Exceptional: But Not in a Good Way

Cuban hospital

John Peeler: On guns and prisons, we are more like a Third World country than like other rich nations. On health care, Third World countries simply cannot afford to waste the amount of money we do. And it is doubtful that we can, either.

Outsourcing America’s Health Care

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Walter Brasch: “Megabucks/U.S. closes its auxiliary operations, and then contracts with Mexican companies for a fifth of the cost in the U.S. They do the work, ship it back to the U.S., and Megabucks bills Blue Cross the full rate as if it was done locally.”

Occupy LA: Writing on the Wall

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Stephen Box: Occupy LA is slowly discovering that City Hall’s welcome mat has disappeared, that the Mayor’s gift of ponchos during the first rainstorm was more of a bon voyage gift than a welcome.

The Great Health Care Takeaway

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Shamus Cooke: Most workers now understand that there is a difference between apparently having health care and actually having health care: if you are technically “insured” but cannot afford doctor visits due to high deductibles and co-pays, you really aren’t insured.

Medicare Is the Solution, Not the Problem

Romney Ryan Medicare

Robert Reich: The real problem is the soaring costs of health care that lie beneath Medicare. They’re costs all of us are bearing in the form of soaring premiums, co-payments, and deductibles. Medicare offers a means of reducing these costs — if Washington would let it.

Walter M. Plumbs the Depths of Homophobia

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Adam Eran: Intolerance is costly in other ways, too. The U.S. doesn’t get the cheaper, more effective single-pay­er health care now because racist Dixiecrats in Congress were concerned that federally-­sponsored health care would mix the races in Southern hospitals.

Prospects for Progressive Politics

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Peter Dreier: The 2012 elections will be a big test for Obama and for all of us. If we as progressives can make our pole of the political debate compelling to him – powerful and articulate – then he will move to incorporate more of our vision.

The Dichotomy of Mitt Romney

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Tracy Emblem: Mitt Romney offers no solutions on how individuals and states will be able to reduce health care costs. Without buying power or other cost containment provisions, the economics of “market” is always what the market will bear. There is no incentive to lower costs because people need medical care – it’s a commodity that must be purchased.

Save Money! Stay Healthy!

710 freeway

Diane Lefer: Once people understand we all face some built-in obstacles to healthy living, it’s easier to understand the kid who lives where the air is toxic and there are no parks and no safe places to walk and no access to transportation to go anywhere else.

Wisconsin Going Forward

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Tina Dupuy: The several generations of Wisconsinites sauntering around the Capitol in the cold are even more of an apt symbol of what organized labor, pensions, health care and a living wage mean for working people: It’s family. The ability to take care of their families.

Time for a Pro-Quality-of-Life Movement

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Tina Dupuy: The wedge issue of abortion is a red herring. It’s a giant distraction – a shiny thing we all focus on and a drain on resources which could actually be going to making “life” better for American children.

Planned Parenthood and the Rape of American Women

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Lately, the sound of galloping hooves and rustling white sheets has risen in a deafening squall from the Capitol. Like their Klan ancestors, elite white males in Congress’ political lynch mob are once again savaging communities of color. The House’s vote to gut Planned Parenthood is a criminal act against poor and working class women [...]