Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Health Care for America Would Cover Everyone and Save Billions

The Economic Policy Institute has released a new report showing that the “Health Care for America” plan developed by Yale political scientist Jacob Hacker would cover everyone, allow for doctor choices, and save about $1 trillion dollars over a decade, while costing the U.S. government only about $50 billion more than we are paying now for a system that leaves millions uninsured and far more underinsured.  Since both the Clinton and Obama healthcare plans (and, before he dropped out, John Edwards’ plan) are based on Hacker’s “Healthcare for America” proposal, this is good news for Democrats and for American hopes for real healthcare reform.  It is likely that the Democratic Congress would propose legislation based on the Hacker proposal and, if Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate are backed by a Democratic President, it is likely that such legislation would pass and we would finally get universal healthcare in this country. 

Universal healthcare was first proposed in 1911 by Pres. Theodore Roosevelt (R), after he finished taking on the monopolies. (Remember when there were liberal Republicans?) Had TR succeeded in getting such a system passed then, the U.S. would have been the first, rather than the last, industrial nation to have universal healthcare.  It was next proposed by TR’s second cousin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (D), during the New Deal–but the GOP rallied enough votes to block it. And, as companies were recovering from the Depression and hiring new workers, they started offering healthcare benefits in place of higher wages because they were still strapped for capital.  Canada and most of Europe created universal healthcare systems in the wake of World War II (in Canada’s case, the cause was led by Tommy Douglas, Baptist minister turned politician–who has since been voted by the Canadian public as the “greatest Canadian.”).

We can do it here. Quality healthcare is a human right.

February 19, 2008 Posted by | healthcare | 5 Comments