Saturday, December 26, 2009

Thanks to the Commies, a little less cranky

Leave it to a Communist web site to take a reasonable perspective on our political goings-on...

Like some others, including former Vermont governor Howard Dean, I've been complaining about what's not in the so-called health care "reform" bill just passed in the Senate. Things like Medicare-for-All, or at least a reasonable public option, and so on. I've also been complaining about some things that are in the bill, like prohibitions against using federal funds to pay for abortions (why not prohibit the use of federal funds to treat people with smoking-related illness?). Anyway...

A post by Sam Stark at People's World puts some of this into perspective by calling attention to the original Social Security legislation passed in 1935 under probably our most progressive president ever, Franklin Roosevelt, and with large numbers of progressives in the House and Senate. Even so, the legislation was far from what these people really wanted, thanks largely to southern Democrats who made sure that the bill would disturb their antebellum world view as little as possible. It would be several decades before Social Security would look like the program most of us are familiar with.

The point, which this essay makes nicely, is that the legislation started out less than adequate and got better with time. Perhaps health reform will, also (Paul Krugman agrees). Perhaps someday the US will be a truly moral country, a country in which anyone who needs medical care will be able to walk into a facility and get it, no questions asked, no money changing hands, and  no health insurance industry death panel holding their life in its hands.

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