FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Corporate Liberals vs. Single-Payer

by RUSSELL MOKHIBER

I’m an Arab American.

If I listen to the leadership of the Arab American organizations, I’m supposed to be proud of my fellow Arab Americans who make it in American society.

So, for example, the Arab American Institute promotes all Arab American politicians – no matter their political persuasion.

At its annual dinner, the American Task Force on Lebanon gives awards to the likes of Darryl Issa (R-California) and General John Abizaid, former head of the U.S. Command in Iraq.

A couple of years ago, the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee gave an award to National Public Radio’s Diane Rehm, a prominent Lebanese American.

Rehm’s a corporate liberal.

She’ll espouse corporate Democratic Party liberalism – but won’t go out on the limb for the American people.

Take the issue of health care reform.

Fifty million Americans are without health insurance.

More than 22,000 Americans die every year from no health insurance.

The underinsured are dying too.

That’s why, according to recent polling, the majority of the American people want a Medicare for all, Canadian style, single payer health insurance system in the United States.

The majority of doctors want it.

The majority of health economists want it.

But the inside the beltway political establishment – of which Diane Rehm is a card-carrying member – despises it.

They despise it because the private health insurance industry despises it.

Take Diane Rehm’s show this morning.

It’s titled “The Politics of Health Care Reform.”

On the show, three guests:

Corporate Republican, corporate Democrat, and corporate reporter.

Joseph Antos of the American Enterprise Institute. (No to single payer.)

Ron Pollack of Families USA. (No to single payer.)

And Laura Meckler of the Wall Street Journal. (No to single payer.)

Was a single payer system ever mentioned on the Diane Rehm show this morning?

Yes, once.

But not by one of the four Washington insiders.

As usual, it was raised by a listener.

Mark Joseph e-mailed in to the show to say this:

“Is health care a necessity and a human right – or a luxury to be sold for profit? The debate is whether our government should provide us with the best health care that medical art and science can provide, or should a few special interests be allowed to continue to get wealthier by exploiting human suffering and need.”

Antos gave a mindlessly ideological response – “Don’t go to your doctor if you think he’s exploiting your human suffering.”

As if we had a choice.

Meckler rephrased the listener’s question as – To what extent does the government have a responsibility to provide health insurance for its people?

And she answered it, against the preponderance of the evidence, with – “I think there’s probably a consensus in this country that there is not support for a single payer system that you see in other countries –  with the government as the insurer for everybody. I don’t think we are going to see that. But there are things in between that and nothing at all.”

Pollack didn’t address single payer on the show, but he has publicly joined hands with the health insurance industry to oppose it.

Why did Rehm stack the deck against single payer?

Because she wants to be a player – against the interests of the American people.

Nothing to be proud of there.

On the brighter side, I am proud of a group of West Virginia belly dancers.

On Monday, March 31 at noon, they will be protesting outside the Martinsburg, West Virginia offices their Congresswoman – Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia).

Capito – like Rehm and Pollack and Meckler and Antos –  knows what the deal is on health care reform.

And against the interests of her constituents, she sides with the insurance industry and chooses to dismiss single payer out of hand.

So, I am proud of the belly dancers.

They will be protesting for single payer.

They are calling the event “Shake it Up for Single Payer.”

The event is being sponsored by singlepayeraction.org, which has put up a Shake it Up for Single Payer poster on its website.

(Poster at: http://www.singlepayeraction.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/jensuya.pdf)

Print it out.

Plaster it in the neighborhood of your local member of Congress.

Time to shake up the status quo.

RUSSELL MOKHIBER is editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter. He can be reached at: russellmokhiber@gmail.com

 

 

Russell Mokhiber edits the Corporate Crime Reporter.

May 04, 2016
Kshama Sawant
It’s Not About Bernie: Why We Can’t Let Our Revolution Die in Philadelphia
Conn Hallinan
Baiting the Bear: Russia and NATO
Joshua Frank
Hanford’s Leaky Nuke Tanks and Sick Workers, A Never-Ending Saga
Paul Craig Roberts
TIPP: Advancing American Imperialism
Ted Rall
Hillary to Bernie Supporters: Don’t Vote for Me!
Eric Draitser
Hillary Clinton and Wall Street’s Neoliberal War on Latin America
Leslie Scott
The Story of Jill Stein: Putting People, Peace and the Planet Before Profits
Ann Garrison
Building the Greens Into a Mass Party: Interview with Bruce Dixon
Tom Clifford
Crying Rape: Trump’s Slurs Against China
Lawrence Davidson
Getting Rid of Bad Examples: Andrew Jackson & Woodrow Wilson
Ellen Brown
Bank of North Dakota Soars Despite Oil Bust: A Blueprint for California?
Nelson Valdes
Is Fidel Castro Outside or Part of Mainstream Thinking? A Selection of Quotes
Jesse Jackson
Don’t Send Flint Down the Drain: Fix It!
Nathan Riley
Help Bernie Keep His Halo
Rivera Sun
Remembering Nonviolent History: Freedom Rides
Clancy Sigal
Rachel and the Isolationists: How Maddow Blew It
Laura Finley
Changing the Conversation About “The Woman Card”
CJ Hopkins
Coming this Summer … Revenge of the Bride of Sophie’s Choice
May 03, 2016
Gary Leupp
Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Policy Resumé: What the Record Shows
Michèle Brand – Arun Gupta
What is the “Nuit Debout”?
Chuck Churchill
The Failures of Capitalism, Donald Trump and Right Wing Terror
Dave Marsh
Bernie and the Greens
John Wight
Zionism Should be on Trial, Not Ken Livingstone
Rev. John Dear
A Dweller in Peace: the Life and Times of Daniel Berrigan
Patrick Cockburn
Saudi Arabia’s Great Leap Forward: What Would Mao Think?
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Electoral Votes Matter: Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders vs Donald Trump
Chris Gilbert
Venezuela Today: This Must Be Progress
Pepe Escobar
The Calm Before the Coming Global Storm
Ruth Fowler
Intersecting with the Identity Police (Or Why I Stopped Writing Op-Eds)
Victor Lasa
The Battle Rages on in Spain: the Country Prepares for Repeat Elections in June
Jack Rasmus
Is the US Economy Heading for Recession?
Dean Baker
Time for an Accountable Federal Reserve
Ted Rall
Working for US Gov Means Never Saying Sorry
Dave Welsh
Hunger Strikers at Mission Police Station: “Stop the execution of our people”
John Eskow
The Death of Prince and the Death of Lonnie Mack
May 02, 2016
Michael Hudson – Gordon Long
Wall Street Has Taken Over the Economy and is Draining It
Paul Street
The Bernie Fade Begins
Ron Jacobs
On the Frontlines of Peace: the Life of Daniel Berrigan
Louis Yako
Dubai Transit
Bill Quigley
Teacher, Union Leader, Labor Lawyer: Profile of Chris Williams Social Justice Advocate
Patrick Cockburn
Into the Green Zone: Iraq’s Disintegrating Political System
Lawrence Ware
Trump is the Presidential Candidate the Republicans Deserve
Ron Forthofer
Just Say No to Corporate Rule
Ralph Nader
The Long-Distance Rebound of Bernie Sanders
Ken Butigan
Remembering Daniel Berrigan, with Gratitude
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail