Healing Health Care:
NOW or Never
By Rabbi Arthur Waskow / The Rag Blog / August 19, 2009
We who have with illness bled,
Welcome to our gory bed,
Or to victory!
Now's the time and now's the hour;
See approach proud Money's power.
Will we turn and flee?
Big Pharma's fees are still our foe!
Lay arrogant Insurers low ---
With a public option, we'll be free!
(With no apologies to Robert Burns, who fought for the little guy all his life and would have loved this transformation of his hymn to Scottish freedom.)
President Obama originally said that a robust public option for health insurance was the only way to keep the insurance corporations honest. He was right then. Even if he has weakened under the pressure of lies about death panels and threats by hoodlums, he was right. The public option is NOT dead. It is up to us. NOW is the time, NOW is the hour.
If the mangled health care bill is passed with no public option, the windfall for Big Insurance and Big Pharma will outdo even their treasure hunt in the Bush Medicare windfall.
Why? How? Because the bill requires practically everybody to buy insurance, and the public will have no way of keeping down what the insurance companies charge all those new and old customers. Another gravy train -- on our money. Paid to support lousy care, with private companies refusing payment whenever they decide to boost corporate profits.
If progressive members of the House of Representatives who understand this stand firm, no matter what the Senate does, no matter what the White House does -- then no bill can pass without a public option
Better to fight this out, since at least two-thirds of the public supports a real public option. Please write your Member of the House right away with a simple, serious, straight-out message:
No public option, no bill!
You can tell your Congressperson exactly that:
You can write -- it's totally free! Please click here to send a fax, as follows. Here is our suggestion. You can modify the text.
I support health care reform with a robust public option -- and most people I know do, too.Please write NOW. Now's the time and now's the hour! See approach proud Money's power -- But we can still be free!
The public option is crucial, to keep the private companies honest by competing with them as strongly as possible. Without the public option, the private insurance companies will bankrupt the people who pay their premiums and bankrupt the nation with multiplying costs of health care.
This is our one chance in our lifetimes to get this right. I urge you to stand up for the public option no matter what the Senate or the White House does. Please do what a majority of your constituents want: Vote for health care that works.
I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.
Shalom, salaam, peace,
[Rabbi Arthur Waskow is director of The Shalom Center. He can be reached at email@example.com.]
The Rag Blog