To paraphrase the Godfather of the vast right wing conspiracy, Ronald Reagan, “There she goes again!”
Today Hillary Clinton once again pledged to work for universal health care. Appearing on Good Morning America, Hillary said she has “learned a lot” from the first attempt back in the mid-1990s. Hillary told the interviewer, “I believe the American people are going to make this an issue,” said Clinton. “I believe we’re in a better position today to do that than we were in ’93 and ’94. … It’s one of the reasons I’m running for president.”
Our fear is that Hillary — in fact, anyone brazen enough to try to provide health care to 43 million uninsured Americans — has not learned enough. The simple fact is that special interests — the insurance lobby, doctors and the American Medical Association, hospitals and other health care providers — have always put profits over the health of needy Americans. Correct that: they have put profits over the health of ALL Americans.
Back during the first Clinton Administration, the main assassins of health care reform were Bob Dole and Phil Gramm. They did the dirty work of the special interests. The only thing that has changed since 1993-1994 is that more Americans are uninsured and the health care system is even more dysfunctional.
What hasn’t changed is the ideology that says that Americans without health care must fend for themselves, that the taxes of “well-off” Americans should not be used to pay for health care for the poor (i.e. it’s their fault that they are poor and should suffer the consequences), and that in a theoretical free-market economy the health care providers — doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, etc. — should be free to maximize their profits regardless of the consequences.
Do not deceive yourself: those doctors who whined ad nausea that health care reform would destroy your relationship with them were referring to their relationship with your wallet, not your body. To most doctors, your body is a means to an end: a high six or seven-figure income and the lifestyle of the rich and not-so-famous.
Mark my words: in the looming health care battle, the attack points of the far right will be identical to those used 13 years ago. If nothing else, their greed is consistent.