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

Health Care Blues

The video of the salaries of healthcare CEOs is from James Pence of The Hillbilly Report, a great populist progressive blog here in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  The song, “Health Care Blues” is by my friend, Paul Whitely, Jr., one half of the  folk duo, Down to Earth. (The other half is Paul’s lovely wife, Kate Sanders.) Paul and Kate double as the volunteer music ministers in our church.

To get rid of the health care blues, we need single-payer health care in this country, Medicare for everyone.  It would also solve the economic problems of Medicare and Medicaid, allow people to keep their own doctors (or switch), would save billions, cover everyone, and allow American businesses to compete on an even global playing field.  The House Bill for Medicare for all is H.R. 676.  Go to Physicians for National Healthcare Plan and write your Congressperson to co-sponsor H.R. 676 here.  (I’m pleased that my Rep., John Yarmuth (D-KY-03) is a co-sponsor.  The Senate version of H.R. 676 is S. 709, The American Health Security Act, introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and is far more comprehensive (and ultimately cheaper) than the health reform package being worked on by Sens. Kennedy  (D-MA) and Baucus (D-MT) and championed by Pres. Obama.  Let’s try to see if, instead of tinkering with a broken system, we can’t get healthcare for people, rather than profits.

By the way, the U.S. almost got single-payer, universal healthcare after WWII, like most of Europe, Canada, and, eventually, the rest of the industrial world.  It was pushed by Pres. Harry S. Truman (D) in 1948 and he had large Democratic majorities in both houses. Do you know what stopped it? Costs? Fears of socialism? Worries about “not keeping my own doctor” (which lie conservatives use to scare seniors)? Nope. None of that. It was RACISM.  Southern Senators refused to vote for it because they feared (rightly) that they would have to de-segregate Southern hospitals. So, even though the impoverished post-War South would have benefitted the MOST from universal healthcare, racism killed it.  Got to love the way we constantly cut off our noses to spite our own faces, huh?

April 27, 2009 - Posted by | economic justice, healthcare


  1. Michael,
    Thanks a million for posting the video.
    Check out our new site.
    It allows for diaries.
    Community Guidelines
    Again thanks a million

    Comment by James Pence | April 28, 2009

  2. Do we have health care in Los Estados Unidos ? Humm?

    Comment by Paul | April 28, 2009

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