Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Air America’s Mike Farrell: Isn’t Healthcare a Basic Human Right?

In the debate over healthcare reform, why are those who are supposed to be representing the will of the people so eager to take the single-payer option off the table? What are they so afraid of?

I think it’s obvious—especially in light of the health insurance industry breaking its promise to President Obama in record time. (Seriously, what was that—like, a day?) The rich want to get richer. The powerful want to stay in power. And dissent must be swept aside swiftly.

There’s only one problem with that: this isn’t some third-world Communist dictatorship. Sometimes, the government actually has to listen to what people want.

Thanks, Air America’s Mike Farrell, for writing about this crisis in leadership:

30 years ago I was out in Montana campaigning to get Max Baucus elected to the U.S. Senate. That was back when he was a Democrat.

It was interesting to see the metamorphosis, watching a video of him gaveling the Senate Finance Committee hearing to order the other day – you know the scene, a group of healthy, wealthy, well-dressed, powerful, mostly men sit and harrumph importantly about an issue. This one was a hearing where “stakeholders” were invited to discuss the problems facing our healthcare system. I thought it seemed odd that the panel was all insurance company executives, lobbyists and business-types and didn’t include a single-payer proponent; aren’t they “stakeholders”? But odd quickly became bizarre when a single-payer advocate rose from the cheap seats to speak to this august group, only to be quickly escorted out of the room under armed guard, apparently a threat to order. Then, after His Chairmanship gaveled the room to silence and tried to dismiss the single-payer supporter as a crank, another quickly stood to raise the same questions. As she was pulled from the room, yet another rose to speak, and another. Finally, the number that ultimately stood to express their support, only to be escorted out grew to the point that the chagrined Chairman found himself reduced to grimly voicing a fear that there might not be enough police.

It occurred to me, watching the poor man grind his teeth, that perhaps, like the lepers of old, single-payer proponents should have to wear a bell so he’d know as they approached.

During the tumult, with the gavel crashing and the police taking away the unwelcome citizens, someone in the crowd whispered to another, “How many are there?”

“Lady,” I wanted to shout, “there are millions of us!”

I thought someone might have become confused, watching that tone-deaf display of entrenched power, about which country we were in. It’s an odd thing to watch those who have been elected to serve the people become so wedded to the levers of power and money that they are somehow able to free themselves of the burden of vision.

Read the whole article here.

Related Article:


Author Petra Kuenkel: The Art of Leading Collectively

More than ever before, there is a focus on new, collective forms of leadership—and an urgency to get collective change processes underway, all over the world. What’s behind the recent push to move collective leadership to the fore? Whether we find ourselves in societal or organizational change, it requires collective energy and drive to bring […] Read More

10 Books to Curl Up With This Winter

William Wordsworth was right when he said, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” Nevertheless, the cold, dark days of winter can still get the best of even Nature’s most tenderhearted admirer. What’s one to do? We here at Chelsea Green have concocted the perfect cabin fever remedy with our suggested winter reading […] Read More

Top 8 Chelsea Green Books the Self-Styled Oregon Militia Should Read

The ongoing armed militia occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is showing no signs of ending — so, rather than send them snacks, or sex toys, we had an idea: Send them a book! Better yet, send them several Chelsea Green books. Don’t worry, we’ve picked five key titles that we think […] Read More

Author David Stroh: First Steps to Becoming a Systems Thinker

Systems thinking is often seen as something relegated to scientific and business analysis – economics, resource depletion, and climate. However, Systems Thinking for Social Change focuses on how to use systems thinking to make breakthrough progress on intransigent social problems. We asked author David Stroh how this approach can make an impact, and how readers […] Read More

Use Systems Thinking to Make Lasting Social Change

What can be done when our best intentions create unintended problems—such as temporary shelters increasing homelessness or food aid accelerating starvation?After decades of helping change-makers in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors address tough social problems, systems-thinking expert David Stroh shares the pioneering framework that both demystifies systems thinking and shows how it can lead […] Read More
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com