the voice of the medical-industrial complex. All of us can be a part of the solution if we take the time to contact our congressperson and senator and demand three things:

   1. Health care reform this year.

   2. An affordable and comprehensive public option.

   3. An end to the monopoly enjoyed by big pharmaceutical companies.

I suggest that you contact your congressional representatives at least once a week or more often with the same message. Encourage your family and friends to do the same.  If we are just too busy in our private pursuits to help ourselves then We the People will just continue to be We the Saps who let them do it to us again.

Cliff Robinson, AFSCME Local 34