Does Anyone, Anywhere Have Real Courage?

Enacting Healthcare Takes CourageAs US healthcare reform passage draws near, my mailbox fills with incoherent Right Wing hate screed and rage. Meanwhile the Obama Administration and Democratic-controlled US Congress seem unwilling to buck the echo chamber and do the right thing.

The public located outside the 24 sq. miles of fantasy surrounded by reality known as Washington DC  want fairly priced healthcare coverage for their families. The greatest medical technology in the world can only prevent people from dying of preventable and treatable diseases if they can afford insurance.

When someone has to choose between health coverage and paying their home mortgage, what kind of a moral choice is that? How can any nation that pays nearly 18% of its GDP for healthcare not have the best coverage in the world covering everyone?

Where is the moral outrage? Where is the real courage?
President Obama told a great story recently in Ohio . We shed a tear for Natoma Canfield. The problem is his actions and leadership have not matched the rhetoric. He has consistently back-pedalled away from telling Congress what he wants done and supported a bad bill created by and rewarding the corporate thieves who both created and thrive in the current system. How can an Anthem Blue Cross in California  morally justify raising premiums by 40% when they rake in $2.5 billion dollars in profit and pay executives hundreds of millions of dollars?

His and Congress’ lack of courage to take on the monied special lobbying interests created 14-months of turmoil and confusion that now rightfully threatens the political future of all Congressional Democrats and Republicans because of inaction, gridlock, greed and a patent inability to set the record straight.

It’s time now to do something.

Equal Time’s Cruel Joke
It’s time for the Mainstream Media (MSM) to stop just accepting bald-faced lies and do some real reporting. I watched in horror Sunday as former national network anchor Tom Brokaw sat in as guest host of NBC’s Meet the Press. While there he allowed former Bush adviser Karl Rove to spend 10 minutes re-writing Bush era history without challenge.

The noble corporate news mien of ‘equal time’ is a cruel joke perpetrated on the viewing public. Equal time never meant “accept whatever bullshit comes out of someone’s mouth” without challenge! It was designed to allow all sides to be aired but the job of reporting requires the “journalist” to challenge them!

Now cable and network news simply adopt talking points. A Georgetown University Law School professor last week “leaked” a test false quote as an example for his media law class to see how far it could travel. He let leak that Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement. It was on The Drudge Report website and then FOX News in less than an hour! There was no independent verification. Without verification and discipline, misinformation reaches Orwellian heights!

Where is the real debate and discussion?
I was scheduled to debate Republican wordsmith Frank Luntz (he of “it’s not called off-shore drilling, rather deep sea oil exploration” fame) on the BBC network during the upcoming UK Leadership debates. Now because it was not a cozy 1:1 studio chat and he would actually have to defend himself 12x during the three debates, he suddenly cannot be there? Of course not.

Why risk a real news discussion/debate when you can sit in the SKY or FOX studios and chat up a friendly host? FOX only has 1:1 discussions because one need only watch Larry King or a CNN broadcast to see how much of a food fight multiple live feeds become.

I’ll debate anyone on the right in-studio, anywhere face-to-face. That requires courage so I’m not holding my breath.

But when it comes to courage, a report on Media Matters shows how the Right has deliberately misled people about the very same budget reconciliation measures they used to pass the Bush Tax Cuts for the rich and other measures. It is a must-read to see how carefully crafted and craven the distortions really are.

denisIt’s time for truth without SPIN. From “death panels” to “Hands-off my Medicare,” the right wing slow-down tactics are, thankfully, finally running out of steam. It is well past time for real reporting, discussion and a real series of bills to fix the broken system.

Social Security and Medicare both started as bad bills but improved over time. Let’s hope this will also be the case here.

What really worries? Financial institution reform’s got next! Groan.

Denis Campbell

Denis Campbell publishes the e-magazine, where this article first appeared.

Russell Means Interview


  1. says

    Here is a letter my ex-patriot brother Jeff posted on my blog back in August:

    “As an American who has been living in Europe for most of the last 20 years, one who has visited doctors numerous times in four different countries, whose two children were brought into this world in European hospitals (France and England), who has himself spent a week in a public British hospital, and who underwent an operation in a private British clinic, I think I can say a thing or two about health care in Europe.

    “Our out of pocket expenses for the births? Zero. Even though in France my wife spent 5 days in the hospital after the birth of our first daughter, which is standard by the way.

    “During the three years we lived in England, we never once paid for medicine for our children. Children get drugs for free in the UK. Visits to the GP are free for everybody.

    “My expenses for the week in the NHS hospital? Zero.

    “The cost of the operation in the private clinic? Zero, it was covered by my work insurance, as was the post-op physical therapy I needed.

    “In Western Europe you would never be forced to sell your home in order to pay for your medical bills, as happens all too often in America when catastrophic illness strikes and the insurance company decides that your condition was ‘pre-existing’.

    “The quality of the care? Mostly good. French hospitals are excellent, even the food is decent. The food at the NHS hospital was beyond awful, but then again most English food is pretty bad (though they do have great Indian food). At night, they were understaffed, but I am guessing that, apart from that place where Dr. House works, most American hospitals are understaffed at night, too.

    “In short, in the US, you pay more, get less, and die younger than we do in Europe. What part of that don’t you understand?

    “My fellow Americans, you have nothing to fear except those who would use fear to keep you enslaved to the myth of the might of the American health care system.”

    Jeff Degan

    What can I tell you? The guy is a Communist. Not only does he live in France, he actually likes it there. An eternal shame to the good name of the Degan family. Let us boil down his seven paragraphs to their juicy essentials, shall we?


    Here is (Excuse me, I meant to say, “Here was”) a golden opportunity for real reform and the idiotic Americans are screaming about socialism. Is it any wonder that we have become the laughingstock of the Western world?

    Tom Degan
    Goshen NY

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