I observed in November, 2005 that “now that GM is facing bankruptcy and other mega-corporations are facing the financial pains wrought by a profit driven health care system, we should soon be seeing a nationalized, government operated health insurance program.”
Later, in December, 2006 I passed on an AP report “that Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is set to propose national legislation that would establish a system of “universal health care.”
Counterpunch is now reporting that Senator Wyden has done just that, “surrounded by his corporate supporters–Steve Burd, CEO, Safeway Inc.; Art Collins, CEO of Medtronic, Inc; H. EdwardHanaway, CEO, CIGNA; Steve Sanger, CEO, General Mills; and Ronald Williams, CEO, Aetna, Inc.”
Wyden’s legislation reportedly “is similar to that introduced by Republican Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Republican California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.”
The Counterpunch report continues:
“What’s the common denominator between Wyden-care, and Romney-care and Schwarzenegger-care?
“The individual must get insured or the individual is violating the law.”
No wonder Wyden was surrounded by many corporate executives heading health insurance purveyors, after all his proposed legislation will require folks to buy their products, while proscribing legal sanctions for those who do not.
Where is it written, certainly not in the U. S. Constitution, that the people of the United States, whose government Lincoln told us was created “of the people, by the people, for the people”, cannot provide for themselves, through their government, a non-profit, single-payer health care insurance system?
The only place, it seems to me, that such is written is in the checks that the captains of corporate American write to the likes of Senator Wyden, to maintain their ownership of the U. S. Congress. Such would be of no news to earlier owners of Congress, such as the Revolutionary War profiteers or the beneficiaries of railroad grants dispensed by well “greased” Congressmen during the mid-19th century.
So, despite Wyden’s grandstanding, USA health care will continue to cost five times as much as that in other of the world’s richest countries; and the health care outcomes will continue, in many respects, to be worse than in those other countries. But, hey, it’s OK because the profits of the health insurance companies will be enhanced; and, as we’ve been told, what’s good for corporate America is good for us all.