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:


The Future Is Hopeless, So Give it Your All

The never-ending national election in the United States, the “surprise” pro-Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, climate change … the list goes on and on about how easy it can be to lose hope in the future.Like many of life’s frustrations, or overwhelmingly large topics, most people in our society find themselves somewhere on the […] Read More

How Carbon Farming Can Save the Planet

Carbon farming alone is not enough to avoid catastrophic climate change, but coupled with new economic priorities, a massive switch to clean energy, and big changes to much of the rest of the way our societies work, it offers a pathway out of destruction and a route to hope.Along the way carbon farming can also […] Read More

Look Under Your Feet for Global Soil-utions

For several years, Chelsea Green has been publishing books that look under our feet for solutions to some of the most vexing problems facing the planet – hunger, drought, degraded farmland and grasslands, damaged waterways, and much more. Those books focus on (mostly) one thing: Soil.  In 2016, we’ve published two more important books that […] Read More

Climate Change & the End of Stationarity

Just as predicting the rise of Donald Trump as a leading presidential candidate stumped even the best of political analysts (looking at you Nate “FiveThirtyEight” Silver), the advent of the Sixth Great Extinction due to climate change and an increasingly potent mix of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has completely upended how we predict the […] Read More

Use Simple Games to Better Understand Climate Change

How is it that emissions keep growing despite rising concern about the climate change they cause? It is possible to identify several reasons for the paradox, most of which lie outside the scope of The Climate Change Playbook. But one important reason is relevant here: people do not understand the behaviors of the climate system.And […] Read More
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com