Progressive Calendar 04.24.09
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 2009 04:25:29 -0700 (PDT)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    04.24.09

   new posts for 4.24-26
1. Mpls CC/evictions  4.24 9:15am
2. Mpls march permit  4.24 9:30am
3. Reworking the U    4.24-26 times?
4. Moyers/Wall St     4.24 9pm

5. Iraq               4.25 12noon
6. Water resources    4.25 1pm

7. Single payer/950AM 4.26 3pm

8. Dave Lindorff - Are members of Congress being blackmailed?
9. Helen Redmond - Selling out single-payer
10. ed           - Capital bumperstickers

--------1 of 10--------

Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2009 23:08:10 -0500
From: Steff Yorek <yosteff [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Mpls CC/evictions 4.24 9:15am

For Immediate Release: Minneapolis City Council to vote on moratorium on
foreclosures and evictions
For immediate release 4-23-2009
Minneapolis City Council to vote on moratorium on foreclosures and
evictions

On Friday, April 24, 9:30 a.m., Room 317 of City Hall, the Minneapolis
City Council will take action on a moratorium on foreclosures and
evictions. The language is modeled in part after the People's Bailout Act
of 2009, written by the MN Coalition for a Peoples Bailout. It will be
brought forward by Councilperson Elizabeth Glidden, both as an amendment
to Minneapolis's 2009 Legislative Agenda and as "priority issues" for
the City Council.

Spokespeople from the MN Coalition for a Peoples Bailout will be available
for the media outside the council chamber at 9:15 a.m. and after the
hearing.

The People's Bailout Act housing bill (HF-2233) calls for a 1 to 2
moratorium on foreclosures. It also calls for letting tenants keep their
leases when their building is foreclosed upon. The Minneapolis City
Council's consideration of this language is critical in our battle. Here
are just a few reasons why a moratorium is needed now:

*Save Our Homes* - We keep hearing about programs in the pipeline to help
people, BUT they aren't taking effect yet. We NEED a 1-year moratorium so
people and banks have time to get together to work out a deal.

*Protect Innocent Renters* - Renters need the option of keeping their
existing leases. Many renters don't even know their landlords are getting
foreclosed on; they have been paying rent, assuming it was going to the
mortgage. There are also cases where "landlords" take the security deposit
and disappear! Let renters keep the leases.

*Save Neighborhoods, the Tax Base, Housing Stock & Investments* - When
houses (or apartments) go empty, everyone suffers. Housing values go down
and there are health and safety issues. Empty houses turn into trashed
houses. Lower property values mean less $ for local governments. Trashed
houses mean less money when the banks try to re-sell the house. Keep
people housed, keep properties maintained, and even keep some money going
to the lender.

At the capitol, powerful Democrats, like the banker and realtor Sen. James
Metzen, have so far stopped the legislative progress of the bill. But the
MN Coalition for a Peoples Bailout will use every means necessary to get
it passed this year. We expect that the Minneapolis City Council will
agree.

Contacts:
Linden Gawboy 612-296-5649, Deb Konechne 612-296-6998,
Mick Kelly 612-715-3280


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Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2009 14:27:51 -0700 (PDT)
From: Todd Heintz <proud2liveinjordan [at] yahoo.com>
Subject: Mpls march permit 4.24 9:30am

CALL-IN TODAY: Permits Denied for Immigrant Rights March

The MN Immigrant Rights Action Coalition and the May 1st Coalition are
planning the 4th Annual March for Immigrant Rights on May 1st, 2009. We
have solicited permits for a march down Lake St. and a rally on Nicollett
Ave, and they have both been denied.

Just as we did two years ago, we are asking the Minneapolis City Council
to pass a resolution to support our march on Lake St. PLEASE CALL today to
let your city council member, the mayor and the chief of police that we
have right to march for immigrant rights on International Workers Day.
Below you will find the information to call or email to show your support.

Also, we are asking all those who can to PLEASE ATTEND the City Council
Meeting this Friday (TOMORROW) at 9:30am at City Hall room 317, 350 S 5th
St in Downtown Minneapolis, and join us for a PRESS CONFERENCE in front of
City Hall at 10:30am after the meeting. The press release is attached.

Thank you for your time! When you call your city council members, please
remind them:

- We greatly appreciate their support in the past and are looking forward
to their continued support as we work toward making Minneapolis a model of
free speech and democracy.

- It is not only in the interests of our freedom of speech to grant a
permit, but also in the interest of our safety. The safety of all the
marchers are at risk if the city refuses to grant a permit.

- It is in the interest of the city to demonstrate its concern for the
protection and safety of its most vulnerable residents. Immigrants and
their allies in Minneapolis have a right to demand equality and justice,
and the city has the responsibility to give them the space for it.

Mayor RT Rybak: (612) 673-2100 - rt [at] minneapolis.org

Mpls Chief of Police Tim Dolan: (612) 673-3787 -
police [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us

Minneapolis City Council Members:
1 Paul Ostrow  (612) 673-2201 paul.ostrow [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
2 Cam Gordon  (612) 673-2202 cam.gordon [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
3 Diane Hofstede  (612) 673-2203 diane.hofstede [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
4 Barbara Johnson  (612) 673-2204 barbara.johnson [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
5 Don Samuels  (612) 673-2205 don.samuels [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
6 Robert Lilligren  (612) 673-2206 robert.lilligren [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
7 Lisa Goodman  (612) 673-2207
   http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/contact/email-form-goodman.asp
8 Elizabeth Glidden  (612) 673-2208
   http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/contact/email-form-glidden.asp
9 Gary Schiff  (612) 673-2209
    http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/contact/email-form-schiff.asp
10 Ralph Remington  (612) 673-2210 ralph.remington [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
11 Scott Benson  (612) 673-2211 scott.benson [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
12 Sandy Colvin Roy  (612) 673-2212
    http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/contact/email-form-roy.asp
13 Betsy Hodges  (612) 673-2213
    http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/contact/email-form-hodges.asp

Todd Heintz, Jordan Neighborhood


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Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2009 16:49:51 -0500
From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Reworking the U 4.24-26 times?

Conference: "Reworking the University: Visions, Strategies, Demands"
April 24 to 26 University of Minnesota, Nolte Hall, Room 140, 315
Pillsbury Drive Southeast, Minneapolis (Saturday evening: Nicholson Hall,
Room 155, 216 Pillsbury Drive Southeast, Minneapolis).

The current "financial meltdown" has exacerbated the ongoing crises within
the university, resulting in even greater budget cuts, tuition hikes,
hiring freezes, layoffs, and institutional reorganizations. This
conference creates a space for collectively re-evaluating the
university-in-crisis and for thinking about how to turn the crisis into an
opportunity to produce political alternatives. Free and open to all.
Sponsored by: the Committee on Revolutionizing AcaDemia (ComRAD). Endorsed
by: WAMM. FFI: Visit www.reworkingtheu.org or email comradmn [at] gmail.com .


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Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2009 17:21:39 -0500
From: t r u t h o u t <messenger [at] truthout.org>
Subject: Moyers/Wall St 4.24 9pm

Bill Moyers Journal | Investigating Wall Street?
truthout.org/042309U
Bill Moyers Journal: "As the demand grows for a new Pecora commission, the
1930's investigation into the causes and effects of the Great Depression,
Bill Moyers speaks with economist Simon Johnson and Ferdinand Pecora
biographer and legal scholar Michael Perino."


--------5 of 10--------

Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2009 12:59:18 -0500
From: "Murphy, Cathy" <CMurphy [at] analysts.com>
Subject: Iraq 4.25 12noon

Luncheon with Beth Pyles
Saturday, April 25, noon
St Luke Presbyterian Church
3121 Groveland School Road
Minnetonka, MN

Christian Peacemaker Team member and Presbyterian Pastor Beth Pyles will
share her experiences in Iraq with us on Saturday, Apr 25, at St Luke.
Please bring a sandwich or salad "ingredient." We will provide bread,
condiments and beverages. All are welcome, and we hope to see you there.
Questions: Cathy Murphy, 612.799.0595


--------6 of 10--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org>
Subject: Water resources 4.25 1pm

April 25 - 26: Women's Environmental Institute at Amador Hill presents
speaker Paul Wotzka, WEI Scholar Under Fire will speak April 25 at the
Taylor's Falls Memorial Community Center, 312 Government Street at 1 PM
and on April 26 at the North Branch Area Library Community Room, 6355
379th Street, North Branch at 6 PM. Free coffee and pie will be served at
both lectures "Atrazine, Nitrates, and Corn-Based Ethanol -- Implications
for Minnesota's Water Resources."


--------7 of 10--------

Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2009 23:30:44 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Of the People" <info [at] jamesmayer.org>
Subject: Single payer/950AM 4.26 3pm

James Mayer Of the People with Host James Mayer
Every Sunday Afternoon
3-4 p.m.
AM950 KTNF

Rebellion in the Ranks - What One Doctor Did to Make His Voice Heard
and
What is Happening at the National Level in the Move Toward Health Care
"Reform".
April 26, 2009

Jess G. Fiedorowicz, M.D., a psychiatrist and Associate Professor at the
University of Iowa College of Medicine, stirred things up recently at the
Iowa Regional Council on Health Reform when he called for Universal Single
Payer Health Care in spite of attempts to shut down discussion about the
subject.

He and host James Mayer will discuss the that event and its ramifications
as well as how and why we need to join the grownswell for real Universal
Single Payer Health Care.

Kip Sullivan
Joining them will be Kip Sullivan who sits on the steering committee of
the Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition.  He is the author of "The
Health Care Mess: How we got into it and how we'll get out of it."
Sullivan will discuss recent actions at the national level in the move
toward health care "reform" and why it is so important that we push our
elected representatives to enact Universal Single Payer Health Care
instead of phony reforms.


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Harman and the NSA Wiretaps
Are Members of Congress Being Blackmailed?
By DAVE LINDORFF
April 23, 2009
CounterPunch

For some time now, many Americans have wondered  how Congress, the elected
body that the nation.s Founding Fathers saw as the bulwark of liberty,
could have been so thoroughly unwilling to, or incapable of challenging
the dictatorial power-grabs and the eight-year Constitution wrecking
campaign of the Bush/Cheney administration.

There has been speculation on both the far left and the far right, and
even among some in the apolitical, cynical middle of the political
spectrum, that somehow the Bush/Cheney administration must have been
blackmailing at least the key members of the Congressional leadership,
most likely through the use of electronic monitoring by the National
Security Agency (NSA).

I'll admit that (even though we know J Edgar Hoover did keep a dirt file
on members of Congress to help him support his budget allocation each
year) I always considered the idea of White House blackmail a bit far out.
But now suddenly there is at least some evidence that such seemingly wild
speculation may not have been off the mark, with reports that the NSA was
indeed monitoring Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), and that the Bush
Administration used the evidence it had obtained of her improper
conversations with and promises to assist agents of the Israeli government
and its lobby here in the US, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee
(AIPAC), to blackmail her into supporting the NSA's warrantless spying
program - the very kind of spying that led to her being caught on tape
plotting with an agent of a foreign power.

At the time of the taping of Harman's incriminating phone conversations,
the administration was trying desperately (and ultimately successfully) to
get the New York Times to hold off on publishing a shocking investigative
report by journalist James Risen about a massive campaign of warrantless
tapping of Americans' phone and internet communications.

According to a report by Jeff Stein, published in the latest issue of
Congressional Quarterly, the NSA in 2006 recorded Rep. Harman negotiating
with an alleged Israeli agent about helping Israel win a reduction in the
espionage charges filed by the US in 2005 against two members of the AIPAC
lobby accused of providing US intelligence information to the Israeli
government (the case against AIPAC's Stephen Rosen and Keith Weissman is
still waiting to go to trial). According to the transcript, a copy of
which was obtained by CQ, the Israeli agent offered to have AIPAC lobby,
and more specifically to have a it arrange for a wealthy Jewish pro-Israel
donor in California donate money to Rep. Nancy Pelosi, in order to get
her, once she became House Speaker, to name Harman as chair of the House
Intelligence Committee. At the end of the phone conversation, Rep. Harman,
who offered to help, was heard to say, "This conversation doesn't exist".

According to reports in CQ and in the New York Times, which ran a story on
the scandal as its lead news item on Tuesday, then Attorney General
Alberto Gonzales subsequently intervened with the FBI to prevent any
prosecution of Harman, a key member of Congress on whom the administration
was relying to help it persuade the Times to withhold its NSA wiretapping
expos until after the 2006 election.  In the event, Rep. Harman did later
make calls to a Times editor, the paper did hold its story until after the
election, and Harman later was a leading backer of the administration's
controversial (and illegal) NSA spying program. (Harman never did get the
chair of the Intel Committee, though she did make a run at it. It is
possible that the reason she didn't get the position was that, as Pelosi
now admits, she was informed early on by the NSA of the tap it had done on
Harman.)

There are several serious issues here. One is the extraordinary glimpse it
offers into the extent to which Israel has penetrated the centers of power
in Washington. It is illegal for foreign governments to directly lobby and
to offer to arrange financial contributions for members of the US
government, but here, clearly, Israeli agents were doing just that. The
role of AIPAC as a front for the Israeli government in Washington, as
exposed here, is simply stomach-turning, and should make it a toxic
organization to politicians. Instead, they flock enmasse to its annual
meetings, as President Obama did almost immediately upon winning the
November election, and a large proportion of both houses from both parties
happily accept its campaign largesse.

A second, even bigger, issue is the NSA's spying activities themselves.
According to CQ, the particular wiretap that caught Rep. Harman
inflagrante with an Israeli agent was a court-approved tap - part of an
investigation into Israeli government spying activities. But even if this
is true - and at this point, we're relying on what the government is
telling us about it - it shows how dangerous the broader unwarranted
monitoring program of the NSA has been, and remains. Back in 1978,
Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in direct
response to the disclosure during the Watergate hearings and subsequent
investigations that the Nixon Administration had been using the NSA to
conduct illegal monitoring of the communications of anti-war activists,
and of members of Congress. To prevent such police-state outrages in the
future, Congress passed the FISA legislation, establishing a secret court
staffed by a panel of top-security-cleared federal judges, whose sole
responsibility was to consider and grant requests from the NSA for
warrants to conduct secret electronic surveillance within the US or
involving American citizens abroad.

President Bush used the pretext of the 9-11 attacks to secretly order the
NSA to begin a massive compaign of surveillance without going through the
FISA Court for warrants, even secretly soliciting the cooperation of the
nation's several telecom companies in splicing in routers at their
switching hubs to make it possible to monitor all conversations moving
across the wires and the internet. It seemed to some observers, myself
included, that the only reason the administration could have had for
bypassing the FISA court (which over 30 years of operation has been
incredibly accommodating of government spying requests) was that it was
planning to engage in spying that would outrage the public and the
Congress and even the FISA judges. It also seemed likely, given the
Bush/Cheney administration's public stance that everyone was either "with
us or against us," and that critics of the administration's "War on
Terror" or of its plans to invade Iraq, were "unpatriotic" or "soft on
terror," that congressional opponents of the administration would be
obvious - and indeed irresistible - targets of that surveillance.

Now that we have seen proof that the prior administration was not above
using its NSA-acquired knowledge to pressure a member of Congress, it
becomes absolutely essential that Congress and the Justice Department
investigate to see whether other members of Congress were also victims of
agency spying, and whether others besides Rep. Harman were similarly
extorted or otherwise compromised.

The American public can, at this point, have zero confidence in the
integrity of the Congress or of their own representatives, knowing that
politicians and government officials may be acting not in the public
interest but rather under duress in the interest of those who control the
National Security Agency. We can have zero confidence either in the
integrity of the president, who likewise may well have been compromised by
NSA surveillance conducted on him before he became president.

The only possible position for the public to adopt as of today is to be
suspicious of any politician who opposes a full and public investigation
into the NSA's seven-year-long campaign of sweeping, warrantless
electronic eavesdropping, since opposition to such an investigation, in
the wake of the Harman episode, could well be an indication that the
political figure in question is afraid she or he has been monitored, or
worse, that she or he has been threatened by those who have the records.
Every citizen concerned about the fate of American democracy should demand
that his or her senators and representative promptly call for such a
public probe. Even if the administration isn't blackmailing individual
members of Congress, given that many of them are sure to have ethical,
legal or moral skeletons in their closets that they would not want
revealed, just knowing that the NSA has been and could be monitoring their
communications, and that the White House hasn't been above using that
information against a member, could make them pliant and cowardly.

It is no longer a wild idea at all to imagine that our Congress has been
reduced to the status of a Potemkin legislature because of real or
imagined spying by the NSA.

Dave Lindorff is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. His latest
book is "The Case for Impeachment" (St. Martin's Press, 2006 and now
available in paperback). He can be reached at dlindorff [at] mindspring.com


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The Public Option Con
Selling Out Single-Payer
By HELEN REDMOND
CounterPunch
April 23, 2009

"As we roll out new products we will continue to price businesses for
appropriate margins. We will not sacrifice profitability for membership".
 - Angela Braly, Wellpoint CEO

At the Health Care for America Now (HCAN) and Citizen Action Illinois
sponsored rally in Chicago last weekend, single-payer advocates confronted
HCAN leadership and Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois)
who instead of working to pass HR 676, John Conyers single-payer bill
titled the United States National Health Insurance Act, are supporting the
so called "public option".

What the public option plan is, no one can exactly say. There are no
concrete proposals spelling out what the plan would include, who could
join it, how much it would cost, or how it would be funded. But the
details don't matter, they advocated for it anyway.

In a heated exchange with Schakowsky before the rally, she argued HR 676
(she is a cosponsor of the bill, yes that's right) has no chance of
passing and something has to be passed this year. She lied and said there
isn't enough support for single-payer, but there is for a public option. I
and other activists challenged Schakowsky on every assertion and demanded
she fight to pass HR 676. We said the insurance industry is going to fight
just as hard against a public option as it will single-payer so let's have
a smackdown for single-payer. We argued the passage of HR 676 would
guarantee an end to the crisis and finally make health care a human right
that could never be taken away. She got pissed and complained loudly to
her staff as she walked into the building, "Can you believe she is
lecturing me?" I yelled after her, "I'm just expressing my opinion, I'm
your constituency".

The rally was a slick "Sell out single-payer and confuse em' show" from
start to finish, replete with retro 70's song Ain't no Stoppin' Us Now
blasting into the auditorium.

HCAN staffers, state representatives, Tom Balanoff - President of SEIU
Local 1, small business owners, patients, doctors and medical students all
took the stage, outlined different aspects of the crisis, and rightfully
denounced the insurance and pharmaceutical companies. Their solution: the
creation of a public plan to compete against the private insurance
industry they despise. Speaker after speaker projected a wish list of
health care reforms onto the nonexistent public option plan: benefits must
be comprehensive, coverage must be affordable, no denial of care, and
equal access to quality care. Who could disagree if a plan like that could
actually be enacted? The problem is the United States will never, ever get
a plan like that while the private insurance industry is still breathing.
HCAN and liberal Democrats have to engage in this "magical thinking" in
order to convince a skeptical public that a public option embedded in a
for-profit system can work. Only a single-payer system, one that drives a
stake through the heart of the insatiably greedy insurance corporations
once and for all, can deliver on those promises.

A little history is in order.

The American health insurance system is based on the avoidance of the
elderly and sick so insurers didn't care much when Medicare was created:
seniors have complex and costly health care needs that cut into profit
margins. Let the government and taxpayers foot the bill for old people.
Plus, people aren't eligible for Medicare until they turn 65 so the
vampires would have decades of opportunity to bleed Americans into medical
bankruptcy. A similar dynamic was at work with Medicaid: poor people tend
to have chronic health problems and that cuts into profit margins. Let the
government and the taxpayers take care of them, but the minute they are
healthy enough to work, kick 'em out of the program and into the clutches
of the vampires or the ranks of the uninsured. Whose left? Everybody in
between. That's what is driving the insurance industry and Karen Ignagni,
the Chief Evil Officer (CEO) of America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP),
into a frenzy. They fear a public plan will snatch away "their" market:
the millions of people who don't fall into the above categories of old and
poor, especially the young and the healthy. It's the profits, stupid!

Ignagni and the industry are whining that if a new government insurance
program is created to compete with them, like Medicare, that's unfair
competition and they'd be driven out of business. Ohhh, don't you feel
sorry for Ignagni and all the other millionaire CEOs?

They think a government health plan would be unfair to them. But they're
exaggerating the effects a public plan would have on their pursuit of
profit. Just look at how they have sunk fangs into Medicare.

Doctors Himmelstein and Woolhandler from Physicians for a National Health
Program (PNHP) explain:

"A quarter century of experience with public/private competition in the
Medicare program demonstrates that the private plans will not allow a
level playing field. Despite strict regulation, private insurers have
successfully cherry picked healthier seniors, and have exploited regional
health spending differences to their advantage. They have progressively
undermined the public plan - which started as single-payer for seniors and
now has become a funding mechanism for HMOs - and a place to dump the
unprofitably ill. A public plan option doesn't lead toward single-payer,
but toward the segregation of patients, with profitable ones in private
plans and unprofitable ones in the public one".

Private Medicare Advantage plans cost the government 13 percent more per
beneficiary on average in 2008, and overhead for private plans is also
much higher, at 13 percent, compared to 2-3 percent in traditional
Medicare. Of the 45 million Medicare recipients, 23 percent are in private
plans. Most Americans aren't aware of the extent of privatization of
Medicare.

What is the lesson HCAN draws from the privatization of Medicare? On their
website an article is posted titled, Will Government Give Public Health
Insurance an Unfair Advantage? Experience Tells Us No. Experience shows
the government has given an unfair advantage to private insurers when it
comes to the Medicare program, which HCAN acknowledges. In twisted logic
that is hard to follow, HCAN thinks that's a good thing, it's proof the
government won't lower reimbursement rates or impose cost controls on
private insurers. Now HCAN is all about reassuring the insurance industry
they claim to loathe so much they only want a public plan to compete
against them on a level playing field: the goal is not to drive them out
of business.

This is the logic that confuses people mightily. One minute HCAN is
calling out the insurance industry for the profit-hungry killers they are,
then they argue the companies need to stay in business to compete against
a public plan honestly in the marketplace - even though they agree they
never compete fairly, Medicare being the prime example.

The health care reform proposals advocated by Jacob Hacker from the
University of California at Berkeley are suddenly all the rage, but there
is nothing new about them. He proposes a national health exchange of
private plans with the addition of a public option (essentially Obama's
position.) Hacker, like HCAN, is careful to assuage the fears of the
private insurers and says under his scheme, "More Americans have private
insurance after reform than do before - either through their employer or
through the national exchange". Smells a bit like Massachusetts where
200,000 people remain uninsured and the costs to subsidize the program
have doubled from $630 million to $1.3 billion.

Single-payer advocates oppose the creation of a public plan for a
different set of reasons.

 It doesn't make health care a human right that can never be taken away.
 It continues to divide, devalue, and define people by their health
status.
 It can't address the endemic racial and gender disparities in the system,
including the 12 million undocumented.
 It leaves the employer based system of health care provision intact. That
link has to be broken so workers are free to change jobs, go on strike and
not fear loss of coverage.
 The system would continue to have multiple payers and therefore the
complexity and gaps in coverage that are inevitable when there are
numerous bureaucracies to navigate.
 Where will the money come from to finance the plan, especially in a time
of economic recession, like right now? A public plan is not fiscally
sustainable because it's rooted in a multiple payer system that foregoes
at least 84% of administrative savings.
 Single-payer on the other hand, would immediately inject 400 billion into
the system by eliminating bureaucracy, billing apparatus, administrative
waste, advertising, corporate profits, and CEO compensation. That's enough
money to bring everyone into the system with no co-pays or deductibles.

We dont need any more feasibility studies or examinations of
single-payer in other countries. It's a proven fact that a single-payer
system can cover everyone and control costs. Period, end of discussion.

So the question becomes why don't the Democrats and HCAN fight to get rid
of the parasitic private health insurance industry (the source of the
crisis) once and for all instead of constantly and unsuccessfully, decade
after decade, trying to rein in, regulate, and do an end run around them?

For the Democrats, with the exception of John Conyers and a few others,
they simply don't want to abolish the private insurance industry. They are
capitalists and believe in the capitalist system that makes health care a
commodity to be bought and sold. For them, health care is not a human
right. And importantly, they don't want to take on President Obama who is
opposed to single-payer. Like the true cowards they are, they will not
oppose Obama on health care reform even though they disagree with him.

HCAN thinks it's impossible to get rid of the insurance companies, they're
too powerful, and they have too much money and influence. They don't
believe a large social movement can be built to take on and win against
the insurers and the government. The leadership of HCAN are the ones who
would have said under slavery, "We can't win abolition, so let's settle
for a few reforms that make the lives of slaves more bearable".

This attitude is astonishing given the sea change in consciousness around
health care. A number of events have coalesced to make winning a
single-payer system possible. No longer does the invoking of "socialized
medicine" scare people, not after the government has socialized billions
of dollars of losses in the financial sector. If the government can bail
out AIG, why not the health care system? Poll after poll shows the
majority of Americans want a government run health care system that
guarantees health care. People often express this by saying, "I want what
they have in Canada." Physicians used to be an obstacle to single-payer,
now 59% support single-payer.

Employment-based health care is collapsing and employers want to get out
of the business of providing health care to workers: it costs too much.
Millions of laid off workers now realize tying insurance to employment
status is a disaster; lose your job, lose coverage. Those with jobs are
paying staggering premium increases for less coverage. Single-payer
legislation has been introduced into the House HR 676, and SB 703 in the
Senate. There is a grassroots movement, including unions, all over the
country organizing and fighting for single-payer. And most significantly,
people are ANGRY and want change.

HCAN and Democrats like Schakowsky are deceiving and leading people down
yet another dead end alley of incremental reform. We've had decades of
incremental reform and now there are 50 million uninsured, 25 million
underinsured and between 18,000 to 100,000 people die every year because
they lack access to health care. For spineless Democrats like Schakowsky
and HCAN, the day will never come when single-payer is "politically
feasible," because if now isn't the time, when will it be?

The fight to make health care a human right is the new civil rights
struggle. We are standing on the shoulders of all the great social
movements that have come before us.

The time to win single-payer has never been better. We are going to keep
fighting like hell to destroy the corporate killers, not create a faux
option that allows them to live another day.

S se puede, yes we can!

Helen Redmond is a member of the Chicago Single-Payer Action Network and a
Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She works in the emergency room at Cook
County Hospital and blogs at http://helenredmond.wordpress.com  She can be
reached at redmondmadrid [at] yahoo.com


--------10 of 10--------

                  -----------------------------
                   Fight Capitalized Medicine!
                  -----------------------------


                   ---------------------------
                    Stop Creeping Capitalism!
                   ---------------------------


                   ----------------------------
                    Kill Capitalism for Christ
                   ----------------------------


                  ------------------------------
                   Capitalism - The Evil Umpire
                  ------------------------------


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

   - David Shove             shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
                     over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02
              please send all messages in plain text no attachments

                          vote third party
                           for president
                           for congress
                          now and forever


                           Socialism YES
                           Capitalism NO


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