Thursday, December 24, 2009


Hooray! Obama Wins Huge Health Reform Victory

Those of us who stand in Obama's corner on all the big issues are so relieved he has secured most of what he was after in terms of health care reform. The USA spends double on health than UK, France and Germany and yet

lags behind other countries in life expectancy and infant mortality, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Assuming the bill eventually becomes law, which now seems likely, 31 million US citizens will be covered by health insurance, leaving only five million still outside the system. I feel so pleased because:

i) No Democratic predecessor has succeeded with this symbolic area of social care- it nearly did for Clinton in 1992.

ii) Having invested so much political capital in the issue it was crucial for Obama to win the fight, especially after his less than successful foray to Copenhagen.

iii) It has dished the miserable rightwingers who view any advance in social provision as steps on the road to communism or some such ridiculous rubbish. They also misrepresented the NHS as part of their shameful campaign. Republicans, aided by their rich friends in the private health business, used every trick in the book to frustrate this necessary reform.

iv) Most important, a group of people half the size of our population will be freed of the fear they might bercome ill and have no recourse to treatment.

I am so delighted the forces of darkness have been defeated, despite Obama's falling popularity ratings. I feel sure this meassure will go down as a historic advance for the disadvantaged millions of the USA.

If this is so good for ordinary Americans, it makes me wonder why so many of them don't like these plans.

This fight is far from over I suspect. It gives the Republicans something to rally against in next year's mid-terms...for they have surely nothing positive that unites them and the people.

As for "miserably rightwingers". It would be hard to think of anything more miserable than the NHS. The number of bad stories I hear from friends and relatives beggars belief. This plan would bump up the premiums for Americans with health insurance, and rob those who don't of their freedom to choose. Health companies will do very nicely out of this arrangement. If the American people elect representatives who pursue such policies, then they will be just another second-rate European-style country. And deserve to be.
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