06/15/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Get out in the Streets and FIGHT for Universal, Single Payer Health Care

A family member's brutal beating by a gang has me extra pissed. Time to get out in the streets to demand universal health insurance like every other first world nation has. There are too many horror stories affecting too many Americans.

It's time to pay a LOT more attention to Single Payer Universal healthcare, time to get out in the streets to send a strong, clear message to congress and the White House.

It's one of the most important issues facing the U.S. today. It affects the nation's industries' abilities to compete and it is an immoral, shameful situation we are now in, where people must steal, lie or lose their homes and go bankrupt so stinking, despicable politicians like Max Baucus can line their campaign bank accounts with health industry lobbyist money.

Over a million Americans a year are going bankrupt because of health issues. That is outrageous. We should be out in the streets and not just marching. Every uninsured person, every person who has a family member who has gone bankrupt or avoided getting checked when they should have -- should be out in the streets protesting and more -- a lot more. Too many lives have been ruined, too many people have died, too many families have been unbearably traumatized. It is time for Americans to tell congress that they are not going to get away with this shit anymore.

OEN writer Jennifer Hathaway offers a great idea based on the CSA -- community supported agriculture mode, in her article, "Single Payer or CSM?". Just imagine if enough communities started their own health care programs. We're talking about it in Bucks county PA, where I live. You know what would happen? The goddamned US congress would protect the effing health insurers and make it illegal. Right? No! We need to put the fear of god into these corpo-whores.

Think I'm pissed? Hell yes.

This economic crisis includes the city of Philly being short about a billion for its budget. Maybe that's why, when my son called the 911 emergency line Saturday night, no police ever showed up. My son was beat up by a teen gang over the weekend when he went to defend his female roommate, who the gang had dragged to the ground and was pummelling. He suffered a lot of punches to the head and the rest of his body and a nasty laceration over his eye. Now, he's feeling a lot of pain in his ribs. Unfortunately, at 25, he's too old to be on my family plan. He just graduated with a degree and is looking for a job, (need a sound engineer? He's awesome) so he's uninsured.

Do you have any idea what MRIs and CAT scans cost if you are uninsured -- about four times more than the big insurers pay. That's another immoral act. The big insurers insist that they get the best rates and that the insured pay a huge amount more. So my son didn't go to the hospital to rule out concussion or broken ribs. Fortunately, his Mom is an RN and a close friend is an ER doc, so we were not operating blind. Most uninsured people are not so fortunate. They go to the hospital and end up owing thousands of dollars. That doesn't happen in Canada, France, Italy, Germany, England, Sweden, Holland, Japan, Taiwan... and that's why the USA is not among the top 30 nations, in terms of healthcare.

It's time we change all that. It's clear that the senate and Obama won't do it unless they see that this is pissing Americans off more than any other issue. The only way to show them is to get out on the streets, to call their offices a real lot, to go to meetings, to put bumper stickers on your cars, wear tee shirts, tell your friends and family members that this is immoral and even sinful. It's going to take a real lot of work and we need to do it very soon. There will be votes coming this summer and fall and the multi-trillion dollar health industry will fight us with ads and disinformation campaigns like we've never seen before.

Some activists and organizations are saying that there's no hope for Universal single payer so we should give up on it and support the "public" option. The problem is, if you give up on single payer, you could be giving up on it for the foreseeable future. I say fight hard for what is the right thing and that's single payer, nothing less.

There are so many healthcare horror stories. Some of them aren't about illness or bankruptcy. Some are about people taking horrible jobs, just so they get healthcare. Americans deserve better than what Obama and the Congress are offering. Even if you have healthcare, it's second rate compared to what the poorest Taiwanese, Brit, German or Frenchman get. It's time we rise up and shout that we won't take it anymore.

Some observations:

Some will argue that we are moving toward universal, non-single payer. Those models depend too heavily on employer contributions. Putting the load on employers is destroying one after another American industry. Being a part of the WTO and NAFTA, there is no way we can compete with industries in countries where health care is nationalized.

Yes, single payer universal health care is socialized medicine. It is not socialism. It is just like we do for police, fire-departments, roads, schools.. and it is a huge, despicable lie when right wingers try to frame it as something akin to communism-- a desperate lie which serves only the giant health care corporations. When someone says single payer universal health insurance is socialism, simply reply "only to morons and right wing traitors who put corporations before country."

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