The US has made an attempt to catch up to the rest of the developed world and guarantee healthcare to every American. Of course the way we did it was different and involves almost no government provided healthcare except what we already have (Medicaid for the poor and Medicare for the elderly) but now all but a few million people will be guaranteed coverage.
The healthcare topic actually came up as B&R relaxed in the dressing room before our show Saturday with Garry Cutt conducting. Not one player in the room could believe American denies coverage to vast numbers of people. Some called it inhumane. Others called it greedy. Others are still shocked and a bit angry that the British system was used as bad example by Republicans and HCR opponents.
Over here they just can’t get their heads around the “I’ve got mine, so screw you” mentality they see in the American HCR debate. Over here they actually care about “the greater good.” Insurance companies never think about that.
One thing struck me as pundits tried to put it all in historical context. Newt Gingrich said (via Krugman): “They will have destroyed their party much as Lyndon Johnson shattered the Democratic Party for 40 years” by passing civil rights legislation. And Reagen once argued Medicare was going to be the end of American Freedom. Sounds kind of stupid don’t you think?
Um…..I’m not a historian, but doesn’t just about everyone in the country now think that Civil Rights laws are a good thing and are thankful LBJ and the Democrats overcame fierce conservative and racist opposition to pass them? Isn’t it the same with Medicare and Social Security? Could this top thinker and revered leader in the Republican Party really be saying all those things were mistakes and have caused irreparable damage to the country and Democrats? And people vote for these guys? Yikes!
If this is really the Republican alternative to the Democrats, I can’t imagine a worse group of people to turn to for leadership and advice on anything. And I can’t believe they managed to wave the flag of morality and Christianity for so long while having such little regard for the equality of ALL people. Heck I’m so liberal, religious, and “nutty crunchy” I would even go so far as to say clarinetists should be treated like real people too. So there!
Hope everyone is enjoying witnessing history being made.