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Web Letter

This was an interesting article. Somehow, it seems to miss something, and that is the resentment felt by some progressives about the HC bill that was passed. The basis for that resentment is at least twofold. First, the package will end up costing far more (insurance plus premiums) than the smoke-and-mirrors estimates made by the CBO. Second, the individual mandate coerces people into buying health insurance at high, for-profit, prices. Both of these problems would have disappeared with a single-payer approach that many progressives preferred. Aziz Huq seemed surprised by the poll showing 49 percent support for the lawsuits, but maybe it has something to do with these resentments.

I consider myself very liberal, yet the HC plan that passed leaves a bad taste in my mouth. We will never know if a single-payer plan might have gotten passed, because it was never promoted by party leaders, who seemed all too willing to cave in to the health insurance industry, among others. A lot of time was wasted in getting zero bipartisan support, and reconciliation was used in the end to jam the bill through. What might have happened if Obama and more of the party leadership had pressed for single-payer with reconciliation in mind from the beginning?

I'm not all sour grapes, because the bill, as Dennis Kucinich had to recognize in the end, is better than nothing. This will, however, cost us a lot of money in the end, just like our mindless wars and costly income tax system, all of which we can ill afford when we need to blend progressivism with a strong dose of fiscal responsibility. Such wasteful expenditures contribute to our demise in the face of international competition, including many countries with single-payer types of universal (100 percent) healthcare.

Berry Ives

Albuquerque, NM

Apr 1 2010 - 6:25pm

Web Letter

This has many good and thoughtful points.

With the exception of civil rights and voting, the left has lagged in enthusiasm for the mechanisms of the Constitution. Meanwhile, the right has made this a religion and passion not seen on the left in forty-five years.

Part of the situation is that the center, at this time, agrees more with the right, as we saw on the Second Amendment. This is a cyclic alternation over generations, and should reverse in another half-century.

(By the way, that interpretation did not just suddenly appear. Most state constitutions specify the "citizens' right to bear arms.")

This fight is just beginning, and the HC reform is viewed by most as a sleazy set of deals yielding an illegitimate result. There are far-reaching implications involved as to retaining free, limited government. There are several dozen points where the weorkability of the law is at question.

Pretending that racism has more than a very tiny part is so infuriating that it energizes the opposition and helps ensure a longer, more bitter struggle.

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby, PA

Mar 30 2010 - 10:30pm

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