Once upon a time, in a land far closer than we care to admit, a leader was elected, not selected, by a majority of those who voted, based on a dream of hope. The hope was that he was smarter than the last leader, willing to make us less fearful, safer, and better than we had become.
The people who tipped the balance in electing this leader were not sure if he was for real, but they liked much of what they heard him say on the campaign trail. He promised them change and a new way of dealing with our problems, and on one issue, he laid out a way in which he would effect that change — healthcare for all. Without the specifics, the people believed in him and he was elected. These people were called Progressives and they knew what would really fix the sick medical system that was costing the people their lives and their wealth. It was called Medicare for All.
After being elected the first African-American Black President of the United States, he knew from the beginning of his Presidency that he would never, ever, ever manage to sell such a system because the forces of greed. The powerful Medical Insurance and Pharmaceutical industries would work closely with his former adversaries, the Republicans, who had just spent the past eight years screwing up the country, and his own party’s bought and sold members, the Blue Dogs. He would be faced with a corporate-controlled media (which never does its homework), which was allowed to flourish by a former Blue Dog leader who bought the dogma of Greed and the religion of Capitalism unfettered.
So what was this new leader to do? What was his plan? He knew if he came out and backed a system that effectively covered all of its citizens, he would be attacked as being a non-believer in the religion of Greed. He would be called a Nazi and worse, a Socialist, one who actually has compassion and concern for others. That’s the worst anyone could be in a society that bows down to its corporate leaders thinking them the all-powerful who can do no wrong or harm. Even with massive evidence of corporate failures, throwing people out of coverage at their most dire times of need, all while reaping massive profits with no governmental constraints to make them responsible citizens, the new leader knew he would not be able to make them change.
He knew they would use the corporate media to spread lies and myths, raise fears beyond rationality, and in the end, he would have to give in to the healthcare monopolies and allow them to conduct their business without restrictions. All attempts to stop these greedy behemoths would fail and thus the Health Insurance Industry would claim a great victory. They would tell their ignorant supporters who never understood the deep lies they were fed that they were now free to chose their Private Health Provider without fear of government intervention.
Then a funny thing happened. The leader went back to the people and said, “I have freed you from the tyranny of socialism, but I have not given you a great choice for your healthcare needs.” He told them they would be stuck having no real competition in their choice of health care for they had none now as well. He reminded his people that they were a nation always wanting choices and he now had a choice for them that would likely cost them less than private insurance, and they didn’t have to take it if they didn’t want to. But this choice would never drop them, this choice would never cost them an arm and a leg like the private insurers, and it would even help keep the private insurance competitive, which after all was what the dogma of Greed is really based on.
And low, the people cheered and said, “Tell us, what is this great choice and how does it work?”
The leader said, “It is called Medicare for All, and you don’t have to pay for it if you don’t have private health care coverage. In fact, if you have private coverage, you get a tax deduction, and if you do join with others in Medicare for All, you will pay far less for your medical care than you do now, still have your choice of any doctor you want, and be covered for life.” The leader said it would even have preventive medical coverage and make sure those who became participants were going to never worry again about going bankrupt as a result of a serious medical condition.
The people asked, “What is this going to look like, this coverage for all?” For, so many of them did not understand that there was already a great system in the country that was a government healthcare insurance plan for older people called MEDICARE. The leader said, “It is called Medicare for All who want it — H.R. 676.”
And the people said “PASS IT!” And it became the law of the land, and the nation’s economy became competitive with the rest of the nations that already had similar public plans, and the economy recovered and grew, and people began to take their health more seriously, and the nation saw more hopes and dreams possible, for they knew they had choices. They knew they were hard working and would not be wiped out by greed.
Then everything changed almost overnight. The troops came home from wasteful, stupid wars of Greed and Fear, jobs and businesses were created that were environmentally constructive, and the weather began to get better as global warming began to reverse itself. Most detrimental of all to the leader’s enemies — the Republicans and the Blue Dogs — fear of Change was no longer an effective way to manipulate people to act against their own best self interests.
The nation was saved, the planet was saved, and people learned that there are choices without fear and hatred that can happen as long as they are willing to hope for change.
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Copyright 2009 LA Progressive