Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Anti-eulogy, continued


"""What I cannot ever forgive or ever forget is Kennedy’s record on health care. He called it “the cause of my life.” Even a cursory glance at the senator’s record shows he was a colossal failure at the cause of his life. How is it that the American mainstream media and even some left-wing media get away with promoting Kennedy as successful reformer of health care when the country is facing a health care crisis of staggering proportions? Two statistics speak volumes: 50 million uninsured and at least 20,000 people die every year due to lack of access to health care. If Kennedy was so committed to the plight of the uninsured and making health care accessible to everyone in the 46 years he was in the senate, why the hell is the health care crisis killing so many, swelling the ranks of the uninsured every day, and threatening to crash the economy? Here’s why: decades ago Kennedy sold out to the blood sucking, profit-hungry, killer insurance corporations.

It’s hard to believe looking back now, but the Lion King started out with the right idea. In 1971, Kennedy, along with Representative Martha Griffiths (D-Mich.), supported the Health Security Act. It eliminated the role of the commercial insurers entirely and created a single-payer, government financed health care system. The Kennedy-Griffiths bill, as it came to be called, was a watershed in American politics and would have, if passed, made health care a human right and divorced health care from employment status for good. He had solid backing from the labor movement. Kennedy faced off against evil President Richard Nixon’s health care plan and charged that it “would provide the insurance industry with a windfall of billions of dollars annually.” Teddy was right.

Then between 1971 and 1974, Kennedy gave up, he completely abandoned single-payer, national health care and became the great compromiser. His next piece of health care legislation was the Mills-Kennedy Bill. It was the opposite of Kennedy-Griffiths. It maintained the link between employment and insurance, didn’t include the entire population and required those with coverage to shoulder much of the expense of basic medical care through high deductibles and co-pays. Labor refused to endorse the Mills-Kennedy bill and in a meeting with members of the Committee for National Health Insurance, Kennedy reportedly was furious and belligerent and said he resented the charge made against him that he was “selling out on the health issue.” Consumer advocate Ralph Nader and his organization Public Citizen Research Group also criticized Kennedy for selling out and caving to the insurance industry. But that’s exactly what Kennedy did and he never fought for single-payer health care again. """""

Teddy K--the Hero of the liberal-scabs.

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