Tuesday, December 29, 2009

And The Rest Is Just Noise

Another item quoted, not because I'm lazy, but because it deserves reading...

Why the health care bill is the greatest social achievement of our time.
by Jonathan Chait, a senior editor of The New Republic
Insurers may be getting a lot of new customers, but that comes with the trade-off of a lot of unwanted regulation. There is more at work in the progressive revolt than an irrational attachment to the public plan or an executive distrust of private industry. The bizarre convergence of left-wing and right-wing paranoia echoes the forces that brought down the moderate consensus of the postwar era. The GOP retreat into Palinism represents one half of this collapse. The left’s revolt against health care reform represents the other. What has re-emerged in recent weeks is the spirit of the New Left--distrustful of evolutionary change, compromise between business and labor, and the practical tools of progressive reform. It is the spirit that rejected Hubert Humphrey in 1968 and Al Gore in 2000.
The New Left rejection of “corporate liberalism” came at what we now regard as the historical apex of American liberalism. At the moment of another historical triumph, liberals are retreating from politics into languor, rage, and other incarnations of anti-politics. One day they may look back upon this time with longing.
And, I might add, insurance coverage for all citizens is a duty of a functional state, not to mention that it is a feature of the German system since the administration of the quite conservative Bismarck in the 1870s and a commonplace in all European democratic countries. One country I can mention does NOT offer health care coverage for its citizens: CHINA, the oh-so-communist system "for the people" is as callous about its citizens dying or suffering from illness as the US system "for the people" has been up to now.
The health care reform bill deserves passage in both houses, quickly. Improvements can come after the cornerstone has been laid, and it is more than 100 years overdue!

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