AMERICA'S WORST KEPT SECRET: Healthcare in this country is beyond dismal. The good news is that it's about to get a whole lot better for a whole lot of people.
"In short, in the US, you pay more, get less, and die younger than we do in Europe. What part of that don't you understand? My fellow Americans, you have nothing to fear except those who would use fear to keep you enslaved to the myth of the might of the American health care system."
Jeff Degan, 2009
One last thought on the subject of Brother Jeff: Moving back to the states will never be an option for him. He says the quality of life is better in France. I'll take him at his word.
"Obamacare" (The right wing doesn't dare call it by its real name: "Affordable Care") is now the law of the land - passed in both houses of Congress and upheld by the Supreme Court. It's certainly not perfect, but as this country moves further to the left in the years to come (it's already happening - deal with it) it can be improved upon and it will be. Bringing it into existence, making it a reality, are merely baby-steps on the path to the bill's ultimate improvement (I can't bring myself to use the word "perfection". It's becoming clearer to me each day that perfection is an illusion).
The government shutdown is over and the debt ceiling debacle has been worked out - for the time being anyway. The numbskulls - who today desecrate the same floors that were once walked upon by the likes of Henry Clay and William Seward - are looking worse than ever. Polls are now telling us that even most registered Republicans can't wait for the day that the Democrats control Congress. That is a good news/bad news scenario. If I were a registered Democrat, I certainly wouldn't go around bragging about it. My only consolation is that there is at least a spark of hope for the Dems. The GOP is beyond redemption. Now you see them; soon you won't.
The very fact that the extremists would send this country to the precipice of economic catastrophe should tell you all you need to know about their weird agenda. Uber-doofus, Ted Cruz, said on CNN the other day that he has every intention sending us there again at the first opportunity that presents itself. You see, Canadian-born Teddy boy is running for president in three years. He's read the political writing on the wall and he knows damn well that the "party of Abraham Lincoln" is doomed if it dares to nominate a (GET THIS) "moderate" like Mitt Romney in 2016. That's right, class; the man who accused forty-seven percent of the American people of being beggars and thieves wasn't right wing enough for these knuckleheads. The clear thinkers on the RNC (I think there are about two of them) are frightened-to-death of the possibility of a third party uprising if Ted and crew don't get their way. That's why that party is doomed. This is so much fun to watch, isn't it?
Think about this: As unpopular as Ted Cruz is nationally, when he made an personal appearance this past weekend in his home state of Texas, he received an eight minute long, standing ovation. Molly Ivins once posed the rhetorical question about her home state: "Just what is it about Texas?" You've gotta wonder.
Ted has been stomping around the country blabbering about the "train-wreck" of Obamacare and all of the damage it is doing to this grand and glorious land of ours. That's kind of interesting when one takes into account the fact that it's barely off the ground. If the Conservatives really believed that the Affordable Care Act was as bad as they're saying, they wouldn't be going to all these extremes to stop it. As they have demonstrated too-many-times-to-count, they will do anything to make this president look bad - the well-being of the American people be damned. They're trying to stop it because they know it's going to be successful; just like Medicaid and Medicare were successful.
Before President Johnson signed those two bills into law almost fifty years ago, the right-wingers, within Congress and without, went positively apoplectic in their efforts to warn us of the damage those two programs would do to the land of the free:
"One of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.”
So help me, he actually said that. Ronnie's dire warnings aside, Medicare and Medicaid worked out pretty well in the long run - and that is precisely what scares the shit out of the Republicans. I can't stress this enough: They are not our friends. Sooner or later most people will understand this. In fact they're starting to figure it out. High time, ay?
Affordable Care has arrived. It's here to stay. Learn to live with it.
In 1961 Ronald Reagan, then a failed B movie actor, recorded an album on RCA Victor Records, warning his fellow Americans about the "evils" of "socialized medicine". When you have a moment to spare, give a listen to this excerpt. It's a scream:
AFTERTHOUGHT, 10/16/13, 7:35AM:
Our family laid to rest the remains of Jerry and Grace Degan yesterday. It might sound a bit trite, but this is indeed the end of an era. Here's a photograph of Uncle Jerry and I taken in Northridge, California in May of 1985:
|Tom and Jerry|