Bill Moyers had an excellent panel discussion on the only true road to universal health care for our country. It's called: Single Payer Health Insurance.
Dr. David Himmelstein and Dr. Sidney Wolfe give a very easy explanation of what Single Payer health care means and also take us down memory lane when the fight first started. It's hard to understand President Obama on this issue. He has the bully pulpit and he has the votes for the most part since it won't take 60 votes to pass it, so why is he not in favor of single payer? Yes, I know, it will be tough to pass, but covering Americans with this plan would also save jobs, decrease personal bankruptcies incredibly and save Corporations billions of dollars on health care costs. Talk about a real stimulus. Anyway, back to Moyers.
Health care reform is coming. Both Congress and President Obama have made it a top priority, and many expect a bill by the fall. Now comes the tricky part — designing and funding a plan. President Obama has outlined broad goals, several competing plans have been introduced in the Congress, and the Republican party recently introduced its own plan.
But Dr. David Himmelstein and Dr. Sidney Wolfe tell Bill Moyers on the JOURNAL that President Obama isn't considering a popular plan — single-payer. In a recent town-hall meeting in New Mexico, President Obama said switching to single-payer would be too disruptive.
The term "single-payer" generally means a system in which rather than having private, for-profit insurance companies, the government runs one large non-profit insurance organization. That organization pays all the doctor, drug and hospital bills — it is the "single-payer" of all medical bills. In most single-payer plans, every American would be enrolled and would pay into the fund through taxes...read on
It's an excellent video. It looks like they are trying to force us with a "public option" plan instead of real reform of health care. I'm still sorting out a lot of information on the health care problem, but some of us are working on an action soon.
And when you just go right to Big Insurance, the non-presidential candidates who got the biggest legalized bribes were the 7 senators who have been tasked with the job of killing single-payer:
Ben Nelson (DLC-NE- $1,196,799)
Max Baucus (DLC- MT- $1,184,113)
Joe Lieberman (DLC- CT- $1,036,302)
Arlen Specter (R-D- PA- $1,035,530)
Chuck Schumer (D-NY- $981,400)
Mitch McConnell (R-KY- $929,207)
Chuck Grassley (R-IA- $884,724)
We will be addressing the members of Congress very soon. Thank God for Bernie Sanders. Here's something positive at least.
Right now Sanders is pushing for an incubator program (5 states with single payer) to test it out and show how it works. The Progressive Caucus in the House is still insisting-- some would say tilting-- for a robust national plan that will lead to single payer.
Eighty liberal lawmakers, in a letter sent to House Democratic leaders Friday, forcefully demanded a “robust and affordable” new government-run health insurance plan be part of health care reform.
That would be the Progressive Caucus teaming up with the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus trying to counterbalance the Blue Dogs who oppose a workable public option (although several moderate Blue Dogs freaked out and disassociated themselves from the GOP talking points that were touted as the Blue Dog position). Here's the statement from the Progressive Caucus:...read on
Bill Moyers Journal, which unfortunately is probably not on the top of most Americans TIVO list for Friday nights, dove head on into some of our country's darker days. Days that many in the South would probably prefer to forget, when slavery was no longer legal, but still practiced by an economy addicted to slavery, and unwilling to let it go. Bill Moyers interviewed Douglas Blackmon, author of the book, Slavery by Another Name, and it is truly worth your time to watch the entire interview.
With a Presidential election that has brought the issue of race front and center and forced us to confront the reasons for racial divides, understanding the past and how it relates to the racial tensions that still exist in this country is an important discussion for anyone who would like to finally heal those wounds. Hopefully, one day we may move to a place where race is no longer an issue, or a way to keep a segment of the population from ever achieving equality.
Douglas Blackmon delves into a time that has helped to shape the views of African Americans towards our judicial system, our law enforcement, and our legislators. Open dialogue about what happened during those dark days, and how we move forward to make sure that it does not continue today is a discussion I hope more Americans have as we ponder whether we may have our first black President and what that will mean for our country and the future of race relations.
Bill Moyers finds parallels with the degradation of rampant steroid use in baseball to how degraded our country has become by those seeking quick ways to short cut and short circuit level playing fields.
You don't get a level playing field with performance enhancing drugs, any more than you get an honest government with political action committees and bundled contributions, or a fair economy with some derivatives, hedge funds, and private equity managers taxed at rates lower than their janitors. You get a level playing field only when the fans demand it. Suppose people stopped attending games in large numbers, stopped watching on TV, stopped buying the products hyped by the icons. The leveling would happen, or baseball as a money-making business would die. It's not likely to happen. If we can't organize to stop a brutal, bloody war in Iraq, or rectify an economic system that divides us further every day, we can hardly expect collective action from baseball fans.
There was a lesson in George Mitchell's report that I'm not sure even he recognized. The day Americans don't feel strongly enough about the need for level playing fields to fight for them -- the day when cutting corners and seeking an edge become the national pastime -- is the day democracy will be lucky even to find a seat in the bleachers.
Bill Moyers look at the FCC head Kevin Martin's full tilt toward media consolidation:
On November 2, 2007, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin announced that the Commission would hold the sixth and final public hearing on media consolidation November 9, 2007 in Seattle, Washington. Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein blasted the Chairman's decision to give the public only five business days notice before the hearing: "With such short notice, many people will be shut out ... This is outrageous and not how important media policy should be made."
Four years ago, without public input, the FCC rolled back 30 yr old rules that limited a single company's ability to be able to dominate local TV, newspaper and radio media markets. Thankfully, the rules changes triggered a massive public response and through legislation and lawsuit, they were defeated. Now FCC chair Kevin Martin is attempting to do it again by trying to push through a similar set of changes allowing further media consolidation as soon as December 18. This time, we needn't wait until we have been sandbagged. You can help by contacting Congress and the FCC now to stop Kevin Martin before he gets away with slipping this one by us.
Bill Moyers then goes one further and focuses on one glaring example of how our media is already failing us today:
It's no wonder why groups like Code Pink must go to such lengths to make sure the overwhelming voice of public opinion against the war isn't ignored entirely. Thankfully we at least still have Bill Moyers to help make sure that doesn't happen. As always you can watch the full episodes on the PBS website.