Steven Hill: In return for their taxes, Europeans get valuable support systems like childcare, senior care, university tuition and healthcare. Americans must pay exorbitantly, out-of-pocket, for these support services often going without because the cost is prohibitive.
Peter Dreier: Lots of reporters and pundits-all of whom have good, employer-provided health insurance plans-now say that Obama invested too much capital getting the Affordable Care Act through Congress when he should have been concentrating on the economy.
Steven Conn: A Republican member of Congress wants to remove the visage of Ulysses S. Grant from the $50 bill and substitute Ronald Reagan. But why? Historian Steven Conn speculates that the party wants to make its past match its present orthodoxy.
Shamus Cooke: FL-CIO President Richard Trumka offers a splendid vision: “The best way to fix the deficit is to create 10 million jobs now — the number of jobs needed to close our jobs deficit. This will require large amounts of public investment in the short term, which should be paid for in future years by taxing Wall Street. In addition to creating jobs for Main Street this tax will also curb short-term speculation and other Wall Street abuses that caused this recession.”
Tom Hall: One reason that there has been so little outcry about this complete abandonment of the capitalist ideals of the Reagan years is that there is no longer any press competition in the United States. All the broadcast and cable networks are now owned by about five multinational corporations. And in every major city, the same corporations own all of the television and radio stations and the cable systems. Most cable systems have no competition at all.
Randy Shaw: As someone who thinks Hill’s work could convince the uncommitted and deserves the widest possible audience, I wish he had directly confronted — through interviews, for example — those who oppose the policies that work in Europe but are still not in place in the United States. For example, it would have been helpful for Republican and Democratic Party political leaders to explain why our nation follows the lead of Papua New Guinea in still not offering paid maternity leave.
Finally, the worst option is for the government to run the presses and print money. Wars tend to cause inflation, and printing money makes things worse.
The media gives false credibility to claims by insurance company-owned politicians that their real motivation is fiscal prudence. No matter that the prospect of large budget deficits never deterred these politicians from supporting wars of choice or deficit-creating tax breaks for the rich.
What didn’t register at the first screening was the profound theological message Michael Moore, a devout Catholic, wires into his new film.
I don’t need a phone survey or Internet poll to know that the audience was wild about Moore’s film: the audience was often so overcome with laughter, applause and sheer excitement that it often broke into massive applause, with nobody complaining about the drowning out of dialogue due to the clapping.
I do find it amusing, however, that the right wing wants people to trust insurance companies over government. Insurance companies have been the most incredibly grotesque example of service and loophole digging I have ever witnessed. The idea that my life would be in the hands of a company that exists solely to make profit and who hires people whose compensation is based on finding ways to deny claims, would be incredibly horrifying.
Many citizens of immigrant-sending countries have better access to health care at home than they would in the US, but that also doesn’t mean that they will flood the borders if the US health care system significantly improves.
Drawn from a presentation Dr. Matt Hendrickson gave at a Single-Payer Healthcare forum given in Santa Monica last month, our LA Progressive survey was designed to underscore just how dire America’s healthcare system has become—and to give you a chance to test your knowledge and intuitions.